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It was the economy, stupid


The turning point was the middle of September, coinciding precisely with the sudden intensification of the financial crisis after the failure of Lehman Brothers. But why has the growing financial and economic crisis worked so overwhelmingly to the Democrats’ advantage? ...

I suspect that the main reason for the dramatic swing in the polls is something less concrete and more meta than the fact that events have discredited free-market fundamentalism. As the economic scene has darkened, I’d argue, Americans have rediscovered the virtue of seriousness. ...

In a way, you can’t blame Mr. McCain for campaigning on trivia — after all, it’s worked in the past. Most notably, President Bush got within hanging-chads-and-butterfly-ballot range of the White House only because much of the news media, rather than focusing on the candidates’ policy proposals, focused on their personas: Mr. Bush was an amiable guy you’d like to have a beer with, Al Gore was a stiff know-it-all, and never mind all that hard stuff about taxes and Social Security. And let’s face it: six weeks ago Mr. McCain’s focus on trivia seemed to be paying off handsomely.

But that was before the prospect of a second Great Depression concentrated the public’s mind...

Indeed. And you know what?

If the Democrat Party had nominated the candidate who won the majority of Democratic votes in the primaries, we'd be in exactly the same position today* -- and Hillary would have been working the phones for HOLC as well as Hank Paulson's golfing buddies, unlike The Lightbringer.

Of course, Hillary might not have gotten Colin Powell's endorsement.

But so fucking what?

NOTE * Assuming the crisis wasn't timed, which I don't believe it was.

No votes yet


Dawn's picture
Submitted by Dawn on

that we have serious problems in this country. We did not need this latest "crisis" to tell us we need the absolutely most qualified person in charge of things. I will never lose my anger at the DNC for making sure we did not get that person.

Submitted by lambert on

... (potential energy) into action (kinetic energy) is the issue. I really haven't seen a solution. I should also say -- just to pre-empt the usual "get over it" and "grieving" tropes -- that anger is a natural response to injustice, and injustice was done.

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

Dawn's picture
Submitted by Dawn on

I've withheld money - they do not seem to be missing my drop in the bucket.
I can't vote Republican and keep the current justice department and foreign policies in place.

I think policy advocacy is the answer, and am looking for an avenue for that.

a little night musing's picture
Submitted by a little night ... on

That was my thinking also.

I'm getting involved with the newly re-energized anti-misogyny movement, and with the push for single-payer. Focusing on those two for now, and dabbling in economic policy. Also trying to work more locally (community board, etc.)

BTW my son had an interesting take on all the misogyny we've seen recently even in the Obama campaign*. He reminded me that during the civil rights movement and when the laws were being passed, racism became more virulent and more open. He pointed out that it was to be expected that in a year when two women got close to the highest offices in the country, that sexism would also become more virulent and more open, and that might be a sign that things were changing in a good way (although he admitted it would be very painful for the women like me who were targets of the revived and more open sexism).

He might have a point.

*His comment about the dysfunctional response of the Democratic Party, Donna Brazile and the nominee: "Democrats shooting themselves in the foot? Who'da thunk it?!"
We can't afford not to have single-payer!

Submitted by lambert on

.. is the way forward; the HR 676 stuff is an example, but things like zoning and food are also under that aegis.

As a narrative (what I do) I'm envisioning a mosaic of events.

This approach takes the least money; it also takes the most courage; but it also has the potential to make real though small differences.

This is a "To see the world in a grain of sand" approach...

[ ] 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

which I think is more likely, is that conditions have forced Dems to acknowledge and talk about some of people's top tier issues and address them with positions that are less than half-hearted and differentiate from the GOP stance.

I think a lot of the electorate has been serious all along, but the media and candidates haven't been. It's been the media and candidates who've focused on trivia - led by people like Donna Brazile and Bob Shrum.

I said once in a post long ago that if the Dems had strong positions on issues like health care, the economy, Iraq withdrawal, or other issues which people usually identify as among the top five that decide their vote, and actually hammered on those positions, that if the GOP candidate brought up the Pledge of Allegiance as an issue (or lapel pins or Bill Ayers in the current campaign), he'd be laughed off the stage. Assuming of course, that the media would actually devote substantial coverage to the real issues.

I think the current polling (and Krugman's op-ed) validates that.