Looking back over nine years of political writing “activism” only one true regret lances flittingly through memory: the wrong lesson was learned in election 2000. At the time, of course, it was easy and fitting to be outraged that the Supreme Court stole the election for Bush, then only to be incredulously nauseated as the Democratic Party rolled over and played along with an obsequiousness still hard to believe.
But as the inestimably respected Hullabaloo keeps gently reminding us, every vote counts. Gore and the Party should have trounced that Palin clone Bush like sipping coffee, but complete abandonment of any liberal principal to the point of having Joe freaking Lieberman as a VP choice smashed the base to the point of losing the election. Ralph Nader is a manifestly foolish quack, but he, Bush, Scalia and all the rest of the clowns never would have put on the show had the Democratic Party base been fed and heeded.
That was the real lesson of the election that should have been pursued, not that the Supreme Court was a political slut to patriarchal authoritarians and that our own Party should react like normal human beings in fighting it.
Fast-forward 11 years and it’s happened again, even given absurdly generous terms like “eleventh-dimension chess” and “rope-a-dope” to describe the appalling tactics of Obama (people, endorsing the Lieberman tactic of raising the Medicare eligibility age to 67 is a sick, appalling thing to do), one must acknowledge the Party base has been abused and abandoned again, Obama thinks he can do anything to the base and we’ll always vote for him anyway.
Another element in the fast-forward crucial to understanding how we got to this amazing place comes from the equally respected blog Balloon Juice: John McCain completely legitimized The Stupid by nominating Sarah Palin in election 2008. Our corporate press happily played along and now any idiotic idea or notion gets instant grave mental play in the absurd arena of DC and the Very Serious People.
So serious, in fact, that somehow the outrageously stupid, STUPID like its an astronomical formation 10 light years away consisting of 10 million stars blazing in the letter formation staring at us every night in the sky, STUPID idea that cutting spending with 9.1% unemployment is the right thing to do. At least I’m not an economist who voted for Obama living through this, that has got to be an awful place.
Anyway, Obama thinks and does anything he wants to the base, The Stupid is the new normal, the opposition Republicans have gone berserk and the chattering press corps ludicrously plays along like all of this is adult activity. What a horror show the last week has been, rife with outrage and betrayals that ultimately will end in utter Hoover failure, no matter the ludicrous outcome.
Woeful and bereaved Democratic Party base members can at least look to the opposition to see how not to implement always feeding and heeding the base. After the Republicans lost their base and the 1992 election to Bill Clinton that Party feverishly attended to their every whim, but in the dynamics of that Party a certain one-upmanship of purity began to occur, evolving into the radical freak show we see today where mental fungi like Bachmann and Gingrich rankly sprout and grow.
Another reason Obama remains so confident and the country still in the ditch, fanatic adherence to a radically Republican evolving base has left Obama with nothing but total political and mental twerps for an opposition. The base can be fed and taken direction from too much, oh yes.
That still leaves the Democratic Party base and the country screwed with Herbert Hoover and The Stupid. What to do?
President Obama is not going to face primary in this amazing farce even though he completely deserves it, political dynamics and realities simply make that fact so. Pray that somehow the base comes through for Obama (who has taken an unforgivable moral and political risk by throwing them to the winds) to keep the Republican freak show from taking over again, which is even worse than The Stupid show going on now.
If Obama escapes the trap that felled Gore (I’m not personally voting for this Hoover) that is the great task before the Democratic base in 2008, to somehow align the Party leadership with the base again. So folks can eat and get a job and have good health care in a happy, optimistic country at peace. It was never much to ask for.