Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Democratic Party Must Die

Bill Maher told it straight in his most recent installment of his HBO talk show. Why are Republicans so furious at President Obama when progressives are the ones who should be furious at him? As Maher pointed out, Obama rescued the banks and oversaw the stock market's return to a five-figure Dow Jones average, and he's continued the war in Afghanistan and expanded oil drilling,  but in the meantime we have no public medical insurance for people under 65, no gun control, no carbon emissions legislation, and no reduced defense spending.  To which I would add no expanded public transit, particularly no groundbreaking on a modern intercity passenger rail system.  Obama merely trusted that the states would follow through on transit plans of their own and gambled that the construction would be well under way before Republican governors could come in and pull the plug on them.  We can't even get something relatively modest, like a rail tunnel under the Hudson River, as Chris Christie in New Jersey pulled the plug on that after construction began on it!
Maher also pointed out that conservatives need not "fear what happens if the Democrats are re-elected, because they don't have any ideas anyway."  Maher understands the paranoia regarding a Democratic secret agenda, as they obviously do not have a public one.
I think the Democratic Party's plan is to barely survive on the margins.  Because they only control the Senate by four votes, they're only aiming for as many seats as they need to retake the House (which gerrymandering and re-apportionment have made difficult if not impossible) and they seem to be content with returning Obama to office with the barest constitutionally mandated majority of 270 electoral votes.
Okay, here's the deal.  In addition to having lost the House in 2010, the Democrats are only a few thousand votes from losing the White House in one or two states each and possibly only a few hundred votes away from losing the Senate in four states each.  Re-taking the House is doable but not plausible.  They hold only 21 of the state's 50 governorships.  The Republicans can get governors elected in Democratic states like New Jersey and Hawaii, but Democrats can't get governors elected in Republican states like Georgia, Mississippi, and Utah.  In Florida, in 2010, the Democrats lost the least loseable gubernatorial election in recent history.  (I already discussed Wisconsin.)  Republicans control the most state legislative houses since 1928.  Democrats are severely hindered by Republican super-PACs and state voter suppression laws, and they seem to lack the courage to fight either.  They haven't been able or willing to make Republicans pay a price for taking politically unpopular and morally repugnant positions.  Which all leads to the following conclusion:
The Democratic Party must die.
Time to follow the Whigs into oblivion, Democrats.  You haven't done a useful thing in years - decades even - because you're too busy pandering to a bunch of special interests only slightly less scary than Republican special interests (I'm citing Bill Maher again) - except, of course, for upper-middle class white people who think they're cultured because they drink lattes and drive Volvos, who are even scarier than the Koch brothers.  You haven't helped the unions, you haven't stopped the Bush tax cuts, and you haven't leveled the playing field for the middle class.  You just talk about doing all that.  If you can't provide a progressive agenda people can enthusiastically get behind because you're too fearful of what your Wall Street buddies might say, then don't bother to continue as a party.  You're done.  Get off the stage of history and let us rally around a real progressive party before the Supreme Court and Sheldon Adelson deliver the coup de grâce on the progressive movement in America.   If you can't pursue or espouse policies aimed at making America a country worth living in for all of us, not just some of us, you have no reason to solider on.  You gave us Social Security, you gave us Medicare, now let someone else try to preserve both.
So long, Democrats.  It was fun while lasted - no, not really - but the party's over.  The Democratic Party is over. As Paul Begala once said, this is an ex-party.
And by the way, you Republicans . . . don't take to long to follow the Democrats into extinction.     

No comments: