Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Blame Obama! Blame the Democrats! (Or, You Know, Grow Up and Get More, and Better, Democrats in Office)

Senator Obama voted against confirming both Roberts and Alito for the Supreme Court, because of their extreme views.

So, those of you who want to pin this one on your paranoid fantasy of a stealth-corporate somehow magically Bush-equivalent or Clinton-equivalent President Obama are even more than usually out to lunch.

This 5-4 decision was the utterly predictable success of the Corporate Five who voted exactly as they were meant to vote by the Republicans who put them there for this very purpose: namely, to declare Unconstitutional any effort to curb the God-Given right of rich folks to buy all future elections for their parochial benefit whatever the will of the people through recourse to limited liability corporations at their command.

More, and Better, Democrats is literally the only way forward. The only alternative to More, and Better, Democrats is violent revolution, and that's not my path (and I see little evidence that those who disdain my path are actually revolutionaries either, rather than narcissists who want to pretend that demands are somehow achievements and then be admired for it).

America has beat the Robber Barons before, we can do it again. Movement Conservatism was a multigenerational effort out of the midst and aftermath of the New Deal, and American progressives who will be of any use at all have to think in comparable terms, patient, relentless, dedicated, keeping tactical skirmishes in perspective, hoping all the while that climate change, resource descent, political pressure in a post-US-hegemonic planetary order, digital media, and p2p formations create conditions under which the installation of an equitable, diverse, sustainable, accountable, social democracy here in the United States takes the Dean/Obama generation of Democrats less time than the dismantlement of the New Deal took the Nixon/Reagan generation Republicans.

By the way, if I hear another person comment superciliously "so much for Republican hostility to 'judicial activism'" as if that is all one has to say to settle the matter I feel like I am going to scream. Yes, Republicans lie. They lie and lie and lie. They have to lie, because majorities don't want what they want and so they have to lie endlessly about everything they are doing all the time. They are lying, greedy, cowardly, stupid, hypocrites. They don't care that we can wittily expose their facile deceptions and gambits. Republicans are the worst people in the country, they are awful, rampaging assholes and they hate democracy, they hate their own country and want to turn the country into a corporate-militarist-christianist feudal tyranny. That's who they are.

More, and Better, Democrats, people.

More Democrats means less Republicans. Even lame Democrats put not-Republican asses in the seats in Congress. If you aren't spending your time excoriating and embarrassing Republicans and demoralizing and dividing Republicans you are wasting your time, you are living in a dream world. Never shit on a Democrat (disagreements are obviously fine, reasonable criticisms make us stronger) unless in doing so you are literally replacing him with a Better Democrat and in an actually demonstrable way.

Better Democrats means better Democrats who fight Republicans as the evil army of corporate-militarist-christianist wannabe tyrants they actually are. We really do need [one] to challenge incumbent Democrats with Better Democrats in any districts that are actually more liberal than the voting records of their presumed representatives; and we really do need [two] to run Best possible Democrats in "unwinnable" districts in order to educate, agitate, and organize on every inch of American turf and struggle to win hearts and minds of every American citizen; and we really do need [three] to direct intense efforts at campaign finance reform, instant runoff voting to give third parties an actually viable role in this country.

A second Obama term will likely mean two more Supreme Court appointments, and that is enough to turn the tide in the Supreme Court, even if only one retirement is drawn from the Corporate Five. That we would have a progressive Supreme Court right now would have been more than enough to justify the lamest lame Kerry administration, you know. People should remember these sorts of things.


Jackie said...

It's funny how I have this last year balked at being involved at all in politics because it seemed too overwhelming for me, as a mere Berkeley undergrad, to do so.

And yet now I realize it was actually a hidden feeling inside that silently told me - "It's okay, things will work themselves out, people are not that stupid."

No, no, no, no, now I understand completely -people ARE that stupid. That this country allowed Bush a second term and that they elected a republican after Ted Kennedy had been in that seat for 25+ years (I mean, that seems like just an AESTHETIC failure besides being a failure of intelligence -my first reaction is simply, 'how dare they??') makes me absolutely furious. I felt like 'the people' somewhat redeemed themselves by electing Obama and democrats in congress, but now I realize that it really just came down to a 'which candidate made them feel good' election, just as in Massachusetts, just as with every single damn election in the country.

How chilling to think that Gore would have actually won in 2000 if we had just taken the time to abolish the anti-democratic electoral system...

Anyway, I just want to say that indeed, the absurdity of all the events in the last week has solidified in me the realization that democratizing this country takes a lot of serious, serious work and that it was foolish for me to think that just because Obama and democrats were elected into congress, the residue and trash left behind by Bush would be easy to clean up. It's time now to actually begin the work of building something new...

Dale Carrico said...

I hear you, but there are three things to remember.

One: We're people, so this implied we're stupid, too (I'm willing to concede that point, with caveats).

Two: Polling has demonstrated for decades on issue after issue after issue that majorities of American citizens (people, all) are far more progressive on actual policy questions and social and cultural issues than are their so-called representatives (whether Republican or Democrat).

Three: Corporate media functions more or less as an ongoing misinformation campaign and also Republicans are forever gaming the system to mislead and disenfranchise majorities -- which doesn't make people so much stupid as they are manipulable.

I will add that I do think it matters that Congress is full of millionaires representing non-millionaires, and also that America more generally is full of privileged people who have been insulated by their privilege from the actual consequences of their actions.

"Stupidity" might not be the best shorthand for grasping the relation between such privilege and the stupid things people have hitherto gotten away with doing.

But it's easy to see why that is a word that is ready to hand. Believe me, I see the appeal.

Dale Carrico said...

Also, Gore did win the Presidency in 2000. Bush was selected, not elected, by way of a conservative putsch in the Supreme Court, a failure of American institutions so profound that the shock and trauma it yielded set the groundwork for the serial failures of many other institutions in the face of Bush's immoral illegal insane war based on lies and similar illegalities in the years thereafter. Recovery is slow and far from complete as of now. These are things we must keep in mind always in trying to understand the landscape in which and with which we are still struggling to make change here and now.