Many here (myself proudly included) get pretty tough on Ed Schultz from time to time. Mainly because he’s an idiot. Still, I keep spoiling an otherwise perfectly good lunch hour by switching to his show on “America Left,” because doing so invariably helps me home in on another of the myriad reasons the Democrats lack anything resembling a clue.
Yesterday, that took all of 15 seconds.
The Edster welcomed Katrina vanden Heuvel, part owner and therefore editor-for-as long-as-she-says of the purportedly Lefty rag, The Nation.
Ed and Kat were discussing the bad bad GOP and how it may well succeed in calling the shots now that it has the House (no mention, of course, that conservatives called the shots when they didn’t have the House…). Following is my shorthand and anything-but-verbatim version of what the Big Dog and Kat screeched yesterday noon:
Ed: The midterms were all about the economy!
Kat: Mostly about the economy, a little about throw the bums out, a little about lack of enthusiasm (blah blah blah) we need to enlist not just Progressives but people from all across the spectrum who have been wronged by bad management even bad government management (which occurs in red states red states red states only) like people who have lost their civil service pensions and we need to unify them and make people aware that when one of us suffers all of us do and boats and tides and justice and whatever other peace. And civil rights, and love – a, and flowers.
Of course: No.
The cause of the Democrats’ midterm defeats is much simpler. But Schultz, vanden Heuvel and other neolibs are averse to uttering it, because they are unwilling to part with their unfounded, oh-so-up-in-their-reputedly-bright-little-heads-sounding rationales for the Party’s
losses figurative-only wins during the last 30 years. How averse? So much that they are willing – borrowing a phrase from a former Alaska governor – to MAKE STUFF UP.
Voting demographics from the Midterm elections clearly show what cost the Democrats seats: The fact that LEFTIES STAYED HOME. Not NEOliberals; REAL-LIFE liberals. From the kids upon whose backs Obama crowd-surfed into office to old Bohemians – which word the sage Kat might well need a dictionary to even begin fathoming – like me, all of whom swallowed Obama’s bluster hook, line and sinker, we stayed home. Because, President-wise, HE HAS SUCKED.
Pundits like to try to tease out midterm voting from presidential election voting. But we vote in a dualistic system, and the notion that party and president are two different things is a nice idea. But that’s all it is.
We’ve watched for thirty years – thirty freakin’ years! – as neolibs have dutifully chanted mantras of peace, love and understanding, though their annointed have consistently been neither peaceful nor loving nor understanding when it’s brass tacks time. Barack Obama has quickly proved to be just the latest in that long (not)Left line of establishment Democratic Partiers.
Moreover, when one looks at the Right’s rise to dominance across those thirty years and considers the reasons why, the differences between the parties’ approaches are stark.
Abortion is MURDER!
STRONG on defense!
Conservatives have kept their messages simple, provocative and consistent. Frank Luntz taught them the lesson a long time ago and they’ve been kicking Lefty ass ever since.
I made passing note of this truth in a post several months ago and suggested we take a lesson from it. So righteously indignant was one commenter that s/he jerked her/his knee along these lines: “There’s NOTHING I want to learn from conservatives!”
Of course, that is terribly shortsighted. A good Lefty friend of mine, after Al Gore waved the white flag, asked me what I thought happened.
“I’ll tell you exactly what happened,” I said. “People saw Gore as a wooden egghead that they couldn’t relate to – enough of them that it called the results into question and allowed Howdy Freakin’ Doody to claim the prize. When will the Left learn that it’s one thing to be smarter than the other side and something else entirely to come off looking too smart for your own good?”
I’m not arguing for the dumbing down of politics. On the contrary. It is the fact that on an issue-by-issue basis, Progressive values win, and that the Left seems unable to consolidate that truth into policy that I’m concerned with. How do we change it?
Rather than re-inventing the wheel (or continuing the fruitless and 30-years-and-counting refrain of kumbaya) couldn’t we maybe come up with and advocate – fiercely and consistently – for a few simple, provocative ideas of our own?
Medicare for ALL!
CIVIL Rights! HUMAN Rights! Civil LIBERTIES!
End the Wars NOW!
Each of these have been shown again and again to be of far greater concern to Americans than any of the base-rallying, culture-warring bullshit consistently spouted by angry old white-collar
We Lefties are always saying how smart we are. Are we smart enough to build a new movement focused on issues instead of identities? On sworn dedication to clearly stated and sworn-to ideas like those above – instead of campaign promises, the subsequent ditching of which produces no consequence?
Some of your fellow FDLers think the time has come. We’re assembling right now on the ground floor of a movement we call the New Progressive Alliance, and we invite you to join us. If you’d like to help, write me, Anthony Noel: admin_at_themalcontent_dot_com
Thanks – and Happy New Year!