A las Barricadas

National Journal blind squirrel Ron Fournier may have stumbled over an acorn today while seeking explanations for Eric Cantor’s tsunami-earthquake-sharknado primary loss:

But what may be in the air is a peaceful populist revolt—a bottom-up, tech-fueled assault on 20th-century political institutions…In Washington, Cantor’s defeat is being chalked up to the tea party’s intolerance toward immigration reform…. While he paid a price for flirting with a White House compromise, Cantor’s greater sin was inauthenticity—brazenly flip-flopping on the issue. Typical politician. Worse, voters sensed that Cantor was more interested in becoming House speaker than in representing their interests. He spent more money at steakhouses than rival David Brat spent on his entire campaign. Typical politician.

Fournier goes on to crib ideas from a 2013 memo from a former Clinton White House political flak, Doug Sosnik, who cites “an increasing populist push” from left to right. Fournier writes:

Which side of the barricade are you on? Populists from the right and the left—from the tea party and libertarian-leaning Rand Paul to economic populist Elizabeth Warren—are positioning themselves among the insurgents. Sosnik pointed to six areas of consensus that eventually may unite the divergent populist forces:

— A pullback from the rest of the world, with more of an inward focus.
— A desire to go after big banks and other large financial institutions.
— Elimination of corporate welfare.
— Reducing special deals for the rich.
— Pushing back on the violation of the public’s privacy by the government and big business.
— Reducing the size of government.

Much of this strikes me as “No Labels” pablum. Does anyone seriously believe Rand Paul wants to eliminate corporate welfare and quit rigging the game for the rich? Does anyone think Elizabeth Warren wants to slash the size of an already decimated public sector? Hogwash.

But a much smarter person than Ron Fournier detects a whiff of populism in the electorate too: Here’s Balloon Juice colleague Kay from one of the Cantor grave-dancing threads the other day:

Voters said Cantor was “out of touch” and that’s a problem for both Republicans and Democrats, IMO. I hear “out of touch” more often than I hear any specific complaint. There’s a real populist shift on both sides, I think.

The Tea Party’s will be horrible and xenophobic but the Democrats need to address it, develop a liberal version, or conservatives will run away with the whole concept. I think it’s real.

I think she’s right. As the only one of the two viable political parties in this country that is not a wholly owned subsidiary of the 1%, Democrats should benefit from a populist groundswell, but only if they recognize and channel it.

From President Obama down, many have addressed the income inequality issue and the basic unfairness of how the game is rigged right now, thanks to GOP policies. That’s a message every damn one of them needs to be shouting from the rooftops for the next two years.

309 replies
  1. 1
    Corner Stone says:

    Looks like maybe OWS had a plan, after all.

  2. 2
    liberal says:

    From President Obama down, many have addressed the income inequality issue and the basic unfairness of how the game is rigged right now, thanks to GOP policies.

    Yes, the Republicans are much worse on this, but Democrats have also contributed by pushing things like NAFTA. Not to mention other things that Dean Baker cites, like the strong dollar policy of the Clinton administration that helped move jobs offshore.

  3. 3
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Kay is on to something, as usual.

    It seems that Eric was so busy plotting his rise to the Speakership that he forgot he represented a bunch of Virginians who, the ingrates, expected him to respond to their needs as constituents.

    Cantor’s pain is my pleasure.

  4. 4
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @liberal: NAFTA was the hobbyhorse of the best Republican President since Eisenhower, Bill Clinton.

  5. 5
    JPL says:

    Brat’s campaign did mention that Cantor was in the pocket for big corporations. The Chamber of Commerce must be so pleased that they opened the door to these assholes. Truth be known, Brat would do away with regulations so corps still win.

  6. 6
    Seanly says:

    I’d be fine with the second through fifth items listed. The first one only if you’re talking about our military. And the fifth one for me includes women being able to do whatever they want with their own bodies.

  7. 7
    ant says:

    Eric Cantor’s Defeat May Signal a Populist Revolution

    Meh.

    More like “Apathetic Revolution”.

    What was it, like %12 of registered voters that voted in that election?

    pfft.

    Doesn’t mean anything other than Cantor didn’t pay attention.

  8. 8

    Democrats need to seize the moment. No more middle way neo-liberal policies. The Republicans, they got nothing, no new ideas, just more of the same packaged differently. David Brooks was selling this “new” economic agenda the other day.

  9. 9
    Amir Khalid says:

    “To the barricades!” Some music for the occasion. (Try not to think about how that uprising turned out …)
    @Corner Stone:
    The Occupy movement has been somewhat more successful in that way than many of us anticipated.

  10. 10
    the Conster says:

    Rachel mentioned that the favorable/unfavorable numbers were way upside down on Cantor, and the polling numbers about wanting immigration reform were solidly favorable among Republicans in his district. I think Cantor’s naked ambition coupled with his overall whiny slimy demeanor were way more of a factor than any policy or single issue, and he came to represent everything wrong with the institutions that have failed all of us. I have very little faith in any agreement as to the causes – and cures – of that failure as long as Fox is our Radio Rwanda.

  11. 11

    Problem: The populist groundswells are absolutely different. The tea party only dislikes big business in a vague way, and their big concern is whether businessmen back them up in their frothing hate for Obama. Ditto, the only flip-flopping they care about is whether you wage a scorched earth, no-compromise, to-the-death absolute war against Obama and everything he stands for. They’re completely bugfuck insane.

    Democrats are pissed that the rich are stepping on them, that racists are stepping on them, that misogynists are stepping on them, and just generally that the country has been going down the drain.

    Not only is there no overlap there, they’re diametrically opposed.

    The only wisdom I see in this article is ‘people are angry’. Thank you, yes, the entire world noticed.

  12. 12
    MattF says:

    It’s important to note that income inequality isn’t a ‘relatively rich vs. relatively poor’ question. Hightly trained and productive people aren’t getting raises. Professional incomes have stagnated for two decades– the old income escalator has hit the top and leveled off, everyone’s squeezed together on the mezzanine.

  13. 13

    @Frankensteinbeck: People of all stripes are mad at what Wall Street got away with. Wrecked the economy and paid no price.

  14. 14
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @ant:

    Doesn’t mean anything other than Cantor didn’t pay attention.

    He was far too busy planning the redecoration of Boner’s office.

  15. 15
    Corner Stone says:

    @ant:

    What was it, like %12 of registered voters that voted in that election?

    My maths may be wrong but it seems Cantor spent about $175 for each vote he received.
    $5M / 28,600

  16. 16
    balconesfault says:

    Doesn’t really strike me the same way the “No Labels” folks do, since the latter just seems a vehicle for slashing entitlements with a happy face.

    That said – the list seems flawed. Certainly there’s some consensus for the disaffected conservatives and liberals alike for a pullback from the rest of the world, a desire to go after big banks, an elimination of corporate welfare, a desire to reduce special deals for the rich, and a pushback against the NSA in particular.

    OTOH – the “Reducing the size of government.” thing is purely a goal of the conservatives. Warren and the OWS crowd hasn’t talked about reducing the size of government at all – that’s more the language of the Clinton/DLC wing.

    Somewhat dishonest for Fournier to slip it in here, although that’s par for the course for Fornier. A better list comes from Robert Reich:

    http://robertreich.org/post/84984296635

  17. 17
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    and their big concern is whether businessmen back them up in their frothing hate for Obama.

    This, this. THIS.

    The Tea Party is not about economic or budget issues. That’s the cover story for the real reason they exist: The sheriff is near.

  18. 18

    @MattF: The real problem is that labor is not valued at all, capital is. It does not matter what you do for a living, this is true. The policies of the last 30 plus years have benefited the top .001% , not your doctors and lawyers but the likes of Romneys and Waltons.

  19. 19
    Motivated Seller says:

    “As the only one of the two viable political parties in this country that is not a wholly owned subsidiary of the 1%, Democrats…”

    You really think so? Maybe you should ask Chuck Shumer lift a finger to put bankers criminals in jail? He must be too busy attending all those $10,000 per plate fundraisers.

  20. 20
    Alex S. says:

    But isn’t eating in steak houses something that ‘the voters’ do? After all, steak is dead animal.

    On the other hand, I agree that there is a rising populist sentiment. It has been rising since the Financial Crisis, only that the corporate sector tried to deflect the anger away from itself. That’s what the astroturfing potion of the Tea Party movement was about. I mean, how does the anger of private sector bailouts go together with ‘taxed enough already’? Suddenly, it’s the government’s fault that AIG, Citibank and others had to be bailed out. Anyway, that anger is still there. I think it’s good that someone like Rand Paul picks up on it.

  21. 21
    Chyron HR says:

    I hear “out of touch” more often than I hear any specific complaint.

    Also, “she’s a maneater”.

  22. 22
    Corner Stone says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Wrecked the economy and paid no price.

    They’re demonstrably wealthier and more powerful.

  23. 23
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @the Conster:

    I think Cantor’s naked ambition coupled with his overall whiny slimy demeanor

    Nothing more illustrate’s Cantors whiny slimy demeanor than when he held a press conference about some bullets that hit his district office, which he made a huge deal about. Turned out they were not deliberately aimed at him. Now, contrast with bullets that hit Peter DeFazio’s district office, in which he and his staff answered “no comment, ongoing investigation” to press inquiries.

    Also, too, DeFazio has, by all accounts, one of the most active constituent service staffs of any in the House. Compare and contrast with Cantor’s reputation for putting constituent service in the “meh” box.

  24. 24
    Cacti says:

    One item that I’m certain the media won’t touch is that Brat is a Christian dominionist, and Eric Cantor came from one of those non-Christ-y religious traditions.

  25. 25
    Betty Cracker says:

    @MattF: Which gives us an actual opportunity. Sadly, as long as it’s just the poor getting fucked over, no one cares.

    @balconesfault: Really? I think conservatives who are genuinely advocating for going after big banks, ending corporate welfare and stopping the upward flow of the national treasury to the 1% are rare as hen’s teeth.

    @Motivated Seller: I said “wholly owned” for a reason. I’m well aware a too-large proportion of the Democrats are corporate sellouts.

  26. 26

    @Alex S.: Steakhouses in DC are extra speshul, uber expensive and fancy.

  27. 27
    rikyrah says:

    Legendary Actress and Civil Rights Activist Dies at 91

    6/12/2014 9:01 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

    Ruby Dee — one of the legendary actresses in Hollywood and on Broadway — died Wednesday night … TMZ has learned.

    Ruby was at home in New Rochelle, NY … surrounded by family when she passed away … according to sources connected to the family. A rep confirmed the death.

    Ruby was a pioneer for African-American women in Hollywood … and is perhaps best known for her starring role in the 1960s film “A Raisin in the Sun” — and her roles in the Spike Lee movies “Do the Right Thing” and “Jungle Fever.” Her most recent big budget Hollywood film was “American Gangster” … she played Denzel Washington’s mother.

    Read more: http://www.tmz.com/2014/06/12/.....z34RkBClBS

  28. 28

    @Corner Stone: Correction:

    Wrecked the economy and profited from it.

  29. 29
    scav says:

    It’s also a far more digestible village meme if it’s not “Republican Infighting” but “Both Sides Have Problem!” reworking. They can clutch their tattered sheds of party of lockstep coherency and competence to their bosoms that way. As though anti-incumbency was something new and unusual. The different anti-high end-corporate waves do seem to be getting grumpier though.

  30. 30
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    As the only one of the two viable political parties in this country that is not a wholly owned subsidiary of the 1%

    You have got to be on some seriously good reality-altering drugs to be able to come up with a whopper like that.

    The Democratic Party is in hock all the way to the 1%, it’s just a different group of 1 percenters who don’t have “digging a trench to the 5th century” as a goal for the 99.9% of us they feed off of. A group that I happen to have far more in common with than the coal kings, gambling magnates, and religious psychopaths that constitute the monetary backers of today’s Tea Party/GOP.

  31. 31
    Ridnik Chrome says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I don’t think the average Tea Partier is blaming Wall Street for wrecking the economy. Wasn’t Brat on Hannity yesterday saying that Fannie Mae-Freddy Mae was responsible for two thirds of the bad loans?

  32. 32
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ridnik Chrome: Brat is an idiot. Fannie Mae-Freddy Mac were, at the insistence of Wall Street insider heads, following the lead of the private sector to get in on that sweet sweet short term profit…that was based on a lie and ignoring sound practices for the long term.

  33. 33

    @Ridnik Chrome: I am speaking of the non-crazy subset of the right. They are not as loud but they do exist.

    ETA: Another talking point is the Community Reinvestment Act passed by Carter to make affordable housing possible for low income people.

  34. 34
    Turgidson says:

    Some of ButCanObamaLeeeeaaaad’s list makes sense, but I think in the end, the rightwing populists will ultimately interpret things as follows:

    “go after the big banks” as “repeal the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau”;

    “elimination of corporate welfare” as “elimination of welfare for the poors and browns”;

    “reducing special deals for the rich” as “reducing special deals for the lucky duckies who don’t pay income tax”;

    “pushing back on the violation of the public’s privacy by the government and big business” as “THEY’RE COMING FOR OUR GUNSSSSS”; and

    “reducing the size of government” as “keep your hands off my Medicare, but fuck everyone else”

    In other words, business as usual. These fucking braindead morons took out their anger about the 2008 meltdown on the people who were underwater on their mortgages (and of course the near president and all his sockulist schemes), for fucks sake.

  35. 35

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    They will tell you that, yes. Then they will furiously rail about how unions, regulations, and high taxes for the rich are destroying the economy. As a theoretical matter, they know the rich are screwing them and don’t like it. Their actual policy positions and their emotional driver is Cleek’s Law, usually because liberals are on the side of blacks.

  36. 36
    Cacti says:

    @Ridnik Chrome:

    Speaking of candidate brat, his first lie/deception has been exposed:

    He did not attend Princeton University.

    His yarn about “testing his rural values against the intellectual elite while at Princeton” is bollocks.

    He attended Princeton Theological Seminary, a separate institution in the same city, unaffiliated with the more famous Princeton University.

  37. 37
    Emma says:

    @Amir Khalid: Sometimes having studied history is a curse. Some friends talked me into going to see Les Miz and when they performed that song, I was in tears. One of my friends asked me why, and I told them “I know what happens next.”

    They were horrified by the outcome.

  38. 38

    @Cacti: What was with the invoking God and Jesus in every other sentence? I went to a Catholic school and I swear that the nuns didn’t invoke Jeebus as much as these GOP god botherers do.

  39. 39
    the Conster says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    The teanuts are natural serfs. Even if they apprehend that Wall Street was somehow, in some way they don’t understand the reason behind their economic anxiety, they would never support the policies and regulations required to avoid it happening again. Look how quickly they were willing to be duped by obvious hypocrites and idiots.

  40. 40
    Emma says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: That’s because nuns know the real guy. The God-botherers are listening to the God in their heads — which is remarkably Old Testamentish. Not to to mention a__holish.

  41. 41

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    It’s called a shibboleth. It declares which side they’re on. Added bonus is that it makes them feel like they have the moral high ground, which is extremely important for assholes. Oh, and a little of it is pushback because they used to be able to say ‘I’m doing God’s will’ and get applause, and these days the response is mostly people backing away. They miss that easy ego fix.

  42. 42
    JPL says:

    @Cacti: He went to school in Princeton, NJ and it so happens to be the home of Princeton University. He’ll mock anyone who interprets his statement differently. imo

  43. 43
    1s says:

    @Chyron HR: You didn’t have to do that. After all, Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid.

  44. 44
    scav says:

    @Emma: Choose your nuns carefully though. Some seem to be on a different party-line.

  45. 45
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @the Conster:

    The teanuts are natural serfs

    THIS THIS THIS.

    These wretches are undeserving of the freedoms that so many over the past 240 odd years have fought, bled, and died for.

  46. 46
    liberal says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    I don’t think that’s quite true. My (admittedly vague) impression is that the higher up you are the income/wealth ladder, the more you’ve benefitted.

    So I’d wager that doctors are actually doing very well. Just not “well” in the obscene sense of the .001%.

  47. 47
    eldorado says:

    “All the investment banks up in New York and D.C., whatever, those guys should have gone to jail. Instead of going to jail, where’d they go? They went on to Eric’s Rolodex,” Brat said to an eruption of loud laughter in Mechanicsville. “And that’s where they all are and they’re sending him big checks.”

    and

    ”Dave believes that the Constitution does not need to be compromised for matters of national security,” he says. “He supports the end of bulk phone and email data collection by the NSA, IRS, or any other branch of government.”

    there are three existential issues (imho) facing us right now. climate changes, the weaponization of the financial markets, and the national security state. this guy campaigned on two out of three and won.

  48. 48
    Turgidson says:

    @the Conster:

    I saw Maddow’s segment. I think she made a good point, but I also think she glossed over the fact that, given how low turnout is in off-year primaries, it’s quite possible (and likely IMO) that, even if Cantor’s district at large is pro-reform, only the angry racists made a strong showing at the polls, and they won the day because no one else showed up. She didn’t even acknowledge this as a possibility, while saying “look at these polls! Immigration couldn’t have possibly had anything to do with it!!!”, which seemed like an incomplete picture.

    Although she’s probably right that the Beltway windbag crowd was wrong to say immigration was the only explanation. Maybe, after his so very punchable face was on their teevees so much the past few years, spewing shameless lies and hypocrisies every single fucking time he spoke, people in that district came to view him as the vile, contemptible piece of shit that he is and were embarrassed to have such a smug, obnoxious twit represent them. That was probably a big part too.

  49. 49
    Berial says:

    “This is a civil war without violence. And we are two countries now.” – Andrew Sullivan

    Welcome to the war.

  50. 50
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Turgidson: Bingo.

  51. 51
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Berial: What does Tory boy mean “We”? I say strip him of his US citizenship and ship his Thatcher loving milky loads accepting ass back to the UK, where they can deal with him as they see fit.

  52. 52
    Kay says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Not only is there no overlap there, they’re diametrically opposed.

    They’re not, though. One of the things they responded to, in my view, was the broader idea of “corruption”, not actionable “corruption” like violating a law, but a sense that the rules are rigged.

    Liberals express that in very different ways, but it’s not going away I don’t think. One of the ways it comes fore among liberals is a sense that the campaign finance “system” and lobbying industry is completely out of control. Another way is the revolving door between government and business (and I would add giant billionaire-funded foundations). Another way is how we all know the justice system isn’t operating the same way for various groups of people.

    If liberals are going to be big government people, the government has to be credible. Liberals have a lot more to lose if people believe the game is rigged. We don’t want to drown government in a bathtub. Because we don’t, we can’t have what appears to be wildly disparate treatment for various actors in the system.

  53. 53

    @liberal: Let me clarify, the laser like focus from the 70s onwards on reducing inflation and keeping inflation in check have benefited those whose income is mostly derived from investments not wages.
    An average doctor may be wealthier than the average teacher but his wealth is nothing compared to someone like Romney whose investment income per month is probably more than what most people (even doctors) make in an year. Capital gains are taxed at a lower rate than wages too.

    The Fed has twin mandates, job creation and controlling inflation. They are pretty serious about one (you can guess which one that is) but the other comes a distant second. This btw has been true in both Obama and Clinton years too.

  54. 54
    Berial says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: No idea what he’s ACTUALLY thinking but his writing seems to suggest he’s noticing that one ‘side’ is CRAZY. I’m sure both sides do it, will be back before we can turn around but in the post I linked he said:

    “I spent last night again watching Fox News. It was like slipping into an alternative universe.”

  55. 55
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Dave Brat’s professorship at Randolph-Macon is underwritten _by a bank_. BB&T, to be specific. He doesn’t give two shits about the corrosive influence of big banks. He believes in capitalism as a moral force. As with Santelli, what looks like a criticism of banks and bankers is really a criticism of the government giving money to things he doesn’t like. He’s like one of the old flamingly religious colonial Americans who believed in the separation of church and state to prevent the state interfering in the church, not the church messing with the state.

  56. 56

    @Kay:
    Yes, but to them ‘corruption’ means ‘minorities are getting a free ride’. It is central to the explosion of hate and to their reaction to Obama. All of that affirmative action stuff, and wanting to see his college transcripts? This is a racist thing, the idea that blacks are naturally inferior. If a black man becomes president, it means the deck is stacked hugely in the favor of blacks. When the Orange Beanie allows a vote to keep the government from collapsing, that is also obviously corruption. Like ‘reform’, they use the same word in opposite ways.

  57. 57
    scav says:

    @liberal: There are a spectrum of doctors. some, perhaps especially those most exposed to bean-counting right-sizing you-do-your-job-plus-the-disappeared-one-with-no-raise productivity whiz-kid-schemes are getting kicked about too. They’re frozen at a higher level (perhaps with commensurate higher debts), so not entirely cozy. the uptick in hours, on-service and on-call hours can be brutal, although the next meal is assured.

  58. 58
    Tommy says:

    How about a happy story?

    My parents have more money then they can spend in a lifetime. They will openly tell you, and they are not liberals nor Democrats, they should pay more in taxes. If you upped what they paid they could care less.

  59. 59
    Kay says:

    This gets to the difference I’m talking about, and why this might resonate with people, and why liberals need their own interpretation:

    During several campaign appearances, Brat says what upset him the most about Cantor was his role in gutting the last attempt at congressional ethics reform. “If you want to find out the smoking gun in this campaign,” Brat told Engelman, “just go Google and type the STOCK Act and CNN and Eric Cantor.” (On Twitter, Brat has praised the conservative author Peter Schweizer, whose work on congressional corruption forced lawmakers into action on the STOCK Act.)

    The STOCK Act, a bill to crack down on insider trading, was significantly watered down by Cantor in early 2012. The lawmaker took out provisions that would have forced Wall Street “political intelligence” firms to register as traditional lobbyists would, and removed a section of the bill to empower prosecutors to go after public officials who illegally trade on insider knowledge. And Brat may be right to charge that Cantor’s moves on the STOCK Act were motivated by self interest. Cantor played a leading role in blocking legislation to fix the foreclosure crisis while his wife and his stock portfolio were deeply invested in mortgage banks.
    Most self-described Tea Party Republicans, including Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, have railed against Washington in a general sense without calling out the powerful – often Republican-leaning — groups that wield the most power.

    “How money corrupts politics” is a basic liberal idea. We all know it’s happening.

    To not have some response to the Tea Party version of this seems crazy to me.

    Because I know what Brat’s solution will look like. Drown government and the money problem goes away.

  60. 60
    Woodrowfan says:

    the teahadists are not natural serfs, they’re the overseers who happily beat the serfs/slaves to benefit the landowner.

    In Arlington, VA, which is a deep, deep blue, a republican running as an independent easily won a special election to the county board recently. The voters interviewed by the local press said they wanted to “send a message” to the county board, which is seen as out-of-touch (it is) and ignores public unease over big-ticket items like a light rail service. The “independent” may lose when he runs for the full term this November but at least in this part of northern VA the “send a message” frustration is real.

  61. 61
    JustRuss says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I’m one of DeFazio’s constituents, he’s all kinds of awesome. Does a lot of local meetings and townhalls every year, and he’s smart as heck, knows the issues inside and out, especially the the local ones. Not a great campaigner, but his seat’s pretty safe. I hope.

  62. 62
    eldorado says:

    @FlipYrWhig: i’m merely talking about his messaging, not how he will vote. people everywhere are angry about the banks and the bailouts, and the gop is now finding ways to talk about this with their hardcore supporters. he just beat the freakin’ house leader with this message. i’m sure his solutions will be horrible, but we need strong messaging from the democratic side, and i am not seeing it.

    eta: what @Kay: said

  63. 63
    beltane says:

    @Berial: Even in the piece you linked to he reverted to “both sides do it”, saying that MSNBC was “almost as bad” as Fox.

  64. 64
    Turgidson says:

    @Berial:

    That innumerate twit can apologize any time he wants for aiding and abetting the rise of the braindead monster that’s smashing up our body politic and trying to destroy the nation, which he now claims to disdain and fear and of course “zomg they’re not REAL CONSERVATIVES” (based on an always-evolving definition that changes to whatever gives him comfort on a particular day that he himself is a pure, well-meaning soul).

    I mean, I’m glad he’s acknowledging the shitstorm we’re in and choosing the not-evil side by and large, but his revisionist no party or clique bullshit is just too much for me sometimes.

  65. 65
    AnonPhenom says:

    from the tea party and libertarian-leaning Rand Paul to economic populist Elizabeth Warren

    What? Occupy Movement Need Not Apply?
    The Overton Window strikes again!

  66. 66
    Cervantes says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    NAFTA was the hobbyhorse of the best Republican President since Eisenhower, Bill Clinton.

    In 1994 I asked Mike Dukakis and Jimmy Carter (among others) what they thought of Clinton’s NAFTA push. Both praised it. In fact, a year earlier, Carter had already agreed to serve as co-chair of a NAFTA commission.

  67. 67
    Cacti says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Yes, but to them ‘corruption’ means ‘minorities are getting a free ride’.

    This.

    “Corruption” to the wingers means immoral big government telling homos they can have rights too, and black bucks buying T-bone steaks with their food stamps.

  68. 68
    Belafon says:

    It’s not like Obama and others haven’t been pushing issues to help the other 99%. But Tea Party populism is not populism, it’s segregation in a different name. Tell me how Warren is going to reconcile “reduce student loan debt” with “cut Medicaid for those who didn’t earn it”?

    It might seem like both sides are tired of politicians acting like they are, but that’s not true. Democrats are tired of politicians taking care of themselves and the rich; Republicans are trying to go back to a time when whites didn’t have to worry about anyone else because they could just hang them from a tree as a warning.

  69. 69
    Kay says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    I don’t think you’re listening to all of them. This is the nutshell version, my words:

    “DC is corrupted by money in politics, and they aren’t promoting the interests of anyone besides the very rich. It’s hopeless, and that means liberalism failed. To get rid of the corruption problem the one and only thing we can do is radically shrink government because they’re all crooks”

    Rand Paul or Ted Cruz will never say this, because it makes powerful people uncomfortable – Rand Paul would rather die than criticize a private sector interest, but if the Right comes up with insurgent candidates who WILL say this, that could be appealing to a broad swathe of people.

    I think you, liberals, Democrats, have to give them some hope of a “fix” for government. Admit it’s corrupted by monied interests and say ‘this is how we fix it”.

  70. 70
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Yeah. When I think of Republican consituent services, I imagine it goes like this. “Voter: I’m going to DC with my family and understand that we’re supposed to arrange tickets to the White House through your office.”
    “Cantor Flunky: You don’t want to go there.”

  71. 71
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @JustRuss: As long as Art “Let’s use nuclear waste to make house foundations!” Robinson is his most likely opponent, I think Peter’s position is pretty locked in.

  72. 72
    Turgidson says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I have some cautious hope that Yellen will take both mandates more seriously than her predecessors. But I think the Beltway Consensus that inflation is scarier than nuclear war and the deficit will eat our brains and the political weight behind it, even if she herself doesn’t believe any of it, will constrain her freedom of action to aggressively go after unemployment.

  73. 73

    @Kay: I agree with you, the frustration is real and at least some of the people attracted to the tea party rhetoric are reachable. I am not talking about your dyed in the wool neo-confederates but the ones who just feel lost by the whirlwind that blew through the economy in 2008.

  74. 74
    raven says:

    U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is scheduled to arrive in the United States overnight, a U.S. official told CNN.

  75. 75

    @Turgidson: Very low inflation also prevents people/businesses with cash to invest in new businesses. Most new businesses fail within the first three years, so why take the risk when you know that your cash sitting in a Tbill/bond account won’t depreciate in value.

  76. 76
    Belafon says:

    This is funny. Boehner’s giving a press conference, and his answer to why Cantor lost:

    You have to understand, the American people are being squeezed by Obama’s policies. The economy is not growing. Incomes aren’t growing. We’re not creating enough jobs. And two-thirds of America have seen no increase in their wages but their food prices are going up, their gas prices are going up, and their health insurance prices are going up. And so there’s a lot of frustration that’s out there, and they look to Washington, and wonder why we can’t resolve these issues. And they’re hard to resolve when you’ve got a president who won’t engage.

    Yep, it’s Obama’s fault.

  77. 77
    beltane says:

    @Belafon: Well tea party populism is authentic populism in that it appeals to the popular prejudices of a certain segment of society. The Front National in France is a populist movement for the same reason. Populism is more about style than about a certain set of policies. As such, it has historically more often been used by the right than they left.

  78. 78
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Belafon: EVERYTHING, to include my cat puking up her breakfast in the kitchen yesterday morning, is Obama’s fault. This is the only page in the GOP playbook now.

  79. 79
    Tommy says:

    @scav: Fuck those doctors. My grandfather was a doctor in a small rural town. He was known as the “daddy doctor.” He delivered like 3,700 children myself included. When I go home and to church with my parents people find me out to note that my grandfather rocked. It is honestly a strange thing to experience.

    As we cleaning out this office, after he passed away, there were all these note cards. Written in short hand. I wondered what they were. Dad told me my grandfather never refused service to anybody. Those note cards were just somebody saying they’d pay with a pie or some fried chicken.

    Yeah that happened in the US …………..

  80. 80
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @raven: Jeeze, I hope he’s been at least partially prepped for the media shitstorm that is certain to land near him when he lands. Even with a fucking battalion of guards around him, he’s going to be subjected to some serious assholery from wingtards and Villagers.

  81. 81
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Kay:

    I think you, liberals, Democrats, have to give them some hope of a “fix” for government. Admit it’s corrupted by monied interests and say ‘this is how we fix it”.

    Yeah, I think so. Right now we’re defending the system without really acknowledging or proposing solutions. Mostly we just point at the private sector and note that they are every bit as corrupt. That’s not addressing the problem.

  82. 82
    Kay says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I have to tell you, when Brat makes fun of Cantor for meeting with lobbyists the morning of an election that resonates with me. You know what you’re hearing? Contempt. They don’t just disagree with him. They think he’s bought and paid for.

    He just didn’t give a shit anymore. He’s not even going to pretend he’s representing those people anymore. So what’s the liberal response? Some kind of ultra-savvy “they all do it” political media brush-off? That’s not good enough.

    They’re really uncomfortable with this loss, and you know what? They should be. It implicates them all, to some degree.

    It’s not okay to meet with your lobbyists instead of your constituents! Someone has to say that! I don’t care if it’s accepted in the “political world”. At some point people are going to say “you know, I don’t accept that in people who supposedly represent me”.

  83. 83
    scav says:

    @beltane: They keep playing that dog-eared card, but it really hasn’t proven an effective one to date.

  84. 84
    Lihtox says:

    I think the real populist position isn’t about reducing the size of government, but rather reducing its inefficiency: and a lot of that inefficiency comes from lobbyists carving out special exceptions and perks for their clients.

  85. 85
    Belafon says:

    @Kay: You do make a point where I think Democrats could be in trouble. A Democrat could stand up, say “Money is corrupting everything. Vote for me and I’ll try to end it.” and guess what, when it came time to vote, the Republicans would vote against this person. On the other hand, if a Republican says the same thing, enough Democrats would go “that might work” and would cross over. I give you Scott Brown and Warren as evidence. Yes, his opponent ran an appalling campaign, but it’s a freakin’ blue state, how else did Brown win except Democrats flipping. On the other hand, Warren didn’t have as big a victory even though she more obviously believed in fixing government.

    And while Obama has not shouted it from the rooftops, he has done a number of things to reduce the influence of lobbyists in his administration. Not relevant to the argument.

  86. 86
    aimai says:

    @rikyrah: I’m very sorry to hear that. She was an incredible woman and a great actress.

  87. 87
    raven says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: They can get him in without that if they want to.

  88. 88
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Kay: Well, Eric would say that the lobbyists are his constituents, because the lobbyists still consider him of value to them.

    Fuck those ingrate voters.

  89. 89
    Belafon says:

    @beltane: OK, I will give you that. But I definitely don’t want any part of their populism, as, I’m pretty sure, does a large percentage of the population whose skin is darker than mine.

  90. 90
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @raven: They should. Security on his arrival should be tight. Keep the crazies (and the wingtards) away from him.

  91. 91
    Botsplainer says:

    Winger solutions are always rooted in the cleansing power of political, social and economic pain, even when that pain becomes felt by people who weren’t involved in decisionmaking processes that led up to the event.

    Why? Jesus forgives their fuckups, and will make everything right for the victims in the afterlife.

  92. 92
    raven says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I assume he’ll fly in on a military flight?

  93. 93
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Lihtox: That involves wonkery , which involves thinking, which is not a strong suite of a lot of Americans, I’m afraid. Teabagger populism is about emotion, not about thought.

  94. 94
    Turgidson says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Agreed. The extent to which banks and big business are sitting on piles of cash while the economy wheezes is a huge untold story that only shrill hippies like Krugman, Stiglitz and Dean Baker are talking about. And Morning Joke and his ilk can ignore them indefinitely. Or maybe in Joe’s case, Gish Gallop his way to a “debate victory” against Krugman and then ignore them or mock them. This f’ing country…

  95. 95
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @raven: Probably into Dover AFB, if I had to guess, Perhaps McGuire. Then transfer to Walter Reed for more decompression.

    The thing is, this will leak. Someone will get a case of scotch from an MSM outfit if they tell them where he is, and that will be tempting.

  96. 96

    Elizabeth Warren gets it, so why I don’t hear more Democrats speak like her rather than some mealy mouthed centrist BS?

  97. 97
    Belafon says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: He’ll fly into a military base.

  98. 98
    srv says:

    Many here seem to think we just need for John McCain’s generation to die out, but there are a lot of 40 & 50-something under-employed white-folk who feel ignored. You may not care about that, you may feel they deserve it, but they are in fact ignored by both parties.

    White folk falling out of the middle class are going be a lot more bitchy and effective than their non-white peers who never made it there. As much as it turns your stomach, the party better find a way to some of them – we don’t have 20 years to regain the House.

  99. 99
    Someguy says:

    “The game is rigged due to GOP policies…”

    It’s a shame we can’t get any democrats elected to Congress or the WH. Man, if we controlled even one house or the WH, a lot could change.

    Maybe it’s just me but I’m of the mindset that people will not change what they are doing until you hold them accountable and force them to change. Doesn’t matter if they’re racist basketball owners, Republican majority leaders or – gasp – congressional Dems. Blaming Bush and throwing up our hands only works for so long.

  100. 100
    aimai says:

    @Kay: I agree with you, Kay.

    I think people are looking for a language to describe the pain and fear they are in. Various sectors of the Republican party have mastered offering explanations like “poor people are the problem” or “black people are the problem” or “gays are the problem” but every now and then the reality bleeds through and even white suburbanites grasp that they are being screwed over by corporations, banks,and the military. You are right in saying that the Tea Party is offering one explanation–or one avenue–to attack the problem and the Democrats (to the extent they are offering some solutions) aren’t doing it in a grassroots, populist, inclusive enough way.

    One problem is that Republican voters and racist voters are not used to looking to Democratic politicians for solutions. They just don’t believe that is where solutions come from. They don’t believe those solutions are sincere or workable. They are well defended intellectually and socially against appeals for common action from the left of where they have always been. That is why someone like Brat can come out of nowhere and appeal to a republican voter–because they think they “know” instinctively the kinds of solutions he’s going to give and which side he’s on. He could propose exactly what Elizabeth Warren has proposed (he won’t but he could) and they would accept it from him and reject it from her. Because of their strong anti-democratic identity.

    So the Democrats can’t compete with this in every district except through very local, very independent, very unusual candidates who can speak this language without tripping their anti-democratic and (of course) anti Obama racist freak out. Which is by way of saying that it will take decades of work and a mass die off before the concerted efforts of top level dems like Schumer or any other Senator will not be box office poison for red state republican voters. Which is not to say that its not worth doing but I don’t think it will bear fruit. I just don’t think that the disaffected tea partier is a swing voter in any real sense.

  101. 101
    Origuy says:

    The problem with the “out of touch” complaint is that often it really means “not doing what I want”. Just as “you’re not listening to me” means, “you’re not agreeing with me”.

  102. 102
    raven says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Hagel said he was going to San Antone.

  103. 103

    @srv: I agree, their fears of economic insecurities are real, and the fear of the other is easier to latch on to than the understanding of macroeconomics. The Dems need to find a way to address these very real fears.

  104. 104
    bemused says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I’m worried about later. Will he be able to return to his home and small town any time soon in peace? I feel very sorry for his family and the residents of the town. They don’t deserve the abuse they have already experienced.

  105. 105
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @beltane: This is the thing that makes me nervous about populist movements. Too often, they veer off in very ugly directions.

  106. 106
    beltane says:

    @Belafon: The truth is, the Republican party is very much in tune with America’s lizard brain. They do inchoate anger very well. If a Democratic politician went too far in expressing righteous anger against corrupt elites, he or she would branded as a dangerous Bolshevik and shunned even by most mainstream liberals. Americans have developed a tolerance for the quasi-fascism of right wing populism that they do not have for its counterpart on the left. Look how hard it was even in NYC to find a jury that wasn’t overtly hostile to OWS.

  107. 107
    Belafon says:

    @aimai:

    I just don’t think that the disaffected tea partier is a swing voter in any real sense.

    This.

  108. 108
    Kay says:

    @Belafon:

    “Money is corrupting everything. Vote for me and I’ll try to end it.” and guess what, when it came time to vote, the Republicans would vote against this person.

    I don’t care who the base of the Republican Party vote for.

    Some liberals ARE saying this. Warren is one, Sherrod Brown is another, and of course the original is Bernie Sanders :)

    I think liberals could do it with a “good government” basis.

    I’m NOT talking about a technocratic, making-the-corrupt-gears move efficiently approach, or “we’re owned by business interests but the trains run on time, so.. competence!”

    Real regulation. Clearing out captured regulators and making everyone do their job. Get rid of the idea that regulators are “partnering” with the entities they’re supposed to be overseeing. It was a dumb idea. That relationship is supposed to be adversarial. That’s why it works. Either disallow the revolving door or STOP hiring people in government who think that’s okay.

    Real campaign finance reform. Push to amend the Constitution if they have to.

    Finally, stop pretending. Stop pretending the Republicans in the House care about “local control” when they’re blocking a school lunch program, and tell people they’re blocking the school lunch program because the food industry just bought them. In order to do that, though, the Democrat can’t be guilty of the same thing.

  109. 109
    Long Tooth says:

    “..but only if they recognize and channel it”.

    I submit a good place to start would be for Obama to address the nation about the current chaos in Iraq, and the lies told by the Bush administration that led to the unfolding tragedy.

    Why not? Politicians of each party have avoided stating the rude truth that we were Big Lied into unleashing hell 11 years ago, when everyone in the country understand it to be a simple truth.

  110. 110

    @Turgidson: One look at their SEC filings is revelatory, most profitable corporations are literally sitting on piles of cash.

  111. 111
    Belafon says:

    @beltane: I don’t think you had to bring up mainstream liberals. We’ve gotten to a point right now where regulating banks is like regulating firearms: Any amount of regulation is a slippery slope toward taking away the guns/turning us into a socialist state. I don’t hear that from liberals at any level.

  112. 112
    beltane says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): European populism has always been virtually synonymous with antisemitic or anti-immigrant whackaloon. I don’t see the term in an unambiguously positive light the way some do.

  113. 113

    Another thing that I find frustrating is the negativity on our side. Many are willing to give up too easily, without even putting up a fight. Their attitude seems to be: Republicans are going to win so why even bother.

  114. 114
    Belafon says:

    @Kay: My point was this: How are you going to get enough reformers elected if half of the reliable (those who go to polls in the off years) voters will never vote for a Democrat even if he/she says what they say they want to hear? That’s why I was bring them up.

  115. 115
    beltane says:

    @Belafon: With regards to certain bank regulations, yes. However, any proposed measures that are truly strong enough to un-rig the system are going to make the totebaggers uncomfortable. All the totebaggers I know are big fans of the Robert Rubin/Larry Summers school of “liberalism” and these people are a big part of the problem.

  116. 116
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: Amen and amen.

  117. 117
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @beltane: US populism in late 1800s wasn’t much better. I get Kay’s point that there is a lot of justifiable anger at the system out there and that the Dems need to find a way to address it, but populism is very much a double edged sword.

  118. 118
    jayjaybear says:

    As the only one of the two viable political parties in this country that is not a wholly owned subsidiary of the 1%, Democrats should benefit from a populist groundswell, but only if they recognize and channel it.

    This. I vote for the Democratic Party exclusively because, for most of my voting-eligible life, the only other viable party has been so horrible on pretty much ALL counts. I’d love for the Democrats to actually become a GOOD party rather than the only sane one.

  119. 119
    Elizabelle says:

    And this will go over real well with Eric Cantor’s former constituents who gave him the heave ho:

    Cantor’s current and former staff members took over a favorite Capitol Hill dive, The Tune Inn (mounted deer asses over the bathrooms and National Bohemian on tap) on election night.

    Once the news conference was over, the commiserators wiped away their tears and immediately opened their wallets — ponying up $500 and $1,000 apiece in order to cover the $6,500 required to have the bar to themselves from 6 p.m. ’til closing.

    Those be some well-paid commiserators. That’s a lot of moolah so you can have a private cry in your beer.

  120. 120
    Punchy says:

    most profitable corporations are literally sitting on piles of cash

    While not actually monitoring every profitable corporation’s choice of chairs, I’m going to assume their not Benjis and flag you for gross and deliberate misuse of “literally”.

    /grammar a-hole

  121. 121
    Kay says:

    @aimai:

    Liberals could also attack from the privatization angle. The next time Republicans say they want Medicare to be privatized, they could say “they’re saying that because they want to take public money and run it thru a private company, so everyone gets their cut. It has nothing to do with you or your well-being”

    Just say it straight out: “you know, they don’t want a ‘public sector’ AT ALL.”

    That’s true, and I think 30 years of slowly selling everything that isn’t tied down could be brought to peoples’ attention. Perhaps they’ve noticed.

  122. 122
    Belafon says:

    @beltane: Yes. They’re the same people that get Chris Christie elected governor. And those people really bother me as well. They think they are being reasonable.

  123. 123
    beltane says:

    @Elizabelle: And yet those commiserators begrudge a family receiving $400 a month in food stamps. Sadly, so would most of the people voting in the Republican primary.

  124. 124
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @bemused: You’re right…they can’t keep him isolated forever. At some point, he’ll have to emerge from the protective bubble, and the crazies (AND the wingtards) will be there to, um, greet him, along with those who are actually glad to see him home.

    I hope the poor kid is ready for that.

  125. 125

    @Punchy: Grammar Nazi, I accept your correction, you can get rid of literally!

  126. 126
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: You mean he can literally get rid of literally?

    /rimshot

  127. 127
    liberal says:

    OT: Oh, Jesus, save us:

    “We’ve got another Benghazi in the making here,” Graham said.

  128. 128
    bemused says:

    @Kay:

    They love to say they are for local control meaning when they control it. A Utah senator on an education committee said straight out they need to stomp local control. Schools are the first targets but they have branched out to “emergency” managers in Mich neutering elected city councils and proposing bills to tax homeowners who use solar power to “protect” utility companies. Do teaparty folks understand “local control” may not turn out to be what they imagine it would be?

  129. 129
    liberal says:

    @Kay:
    Well, that’s what they want to do with the VA, right?

  130. 130
    Belafon says:

    @Kay: And you know the counter-argument: “Of course everyone get’s to share in the profits when the free market makes it more efficient.”

    I have never understood why the answer to “saving money by making education more efficient” is “give the money to private companies” rather than “put the saved money back into education.”

  131. 131
  132. 132
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Punchy:

    While not actually monitoring every profitable corporation’s choice of chairs, I’m going to assume their not Benjis and flag you for gross and deliberate misuse of “literally”.

    /grammar a-hole

    If we want to play that game, I’ll point out the misuse of “their.” Just sayin’.

  133. 133
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Belafon: These are Mammon worshipers. They have no other concept of what life is about other than making money.

  134. 134
    beltane says:

    @liberal: Benghazi and it’s sequels will be like a new Terminator series.

  135. 135
    SatanicPanic says:

    @liberal: I don’t doubt the Republicans’ ability to promote phony scandals

  136. 136
    Belafon says:

    @liberal: Well, if we do, then we’ll only have 13 more to go before Obama catches up with Bush.

  137. 137
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Punchy:

    I think I’ve heard of one CEO who literally sits on his money. ;-)

    (That was surprisingly hard to find — plenty of swimming, diving, standing and sleeping pictures, but only one sitting!)

  138. 138

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): Good catch, I didn’t notice it in my populist fervor.

  139. 139
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @liberal: Huckleberry Closetcase really needs to have a 16 ton weight dropped on him, totally by accident.

  140. 140
    Morzer says:

    @beltane:

    European populism has always been virtually synonymous with antisemitic or anti-immigrant whackaloon.

    This is abject horseshit. It misses the long record of leftist populism in the UK and France, which has NOT generally followed either of the paths you describe, not to mention the Swedes and, for that matter, a good deal of the history of Germany over the last 25 years.

  141. 141
    lawguy says:

    Define “wholly” as in “not wholly owned.”

  142. 142
    Mnemosyne says:

    @liberal:

    In other words, another fake scandal that never actually goes anywhere?

  143. 143
    Redshift says:

    Commenter Seabe, who was at the meetup last night, is actually from Cantor’s district. One of the things he pointed out was that the redistricting that made Cantor’s district safer for him also added a lot more teahadis who weren’t in it before. Since Cantor was smug and secure, he didn’t bother to campaign even to the minimal level of introducing himself to his new constituents. It’d be interesting to know how many of the people who came out for the primary are ones who had no history of voting for him.

  144. 144
    StringOnAStick says:

    @SatanicPanic: Let the wingers have the “populism” label; in too many past situations, populism means far right. Screw Rush Limbaugh and his campaign of disinformation; our side needs to use the term “progressive” loud and proud. Progressive doesn’t have the far right connotation that populism has acquired in some places, so let’s use it.

  145. 145
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Redshift: Well, that is interesting, and something that the vermin of the Village, like Eric Cantor, wouldn’t bother to find out about.

  146. 146
    AnonPhenom says:

    @Kay:

    Liberals don’t lack for a diagnosis, differntial and treatment.
    What Liberal’s lack is the ability to package their solutions into PR/Marketing campaign which spoon-feeds it consumers (like every other thing we’re given to consume and which, by the way, the Right is really good at)

  147. 147
    Kay says:

    @Belafon:

    Well, you certainly have to try. It can’t just go on endlessly, getting worse every cycle. There will be a pushback. The only question will be what it looks like.

    We had a Progressive Era once. That was (partly) a response to corrupt government. It’s not like it has to go in the direction of “tear down the whole thing and start over, and also demonize every ‘out’ group to win elections”.

    Most people aren’t radicals. Most people don’t want to go back to pre-Civil War era. Don’t tell them government will “work”. Tell them government will be good, focused on them, serving them, not corrupt and captured. That’s an emotional message, and it’s what wonky Democratic pundits and politicians lack.

  148. 148
    bemused says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Thinking as a parent, this must be heavy on his parent’s minds. I’m worried about his safety. Too many would-be vigilantes running around.

  149. 149
    the Conster says:

    Democrats are at a distinct disadvantage because they’re not comfortable using religious language and invoking god to frame the economic struggles in moralistic terms, which it completely and totally is. We just don’t have the analogs to the megachurch preachers that every tea party congressperson can rely on to catapult their propaganda. They are successful at portraying poverty as a personal moral failing, but what poverty really is the result of is greed inherent in the capitalist system, and everyone knows that greed is a sin. The pope is the only religious leader that I can think of that actually articulates this clearly, and when he does he makes wingnut heads explode. All the other high profile religious leaders worship Mammon.

  150. 150
    Steeplejack says:

    Off topic, but no open thread in sight.

    I’ve been watching the World Cup opening ceremonies on Univision. No honky channels are covering it (that I can find), which seems kind of lame. It should at least be on the Ocho. (“ESPN-8: If it’s almost a sport, it’s on the Ocho.”)

    So far sort of an Avatar meets Carnaval vibe. Lots of good-looking Brazilians dancing in exotic costumes, lightly seasoned just now by J-Lo doing the official song.

    Univision’s wrap-around coverage has a suspiciously high “Ésteban Colberto y chicas” quotient. And I just saw Pelé do a Subway commercial. WTF.

  151. 151
    rikyrah says:

    I don’t know how to say this in how many different words, but here it is…

    and folks better wake up.

    ………….

    Hillary Clinton Would Consider Keeping U.S. Forces in Afghanistan After 2016
    by Evan McMurry | 12:41 pm, June 12th, 2014

    At an event at the Council on Foreign Relations Thursday, presumptive 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said she would consider keeping residual U.S. forces in Afghanistan following President Barack Obama’s final 2016 withdrawal date.

    “I would,” Clinton said. “It depends upon conditions on the ground.”

    Clinton said that if the next-elected president of Afghanistan “were to come up with a well thought-through plan of what is needed, I believe that would be very seriously considered.”

    Clinton’s comments come just two weeks after Obama announced the total drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, but as the situation in Iraq deteriorates absent the presence of residual American military personnel.

    http://www.mediaite.com/online.....fter-2016/

  152. 152

    Serious thread needs kitteh, Kittehs of the Red Headed League.

    @rikyrah: She has learnt nothing.

  153. 153
    Kay says:

    @liberal:

    Well, that’s what they want to do with the VA, right?

    And Bernie Sanders said it! Right to Wolf Blitzer. He said “I know there are problems with the VA but Republicans want to privatize it”. Wolf Blitzer didn’t fall down and die! The interview continued! It’s true, and they both know it.

    The second you heard them what did you think? I thought “here we go, privatize”.

  154. 154
    AnonPhenom says:

    @the Conster:
    Yep. All those people are really good “storytellers

  155. 155
    aimai says:

    @Kay: That I agree with. Its obvious–we should always be pointing out the basic greed at issue. We’ve been having this conversation ever since Bush’s attempt to privatize Social Security and people have been pointing out that the goal was to throw a few trillion dollars into the financial sector for them to loot.

  156. 156
    beltane says:

    @the Conster: You’re absolutely correct. However, the minute someone utters the phrase “the greed inherent in the capitalist system” they will be labeled as being an unserious person. It doesn’t matter that what they’re saying is the truth just as long as it’s outside the realm of what is considered acceptable discourse. We have allowed ourselves to be red-baited into silence.

  157. 157
    Elizabelle says:

    @Redshift:

    That was a really interesting observation.

    It would be payback if all those “safe seats” proved unsafe for the “establishment” Republicans who insisted on them.

    Also, seeing Cantor portrayed as a “moderate” is facepalm territory.

  158. 158
    liberal says:

    @scav:
    Yeah, I don’t disagree with that.@Someguy:

    Doesn’t matter if they’re racist basketball owners, Republican majority leaders or – gasp – congressional Dems. Blaming Bush and throwing up our hands only works for so long.

    Give me a f*cking break. Next thing I know, you’ll be telling me that it’s Obama’s fault that we turned Libya into a jihadist haven, or that we’ve been contributing to the breakdown of the state in Syria (with knock-on effects in Iraq) and almost sent in the bombers on very flimsy evidence re chemical weapons, or that people think of the federal budget as like a household’s budget. Or (gasp!) even that a fink like Timothy Geithner was appointed to Teas Sec.

  159. 159
    Trollhattan says:

    @Corner Stone:

    $175/vote? That makes even Meg Whitman seem frugal. Of course, not a dime was Cantor’s own money, so there’s that.

  160. 160
    Belafon says:

    @Kay: Oh, I’m not going to give up. I make sure to tell the people around me what is going on, and that they need to get out and vote. Heck, I got my parents to vote in the runoff election for the Democratic senator candidate to run against Cornyn.

    Most people aren’t radicals, but as is obvious here in Texas, most people are very resistant to change and taxes.

    The progressive ere came about in part because of what I would call the Churchill observation – Americans will do the right thing when they’ve exhausted every other option – but we’ve tended to prefer to believe that we’re all self-sufficient and that we’re all wealthy but some of us our “temporarily embarrassed.”

    But, I do agree, even though all of these things line up against liberal policies: Don’t give up.

  161. 161
    Kay says:

    Thanks for this, Betty. It was fun to flesh it out further.

    I think it’s going to be an interesting couple of cycles :)

  162. 162
    liberal says:

    @Kay:
    It doesn’t matter, Kay, because commenters here and at LawyersGunsAndMoney have assured us all that rhetoric never matters, and to think otherwise is to buy into the Green Lantern theory of politics.

  163. 163
    catclub says:

    Funny how Fournier’s populism list doesn’t mention: The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
    Doesn’t mention minimum wages.

  164. 164
    Steeplejack says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I love Scrooge McDuck. It was hilarious when John Oliver used him in his FIFA rant the other day. Sepp Blatter: FIFA is a nonprofit, and its $1 billion in the bank is a “reserve.” Oliver (with appropriate money bin graphic): “If your rainy day fund is so big that you have to check it for swimming cartoon ducks . . .”

  165. 165
    kindness says:

    Meh. The ‘groundswell’ on the populist Teabaggers is a mirage. I see that all these Ted Cruz wanna-bes say nice things in speeches about not rigging the game for Big Biz but then they do exactly that with their legislation.

    I do think Teahaddists are gullible marks and they may be stupid but I don’t think they are THAT stupid. What I think they really are are just a bunch of haters who treat politics like their local High School football team.

  166. 166
    Elizabelle says:

    @liberal:

    “We’ve got another Benghazi in the making here,” Graham said.

    Oh that’s right. He won his primary against the six dwarfs**, but still has a general election to get through this fall.

    [** and more laziness by reporters and pundits: saying “Lindsey Graham won, even though he embraces some immigration reform”, when the actual reason is his South Carolina teatard brethren weren’t smart enough to see the folly of splitting the vote 6 ways against him.] More facepalm territory.

  167. 167
    AnonPhenom says:

    @Redshift:
    Yeah. What Eric Cantor found out:

    1) the degree to which you gerrymander your district to protect your left flank exposes you by (at least) that amount on your right flank. 

    2) being in a leadership position in today’s GOP paints a big bulls-eye on your back. The benefits simply aren’t worth the risks. 

  168. 168
    the Conster says:

    @beltane:

    The actual lessons to be learned from the teachings of Jesus are outside the realm of acceptable discourse. We have Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama and the Pope. You’re right – unserious! Pat Robertson and Joel Osteen – serious!

  169. 169
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    In the words of another cartoon duck, “Aha! Pronoun trouble.”

  170. 170
    Eric U. says:

    I think economic populism is a net winner for democrats. I am not sure how many republicans we can peel off by enthusiastic support of economic populism, but the
    “third way” pro-corporate bs has definitely lost the dems some support. I don’t want us to be anti-corporation, but enabling their every stupid profit-grabbing scheme like is done now is something we should leave to republicans.

  171. 171
    Anoniminous says:

    Populism is not and never has been capable of governing because there isn’t any there, there. It’s a big festering heap of resentiment without political-economics, governing philosophy, ideology … all the necessary preliminaries before Public Policy can be enacted. Democratic Party could, maybe, harness the resentiment to electoral victory but nothing else has been done there won’t be, cannot be, a change in Public Policy.

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    US populism split in the 1890s when Southerns wouldn’t give-up Jim Crow.

  172. 172
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Hillary Clinton Would Consider Keeping U.S. Forces in Afghanistan After 2016

    @rikyrah: I’m not particularly concerned about this as, like Iraq, that decision is not up to us.

  173. 173
    SatanicPanic says:

    @rikyrah: She’s really bad at politics, isn’t she? I mean, seriously, “we were broke after we left the White House”, “we rejected the deal for Bergdahl”, now this. She has no fucking idea what she’s doing.

  174. 174
    SatanicPanic says:

    @rikyrah: She’s really bad at politics, isn’t she? I mean, seriously, “we were broke after we left the White House”, “we rejected the deal for Bergdahl”, now this. She has no fucking idea what she’s doing.

  175. 175
    Kay says:

    @liberal:

    I think rhetoric matters, what I object to is the idea that the President is the only one who can talk. To me, that’s the One Great Leader Theory of politics, weirdly undemocratic, and inevitably disappointing and dispiriting. All of these people are flawed. There has to be more than one of them.

    I read a nice thing the other day. There have always been “labor priests” but they were basically shunned for 30 years. They feel newly confident, because of the Pope. They’re not apologizing or sneaking out to covertly join picket lines or whatever they were doing during that Free Market Madness period.

    It ripples, rhetoric, and it doesn’t have to all come from one person.

  176. 176
    WaterGirl says:

    @rikyrah: ugh.

    Edit: let’s home she as inevitable as the democratic candidate this time as she was in 2008.

  177. 177
    AnonPhenom says:

    @Redshift: @AnonPhenom:

    And .. It’s why Paul Ryan’s not shooting for speaker and why you won’t see Ted Cruz or Rand Paul looking to take up the torch from McConnell if (when?) he finds himself out on his arse. Spitballing from the cheap seats is so much more fun and lucrative.

  178. 178
    Belafon says:

    @the Conster: Well, we’ve gotten to the point where a GOP candidate, I’m assuming Christian, can say this:

    Indiana GOP candidate: ‘No one has the guts’ to let poor people ‘wither and die’

    From OzarkHillbilly earlier (I would include the actual comment link, but that would be three links and WP would moderate it).

  179. 179
    feebog says:

    @Kay:

    Apples and oranges are both fruits, but that is as far as the comparison should go. Same for liberal and conservative populism. Liberal populists understand that the game is rigged in favor of the wealthy, and understand that government policy is the only real thing that can even begin to level the playing field. Conservative populists believe that “free markets” will level the playing field, and then all you have to do is pull yourself up by the bootstraps.

    And by the way, Brat is a complete and total moron. He recently said that China is able to feed 1.2 billion people because of “free markets”. This guy supposedly has a PhD in economics and does not understand that the Chinese government regulates every aspect of their economy to the nth degree. Should be a fun election if the Dem candidate is even the least bit coherent.

  180. 180
    the Conster says:

    @rikyrah:

    Hopefully when Chelsea has her baby she’ll realize she just wants to be Grandma, because she’s not presidential material for these times.

  181. 181
    Corner Stone says:

    @SatanicPanic: Give me a break.

  182. 182
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Corner Stone: What have you done to deserve a break?

  183. 183
    Anoniminous says:

    @the Conster:

    I agree but at this moment I don’t see anyone in the Party who can beat her.

    If you do, I’d be REAL interested.

  184. 184
    Chyron HR says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    HILLARY 2016

    THE MOVEMENT YOU’VE BEEN WAITING FOR

    Get the fuck on board the train, Obots, or we’ll raise a shitstorm that makes 2008 seem like a fresh summer breeze.

  185. 185
    Mike in NC says:

    @Elizabelle: Something tells me that Cantor and his minions will be living in very high style before he vacates his office on the hill.

    This was the idiot who was against disaster relief when an earthquake happened in his district a couple of years ago.

    Also remember it was an Open Primary and a lot of people just wanted to stick it to the slimeball.

  186. 186
    the Conster says:

    @Anoniminous:

    I would really like to see Sherrod Brown get involved. Maybe Kay can talk him into it.

  187. 187
    apocalipstick says:

    @Chyron HR:
    I understand “out of time” runs a close second.

  188. 188
    Gypsy Howell says:

    I hope Trammell asks this guy Brat how it is that someone who railed against “Wall Street criminals” in his campaign* has been funded by big money interests all these years, most recently through BB&T bank’s program at Randolph-Macon.

    Populist, my ass. He’s a bought-and-paid for candidate of the banking and other big money interests. I sure hope he gets called out for it. Given that he, an economics professor, can’t even stammer out a position on minimum wage, I doubt he can bluff his way through some tougher questions about his backers.

    *a campaign which was, by the way, supported, and you could even say funded by right wing radio, and we all know who their paymasters are. Did Laura Ingraham just discover Brat one day while she was strolling through the R-M campus? How exactly did he come to her attention, and why was she such a fervent supporter? I wonder how much money all that free advertising and campaigning was worth?

  189. 189
    Anoniminous says:

    @the Conster:

    thanks, I’ll check him out.

  190. 190
    Kay says:

    @feebog:

    I would never support Brat, even if he were smart because we really couldn’t disagree more. I specifically rejected libertarianism in law school. I understand it. I just reject it.

    As I said, I think the broad idea of “corruption” or “corrupted” or “captured” will appeal to people who know the game is rigged, but don’t know why. I think liberals and Democrats can either make their own case for what to do about it, or libertarians and base Republicans will seize it and may run with it. That’s what I think.

    It can’t go on forever. Governor Cuomo (one example, and not the only one by a long shot) can’t come out and say he promised to reform campaign finance but as it turned out he has a lot of contracts to trade for campaign donations. That’s not actionable. He isn’t going to be indicted. What it is is hugely dispiriting to people and it makes them want to give up. We can adopt the super-savvy media and political operative approach and say “business as usual!” but that doesn’t get people out to vote.

  191. 191
    Corner Stone says:

    @SatanicPanic: Break me off a piece of That. Kit. Kat. Bar.
    What else would you honestly have expected her to say? It’s the most pragmatic answer possible, which I would have thought would make this place tingle, and means exactly nothing.

  192. 192
    another Holocene human says:

    @Woodrowfan: Arlington went out of their way to insanely overpay for transit infrastructure. I’m not surprised residents are wondering what happened.

    $1mill ought to buy two high tech heavy duty signalized intersections (turn lanes extra), not part of a single bus shelter.

    The feds paid to install one of those seven figure “smart” shelters and a rookie bus driver ran over the curb and tore it right up because the overhang did not clear the bus route. I don’t know if those thousands of dollars of solar panels can be saved.

  193. 193
    goblue72 says:

    Brat has proposed slashing Social Security, Medicare and education – http://www.motherjones.com/pol.....r+Jones%29

    The DCCC better pound on Brat’s behind like Andrew Sullivan on a bender in P-town. With views like that, we CAN win this thing.

  194. 194
    another Holocene human says:

    @Elizabelle: We’re talking about the SC Republican Party. Those multiple candidates had help, as in thousands in fees that they mysteriously come into in time to qualify for the ballot.

    What’s shocking is how bad the VA GOP is at this elections thing.

  195. 195
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Corner Stone: It would pragmatic if it were coming from someone who didn’t vote for the AUMF. I’d prefer her answer be something like “Americans are tired of war and I’m focused on getting the troops home”

  196. 196
    raven says:

    Awright, ya’ll fuckers save the world. . .give the rest of us a World Cup Thread!!!

  197. 197
    Eric U. says:

    we had an all-democratic school board here until the price of a replacement high school just kept on climbing. After they lost, they finally wised up an cancelled the plans for it. The republicans swept, which hasn’t been a horrible disaster, but there have been costs. Like when they build a new elementary school so they could give the Catholic church the old one for significantly less than the land was worth. And they also moved spring break so that it no longer coincides with Penn State’s spring break so they could make an easter holiday. They also fell for one of those scams where they had a guaranteed loan amount for the high school replacement. That deal went south to the tune of $21 million, and they finally settled for $8 million. When they first found out it was going to cost them money, it was only a few hundred thousand, but they refused to pay that. I suppose a few democratic government entities fell for that sort of deal, but it seems to have been more prevalent that republicans bought into it.

  198. 198
    Steeplejack says:

    @goblue72:

    Hey, slick, why don’t you check your “hilarious” gay “humor” at the door? It doesn’t really help your point.

  199. 199
    JPL says:

    Is this what LIndsay thinks a president should do? Drone strikes kill Haqqani Network militants.
    News that you won’t see on TV.

  200. 200
    jl says:

    Ignorant neocon pundit Fournier hits a few diners and selectively quotes a few patron’s responses to his leading and tendentious questions.

    Then he uses the material to try to co-opt the populist element in current reactionary and progressive political dissent.

    Fournier has surely never lost touch with the lesser people. We know he is ignorant and not overly careful about the truth, or good faith. Is he stupid? That is the next question.

  201. 201
    Corner Stone says:

    @goblue72:

    The DCCC better pound on Brat’s behind like Andrew Sullivan on a bender in P-town.

    Can I ask you what this means?

  202. 202
    Corner Stone says:

    @SatanicPanic: “Pre-Emptive Surrender! The Democrats lost Iraq and now they’ve already told the terrorists they can have Afghanistan back too! They’ve forgotten the lessons of 9/11, hate America and can’t be trusted with your grandbaby! Aaaarrrrrr!!”

  203. 203
    scav says:

    @Corner Stone: Somebody thinks getting personally noticed is more important than any point they might have?

  204. 204
    Mandalay says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    She’s really bad at politics, isn’t she? I mean, seriously, “we were broke after we left the White House”, “we rejected the deal for Bergdahl”, now this. She has no fucking idea what she’s doing.

    Here she is getting snippy with Terry Gross (who is about aggressive as a dead kitten) over questions on her positions on gay marriage and DOMA.

    Clinton just oozes slickness and phoniness. The clip is a great example of a professional politician ducking questions, rambling on forever, and saying next to nothing. Getting her to honestly answer simple questions is like nailing jelly to the wall.

  205. 205
    Mandalay says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    She’s really bad at politics, isn’t she? I mean, seriously, “we were broke after we left the White House”, “we rejected the deal for Bergdahl”, now this. She has no fucking idea what she’s doing.

    Here she is getting snippy with Terry Gross (who is about aggressive as a dead kitten) over questions on her positions on gay marriage and DOMA.

    Clinton just oozes slickness and phoniness. The clip is a great example of a professional politician ducking questions, rambling on forever, and saying next to nothing. Getting her to honestly answer simple questions is like nailing jelly to the wall.

  206. 206
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @WaterGirl: Unfortunately, if Hillary runs a stupid campaign in 2016, Mitt Romney will beat her, and that scares the fuck outta me.

  207. 207
    Red Apple Smokes says:

    I swear to FSM, I want to scream until my head explodes. Does anyone here think that things are going to actually get better (and not just at the margins) in this country at any point in the foreseeable future? The bloody goalposts keep moving, and I’m sorry if I’m just not patient enough to wait on generational replacement. I mean, people here are already saying that we’re basically stuck until 2020 when we get another crack at redistricting. Seriously? I mean, I basically buy the analysis, but I guarantee that I’m not putting up with six more years of this. Maybe it’s the all of the foreclosure notices streaming into my parents’ mailbox, maybe it’s the fact that I’ve been surviving on peanut butter and fried eggs for the last month, maybe it’s that it took 18 frigging months after graduation for either (soon to be) Mrs. Smokes or myself to even get so much as a nibble on the job front, but at this point I’m rooting for the apocalypse. I know, being disheartened is exactly what they want; I just don’t see a way that the people I care about aren’t completely screwed. On days like today, walking into traffic doesn’t sound like a horrible option.

  208. 208
    Mike in NC says:

    @Gypsy Howell: So this clown Brat is an economics professor and Tea Party advocate.

    So is pretty much every economics professor at George Mason University, and all are paid shills for the Koch brothers.

  209. 209

    @Red Apple Smokes:Hang in there, things will get better.

  210. 210
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Eric U.:

    “third way” pro-corporate bs has definitely lost the dems some support.

    And gained some support. Mark Warner is already the most popular politician in Virginia and _still_ runs commercials about how he’s right in the bipartisan center and had a background in business and believes in working across the aisle… all that shit. Someone’s buying that rhetoric. It’s irritating, but that’s a proven way to get yourself elected in purple states (not that it always works: see Deeds, Creigh). They run that way because they think they can win that way. I think we’d need to see more populists winning before new candidates and their consultants would look to copycat that strategy. IOW, I think we’ll keep seeing Mark Warner lite campaigns until more Sherrod Brown lite campaigns start winning.

  211. 211
    Red Apple Smokes says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Thanks, I think I’m just burnt out. I’ve been at this care giving thing for five years and I’m just completely spent. It would be one thing if things were getting better, but it’s not. I did the sucker thing and took out massive student loans when Mom and Pops got sick, so that we could keep the lights on and all that. Unfortunately, I decided to get an MPA during the only economic “recovery” to see a decline in government workers. If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have any.

  212. 212
    chopper says:

    @Red Apple Smokes:

    i wish i could tell you more than what schrodinger just did. there’s a special place in heaven for caregivers. and i don’t even believe in heaven.

  213. 213
    Steve from Antioch says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I assume it is an example of homophobic innuendo being acceptable as long as the target is different politically.

  214. 214
    Kay says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    how he’s right in the bipartisan center and had a background in business and believes in working across the aisle… all that shit.

    He can be pro-business. I’m pro business. I think business is great.

    What I’m not is pro public subsidy for private gain, pro special tax breaks, pro immunity for white collar criminals, and pro buying politicians.

    I’m anti those things. Pro-business isn’t the problem.

    He can work across the aisle. What he can’t do is work across the aisle to screw everyone who makes less than 250k a year and benefit himself and his donors. He can’t do that.

  215. 215
    jl says:

    Meanwhile, lowly disreputable bloggy blog TPM does some initial reporting on Brat.

    Initial signs sez it will be weird. Apparently a devoutly Christian acolyte of Ayn Rand, and thoroughgoing populist who apparently likes big banks.

    And, I wonder, did Fournier even bother to hit an Applebee’s salad bar? Weak work, Fournier.

    David Brat Is The Worst Kind Of Republican-A Libertarian AND A Tool Of Big Banks
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/c.....-big-banks

  216. 216
    the Conster says:

    @Kay:

    What I’m not is pro public subsidy for private gain, pro special tax breaks, pro immunity for white collar criminals, and pro buying politicians.

    KAY 2016

  217. 217
    Gypsy Howell says:

    @Mike in NC:

    I’m constantly astonished by how many lunatic professors are out there teaching the next generation.

    Was it always thus, and I just wasn’t paying attention? Is it actually getting worse these days?

    You think you’re paying good money to these colleges for an education, and it turns out you are being taught by morons and even, in some cases, war criminals. Earlier today, I read a couple of paragraphs of something this guy Brat wrote on some topic, and it sounds like something a seventh grader would write. And not just the ideas — the actual sentence construction. THIS is what you pay tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars for when you go to college?

    This country is doomed.

  218. 218
    WaterGirl says:

    @The Thin Black Duke: Yeah, that’s why I’m hoping she’s not the democratic nominee.

  219. 219
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Red Apple Smokes: That sucks man, don’t give up. I don’t have any advice or anything encouraging to say, times are tough

  220. 220
    Kay says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    What if you had a pro business Democrat who said ” I think business should pay taxes like everyone else. They can’t come into these states and get huge subsidies just for arriving and hiring 300 people at 10 dollars an hour”

    The two concepts can be held that the same time, in the same person.

    Some of this, I think, is the Democratic penchant for letting Republicans define what “pro business” means. It doesn’t have to mean these things. It doesn’t have to mean abject, groveling worship of CEOs or huge subsidies and letting them draft the regulations they demand. That’s just bad for the country.

  221. 221
    WaterGirl says:

    @Red Apple Smokes: I’m sorry, that’s all so discouraging.

    Elizabeth Warren is our best bet, I think, along with a few other progressives. I don’t think she’s gonna take “no” for an answer on her student loan bill, and maybe she can teach some of the old dogs some new tricks.

    Don’t give up. We all need to get a second wind and then fight all this awful stuff that’s happening.

  222. 222
    Red Apple Smokes says:

    @chopper: Apparently, it’s a family tradition. Mom spent a decade+ caring for her parents, and you’ll never convince me that the stress from that isn’t related to her stroke. I’m trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to stay relaxed in hopes that I avoid something similar. Thanks for the kind words. I just needed to vent to somebody, and putting family biz on the book of faces is really bad form.

  223. 223
    David Koch says:

    Eric Cantor’s Defeat May Signal a Populist Revolution

    So then why did McConnell, Boehner, and Lindsey Graham easily win their primaries?

    Tip’s law says, “all politics are local”.

    Cantor’s problems were his own and only his own.

    Moreover, Clinton’s flaks are incompetent. Just look at her botched roll out of her book. They didn’t prepare her for the most painfully obvious questions. It’s hard to take anything these stooges say seriously.

  224. 224
    Betty Cracker says:

    @The Thin Black Duke: You think Romney will run again and win the nomination a second time? I’d be surprised, though stranger things have happened.

  225. 225
    Kay says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    What if you had a pro education Democrat who said “college costs have gone up, and part of the reason for that is no one wants to pay taxes so we cut state tax subsidies to state schools by 20%, and passed that cost on to you, the student”

    They can then go on to how they’ll cut their student loan interest rate, but for God’s sake, tell them where the money went! It used to be there. Where did it go? They’re 19. They don’t know. You have to tell them.

  226. 226

    @Kay:

    Some of this, I think, is the Democratic penchant for letting Republicans define what “pro business” means.

    Word.
    Letting your opponent define the rules of the game is the first step to losing.

    Our economy is consumer driven, if more people have jobs that pay well they will buy more stuff, which creates more demand, and in turn businesses will hire more to satisfy the demand. Thus creating a virtuous cycle. That’s why trying to reduce the deficit during a demand driven recession was insanity.
    ETA: I don’t buy that the reasons for the recession were structural. May be at the margins but by and large the recession that resulted from the financial crisis was due to a demand shock.

  227. 227

    @Betty Cracker: Nixon II? Election between Romney and Clinton, will be like Dull vs. Duller.

  228. 228
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    Finally, stop pretending. Stop pretending the Republicans in the House care about “local control” when they’re blocking a school lunch program, and tell people they’re blocking the school lunch program because the food industry just bought them. In order to do that, though, the Democrat can’t be guilty of the same thing.

    Amen
    Amen
    Amen

    Every week I see some fine brought by this administration by those who cheat. Happens every week, but is not publicized.

    And, we need Democrats that believe in and are willing to FIGHT FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION.

  229. 229
    Patrick says:

    @Mandalay:

    OK – I just saw it. I guess I don’t see what the problem seems to be. And believe me, I would only vote for her as the less of two evils. Her position is not much different than Obama’s.

  230. 230
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    What if you had a pro education Democrat who said “college costs have gone up, and part of the reason for that is no one wants to pay taxes so we cut state tax subsidies to state schools by 20%, and passed that cost on to you, the student”

    You really need to do a FP thread on the topics you’ve brought up Kay. Do some more. Break it down.

  231. 231
    David Koch says:

    This is pretty funny, Boehner just blamed the President for Cantor’s defeat saying it was cuz the President wasn’t nice enough to republicans.

    HAHAAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAAH

    Of course, the real answer is too painful, so Orange man is just assuaging the republican led media (Fournier, Todd, Tapper) with something they want to believe.

  232. 232
    Steve from Antioch says:

    The thing that just amazes me is that here we are _after_ an election looking for scraps trying to figure out what Bratt’s positions are.

    He supported by Drudge/Ingraham/etc. so that’s probably enough to know that he’s a shitheel, regardless of the specifics of his policies.

    Also I find it hard to believe that a populist is the Director of the “BB&T Moral Foundations of Capitalism Program”

  233. 233
    WaterGirl says:

    @Patrick:

    Her position is not much different than Obama’s.

    Sure, if what you mean by “her position is not much different than Obama’s” is that her positions are VERY different.

  234. 234
    Red Apple Smokes says:

    Thanks again, everyone. I’m going to try to make dinner for Mom and Pops and maybe grab a catnap. Knowing that someone that isn’t in the middle of this fight actually cares helps a lot, because it’s been really easy to feel invisible the last couple of years.

  235. 235
    Corner Stone says:

    @WaterGirl:

    is that her positions are VERY different.

    I’d like to hear more of this analysis.

  236. 236
    Kay says:

    @rikyrah:

    It was the Michelle Obama hatred (that was the political side) combined with the corruption from food industry lobbyists. It was a two-fer of horribleness!

    I had such a funny conversation with a school board member. They did the healthy lunch switch, but the board had “concerns” and he finally lost patience and said “you’re opposed to better food for kids? Is that the story here?”

    My favorite thing is the comments by conservative “moms” on the local news site.

    “They just throw the food away!” Yeah, it’ll take them awhile to recognize real food, but eventually they’ll get hungry and eat it.

    God forbid they should have to deal with a carrot instead of a Tater Tot, when it’s publicly-funded. Tyranny of Michelle Obama!

  237. 237
    Patrick says:

    @WaterGirl:

    ???

  238. 238
    David Koch says:

    @Betty Cracker: This is delicious. Last night on the insipid Charlie Rose, Rose and Halperin were calling on Romney to enter the 2016 race, with both of them saying he such a good campaigner. No really, they actually said that with sincerity.

  239. 239
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    I’m constantly astonished by how many lunatic professors are out there teaching the next generation.

    Was it always thus, and I just wasn’t paying attention? Is it actually getting worse these days?

    @Gypsy Howell: No. Yes.

    A cursory look into university hiring practices will supply all the answers to your very good question: why so many loonies teaching college these days?

    When you hire the lowest-bid person, someone who can afford to work part-time with no benefits (retired) and has a degree, you’re hiring mostly retired white men. Those folks have a decided political slant, and it is not liberal.

  240. 240
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Kay: I’m all for all that. My larger point was that new candidates tend to fight the last war, so a lot of 21st century Democrats have been mimicking Clinton/DLC/1990s rhetoric because that was how they finally broke the association with hippies and welfare. And until they have a better template and _win_ by following that better template, they’re going to keep warming up leftovers. I think we’ll need to see a populism-tinged victory for a Democrat in a statewide election someplace in the “New South” before trend-sniffing consultants will give up on Third Way and do Populism instead. I don’t think they’re malevolent or venal (well, not all of them); I think they’re highly risk-averse. Like TV networks, political parties like formula.

  241. 241
    goblue72 says:

    @Steve from Antioch: @Steve from Antioch: It’s more innuendo that Andrew Sullivan is the world’s biggest hypocrite and had a history of “slut-shaming” other gay men while at same time he was anonymously trolling hook-up message boards looking to bareback –

    http://www.villagevoice.com/20.....n-scandal/

  242. 242
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: uh, this doesn’t match up with the adjunct pool of any university I’ve ever known. All I see are stressed-out 30-year-olds fresh out of defending their dissertation and scrambling to feed themselves, and local old ladies. And Brat wasn’t an adjunct, either.

  243. 243
    rikyrah says:

    Kay,

    One of these days, I’m wish you’d do a post on the mess that is Rahm and why he’s in trouble.

  244. 244
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    My party in its rush to woo the non-existent center has hippie-punched away those who would serve as the enactors of a party move toward populism.

  245. 245
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @Betty Cracker: If Hillary runs a bad campaign, yes. Remember, in spite of being an atrocious candidate, Romney got over 60% of the white vote anyway. How many votes of color is Hillary gonna piss off if she continues to be tone-deaf politically?

  246. 246
    Kay says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I think it’s more than the politicians. It becomes an entrenched campaign structure, and then those people get a financial interest in promoting 1990’s ideas, so they won’t give them up.

    It’s sometimes fun to watch this play out in the Democratic Party. I saw it after Obama’s last SOTU speech. There was this blare of whiny 1990’s Democrats saying “we aren’t anti-Wall Street!”. They were practically dripping sweat.

    They’re such dopes. As if anyone thinks they’re “anti Wall Street”. Not a huge threat, there guys! No one would ever mistake you for a populist!

    In other news, from the other side of the aisle, this could get better, the in-fighting:

    As the national Tea Party exalts over not-conservative-enough carcass of Eric Cantor’s political career, the House GOP prepares to replace him with new Majority Leader who is either identical to Cantor in his politics or slightly less conservative. “Guardians of tea party purity rank McCarthy as about as conservative, or slightly less, than Cantor.”

    I was listening to Michael Steele and he was trying to lessen the blow. He was saying “if you want a Tea Party leader, organize and get one!” Essentially he’s telling them “you don’t have the votes”

    He’s really good. Republicans never should have fired him. He was on w/Ed Rendell and he’s much better than Rendell, but I always thought Rendell sucked as a spokesperson.

  247. 247
    gene108 says:

    @Kay:

    I think you, liberals, Democrats, have to give them some hope of a “fix” for government.

    The problem with Democrats is that when they reach a critical mass in a state and get comfy, they revert to the default position of “Politician”, who is as much about dishing out favors and patronage, as he/she is to good governance.

    I live in NJ, which despite Christie, is still a strong Democratic state, but the Democratic pols are as much or more interested in patronage, dishing out and collecting favors than actually finding effective ways to govern.

    The amount of good government that has to happen, before people think government is part of the solution cannot happen in today’s America. People are too down to think something positive can happen from government.

    The lies leading up to Iraq, the squandering of the surplus, weak job market and rising food and fuel prices do not give people much hope that government will work for them again.

    Clinton, I think, had the last best shot to restore people’s faith in good government, but the failure of health care reform and the MSM giving voice to every right-wing scandal mongering rumor derailed what he could accomplish in that regard. Clinton did start off with liberal proposals, like having gays serve in the military, healthcare reform, raising taxes to fix the budget, and gun control, but the three things he did manage to get passed caused as much division as it did anything else.

  248. 248
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Gypsy Howell: Brat is a particular kind of loon, the product of the late 1980s and 1990s Culture Wars that were the height of campus conservatism. Think Dartmouth Review, where Dinesh D’Souza and Laura Ingraham (Brat proponent) pioneered this style. There and elsewhere, would-be “conservative intellectuals” got into the game of taking the fight to the liberals on campus. That’s the way Brat sounds, that’s the way Ted Cruz sounds, that’s the way most of the National Review Online sounds.

  249. 249
    Mandalay says:

    @Patrick:

    Her position is not much different than Obama’s.

    Agreed, and I don’t have any problem with her position. It’s all the irrelevant bullshit she inserts into her answers to obscure the fact that she doesn’t want to honestly answer reasonable and straightforward questions about her evolution on gay marriage.

    “I’m proud of our country…”

    “I think I’m an American!…”

    Just be honest FFS. It’s not as though she even had anything to be ashamed about. She seems to want to be all things to all men.

  250. 250
    Mandalay says:

    @Patrick:

    Her position is not much different than Obama’s.

    Agreed, and I don’t have any problem with her position. It’s all the irrelevant bullshit she inserts into her answers to obscure the fact that she doesn’t want to honestly answer reasonable and straightforward questions about her evolution on gay marriage.

    “I’m proud of our country…”

    “I think I’m an American!…”

    Just be honest FFS. It’s not as though she even had anything to be ashamed about. She seems to want to be all things to all men.

  251. 251
    Eric U. says:

    @Kay: well said. I am pro-business. I have a professional relationship with a small company that does great work and employs a lot of people. The government does not treat them particularly well, and I’m a little annoyed by that. And then we give subsidies and special treatment to companies that don’t need it. OTOH, I think a lot of progressive positions are pro-business. They may not see it that way, but it’s true.

  252. 252
    WaterGirl says:

    @Patrick: I believe that if Hillary Clinton had been president:

    We would have been more involved in the conflict in Syria.
    We would never have successfully made this kind of progress working with Iran.
    Clinton would never challenge Bibi and Israel would pretty much control our foreign policy, even more than now.
    Clinton’s approach to foreign policy would be about hard power rather than soft power.
    Clinton’s approach to foreign policy would be almost indistinguishable from a republican approach.
    We would still be at war in Iraq.
    We would not be getting out of Afghanistan.
    We wouldn’t be where we are with respect to gay issues.

    I think Clinton is bought and paid for by big money.
    I don’t believe Clinton will fight for regular people like Obama does.

  253. 253
    Joel Hanes says:

    @Cervantes:

    Mike Dukakis and Jimmy Carter (among others) what they thought of Clinton’s NAFTA push. Both praised it.

    Yes, the dazzling magic phrase “free trade” has fooled many otherwise brilliant people into thinking that transnationals need no government controls. You may remember that an integral part of that push was the promise of “retraining” for mid-career workers, to transition them to “the jobs of the future”.

    Wonder whatever happened to that retraining bit? Seems to have gotten lost.

    Wonder if the people hearing “jobs of the future” understood that meant “food service, retail clerk, and Walmart greeter”.

  254. 254
    Betty Cracker says:

    @The Thin Black Duke: Historically, at least, black folks don’t take their marbles and go home; they know there’s too much at stake. I’m not suggesting they should be taken for granted. I’d just be surprised if they went PUMA because HRC is making the usual equivocating politician noises. Hell, the so-called PUMAs were a fart in a whirlwind in the final analysis.

  255. 255
    Patrick says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Holy smoke…

    All I said was that her position on gay marriage was not all that different than Obama’s. Not sure what all the other issues you brought up has to do with her interview with NPR and gay marriage.

  256. 256
    gene108 says:

    @Kay:

    Some of this, I think, is the Democratic penchant for letting Republicans define what “pro business” means. It doesn’t have to mean these things.

    The biggest single difference between Democrats and Republicans is Republicans are about winning at any cost. We saw this in the 2000 election and subsequent shenanigans. It does not matter what they are trying to win, they just have to win (like the Terry Schiavo situation).

    Many Democrats still have not groked their co-workers in the Republican Party jumped the shark 20 years.

    Watched CSPAN’s call in program this morning. A Democratic Rep from Vermont (forget name), who is the Assistant Whip (can’t remember exact title either but he had some leadership position), was on and was asked to respond to a Republican Senator’s scathing comments about Warren’s student loan bill.

    He started off agreeing with one point the Senator made about not helping everyone and than went on to talk about some policy points about where the Senator was wrong.

    Seemed like a really nice guy. But he’s not the sort of guy to go up against Republican bullies and make the Democrats look stronger.

    I really do not know how Democrats can reclaim the narrative, because (1) Republicans have a much larger and more dedicated media presence that the MSM refuses to acknowledge are partisan hacks, (2) Republicans – any Republican from the high school young Republican club to members of Congress have the same talking points, so they seem authoritative and focused on their main points and (3) Democrats are all over the place, when it comes to figuring out what to say about anything Republicans do.

    They really need, to some extent, the lock-step style Republicans have, because repeating simple points over and over again is what will sink into voters heads.

    To counter the Senator’s points, any Democratic should say “(a) we are trying to give debt relief to millions, which will help the economy by having more money in people’s pockets and (b) we’re paying for it by a small tax on millionaires and billionaires, which Republicans oppose. They would rather have people struggle with student loan debt than tax millionaires and billionaires.”

  257. 257
    Kay says:

    @Eric U.:

    The part I hate most about conservatism is how they take that idea and turn it around, and tell people they come second to “markets”. We have to serve markets.

    No, they don’t. They’re the whole point of markets. “Business” isn’t an aspirational goal or a theory, a good in its own right. It’s supposed to do certain things for people, not do things TO them. It has to carry more than just profit or loss. It also has a set of responsibilities, and we get to order it around sometimes and bring it to heel :)

  258. 258
    Joel Hanes says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Elizabeth Warren gets it, so why I don’t hear more Democrats speak like her

    Because the core of the national Democratic Party (Steney Hoyer, Steve Israel, Rahm, Debbie Wasserman-Schulz, Hillary Clinton etc.) are firmly in the pocket of the large corporate contributors.

    Elections are expensive.

    Only in rare cases do contributions from individuals cover the costs of a national-level campaign.

    The missing dollars must come from somewhere, so the 0.01% and their corporate avatars are approached, and they provide.

    The quid pro quo must always remain unspoken and unwritten, but it’s always there —
    the politician will NEED those corporate dollars for the next election, and so the interests of the politician becomes “aligned” with the interests of the corporations and the wealthy.

    And so we must never prosecute the banksters, or any but the most egregious white-collar crimes, and there must be a separate standard of justice in those cases — to act otherwise endangers the flow of sweet sweet corporate cash that the politician MUST have (else how can he continue to fight for truth, justice, and the American Way?)

    Also, the politician will need a career after leaving politics — the insidiously- attractive network of well-heeled coporations and lobbying firms and associations and foundations established by the big money can offer that career.

    Just last week, here in Silicon Valley, the 0.01% primaried a popular five-term incumbent Dem, a real and staunch liberal,Rep. Mike Honda, because he is insufficiently attuned to the needs of the BigCorps. Honda’s opponent, Ro Khanna, had money to burn. Fortunately Honda’s voters were not fooled.

  259. 259
    Cervantes says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    uh, this doesn’t match up with the adjunct pool of any university I’ve ever known. All I see are stressed-out 30-year-olds fresh out of defending their dissertation and scrambling to feed themselves, and local old ladies. And Brat wasn’t an adjunct, either.

    Nation-wide, adjuncts are about half of all our faculty these days. Adjuncts at private institutions tend to be men (two thirds). At public institutions it’s more evenly split. Half of all adjuncts are 50 or younger. And believe it or not, about half of all adjuncts say they are happy with the number of hours they are hired to work.

    But Brat, as you say, is not an adjunct. He is simply … shall we say “eccentric”?

  260. 260
    AnonPhenom says:

    @David Koch:

    So then why did McConnell, Boehner, and Lindsey Graham easily win their primaries?

    Cantor was running in a district recently manufactured to favor a politician with Rightwing views.
    Graham was running in a Statewide race. No gerrymandering.
    McConnell has the Rand Paul’s Kentucky Tea Party running his re-election efforts.
    Boehner cried & everone felt sorry for him.

  261. 261
    beltane says:

    @gene108: Democrats lack venom. While this tends to make them much better human beings than Republicans, it doesn’t do much in terms of furthering an agenda, especially given the media head-winds. There are plenty of appeals to anger and spite that can be made from the left, but no one ever seems to want to go there. Populism without an enemy is like soda without bubbles.

  262. 262
    WaterGirl says:

    @Patrick: Sorry, reading fail on my part. I was skimming through and saw your original comment, apparently out of context!

    I didn’t catch that you were talking about one specific issue.

  263. 263
    Kay says:

    @gene108:

    I haven’t read Warren’s plan, but I agree with it as a political tactic because she recognizes that it’s a real issue for young people. It is. They’re mad as hell. That has to be expressed politically by the Democratic Party if they want to retain young voters.

    Will it ever pass the Senate? Probably not. It doesn’t matter. She has to keep bringing it up, over and over and over. It’s a huge issue for them, and she’s responding to that. It’s her job as an advocate. They will know she heard them and that’s important to people.

    Warren has had huge setbacks before she was a politician. She was big in the anti-bankruptcy “reform” bill fight. We did that here in the law office. We were sending faxes, talking to people, we knew the law sucked and would hurt people. We lost. The law passed. Years later she worked it into her stump speech and she looked like a genius with a crystal ball. Student loans are a disaster. She’ll look like a genius in 2 years when that becomes clear, and she’ll use that to get something done.

  264. 264
    Patrick says:

    @gene108:

    Very astute post. Especially this part:

    I really do not know how Democrats can reclaim the narrative, because (1) Republicans have a much larger and more dedicated media presence that the MSM refuses to acknowledge are partisan hacks,

    Not sure how we change this. I know many liberals who refuse to watch MSNBC. They rather hang out with NPR or CSPAN. I guess part of this is like you said that Republicans believe more in authoritarianism compared to Dems. But that also means they are much more organized, which tends to work better election time.

  265. 265
    Patrick says:

    @WaterGirl:

    No problem. I 100% agree with you on everything else :)

    It scares me what Hillary Clinton might do in Iraq or anywhere else in the world. I have to assume she would be less evil than Jeb Bush…

  266. 266
    Joel Hanes says:

    @Kay:

    the Democrat can’t be guilty of the same thing

    Exactly. We need a purge of the national Democratic Party.

    The only concrete step I’ve so far been able to make in this direction is to redirect all my political contributions to Act Blue, and to send letters to the DCCC telling them that I’m sending money, but not to them.

  267. 267
    scav says:

    @Tommy: Oh, fuck all doctors that for whatever reason, under their control or not, don’t live up to your personal familial past-generation examples of Lake Woebegone ‘our republicans fund schools my parents are sane republicans’ anecdotes of happiness? If it’s not in your personal family experience, fuck them? They nevertheless exist.

  268. 268
    Keith G says:

    A populist mindset can be a force that generates a significant amount of power in a society. My great frustration over the last decade and a half has been how the Democratic party has lost touch with its populist roots.

    Populist energy will rise. The question is, who is smart enough to nurture it and direct it? I thought that Obama might have that ability, but he has been only slightly less tone death on this issue than the average Democrat (but on his worst day better than HRC).

    Luckily for us, the only Republicans who have paid attention to populist emotion are the flakes. We can’t count on that going on for much longer. I wish more/any Democratic leaders followed the lead of Elizabeth Warren, but much to our detriment they do not. This is, and will, harm us.

  269. 269
    beltane says:

    @Patrick: Liberals by nature tend to dislike propaganda and are better able than conservatives to recognize it when they see it. It takes a certain amount of mindlessness to unthinkingly swallow the talking points of the day, and I don’t think that making our side more stupid is the answer. One of the real problems up to now is that there has not been a coherent ideological position, let alone response, opposing the privatization/free market/anti-labor policies of the Republicans. The whole “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” mantra of modern day Democrats has killed us. It wasn’t until this year, with the release of Thomas Piketty’s book, that the “serious” peoples’ economic assumptions were even questioned by someone equally “serious”.

  270. 270
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Kay: This is a good point. Every time some Republican says “that’s just the market, too bad for you!” I’m like, well then, maybe the market needs fixing. Of course, they’re probably happy when the market makes people miserable.

  271. 271
    Keith G says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    milky loads accepting ass

    Are you, by chance, opining that this is a bad behavior? Your tone seem to imply a bit of negativity.

  272. 272
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Keith G:

    the Democratic party has lost touch with its populist roots

    The Democratic Party’s populist roots has a decidedly mixed history. Who are we talking about appealing to anyway?

  273. 273
    Joel Hanes says:

    The DCCC better pound on Brat’s behind

    Fearless prediction:
    The DCCC will do nothing of the sort. They’ll put no money at all into Trammel’s campaign.

  274. 274
    Kay says:

    @gene108:

    I don’t know if you missed the whole Democrat-on-Democrat fight back-story to Warren’s student loan bill, but I was cheering her on.

    She went after Arne Duncan (I loathe him, as you know). She said he was a “lapdog” of the banks, which he may well be, he’s every other horrible thing imaginable. I think she embarrassed the Democrats into buying in by using him almost as a rhetorical hostage. She’d keep firing off off her mouth unless they rescued him with at least advancing her idea. Good job! Senators have huge power. It’s nice to see them occasionally use it for good instead of evil :)

  275. 275
    beltane says:

    @SatanicPanic: They need to be mocked for their superstitious faith in Market Woo. Economies are not created and sustained by a deus ex machina, they are systems designed by humans. One of the conservatives’ strengths is that they portray themselves as hard-headed realists. Attack their strength and paint them as the irrational believers in magic talk they really are.

  276. 276
    Cervantes says:

    @Joel Hanes:

    Wonder whatever happened to that retraining bit? Seems to have gotten lost.

    Yes. I was responding to the notion that NAFTA was Clinton’s pet project — and perhaps it was, in some ways — but for whatever reason, many Democrats signed up. Here’s a Krugman article from back in the day.

  277. 277
    Patrick says:

    @beltane:

    The problem with no equal liberal counter-weight to FoxNews is that their message pretty much always is the message that the MSM adopts. The Bergdahl issue was the perfect example. It should have been a non-issue, yet FoxNews made it into a huge controversy. And the MSM adopted their message as it always does. If their had been a true liberal counterweight in our media, that would not have happened.

    You are right that liberals don’t fall for propaganda as easily as Republicans. But the problem with MSNBC having such low viewership is that their megaphone then is much smaller than the FoxNews megaphone.

  278. 278
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @SatanicPanic: agreed. I think we’re using “populist” too loosely here. Is Elizabeth Warren populist, progressive, or both? I think “powerful forces are screwing you royally” is populist, but “let’s institute common-sense reforms that clean up the mess” is pure progressivism. Maybe we have too many Democrats who are neither populists _nor_ progressives. (Obama, to me, is part progressive, part communitarian, very little populist.)

  279. 279
    Chris T. says:

    @beltane: The question to ask is: “Is ‘The Market’ God, so that people must serve The Market? Or should the market serve the people? ‘Market-oriented solutions’ are all well and good, but we need to be sure they’re also helping—that the powerful are not using them to cheat everyone else.”

  280. 280
    SatanicPanic says:

    @beltane: That’s another good point- markets don’t just come out of nowhere, like you’re hiking through the forest and there in the clearing is a fully operational free market being run by chipmunks. They require rule of law, trust between parties, a stable monetary system… all kinds of stuff Republicans are trying to fuck up.

  281. 281
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @SatanicPanic: on the other hand, squirrels are instinctive savers.

  282. 282
    Joel Hanes says:

    @Gypsy Howell:

    Was it always thus, and I just wasn’t paying attention?

    No.

    In reaction to the forced bussing of the 1970s, reactionaries began to set up an extensive network of “parallel” institutions at which their shibboleths and delusions would go unchallenged. White-flight academies, Liberty University, George Mason U, Bob Jones U, Regents (the proud alma mater of Monica Goodling) form a separate universe, in which the only true religion is evangelical Protestantism, evolution and global warming are bunk, environmentalism is a branch of terrorism, patriarchy is mandated in the Bible, capitalism is favored by God, and professors are damned careful not to give any credit to any of the ideas of Karl Marx, Maynard Keynes, Paul Krugman, or Thomas Jefferson.

    Outside that bubble, at our Great State Universities, savage budget-cutting by reactionary legislatures have tended to cow administrations, but intellectual freedom still persists to a great extent.

  283. 283
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @FlipYrWhig:”Populist” has a very equivocal past involving, inter alia, hatred of foreigners, Joo bankers, and everything even remotely associated with New York.

    No one ever confused Huey Long with Sidney Hillman.

  284. 284
    SatanicPanic says:

    @FlipYrWhig: One of the things I like about the Democratic Party is that we don’t have a bunch of pols yammering about “common sense solutions”. Government is complicated, solutions aren’t always common sense. I’m pretty well educated, but I’m willing to admit that there are millions of things I don’t understand and can’t hope to. I want the smart people in charge.

  285. 285
    WaterGirl says:

    @Kay: I liked Elizabeth Warren from the first time I saw her on TV talking about TARP.

    But I knew I LOVED her when I heard her say “I’m saving the rocks in my pocket for…” in response to the media trying to bait her into attacking President Obama.

    She’s practical and savvy at the same time.

  286. 286
    Baud says:

    I’ve grown weary of people. I want dogulism.

  287. 287
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @SatanicPanic: Warren evokes “common sense” a lot, and people who like Warren routinely commend her for having a common sense approach. I googled “Elizabeth Warren common sense” and got lots and lots of hits.

  288. 288
    SatanicPanic says:

    @FlipYrWhig: That’s part of the problem with getting a market going in the forest- woodpeckers and squirrels horde all the acorns so other animals have less access to capital. Getting cougars and deer to stick to the conditions of their contracts is maybe the most pressing issue, however.

  289. 289
    Keith G says:

    @SatanicPanic: There are no purely benevolent political movements and historical political ideologies will reflect the frailties of their societies.

    One iteration of American populism provided some of the energy for the American Revolution and another provided the fuel for the onset of Jacksonian Democracy. Both were very imperfect and both were better then what was before.

  290. 290
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Davis X. Machina: agreed.

  291. 291
    Betty Cracker says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Ha! Well played!

  292. 292
    xian says:

    @scav: this. exactly.

  293. 293
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: Cheer up, you’ll always have BJ!

    Oh, wait…

  294. 294
    Keith G says:

    @SatanicPanic: As I think more about this:

    Who are we talking about appealing to anyway?

    I think consideration should be paid to the notion that…when populism goes awry it might be because the “better” elites have walked away (or never showed up), and the power of a populist appeal was left to be shaped by those without a broadly benevolent intent, ie demagogues.

  295. 295
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Keith G: That’s part of what I worry about- if you get into railing against Washington, politicians, elites, etc., you end up driving away some quality allies. We need Ted Kennedy types too.

  296. 296
    Steve from Antioch says:

    @goblue72: Like I said, homophobic innuendo. Your implied justification that the intended target “deserves” it because of some perceived hypocrisy 10 or 15 years ago isn’t exculpatory.

  297. 297
    Baud says:

    @WaterGirl:

    That certainly beats a chicken in every pot!

  298. 298
    Keith G says:

    @SatanicPanic: Yeah, that would be one form of populist behavior. The New Deal was energized by another.

  299. 299
    Kay says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I’ve told this story before, but I took a “bankruptcy lunch time continuing education course” (never, ever do that – you will leave both hungry and enraged).

    The instructor was a bk trustee, and a really smart and genial person, but pro-creditor. In our “packets” there were all kinds of legal opinions and such, and they were all pro-creditor. Except Warren’s contribution, which was legal scholar/essay. It really stuck out, all alone there.

    You’re just like “really? there is one person in high places who agrees with me?” We’re probably going to need more than one :)

  300. 300
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Keith G: Well yeah, once the south was satisfied that no one was paying any attention to its black population it was time to start doing stuff for working people. (by change I am reading Katzelnelson’s Fear Itself right now)

  301. 301
  302. 302
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Baud: My chickens approve this message!

  303. 303
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Keith G:

    ….and the power of a populist appeal was left to be shaped by those without a broadly benevolent intent, i.e .demagogues.

    How can a genuine voice of the people ever be anything other than benign? Who decides who’s a demagogue?

  304. 304
    apocalipstick says:

    @Joel Hanes:
    I think many people misunderstood “free trade.” They actually thought there would be someone in the US (for example) trading with a different someone in China (say). I don’t think too many people foresaw it being WalMart on both ends of the exchange.

  305. 305
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    but I always thought Rendell sucked as a spokesperson.

    Kay,

    Rendell never wanted to be a spokesperson for THIS President.

    I’m just sayin.

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    🌷 Martin says:

    Reports are that the US is being asked to be ready to host the World Cup in 2022 if they decide to take it from Qatar.

  307. 307
    rikyrah says:

    @WaterGirl:

    AMEN to everything you wrote.

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    xian says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: why the anti-gay spin?

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    priscianus jr says:

    @beltane: European populism has always been virtually synonymous with antisemitic or anti-immigrant whackaloon. I don’t see the term in an unambiguously positive light the way some do.

    Yes, but we’re not in Europe. Clearly the word has a somewhat different usage there. It seems they recognize only one kind of populism, whereas we recognize at least two kinds. In some way this may be related to the fact that “the left” in Europe is usually synonymous with some shade of Marxism, whereas here that is not necessarily the case (despite RW’s efforts to make it appear so). A few years ago, on this blog, for one, “populism” was still considered a dirty word, not for the reasons you say but because it was seen as a political vulnerability that the GOP could easily exploit. Sort of like “too liberal”. This was usually associated with Elizabeth Warren. I never thought it was a very good reason.

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