Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Let's See If We Can Figure This Out/ With Update
I remember when Clinton was elected and how the right seemed to go crazy and do everything they possibly could to derail his presidency. They really did succeed I think. At the time I wondered why they were so angry. It was shortly after Clinton was elected that I was able to see that he really was a moderate republican, like Eisenhower, Nixon and Hoover. Or a democrat like Cleveland. Hell, he was hardly to the left of Reagan. Still the republicans went nuts. I could not figure it out at the time.
So now they are doing the same thing. Obama is giving money to the banks, Obama is staying in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama is extending the secrecy arguments of the Bush years, and Obama is apparently keeping "Don't ask, don't tell." Taxes on the middle class are being lowered and the taxes on the wealthy are only going as high as they were under Reagan, or perhaps even lower. Still the republicans and right shriek and flail about as though our most cherished freedoms are being sliced away by the torture of the thousand cuts. Further they are able to get a least a few ordinary people out to back them.
I think that the long term goal is to make any even minor progressive move so painful to any politician that they will just decide that it is so much easier not to do it. That it will take a truly committed politician to propose any kind of liberal or progressive agenda. Knowing of course, that most politicians are most committed to being re-elected.
I suspicion that the entire hoo ra does not really cause many people to change their minds nor does it really reflect any strength on the right. Rather it is kind of like a frog sucking in air to make itself look bigger. I am further reminded that in the first free election after the fall of communism in Russia the communist party got a vote total in the mid 30% range and the fascists got the same amount in the first free election in Spain after Franco. So my point is that at any time and any where there are about one third of the general population who are simply bat shit crazy and really truly in love with the idea of a totalitarian master to just tell them what they should do.
I'm not sure if that makes me feel better or worse.
UPDATE: A couple of thoughts. First, I mean better or worse because we do not appear to have more than our share of bat shit crazies, but there are a shit load of them out there.
Second, when I was listing things that Obama is doing that were pretty similar to what a generic republican would do, I left out the way he is dealing with the torture memos and with wire taps.