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From a comment at… 8 February 2010

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, 2012 Re Election, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
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A flamingo looks at one of ten eggs being incubated at the zoo in Cali, Colombia [AFP/GETTY]

.. a comment (“N E” at 3:59, no link to the individual comment) at Tiny Revolution:

[N]ow the building movement toward the Right is happening again, just as it did in the early 90s, and it’s not spontaneous this time either. (It seems insane to me, tinkering with Einstein’s definition, to presume that things that happen over and over again are coincidences.)

So what’s the dynamic?

First, the GOP has to organize and inflame the right (see teabaggers), and the hell they raise makes options on the left more politically difficult and costly. The GOP does this automatically, though it undoubtedly gets support in its efforts from those sectors that favor it over the Dems.

Second, the titans of the corporate world control the Dem party establishment and pivotal Senators through money, obstructing legislation that would help people but hurt their financial interests. They do this automatically.

Third, the powers that be within the National Security State (Langley and the Pentagon) foreclose military and foreign policy options that they believe endanger National Security. They do this through control of the media and the the military and intel bureaucracy, and through collaboration with the GOP and the corrupt powers that be within the Democratic Party establishment, people like Joe Lieberman or Max Baucus They do this automatically too, in furtherance of National Security, which is a subject they have always viewed as within their exclusive provenance. The President is Commander in Chief when they agree with him.

Finally, and this doesn’t happen automatically, the intel community, the GOP, and corporations all try to undermine the President’s support with his base through their own media influence, including through contacts and through the use of infiltrators and/or bellwhether opinion-makers on the left who are under their control(NOT Chomsky). This is an old practice at which Pierpont Morgan excelled more than a century ago. It has happened extensively in the past, and was a subject of inquiry during the Church and Rockefeller hearings in the mid 70s. An important fact learned was that someone working for Langley doesn’t even need to know that he is working for Langley, because the CIA operates covertly through undisclosed contacts, front companies, hidden accounts, and the like. Those capabilities certainly exist in our increasingly privatived corporate intel world too. We let all this originally be set up to fool the commies, but of course we ended up fooling us. These activities were banned after the Congressional hearings of the 70s, but nothing meaningful was done to prevent them from continuing to happen, and since they were illegal and concealed to begin with, the idea that the CIA doesn’t stopped the practices because Congress reiterated that they were illegal is comically optimistic. Of course the intel agencies didn’t stop when they got a slap on the wrist. Why would they have?

All these facts virtually force every Democratic President toward the right, because it makes corporate support more important to him, makes the push from the right stronger, and makes the left less useful to him. As he is forced to the center, his support on the left erodes more, reinforcing the shift. [hmm I’d argue most Dem pretzels are very comfortable heading right… esp Ob – Mcat] When the GOp inflames the right some more, the cycle starts again. As this happens, the right starts to build momentum and attract more discontents, who accurately see the Democrats as corrupt and beholding to the banks.

Soon the President has no base whatsoever, is surrounded almost entirely by self-interested and corrupt power-brokers, and confronts a powerful and disciplined opposition party that possesses momentum and energy and appears to offer a populist alternative to an institutional President who offers none of his own. But the populism of the Right is as genuine as that once offered by Hitler and Ernst Roehm. [oh well, meanwhile the Dems flap around the national too hot kitchen bleating about cloture and needing 60 votes, needing all the extreme right Dems… there is a difference? -Mcat]

Over time, what we get out of this more and more closely resembles fascism. We may not end up with a one-party state, unless that becomes necessary, but we do end up with a two-party state where only one party can actually do anything, and unfortunately what they do is always bad. All the Dems can successfully do is go along with it all and try to take credit for whatever is just a little less bad. That they blow their own horn so enthusiastically for doing so little sickens everyone who actually wants a society that is worth a damn.

Given the structure of the official government, with the Senate being what it is and money dominating politics, and given the covert capabilities of the National Security State, a popular movement on the left faces daunting challenges. It cannot possibly succeed without massive support for major, major changes. A charming, smart, well-intentioned President isn’t even necessarily a step in the right direction. That is either a tiny step in the right direction, or just another fraud that prevents people from recognizing the need for real change. Maybe both, I suppose. [I go with the fraud assessment! -Mcat]

We really need to figure out what to do about this sorry state of affairs, because Lenin’s question just won’t go away: What is to be done?

hmm seems about right to me.

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Comments»

1. Madman in the Marketplace - 8 February 2010

looks impossible when you see it all laid out like that, don’t it?

marisacat - 8 February 2010

I thought s/he got it pulled together very coherently….

Madman in the Marketplace - 8 February 2010

yup … depressing.

2. marisacat - 8 February 2010

Nooo body is happy… from the London Times:

Voters are deeply pessimistic about the state of Britain today, believing that society is broken and heading in the wrong direction, a Populus poll for The Times has found.

Nearly three fifths of voters say that they hardly recognise the country they are living in, while 42 per cent say they would emigrate if they could.

But worries over the pace of social change and dislocation are balanced by the belief that life will get better, according to the survey undertaken at the weekend.

It suggests that 70 per cent believe that society is now broken, echoing a Conservative campaign theme of the past two years, while 68 per cent say people who play by the rules get a raw deal and 82 per cent think it is time for a change.

The snapshot of Britain also confirms, however, that the battle between the parties has tightened with Labour two points up at 30 per cent …

Madman in the Marketplace - 8 February 2010

I love the same game, that believing that society is broken is automatically assumed to be in agreement with the Conservatives. One could just as easily believe that life is becoming too corporate and too controlled by an abusive police state.

Love the UK and US … you’re ONLY allowed to be disaffected to the right.

marisacat - 8 February 2010

well… I have thought it is interesting … for several years (many) the two sides actually say the same things.

Everything is broken, it is out of control… people need to take back (soemthing anything) and destruction is nigh. Implicit is that the “other side” will destroy everything.

Obviously the RW / hard right xtians (hell all xtians but the truly selfless) is a big big problem, but in effect there is no opposition…….. so…… one must decide they are together on too damned much.

Now obviouisly SOME of that ‘end is nigh’ comes from the two political “sides” mouthing the same shit… BUT in addtion, there’s tons of disaffected people. All over the place.

CSTAR - 8 February 2010

For the most part, the left intelligentsia has sold out, the unions have been smashed with the complicity of the left.

marisacat - 8 February 2010

Very true… even tho he is not the best at this… Cockburn at Cpunch had a good short hand of the decades of collapse of the left.. posted a few days ago. When I circle past there later will grab the link and put it up *…

*******

* Here it is: http://counterpunch.org/cockburn02052010.html

CSTAR - 8 February 2010

Thanks for the link. Definitely worth reading, although still no insight on how to rebuild the left. Maybe it’s just not possible. La guerre est finie

marisacat - 9 February 2010

I don’t think it is possible… it will take food riots…

I CAN say that with the enormous hike in insurance premiums out here, the notices went out the past few days… roughly between 30 and 40%, I do hear some breaking point is getting closer.

ts - 9 February 2010

I always read the “politicians say things are broken” to mean that either a) the unwashed masses aren’t letting us shaft them anymore or b) we are no longer able to shaft the unwashed masses.

I’m all for endless years of gridlock.

marisacat - 9 February 2010

gridlock beats damage… which is not to say it is “good”.

We’re stuck anyway….

marisacat - 9 February 2010

Speaking of which … Tapper v Obama … Ob dropped in on the gaggle today.

Ob makes a tossed off comment that most small businesses have enough traffic/income/whatever to cover their payroll… hmm that should be getting some commentary.

While I as there I saw that Tapper had a short post up on the Luce FT piece and the commentary post frm Clemons… he links to both the Luce and the Clemons piece. He links to John Cole at Balloon-Juice who is …non-plussed, I guess.

3. marisacat - 9 February 2010

Meanwhile… back at the ranchera:

[T]he two parties are staking out positions that leave them completely at odds even before they sit down.

Republicans say they’re open to compromise — as long as Obama tears up the House and Senate bills, restarts the legislative process and drops several key parts of his wish list.

Democrats say, not a chance.

And in fact, Obama hopes to walk into the Feb. 25 summit with an agreement in hand between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on a final Democratic bill, so they can move ahead with a reform package after the sit-down.

House Republican leaders delivered a letter to the White House Monday that included a list of pointed questions that they would like answered before the meeting at Blair House, such as whether Obama would give up on using reconciliation, a way to pass health reform in the Senate with just 51 votes.

“If the starting point for this meeting is the job-killing bills the American people have already soundly rejected, Republicans would rightly be reluctant to participate,” the letter read.

So what’s the point? A jaded Washington wondered how a single meeting — in front of live TV cameras, no less — could change the fundamentals of the debate.

Many concluded it won’t. …

Read more: LINK

4. BooHooHooMan - 9 February 2010
marisacat - 9 February 2010

So….swami … 😆 …:

Prediction on the Murtha seat?

Cuz the R are happy to start referring to it as a bellwhether. IIRC you mentioned when it ws reported Murtha was in ICU and likely going down, that the big rightie money in that district would dispense with the fig leaf that Murtha’s “D” after his name provided.

BooHooHooMan - 9 February 2010

Caroline Kennedy Shlossberg ….a possibility…
😉 😆
Harold Ford… another mighty fine choice…
John Edwards, an outside, distant third… ya never know.

Of one thing I’m absolutely confidant…..some hack who serves money while selling shared sacrifice to lambs, a proponent of ever increased Defense and Security State spending.. somebody that the media tells my goofball fellow countrymen is .. – ya know – a real CENTRIST. 🙄

marisacat - 9 February 2010

Maybe they can squeeze in Coakley too!

I just read that there will be no primary… the party bosses will pick noms for both sides.

😆

Saddle up!

catnip - 9 February 2010

Rahm! Pick Rahm!

marisacat - 9 February 2010

I have the thread open to the Clemons piece…. andwas just reading this… 😆 VERY true imo:

Posted by WigWag, Feb 08 2010, 9:03AM – Link

It’s actually ironic that Rahm Emanuel has a reputation for being so tough. The myth about him is that when crossed, he always goes for the jugular.

Paul Krugman has an interesting line in his New York Times column today. What Krugman points out is that the legendary toughness of Rahm and the rest of the Obama team is mostly just illusory.

Cross the Obama Administration and they never go for the jugular; occasionally, if they are feeling particularly macho, they will go for the capillaries.

Madman in the Marketplace - 9 February 2010

I think they just go to their knees.

BooHooHooMan - 9 February 2010

What I do know is this Rendell taking the ten days to schedule a special election to happen 60 days after that.. LOL. He’s trying to herd theses cats who who all want in while trying to arrange the same go lightly arrangement that existed for years with the GOP..

This guy Gleason, a Thornburgh acolyte, Bush Pioneer, state GOP Chair, Catholic Health System interests/ money broker….similar mil background as Murtha… may step out from behind Gooper fixer status to run…Kinda doubt it, Pretty old tho. Either way, Gleason will make the pick for the patrons on the GOP side and Elsie Hillman and Richard Scaiffe will simply ask: “How much ya need?”

BooHooHooMan - 9 February 2010

FWIW- ( SQUAT)
The running list of Dem Kitten ka Poodles
LOL – who have been waiting for Murtha to Die Already for years.
They must be SO distraught. 😆

catnip - 9 February 2010

High five for that one!

Of course the next question – considering that dems are loathe to go after any of their own hypocrites – is what will happen now with this info?

5. marisacat - 9 February 2010

via Mike Allen’s Playbook:

NYT A1, ‘As Data Flows In, the Dollars Flow Out,’ by Jenna Wortham:

‘It used to be that a basic $25-a-month phone bill was your main telecommunications expense. But by 2004, the average American spent $770.95 annually on services like cable television, Internet connectivity and video games, according to data from the Census Bureau. By 2008, that number rose to $903, outstripping inflation. By the end of this year, it is expected to have grown to $997.07. Add another $1,000 or more for cellphone service and the average family is spending as much on entertainment over devices as they are on dining out or buying gasoline.’

marisacat - 9 February 2010

hmm speaking of money…. In rather stark terms, from Page A1 of the WSJ:

‘[T]he prospect that the Federal Reserve in the U.S. may soon begin tightening the spigot that helped fuel the markets’ massive rebound [added to the decline]. … The 10000 mark on the Dow has been a frustrating milepost for American investors. The benchmark has crossed above or below the 10000 mark 57 times since first rising above that level in 1999-effectively meaning it has made no progress in more than 10 years. … Some optimistic investors are shrugging off this decline, saying that stocks were due for a pullback of about 10%. In this view, it is time to look for signs that the declines are losing steam in hopes of buying stocks cheaply.’

6. marisacat - 9 February 2010

Hope and change:

February 09, 2010

Categories:White House.

More continuity

The advocates of torture investigations, Greg Craig and Phil Carter, are gone, and Spencer Ackerman reports on who’s rising:

A key behind-the-scenes architect of the Bush administration’s first version of the military commissions for terrorism suspects — which the Supreme Court found to unconstitutionally restrict the legal rights of detainees — will take a central Pentagon position dealing with detainee policy for the Obama administration.

William Lietzau, a Marine colonel who currently serves as deputy legal counsel to the National Security Council, is poised to become the Pentagon’s new deputy assistant secretary for detainee affairs in the next several weeks

Posted by Ben Smith 09:55 AM

Tell me again! What did anyone expect from either the Democratic party OR some minor fixer from Chicago…

?

???

??????????

7. marisacat - 9 February 2010

Wayne Barrett on Paterson, in the Village Voice….

Yum.

I don’t care who falls or how.

8. catnip - 9 February 2010

Big story in the Great White North today: CFB Trenton commander charged with murder

He’s charged with the murders of 2 women, the sexual assuaults of 2 others and the cops are now sifting through all of the places he’s lived prior to this to see what other bodies he might have left behind.

9. catnip - 9 February 2010
marisacat - 9 February 2010

gah.

10. marisacat - 9 February 2010

nuuu

LINK

…………………………………. 🙄


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