Just Ignore 'Em: A Democratic Strategy for the Post-Bush Era

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Atlantic, Oct 30, 2008.

  1. Atlantic



    Jesse Berney Posted October 29, 2008 | 10:44 PM (EST)

    Just Ignore 'Em: A Democratic Strategy for the Post-Bush Era

    Republicans are never going to allow genuine bipartisanship to happen during an Obama presidency.

    They've portrayed Barack Obama as a radical, a socialist who pals around with terrorists. They've called him anti-American and elitist. They've intimated that he's a dark-skinned foreigner, some sort of dangerous Other who threatens our way of life.

    Bipartisanship is not an option for them come January 20.

    That may come as a disappointment to the American public, which longs for an end to the partisan bickering in Washington. But it doesn't have to.

    There's a third option, one that not only satisfies the need to end the constant back-and-forth and gridlock, but also guarantees Barack Obama's reelection in 2012 and Democratic majorities for years to come.

    Democrats should just ignore them.

    Ingore Republicans in Congress. Ignore their silly amendments, ignore their calls for hearings, ignore the speeches they give, and ignore them when they complain about being ignored.

    Ignore their right-wing echo chamber. Ignore Rush Limbaugh and Matt Drudge and Fox News and their newspapers and blogs. Ignore it when the mainstream media amplifies them.

    Ignore the daily talking points and the noise. Ignore the inevitable anti-Obama conspiracy theories. Ignore the horse race as their contenders jockey for position in 2012.

    Ignore them all and just... govern.

    If things go well on Tuesday, we'll have a Democrat in the White House and big Democratic majorities in both Houses of Congress. Even if we don't reach the magic number in the Senate, we can probably get 60 votes on major issues when we need them.

    That means President Obama can set a bold, progressive agenda and Congress can pass it with little or no fuss.

    Republicans can complain all they want. They can yell about raising taxes when we cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans. They can cry "socialism" as we guarantee every man, woman, and child in America health care coverage. They can warn that we're wrecking the economy as we build a new green economy with millions of new jobs, energy independence, and an end to global warming. They can try to rouse fears of a more dangerous world as we finally take our security seriously and rebuild America's reputation.

    Let them complain. We'll just govern, and govern well. And come election time -- in 2010, 2012, and beyond -- we'll be rewarded at the ballot box. You really think Americans are going to vote against the president and the Congress who finally gave them health care? You think if we fix our economy and create jobs that a few silly slogans from the far right will matter?

    Republicans will be left with nothing but the culture wars of the last century, trying to win on abortion and gay marriage when the rest of us have moved on. They'll be pushed further toward the role of a fringe, regional party, with their candidates vulnerable to third-party spoilers like libertarians and theocrats.

    Leave the partisan bickering to them. We may not usher in a new era of bipartisanship, but we can give Americans all they've ever really wanted: a government that stands up for them.
  2. I already made the prediction several months ago that the republicon party is now officially dead

    The republicon elite have essentially aborted the party by pandering to the god damned satan worshipping right wing maggots.

    It has become a party of and for the wicked and the illiterates.

    The platform attracts crooks, charlatans, taliban fanatics, and the half witted illiterate cut 'n paste imbecile on ET.

    These imbeciles will now get a new purpose in life. Posting rumors, lies and everything evil rush and his type will manufacture.

    So the author of the article is right on target when he states to ignore the evil fucks.
  3. You'll get that for a while.... and there will be high hopes.

    But 4 years hence, my bet is even YOU will be sick of NObama too.
  4. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122533157015082889.html

    There is something odd -- and dare I say novel -- in American politics about the crowds that have been greeting Barack Obama on his campaign trail. Hitherto, crowds have not been a prominent feature of American politics. We associate them with the temper of Third World societies. We think of places like Argentina and Egypt and Iran, of multitudes brought together by their zeal for a Peron or a Nasser or a Khomeini. In these kinds of societies, the crowd comes forth to affirm its faith in a redeemer: a man who would set the world right.
    As the late Nobel laureate Elias Canetti observes in his great book, "Crowds and Power" (first published in 1960), the crowd is based on an illusion of equality: Its quest is for that moment when "distinctions are thrown off and all become equal. It is for the sake of this blessed moment, when no one is greater or better than another, that people become a crowd."
    On the face of it, there is nothing overwhelmingly stirring about Sen. Obama. There is a cerebral quality to him, and an air of detachment. He has eloquence, but within bounds. After nearly two years on the trail, the audience can pretty much anticipate and recite his lines. The political genius of the man is that he is a blank slate. The devotees can project onto him what they wish. The coalition that has propelled his quest -- African-Americans and affluent white liberals -- has no economic coherence. But for the moment, there is the illusion of a common undertaking -- Canetti's feeling of equality within the crowd. The day after, the crowd will of course discover its own fissures. The affluent will have to pay for the programs promised the poor. The redistribution agenda that runs through Mr. Obama's vision is anathema to the Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and the hedge-fund managers now smitten with him. Their ethos is one of competition and the justice of the rewards that come with risk and effort. All this is shelved, as the devotees sustain the candidacy of a man whose public career has been a steady advocacy of reining in the market and organizing those who believe in entitlement and redistribution.
    A creature of universities and churches and nonprofit institutions, the Illinois senator, with the blessing and acquiescence of his upscale supporters, has glided past these hard distinctions. On the face of it, it must be surmised that his affluent devotees are ready to foot the bill for the new order, or are convinced that after victory the old ways will endure, and that Mr. Obama will govern from the center. Ambiguity has been a powerful weapon of this gifted candidate: He has been different things to different people, and he was under no obligation to tell this coalition of a thousand discontents, and a thousand visions, the details of his political programs: redistribution for the poor, postracial absolution and "modernity" for the upper end of the scale.
  5. It was no accident that the white working class was the last segment of the population to sign up for the Obama journey. Their hesitancy was not about race. They were men and women of practicality; they distrusted oratory, they could see through the falseness of the solidarity offered by this campaign. They did not have much, but believed in the legitimacy of what little they had acquired. They valued work and its rewards. They knew and heard of staggering wealth made by the Masters of the Universe, but held onto their faith in the outcomes that economic life decreed. The economic hurricane that struck America some weeks ago shook them to the core. They now seek protection, the shelter of the state, and the promise of social repair. The bonuses of the wizards who ran the great corporate entities had not bothered them. It was the spectacle of the work of the wizards melting before our eyes that unsettled them.

    Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the late Democratic senator from New York, once set the difference between American capitalism and the older European version by observing that America was the party of liberty, whereas Europe was the party of equality. Just in the nick of time for the Obama candidacy, the American faith in liberty began to crack. The preachers of America's decline in the global pecking order had added to the panic. Our best days were behind us, the declinists prophesied. The sun was setting on our imperium, and rising in other lands.

    A younger man, "cool" and collected, carrying within his own biography the strands of the world beyond America's shores, was put forth as a herald of the change upon us. The crowd would risk the experiment. There was grudge and a desire for retribution in the crowd to begin with. Akin to the passions that have shaped and driven highly polarized societies, this election has at its core a desire to settle the unfinished account of the presidential election eight years ago. George W. Bush's presidency remained, for his countless critics and detractors, a tale of usurpation. He had gotten what was not his due; more galling still, he had been bold and unabashed, and taken his time at the helm as an opportunity to assert an ambitious doctrine of American power abroad. He had waged a war of choice in Iraq.

    This election is the rematch that John Kerry had not delivered on. In the fashion of the crowd that seeks and sees the justice of retribution, Mr. Obama's supporters have been willing to overlook his means. So a candidate pledged to good government and to ending the role of money in our political life opts out of public financing of presidential campaigns. What of it? The end justifies the means.

    Save in times of national peril, Americans have been sober, really minimalist, in what they expected out of national elections, out of politics itself. The outcomes that mattered were decided in the push and pull of daily life, by the inventors and the entrepreneurs, and the captains of industry and finance. To be sure, there was a measure of willfulness in this national vision, for politics and wars guided the destiny of this republic. But that American sobriety and skepticism about politics -- and leaders -- set this republic apart from political cultures that saw redemption lurking around every corner.

    My boyhood, and the Arab political culture I have been chronicling for well over three decades, are anchored in the Arab world. And the tragedy of Arab political culture has been the unending expectation of the crowd -- the street, we call it -- in the redeemer who will put an end to the decline, who will restore faded splendor and greatness. When I came into my own, in the late 1950s and '60s, those hopes were invested in the Egyptian Gamal Abdul Nasser. He faltered, and broke the hearts of generations of Arabs. But the faith in the Awaited One lives on, and it would forever circle the Arab world looking for the next redeemer.

    America is a different land, for me exceptional in all the ways that matter. In recent days, those vast Obama crowds, though, have recalled for me the politics of charisma that wrecked Arab and Muslim societies. A leader does not have to say much, or be much. The crowd is left to its most powerful possession -- its imagination.

    From Elias Canetti again: "But the crowd, as such, disintegrates. It has a presentiment of this and fears it. . . . Only the growth of the crowd prevents those who belong to it from creeping back under their private burdens."

    The morning after the election, the disappointment will begin to settle upon the Obama crowd. Defeat -- by now unthinkable to the devotees -- will bring heartbreak. Victory will steadily deliver the sobering verdict that our troubles won't be solved by a leader's magic.
  6. Atlantic





  7. this.