Thank You, Wisconsin Progressives

Although the recall effort failed to take back the Wisconsin Senate, it was still quite an accomplishment to recall two state senators. Thanks to all who fought for sanity. I hope the progressive momentum continues and the recall of Gov. Walker goes forward.

Other stuff to read —

A new poll shows that the recent debt ceiling tantrums hurt Republicans and helped Dems.

Krugman writes about global intellectual failure and the willful refusal to learn from past mistakes.

Another critique of the Westen piece. This piece also underscores the point that when progressives unfavorably compare President Obama to FDR, they are conjuring up an FDR from myth, not the real one. And if you missed this Nate Silver post from 2010 that I linked in comments yesterday, here it is again.

Bottom line, the single biggest reason FDR was more effective at getting his programs passed was not that he was “tougher” or gave better speeches, but that he enjoyed the advantage of an overwhelming majority of Democrats controlling Congress. In Obama’s case, even when he had a slight majority, he had the Blue Dogs in his own party working against him. In effect, he’s never had a real majority at all.

You want more progressive government? Focus on getting more progressives elected to Congress.

I haven’t focused much on the spreading rioting in Britain, but this post from The Guardian points out that “Each of these events was sparked by a different cause, yet all take place against a backdrop of brutal cuts and enforced austerity measures.” Another compares the rioting in London to rioting in Athens in 2008 and says, “Both happened on the watch of conservative governments that refused to even acknowledge, let alone address, underlying discontents.”

We might ask ourselves why we aren’t rioting also. I’m not saying that we should; in the U.S., violent protest nearly always works against the protesters and bolsters the power of the establishment. But it does make me wonder why we’re such bleeping sheep over here.

14 thoughts on “Thank You, Wisconsin Progressives

  1. Thanks for covering this so much, Maha. We wanted three, but got two. It may help a little. There was one state senate republican who voted against Walker’s stuff, he now becomes the most powerful man in WI. He was actually available for recall and the dems decided not to, out of thanks/recognition for his standing up to his party. I really wanted Darling to get beat, and of course, there’s a Waukesha angle to it as well. Thanks everyone for your good thoughts and encouragement. We’re going after Scooter next, can’t wait.

  2. I think the only reason we’re seeing or reading anything about the anger of the people of England, is that the protests are violent. If they were peaceful proteststs, I’m not sure they’d get any play.

    Most of you know that I was an organizer in NC for things like anti-war, and anti-rendition protests. And how in early 2007 we marched against the wars in DC, and how there were HUNDREDS of thousands of people there. My guess was more than 750,000 based on prior protests I’d been to there back in the ’70’s and ’80’s, and when crowd estimates were part of the reporting.
    We were all eager to see how it would be covered. It really wasn’t. Not one TV network or newspaper showed a crowd shot. NOT ONE!!! If they covered it at all, then the shots were all closely framed, and the reports were “Thousands of protesters marched on Washington…” And who would know, because no crowd shots were available anywhere, not even on the internet – or at least none that I could find.
    Maybe if we’d turned violent, we would have gotten more press converage. But it would have been horrible coverage, because they would all make it look like Chicago where the Democratic Convention was in ’68. I can see the headlines “Loony Left Lashes Out!!!” in VE and VJ Day sized type.
    We Liberals and Democrats are still paying for the ’60’s and early ’70’s. That DFH label has been stuck on us for over 40 years. Before we decide to do anything like that again, we need to really think about it. And if there IS violence, then it needs to be both Liberals AND Conservatives who are fed up, and join forces. But who am I kidding, we’d all be painted as Liberal DFH’s, and the narrative would continue. And that will feed right into the eliminationists on the right, and that won’t end well now will it?

    BTW – I am not advocating violence.
    Though that day may come. And it will start as self-protection when the right attacks.
    I’d prefer to change the system peacefully.

  3. We weren’t always “such bleeping sheep.” E.g., in the late 19th century things were so touchy that the powers-that-were found it prudent to construct armories in working class areas. Most peoples’ memory of urban unrest stops in the 1960’s. In any event, for most of our history the most discontent had the option of moving west; an excellent pressure reliever that was.

  4. Put progressives in Congress – nobody can argue with that. But, would today’s Congress, even one loaded with progressives, have enacted the Federal Art Project, 1935, which employed virtually all the major American artists. Art work in public buildings, government erected galleries and art centers? The program ended in 1943 so it was hardly a fly-by-night politically motivated endeavor.

    I can still hear FDR’s voice, especially following the December 7, 1941, attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor. He was an engrossing speaker, came across as a father-figure. Obama is a great speaker, but father-figure? Don’t get that from him, unfortunately, because I think the country needs one.

    Weather is a day-to-day event whereas ‘climate’ is weather over an extended period of time. The 1930’s political, social, economic, value systems, not to mention the inventions of modern science, climate of my childhood is so very different from the climate I now live in. To compare Obama to FDR and disregard the ‘times’ of the FDR presidency and these ‘times’ make the results of the comparison meaningless.

  5. I saw a chart that I wish I could find now, that showed that the cuts the conservatives are making in the UK are much more severe than what we’re experiencing here. Basically they’re cutting off the future of an entire generation. When that happens here, expect rioting.

  6. Dylan Ratigan had an epic rant yesterday.

    He screams about money being extracted from the US economy.
    I liked most of it, but he talks about using the money from repatriated taxes to fund a bank which will lend to businesses at 2%.
    Image how much money could be repatriated if we got what was owed us, and not the paltry 5% that they’re talking about?
    I was wondering what everyone else thinks of the idea.

  7. OT … I see where the Repugs just appointed their six members of the super Congress, and all six have signed Grover’s tax pledge…Kinda puts them in a compromised position if the best interests of the American people and our economy are really the goal they should be working toward.

    I pledge allegiance to Grover Norquist for which he stands…?

    Bible quote for the day…”A slave cannot serve two masters”…Or…” A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I wonder if the Repugs can grasp that concept?

  8. Even reducing the Wis R lead down to one makes a big difference. It’s a lot easier to shame one Congressman than three. Even if it doesn’t switch a vote it focuses the voter’s anger towards that R’s re-election.

  9. Purely for entertainment purposes, I’m sure, FOX recommends replacing Geithner with Donald Trump:

    Out of all of the insane bullshit that’s ever been on FOX, this one might have to take the cake.
    Replace a guy who, I admit I don’t like, but who’s at least minimally competent, and replace him with a clown who’s had more bankruptcy hearings than John Wayne Gacy had clown costumes.

    This would be akin to pushing for Alec Trebek to be Secretary of Education.
    No, check that. Trebek would be far, far more competent that Trump.

    The United States of America:
    “Idiocracy” meets “Celebrity Makeover.”

  10. ‘Gulag, I caught Ratigan’s rant last night. I think he’s right, BUT, the big thing bogging down the economy is debt carried by the general population, and the usury associated with it.
    If the fed is lending money to the banks at 1%, and the same banks are holding credit card rates at 10%- over 15%, how can this be fair? How about Mortgages at over 7%?
    Until people clean up the debt, they won’t spend money, and until they spend money, there WILL BE NO NEW JOBS!! ‘Frickin’ simple.
    I haven’t heard anyone address this problem, it’s time to hammer it home.

  11. “You want more progressive government? Focus on getting more progressives elected to Congress. ” Damn straight! Obama is one man; a good man; a smart man– he ain’t Atlas.

  12. “My guess was more than 750,000 based on prior protests I’d been to there back in the ’70′s and ’80′s, and when crowd estimates were part of the reporting.
    We were all eager to see how it would be covered. It really wasn’t. Not one TV network or newspaper showed a crowd shot. NOT ONE!!!”

    Gee, if Sarah Palin has indigestion or a tweet– hard to distinguish the the two in her case– it’s on all the networks.

  13. I’ll tell you why we’re such bleeping sheeple over here. Hold on…The Bachlor is coming on……

  14. “We might ask ourselves why we aren’t rioting also”
    That day may come if unemployment benefits are cut and people don’t soon get jobs . That tipping point is not far off.
    It would be a whole lot easier to start a giant infrastructure project to get things going, but that would be “socialism”, and we all know that once we have socialism, Sharia law is just around the corner.

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