You keep demonizing the Tea Partiers and other types along with Lind and other liberal elitists who are afraid of anything but the status quo. Continue to support Democrats and wonder why nothing changes. That's because we don't have two parties but only one party that pretends to be two, a point you have not addressed here at all. Brown gets elected and we get "health insurance reform." Gee, that's interesting. Got any theories? Don't worry....almost no one else has an explanation either. That's because this result doesn't make sense given our conventional wisdom on politics, like we have two parties.
Oh yeah, when you get the chance read Meltdown and confront the argument that FDR did not end the Great Depression but prolonged it. This could be wrong but then again...... And of course FDR's policies were all conservative, as almost all conventional historians point out but blame it on the those pesky conservatives FDR couldn't shake - as if he wanted to. Of course, an alternative explanation - that FDR did not want to shake them but actually used them to justify his unpopular policies just as Obama used Brown's election to justify dissing real health insurance reform [including a public option if you remember that Obama dropped that too] - cannot be entertained by liberals and conservatives today. Doesn't fit into the conventional paradigm mentioned above. And while you are after Paul Ryan, please explain why Obama and he agree about dismantling Medicare [against the desires of the people], which is of course the agenda along with dissing Social Security as we know it [and Obama supports this too, as do other Democrats. But then of course our ruling class does not need Social Security or even contribute to it so who is surprised? Not me.].
"They play right into the hands of corporate power and will largely be sucked up by it. They don't, in my view, recognize where their interests lie." Well, you can't say this about the liberal Democrats because play into the hands of the corporations because they know "where their interests lie," viz., preserving their power, even or especially at our expense. BAILOUT! TOO BIG TO FAIL!
"And culturally, as it's always been, it's those who run from modernity and embrace "old time values," and those who embrace modernity and risk falling into decadence. That's a harder one to call. In a certain way, I personally am more sympathetic to a moderate version of the "old time values," but again, put this in the hands of Gavin and Mahoney, and you're banning Playboy, charging a woman who has an abortion with murder, and carrying out campaigns against masturbation." Oh my, oh my, more liberal fear mongering! As if the society we live in today is anything like the society I grew up in. Social change happens. But basically I think it is funny that you actually think anyone in the establishment, except a few whackos here and there, care about what Gavin and Mahoney care about. Geez, these guys, like Gavin and Mahoney, think they matter and they don't. The best response to Gavin and Mahoney is laughter. They are being used by the establishment and they don't even know it. As a good friend of mine pointed out a long time ago, academics go to Washington thinking they have power and they end up being used by people like Nixon, Clinton, Reagan, FDR, Dick Cheney, that is, people who really know about power. By the way, what does a "campaign against masturbation" look like? This is really funny. So people who are torturing other human beings, who are killing and maiming people around the world are concerned with masturbation? Only academics like Gavin and Mahoney could entertain such thoughts. The best response is laughter.
Oh yeah, by the way, arguments made in 1855 are, like arguments made by Plato and Aristotle and Machiavelli, still relevant. You are so typically progressive here but aren't you working on a book on Plato? Even arguments made in the South - oh my god, Southerners' arguments are being taken seriously by some one, racists, racists, racists!! They must be racist I tell you - could be relevant today. You really need to question whether "progress" is inevitable and whether we are necessarily wiser in all ways today than people in ancient Greece or in 1855.
From Paul G. :
I respectfully disagree. What has typically happened in history, and maybe I'm stuck in the "old way" of thinking, is that the 99%, when radicalized against the status quo, are radicalized in two very different and two very incompatible directions. There are very different ways of being against the status quo. The division was most stark in Germany in the 30s. Pretty much a complete breakdown of the status quo. The political vanguard of the "99%" went brown shirt or communist. A similar thing happened in this country in the 60s and early 70s. Political SDS hippies and hard hat American flag wavers. I don't think (I hope not) those two extremes are really a possibility here, but I do think that the middle class/lower middle class bifurcation is now splitting in a similar direction and will continue to. It's the freedom loving "independent individuals" of the Tea Party distrusting government and so self-assured of their ability to stand alone and contemptuous of the casualities of human life that they want to dismantle all the social goods provided by government (and yes, I think there are many, many social goods provided by government, bureaucracy and all), versus those who distrust corporations and inequalities of wealth they produce. I think the first group, the Tea Party libertarians and both woefully naive and dangerous. They play right into the hands of corporate power and will largely be sucked up by it. They don't, in my view, recognize where their interests lie. And they can be callous cold hearted mother fuckers. (Witness the applause at one of the debates of letting an uninsured person die in the streets rather than be treated in an emergency room).