Thursday, January 17, 2008
Just a reminder: Progressivism today is functionally an Operating System for government in the United States and widely around the world.
It is not an ideology.
Until the Reagan Revolt, Progressivism was the nearly universal Governmental Operating System in the United States, practiced nearly everywhere, and at every level of Government.
Reagan's Revolt was largely against this Progressive Operating System. He and his minions sought to replace Progressive institutional operations with something vaguely remembered from a less regulated and wilder, more corrupt and supposedly more creative laissez faire past.
The Reagan Revolt was partially successful in removing regulations and exempting much of the upper class from taxation, but Progressive Operations remained the standard in most Governmental affairs until the Busheviks sought to overthrow the whole edifice of Progressive Operations and the Democratic Republic it served and replace it with an Autocracy. At the Federal Level, the Busheviks have nearly succeeded in replacing the Standard Progressive Operating System with a version of a Pre-Enlightenment Monarchy, in which Governmental Operations are a matter of the Personal Will and Direction of the Autocrat.
Progressivism still remains the Standard Operating System for most state and local governmental affairs, but something quite different has come to the fore at the Federal level. The Federal Government has for all intents and purposes become the means for the implementation of the Personal Will of the (Autocratic) President. All branches are under the direction of the Presidency, and they all yield more or less completely more or less quickly to Presidential Command.
Under Bushevik rule, the Progressive Operating System has been essentially extinguished at the Federal level with the active cooperation of the Congress and the Courts. Much of the focus of the Democratic political effort since 2004 has been the restoration of that Progressive Operating System at the Federal level (and its preservation at the state and local levels), but Democrats have been almost completely unsuccessful; in fact, typically they yield to more Autocratic usurpations rather than stage a showdown, or in some cases even a fight.
Consequently, the Restoration of Progressive Operations has to wait, we're told, until there is a Democrat in the White House and a supermajority of Democrats in both houses of Congress, and (usually unmentioned) the Courts have been realigned through resignation, retirement, and appointment of Progressive jurists.
In other words, there will be no restoration, and those of us with a Progressive set of ideals and beliefs should start thinking about something else, coming up with something new and creative.
Some further discussion:
Paul Krugman: "To Arms!"
Jack Balkin's 1995 Paper at Yale
Campus Progress: "What is a Progressive?" and its blog