Monday, January 04, 2010

a couple of great links

I know I'm posting a lot of links these days (as opposed to my original essays). But some folks out there are completely rocking it right now so I want to be sure to highlight some of the great thinking and writing happening in the progressive blogosphere. (I actually think we're witnesses the maturation of the progressive blogosphere -- it is getting smarter and faster before our eyes, but that's another post.)

Devilstower over at DailyKos hits it out of the park with his(?her?) post, "Remember the Naughts." Money quote (hat tip to Digby for highlighting it!):

Don't forget the naughts, because this decade, no matter what anyone on the right might say, was conservatism on trial. You want less taxes? You got less taxes. You want less regulation? You got less regulation. Open markets? Wide open. An illusion of security in place of rights? Hey, presto. Think we should privatize war by handing unlimited power given to military contractors so they can kick butt and take names? Kiddo, we passed out boots and pencils by the thousands. Everything, everything, that ever showed up on a drooled-over right wing wish list got implemented -- with a side order of Freedom Fries.

They will try to disown it, and God knows if I was responsible for this mess I'd be disowning it, too. But the truth is that the conservatives got everything they wanted in the decade just past, everything that they've claimed for forty years would make America "great again". They didn't fart around with any "red dog Republicans." They rolled over their moderates and implemented a conservative dream.

What did we get for it? We got an economy in ruins, a government in massive debt, unending war, and the repudiation of the world. There's no doubt that Republicans want you to forget the last decade, because if you remember... if you remember when you went down to the water hole and were jumped by every lunacy that ever emerged from the wet dreams of Grover Norquist and Dick Cheney, well, it's not likely that you'd give them a chance to do it again.

Then Ian Welsh answers a question that I have been pondering myself for the last few weeks, "Why Democrats Are Trying to Commit Electoral Suicide." Really the whole piece should be required reading for any poli sci 101 class, but I'll just quote one paragraph and urge you to click over to read the whole thing:

The elites are convinced they know what has to be done. Not necessarily what’s “best”, but what is possible given the constraints they believe America operates under and the pressures which elected officials work with. So Obama can say, and mean, that if he were creating a medical system from scratch, he’d go with single payer. But he “knows” that’s impossible, not just for political reasons, but because there are huge monied interests who would be horribly damaged or even destroyed by moving to single payer. On top of that, he looks at the amount of actual change required to shift all that money away from insurance companies and to reduce pharma profits, and to change which providers get paid what, and he sees it as immensely disruptive to the economy. In theory, it might lead to a better place, but to Obama, the disruption on the way there is unthinkable.

Ian Welsh continues to be one of the few voices of reason as the Democratic Party (and its apologists) shows that almost none of its leaders has the sort of transformative consciousness necessary for real change [just so people don't get the wrong idea, fuck Ralph Nader too, self described green party people in the U.S. appear to have even less transformative consciousness than Democrats]. Also the comments over at are often surprisingly good -- definitely worth a look.

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