Quote of the day--a schooling in Democratic politics edition

>> Friday, August 19, 2011

Then, in 1972, the Democrats ran a candidate whose speeches were more frantic than any in history. George ­McGovern, following a then fashionable theory that the middle class was prosperous enough to take care of itself and that unions were pretty much irrelevant, spoke to working-class concerns less than any Democrat had before. He lost 49 states.

McGovern didn’t give what Lyndon B. Johnson used to call "Democratic" speeches--LBJ’s shorthand for talking about which party gave the people Social Security, Medicare and the Tennessee Valley Authority and which one was willing to toss them over the side. LBJ gave such speeches all the time in 1964--and he won 60% of the popular vote.
-Rick Perlstein, "How Democrats Win: Defending
the Social Safety Net"
, Time, August 18th, 2011


If there were Democrats giving "Democratic" speeches, you know I'd probably be one. I even considered affiliating last year, having been an Independent since I first registered to vote when I was eighteen; then the Democrats found some other way to fuck something up or maybe they disparaged liberals again, and I remembered why I wasn't interested. They won't give "Democratic" speeches and I won't register to be one of them, and at this stage I'm not likely to give them any money, either, although I reserve the right to change my mind if the GOP nominates one of their Dominionists for 2012 (they have one, possibly two, who are doing well at this early stage in the process--how fucked up is that?) and starts to make a good showing in polls, somehow.

But it's worth remembering who, as Perlstein reminds us, gave us Medicare, Social Security, and the TVA, and who still wants to throw people over the side. I wish the Democrats would help us remember, by educating us, but they've caught the terrible virus Reagan inflicted upon the country during a time when confidence in government was low. Perhaps the greatest idiocy of Reaganism as a governing philosophy (as opposed to an election strategy) is that it throws up "government isn't the solution to the problem, it is the problem" heedless of what the actual question might be. If government wasn't a valid answer to at least some problems, there's no reason it would have lasted as an invention--the reason you probably don't take a spear to work isn't that a spear isn't an effective tool, it's that your job probably doesn't involve joining your fellow hunters in the wilderness and bringing down big game, and if that was your job, there have been superseding tools that better fill the spear's role. Anyway, the point here is that there are things that government does better and big government does best, but you wouldn't know that from the gang of idiots who can't conceive of a role for it at all.




4 comments:

Warner Friday, August 19, 2011 at 7:25:00 AM EDT  

Actually short of the fire arm or the bow, the spear is about as good a hunting weapon as you will get. It removes you from the animal, essentially action at a distance, which is good, as even vegetarians have hoofs and will kick.

Steve Buchheit Friday, August 19, 2011 at 9:45:00 AM EDT  

Warner, well, there is the atlatl and javelin. Still "spearish", but advancements.

Janiece Friday, August 19, 2011 at 10:15:00 AM EDT  

Interestingly enough, The Smart Man finally registered as an independent yesterday after spending years trying to change the Republican Party from the inside. They finally wore him down to a nub, and he's given up.

So we're both independents who basically think EVERYONE sucks.

Rachael Friday, August 19, 2011 at 5:38:00 PM EDT  

I think at this point, Bernie Sanders is the only one giving Democratic speeches. And, lo and behold, he's not a Democrat. Probably because they're not liberal enough for him, I'd guess.

I finally gave in and changed my party registration to Democrat from Independent. Mostly because I want a shot at voting in the primaries. I felt so icky doing it, but Mark Udall and his balanced budget amendment bullshit drove me to it.

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