The national security state is now almost as old as the slaveholding republic was on the day Lincoln signed the Emancipation.
And as entrenched.
And as ring-fenced with settled law.
And as toxic.
Getting rid of slavery required the demise of one party, (or two, depending on how you want to count the Democracy), and the rise of another, and the rise-and-fall of several minor parties (Free Soil, Liberty). And near eighty years. And a civil war.
On this issue, though, third-party top-of-the-ballot votes should do the trick, and in just a couple of cycles.
Take Switzerland, for an example. There’s a country that really screwed up. They pissed their Freedom™ away, big time.
As it is now, it’d break your heart — the shabby clothes, the queues in the stores for such meager goods, the whispered conversations about friends and neighbors who have disappeared in the night, furtive, Tor-proxy-protected visits to the American consular agency in Geneva’s website with asylum questions…
All this because of their federal government’s individual mandate to purchase health insurance from a private carrier through an exchange.
You’d think, 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union, we’d seen the last of this kind of oppression, at least in Europe.
Some day a Walesa of the Rhodanie will arise and lead those poor bastards in Lausanne to Freedom™, and somewhere William Tell is weeping.
Mrs. Widmer-Sclumpf, tear down this mandate!
(Freedom™ is a registered trademark of the Republican National Committee. All rights reserved. Used with permission.)
Watching OWS one is struck with the thought that these will be famous, remembered by generations, pointed to as a watershed. treasured in memory by all who are involved — and accomplish, in practical terms, next to nothing. There’ll be some good movies come out of it, maybe
Faisons la fête comme il est 1968.
Who said this?
“At a time when so many people are hurting, we need to put the decisions about our energy future in to the hands of the people and their elected representatives…. EPA actions in this area (here it was clean coal, and not ozone exposure standards, but the point is a general one. Ed.) would have enormous implications, and these issues need to be handled carefully and appropriately dealt with by the Congress, not in isolation by a federal environmental agency”
Answer: Sherrod Brown, Carl Levin, and six other Democratic senators. In February of 2010.
It’s from Sen. Rockefeller’s home page. He’s proud of his position.
Senator Brown is often suggested as exemplary true progressive and a potential Obama primary challenger.
Levin is acclaimed as a liberal lion.
This is not just an Obama problem. This is a ‘Democratic rust-belt-state’ problem. A ‘states-where-the-2008-election was won and lost’ problem. A ‘party-who-polls-horribly-among-the-white-working class’ problem.
I’m not privy to any inside information, but I will wager blind that this action was taken at the behest of certain important members of the Senate Democratic Caucus.
The White House can count, and knows who’s defending what Senate seats, where, in the next election….
All politics continues to be local.
There are a lot of people who learned, thirty, forty years ago, one particular set of prisms through which to look at events, and one particular set of categories to fit things into.
And they’ll be damned—because it’s too much work, or because those things are too much a part of them, or because no one wants to admit they’re growing old—if they have to change them, or acquire a new perspective.
So, yeah, there’s a fair amount of “Create two-three-many Libyas!” out there. Qadaffi the Unaligned standing tall with his third-world comrades, bravely resisting the EU/NATO/US steamroller, and such.
Add to that that the high-water mark of the blogospheric left was the run-up to, and the US kicking off, the Iraq war. It was the Spitfire summer for a lot of people still blogging. They’ll see everything in that context the rest of their lives.
Because at the end of the day, politics really isn’t about policies. It’s about telling the world, and my friends, and the people I know how I feel about things. It’s a form of self-expression, by my choice of consumer products politics and politicians
Hell, If I could go down to town hall and register “Apple” or “Scion” instead of “Democrat” or “Republican”, I’d do it in a heartbeat.
I’ve seen any number of Guns of August references the last two weeks, and it got me thinking about August 2008, not August 1914.
I remember in August-September of ‘08 (When did Lehman Brothers blow up?) a considerable amount—not a lot, but enough to raise eyebrows—of loose talk at DKos about how letting it all blow up would be a good thing.
Because although there would be significant suffering—insert appropriate Dr. Strangelove quote here—we’d be purging the system of a lot of bad things, like bankers and consumerism and boy-bands, and in return we would be gaining a lot of good things, like more time with our families, liberation from the tyranny of stuff, and a better appreciation of what really matters—starting with subsistence agriculture.
WWI was supposed to purge a flabby and etiolated culture of its ills, instil manly virtue, tone up our jaded youth and such. And be over by Christmas. We know how that turned out. (The costs would largely be borne by the etiolated (coal-mining’ll do that to you), but definitely non-flabby mill-hands and peasant farmers anyways…)
Millennialism isn’t a right-wing only phenomenon…
Someone needs to remind these people that at the end of Quadrophenia the dude gets off the scooter
….but only two labels. People on the left seem to have confused the parties with the labels.
Democrats who are Democrats,
Democrats who are Republicans.
Republicans who are Republicans.
(There used to be quite a few Republicans who are Democrats when I was a lad, but they’re extinct.)
Welcome to the joys of coalition government. Coalition, or permanent minority, your call.
But the more you have to paddle just to stay where you are, the scarier change is. People who are feeling like their present status is at-risk, contingent, who have to paddle like a son-of-a-bitch, who are convinced the game is zero-sum, are going to dig in their heels. Nothing-to-lose gets you a revolution. Something-to-lose, and feeling like you’re about to lose it, gets you stasis. Things like PPCA and DADT (or a black president), wouldn’t have gone down perfectly smoothly under any circumstances, but tough times are more likely to amplify the chorus of ‘Stop’!
…when he said ‘Nobody knows anything, not just about Hollywood, but about Washington.
Probably because Jay Leno was right when he said “Politics is just show business for ugly people”.
And nobody knows anything about the Grand budget-tax-debt-ceiling entitlement Compromise.