Democrats Reward Losers: Really?
November 19, 2014
Below is a link to an article in the NY Times reporting that the Democrats have re-elected their leaders in the House of Representatives, including the unanimous election of Nancy Pelosi, as House minority leader. The article speculates that the Dems do not hold these people responsible for their losses. However, another possible explanation, one not incompatible with the first one, is that these “losses” are not all that important to the Democrats, at least not to the establishment Democrats because they help to fortify the status quo and, therewith, the power and privileges of these “kingpins.” Preserving the status quo requires as little change as possible, especially these days when public anger and disgust at our politicians is quite evident and intense. To assuage this anger and disgust without being turned out of office and without enacting significant changes that would undermine the prevailing alignment of political forces in the nation would seem to be the goal of those holding significant power now.
In pursuit of such an agenda, it would be useful to create or embrace what are said to be divisive issues or to embrace some issues in a divisive way – say, the issue of immigration reform – so as to reinforce the idea that change, significant change is not possible. Or perhaps the issue of the Affordable Care Act could be kept alive, say by a forthcoming Supreme Court case, thereby keeping the focus on an issue already dealt with rather than on issues that might be dealt with anew.
In any case, the result desired by the “leaders” of both parties is as little real change as they can get away with given the public’s all-too-justified anger and disgust. From this perspective, our political system is not “broken” at all; rather, it is functioning in pretty much the way its controllers want it to function.