Friday, November 07, 2008

The Democratic Majority

In his latest column, Paul Krugman says it more nicely than I do, but his message is the same - you are in the majority, you have the power, get cracking:
About the political argument: Anyone who doubts that we’ve had a major political realignment should look at what’s happened to Congress. After the 2004 election, there were many declarations that we’d entered a long-term, perhaps permanent era of Republican dominance. Since then, Democrats have won back-to-back victories, picking up at least 12 Senate seats and more than 50 House seats. They now have bigger majorities in both houses than the G.O.P. ever achieved in its 12-year reign.
Let's repeat that for emphasis: Everything the Republicans achieved since Reagan has been done with smaller majorities than the Democrats now enjoy.

The Republicans have come very close to dismantling the government that was the source of the romanticized golden era of bipartisanship from Truman through Carter. Their policies, goals and practices are what has created the rifts in this nation. The economic divide its their doing. The use of race to disrupt class solidarity is their calling card since Nixon. Using jingoism to impugn the patriotism of anyone who disagrees with their agenda is actually one of their oldest tricks, and the model for the others. Systematically dismantling the regulatory state and corrupting what they can't destroy.

There is no excuse for the Democrats failing to take their clear majority status to roll back the damage done by the Movement Conservatives and advance the reasonable and humane agendas of the left.

You want a permanent legislative majority? Enact UHC now. Tell the media the are simply wrong about Social Security, and then expand the program. Think BIG. The Democrats are never so popular as when they are improving the lives of ordinary people.

Ignore The Village and listen to the nation.



Shainzona said...

"Ignore the Village and listen to the Nation."

A very big idea. And big ideas and challenges have been running through all of your posts these past few days.

"Holy Joe Has Got to Go." That's a big idea.

"The Democratic MAJORITY". That's obviously a big idea.

But you also know that the chances of any big ideas actually happening is slim to none. That's clear in each of your posts, too.

I mean, how could they?

Obama? Never had an original idea in his life.

Harry? Old Mr. Please-Dont-Squeeze-the-Charmin.

Nancy? "Bahhhwahhhh. We really don't have a majority...maybe in two years."

The list of possible cabinet appointments? Retreads - not an original possibility among them.

So much for change...unless you're calling it chump-change and that's what we, the Nation, are.

I laugh that the boyz (you know...the ones with the balls...I can't vouch for Nancy in that department) seem to lack the fortitude to DO IT. And they've been handed the golden opportunity.

If only Hillary.....oh, but she's not a boyz!

Anglachel said...


In answer to your questions:

1. Yes, The Village is what you think. The term is used most often by Bob Somerby of The Daily Howler, though I'm not sure if he coined it. Fundamentally, The Village is composed of media, economic and political power brokers who travel in the same circles, go to each other's parties, date and marry each other, and who are in agreement that their form of life is best. They dislike "populism" - the expectation that government will actively help the little guy/gal - and also dislike "eggheads" (See: Al Gore) who make them feel dumb because, well, they *are*. They also hate "losers" and are obsessed with the Clintons.

The people running the big blogs frantically want to be taken seriously by The Village and someday join it. Somerby calls these guys (and they are mostly guys) "pool boys". I call them the Blogger Boyz.

The Daily Howler is the best chronicle of what is wrong with The Village out there. Bob is 100% independent of them and relentless in his criticisms. Media Matters is OK but is too much a part of the environment to be fully trustworthy.

2. The comments on Blogger are really hosed. Use at your own peril. I tried to shift back to the old style which works marginally better than the newer stuff.


Unknown said...

I don't like Reagan and Bush, but I cannot condemn them of being timid about getting what they wanted. Pelosi and company have demonstrated during this past congress that they are only interested in passing bills that ensure their majority in Congress -- power for power sake.
Obama, we know is risk averse, his 100+ "present" votes demonstrated his timidity. We also know Obama does not possess the imagination or vision to create change, his policies were xeroxed from Hillary. I expect Obama and the Democratic Congress to give us the same garbage recycled to look like food, but this approach won't work. Our problems are too deep to have a Hoover-like presidency without reaping similar results. Let's not forget, that the disaster Hoover inherited from Coolidge was made worse because Hoover kept to his script of not disturbing the old Republican economic model.

We're past the stimulus package stage; it's time for a rework of the government budget and tax policies that were enshrined by Reagan and G.W. presidencies and Democrats going back to LBJ.

CMike said...


As to the term "the Village," Anglachel has explained it pretty well. As much as anybody I think, Digby at Hullabaloo has mainstreamed, or at least, blogstreamed the term.

Whoever it was who first adopted the term, it traces its lineage back to this November 1998 Sally Quinn article which you might want to read in its entirety. Take note that this article was written just a few weeks before the House, meeting in a lame-duck session, impeached President Clinton. Here's a passage from that article which discusses a personality who has been in the news lately:

... (H)ere was Clinton's trusted adviser Rahm Emanuel, finishing up a speech at a fund-raiser to fight spina bifida before a gathering that could only be described as Establishment Washington.

"There are a lot of people in America who look at what we do here in Washington with nothing but cynicism," said Emanuel. "Heck, there are a lot of people in Washington who look at us with nothing but cynicism." But, he went on, "there are good people here. Decent people on both sides of the political aisle and on both sides of the reporter's notebook."

Emanuel, unlike the president, had become part of the Washington Establishment. "This is one of those extraordinary moments," he said at the fund-raiser, "when we come together as a community here in Washington -- setting aside personal, political and professional differences."

Here are the two passages when the sources for the article use the word "village" while describing their milieu:

Muffie Cabot, who as Muffie Brandon served as social secretary to President and Nancy Reagan, regards the scene with despair. "This is a demoralized little village," she says. "People have come from all over the country to serve a higher calling and look what happened. They're so disillusioned. The emperor has no clothes. Watergate was pretty scary, but it wasn't quite as sordid as this." ...

That came in section 1. This Is Their Home. Here's a more familiar name leading off section 2. The Lying Offends Them:

For both politicians and journalists, trust is the coin of the realm. Without trust, the system breaks down.

"We have our own set of
village rules," says David Gergen, editor at large at U.S. News & World Report, who worked for both the Reagan and Clinton White House. "Sex did not violate those rules. The deep and searing violation took place when he not only lied to the country, but co-opted his friends and lied to them. That is one on which people choke.

"We all live together, we have a sense of community, there's a small-town quality here. We all understand we do certain things, we make certain compromises. But when you have gone over the line, you won't bring others into it. That is a cardinal rule of the
village. You don't foul the nest."

By the way, Sally Quinn is one of the grandes dames of "The Village." She owes her status to her career at the Washington Post and her marriage to Ben Bradlee, the famed former Washington Post executive editor. Here's the charming story of Quinn landing her job at the Post as told by Wikipedia:

Quinn began [at] the Washington Post with very little experience: reportedly called by Ben Bradlee after a report of her pajama party in celebration of the election to congress of Barry Goldwater, Jr., the job interview included the following exchange.

"Can you show me something you've written?" asked Managing Editor Benjamin Bradlee. "I've never written anything," admitted Quinn. Pause. "Well," said Bradlee, "nobody's perfect."

[At the time, Bradlee was the devoted husband of his first wife.]