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McCain and Millard Fillmore

Interesting post from Brad DeLong on the political landscape after Obama wins the Presidency.

The future lies ahead!

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DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

increasingly I feel that lambert is correct, the sane republicans (Arrianna Huffington, Aravosis, Kos, Webb, etc) left the Republican party and co-opted ours. Historically a new conservative party has arisen when the old one collapses, and so it may be on this occasion. But it is at least possible that the Democratic party is in the process of being utterly co-opted and that a new progressive party will arise. How I cannot say, the Greens have completely lost credibility.

badger's picture
Submitted by badger on

There's no fundamental law of nature that says a political vacuum on the left can't exist. For example, no progressive party arose in Germany in the 1930s, and I wouldn't say that Blair's Labor Party was a progressive response to Thatcher's Tory dominance. Nor do the more left-of-center blogs attract the readership of the more conservative Democratic blogs.

It's quite possible that the progressive ideology will cease to exist as a political force, and in fact it may have already.

Submitted by lambert on

Badger:

I don't disagree with your conclusion (if there ever was such a thing as "progressive" ideology).

But there was rather an active left in Germany in the 1930s -- it was called the Communist Party, and there was a more moderate left as well.

I don't take any joy in my views of what's happened to the Democratic Party. And I'd like to be wrong -- maybe FISA and the bailout aren't harbingers of what is to come.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

badger's picture
Submitted by badger on

after Hitler became Chancellor? I'm not comparing Obama to Hitler or Dems to Nazis, except in the sense that one faction - a non-progressive faction - is going to sweep into power, probably in a landslide (which the NSDAP lacked) in both the Presidential and Congressional elections. 2% less evil still isn't progressive, and there's no other alternative left-of-center with any political power. Where's it going to come from? Something like the White Rose doesn't count.

The logical consequence of your posted Steny Hoyer quote is that neither Obama nor the Dem leadership are going to require a Reichstag fire - we've had several already - to begin marginalizing the progressive agenda. In fact they've already begun. There's simply no reason to believe FISA and the bailout (conveniently sucking up the cash needed to pursue any other part of the progressive program) aren't harbingers. There isn't even much in Obama's platform or stump speeches that would let you assume otherwise.

And I would say there is a progressive ideology, if only being the side of the issues where more than 50% of the American electorate sits. There also is/was a Progressive agenda in WI (the Badger State) in the first half of the last century, and a lot of it remains relevant today (some in spirit, some literally, although some of it deserves to be set aside too) - it was anti-war (WW I), pro-regulation and favored primaries over caucuses among other things. It led to programs like Social Security. I'd agree 'progressive' is a fairly slippery term, but whatever it means, it almost certainly doesn't apply to anything that's likely to come out of DC in the next 4 years.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

The country is due for a real political realignment. Instead of getting that with Hillary* (or, perhaps Edwards**) we got Obama. And we still have "progressives"*** who want to rationalize Obama's capitulation of conservativism.

* Hillary was getting the "angry white" person demographic, not because she was merely a different person, but because of her platform which, while "corporate", was genuinely liberal and had a lot of backdoors for even more radical liberal policies (see: health care). She has also been the most consistently anti-conservative, not just anti-corporate

** I don't trust Edwards, but his campaign promises were at least as good as Hillary's.

*** Can I stop using quotes for "progressives"? Can we just realize that the the Marshall/Bowers/Stoller/Kos/Huffington "progressives" are really just C-list Broderites? Can we demarcate "progressives" for what they are: libertarian Democrats? Can we get back to Liberal again?

dr sardonicus's picture
Submitted by dr sardonicus on

Hindsight is always 20/20, I know, but what would have happened if progressives had taken to the streets following the election of Ronald Reagan, instead of relying on the Democrats to take care of business?

My larger point being that this trend is a long time in coming, and should be a surprise to no one.

...for the rest of us

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

I wish the secular conservatives would have seriously taken on their religious counterparts in the GOP so as to save us Democrats their left/crossovers, but I can understand why they didn't. There has got to be some way that gives them incentive to purge themselves of the more radical Evangelicals. As long as their allowed such a large say in the GOP party, we'll never be done with arguing abortion and gay marriage and the like.