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    Union leaders and volunteers in Wisconsin are scratching their heads while pondering
why Scott Walker - the representative of union-busting corporate America - walked away with his seat intact after a failed recall election, and by a substantial margin at that. Considering the thousands of hours spent knocking on doors and telephoning voters, there just may be a highly unpleasant explanation for the retention of Walker, which might be the same one as for the popularity of the Tea Party and polls showing Mitt Romney ahead of Barack Obama.
     The reason the explanation is unpleasant is that evidence is beginning to pile up that the United States isn't just moving to the Right, it's galloping. The Land of the Free, in short, is more concerned with order than it is with law. We want to be told what to do. Maybe we're not a democracy any more.

    There's no reason to think democracy will always be the form of government we'll see in America. I suggest that we now have a lot less democracy than we had fifty years ago. Privacy is just about gone, the victim of technology and marketing. While we have made strides in racial equality, we've got much less financial equality and, oddly, many of the same people are being discriminated against for a different reason. We're becoming a country where money is the only measure of true value and the acquisition of more is the definition of success. A society built along these lines is not a democracy: it's a plutocracy - a government of wealth.
     Plutocracies generally embrace class mobility. Almost anyone can join the club if they're rich enough and people can get kicked out if their net worth drops too low. In some societies, people can't get in no matter how much money they have if they don't have the right kind of parents. Not here. Any person with a big enough bank balance is welcome. And, since corporations are persons, they're more than welcome at the table.
     Plutocracies are always right wing because socialism doesn't go with a society built on huge gaps between the rich and the poor. Labor unions definitely don't belong since the goal is to keep labor cheap and the masses obedient to the wealthy's definition of what's good for them.
     War is popular with plutocracies since war produces profits. Also, in most wars these days, the rich don't fight in them. The casualties are primarily from the lower and lower middle classes. The only costs are paid by the ones who fight and the taxpayers who have to pay for the costs of the wounded. So we hear the advantages of attacking Iran, bombing Syria and sending more arms to Israel. This doesn't mean some arguments are or aren't valid. It means somebody wants to make money on wars.
     Can anybody say, with a straight face, that in today's United States, people are created with an equal shot at life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Isn't the "American Dream" no longer about values, but only about what money can buy? Are we turning into a nation that admires the Scott Walkers and the Donald Trumps as role models? Is there a campaign against democracy under way in which the people we vote for become the enemy and people whom we don't vote for are the real sources of truth? Should we believe the government- whose goal is to represent us - or the banks and oil companies, whose goal is to  make as much money as they can? At least we can kick out the government. How can you kick out a bank that's too big to fail?
     The unpleasant possibility is that money is buying what millions have been fighting for since 1776. A more unpleasant possibility is that we, the people, have surrendered to the buyers.


Originally posted to boguseconomist on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 08:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive, The Royal Manticoran Rangers, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Per Warnings the Left Has Been Sounding for Half (25+ / 0-)

    a century, absolutely. We've been a democratic plutocracy for a generation or more.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 08:15:10 AM PDT

    •  And the next step. . . . (11+ / 0-)

      in the direction we seem to be going is:
      Fascism.  And that may be over the horizon.
      Can it be stopped?

      •  Yes. (9+ / 0-)

        But not through a corrupted democratic process, unfortunately.

      •  Horizon? Google "Infraguard" & consider ALEC (21+ / 0-)

        pushing gun laws effectively deputizing gun-loving citizens to 'stand their ground' and to watch out for criminal elements and terrorists in their neighborhood.

        Infraguard ties together clergy, first responders, EMTs, police, and private security for use in various sorts of civil unrest and emergencies.  They also would be interlinked with media outlets for communications purposes and there'd be information and guidance provided reflecting data analyzed by fusion centers.  Think of it as a very low profile but real replacement, post-9/11, for the old public "Civil Defense" program. I think that was discontinued around President Carter's time and SALT Treaties aimed at nuclear disarmament.

        Anyone involved in Infraguard will have had some sort of background 'vetting' and would be included with those TSA could ask to help with various socially disturbing situations.  Think of Infrared, a red so deep the normal human eye can't really see it, but it's capable of illuminating targets in the vision of people trained and equipped with the right scopes and night vision goggles. The average folks won't see the infrared but perhaps some of us will feel it as burning heat when it's intense and focused upon us.

        Overlap this sort of membership with various 'vigilant' groups like "Oath Takers",the NRA, survivalists, paramilitary groups and it is likely that these people have such multiple memberships, and the ratio of GOP to Dems will be predominantly GOP.  Overlap again with the various religious groups focused on gaining access to seats of information, command and control and protection services.  And with the organizations, thinktanks, and deep pockets of the wealthy. It's not theoretical. Wall Street basically owns the NYPD, Bloomberg's "private army" that apparently is equipped to shoot down terrorist planes, and Wall Street provides the skyscraper with NYPD's main HQ facilities, functions and services that interweave and coordinate private and public policing, and participate in pervasive domestic surveillance that coordinates with federal agencies.

        So now it seems we already do have a significant but lower profile network of people, who want to stay low profile (except in NYC and Chicago or a few other major urban locations), whose functions can be easily and quickly aligned to complete conversion to an overt fascist government with the full religious and patriotic trappings.  They won't wear a common uniform when activated, but they will coordinate under common command to ensure overall mission objectives, they will serve to protect the interests of the wealthiest and powerful first, and if that's not threatened, provide first responder services to the rest of us, with prioritized and coordinated handling.

        It's easiest to achieve this conversion going state by state, region by region, varying forms and expressions a bit, so it doesn't look quite like a national movement to the rest of us, to those who might fear the trends we see but don't yet see the common uniform that would have us ringing church bells and alarms.  We may not ever see a common uniform, but will see many clusters which effectively cover the bases required to maintain fascist control with minimal irritation to the population. We can see the muscles bulking and moving under the skin as law enforcement 'gets tough' and more callous with 'malcontents' (protesters) after a victory of someone like Walker in WI.  We had some police groups who came out for Barrett in the last week of the campaign.  They stuck their necks out when other police & fire groups stayed loyal to Walker. Watch for funding cuts and/or reorganizations to head their way.  It will be heralded in the media as a sign that Gov. Walker doesn't play favorites with police when handing out program cuts and carrying out 'needed reforms.'

        When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

        by antirove on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 10:07:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  If they actually try to enact the Ryan Plan (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nuclear winter solstice

        the economy will crumble before they can take us over.

        At that point, who knows what will happen to them?

  •  Even wish-washy centrists agree. (12+ / 0-)

    Michael Ignatieff goes after those who can see the problem but won't accept the political implications.  And that ignores the fact that most voters are too ill-informed or apathetic to realize what is changing.

    Where are we, now that we need us most?

    by Frank Knarf on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 09:46:16 AM PDT

    •  Excellent, I especially liked the closing sentence (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jcrit, Orman West
      Restoring the virtue of its citizens demands a politics equal to the challenge of virtue’s enemies.
      I think 'where are we' is a question we still need to focus.
      There is a lot of ignorance and apathy in voters. Plus confusion, disillusionment, fear and despair.

      We need ows and the 99% to get a political front together.

      "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

      by Ginny in CO on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 06:07:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wish I could rebut, but alas, your thinking (9+ / 0-)

    parallels mine recently that democracy in America is a failed institution.

    So where do we go from here?

    I support torturous regimes! Also, I kick puppies.

    by eataTREE on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 10:02:27 AM PDT

    •  I don't get it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mister T, Leftie Gunner

      There was a big, noisy, public campaign, there was an open vote that finished up substantially in favor of a governor who had already been elected in an open contest. The result may not be what most here wanted, but how this is the death of democracy is beyond my understanding. How is this a failed institution—as opposed to merely defeat of a political party that didn't manage to convince enough voters? Please, enlighten me.

      •  It was an auction not an election. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lunachickie, peptabysmal, Dburn

        Walker well started ahead of Barrett with 11 times (combined campaign and outside campaign difference in expenditures) the money to invest in ads that kept telling the voters the recall was not justified.

        I would echo the diarist's comments that the institution is threatened with failure because it has been severely handicapped by the consequences of CU.

        I think American Democracy is much too close to an F.

        We need to awaken the sleeping giant.

        "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

        by Ginny in CO on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 06:26:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I wasn't thinking about Wisconsin so much. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        More how everyone accepts that any rational political solution to any problem is inherently impossible. That's not an attitude that abounds under a functioning system of government.

        I support torturous regimes! Also, I kick puppies.

        by eataTREE on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 09:19:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It was a big show of 'process'. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        myboo, Icicle68, northsylvania, retLT

        The 'processes' of democracy still exist.  The needed underpinnings - a society of individuals who actually understand how their votes will actually impact themselves, do not.  We have gotten to the point where misinformation outperforms information.  Garbage in, garbage out.  Misinformed (lied to) voters will vote for the lies.  With Citizens United, the partisans of the Supreme Court handed a megaphone to those who lie for the purpose of creating the very divide spoken of in this diary.

        So the megamillions flowed in from out of state billionaires to convince the people of Wisconsin that recalls should only be for criminal actions, and not for pushing policies that will actually destroy the lives of the citizens of the state, and lots of them fell for the lies.

      •  You are correct (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        And notice that we have a Democratic President, and Senate as well as many state legislators and state houses. This is nonsense. As evidenced by Wisconsin, a significant number of voters did/would split their vote with Walker and Obama. Not exactly the hallmark of a failed Democracy.

      •  Democracy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I do not dispute your contention that Walker was elected in a democratic process, despite the detail that incumbents may spend unlimited amounts in a recall while challengers cannot.
        My point was that democracy itself is in danger and that point is easily demonstrated by watching how misleading and in some cases untrue campaign ads alter the polls. When the news reports on how much money a candidate has instead of what he/she believes about an issue, the point is driven home.

        If the government is for sale, why not blame the buyers?

        by boguseconomist on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 12:59:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Walker's "divide and conquer" (25+ / 0-)

    statement hit me hard and got me thinking (I think that is what Barett should have focused on, but that is another story).

    Then, this morning my mother sent me this link:

    The rural poor vote for Republicans because they feel the Democrats are taking from them and giving to the "undeserving".   I heard this in WI during the run up to the recall:  The rural poor aren't getting health care and pensions, so why should they vote for government workers to have it?

    It is the have littles against the have a little mores.

    Divide and conquer.

    There is only one solution that I see:  Populism.

    AKA class warfare.

    The occupy movement was on to something, but it seems to have fizzled out.

    If we can get a good leader that is full-throated pro-worker and anti-capitalist-owner we may have a chance to turn this thing around.  But until then the country will be following Texas and Mississippi down the hole twords plutocracy.

    Which is good news for John McCain.

    by AppleP on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 10:25:47 AM PDT

    •  If such leaders appear, they'll neutralize them. (6+ / 0-)

      One way or another, no matter what class they come from. Remember Bobby Kennedy.

      "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

      by pengiep on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 04:39:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There have been a number of them (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and most of them have self-destructed (eg. John Edwards)

        The only alternative is allowing the natural course of events to take place:  A booming economy driven by a bubble followed by a depression where the odds are even that we will become fascist or socialist.

        Bailing out the financial industry saved capitalism this time.  You would think Wall Street would be thankful to Obama, but the sheer greed won't allow them to be humble.

        Which is good news for John McCain.

        by AppleP on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 08:21:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  heh (0+ / 0-)

          think variations of Mata Hari. Maybe they didn't all self-destruct. Jack Kennedy certainly didn't.

          It is time to #Occupy Media.

          by lunachickie on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 09:12:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  This is why we need leaderless organizations (3+ / 0-)

          There are practical reasons that OWS didn't have leaders, and it wasn't because we couldn't figure out who should lead.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 09:49:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Where is OWS? (0+ / 0-)

            After spending all winter on a parking lot here in Madison they have disbanded.

            Unless it is embraced by the heads of the Democratic party and dissenters are de-funded and shunned then it won't go anywhere.

            Which is good news for John McCain.

            by AppleP on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 05:16:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  A Leaderless Organization (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            A "leaderless organization" is not actually an organization.  It is a collection of people.  There is a difference.

            Never in history has a leaderless organization succeeded in anything except bringing chaos and eventually a reaction which gives rise to despots who rise on the claim to restore order.

            To accomplish goals groups need structure, especially large groups. A tribe of 20 could get by with essentially no leaders, or changing ones, or rule by consensus, but then even most small tribes have leaders. A group of thousands, or millions definitely requires leaders, or it will just founder.

            One of the reasons that Occupy has had less impact than it might is that it had no leaders. Deal with it.

            If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. ~James Madison

            by mjshep on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 10:23:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  You are on the right track. The Confederacy, in (15+ / 0-)

    a new form, is resurgent. Only this time, they don't want to separate, they want to enslave the whole country, with the aid of those who worship the rich.

    "But Brandine, you're supposed to be in Iraq stopping 911!"

    by leftyguitarist on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 03:04:34 PM PDT

  •  Thank You .... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ozsea1, CA Nana, OLinda

    I would like to re-publish to my Democratic Club website.


    "Upward, not Northward" - Flatland, by EA Abbott

    by linkage on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 03:27:18 PM PDT

  •  About that class mobility thing? (8+ / 0-)

    Not so much in America any more. In fact way less.

    Yes, you can buy your way up if you have money - but fewer and fewer people can anymore. The rags to riches story is going in the opposite direction for most of us.

    Conservatives keep shrieking about "The Road to Serfdom" all the time their actions end up hustling us down that road ever faster. Just one more thing they have bass-ackwards.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 03:36:00 PM PDT

    •  Of course there can't be any mobility. The Helots (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tikkun, xaxnar

      were repeatedly tricked into doing something for the Spartiates and when they did, they were slaughtered. The 99%= 21rst century Helots, but there is much less control over the behavior of 21rst century Spartiates than there was over the originals.

      "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

      by pengiep on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 04:41:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  when you write "We want to be told..." (6+ / 0-)
    We want to be told what to do. Maybe we're not a democracy any more.
    we, the people, have surrendered to the buyers.
    ...well, you're being a little loose with the definition of "we".

    There are sizable proportions of our population to whom this generalization does not apply.


  •  Over reaction (7+ / 0-)

    I don't see a lot of hard evidence we are any further to the right than we were ten years ago, or 30 years ago.  

    Jeez, Barack Obama was elected in 2008.

    Simpler explanation why we lost in Wisconsin: Many people didn't believe an elected governor should be recalled just because many people disagreed with his policies.

    •  The money excuse... (7+ / 0-)

      .... last resort of the lazy and the impractical, particularly that brand of the impractical who refuse to admit that a lot of people consider a recall the very, very last resort, only to be used against a convicted criminal.

      Walker didn't win by a huge margin. He won by less than seven per cent. That's in an environment where ten per cent of people think all recalls are illegitimate, whatever the reason. In one where he outspent his opponent massively. And in one where his opponent had already lost to him once, badly.

      If money was as decisive as some people like to imagine, Walker would have won by seventy per cent, not seven.

      "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

      by sagesource on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 03:44:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But where did that idea come from? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Larsstephens, happymisanthropy

      Are you saying that the people in WI are more moral than the people in CA? When Gray Davis was recalled he was blamed for Enron's misdeeds. He had just been re-elected. Walker attacked the people directly. But many of those rural folks listen to RW radio and TV. Do you think that's where they got that idea? I do.

      Your left is my right---Mort Sahl

      by HappyinNM on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 10:08:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I lived in California during the Gray Davis recall (0+ / 0-)

        I don't think Wisconsin voters were being "more moral".  If anything, perhaps they were more practical.  It just seemed like a waste of state money.  That notion was certainly behind many of the votes that Walker got--not so much pro-Walker as anti-recall.

        Yes, Gray Davis had just been re-elected Gov in Calif, but with only 47% of the vote.  The reason he lost the recall was less about Gray Davis, who was a bland man who had very shallow support on the left, and much more about the giddy prospect of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.  The converging storms of a huge budget crisis and an electricity shortage (probably bogus) created the recall justification.  That, and a ton of Right-Wing $$$$.  In that way, WI and CA were similar.  Otherwise, not much.

    •  And your point? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mjshep, happymisanthropy

      Yes, Barack Obama was elected in 2008.  And then, as a Democratic President, proceeded to hand us a health care plan taken from a Republican governor, and kept trying to offer up 'deals' to Republicans that would involve cutting social security and medicare, and pushed for deals to keep the plutocrats from paying more taxes while freezing public pay and overseeing the laying off more public sector employees than any President in decades.  And that doesn't even get in to 'outhawking' the Republicans to the point at which they can't even attack him on Defense in his re-election?

      That doesn't strike you as moving to the right? Seriously?

    •  that's way too simple.. it must be that Democracy (0+ / 0-)

      is crumbling before our eyes!

      I bet in an alternate universe this same diarist is writing how democracy was once again proven to work superbly because in that universe Barrett won.

      Just think of all the diaries that would have been written about the "will of the people" being heard.. and "democracy works!" and how proud the diarist is of the people of Wisconsin for exercising their rights under a democracy.. blah blah blah.. if only Walker had lost.

      This kind of whining by the diarist is utterly predictable.

    •  Skeptical (0+ / 0-)

      I am. The demographics of the United States show a clear swing to the right over the last half century. The emergance of the Tea Party is a phenomenon that was unknown ten years ago - those who thought that way were considered loonies. If you want "hard" evidence, check out polls from shortly after 9/11 asking whether Americans considered the federal government our enemy....

      If the government is for sale, why not blame the buyers?

      by boguseconomist on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 01:16:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't agree (5+ / 0-)

    What the people of this country want is not fascism, they want someone to fight for them.  They want someone who actually cares about something they care about.  That's why OWS got so popular, because they were the only people in this country who were out there putting it on the line to fight back against the banks.  No one with any power is going to do that at this point.  It needs to be us, you, me, everyone out there who is pissed.  The people of this country want what they've always wanted:  A decent shot at a happy life and some power over how their life goes.  Don;t believe the lie of the rising right wing, they are nearer to their doom every day.

    There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

    by AoT on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 03:43:32 PM PDT

    •  more like we are nearer to revolution (7+ / 0-)

      every day.  It's clear that the system is rigged against us so that elections won't work.  

      "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

      by noofsh on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 05:47:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes we are nearer to the revolution. (3+ / 0-)

        But will the revolution ever be allowed to come?  Many, many of us recognize that any true revolution necessarily will involve actual blood in the streets.  How many of us are eager for that? How many of us, although in sympathy with the goals of revolution, will shy away from that?  The idea of blood spilled horrifies me.  Does it horrify me more than the status quo?  I honestly don't know.  But I do fear it either way.
        It's easy to say that those who would give up freedom in the name of security deserve neither.  It's much less easy to be faced with the reality of that question.  How many of us are willing to sacrifice our lives, or the lives of our children, in answering that question?
          I only have one child left.

        •  Organize, Organize, Organize (3+ / 0-)

          The only way that this sort of revolution succeeds is if we organize first.  If we organize in a way that makes sure the most marginalized among us has a voice.  The oppressed are now and have always been more numerous than the oppressors.  The only way to change what we have in this world is to organize.  Mutual aid is the most powerful tool we have.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 07:58:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  OWS was never "popular" (0+ / 0-)
      •  Okay, thanks for contributing (0+ / 0-)

        Got anymore shit talking to do?

        There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

        by AoT on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 06:26:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No.. but OWS popularity (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          was central to your position that people want someone to fight for them.. like OWS.

          OWS was a tiny movement that made a few headlines.. but most Americans simply laughed at the aimlessness of it.  No one outside the few thousand who were part of OWS ever looked to it for salvation.

    •  Keep believing (0+ / 0-)

      something that the evidence just doesn't support. How many right wing policies just in the Executive branch has Obama discontinued from the Bush years. Nadda and they've gotten much much worse.

  •  Another unpleasant possibility? (6+ / 0-)

    Christianity makes people stupid and violent.

    190 milliseconds....

    by Kingsmeg on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 04:05:32 PM PDT

    •  A certain type of Christianity, yes. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Renee, peptabysmal

      The rt wing fundies, definitely.

      Sadly, I know this from family background.

      And they are full of hate also.

      The more hateful the rt wing politician, the more they like him.

      WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For May: Martyrs of the San Diego Free Speech Fight, Spring 1912.

      by JayRaye on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 06:05:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And the manipulation of any group, (0+ / 0-)

      be they christian or whatever, is the final coffin nail.

      Which is what this diary is pointing out.  Money buys not only elections and legislators...but great propaganda: repetitious disinformation combined with pap is the formula.  

      Democracy has been bought out.  We have had a major corporate coup d'etat in process for sometime and it is almost complete.

      "I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong." Richard Feynman

      by leema on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 11:55:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  All Organized religion does that (0+ / 0-)

      but the right wing Christians are ready to go on a rock and roll crusade of massive proportions. They are going to go positively medieval on all of our asses.

  •  Land of the brave no more (6+ / 0-)

    A democracy gets the government its people deserve. It takes people willing to rock the boat a little to have a viable democracy. That characteristic is being discouraged in America. The self-styled Freedomers are the most insistent on conformity. Democracy requires education. America has always had an anti-intellectual tilt. Again, none more so than the USA!-chanters.

    Wave upon wave of demented avenges march cheerfully out of obscurity and into the dream.


  •  As it's said in Ireland- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, peptabysmal

    We're Fooked!

    "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

    by pengiep on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 04:35:42 PM PDT

  •  We are approaching the Great Liquidation, (15+ / 0-)

    which first requires that working middle class resistance be broken. Wisconsin was selected as the opening "shock and awe" operation to deter resistance to Liquidation.

    The Owners have decided they can make enormous profits now without having to invest in domestic manufacturing, without having to invest in living wages, without having to invest in any social safety net for the poor or infirm, without having to invest in public education, without having to invest in payroll or pensions for any public employees. These "less productive investments" are to be liquidated. That of course means betraying the American Dream and throwing away the Middle Class, but that can be done once you convince people these things are no longer social goods or are too "extravagant" to sustain.

    Mitt Romney, unlike his father, never focused on making a product, selling it, and building brand loyalty; he was never a Builder, but always a Liquidator, stripping one company after another of assets for reinvestment elsewhere.  

  •  so you still think elections can solve this mess? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    notdarkyet, lunachickie

    I think the truth is out there to see.  Elections won't fix the mess we are in.  Prepare yourself for the coming revolution.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 05:42:49 PM PDT

  •  If Americans had the wit to see, (5+ / 0-)

    they would take a good  look at Michigan to see what the Plutocrats and their boot lickers plan for the USA.  The plan is plainly visible and implementation is well under way..

    Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

    by tikkun on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 06:11:07 PM PDT

    •  I agree (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peptabysmal, retLT, Dburn

      I live in Detroit. The Mackinac Conference was all about development of Detroit businesses, without any seminars on how to help Detroiter's get jobs.
      Pete Karmanos was in The Detroit Free Press today, saying he could care less about the sucess of the city. Business would carry on. He said all he wanted was police and fire and no matter who was running the city (EFM. Consent, bankruptcy etc.), they would all have to provide police and fire.
      First they ruined the city, now they are back, not to rebuild it, but to restructure themselves right in the middle of the ruins.

  •  Actually we are a Republic ruled by a (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    written constitution.  A Republic protects the rights of individuals and minorities so that the majority cannot suppress the minority---in our case the majority is suppose to be restrained by the Constitution.

    Unfortunately the black robed politicians in the SC have decided to sell our Republic to the highest bidder.

    However, there is still hope and I don't think we "are galloping toward the extreme right."  Just a few years ago we elected Obama and we can do it again, but only with a sustained and dedicated effort by all progressives.  

    "It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak." President Barack Obama 3/24/09

    by sfcouple on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 06:16:37 PM PDT

    •  Progressive? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Like you, I believed Mr. Obama would actually take action to change the focus of this country. I was disappointed. It will take more than conciliation to assert the rights guaranteed to us by the Constitution. It will take an total overhaul of our identification of democracy with multinational capitalism, and that is more than anyone currently in sight would be willing to do.

      If the government is for sale, why not blame the buyers?

      by boguseconomist on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 01:29:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  white people are "galloping to the right" (8+ / 0-)

    minorities, not so much. So demographics show that the gallop to the right will screech to a halt soon. A significant percentage of white people are progressive or moderate too so they, added to the growning minority numbers, will overcome and stop the GOPer/teabagger move to the right sooner rather than later.

    Arizona and Texas are about to turn blue, when that happens the GOP will have no path to the presidency. They will still elect senators and congressmen from the remaining red states but their power will inevitably wane and a deversified America will recover its balance.

    America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

    by cacamp on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 06:48:28 PM PDT

    •  Demographics (5+ / 0-)

      Old ignorant white people are dying off faster than they are being replaced.  The remaining ones with money are pulling every trick known out of their hats that money can buy to tilt the field in their favor and stem the tide and it is working now but in the end they will inevitably be outnumbered because their ideology is too exclusive and inflexible to capture the rising population demographics.  The tension will grow as the only thread holding the white right together- massive money- begins to fray and fail.  People can be fooled a long, long time but only so long.

      Don't despair, we shall overcome someday.

      Advisors for President-Elect Barack Obama feared the new administration would face a coup if it prosecuted Bush-era war crimes, according to a new report out this morning.

      by Kurt Sperry on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 07:22:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well.... (0+ / 0-)

    Scott Walker and Donald Trump are definitely NOT role models for me, quite the opposite, they repulse me.
    Nothing about the corporate sycophantic lifestyle, aggressive cruel ambition or the blind following of an inane ideology is appealing to me.
    But, after having said that, it hasn't been easy bucking the system (ie. fighting city hall....especially when you know the system is dead wrong), which many, many of my acquaintances simply go along with because it's easier.  
    But ya know, at the end of the day, I'm the one who has to wake up with me, and I find that's much easier if I've been true to myself.

    I think, therefore I am........................... Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose AKA Engine Nighthawk - don't even ask!

    by Lilyvt on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 07:02:16 PM PDT

  •  Citizen's United may have been the end (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    parse this, retLT, SaveDemocracy, Dburn

    I think we may come to find it was.

    The aristocracy realized the younger generations and minorities were starting to win, so for all intents and purposes, they ended our Democracy.

    You may just not be able to win when they have that much corporate cash on hand.

    I wouldn't be surprised to find this is true after a decade or so of this.

    That doesn't mean that while living in this country it isn't still a moral imperative to make the suffering as little as possible by trying to win as many elections as possible, but it may still be the end...

  •  Constructive diaries (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    describe problems, in order to propose solutions.

    Destructive ones, blame the victims.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 07:58:10 PM PDT

    •  Guilty (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dburn, karmsy

      I'm afraid I have to plead guilty to writing a destructive diary. However, in mitigation, I can suggest that there might be a solution in pointing out the problems. The problem is clearly the inordinate inflluence of wealth in our system. The solution would be some kind of redistribution of that wealth, either by voluntary or legislative actions.

      If the government is for sale, why not blame the buyers?

      by boguseconomist on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 01:34:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with you 100% here. (0+ / 0-)

        It's easy to get angry at low-information voters, who are wooed by expensive propaganda, who vote against their own self-interest. It's fury I often share. But we can't give into it; it gets us nowhere. The question we need to ask, is how do we enfranchise? How do we strike the populist chords the Reaganites did, back during the early 80s, to bring in those every-day people who never thought they would be politically active? If you live in a liberal enclave, if you get your information about the world on DailyKos, you can kid yourself that everyone shares progressive values. They don't.

        In fact, the only question worth asking is how to persuade, respectfully.

        It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

        by karmsy on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 05:33:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Its very likely that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    many of us will need to find another place to live soon.

    The Long War is not on Iraq, Afghanistan, or Iran. It is on the American people.

    by Geonomist on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 07:58:18 PM PDT

  •  I'll believe it when I see (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nuclear winter solstice

    actual ballots showing these craven motherfuckers actually won anything honestly since at least the year 2000.

    evidence is beginning to pile up that the United States isn't just moving to the Right, it's galloping
    Our elections and our politics are no longer honest, on several levels. So if it's an unpleasant possibility you're looking for, you might want to stick with this one:
    Maybe we're not a democracy any more

    It is time to #Occupy Media.

    by lunachickie on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 09:08:54 PM PDT

  •  WYSIWYG (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nuclear winter solstice, Dburn


    A society built along these lines is not a democracy: it's a plutocracy - a government of wealth.
    War is popular with plutocracies since war produces profits.
    The casualties are primarily from the lower and lower middle classes. The only costs are paid by the ones who fight and the taxpayers who have to pay for the costs of the wounded.
  •  I've given up as well... (5+ / 0-)

    ...and left the country after the GWB's reelection.

    I think the current Obama/Romney Dem/Rep fight is as relevant as a fight between politburo members of the USSR before the crash.

    The country is woefully unprepared to face the challenges of peak oil and global warming, and the only reason I'll vote for Obama is that I hope he'll manage a smoother transition into the collapse à la Gorbachev than Romney, but I expect nothing else from him.

    The country we knew (I'm 58) is gone for good and the next couple of decades are going to be painful beyond belief.


    by Lupin on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 01:53:10 AM PDT

    •  Expat (0+ / 0-)

      My wife and I have been to Nice eight times in the last ten years and are approaching the time when age and money will make this impossible. France got rid of Sarkozy, but I doubt we'll do as well with the right-wing Congress we've got now. I would have voted for Segolene Royale the last time had I been a citizen, but we don't have any choice here.....

      If the government is for sale, why not blame the buyers?

      by boguseconomist on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 07:43:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Arm yourselves with flashlights and video (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Slow thinkers - keep right

    by Dave the Wave on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 06:30:13 AM PDT

  •  People don't want to pay taxes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Walker is a union buster and a large part of the US likes that as they see public unions as a drain on public treasuries, that is, their taxes. This is a time of high economic stress and the public resents paying taxes.

    Yet they want public services, overwhelmingly.

    I think that the US is permanently paralyzed and that each political group will make gains only off of the misfortune of the other group. Democrats benefited from the Bush Presidency and the Republicans are straining to declare Obama a total disaster so that they can make big gains. This formula will go nowhere. We cannot make progress as a society with this total deadlock.

    Here's what I think is the problem. The Right feels that the elite played according to the rules so that they get to be fabulously wealthy and to get the government that they can buy. A large part of the population buys the "rules" argument and votes against their best interests. Democrats are seen a cheaters, social engineers, income re distributors. This will never change until we change the rules. To do that we need a crisis, otherwise we will slowly fade as an anti-science, creationist, plutocracy.

  •  I am 48, I was 17 Reagan fired the Air Controlers (0+ / 0-)

    So I lived all my adult life with the unions declining, many who are in my age group, especially not college grads probably have not experienced what benefits a union job would help, and maybe believes the image that union people are fat cats. Also it doesn't help that a good number of people around my age are Fox news watchers, so the image of the demographic dying out is not true and will still have the firepower to vote against their interests well in the 2nd quarter of the 21st century.  So while some issues may get better like marriage equity, it will mean niente with a large swarth of America living in penury and shockingly accepting and liking it, for a long time.

    One does not simply walk into Mordor! One invites a gas driller in, and one’s land becomes Mordor. Chris From Balloon Juice

    by Mr Stagger Lee on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 11:28:05 AM PDT

  •  It's da money (0+ / 0-)

    The short term  lesson that Democrats should learn is that money, voter suppression and a simple message , true or not, is what the GOP believe will win the election. The fact that Romney out raised Obama by 17 Million in April isn't the real point of concern although it shows a trend.

    The GOP now believes they have the magic numbers to not only win, but win with a mandate (to do whatever they want)

    The numbers are a ten to one margin in money raised and at least a 10% vote suppression and a simple message;
     The economy isn't going your way.
    Perfect;  says everything and says nothing. Same one we would use if our guy wasn't in office.

     Money? Look at it in terms of 2008. Obama raised 150 Million in Sept and about another 100M in October. Incredible numbers right? This time The GOP sees 2.5 Billion min required  and thanks to Citizens United they'll get 3B just in case Obama's team can fire up the base enough.

    Add that to the active voter suppression in most battleground states and the simple message and you have a sweeping electoral victory and a 55-45 win over Obama for Romney, a candidate that is willing to do whatever he needs to do or say to win the election. That will mobilize their GOTV efforts.

    The Dems don't understand this yet and as a result, they are toast. There isn't enough money in Hollywood or the other traditional places to bail them out since their message of "we suck less" isn't moving the polls in their direction. We are talking about a 2008 size loss of both houses and the executive branch.

    We can see it here on  this site. Democratic activists tend to try to intellectualize everything with long big ads and sob stories about how people were hurt with the GOP policies.

    Guess what? GOP voters love to laugh at Sob stories. Don't fucking use them. Hasn't anyone figured out that from the 2010 referendum on the Obama Health Insurance reform bill?

    The sob stories appeal to the right sided brains of emotional Democrats who just can't seem to get the math part of elections right. "Well Obama won on emotion." Really? After Bush in the White House the Dems could have stuck anyone up there that sounded reasonable and won.

    Wanna win? Start Frog Walking Banksters out to long jail sentences. Identify Mittens with them. Use the power of the executive branch. Taking down poker sites and getting Don Seigleman an even longer sentence won't fucking cut it. Want some GOP voters, and the center independents to center-right, get rid of Geithner, Frick and Frack in the DOJ, and start enforcing some laws instead of beating the shit out of the little guys.

    Right now, if we need a poker site taken down, so our states can put their own up, we know who to call. Say, Lets stop our preoccupation with predator missiles blowing the shit out of people in sovereign countries.

    In short, The executive branch needs to do their fucking jobs and govern honestly and by the oaths they took, then they may have a chance. Anything else and the Dems will be swept. Easily and completely.

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