[The article below, sent to us by Andy Willis, may, in his words, be short on economic theory but is a passionate argument for getting ourselves together for a future worth seeing.
It is hard, however, to make an argument that the choices we have at the ballot box will get us closer to that world. The disenchantment with the change promised by the Democrats 2 years ago is striking, and for good reason. To counter this alienation, President Obama, Michele Obama, Joe Biden and assorted other Democratic leaders are out in the hinterlands trying to enthuse the voters by saying it could have been a whole lot worse if we weren’t in power. Meanwhile the Republicans — the Republicans!! — are faulting the Democrats for the Wall Street bailout and health care legislation that bails out the health care industry. And the “tea party” is banking on anger and confusion throughout America.
Massive infusions of money deluge the campaign funds, to spend millions of dollars on a legislative seat for which the salary is . . . $100,000? The money goes toward adverts that produce no new information while bordering on slander and innuendo. “XYZ lied about his war record. . . What else is he lying about?” Well, yeah, what else? Or “After 2 corrupt governors, why do we need a third?” — and, by the way, when did you stop beating your wife? Which one of the corporate manipulated candidates with varying years of political experience is the real . . . outsider? It’s not a circus; clowns are entertaining.
If we have learned anything, the Democrats have shown us in the last two years that you can’t get anything done (through the legislative procedure) to benefit the people when you control the presidency and the Congress . In other words, if the Republicans seize control of the House (and in the unlikely possibility they will also gain control of the Senate), they will need the complicity of Democrats to wreak havoc. If experience in the Reagan and Bush years means anything, we can guess they will find that complicity. Perhaps that is the true meaning of the “bipartisanship” that has been so highly touted in Washington.
It’s a bleak prospect we face on the eve of the elections this year (and I’m not talking about loss of Democratic seats, as should be obvious now). This is not a plea to vote, nor is this a plea to stay at home. It is a plea to consider all the creative ways we have to use this electoral season and the ones to follow to help consolidate a working class alternative to what exists. — Lew Rosenbaum]
October 22, 2010 – 12:34am ET
In August 2009, I wrote a piece titled Fascist America: Are We There Yet? that sparked much discussion on both the left and right ends of the blogosphere. In it, I argued that — according to the best scholarship on how fascist regimes emerge — America was on a path that was running much too close to the fail-safe point beyond which no previous democracy has ever been able to turn back from a full-on fascist state. I also noted that the then-emerging Tea Party had a lot of proto-fascist hallmarks, and that it had the potential to become a clear and present danger to the future of our democracy if it ever got enough traction to start winning elections in a big way.
On the first anniversary of that article, Jonah Goldberg — the right’s revisionist-in-chief on the subject of fascism — actually used an entire National Review column to taunt me about what he characterized as a failure of prediction. Where’s that fascist state you promised? he hooted.
It’s funny he should ask. Because this coming election may, in fact, be a critical turning point on that road. Click here to read the rest of this story.