Soon-to-be Ex-Senator Olympia Snowe, being interviewed by ABC News about President Barack Obama and why she was leaving the US Senate, gave him a near "F" for failure when it came to bipartisan outreach. President Obama. Only the single-most bipartisan U.S. President in modern American history. Setting aside the inherent obnoxious self-aggrandizing wankery of St. Olympia Snowe predictably measuring bipartisanship to mean "fealty and deference to Olympia Snowe", and the total absurdity of the statement based on even a cursory glance at the last two years in American politics, this one last bit of total bullshit should be a wake-up call. The Straw that broke whatever you wish to call it, Third Wayism's, Neoliberalism's, Reasonable Centrism's, back.
Democrats, with great institutional relish and fanfare, eagerly embraced the concept of "ending welfare as we know it" back in the Neoliberal halcyon days of the mid-to-late 1990's. Movement Conservative positions and Rightwing Thinktank policies were the height of bipartisanship on the Hill. You could hardly go wrong with establishing yourself as a 'new kind of Democrat' by backing ideas that were firmly rooted in adopting a hardline, even punitive, tact with the destitute poor. Drug testing. Lifetime benefit caps. Docking benefits. Making applicants jump through hoops and more hoops. If it was tough talk to powerless people, it was in vogue. While the American Right was funding the Arkansas Project and fishing for Impeachment fodder, the American Middle-Left was busy exploring "block grants to the states" and deftly working the latest "welfare to work" talking points into casual peer-to-peer political conversation.
Sounding like a Conservative Republican sneering at everything that made the Democratic Party worth a damn while sitting in the middle of the Democratic caucus was never a stronger sign of Very Serious Personhood than in this era. If the Jacobin Republican revolutionaries of the House hadn't gone an impeached Bill Clinton, an overreach that resulted in a party-wide partisan rally that, by necessity, lurched Democrats away from the Right in order to save a Presidency under seige, who knows what might have been passed into law in the Clinton administration.
Every single penny that has ever been saved by so-called "Neoliberal Third-Wayism" has been for naught. Clinton was impeached. The Democrats who licked the boots of the far Right were either targeted for removal by the Right or became Republicans as a last ditch effort to save themselves. When it was all over, even the savings were gone. All squandered by Dubya to fuel his reckless and massive unpaid for Movement Conservative supply-side trickle-down tax cuts that vastly dwarfed the earlier painful savings, and as a toxic bonus did almost nothing to build and sustain the Democratic Party brand.
President Barack Obama has accomplished a hell of a lot for a man constantly under seige by the Movement Conservative Rightwing. He helped save this nation from economic ruin, he gave the order as Commander in Chief that finally ended the quest to get Osama Bin Ladin, and he has relentlessly reached out his serially re-attached right hand a thousand more times only to see it cut off again and again and again by the Movement Conservatives he has always been willing to offer it to.
The ACA which is currently being debated by the Supreme Court the Right has been engineering to be a Rightwing policy engine for the last three decades is filled with conservative Republican ideas, adopted in good faith, that only became "Socialism" when a Democrat, President Obama, fully embraced them as policy. The Republican Party could have written huge swaths of ObamaCare if they had only been willing to work in good faith with the administration, but even though they often utterly refused to participate at all, they are deeply represented in the end result.
And it has meant absolutely nothing in the endless Culture War that Movement Conservatism has unleashed on the American people. Not a single thing.
The last thirty-plus years have been dominated by the rise of Movement Conservatism.
What are the hallmarks of this era? Besides absolute fealty to the rich and the powerful?
Concern trolling, navel gazing, and the fainting couch becoming institutionalized, but only in one ideological direction, from a deliberately castrated corporate news media. IOKIYAR. A pervasive beltway mentality where it is a bigger outrage to truthfully call somebody who is blatantly lying a liar that it is for that person blatantly lying to lie. Calvinist Austerity. Weaponized De-funding. Citizen's United. Stacking the courts. Everything takes 60 votes. No appointments. A part-time Congress. Lobbyists writing regulations, and then serving as regulators. Hamstrung government, and then it being pointed to as a sign that government cannot ever work. The generation-long and well-funded national voter disenfranchisement operations targeting non-Republican voters. Tax cuts. Megadeficits. A trillion dollar war of choice sold via lies and disinformation campaigns. A near second Great Depression. Civil rights rollbacks. Civil liberties rollbacks. A war on women, the poor, the non-white, the gay, the middle class, the eldery, the hungry, the homeless, the handicapped, the sick, and those on the margins. Both sides do everything equally. There are no such things as facts, only opinions.
What have been the primary longterm tactics of the opponents of Movement Conservatism?
Let's see. There's Triangulation. Bipartisanship for Bipartisanship's sake. Endless Hippy punching. We can't forget negotiating with bad faith actors as if they are actually all acting in good faith. Attacking your own traditional ideas and ideals. Adopting Movement Conservative policy as your own in an attempt to innoculate oneself against bad faith attacks where you are always going to be dishonestly painted a 'socialist', 'leftist', or 'radically out of the mainstream'. Horsetrading past gains as bargaining chips. Oh, and being completely unable to establish a stable long-term period of Democratic governance.
The entire point of the Democratic Party turning on what made the Democratic Party great was to win elections by outmaneuvering the GOP and from there to dominate the American political landscape. To take the wind out of their sails by stealing from them. Well, the American Right hasn't been this powerful since the Gilded Age, systemic poverty is back with such a murderous vengeance that we routinely discuss the devolopment of a permanent American underclass that is mired and trapped in poverty. The middle class is vanishing. Corporations rule to the point where individual conservative billionaires can legally underwrite entire Presidential and policy campaigns anonymously if they wish to.
Movement Conservatism will kill more innocent Americans than Al-Qaida ever will. That is the greatest argument in favor of a more partisan and confrontational Democratic Party. It's a matter of life and death to a lot of innocent people that somebody stop the Right's madness and roll it back.
Does that shock you? It shouldn't. It's the truth. It's just that we live in a time where it is a bigger outrage to call a bold-faed liar a bold-faced liar than to actually be one.
That's how serious the threat we face from the Right is. They are a national security threat. No other force on Earth can cause America to collapse into chaos more successfully over time.
I have often argued with Barack Obama's most caustic critics that we don't have an "Obama" problem, we have a "Democratic Party problem". Time to be Democrats again. If the Movement Conservative Rightwing successfully gets its way on ObamaCare, then it should mean Medicare for All and blaming the entire status of our fucked-up healthcare system on them. It will be theirs, because they proudly stripped millions of people of the hope of affordable healthcare to earn it. There is no longer any serious argument in favor of maintaining the self-defeating status-quo. You will always be a "Socialist", even if you are actually Evan Bayh, and nobody will point out that it's bullshit with the way things are. Cap and Trade was the Right's idea. The Dream Act was their idea. The Individual Mandate was their idea. None of that matters, only winning the Culture Wars.
As Movement Conservative hacks jeer 90's era Movement Conservative policy ideas as 2008 to 2012's "Socialism" and "Tyranny" one more time, this time before the Scalito-Roberts court, the spit in the face from one of the most ass-kissed, ring-kissed, hypocritical, two-faced, wingnut extremist enabling, deferred to "Moderate Republican" Senatorial blowhards should be a real and lasting watershed moment in the history of the Democratic Party.
The last "Fuck You" taken with a nod and a smile as if it was a "Thank You".