Total "creative class" FAIL on what they're supposed to be good at: Messaging
[Reich's] data describe[s] a social revolution. In the 1970s, the top one percent received eight percent of national income. By 2007, their share had tripled, to 23 percent. Herbert went on to state a concomitant point: “A male worker earning the median wage in 2007 earned less than the median wage, adjusted for inflation, of a male worker 30 years earlier.”
The rich have gotten a great deal richer. Everyone else has stood still. ...
In the face of that staggering social revolution, are you aware of any politics or political messaging on the left [sic] which has tried to encompass this revolution? Have liberal entities even tried to make the public aware of this change? Have liberal entities tried to build political frameworks in which average people of the left, the center and the right can see their obvious common interest in confronting this revolution?
Actually, no—you have not. ...
Simple story: Average people of the left, right and center are getting eaten by the social revolution defined by Reich’s data. For example, they are all getting ripped off by the remarkable cost of American health care—a remarkable topic which went undiscussed in last year’s discussion of health care. ... But no major liberal or mainstream press entity ever attempted to explain why health care costs are so stunningly high in this country.
Duh. Those remarkable health care costs are part of the social revolution defined by Reich’s data. But did you see a single Big Liberal really examine that topic last year? Did you see Rachel raise it? Big Eddie? Joan?
We’re sorry, but no—you did not.
Our “liberal leaders” almost entirely come from within that top one percent. (From high within that one percent.) They display little sense of the problem defined by Reich’s data—and when they’re pushed, they tend to defer to corporate/major wealth interests. Over the course of the past several decades, the “liberal” world has produced nothing in reaction to the revolution defined in Reich’s data —no messaging; no frameworks; no serious outreach.
So that makes "our" opinion and thought "leaders" neither "liberal" nor "left." Eh?
And the D faction that closest to defining any "messaging" on Reich's "revolution"?
Why, both Clintons, of course! Which would be why the courtiers at Versailles, including their young lackeys in the "creative" [cough] "class," hated them, feared them, and helped to destroy them. I'd caveat that both Clintons were more about messaging, some (not to be despised) empathy, and the delivery of concrete material benefits (HOLC; health care), than about developing what the Howler calls an analytical "framework," and teaching people how to use it. "It's the economy, stupid" begs precisely the most important question: "Whose economy"? And to that, neither Clinton -- both of whom are firmly in the Washington Consensus, though on the left-hand side -- have an answer. *
Unfortunately for both Clintons, and even more unfortunately for us, the "neo-liberalism with a human face" they proffer is no longer adequate to the times. Normalized 10% nominal (20% real) disemployment is not a condition that can be mitigated. That's why a third force in American politics needs to be created, and both legacy parties need to be destroyed.
Howler is teh suxx0r. He hates Rachel Maddow! Look! Over there! Sarah Palin!
NOTE Of course, "FAIL" is all a matter of perspective. I guess if your goal in life is to gentrify the District with PBR and condos, it's all good!
NOTE * Here's some excerpts from Bill Clinton's speech in Denver, 2008:
Middle-class and low-income Americans are hurting, with incomes declining, job losses, poverty, and inequality rising, mortgage foreclosures and credit card debt increasing, health care coverage disappearing, and a very big spike in the cost of food, utilities, and gasoline. ...
In this decade, American workers have consistently given us rising productivity. That means, year after year, they work harder and produce more.
Now, what did they get in return? Declining wages, less than one-fourth as many new jobs as in the previous eight years, smaller health care and pension benefits, rising poverty, and the biggest increase in income inequality since the 1920s.
American families by the millions are struggling with soaring health care costs and declining coverage.
I will never forget the parents of children with autism and other serious conditions who told me on the campaign trail that they couldn't afford health care and couldn't qualify their children for Medicaid unless they quit work and starved or got a divorce.
Are these the family values the Republicans are so proud of?
Notice what's missing? The analytical framework. Why is all this happening? Neither Clinton really has an answer. In some ways, Hillary's great strength on policy detail has two great weakness: (1) Policy, and (2) Detail. I'm all for concrete material benefits, believe me, but why the need for the policies in the first place? Nobody in either legacy party has an answer.
UPDATE Fred Hiatt's pool boi, Ezra Klein, helps himself to a dinky portion of crow (hat tip, danps):
I made the mistake of confusing the mayor's record with the lived experience of D.C.'s residents.
So don't let that happen again. Haw. Actually, it wouldn't matter if Ezra were only confusing himself; the fact that he confuses other people -- that confusing other people is his job -- is the real problem. As for example:
Adrian Fenty ran for office in late 2006. Unemployment was in the 5 percent range. Today, it's at 10.5 percent.
Klein -- confusingly! -- cites the average. What the average conceals is that African-American unemployment in DC is double the national average: 34.5%. Funny, isn't it, how race is "any stick to beat a dog" with the "creative class," instead of a serious analytical category. Or not funny.
And check out this comment:
When I saw in the paper Monday morning that Fenty had spent Sunday competing in a triathalon, I felt like it was the perfect encapsulation of why he was going to lose. I'm sure young, well toned folks with lots of free time and disposable income think it's really cool to have a mayor who runs triathalons, but I suspect most middle aged (and 'better') women have the same reaction I do - that he is 'goofing' off (I would choose another word, but it triggers the Post's filter) and that the things that are important to him are not remotely the ones that are important to us. I have the same reaction every time I hear about Obama golfing. BTW, I am a lifelong totally committed Democrat, but I just feel like the Fenty [Obama] wing of the party just doesn't get the importance of the need for both the reality and the appearance of empathy with the folks they are asking to vote for them. Of course, you are right that if unemployment were 1% and incomes were roaring upward, Fenty would have been fine, but given that he knew that was not the case, I think that his own mistakes, not the economy, were the main causes of his downfall.
(Two typos corrected.) Live by cultural markers, die by cultural markers. And it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of perfumed courtiers.