Saturday, February 2, 2008

"The Election Is Over: We Lost"

Sam Smith observes that once again in 2008 we have no serious opposition party to vote for:
There is, to be sure, a great difference between the two remaining major Democratic candidates: Obama has integrity, the Clintons do not; only one alleged crook has showed up on the Obama big backer list; with the Clintons they litter the place like packing peanuts on the floor after opening a package.

But while that provides a choice and an important one, there is another that we also need -- restoring the First American Republic and ending the second robber baron era -- which is no longer on the table with departure of John Edwards. We are left with corporatized, conservative compromisers who add mightily to the argument that the Democratic Party should be forced to change its name to end the consumer fraud it purveys.
His proposals of what to do are a bit more pragmatic than this rhetoric might suggest.


kgander said...

Smith is soft-peddling the same dishonest "no differences" argument Nader used in 2000 against Gore.

And whatever pragmatism that there is in his proposals is undermined by their proven lack of success. Assuming an "easily identifiable agenda" for progressivism can be cobbled together, it will probably look just like the existing platform for the national Green Party he lauds. And it will most likely be met with same indifference from the voting public.

Harold said...

That argument may be good or bad depending on the actual amount of differences. In 2000 even as astute an observer as Rick Perlstein was taken in by Bush's false front of moderation.

I believe (unlike Smith) that Nader's actions in 2000 were terribly wrong (specifically his campaigning in competitive states). But that's over. Now we have a new set of issues, including torture and the aggrandizement of the executive branch and the chipping away at the constitution with Guantanamo, warrentless surveillance, and the claim that the president can detain anybody, anytime, incommunicado, on his say so.

If those issues are indeed met with indifference from the voting public, then we've got a far worse and less soluble problem than go-along get-along Democrats.

JB Powers said...

Smith is as loopy as ever. Integrity and Obama? Flying around in ADM's airplane while calling for an end to special interests in politics is ludicrous.

I have come to the conclusion that an actual opposition to the political mainstream would be one that appeals to Wal Mart shoppers. Edwards (and Obama) demonize Wal Mart. Hillary runs from her Wal Mart background. I am not sure any of the Republicans know that Wal Mart exists, though Ron Paul strikes me as someone who could appeal to Wal Mart shoppers.

Embracing Wal Mart, consumer choice, and entry level jobs is a radical idea. It is much simpler to demonize your constituents than to understand them.


Harold said...

Hmm, I actually like the Wal-Mart idea. Have you seen what the top execs are saying and doing about environmentalism lately?

Paul Botts said...

Enthusiasm for Edwards strikes me as a perfect poster child for the sad intellectual state of progressivism today. It's not so much that conservatism really became the party of ideas in this country as that liberalism stopped acknowledging any reality more recent than 1969.

Anyway I rather like the Wal-Mart idea both in substance and in symbolism.