Thursday, August 18, 2005

Third Parties

Listen to this audio article from today's Morning Edition on NPR. Says the lead: "Progressives are taking a page from conservative politicians and are creating and supporting progressive think tanks, training young activists, and building a progressive network."

This dovetails nicely with some of the debates that've been going on over the months but specifically yesterday and today here on BoB re: the need for a third party, the legacy of the Clinton administration (from Left and Right views), and the leadership (or lack thereof) in the Democratic Party and its agenda (or lack thereof).

Some points/questions:

First, I welcome the effort by the progressives. A good idea, eh?

Second, as the audio article declares, one problem with the Democratic Party as it currently operates is that is seems to be focusing solely on the '06 midterms, and it is this very short term outlook which works against a long term winning strategy. The implication is that Conservatives were willing to lose elections to build a movement; I don't know if I buy that or not, but I do think it is now an established meme - that Republicans stand for something and Democrats stand for nothing. But the question is valid: what price focusing on just the next election? Is it worth embracing positions that pay off in the future at the risk of losing elections in the near term? I don't think it's one or the other, necessarily, but obviously there's that debate in real time in real circles of Democratic strategists.

Third, it seems that some of the folk intrigued by the third party option would probably disagree vociferously with each other at platform writing time. Perhaps there are more similarities than not between progressives and libertarians - and both agreements and disagreements should be explored if both agree that Bush Republicanism needs to be defeated - but I can imagine third, fourth, fifth parties once the schisms in the third party erupt. Thoughts? Thread away.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

War Comes Home

Something clearly has changed in the current political matrix. Suddenly, that complete conservative revolution that would last decades doesn't look like quite the lock it did say, oh, nine months ago. To me, and to some of us on the Left, it never was a certainty, so the earthquakes rattling the political landscape, while by no means cause for celebration, are not surprising: we've been saying for years that this administration is going to go down as the most corrupt, incompetent, dishonest administration in American history. It was a matter of time before either Bushco jumped the shark and/or the majority of Americans not belonging to the Church of Holy Republicanism wised up to Bushco's immoral agenda and amoral tactics.

Which doesn't mean squat, yet, which is why, for better or worse, politically, most Democrats and establishment Liberals are making themselves as invisible as possible as Bushco gives all appearances of imploding. The CIA hates the White House hates the FBI hates the Pentagon; gas prices head for $3 a gallon, the housing bubble's about to burst, what new jobs are being created are mostly menial; death death death death in Iraq; Rove, Novak, Scooter, Cheney, Ashcroft, Fitzgerald. Is getting the hell out of the way of a car wreck good politics? I'm not sure it's good politics, but it's not bad politics.

What's changed? The wretched Right, always ready for a slur, a vicious shitslinging, character assassination, all based on a moral calculus that anything can be said and done if it serves the greater purpose of their power, is freaking out over the sudden realization that they do not control the universe. They've brought out the nuclear slime to take down a grieving mother outside of Crawford Texas, used weaponry on her that defeated a Democratic presidential nominee. She's still standing. And the Right is going batshit. Here's one thing that's changed: the Right is scared for the first time in a long time; for the first time in a long time it's occuring to them that they may not rule into eternity no matter how entitled to rule they think they are.

Do I think this will all pass? I freely admit to so loathing the Talibamericans and the corporate Republicans and anything and everything about Bushco and its lemminglike supporters as to render any prediction I make both optimistic by wishful thinking and pessimistic by recent experience, and beyond that I simply don't know.

I will predict this: crackers like this dope who fired a shotgun over the head of Cindy Sheehan and this dope who drove a pick-up through her campsite, while not dispatched from GOP Headquarters, are going to go positively Timothy McVeigh before, during, and after Democrats regain power. The Right has achieved its power by a deliberate, concerted, patient, inexorable program of demonization and hatred and fear of anyone or thing other than itself. Its architects and generals are not going to abandon their tactics, they're going to ratchet them up. The true believing footsoldiers? They're not going to surrender without, literally, a fight.

It's entirely probable that the Right's propaganda will succeed in beating down the whole Sheehan controversy by making her, not Bushco's failure, the issue. But it's possible that the ultimate lesson to most Americans from the Cindy Sheehan saga is the realization of just who and what the Right is and what it is capable of to keep power. It may be different tomorrow, but that's what's changed, at least for today, in the political matrix.

Monday, August 15, 2005

And now, some insight from our trolls:

"Hazings at colleges and universities are far worse than anything that went on at Abu Ghraib."

"Congress has toured these sights, people have been prosecuted."

"Here we go again, the Liberals would rather support the Terrorists than condemn them."