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The press still doesn't get it. Even without the presidential election, we are about to have one of the most transformative elections in our lifetimes. If experts like Charlie Cook, or the Republican Party itself, are right, the Republicans are about to lose another 20 to 34 seats in the House and at least seven seats in the Senate.

That is gigantic. It will take decades - maybe even generations - for the Republicans to recover from that. Political tsunamis like this don't come along very often - and we are about to have two, back to back. In 2006, the total tally between the House and the Senate was an astounding 36-0 seat change in favor of the Democrats.

This is an enormous story and yet hardly a peep has been heard from the press about this. In fact, quite to the contrary Newsweek just wrote a cover story on how this is still fundamentally a center-right country. On which planet?  Could you have imagined the press declaring after the 1994 Republican "revolution" that it meant nothing because this was still a fundamentally liberal country?

The problem is the Washington bubble. Inside the Washington bubble, the Republicans are always right, the Democrats are always cowed. Every issue is framed from the conservative perspective and liberals are some fringe group outside of the "mainstream of America." Wake up press, mainstream Americans are about tell you for the second election in a row that they are definitely not conservative.

You see, every member of the traditional press that just read that last sentence will rebel. "Come on, how can you say the country is not conservative? That's outrageous." Watch, I'll outrage you even more - the United States of America is a liberal country.

Compared to some Western European countries, we could be a little more liberal. But compared to the rest of the world, it's not even close. We are one of the bastions of liberalism. In fact, the United States has almost always led the world in being progressive. We created the United Nations, we rebuilt our enemies through the Marshall Plan, we pushed for human rights throughout the world, we established the idea of freedom of speech and of the press, and the list goes on and on. We are a liberal country and proud.

Now, these last two elections will show that a short-term flirtation with the conservative movement was a gigantic failure. We gave the country over to our conservatives for the last eight years - and we hated what they did with it.

That's because Americans are not fundamentally conservative. They believe that when there is a disaster like Katrina, we should help one another and it is the government's job to be there for its citizens. They believe it is the government's job to regulate the markets (which simply means to establish some fair rules by which everyone has to play) so that the free markets are not left unfettered. They believe that first strike wars in foreign lands turn out to be a bad idea. They don't like torture. They believe in a minimum wage. And they fundamentally believe in a social safety net, as established in programs like Social Security.

Since the national press has been brainwashed by the conservatives for several decades now, it will take them some time to adjust to this. But adjust they must, because the Democrats will have control over Congress for along time to come if any of these projections are accurate. I know it's really hard to get it through their heads, but James Dobson does not represent us, Nancy Pelosi does. How long and how forcefully can the American people say that before the press acknowledges it?

Watch The Young Turks Here

Originally posted to Cenk Uygur on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 09:37 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Thr Republicans are screwed forthwith (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cfk, DrFitz

      When the conservatives within the Republican party had the opportunity to purge themselves of their ultra-far right brethren, they chose to sit on their hands. Now they no longer possess the power to do so, allowing the Rush Limbaugh wing to assume control. Their ideology is now well outside the mainstream and will only lead to more losses in 2010.
      Here's to Rove's permanent Republican majority.

      "And, when the doctor said I didn't have worms any more, that was the happiest day of my life." ---R.W

      by hotdamn on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 09:44:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  John Gray's "Joe Republican" essay (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      trinityfly, cfk, Scientician, EthrDemon

      I'm sure you've heard it before. I'm not sure about the copyright but here's a link and a taste of "Joe Republican"

      Joe gets up at 6:00am to prepare his morning coffee. He fills his pot full of good clean drinking water because some liberal fought for minimum water quality standards. He takes his daily medication with his first swallow of coffee. His medications are safe to take because some liberal fought to insure their safety and work as advertised.

      All but $10.00 of his medications are paid for by his employers medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance, now Joe gets it too. He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs this day. Joe’s bacon is safe to eat because some liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

      Joe takes his morning shower reaching for his shampoo; His bottle is properly labeled with every ingredient and the amount of its contents because some liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained. Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some tree hugging liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air. He walks to the subway station for his government subsidized ride to work; it saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees. You see, some liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

      "Some see their body as a temple. I see mine as a well run Presbyterian youth center." -Emo Phillips

      by bobinson on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 10:03:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jim R
       Americans are liberal...they are just afraid of Liberals. They have been fed the fear for so long that their brains just automaticly reject Liberal Speak.

      We need to come up with a different language. I am Wiccan...if I talked in the words that other Wiccans used to someone not Wiccan, it would scare  them because they do not really understand the definitions, even though it was innocuous.

      Ever since Reagan, people have been brainwashed to believing certain things...look how McCain is able to make intelligent people believe the most unbelievable BS. Whhhooooo Socialist! Whhhhoooo Terrorist! Whhhoooo he's going to take your Money and Spread the Wealth! Of course it's ok to take their money and consentrate the wealth to the wealthy...but tax fairness is just BAAAADDD!

      So yes the people are liberal...they would like Obama's tax plan if they could get past the smoke screen of "Socialism" and "Spreading the Wealth".
      I am watching the hearings of the House Oversight Committee...its funny how all these Free Market Republicans have all become Born Again Regulators. They are seeing that all the Conservative fear mongering is not productive at all.

      "I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge, that dreams are more powerful than facts, That hope always triumphs over experience."

      by terra gazelle on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 10:08:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You are so right and judging by the (0+ / 0-)

      outrageous attacks on Obama, and his supporters whether in the media or at the rally, the conservatives are not going down without a huge shit fit.  

      Newsweek believes the Bush/Rove bullshit of a permanent Republican majority and that by stealing elections they could never have won, they have a conservative mandate.  

      I read that article and thought "which planet did Newsweek wake up on", as it sure does not represent Earth.

      Newsweek being wrong on this issue is like a Barron's cover of Bulls cavorting and counting their money at the top of the market.  They can't see the forest for the trees, and their conservative advertisers and owners want to ensure that they keep on message, regardless of how outdated that message is.

      Won't they be shocked when Obama wins by a landslide, and we have majorities in the house and senate?  And expand those majorities in 2012?

      They will blame it solely on the economy and suggest if the economy weren't so bad McCain would have won.  Duh.  

  •  America is a liberal country because Americans (8+ / 0-)

    by and large look to the future.  Unfortunately, there are still those looking to their Puritan past that want you to believe this country is Center/Right.


    The Republican Party's agenda to subjugate average Americans is so rotten, it smells worse than the toilet seat on a shrimp boat." Aristotle

    by funluvn1 on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 09:38:58 AM PDT

  •  America is a centrist nation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4democracy, doc superdog

    And because it is a centrist nation, they are rejecting, in overwhelming numbers, the craziness of the Far Right.

    Obama to me is a centrist who will win big and get reelected big and yes liberalism is most often toward the center.  But let's not be overconfident.  The Democrats must keep their fringe voices at bay or what is happening to the republicans now will happen to the democrats down the road.

    I can walk and chew gum. We can protect the environment and stimulate the economy.

    by deepbottomfisher on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 09:41:39 AM PDT

    •  The center has moved left (9+ / 0-)

      The terminology of "center" is basically if you put politics on a bell curve from liberal to conservative, then the majority will always be in the center as a result.  However, you can shift the curve either way by redefining liberal or conservative, and thus changing the variables.

      •  That is a very valid point (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theboz, doc superdog

        I didn't think of it from that way but what you read makes sense.  Thanks for educating me.

        I can walk and chew gum. We can protect the environment and stimulate the economy.

        by deepbottomfisher on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 09:55:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Think of it this way: (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          theboz, EthrDemon, ihavenobias

          In the early 1900s the idea of supporting the poor and the elderly through programs like Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid was so far out only a bomb-throwing radical anarchist would advocate it.

          In the 1930s, Social Security was still a very liberal (but popular) idea, though Medicare & Medicaid were so far out their that only Soviet-loving COMSYMPs and fellow travelers would support that.

          By the 1970s Social Security was a bedrock of the social safety net and Medicare & Medicaid were popular liberal programs.

          Today? Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid are such fixtures on the American political landscape that people can scream about "socialism" and "spreading the wealth" on their way to cashing their social security checks.

          If Sarah Palin can deal with Russia, why didn't she stop the invasion of Georgia?

          by Shiborg on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 10:38:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  And the rethug chameleons will follow (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        dialectically.  Just watch for the carpetbaggers in the next few cycles.  This won't be over for a long time.  It's not about policy or position but manipulating public perception.  It's gotten rather obvious of late but once this cycle is over the subversion begins again.

        "The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking." -JKG

        by locavore on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 10:51:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You said... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The Democrats must keep their fringe voices at bay or what is happening to the republicans now will happen to the democrats down the road.

      I agree with that 100%.  

      It will be up to Obama to make sure that doesn't happen.  He's got to make sure the Democrats don't overreach, and that won't be easy.  Hopefully he can and will do it.

      •  I trust Obama to do that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        doc superdog

        And you are smart enough or perhaps have been around long enough to know what can happen if the extremes define the party.  On the Republican side, Nixon understood this well and I think Obama understands this just as well if not better.

        It is still the middle and as the person above pointed out the middle is constantly changing but if the Democratic Party was viewed as the party of Dennis Kucinich and Cynthia McKinney, it would be a bloodbath.

        I can walk and chew gum. We can protect the environment and stimulate the economy.

        by deepbottomfisher on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 10:04:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Over-reach? (0+ / 0-)

        Why in the world would you be worried about that? The Dems in Congress have been so pathetically weak that they almost never stood up to the far right Bush Administration that moved our country even further to the right than it had been.

        If anything, we don't need pure centrism right now, we need to be left of center to help move the country back to the actual center.

        If you're starting point is far right being a centrist just means you end up right of center. Besides, there are way too many "blue dog"/corporate Dems who'll ensure that great progress is at least slowed if not stifled completely in some cases.


        by ihavenobias on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 11:14:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why in the world would I be worried about that? (0+ / 0-)

          Because I'm assuming an Obama presidency and more Democrates in both the house and senate.  

          Democrats haven't been able to get much done because they had a very slim majority in the Senate and because Bush would have vetoed most all of what they would have passed anyway.  So why would they beat their heads against a wall?

          It'll be a whole different ball game in January.

  •  Recent huge GOP shifts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

        The Senate in 1980.   The House is 1994.

        No Congressional majority is safe.

  •  It will take a while for ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz, Samer, cybrestrike

    the fourth estate to catch up.  But look who is paying their paychecks.

    "Hey You, standing by the phone, naked all alone, can you help me..." Pink Floyd

    by Damn Frank on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 09:42:06 AM PDT

  •  We gave away land. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz, Samer, LostInTexas, cybrestrike

    Millions of acres to ordinary people. What kind of a country would do that? A liberal one.

    We shall overcome, someday. Yes we can.

    by Sam Wise Gingy on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 09:43:33 AM PDT

  •  Thank you Cenk!!! I scream at the TV everytime (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    one of those moron pundits gets on and states that this is a center right country. It is not and hopefully will never be.

  •  Expecially now that there's nothing to conserve.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    People become liberal - perhaps even revolutionary - when they have nothing left to lose.

    The Bush/Neocon bums have turned a country I love into a joke.  They fucked up AMERICA!  AMERICA!  I mean.. how the hell to you manage that?

  •  Wonderful (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    EthrDemon, ArtfromMI, PedalingPete

    I'd only dispute that we gave the country over to the conservatives for the last eight years.  I would peg that as 28 years.  

    My loathing for Reagan, the Bushs' and the Democratic "Third Way" during the 1990's endures.

  •  You are so WRONG!... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Scientician, ArtfromMI

    ...We can win way more than 34 house seats.

    Republicans are about to lose another 20 to 34 seats in the House

    Love that "power of the purse!" It looks so nice up there on the mantle (and not the table) next to the "subpoena power."

    by Sacramento Dem on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 09:51:57 AM PDT

  •  This type of hubris is what got the... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey, ArtfromMI

    conservative Republicans in trouble...we are a moderate pluarlity country not a majority liberal or conservative country...

    Obama/Biden'08 Winning Change for America and the Democratic Party

    by dvogel001 on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 09:52:16 AM PDT

    •  And here I thought it was because their policies (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      made no sense.

      Even excluding the rhetorical overreaching of Sarah Palin and our ilk, the left's relationship to the United States is needlessly complex.

      Sometimes, waving the flag a little and ruminating on our movement's connection to the country's history is a good thing.

  •  Yes, we are. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey, deutschluz, DrFitz

    Many people, unfortunately many leftists included, oversimplify the question. They assume that by liberal or progressive is meant state-reliant, or state-centered, or egalitarian. Against this they pose America's traditional reliance on the market and declare the game over.

    But the Obama candidacy itself suggests why this ought not be the only measure. The western European welfare states are by and large monocultures who expect arrivals to acquiesce to their established cultural norms rather than adding to the diversity of the society, and in these societies there is a great degree of stratification along racial and ethnic lines that is similar to the United States, but which lacks a degree of the class mobility found here.

    So, not to put too fine a point on it, but could there be a French Barack Obama? Could there be a German Barack? A Swedish one? (Yes, they love him as an American politician, but first ask whether within that culture a Barack Obama could emerge in the first place, and second whether he could have a political career there.)

    I actually doubt it, and think that's something important to consider in measuring how liberal or progessive these different societies are.

    Go, USA!

    •  Europe is very interesting with respect (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      to race relation. If you remember, France had those riots in those primarily african areas in the banlieue. In fact I think it was Sarkozy who lead the effort in gaining control of that region. For something like that to happen I have to assume that those people faced a lot of bigotry on a personal level because I doubt they were denied access to social services...I mean it is France!

      After this election NOBODY will ever say Reagan Democrat again...Instead everyone will talk of Obama Repubs!

      by deutschluz on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 10:20:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is precisely what I was thinking about. (0+ / 0-)

        Sarkozy actually struck a very Nixonian, law-and-order message with respect to the banlieue. Of course I would hardly say Sarkozy is representative of the French political establishment. But combined with that and some of the statements and actions by Jack Straw and the Dutch right, things aren't as simple as they're made out to be.

  •  Yes, Newsweek's editor Jon Meacham did say (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, tidalwave1

    this is a center-right country.  And that was plastered on the magazine's cover.  

    However, you didn't mention that the next article after Meacham's was a "counterpoint" article written by Jonathan Alter saying we're "heading left once again".

    Both writers made reasonable cases.  But it seems to me that overall, they didn't really conclude much of anything, since two opposing views were written.

    My take on it is that the country is center-right on some issues, and center-left on other issues.  

  •  Joe Scarborough needs to read this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    andydoubtless, ArtfromMI, venezia

    The majority of Americans

    1.  Support same sex civil unions
    1.  Oppose the Iraq war
    1.  Support some form of universal health care
    1.  Do not want to overturn Roe v. Wade
    1.  Are voting Democratic this year!

    We are religious, it's true (90% believe in God, 60% are evangelicals, more people believe in the Devil than believe in evolution).  But religion is not a right/left issue.  I constantly come across Christians who support Obama.

    The false notion that we are a conservative country extends to the hazy idea that the "good ol' days" were conservative.

    I watched Invisible Stripes last night, a Warner Bros. picture from the 1930s with George Raft and Humphrey Bogart and a very young William Holden.

    It was very pro-union-- Raft punches a guy who wants to hire him so he can rat on employees who are trying organize.

    It also took a very liberal view of crime and criminals, that they need to be rehabilitated and not be demonized by society.

    I wondered if such a mainstream movie could even be made today, with the conservative corporate America stranglehold on the more liberal America we actually are.

    •  The majority of americans think... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      morning joe and mika are right-wing stooges.  This according to a poll I took.  Okay, I only polled myself and spouse (margin of error: 0), but we are representative of this country.

      Obama--A Bridge to Somewhere

      by venezia on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 10:11:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Shawshank Redemption (0+ / 0-)

      Currently #1 on IMDB's all time list.

      Made in 1994 at the "height" of the Conservative revolution.  

      Also interesting with respect to liberal views toward crime are #10 on that list, "12 Angry Men" and "To Kill a Mockingbird" at #62.

  •  We are a liberal and libertarian amalgam (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ArtfromMI, deutschluz

    Individuals should be able to pursue their happiness with minimal interference from government -- but government should make sure that everybody gets a similar opportunity.

  •  Correct! On issue after issue... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Scientician, ArtfromMI

    the majority of Americans agree with a progressive outlook rather than a conservative one.

    - Choice

    - Minimum Wage

    - Social safety net

    - Personal liberty

    - Social justice

    - Diplomacy

    Right on down the line, most Americans are progressives when you ask their view on specific issues.

    •  America is a greedy nation. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I am loving the Dem wave of 2006-08 as much as anybody. But it's temporary. No matter how well the Dems manage the country, sooner or later we'll be voted out. Here's why:

      Since Reagan, the standard Republican pitch has been: "You can have everything you want from government and you don't have to pay for it. We can cut your taxes and everything will be just fine. Any remaining problems are the fault of [insert villain du jour here -- blacks, criminals, welfare moms, drug dealers, homosexuals, foreigners, liberals, etc.], and the way to fix our problems is to pass enough rules against these villains."

      This is a seductive pitch. People inherently want to believe they can have something for nothing, or at least more for less. People inherently want to believe problems are somebody else's fault. In 2006-08, reality has become so stark that it can no longer be hidden behind these lies. But sooner or later, the crisis will pass, and the Republicans will resurrect their siren song: "Pay less, get more, blame somebody else." And a majority of the public will sooner or later believe it.

      Exhibit A: 1994. Two years into Clinton's first term -- unemployment was down, interest rates down, deficit down, stock market up, nobody'd yet heard of Monica Lewinsky -- what was not to like? Yet people were outraged enough to deliver both the Senate and the House to the Republicans.

      Moral to the story: our time in power may be short. We need to be bold, act fast while we have the chance.

      -4.25, -4.87 "If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence." -- Cicero

      by HeyMikey on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 10:14:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You do , however ..... (0+ / 0-)

    have to factor in the billions spent over the course of the last century in raising propaganda that reinforces what the status quo wants you to hear . With media becoming more diversified they have had to put on the good fight , and with increasing cyber traffic it is becoming more difficult for them (them) to reach their goal of condensing American thought values . Orwell had a good line of thought , but he didn't conceive what could happen in cyberspace . Or if he did he may have been inept at the depth of communication . More people have become educated in politics at this time than ever in history . More views and opinions , together with more influence toward solutions rather than abject rhetoric . It is almost laughable that the Right has run into a stone wall while having the same arrogant confidence that they always carried . Something's happening and they can't figure out what it is . Can anybody ?

  •  Fundamentally Liberal (0+ / 0-)

    American values are classically liberal.

    But like Upton Sinclair warned, fascism can happen here and we just caught a good taste of it. Bush and Bushism appealed to the worst in our nature and people do respond to such exhortations. Finally, with the country in dire peril, we have agreement to change course.

    But unlike some above, I definitely thing that the country shifts from time to time, that the zeitgeist has a kind of bias, due to psychohistorical forces that shape each generation. Boomers are too idealistic and grandiose, they tend to do things like, "fight evil."

    Gen X is more pragmatic and we're ready for that now.

    Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

    by The Raven on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 10:04:45 AM PDT

  •  What's Wrong with a Mix of Both? (0+ / 0-)

    strict black vs. white, liberal vs. conservative labeling of our citizenry is more or less useless.

    it's a false construct of those wishing to simplify the political process and distract from the rather large economic inequity in our country. these are complex, difficult issues which have been ignored for decades by our political "leadership".

    I consider myself a fiscal conservative, in that I do not want the federal government giving tax breaks, tax loopholes, direct subsidies, etc., to large corporations which already are successful. I also don't want offshoring of corporations which allows them to pay zero or minimal taxes on the revenue their business earns in the U.S.

    I believe in a small, efficiently run, inexpensive federal government. I believe in a smaller, efficiently run military. we are so far beyond these ideals- it's beyond belief at this point.

    I believe in government funded education (should include four year college programs and apprenticeship
    programs for those who do not wish to attend college), universal health care, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the social safety net in general.

    It appears categorization/labeling has become more important than actual policy, more important than actually meeting the necessary, life-improving, life-enhancing goals of a nation which calls itself great.

    "Cigna cannot decide who is going to live and who is going to die." -- Nataline's mother

    by Superpole on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 10:06:21 AM PDT

    •  um (0+ / 0-)

      I believe in government funded education (should include four year college programs and apprenticeship
      programs for those who do not wish to attend college), universal health care, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the social safety net in general.

      I believe in these things too, but they are in contrast to the traditional understanding of your belief in a "small" government.

      But then, liberals don't believe in "big" government - just government big enough to do what is needed.

      "small government" is too amorphous and contextual to really mean anything useful as an ideological guide.  

      •  Understood, But (0+ / 0-)

        it's about priorities.

        Obama says he's going to look at every federal gov't department for waste--

        he can start with the recently created "Homeland Security" Dept., and from their go to the Defense and Agricultural Depts.

        the numbers don't work-- we can't have both a social safety net AND a gigantic, expensive military, AND two never ending wars.

        "Cigna cannot decide who is going to live and who is going to die." -- Nataline's mother

        by Superpole on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 07:43:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Cenk, please fix your website - the music is (0+ / 0-)

    annoying and I can't figure out how to shut it off; and it continues even after I begin playing the video clip!

    Sorry - just thought you should know -

    THANKS as always for the good fight! I've been wanting to throw a shoe at the TV for a couple of weeks. The "center-right country" CW seems to be the latest pundit effort, and the Mighty Wurlitzer is selling it like the toilet paper it is.

  •  Cenk is right and here's why (0+ / 0-)

    Media Matters did a great report in 2007 that shattered the myth of Conservative America.

    Using non-partisan polling data on several core issues, they showed that most Americans are on board with progressive policies.

    And considering that was in June 07, I can only imagine that more recent data proves Cenk's point even better.


    by ihavenobias on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 10:12:17 AM PDT

  •  It's been more like 14 years (0+ / 0-)
    We've basically had conservatives running Washington since the Contract with America crowd came into power in 1994.

    But yeah.  What you said.

    The whole idea of creating a Fox News is to try to push the people into being more conservative than they would normally be.

    They have not done these awful things because they are bad conservatives; they have done them because they are good conservatives. -- Thomas Frank

    by sagra on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 10:23:28 AM PDT

  •  Yes, we want European benefits & trains (0+ / 0-)

    It is the volunteering to pay European taxes where we are not quite as liberal as our cousins across the Atlantic. Middle class people pay 50% income + VAT taxes in some of these countries. When we all agree to pay at these levels, I will then think we are a pretty liberal nation.

    I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

    by shann on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 10:23:59 AM PDT

  •  Just one clarification (0+ / 0-)

    When people start talking about generations for Republicans to recover, they need to stop and reflect upon how long it took Tom DeLay's permanent Republican majority to crumble. Remember Tom DeLay?

    Hubris, arrogance, incompetence and contempt for the "people" have a way of limiting parties in power. Let's qualify that, barring an inability to learn from history, Democrats will be in power for years.

    Of course, I'm not sure anyone is particularly good at learning from history.

    -8.38, -4.97 "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

    by thingamabob on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 10:24:20 AM PDT

  •  I Can't Help Myself!!! (0+ / 0-)

    We treat language like a bad cook treats spices.  If we add enough of everything, it will, we hope, so flavor our intellectual stew that it sounds good and convinces listeners, readers, etc.  Such thinking may in fact convince some people.  Nonetheless, it inevitably leads to grotesque difficulties when we fail not only to spell out our premises and assumptions but also don't even define and understand key terminology.

    We need, desperately, to take language and intellectual investigation seriously.  I don't expect to win that battle here, however, so I'll just point out some tricky aspects of the current debate in regard to a couple of key terms, "Liberal" and "Conservative."

    My background is in social history and grassroots activism, so I'm not an expert on intellectual history.  On the other hand, I'm not oblivious to the transition that occurred, in the early to mid nineteenth century, in which beliefs about 'liberality' and tolerance and personal liberty led to the formulation of a bourgeois political stance that first shouldered the mantle of "liberalism."  This perspective centered on such matters as our own Bill of Rights, which extended to the rights that property had to follow whatever path proved most profitable, without government interference.  

    More recently, at the end of the nineteenth century, this very 'conservative' approach to liberalism coalesced with social reform movements that sought to address individuals' social ills through government intervention.  Thus, our more recent view of liberalism emerged, a key aspect of which is the Keynsian economic view that government expenditures were key to economic viability.

    The conservatives, originally, were those who sided with the traditional landed and blooded elites, the various nobilities that "middle class" revolutions removed from absolute power between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries in Europe.  These conservatives sought a tiered society and believed strongly in national markets and government support for elite-orchestrated economic control, much like today's 'liberals.'  

    In the present dynamic, these original conservatives have transformed in several ways.  They emphasize an established religious belief or moral code; they eschew any government involvement, if possible, in 'social engineering,' and they completely back, even more than 'liberals,' the Keynsian role of military and other proscriptive government investments.

    My point is that in this hodge-podge environment, when we are not historically or conceptually clear about what is going on--nor do we have much of a clue most of the time about socialism, reaction, fascism, and so on--discussions based on estimations of 'liberal' or 'conservative' viewpoints end up generally being exercises in name-calling.  At best, they yield entertaining, 'he-said/she said' vitriol that elicits policy and program behind the scenes, where people have no say.  

    The rule of the puppeteers is inevitable, if we don't know what we're saying.  In the coming period, with Obama-the-magnificent fully in charge, I only hope that we can find the time and space to consider some of these issues.

    I bow to those who seek the truth; I flee from those who have 'found' it.

    by SERMCAP on Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 11:06:30 AM PDT

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