Monday, February 11, 2008

Back! (Briefly)

[Have to run off to a seminar in a few, so this will be quick.]

Random Notes...

Obama and Amy Winehouse pick up Grammys. I picked out Winehouse's "Rehab" for the Congressional Theme Song some time back, when Nancy and Harry were throwing hissyfits about how they're the Leaders, and we're just Activists and oughta sit down and shut up. They needed (and need) "rehab" bad, but they won't go-go-go.

And it looks like we're going to stumble through the next few months with a wacked out Congress still picking at its scabs and wondering why nobody thinks they're kewl.


It would be great if Obama or Clinton would go back to the Senate for a while and kick some major butt; it's called leadership, something former candidate Chris Dodd figured out how to do on FISA Reform. Shouldn't Obama and Clinton try it?

Just sayin.

Media ramble.

I don't get cable so what's left of my mind isn't polluted by the frenzied yowlings of the 24/7 News Cycle. I see Tweety now and then on his own show -- which is broadcast on my local channel but often preempted.

The many personalities that infect cable news barely register on my radar. Noise, little more. So the recent incidents involving Matthews and David Schuster seemed a bit overwrought in the blogosphere, to say the least. Especially given the fact that once Tweety "apologized" -- though his statement was a defense not an apology at all -- the Haute Blogmonde all "forgave" him. Hunh? And now with Schuster's suspension, he's being "forgiven" too.

What's up with that? Well, go over to Crooks and Liars, and you'll see that there are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of posts on the topic of Chris Matthews and his spittle-flecked Mouth. Not so many on Schuster, but he hasn't been around long enough. Taking Chris Matthews to task is a kind of sport, but it's also a necessary thing. Nobody in the Haute Blogmonde wants him to go away or even to stop his outrageous statements. Denouncing Chris Matthews is one of the most fulfilling aspects of blogging. What would the blogosphere do without him?

Seems that the Clintons were behind the Schuster spanking, which is interesting, because it's never been clear that the Clintons wield any influence or power over the media at all. At least nothing comparable to the stranglehold the Busheviks have on media matters. But a casual, thoughtless reference to Chelsea being "pimped out", made by Schuster, gets the Clinton "Machine" all cranked up to do battle with the forces of Evul at MSNBC and Schuster is forced into a Time Out. While the rightwing cohorts spew on, unmolested. Tweety spews relentlessly. Tim Russert continues to suck up to Rs and trounce or ignore Ds. Nothing really changes.

Which gets me to my final point of the day:


Greenwald has been making a good case that Democrats need a New Strategy if they are going to win against McCainite Imperialism. Indeed. Conceding the ground on National Security to the Rs -- which the Dems have done since well before 9/11 -- is ruinous to the Party and its chances, as we've seen over and over and over again. ("Rehab" anyone?) And I argue that new strategies are needed all around, not just among our Democratic friends. Who are routinely called craven and cowards and the like by their Blogospheric critics. In fact, that's almost the limit of the Blogospheric critique of their behavior in office. They are Craven. They are Cowards. And they are Afraid.

I suggest there's more to it than that, and that furthermore, continuing to call them names merely reinforces their determination to fight... you.

They're called Cowards because too many of them refuse to fight the Rs. True enough, but those same Cowards are more than happy to turn around and fight against their own base of support and especially against the blogosphere all day and all night. They will fight tooth and nail, wield Power in abundance, face down their critics, and align with the Rs whenever it suits them to Get Things Done.

I argue they are Wrong, but not Cowards, and they are not necessarily Craven in their Error.

Rather than accuse them of what they are not, it seems to me to be better to state that they are Wrong, and their actions Morally Bankrupt. And show what the Right and Moral action would be.

Too subtle a shift?


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I think you're half right, Ché. I think they are cowards, but I think their cowardice not enough of an explanation. They're moral cowards, to be sure, but they've been selected on the basis of this characteristic; they are unwilling to stand up for nearly anything they claim to believe, and in the end nearly always cave in. But this is their job.

    The job of the Democrats is to be the spineless liberal do-gooder party while the job of the Republicans is to be the conservative hardass-law-and-order-get-things-done party. That the above descriptions bear little, if any, relationship with reality is beside the point. That way, the moderates get to have their voice, the reactionaries get theirs, and the real liberals get excluded. They're playing a role in a grand kabuki play, and most people sense that there's something wrong even if they can't quite put their finger on it.

  3. As I posted today, even Atrios seems to recognize that the 20 or so Senate Dems and the 70 or so House Dems who pretty much always support and vote for Regime and Republican outrages actually may believe they are doing the right thing. They're wrong, of course, but they think they're right. They are being true to their values but those values just aren't ours.

    In the blogosphere, this is a very radical idea, and for Duncan to broach it is surprising. It got some play, and it may take hold, but it hasn't yet, and I'm predicting it will be another two or three years before it is widely accepted, primarily because -- assuming a Dem wins the White House and there are even more Dems in Congress -- there will still be a blockade of much progressive legislation by the Rs and their DemFriends, and it will still be successful. There will be no restoring Constitutional rights, the rule of law and so on, but there will be immense intransigence on the part of those dedicated to the extinction of the Republic. A very bipartisan dedication indeed.

    Your description of the roles the two parties play is accurate enough as far as it goes, but there's more going on in the government. We're in a situation in which the Government as an institution through its elected representatives and implemented through its various agencies, supported by the propaganda of the media, is largely united across party lines against the People.

    Right now, for the most part, the People care little. That will change.

    When is the question. It was almost a century between the Glorious Revolution in Britain and the American Revolution. It may be another century or more before the American People reach their limit this time around.