This morning, two extremely good looking dudes are upstairs cleaning my grout.
Wait, that didn’t sound right.
Anyway, the topic of this post is stuff we didn’t want to know about, stuff we tried to avoid seeing, but that is no longer avoidable, but we want to be let down easily.
Let’s start with this remarkable exchange that Paul Krugman had in London with some clueless austerians:
Conservatives seem to be in their own little universes where the laws of physics and supply and demand and the paradox of thrift do not apply to them. They have beautiful theories destroyed by ugly facts. It’s a world where new college graduates with $100K in student debt just can’t wait to start their own businesses and where unemployed chemists can start biotech companies by borrowing money from their “friends, families and fools”.
But nevermind that silly notion about how we all secretly want to become the equivalent of 18th century MBAs, Paul is trying to tell them that they were just dumped by the economy and it’s over, move on. They want Paul to break it to them gently. Let them down the easy way, presumably the way that doesn’t require any kind of concessions from them. And Paul’s like, “He’s not coming back, Ok? He doesn’t want you anymore.” This exchange would almost be funny if it weren’t so deadly serious. It’s very frustrating to have examined the data, run the models, found historical precedent and made accurate predictions only to have them ignored by people who are talking in non-sequitors about something completely different that works only in a different dimension. I guess it’s going to have to take a global catastrophic failure before they get it. I don’t know what I find more disturbing about this: that there are so many disingenuous pundits out there lying to people or that these people may actually believe what they’re saying. Is the average intelligence of the general populace really so low that people can’t reason this problem out? That’s so frightening it makes me feel dizzy and sick. Is there a 30 second youtube cartoon that can be put together to explain this to non-economists?
The second breakup story is from Peter Daou. A year ago, he tried to warn the Obama administration that it needed to put more effort into courting its base but did it listen? Daou found this article from April 2011 that suggested that the grassroots were not happy with Obama and wanted to see some effort from him before they started giving. But the Democrats had Obama and they thought that everyone loved him because he’s so swave and de-boner so when the time came, they’d all come swooning back like they did in 2008. Um, it turns out that isn’t happening. In this new post from Buzzfeed Politics, we have this rather unsettling graphic that intimates that the honeymoon is over:
The dark blue dots are where Obama’s fundraising efforts have fallen off the most. Funny how they follow state boundaries. Isn’t it weird that this Democratic president has seen the least amount of fallout in predominantly conservative, bible thumping southern states? And JEEZ, look at the way Appalachia has been blowing him off. But it’s not just Appalachia, California seems none too pleased, nor Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Virginia, Ohio. In fact, it looks like all of the big states that Obama lost in the 2008 primaries are most seriously displeased. I guess they’re trying to say that they’re just not that into him. But the Democrats keep thinking that Obama’s the best that voters are going to get. Sure, he’s a player, sure he’ll dump you for a Republicanesque bipartisan committee. What are you going to do? Voters are appearing to say that they’re not going to give him anymore money, how’s that? They’ve been trying to let the party down the easy way for more than a year now. But if the party isn’t listening, they might find that enough voters have left without a forwarding address that there will be a very rude awakening in November.
And then there is Wisconsin. Bill Clinton was there a few days ago campaigning for Tom Barrett, the Democratic challenger in the recall election against Scott Walker. Bill Clinton tried to give voters a wake up call about what this recall election means to them and the rest of working class Americans (working class is anyone not living off their bonuses and investments):
If you believe in an economy of shared prosperity when times are good, and shared sacrifice when they’re not, then you don’t want to break the unions. You want them at the negotiating table. And you trust them to know that arithmetic rules. Show up for Tom Barrett on Tuesday! If you want Wisconsin once again to be seen by all of America as a place of diversity, of difference of opinion, of vigorous debate, where in the end people’s objectives are to come to an agreement that will take us all forward together, youhave to show up for Tom Barrett on Tuesday!…
I can just hear it now, on Wednesday. All those people that poured all this money into Wisconsin, if you don’t show up and vote, will say, `see, we got them now. We’re finally going to break every union in America. We’re gonna break every government in America. We’re gonna stop worrying about the middle class. We don’t give a riff whether poor people get to work their way into it. We got our way now. We got it all. Divide and conquer works.’
You tell them no. You tell them, Wisconsin has never been about that, never will be about that — by electing Tom Barrett governor!
You can watch the whole speech here:
Clinton is not the kind of guy who likes recall elections or any attempt of one group of radicals to unseat a sitting elected official. So, the fact that he’s out there in Wisconsin is significant because it means that he doesn’t see the working people of Wisconsin as a bunch of radicals. This is THE most important election this year. It is more important than the one in November, as it stands right now. What Bill is really doing is sending a message to his own party to wake up and do something now because once the Republican juggernaut rolls over the working people of Wisconsin, it’s going to keep on rolling over everyone else.
Let me break it to you gently, lefty blogospherians, there is a battle right now within in the Democratic party. We are seeing it play out in Wisconsin where the Democrats are pretending that they can straddle the fence. They think that they can be for working class people in theory and still take money from big donors in practice and no one will notice when the economy fails and working people suffer. That’s not going to happen.
Please note who is out there stumping for us. Pay attention to what he is saying. You need to have a vision of where you want to take the country. You know all that shit you’ve been swallowing about how Bill Clinton wrecked the welfare system? Think about that for a moment. If you are one of those people who didn’t want to see the welfare system change to help people go to work and achieve and have dignity and get their families out of generational poverty, if what you really wanted was to just throw money at a problem and hope it went away, then you are a person who is afraid of change and not really aware of what a welfare check means to a person. Do you know what we call people who like things the way they were and refuse to evolve?
I am not going to break it to you gently, dear lefty progressives and liberals. The left has failed to develop a vision of the future that acknowledges how our world has changed. It has failed to figure out a way of elevating the working class out of the 20th century into the future with dignity, fairness, equality and excitement for what comes next. The Democratic party fractured itself in 2008 and now it is floundering. The signs are all around that there’s a big breakup coming. It needs to get its shit together as quickly as possible or we are all going to pay the price this November when the tons of money pouring into conservative message creating manages to aerosolize the working class and makes it impossible for any of us to join together and push back.