After Obama has lost his walks on water aura for all but the true believers, and after Democrats got their clocks cleaned in 2010, the Occupy Wall Street gang, “the addled footsoldiers of the deranged general Paul Krugman,” Ace of Spades writes, “are now in Hail Mary mode:”
There is good that come from this — they are outing themselves as socialists. Doris Kearns Goodwin “wet herself,” as JWF said, over #OWS, saying they were doing exactly what her husband advised in a book long ago, and that book sounds, from her description, like a plan for enacting a socialist revolution.
Does that overstate it? Well, I looked up this book that Doris Kearns Goodwin kept praising, and found out the full title is:
Goodwin, an adviser to presidents Kennedy and Johnson and an architect of the latter’s Great Society programs, here joins the chorus of voices demanding fundamental reform of our democratic capitalist system. His agenda for renewal calls for converting military industries to production of civilian commodities, revamping the tax code to eliminate maldistribution of income, granting workers greater participation in management decisions, overhauling lax regulatory agencies, and enacting new laws to prohibit unproductive mergers and leveraged buyouts. Goodwin sees both Democrats and Republicans as mired in corruption and beholden to vested interests. He advocates an enormous reduction in campaign spending and demands free, equal TV time for all office-seekers. He would dismantle the ghettos, rebuild devastated urban areas and establish residential work and training programs for young people in inner cities. All of this, he forewarns, would mean higher taxes. A populist manifesto geared to an intellectual audience, this succinct essay sets forth a visionary, if seemingly impractical, plan to revitalize our ailing economy. Author tour. Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This tends to happen after a political repudiation. The party that gets clobbered begins rejecting the old ways of doing things — which in this case would be stealth socialism — and begins insisting on something new, something that might work, because, at least, it hasn’t failed before, as it hasn’t really been given a chance.
On the right, the Tea Party (and then parts of the establishment) began agitating for a full-throated unapologetic conservatism, filled with laissez-faire impulses that have been political heresies since FDR destroyed the old libertarian vanguard in the 30’s.
But on the left, it’s also a move to a more purist, more honest politics.
What do they want? Socialism.
When do they want it? Now.
As Election Day 2012 approaches, I expect to see this tendency towards confessions — “Yes, I’m a socialist, what of it?” — accelerate.
Because what’s left?
Let’s ask Jesse Jackson, Jr:
Illinois Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. told The Daily Caller on Wednesday that congressional opposition to the American Jobs Act is akin to the Confederate “states in rebellion.”
Jackson called for full government employment of the 15 million unemployed and said that Obama should “declare a national emergency” and take “extra-constitutional” action “administratively” — without the approval of Congress — to tackle unemployment.
“I hope the president continues to exercise extraordinary constitutional means, based on the history of Congresses that have been in rebellion in the past,” Jackson said. “He’s looking administratively for ways to advance the causes of the American people, because this Congress is completely dysfunctional.”
“President Obama tends to idealize — and rightfully so — Abraham Lincoln, who looked at states in rebellion and he made a judgment that the government of the United States, while the states are in rebellion, still had an obligation to function,” Jackson told TheDC at his Capitol Hill office on Wednesday.
“On several occasions now, we’ve seen … the Congress is in rebellion, determined, as Abraham Lincoln said, to wreck or ruin at all costs. I believe … in the direct hiring of 15 million unemployed Americans at $40,000 a head, some more than $40,000, some less than $40,000 — that’s a $600 billion stimulus. It could be a five-year program. For another $104 billion, we bailout all of the states … for another $100 billion, we bailout all of the cities,” he said.
I missed the memo — when did free elections tilting the balance of power to the other party constitute the second coming of the Civil War?
(As the Professor notes, “those Confederate Rebels were Democrats, mostly.” And once again, just imagine if Bush or another Republican had used such veiled eliminationist rhetoric after the 2006 midterms?)
All of which is a reminder that the left’s self-declared Era of New Civility still remains over. Here’s Chris Matthews of MSNBC back in August, still ruminating on the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords and others in Tucson:
It’s also important to remember why she was, why she was coming back. She was shot by a violent act, of course a person using a gun, breaking up a political meeting with a gun, bringing one to a political event which we saw a lot of during the Tea Party demonstrations, people carrying firearms to political events. The violent level of the right-wing in this country, not particularly this case but generally where people feel the need to show firearms at political events, I think that’s a bad development in our history to bring guns to political events.
You should come to argue not to show your firearms. And to have now this horrible case of a woman who was shot down in her political act, meeting with her constituents shot, only not dead because of modern medicine and her character and her resilience, that is all part of this story this year, Howard, and I’m not going to forget it.
As Brian Koening responded on his blog, “Matthews was careful not to directly accuse the Tea Party as responsible for the Gifford shooting, but his insinuation is quite obvious. But also quite false. After all, last time I checked, two of Jared Loughner’s favorite books are Mein Kempf and the Communist Manifesto – not exactly Tea Party-friendly literature.”
Speaking of revolutionary manifestos, or at least revolutions in general, Chris is pretty cool with those these days:
So people with brains, and a sense of history, begin to think about solutions to our problems, that arise beyond the normal list of progressive or conservative tools we’ve used to fix problems.
So we have to listen to the arguments being made down there on Wall Street. Radical solutions are sometimes the right solutions. Think of American independence. Thomas Paine was right. We had to cut off our ties with England pure and simple. Think of abolition. The only right way to deal with American slavery was to ban it outright – not negotiate with the slavers.
How long, exactly, should we continue with policies that leave so many out of work, without the dignity and vitality of a job to go to? How long do we let our economy shrink right there in front of us?
We may, as a society, have to take direct action to put people to work. If the corporations aren’t coming to our rescue, why “isn’t” the government?
John of Verum Serum responds:
All of this is playing off the protests in the street where organizers are calling for what? Revolution. Again, Matthews isn’t saying he wants violence in the streets, but the two examples he cites as precedent both happen to have involved major wars, i.e. the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. If all Matthews had in mind was a new CWA, why not say that. Why bring up these bloody examples as precedent?
Bill Maher of HBO was also on board with the same sort of rhetoric when he dropped by MSNBC recently.