Skip to main content

 Last June, the Supreme Court sent votings rights back to the fifties, but a bipartisan amendment might bring them back. (PHOTO: dcwalkabout.com)
This crew has been doing the elite quite a few favors lately.
Ta-Nehisi Coates, March 30, 2014:
This certainly is a specimen of progress—much like the ill-tempered man might "progress" from shooting at his neighbors to clubbing them and then finally settle on simply robbing them. His victims, bloodied, beaten, and pilfered, might view his "progress" differently. Effectively Chait's rendition of history amounts to, "How can you say I have a history of violence given that I've repeatedly stopped pummeling you?"
In my opinion, Ta-Nehisi Coates is the best essayist the left has to offer, and his most recent piece recounting his ongoing discussion with Jonathan Chait is no exception. It's a coruscating, must-read narrative that speaks uncompromisingly about the differences in perspective that two people, likely with similar political ideologies, can have about the American story.

Chait is, of course, correct in his basic premise that over the years, the African-American condition in the United States has improved. Over the course of a too-long sesquicentennial, our country has progressed from an economic foundation of chattel slavery to electing an African-American president. But Coates takes Chait to eloquent task for bowdlerizing the long, painful and arduous path along the way—recasting as a smooth transition what was actually a winding path full of blood, tears and brutally systematic repression of an entire people and culture.

The enlightening discourse between Coates and Chait is most relevant, and at its most visceral, regarding perceptions of the place of the black community in the American story, but other communities have their own stunted stories of progress to tell. Women have the right to vote, and are supposed to enjoy a constitutional right to reproductive autonomy. The trail of tears is a thing of the past, and we're certainly not lynching Latinos in California or beating them up in the streets of Los Angeles because they dared to dress too loudly for the tastes of whites. And did I mention that the Chinese Exclusion Act was repealed after being on the books for only 61 years?

So of course Chait is right: When measured with the appropriate dose of sanitation, progress is palpable. But it's easy to see how so many recent events could make one so wary of a backslide toward the good old pummeling days.

More below the fold.

As The Oracle from The Matrix once asked and answered: "What do all men with power want? More power." And the Roberts Court is very inclined to give them just that. This past Wednesday, the highest court in the land struck down aggregate limits on an entity's campaign spending in a federal election cycle. The case, McCutcheon v. FEC, was brought by a wealthy white male donor who was aggrieved that he could not use more of his substantial wealth to give more widespread support to conservative Republican politicians. Unsurprisingly, the Republican National Committee, which benefits most greatly from the profligate campaign spending of the ultra-wealthy, latched onto the case. Equally as unsurprising, of course, is the demographic of just who gains "more freedom of speech" from this ruling: white men.

These superdonors — those who are now freed to open their wallets even more to as many candidates, party committees and political action committees they deem worthy — include conservative billionaires David and Charles Koch, director Steven Spielberg and banking titan Charles Schwab.

Only a quarter of these donors were women, according to the analysis. Almost half of them lived in the richest 1 percent of neighborhoods, as calculated by per capita income. Fewer than 1 in 50 lived in a majority African-American or Hispanic neighborhood, as compared to 1 in 6 of the general population. And 28 percent of them worked for Wall Street or had roots in the financial sector.

 “These elite donors stand apart from the rest of America; they are overwhelmingly wealthy, white, and male,” the report read.

The end result of the ruling will be that candidates will be even more inclined to represent the interests of these powerful mega-donors than they already do, furthering the political power of a group with the highest of advantages. But the same Supreme Court does not seem nearly as ready to guarantee freedom for women to spend their wages on the health care that works best for them, simply because one old white male justice could be worried that upholding the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate could theoretically, at some point in the future, force corporations to have insurance that pays for a legal medical procedure:
Kennedy did something different, he did not weigh in on the question of whether non-abortions can count as abortion — indeed, he seemed to understand the difference between birth control and abortion. Nevertheless, he looked at the government’s requirement to provide birth control coverage and envisioned a future law compelling Hobby Lobby to pay for actual abortions — just as he once gazed upon a requirement to buy health insurance and imagined the government forcing everyone to buy broccoli. In Justice Kennedy’s Courtroom, the government doesn't have to defend the law it actually passed, it has to defend the worst law Kennedy can imagine them passing — even if that law would never make it through Congress.
Funny, is it not, how the thought of far-distant adverse consequences only applies in certain circumstances? Even as access to abortion is being constricted seemingly every day by the vice grip of conservative state legislatures, one man could end up choosing to overturn an law of fundamental fairness just to prevent an outcome that has practically zero chance of happening anyway.

Not that women's rights are the only ones under attack. White conservative politicians have also decided they don't like it when minorities vote, because minorities don't vote for white conservatives. So what have they decided to do? Eliminate the types of voting hours that minorities often prefer when casting their ballots:

CINCINNATI — Pivotal swing states under Republican control are embracing significant new electoral restrictions on registering and voting that go beyond the voter identification requirements that have caused fierce partisan brawls.

The bills, laws and administrative rules — some of them tried before — shake up fundamental components of state election systems, including the days and times polls are open and the locations where people vote.

Republicans in Ohio and Wisconsin this winter pushed through measures limiting the time polls are open, in particular cutting into weekend voting favored by low-income voters and blacks, who sometimes caravan from churches to polls on the Sunday before election.

In some states like North Carolina, the only reason these new laws are even possible is because the same Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. And speaking of white conservatives in Wisconsin, how about that new budget document produced by Paul Ryan? It purports to help the poor by converting needed social programs like food stamps and Medicaid into block grants—something which has the documented effect of hurting the poor:
According to data crunched by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, states have diverted billions of dollars of welfare block grants for uses these funds were not intended to support. In the first year of welfare reform, about 70 percent of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant went to pay for basic cash assistance for poor families. By 2012, that number had fallen to 29 percent and states were spending just 8 percent on providing transportation, job training, and other services intended to help people transition from welfare into the workforce.
Paul Ryan, of course, is the same person who blames inner-city poverty on the lack of a "culture of work" and thinks that food stamps make people lazy and prevents people from dreaming. Funny that, seeing as how he goes to work in a a capitol building whose construction was dependent on the forced labor of black slaves. But surely their descendants have just gotten lazier since the 1860s?

In his essay, Coates made a very important point about what informs the differences between his view and Chait's on the social policy progress that both agree has occurred:

What's missed here is that the very culture Chait derides might well be the reason why I am sitting here debating him in the first place. That culture contained a variety of values and practices. "I ain't no punk" was one of them. "Know your history" was another.
Know your history. Imagine viewing the recent decisions of the Supreme Court, or the Paul Ryan budget, or the abortion restrictions and the Hobby Lobby case, not from the desensitized mountaintop of centuries of halting change, but through the cultural context of what previous generations like you actually suffered, and how eager the descendants of those who oppressed your ancestors seem to revert to the old ways of bias, restriction and disenfranchisement. From that perspective—a perspective a white man like me can only seek to comprehend as an intellectual entity but will never actually experience—these things must not simply be issues to be fought against in the pursuit of justice in the moment, but represent a more existential threat.

If there's any truth to this, it's not something I really understood before. But after reading Coates, it's hard not to grasp.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Chait and the New Republic (21+ / 0-)

    Their "home team'' is rich white men.

    Wanting a "centrism" that never harms same.

    Useless.

    NEW SINGLE! http://johnnyangelwendell.bandcamp.com/

    by Johnny Wendell on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 01:10:56 PM PDT

  •  The mindset of pummeling the powerless... (11+ / 0-)

    ...is still around.

    The prison/industrial complex is one data point, the violent crackdown on the OWS movement is another.  The neo-plutocracy that may eclipse the Gilded Age gains power every year.

    Pummeling and lynching are in the past (to some degree) but more sophisticated forms of exerting power are possible thanks to mass surveillance and meta-data mining.

    The fight goes on.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 01:17:58 PM PDT

  •  Haven't been following the discussion, but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    '… the ill-tempered man might "progress" from shooting at his neighbors to clubbing them and then finally settle on simply robbing them.'

    Surely that's not a specimen of progress, but the definition of progress? It's still the opposite of 'good news,' though. Is Chait considering that progress means 'better than the preexisting condition' and Coates considering that it means 'glad tidings?'

    "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

    by GussieFN on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 01:17:59 PM PDT

  •  I'm reading The Fall of the House of Dixie (12+ / 0-)

    and have been impressed at how deeply slavery was entrenched both legally and institutionally and for how long its principal proponents, large plantation owners, dominated all branches of the federal government.

    We are in an analogous situation with the financial sector and other large corporations equally well ensconced in their positions of power and influence and largely unchallengeable through normal democratic processes

    The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

    by Wolf10 on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 01:22:03 PM PDT

  •  Violence is more "American" than is democracy. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Satya1, Egalitare, a2nite, sillyalicia

    We ignore that at our peril.

    Think about the baby Jesus. Up in that tower, letting His hair down so that the three wise men could climb up and spin the dreidle and see if there's six more weeks of winter. -- Will and Grace

    by Rikon Snow on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 01:32:27 PM PDT

  •  Agreed. Know your history (7+ / 0-)

    Unfortunately, our elected officials, pundits, and so-called journalists are ill equipped to even concede the facts or to call a lie a lie. So expecting that they would have any interest in understanding history, let alone any desire or aptitude to analyze today's conditions in the context of history, is to delude yourself.

    Fortunately, others who have had the desire and skills have been doing so with history for a long time. I have found a very brief excerpt of history can help explain why we are where we are today: http://www.postlibertarian.com/...

    Historian William C. Davis described this “conservative” movement as such: “The slow spread of rights and opportunity and the growing power of national legislatures [following the Glorious Revolution] posed an ever greater danger to the aristocrats’ status quo.” Thus, conservatives established themselves as defenders of the King’s throne, using their power to maintain order and stability in society via the concentration of power within the upper classes of British society....they all unified behind the idea of monarchial supremacy and upper class political privilege.

    Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries the terms “liberal” and “conservative” became more clearly defined political concepts. Those who supported conservative ideals generally advocated positions that more firmly entrenched the power of governments throughout the world to control the actions of their subjects, especially those of the middle and lower classes. These positions included the protection of upper-class property, limiting the right to vote to those with substantial wealth and/or property, state churches (such as the Anglican Church in England), mercantilist economic policies that promoted monopolies within staple ports and discouraged free trade, restrictions on free speech and free press, strong militaries, and centralized government. ...During the 19th century, conservatives dominated the Congress of Vienna following the fall of Napoleon, promoted the maintenance of large empires such as the Austrian empire, and resisted the various nationalist uprisings that attempted to bring democratic reforms throughout the world.

    Liberalism was a response to these conservative policies and the absolute monarchies that benefited from them. ...Liberals called for the promotion of natural rights and limited government that focused on the preservation of life, liberty, and property. During the 18th century, liberals called for the removal of monarchial governments and the implementation of representative government, leading to revolutions in America and France, among other countries. Liberals in the 19th century supported nationalist movements throughout the world that promoted self-determination; the right of a people to determine what sort of government they wanted. They also supported expanded voting rights for all classes, regardless of wealth and property, free markets, and the abolition of slavery in favor of free labor. A few radical liberals went so far as to advocate the complete removal of government or supported fringe movements such as women’s rights.

    So it was 300 years ago; so it is today.
    •  Thus the extreme irony of TeaPuppets who dress (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Musial, Calamity Jean, a2nite

      in frock coats and tri-cornered hats to cry "Taxed Enough Already!". When it comes time to vote, they support the same sort of entrenched aristocracy that the Founders rebelled against.

      “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
      he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

      by jjohnjj on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 04:33:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  can there be "too-long sesquicentennial"s /nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jjohnjj, Words In Action

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 01:53:57 PM PDT

  •  We start believing that our abstractions, our (0+ / 0-)

    Terminology, is something real.  As Chait conflates "black culture" with "culture of poverty" so do we conflate our beliefs about another person's experience with their actual experience.  These are two different things. The correspondence . . . An expression of our own experience, nothing more.

    Think about the baby Jesus. Up in that tower, letting His hair down so that the three wise men could climb up and spin the dreidle and see if there's six more weeks of winter. -- Will and Grace

    by Rikon Snow on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 02:04:42 PM PDT

  •  Now the 8th richest man (white or not) in world, (5+ / 0-)

    "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 02:05:12 PM PDT

  •  Not sure how helpful it is to dis (0+ / 0-)

    rich old white men (e.g., the likes of Ted Kennedy, George Soros, and Warren Buffet) with a broad brush.

    But that resonates nicely on this site, so why not?

  •  Coates is amazing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dclawyer06, a2nite

    I love the finish with the Baldwin quote.  I can't read through the complete exchange.  Chait gives me a headache and starts to sound like David Brooks to me.  The assumptions that prop up his mindset - I can't fathom them.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 02:46:09 PM PDT

    •  Chait is a talented writer (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Satya1

      and smart guy but there was something cheap and tawdry about his reasoning here. He approached Ta-Nehisi like an oppo researcher more interested optics and superficialities than any deeper conversation.

      So he mined Coates' writing for something, anything that would let him say, 'Gotcha' and move on from this difficult issue.

      And that's a shame.

      •  A sincere thanks for the Cliff Notes version. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dclawyer06

        It seems to me that the issue would not be so "difficult" if Chait and all of us leaning on a progressive vision would take Baldwin's excellent advice:

        The record is there for all to read. It resounds all over the world. It might as well be written in the sky. One wishes that–Americans—white Americans—would read, for their own sakes, this record and stop defending themselves against it. Only then will they be enabled to change their lives. The fact that they have not yet been able to do this—to face their history to change their lives—hideously menaces this country. Indeed, it menaces the entire world.
        now I can get back to some great reading among my stack of books.

        I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

        by Satya1 on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 09:52:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The good news about "rich old white men"? (4+ / 0-)

    Unlike corporations, their duration is not perpetual. Die, motherfuckers. (Coming from an old white man).

    Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

    by bobdevo on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 03:20:28 PM PDT

  •  The expansion of rich white power relies on (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KYrocky, Words In Action, a2nite

    the expansion of Court power at the expense of the elected branches. Jefferson after Marbury described the Court as "miners and sappers" because Court jurisdiction would extend beyond the confines of Art. 3 into Art. 1 and 2, to undermine and collapse the elected branches. What other major democracy permits 5 rich white guys to take pot shots at the laws? The British used to hang judges for that.

    Judicial supremacy is based not on the Constitution, as Jefferson well knew, but on self-serving judicial precedent and Congressional acquiescence. The Court's power to strike down laws went rogue and led to the collapse of the Republic with Dred Scott. Court power is predicated on a weak, corrupt Congress such as in the 1850's and now. Lincoln's Radical Republicans were elected to restore elected branch powers. Lincon was elected on the grounds that his election trumped a Supreme Court decision, resulting in secession. A decision on the constitutionality of law impacting the nation on a question decided between private parties should be an extremely rare case, according to Lincoln. Legislation is remedied by elections, the President has the veto under an oath to defend the Constitution, there is no express textual commitment to judicial supremacy.

    Electoral corruption is essential to the Court's supremacy, reliant on Congress's weakness. At what point do the elected branches strike back? Lincoln was elected to defy Dred Scott, FDR launched a legislative revolution that the Court could not stop. LBJ followed that model with the Civil rights revolution. This is the progressive legacy, legislative revolutions that the Court cannot block without losing legitimacy. As Prof. Bruce Ackerman has taught, such modern progressive revolutions do not require amendments. FDR expressly criticized an amendment approach as futile, LBJ focused on the legislative process.

    One essential ingredient in a revolution is the integrity of the process. Washington, Lincoln, Sumner, FDR, LBJ all were guided by fundamental Constitutional values. The response to the rogue Roberts Court has been ineffective because it assumes against Constitutional values, that the elected branches are powerless. Lincoln's address at Gettysburg is overruled by today's corrupt politician, popular democracy shall perish if a Supreme Court orders it, until correction by amendment. This avoids having to say that Emperor Roberts has no clothes. The movement for an amendment makes the unpardonable concession that Roberts is right and the first amendment is wrong. An amendment would be delivered understanding there is no guarantee that Roberts would open the gift. Or, democracy shall perish until the composition of the Court is changed, a sort of bootstrap argument that ignores the Court's self-packing by its best efforts to control elections, Bush v. Gore an exception, McCutcheon the rule.

    Amendments have corrected precedent, where the Constitution had an omission, but the First Amendment is not such a case. Roberts is wrong and the Courts before Buckley  were right. How this is corrected is through a legislative revolution. At the end game either the legislation is left untouched by a chastened court, a switch in time as with ACA, or the Court happens to have a favorable composition, or the Court loses its jurisdiction to review the legislation by implemetation of the exceptions clause.

    Progressives look at this through the wrong end of the telescope, one rejected by Democrats since 1933. First, devise the election reform scheme as McCain and Feingold did, but big, bold and game changing, get it signed into law and if at that point the exceptions clause is necessary, use it, empowered by an electorate understanding that it, not the Court, is the sovereign. Such revolutions start with the electorate, activists pushing for reform, and end with Court approval. In the checks and balances of the Constitution, Congress gets the last word, why there is such a thing as progress in the US. Electoral reform has supermajority support and Dems could begin to see an electoral map similar to that which FDR and LBJ produced.

     

    •  Much to praise here, but a little simplistic (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Musial

      I wouldn't start with Jefferson's comment on Marbury. Between the two, I'd agree with John Marshall's view of the Court over Jefferson's any time.

      Regrettably, however, Marshall was not immortal, and the record of the Court from the time Taney replaced him until the switch in time that saved nine was pretty poor. Not only did we get Dred Scott before the Civil War, but after the Civil War the Court systematically, deliberately, and against the clear intent of Congress and the ratifiers, gutted the 14th Amendment.

      But the Court wound up sustaining most of the New Deal, and was the champion of civil rights and individual rights through the 80's. Only when the foul legacy of Reagan took over did the Court become, once again, the champion of the powerful against the powerless.

      That can change, however. Obama will be in office until January, 2017, and if we elect Hillary, we'll probably have a Democrat until January, 2025. Within the next 11 years, the odds are that at least one of Kennedy, Thomas, and Scalia, and maybe more, will leave the Court. With any luck at all, we can forge a Court that will once again champion the people.

      (Note--neither Obama nor Clinton is my first choice as a Progressive. But Kagan and Sotomayor are better than Alito and Thomas, and that's all you need to know about Presidential politics).

      •  Agreed, the presidency is reduced to an electoral (0+ / 0-)

        college for Court composition. How judicial supremacy works if appeased. But the Court is also self-packing as in Bush v. Gore and the 7 Roberts decisions hoped to produce a win in 2016.  Dred Scott is what started the war, a causal connection there because Lincoln wouldn't back down to Taney. The 1883 Civil rights cases query whether the war was worth it. Shelby County answers yes, but in the rebel's favor. Judicial supremacy was the issue of the 1912 election and FDR was ready in 1937, he was against the amendment approach in favor of landmark legislation that forced the Court's hand. He didn't back down, the Court did. His student LBJ went the legislative revolution route also. Dems dishonor their legacy and democratic tradition not to empower Congress directly against the Court's endgame to remove its jurisdiction over elections. Breyer said this severs the electorate from its representatives, with the Court in charge, oligarchy. Jefferson was accurate about what would happen, because it did happen, but wrong to believe a departmentalist like Marshall could crash the system the way Taney did and now the second Roberts.

        •  This could be a really interesting discussion, (0+ / 0-)

          but I don't know what a "departmentalist" is.

          I am, as you might have inferred, a huge fan of John Marshall, whose decisions shaped the balance between federal and state power which most Progressives accept, and which the states' rights crowd (beginning with Jefferson) rejected, most violently in 1861. From the end of Reconstruction through the first half of the 1930's, the Court might as well have been headed by Taney, but from the mid-30's to the 80's it returned to the role I think it should have had all along. Then came Reagan and the Bushes.

          I agree that Bush v. Gore was simply an unprecedented instance of what you cleverly call "self-packing." Certainly the worst decision in 60 years, maybe the worst since Plessy v. Ferguson or even Dred Scott itself.

          I'm particularly interested in the political decisions of the Roberts Court as facilitating the efforts of the Right to remain in power when the evolution of the electorate and the changing demographics would otherwise remove them. What are the two best methods for the Republicans to keep winning? Voter suppression and money in politics. What do we get? Shelby County, Citizens United, and now McCutcheon.

          Your reference to the Court's endgame to remove Congress' jurisdiction over elections is very telling. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments give, inter alia, plenary power over federal (at least) elections to Congress. So how does Congress get it back? Only, I think, by electing Democrats over a long enough period of time to put people on the Court who will recognize what the Constitution actually says.

          So I have to vote for Hillary in 2016.

  •  Here's the good news in all this: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sillyalicia, a2nite

    They're playing defense.  

    They're using their time and (especially) their money to stop progress.  But we won't stop pushing towards our goal.

    They're trying to put out fires of justice. But we won't stop lighting them.

    They're trying to plug breaches in the wall.  But we won't stop battering it down.

    They're trying to hold the door shut.  But they can't keep us from getting in.

    Was it Buckley who once compared conservatism to standing astride the train tracks to tell the train to stop?  

    Well you can always try that, but conservatives oughta know: The train's just gonna keep on rollin'. Right over ya.

    They're playing defense.  Last-ditch defense.  Which means they're not playing offense.  We just have to keep pushing. Keep the fires burning. Keep the wall tumblin' down. Keep getting access to the security and freedom they feel entitled to.  

    And we will reach our goal despite them.

    Nobody deserves poverty.

    by nominalize on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 04:23:17 PM PDT

    •  I wish I could (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite

      believe this but, having watched this as a voter since 1980, there's no evidence I can point to that would support it.

      Trust, but verify. - Reagan
      Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

      When the rich have tripled their share of the income and wealth yet again, Republicans will still blame the poor and 3rd Way Democrats will still negotiate.

      by Words In Action on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 10:05:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What separates a rich man from an aristocrat? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action, Ahianne, a2nite

    Sovereignty. In a feudal society, the aristocrats are not merely above the law... they are the law within their jurisdiction.

    Today's Barons of Wall Street control wealth that the nobility of old England couldn't begin to comprehend. They have used that wealth to create power, and power to create and protect more wealth.

    But we've reached the point where they yearn for complete independence of action, answerable to no one... in other words, sovereignty.

    “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
    he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

    by jjohnjj on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 04:40:19 PM PDT

  •  Speaking as a member of the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action, Ahianne

    Octogenrians Club, I am saddened at the seemingly regressiveness this country has embraced.  

    During my lifetime there were so many monumental achievements made scientifically and socially.  So many wrongs appeared to have been reversed.  

    It is painful to watch the strides of basic human rights that were once thought a "given," now in debate.  The tremendous jubilation when the contraceptive pill first when on the market enabling not only young women to  have destiny over her own bodies, but married couples could finally rely on a method to ensure the size of their families according to their desires and their pocketbooks.  Then, with Roe v Wade, it seemed we came out of the darkness of bygone days.  You see, I remember well the days of the back alley butcher.  That was a terrible time when almost every day you'd pick up a newspaper with the story of finding a women dead from hemorrhaging in literally, a "back alley."  Desperate people do desperate things.

    We must come to our senses.  I find myself living in now the 21st Century.  Sometimes I wonder just what year it is.

  •  Such wonderful insight (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sillyalicia, Words In Action

    I so enjoyed the article.  It really pointed out how we are constantly being fooled by the right.  They are leading us down a path of self destruction.  The colonists came here and stole this country from Native Americans and made them suffer until they were just about extinct.  It just shows you how these so-called Rightous people are more than a little twisted. They are the true TAKERS,what others have made they grab and destroy.  Everyone just wants a decent life for them and their family's but the greed of the few, especially now that they can buy it, won't rest until they destroy everyone beneath their standards.  The Roberts Court is a total failure,it is filled with prejudiced verdicts, that are paid for by the wealthy.  Roberts, Aletto,Scalia and Thomas have set back the justice systems by 100 years.  It's sad that they might be around for awhile.  Maybe a miracle will happen.  Guess we all should start praying in our own way.  Might be that it just might work.  Prayer chain anyone?

  •  Great fucking title. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    And the diary is great, too.

    war is god's way of teaching americans geography. -ambrose bierce

    by sillyalicia on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 08:01:55 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site