The votes are mostly in and Walker will continue to be the governor of Wisconsin. What have we learned from this? Well, I doubt that the Democrats who are in charge have learned anything at all. They’re still acting like this has nothing to do with them. But secretly, they’re scared shitless.
What Wisconsin is saying is that with enough money, you can misdirect a whole population of people who are under economic stress. At this point, I think that Abraham Maslow must have been the smartest person who ever lived because he very clearly spelled out what motivates people. Here’s the Pyramid of Needs:
As Paul Krugman has come to realize, the idea behind the austerity measures and the deficit craziness is to use this moment of economic crisis to push through permanent changes in government and labor. You may have seen this theory before in Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine. Right now, the overlords are sitting on a pile of cash and they’re not going to let it go until we cry uncle and give up our safety net. This results in a lot of uncertainty and pressure on all of us economically in the short term. Of course, this has been building up for a couple of decades. When people are under economic stress, they will look after their own needs first. Forget all of that altruistic shit. They don’t have time for it. When their slice of the pie shrank to a size that finally got their attention, they started to hoard what they had. Yes, it makes no sense to blame public sector employees and unions. Putting pressure on them is not going to get you back what you have lost. You have to focus your attention on the ruling class. Ahhhh, that’s where the beauty of money comes into its full glory. The wealthy can afford to flood the airwaves with misleading messages, continually focusing the attention of the voters down and not up.
I don’t know what to say about the vulnerability of voters to these messages. There is no counterweight from the left. That’s because the Democratic party has neutralized its left and taken all potential leaders out of contention. When they had the chance to control the message right after the 2008 election, the Democrats passed. They didn’t attempt to institute a fairness doctrine or make the Corporation for Public Broadcasting beholden to them. I don’t know, maybe the Democrats are just stupid or they don’t want power as much as Republicans because they’re doing a piss poor job at keeping hold of it.
But whatever. Here is where we are. The economy has suffered extensive damage and people are feeling vulnerable. They want to cut expenses wherever they can. They are susceptible to Republican messages that assure them that all they have to do is break labor up and stop them from taking their hard earned taxdollars to pay for pensions and healthcare. Nevermind that the bankers have taken so much more and don’t deserve it. Nevermind that these right wing solutions will only make the recession worse.
Barack Obama is either in on the deal to divert money to the financial overlords or he is painfully inept. He seems to be incapable of explaining what is going on to the average voter and even if he could, they wouldn’t believe him because they think he is a Kenyan Socialist. I doubt that the real Kenyan Socialists would invite him into their club but there you go. Logic has nothing to do with this. This is on an emotional level. It’s the kind of thing that provokes a flight or fight response. Obama doesn’t seem to have an emotional bone in his body so his chances of getting through to voters is about nil. And he can’t get around the paid for media filter.
All current data and trends point to him losing in November. It has always been the economy, stupid and as long as the bad guys are holding it hostage, Obama will be vulnerable.
This is not the time for Chris Hedges and Noam Chomsky to go off on self-actualizing tangents. This is not a good time for the Obama fanboy base to get all warm and gooey with aspirational delusions of grandeur. This is the time to locate that will to survive in the Democratic party. Don’t think that it is impossible for Romney to win in this environment. It could be easier than you think. All the money has to do is shrink the pie and then have us fight over it. The Republicans can ride to victory on that.