Thursday, November 6, 2014

Well, that was ugly

On the morning after, the Democrats are rubbing their eyes with astonishment at how they could have possibly lost so badly to the party of Louis Gohmert, Mitch McConnell, or James Inhofe, among the other knuckle-draggers that define today's Republican Party.  "How can we lose?  We're smarter than they are.  It must be an example of voters ignoring their self interests," say the hard-core Democrats who want to blame everyone except themselves.

By the last week before the elections, I was getting something like 40 emails a day imploring me to work harder or give more money to the noble cause of electing Democrats.  They assured me that the heavens would fall if they did not win.  But they have been winning and as nearly as I can tell, Democratic Neoliberalism and warmongering is remarkably similar to Republican Neoliberalism and warmongering.  Like in all the rest of the western democracies, the choices presented to the voters on the important issues like the economy and climate change by the major parties are nearly identical to ensure that nothing of substance changes no matter who gets elected.  Don't believe me—ask the French voters who simply could not believe that Hollande would be as bad as Sarkozy.

Nevertheless, it is profoundly depressing to realize you live in a country that seems stuck on stupid.  I particularly dislike this now quite obvious reality because I most certainly did NOT grow up in such a country.  This was a country that once routinely accomplished great things.  For example, within a decade of my birth, medical science figured out how to cure TB and perfected not one, but two effective vaccines against polio.  Facebook is an interesting sociological phenomenon and it made its inventors rich but compared to eliminating the scourge of polio, it isn't much.

Far worse than creeping irrelevance, the global attitudes towards "USA the creator of TB cures" has been replaced by "USA the empire everyone loves to hate."  I am someone who would rather not live in a country that feels compelled to annoy, enrage, and otherwise provoke just about everyone else on the planet.  I am hardly alone in this and yet we who would rather just solve problems have no one to vote for.

And that seems to be the lesson of last night—anyone who thinks that there are solutions for the big problems to be found in that cesspool that is electoral politics is likely to be extremely disappointed.  Yes there are issues that must be addressed politically.  But it is most unlikely that the massive flaws in the thinking of the neoliberals and the neoconservatives will be addressed within the structures of the existing craven and corrupt political machines.

So I'll be sitting in my corner banging away at my drum in a effort to describe how change can happen without hoping for a political miracle.  It's a lot of effort but I still feel compelled to expend it because the problems do not disappear simply because the political systems cannot comprehend their seriousness.


  1. It would be easier for me to hate the Democratic leadership more than Republicans today had I not raced home from out of state to vote only to discover I'd been caged and removed from the voting rolls despite having voted only three months ago in a school board election.

    Much of Wisconsin gets their mail from a P.O. Box., and cannot receive home delivery. The voter registration form has two boxes for your address because of this. I'm guessing someone sent a post card to the non-mail delivery address, and then used that to purge me.

    Fortunately, the only Democrat to win here on Tuesday was Doug LaFollette for Secretary of State. I will be writing him a detailed letter.

    1. Man! that sucks big time. It IS nice to see that the name LaFollette is still a vote-getter in Wisconsin. Those are some mighty big shoes to fill.

    2. Typical off-year poor Democratic turnout was to blame, but the panicky Republicans really pulled out all the stops from massive caging operations to ridiculously huge ad budgets.

      I predict they'll spend the next two years embarrassing themselves, through exposure if nothing else. I also suspect Obama will lead better with his back against the wall.

      We're clearly in for two years of bankster looting. Most of our industries are run by monopolies or price-fixing cartels, and capitalism is about to go full bore predatory gouging consumers with ever more shoddy goods for the masses, and absurdly over-the-top baubles for the .1%.

      Wages will continue to stagnate for the bottom 90% while all profits continue to fall upwards like a fountain feeding into a vampire squid that pisses back far less than it drinks.

      The Supreme Court will shamelessly rewrite the Constitution, contradicting their own precedents when they prove ideologically inconvenient.

      The living will envy the dead, economically at least.

    3. A truly reasonable set of predictions (except for Obama leading better with his back to the wall). I hope you are right!

  2. Over at Benjamin’s Mess he put it this way:

    “…We’ve just staged the costliest, most selfish election in our history, eclipsing the waste and narcissism of all our previous circuses. We weren’t asked to think — about anything — certainly not unalienable rights, the equality of man, the duties of citizenship, the nobility of sacrifice, or the fate of the poor, or the children, or God’s earth itself. Jesus got his name tossed around a lot, but only as either a talking-point or expletive. The moneychangers weren’t just in the Temple. They own it now. FDR’s dead. The New Deal is a national embarrassment. Compassion is a sin.

    And what was in it for me? Or you? Not a goddamn thing.

    It was all lies.”

    The Weekly Screed (#698)
    What's in it for me?
    by David Benjamin

    “This is not the time to lay out an agenda.”
    — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

    MADISON, Wis.
    Posted by David Benjamin at 9:29 AM 1 comment: