If you have "no place to go," come here!


Who's this Krugman guy? He's got a really good blog:

As we all know, the Bush administration essentially brushed aside all notion of due process. It locked up and tortured people it said were “enemy combatants”; it engaged in warrantless wiretapping; and so on.

We weren’t supposed to worry our pretty little heads about this, because we were supposed to take it as a given that these were people we could trust not to abuse their power.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department was interviewing job candidates, and asking,

What is it about George W. Bush that makes you want to serve him?

In other words, there was a combination of power without oversight and a deeply creepy cult of personality (which was obvious long before we got the latest specifics.)

I think we were lucky to get out of this with democracy more or less intact.

Let's not count our chickens, OK?

In fact, the further erosion of democracy is one of the things that some of us found most disturbing about the Democratic primary this season. OK, the SDs made the choice, not the popular vote; those were the rules. But the way the Democratic leadership made the choice at the RBC shambles was not merely procedurally flawed, but open vote stealing; and the presumptive nominee's margin of victory came from the grotesquely undemocratic caucus system. Further, we had our famously free press picking our president for us (just like in 2000 and 2004) by openly favoring one candidate, and declaring the race over, when it clearly wasn't -- and the "losing" candidate went on to win the popular vote (when you count all of them, anyhow*).

We can debate the "more" and "less" of how intact democracy is, in this country. But after this primary season, it seems obvious to me that the forces seeking to erode and destroy democracy are not confined to a single party, but are a single system with shared Village values: The Republicans, the FKD (the party Formerly Known as Democratic), and the press, all perhaps working toward slightly different ends -- their own power and profit -- but all using the same democracy-eroding means.

Ditto "creepy cults of personality." To many who have remained outside the Obama Movement, that's exactly what the Obama Movement looks like; certainly that's what encountering the movement online felt like. Here again, Village values rule.

Emphasis on "rule." Because, after Obama's pro-FISA vote, I'd say that the question of whether he'll abuse his power, too, is at least open. And abuse of power is a Village value, too.

NOTE In Googling for some of the links in this post, I've noticed that Axelrod's strategy of infesting the comment sections of all the major media outlets with trolls has really paid off for him in terms of page rank. Well done!

NOTE * Granted, the popular vote was very close, and the count is disputed methodologically -- in large part because one candidate refused to revote two flawed primaries.

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Piper's picture
Submitted by Piper on

I love this acronym because we have been clearly fucked over by the FKD during this primary season. Do you think that it's worthy of a glossary item, a la OFB?

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

Part of the reason some of us didn't jump on the Unity Pony right after Hillary suspended. For me at least, the precedent set was damaging to the Dem Party as well as the country. Hillary and Obama were just players in a game and the sanctity of the game was more important to me than the players involved. That Obama gives progressive critics--and their causes--the brush off doesn't help either. Nor does his giving Bush cover, adopting right-wing frames, trivializing racism, etc. help.

If the DNC keeps pushing Unity on everyone, they run the risk of destroying the Democratic Brand.

Submitted by lambert on

Just as Tony Blair rebranded Labour as "New Labour," so Obama will rebrand the Democratic Party.


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

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

To be fair, New Labour wasn't really any different than Bill Clintons Third Way. Let's not pretend the Democratic Party hasn't rebranded itself in recent memory, because it most certainly did over the 90's. Every movement eventually runs it course, so I'm not sure it's fair to judge a movement by whether it eventually fails or not (because all do), but judge it on its merits and faults. New Labour didn't strike itself the final blow (at least in popular thought) until it hitched its wagon to the Iraq War.

Submitted by lambert on

And as I recall, Blair-ism still had a big privatization component -- the railroads, for example.

And then there was Iraq.

Surely Blair was, if anything, to the right of Clinton?

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

FrenchDoc's picture
Submitted by FrenchDoc on

which was not hard, but the big losers were the same: the British working class.

THere was quite a bit of privatization and liberalization involved. And a great deal of repressive policies targeted at the lower classes redefined as "classes dangereuses" (see ASBOs).

And like you said, then there was Iraq.

Submitted by lambert on

Watch that...

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

FrenchDoc's picture
Submitted by FrenchDoc on

You're right. In the sense that makes conservatives happy.

MOBlue's picture
Submitted by MOBlue on

presidential powers that Bush established, will there be any acknowledgment of how much democracy has eroded?

Anyone who thinks that Obama will roll back these powers, really does believe in "fairy tales."

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

Sure, Blair overstayed his welcome, but I wonder if Blair wasn't more a victim of the times (i.e. post 9/11) than a victim of his ideology?

Blair more conservative than Clinton? This is the first time I've ever seen the questioned posed, but now I'm going to be thinking the question all night.

FrenchDoc's picture
Submitted by FrenchDoc on

a centrist whose major program was to liquidate "old Labour", meaning, the old left.

And, the progressive (as in gradual) moralization of politics was clearly influenced by his religiosity, which made him closer to Bush and is now fully in display.

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

Well, that's largely what Clinton tried to do through the DLC (Democratic Leadership Council), to purge more liberal and progressive politicians from positions of power/influence. I just think Blair is much more like Clinton than he is like Bush. As conservative as you may have witnessed him over in Europe, he'd still be very much a moderate Democrat in the United States. The moralization of politics has always been the norm here in the State's, BTW.

inna's picture
Submitted by inna on

thanks for all the links too, that was really... educational.