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      Everyone remember the Panama papers? A leak of bank records showing that the ultra-rich are hiding massive wealth, tax-free and often breaking the law to do so? A rather weak set of laws designed to allow tax avoidance by rich people, at that. Found out the other day that the reporter who broke the Panama Papers story was killed by a car bomb. Coincidence, n […]
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Friday: Post-electable incoherence

Before I get started, I admit that I haven’t listened to Barack Obama’s speech.  He has now achieved the unenviable position in my mind of having a voice even more irritating than George Bush’s.  At least with Bush, his mannerisms are so well known and predictable that they were  “almost” endearing in their mindless stupidity.  With Obama, the wounds are still too raw.  The mannerisms that make him quite possibly more mockable than Bush are currently surrounded by ideas that make me want to smack him.

Both Heidi Li and Anglachel have commentary on Obama’s speech.  I will listen or read Obama’s speech later but from what these two have deconstructed, it isn’t difficult for me to piece together what Obama was trying to convey.  The bottom line is that the Democrats are in deep, deep trouble not merely because they have selected a man who is supremely unready for the job but because they find themselves trying to hold their own base together without a clue of how they got to a divided party in the first place.

Heidi Li reports that Obama lifted whole sections of Hillary’s speeches without attribution.  This is not really a surprise.  We have seen the content of Obama’s character.  Schmoozers are experts at taking other people’s ideas and passing them off as their own.  It’s how they keep climbing the rungs of success.  The difference here is that half of his Democratic base is watching and we still have the votes to truncate his rise to the top.  I think this is what drives the Obamaphiles insane, as we have witnessed in the past couple of days as the trolls descend on us and pull the “If you don’t give us what we want, it will be YOUR fault if we lose” routine.  They just can’t believe they have to stoop down to us and ask nicely for our vote.  If we were as smart as *they* are, we would just give it to them to do for us what they know is best for us.  Can’t we see they desperately want Obama to win?  Why are we making their lives so difficult?

So, Obama sighs in resignation and incorporates parts of Clinton’s agenda in his speech.  “There!”, he seems to say, “I’m a Democrat.  Are you happy now?  Now, shut up and hand the votes over.”  But then, according to Anglachel, he reveals the reason why he will fail to win the White House in November.

For 40 years, since 1968, the American political landscape has been dominated by the most compact, fanatical, ideologically radical party in the West today. They have brutalized their opponents and despoiled the nation. The crises of our nation (vs. some rather pedestrian political screw ups) have been caused by this group that simply does not agree that we should be a democratic nation. This is not “gridlock” – this is political survival. They have over-reached and now is the time to seize a political opportunity.

From the langauge I have heard through the campaign season and particularly in the last few days, this group is quite cheerfully positioning itself in a weaker position than the Clintons took in 1992, when it seemed impossible that anything could stop the Reagan Revolution juggernaut. They have eagerly taken on the superficial trappings of the Right – pandering to religious kooks, backing down on civil rights, abandoning even the pretense of social and economic equity, flatly saying they will not entertain an ambitious health care reform plan – and have no sense of the depth of change they could accomplish if they would trust to their own party’s philosophy.

The speech was all surface and ended by denying its own opening claims, cutting off its deepest, strongest roots.

He seems intent on negotiating Clinton’s agenda away in the name of post-partisanship.  He embraces high-Broderism, that media construct that says that Americans really want the parties to get along and if only the Democrats would stop being so stubborn about their core principles and learned to work with Republicans, then we would all sing in perfect harmony.

The problem is that if Democrats abandon their core principles and Republicans don’t abandon theirs, any attempts at negotiation and compromise ends up pulling us more to the right.  The DC Village is perfectly happy pulling the Democrats to the right because it doesn’t rock their little boat and what is good for them, MUST be good for the rest of the country.

What we in the neglected half of the party can’t understand is why we are buying into the Villager narrative.  This was supposed to be our year.  After 8 years of unfettered movement conservatism and radical Republicanism when there was absolutely nothing standing in the way of Republicans enacting every Heritage Foundation and Federalist Society initiative in their arsenal, the country finally woke up and rejected what the Republicans were selling.  This year was supposed to be a cakewalk for Democrats.  The country is dying for a strong Democratic push-back and what Obama is proposing is about has bold as tapioca.

So, we have the strength of the Clinton agenda blunted by the call for bi-partisanship.  This is the Change! that we’ve been waiting for?  No, this is what the Villagers want.  They want a Democratic party without any teeth.  And the Democrats are going along with it because they have learned helplessness in the face of the Republican juggernaut.  Recently, I got a clue about what is going on in the heads of the liberal elite Obamaphile when I heard an interview Terry Gross did with a pension and retirement specialist who recommended that the government start a pension account for every American.  Terry whined about how the Republicans are never going to let that happen.  So why bother?  This is Obamatics.  Give up before you even start because vigorous resistence against Republicans has been unsuccessful in the past 8 years.

Grover Norquist and Karl Rove must be ecstatic.  They had always hoped to defang the opposition and now they are successful beyond their wildest dreams.  The Democrats have spent so much time banging their heads against an immovable object that they have completely forgotten what it was they were fighting for in the first place.  To them, politics is one endless series of compromises.  With Obama elected, the Democrats continue down the path of making the party irrelevent. And they Obama faction, for the most part, is too young and affluent to realize that what is required of it is struggle.  They are willing to surrender before a single bill is proposed.

What Clinton offered was the coherence of core Democratic principles with which we would strengthen our bargaining abilities.  She understood the American electorate and how it had been hurt economically and socially by movement conservatism.  She wanted to restore the social safety net of the New Deal and rally the public to fight for themselves.  That is bold.  That is change from what we have had from Democrats in the past eight years.  That is scary.  That’s not what we’re getting with Obama.

Obama does not have a core.  That is why his speech is incoherent.  It doesn’t stick together because he doesn’t believe in core Democratic principles.  He is merely mouthing the words because he knows he needs us onboard. But he will never get us onboard because we understand the hollowness of his policies and as a result, he is not only post-partisan, he is post-electable.  He is a failure before he has even started, along with the rest of the current Democratic party leadership.  They threw away their champion for a schmoozer and will be handed their asses in November.

The sooner the better.