Saturday, October 27, 2012

American politics


The Raw Story
Bill Maher's Mitt Romney Warning: 'When You Elect Mitt You're Electing Every Right-Wing Nut He's Pandered To In The Last 10 Years'

The Huffington Post
Lawrence Wilkerson, Former Colin Powell Aide, Blasts Sununu, GOP, As 'Full Of Racists'
Peter Finocchiaro

The Huffington Post
Obama: Deficit Reduction Panel Right On Revenues, Wrong On Defense Cuts
Reuters
"I've said to folks, I'll wash (House Speaker) John Boehner's car, I'll walk (Republican Senate leader) Mitch McConnell's dog, I'll do whatever is required to get this done," Obama said in an interview with radio host Michael Smerconish that was released on Friday."The key that the American people want from us right now is for us to tackle some big challenges that we face in a common-sense, balanced, sensible way," the president said.
The headlines above reveal the fundamental GOP strategy of currying to its base, which is liberally sprinkled with extremists and effectively purged of moderates like Powell and Wilkerson. To the degree that the GOP prevails, those voices will have access to the corridors of power and also dues to collect.

On the other hand, President Obama is assiduously running from the "center," splitting the difference between left and right as he sees it. Actually, the majority of people want to see the deficit cut and the debt reined in but not by lowering taxes on the rich and cutting social benefits. But that is not the way the president sees it, apparently.

Is the country actually center to far right, or is it that the major donors are, and neither party is willing to buck them?

What this means practically is that the left is left with out in the cold without a voice, and no dues to collect since the centrists know that with such an extremist GOP, their base will come along no matter what, the consequences of lossing being so dire.

The upshot is that the country will be governed either from the hard or center right over the next four years. This has social, political and economic implications, of course, but the primary issue is the lack of a viable left in US politics.

This means that the best the country can likely hope for is a grand bargain in the case of an Obama with a worst case scenario of a GOP win resulting in the solidification of a far right judiciary for several generations.

6 comments:

Matt Franko said...

Here's the religious breakdown:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_the_United_States

The majority of Americans (73%) identify themselves as Christians and about 20% have no religious affiliation.[3] According to the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS), those who identify themselves as Catholics make up about 25% of the adult population, while "other Christians" account for another 51%.[4] The same survey says that other religions (including, for example, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism) collectively make up about 4% of the adult population, another 15% of the adult population claim no religious affiliation, and 5.2% said they did not know, or they refused to reply.[4] "

So you have about 20% people like Maher in the atheist/agnostic people, evolution people, Muslim folks, Jewish folks, LGBT folks, etc... group and then you have another 30%+ what I term the "social/economic justice" group within Christendom in the US vote for Democrats who have a better mainstream macro-message on this area of "social/economic justice" to this sub-group of Christendom.... and the Dems often get a slight majority with this at election time... this (30%) subgroup of Christendom that the Dems get is what swings it for them...

Seems like the contributions are almost a completely separate issue as far as who gets elected... that seems like a post election issue (influence, favoritism, etc..) that comes into play later as far a who gets the out of paradigm "govt revenue constrained and govt debt constrained spoils"... rsp,

Tom Hickey said...

The things is Matt that the Christians of the left — the peace and justice folks, for instance — have no organizations of lobbies whereas the "religious right" does. So the religious right has political clout wrt social issues, being integral to the GOP base, and the religious left doesn't because it doesn't speak with an organized voice even though it is integral to the Dem base.

Dan Kervick said...

I don't think Obama is going to get his grand bargain. Democratic progressives who have been biting their tongues for six months to help defeat Romney are going to unload on Obama and his conservative wing of the party following the election. He won't be able to get a coalition together.

Unknown said...

We already have a far right judiciary. The Chamber of Commerce didn't lose a case last year. The same Senate that confirmed Obama's sycophantic sellouts will confirm Romney's. Face it, that war was lost. Obama's about to jump the rails if re-elected. There will be nothing to hold him back from his deep-seated wish to implement neolib austerity and dismantle SS.

Dan Lynch said...

Dan Kervick, I admire your optimism, but can't share it. Unload on Obama ? Like how ?

Democrats will do as they're told. The trick will be getting the Republican house to do as they're told, because they'll object to any tax increases on the rich.

But remember that if there is no bargain, then the automatic across the board cuts kick in. So there will prolly be a bargain, and almost certainly be cuts.

It's sad to say that the best near-term hope for the economy is for Romney to win and convince the House to fund military Keynesianism, and maybe start another war or three. Republicans don't object to deficit spending when there's a Republican in the WH.

Tom Hickey said...

It's sad to say that the best near-term hope for the economy is for Romney to win and convince the House to fund military Keynesianism, and maybe start another war or three. Republicans don't object to deficit spending when there's a Republican in the WH.

IF the right prevails, it will be in a bind after selling fiscal conservatism, since they know that they have to increase the govt contribution to stay in power, and the is only one way to do so that a fiscally conservative electorate can be sold. And that, of course, is war spending based on manufactured fear. So expect a lot of propaganda to build fear and stoke military spending, and maybe even an expansion of open conflict. There is also much more room to create spending by further expanding and militarizing the domestic security force and intelligence services.