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What Krugman said



What progressives should be focused on now is taking on the political movement that brought Bush to power. In short, what we need right now isn't Bush bashing—what we need is partisanship.


I couldn't carry a tune if I had it in a sack, and I especially don't know the tune to Kumbaya.

More Krugman truth and goodness:

But any attempt to change America's direction, to implement a real progressive agenda, will necessarily be highly polarizing. Proposals for universal health care, in particular, are sure to face a firestorm of partisan opposition. And fundamental change can't be accomplished by a politician who shuns partisanship.

I like to remind people who long for bipartisanship that FDR's drive to create Social Security was as divisive as Bush's attempt to dismantle it. And we got Social Security because FDR wasn't afraid of division. In his great Madison Square Garden speech, he declared of the forces of "organized money": "Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me—and I welcome their hatred."

Double bingo!

If Obama thinks he can sit down at the table with the corps and not have them eat all the food, then he's delusional.

And he'll discover that soon enough*. And the Dirty Fucking Hippies will be right again. Not that Village will care.

NOTE * Routine qualifiers: If Obama is nominated, if there is indeed an election, if the election is not stolen, and if Obama is allowed to take office.

NOTE Via the Man in the Grey Turtleneck.

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Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

krugman's right again. nothing turns me off of obama more than his unrelenting quest to be mr nice. like that works soooo well on the scumbags of bushco and the gop.

niceness will never be allowed to get off the launching pad. The gop will love that angle. It will be bombed, gutted, and left to rot on the city gates by the roaming bands of rethuglican harpies, hypocrites, and hysterics who will accuse Obama of anything and everything ugly, vile, disgusting, gutter, and salacious. These rumors, inuendos, and tricks will be replayed endlessly, mocked, mimicked and massaged by all of the yowling zombies on teevee. We will see swiftboat,algoreinventedinternet, algoreliar, johnkerryflipper, blah blah blah for 12 months and then caging, us atty investigation of democrats for uh.. suspected wrongdoing, voter intimidation, on and on. And where will obama be? leading a prayer brunch? holding hands with Oprah and saying that GeorgeBush is a decent fellow? No, give me the democrat who brings the knife to a fist fight, the gun to a knife fight. Spare me the niceness and all is good happy talk.

...Is that the reason Democrats won the last election is because of people like me, to wit, political independents, moderates and/or libertarians. Many of us reluctantly voted for Bush the first time around and quickly found out that he had no place at the table for us. So we switched sides in 2004 and even more so in 2006 to the Dems. And the reason most of us switched sides was the Iraq War, not single-payer healthcare.

Krugman is saying that even though the Dems still need our votes, we can expect that our support of the Dems will just result in us getting run over roughshod by them just like the Bushies did to us. That might be an easy way to enact policy, but it's hardly ethical, and it's not exactly a good way to build a lasting coalition of voters. It's a strategy that amounts to telling voters like me: thanks for your vote, we couldn't have won without you, now screw you, we're going to do the same thing to you as the other guys did.

If the Dems still think a strategy like that is perfectly acceptable and that they don't need the support of moderates, independents, and/or libertarians, that's fine I suppose. But if you want to show that you're more ethical than the Bushies, we'd appreciate if you'd tell us ahead of time that we shouldn't bother voting for the Dems.

On the other hand, if you want us to vote for the Dems again next year, then all we really need is a seat at the table. If single-payer healthcare is the right thing to do, then fine- but you may at least want to consult with the groups responsible for the Dem getting into office. As Obama likes to point out, some of us actually have good, valid ideas, too.

Much, much more on this here.

Submitted by lambert on

You write:

rugman is saying that even though the Dems still need our votes, we can expect that our support of the Dems will just result in us getting run over roughshod by them just like the Bushies did to us.

No, he's saying that the Republicans are going to get run over roughshod. That's what partisan means, eh?

Of course, if you want to join the Republicans, there will, and should, be consequences, right?

Oh, and you're talking as if there were an "us," independent of the two parties. There isn't, unless you're a shill for Unity08. When you say "we" want "a seat at the table," who's the we? Joe Lieberman? The Green Party? I'm not seeing any institutional presence here to give a seat. Enlighten me, please, unless you're an Obama troll.

We. Are. Going. To. Die. We must restore hope in the world. We must bring forth a new way of living that can sustain the world. Or else it is not just us who will die but everyone. What have we got to lose? Go forth and Fight!—Xan

kelley b's picture
Submitted by kelley b on

the reason Democrats won the last election is because of people like me, to wit, political independents, moderates and/or libertarians...

The reason the Democrats won the last election is because the Rethuglicans didn't bother pulling out all the stops to steal the vote again.

Their problem was they drank too much of their own kool-aid and took the support of their base for granted.

What they forgot is that they don't really have a base, just a bunch of theocon crazies and rich oligarchs.

The theocons were pissed that liberals weren't being crucified and didn't bother voting. Uncle Karl was too busy to tell his thugs to adjust the machine accordingly. The progressives in this country- always the majority- won.

No Hell below us
Above us, only sky

You act as if party labels have any real meaning, and that everyone is either a Republican or a Democrat. While it is true that almost everyone votes for a Republican or a Democrat, that is because in our two-party system those are the only two parties people can choose from; the system ensures that third parties have very little opportunity for sustainable growth.

There is a reason why about a third of the population doesn't identify particularly closely with either political party. There is also a reason why voter turnout is so low in the United States. Many of those people who don't vote are doing so intentionally- they don't accept the positions of either party and they know that the nominee for both parties is usually someone who has no desire in giving opposing viewpoints on a given issue a seat at the table. So therein lies the "us" independent of the two parties. I might also add that the two parties only exist because a collection of factions have determined that they have a common interest in electing a slate of candidates; when one faction in a political party realizes it no longer has a common interest with the other factions, that faction will leave the political party. Whether they leave for another political party, form a new party, or just stay home is a function of whether the other major party is willing to give them a seat at the table.

Right now, there are a number of GOP factions that have realized they have nothing in common with the GOP; the Dems now have to decide whether they are willing to accept those factions into their fold or keep them on the sidelines and give the GOP a chance to even things up. The most obvious such faction is we small "l" libertarians, who voted overwhelmingly for Bush in 2000 and the GOP in 2002, but split our vote down the middle in 2006. Small "l" libertarians are between 9 and 15% of the electorate. The 39-point shift in the libertarian vote between 2002 and 2006 therefore amounts to around a 4-point shift in the overall vote tally. That 4-point shift accounts for about half the Dems' 2006 margin of victory, and I can assure you that small "l" libertarians didn't suddenly decide that they should vote for the Dems because of Progressive economic policies.

I might also add that neither political party has a coherent ideology anymore, something that is the focus of almost my entire site. What this means is that there is no reason in the world to think that voting Republican necessarily means agreement with all-or even most- Republican-proposed policies, just as voting Democrat does not necessarily mean agreement with all - or even most - Democrat proposed policies. Krugman's logic essentially argues that all "Progressives" must dogmatically accept whatever the Democratic Party line is at the time; this is no different from the logic that has led the Republican establishment to claim that Mitt Romney is the truest "conservative" in the race- he dogmatically accepts whatever the Republican Party line is at the time.

At some point it may also be useful to consider that there are more than two positions that exist on any given issue and that on some issues there are an infinite number of positions. Political ideology is not some one dimensional concept based on how likely you are to agree or disagree with the Republican or Democratic Party; that ignores the fact that on most issues, people like me disagree with both parties.

Political parties are by definition nothing more than a vehicle for electing candidates from a variety of interest groups (ie, Madisonian "factions")