Friday, September 05, 2008

What BDBlue said

The entire comment thread at Corrente is interesting, but BDlue's post neatly sums up the strategic failing of the Democrats:

I Don't Care About The Surge
Submitted by BDBlue on Fri, 2008-09-05 10:59.

But I do think the more Obama sounds like John McCain, the more likely John McCain becomes President. And Obama just agreed with one of McCain’s arguments for why he should be President.

The Democratic strategy seems to be, as always, if we just agree with the GOP we’ll take that issue off the table. Well, pretty soon there aren’t any issues left.

This is a variation on Bob Somerby's overall criticism of the media and Democratic politics, that Democrats keep trying to make inroads against the GOP by agreeing with the GOP arguments instead of staking out their own turf and standing up for their own policies and objectives. You can't take issues off the table. You can only counter that issue with one of your own, either a different answer to the same problem or else arguing that your issue should take precedence.

It is why the entire "bipartisan" approach Will. Not. Work. Have any of these political strategists bothered to read Krugman in the last 8 years? The GOP has no interest in compromising on anything and so it is Democratic principles that are compromised.



scott said...

At some point, when you hear Mr. O legitimize one of McCain's imperialist talking points about the wonderful blessings of the Surge, you find yourself in Arthur Silber territory - wondering whether big Dems really are against the war or are as happy as the GOP to see it continue as long as they aren't personally affected. When I first started reading Arthur, I always enjoyed his writing and his refreshing challenges to accepted wisdom, but I sometimes found his persistent critiques of our aggressive foreign policy a little shrill, especially his insistence that the establishment in both parties supports it and perpetuates it. But maybe he's right. Maybe that's why the Dems won't oppose the war or economic crimes like the bankruptcy bill - because they don't oppose them or don't really care how stuff like this will affect ordinary people who aren't privileged and entitled. I think Anglachel's critique and suggested program are dead-on, but I just wonder how much our liberal "leaders" really give a shit about any of it.

Anglachel said...

Scott, I think the answer varies with the individual, but that overall, the Democrats are trying to deal with an increasingly destabilized world in a realistic way and the Republicans are intent on increasing the instability. See Pat Lang's blog Sic Semper Tyrannis on that count.

If anything, I suspect the Congress critters are intimidated by the ginormous clusterfuck staring them in the face, do not see any action that can end up well, and are simply trying to avoid being painted as cowards at home while they wait for Bush's reign to end.

On domestic policy, they got no excuse. I think class has something to do with it, which is why I keep pounding away at that theme. This is a big factor in the resentment and contempt we see aimed at voters who *want* to be Democrats, if only someone will lay off their culinary habits and give them a little health care, mmkay?

The Pelosi/Reid/Dean crew doesn't give a damn about single mothers in Akron is what it comes down to, and it has as much to do with class privilege/cultural status as with lobbyist payola.


scott said...

I agree with you on the economic issue completely; they're well-off and taken care of, so they don't see the burning need to take care of anyone else. On the foreign policy front, I guess I'm struck by the irony (which would be funny if it weren't so deadly for thousands of people) of exhibiting cowardice by not doing the right thing because you're afraid of looking like a coward! Depressing.