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How America became radicalized

DCblogger's picture

I think we first became aware that something was horribly wrong with our country during the great penis hunt. People were appalled by the Kenneth Starr's abuse of power. After the Monica Lewinsky story broke Clinton's numbers went up to 71% percent approval rating. Trent Lott joked that just a few more scandals and it would be 100% approval. Somehow the significance of that was lost on the Versailles Democrats. I thought then and now that had Gephardt fought the 1998 House election of halting the impeachment and calling it an attempt at of Republican coup of a twice elected Democratic president we would have retaken the House. As it was Democrats gains seats, against all expectations.

This was closely followed by the theft of the 2000 election. Once again Versailles Democrats utterly failed to comprehend the enormity of the crime, even less respond to it. Once again the Democratic grassroots was furious about what was happening to their country.

And then Anthrax. Neither Tom Daschle nor Patrick Leahy seemed very interested in discovering who had tried to murder them.

And then the war with Iraq. There were massive demonstrations all over the country (in fact, all over the world.) And the Versailles Democrats utterly failed to keep faith with the people who had elected them. And they rolled for the Dirty WarPatriot Act. Joe Biden actually proposed it.

So when Howard Dean spoke to the California Democratic Convention, saying "I want my country back", people all over the country were ready to respond. And while his campaign crumbled, the spark never went out, which is why his supporters insisted Dean be made Chair of the DNC. And it worked. Dean's 50 state plan of "Fight everywhere" took back the House, Senate, and most of the state houses. Democrats all over the country were winning their races. Which is why Obama instantly dismantled the 50 state plan and laid off all the state organizers when he took over the DNC.

And then came the great financial crash of 2008. I think this radicalized the country like nothing else. It really showed that there was no law nor any justice. And Obama's failure to use his considerable power to make things better for ordinary people truly radicalized the country.

So now we find ourselves in a pre-revolutionary state.

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Submitted by lambert on

That's what I had in mind. Thank you, DCBlogger. Great post. All this history is normalized in my mind, but historically, 2015 - [when was the Clinton impeachment?] 1999 = 16 years is not long at all.

1789 - 16 = 1773, but the only event I can find for that date in France is the birth of Louis Phillipe, last king of France following the Bourbon restoration ("learned nothing and forgotten nothing") after Napoleon.

Not sure, actually, that 1789 is all that relevant to America; the UK has its own revolutionary pattern. UPDATE Brinton says no.

NOTE This was the point I was looking for. From the Brinton list

1. Impossible demands made of government which, if granted, would mean its end.

Except the demand is both impossible and reasonable (like, in 1789, the French monarchy being funded). And I'd swear I saw a quote to that effect recently.

Here is another schematic. I think maybe I need to buy the whole book and read it. I also wonder how contemporary scholarship views his thesis.

Submitted by lambert on

... you see that revolution is almost part of a "life cycle" that all political economies go through. Rather like a karmic wheel.

Anyhow, I ordered Brinton's book. It still seems a bit schematic to me, but we'll see.