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Why demographics won't help Obama's smug, slothful, and passive Democrats (in the near term)

Quoting Frank again for the sheer pleasure of it:

This is the passage that so impressed me:

What is the pattern that connects these various obsessions of the progressive hivemind — the generational cycle, demographic advantage, racist robots, and gerrymandering*?

I've underlined the part that I recalled, wrongly, as a bulleted list of talking points; it's a comma-separated list of talking points! The same talking points we keep hearing over and over again, put into a box and then beaten flat with a big mallet (Franks also shows, in the original, why those arguments are wrong). So what is "the pattern"?

The answer: each of them is an excuse for doing nothing.

Exactly. "Do nothing Democrats."

Why bother getting out there and building majorities capable of sweeping the G.O.P. out for good? There’s no need, insist Democrats of the optimistic kind, who believe that the impersonal hand of history will soon deliver the world to their doorstep, tied with a bow. ....

The underlying philosophy is one of pure fatalism, of politics as a mechanical process. Everyone’s mind is already made up, insofar as they have minds. Vast forces propel angry white men this way and people under thirty that way. You and I can watch and deplore; we can blog and fund-raise, but we can’t do much more than that. Futility is a way of life for us.

Yep. And more:

The only faction really possessed of true human agency, according to this way of looking at things, is the right.

Agency which they are, unsurprisingly, exercising!

Alex Parene in Salon. Understand, please, that I don't accept "millenials" as a legitimate object of inquiry, any more than I do "Boomers." Ditto, super-ditto, for "white millenials." That said, you can see this one coming a mile off:

There is still a strong attitude divide among millenials along racial lines. A majority of white millennials disapprove of Barack Obama, a majority of white millennials think government should be smaller and provide fewer services, a majority of white millennials think the government has no responsibility to provide health insurance for all (white millennials are even a tad more conservative on this one than the oldest, most conservative group in Pew’s report). On most of these issues, the white millennials are more liberal than older whites — and the millennial generation is less white than prior generations — but the racial divide that defines our politics [for the political class] stubbornly remains.

There is still a strong attitude divide among millenials along racial lines. A majority of white millennials disapprove of Barack Obama, a majority of white millennials think government should be smaller and provide fewer services, a majority of white millennials think the government has no responsibility to provide health insurance for all (white millennials are even a tad more conservative on this one than the oldest, most conservative group in Pew’s report). On most of these issues, the white millennials are more liberal than older whites — and the millennial generation is less white than prior generations — but the racial divide that defines our politics stubbornly remains.

Heaven forfend we should sort "white millenials" by income, a proxy for class! I bet if we did, a very different picture would emerge.

Nevertheless. if you accept the premises... The smug, slothful, and passive Democrats are still fucked, and for years. Why try to help them? The only reasonable course of action is to make them afraid, and that means not voting for them, not helping them, not compromising, not voting for evil, lesser or not. Remember, the Democrats still think of themselves as the good guys -- especially the NPR-listening liberals. They aren't. So don't treat them like they are.

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Rangoon78's picture
Submitted by Rangoon78 on

When The 'Progressive Movement' was defused and subsumed-

A great sadness still grips me when I reflect on the lost opportunity.

"In 2008 there had been a swell of popular opinion and a convergence of smaller movements around a cause. That cause was the candidacy of Barack Obama. The problem was that “Obama for America” drank up and swept away the energy of all those other causes, just as Obama’s chief strategist David Plouffe had designed it to do…"
-David Bromwich

…]
When approached before the 2008 election by labor leaders, community organizers, foreign policy dissenters, and groups concerned with minority rights and environmental protection, each of which sought assurance that he intended to assist their cause, Obama would invariably cup his ear and say, “I can’t hear you.”
The I-can't-hear-you anecdote has been conveyed both in print and informally; and it is plain that the gesture and the phrase had been rehearsed. Obama was, in fact, alluding to a gesture President Franklin Roosevelt is said to have made when the great civil rights organizer A. Philip Randolph put a similar request to him around 1940. Roosevelt, in effect, was saying to Randolph: You command a movement with influence, and there are other movements you can call on. Raise a cry so loud it can’t be mistaken. Make me do what you want me to do; I’m sympathetic to your cause, but the initiative can’t come from me.

It was clever of Obama to quote the gesture. At the same time, it was oddly irresponsible. After all, in the post-New Deal years, the union and civil rights movements had tremendous clout in America. They could make real noise. No such combination of movements existed in 2008.

And yet, in 2008 there had been a swell of popular opinion and a convergence of smaller movements around a cause. That cause was the candidacy of Barack Obama. The problem was that “Obama for America” drank up and swept away the energy of all those other causes, just as Obama’s chief strategist David Plouffe had designed it to do. Even in 2009, with the election long past, “Obama for America” (renamed “Organizing for America”) was being kept alive under the fantastical conceit that a sitting president could remain a movement leader-from-behind, even while he governed as the ecumenical voice of all Americans. If any cause could have pulled the various movements back together and incited them to action after a year of electioneering activity on Obama’s behalf, that cause would have been a massive jobs-creation program and a set of policy moves to rouse the environmental movement and address the catastrophe of climate change.

[…]

If one looks back at the rest of those early months, they contained large promises -- the closing of Guantanamo being the earliest and the soonest to be shelved. The most seductive promise went by the generic name “transparency.” But Obama’s has turned out to be the most secretive administrationsince that of Richard Nixon; and in its discouragement of press freedom by the prosecution of whistleblowers, it has surpassed all of its predecessors combined.

In the absence of a performance to match his promises, how did Obama seek to define his presidency? The compensation for “I can’t hear you” turned out to be that all Americans would now have plenty of chances to hear him. His first months in office were staged as a relaxed but careful exercise in, as was said at the time, “letting the country get to know him.” To what end? The hope seemed to be that if people could see how truly earnest, temperate, patient, thoughtful, and bipartisan Obama was, they would come to accept policies that sheer ideology or ignorance might otherwise have led them to doubt or reject.

It was magical thinking of course -- that Americans would follow if only we heard him often enough; that people of the most divergent tempers and ideas would gradually come to approve of him so visibly that he could afford to show the country that he heard the call for reform. But one can see why his presidency was infused with such magical thinking from the start. His ascent to the Oval Office had itself been magical.

Full Article:

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175816/tomgram%3A_david_bromwich%2C_the_...

jo6pac's picture
Submitted by jo6pac on

His ascent to the Oval Office had itself been magical.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Manchurian_Candidate_(1962_film)

Yes I know may be my tin-foil-hat needs to be replaced because it's wearing out but like this article there were very few stories written about what he really did in Chicago and the ones from then didn't paint him with the some rose color pictures as the pr machine did. I'm sure it was just a small mistake on the so-called corp owned liberal press part. Then even this story paints him as someone at Chicago U who people liked that isn't what I have read. Look around. He and the wife are pure evil. I do love how they killed hope and change with throwing under the bus the 50 state plan.

Everything is on schedule, please move along.

Rangoon78's picture
Submitted by Rangoon78 on

The foil hat can be a crown of thorns. The label 'conspiracy theorist' has, by design, a damning connotation. With that in mind, i offer the following for entertainment purposes only:

Does make it kind of interesting that Geithner's father was in charge of microfinance funding in Asia for the Ford Foundation and that Obama's mother was in charge of microfinance funding in Indonesia, doesn't it?
http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2012/03/ford-foundation-and-cia.html

The Ford Foundation and the CIA: A documented case of philanthropic collaboration with the Secret Police, 12/15/01
By James Petras
From its very origins there was a close structural relation and interchange of personnel at the highest levels between the CIA and the FF.
http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/FordFandCIA.htm

James Petras is no Wayne Madsen:

James Petras is a retired Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University inBinghamton, New York and adjunct professor at Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who has published prolifically on Latin American and Middle Eastern political issues…
He has advised left-wing presidents like President Papandreou (Greece 1981-85), President Salvador Allende of Chile (1970-73) and in recent years, President Hugo Chávez…
-Wikipedia

jo6pac's picture
Submitted by jo6pac on

Yes I have read those and his mom worked at about every cia linked org. there is and so did his step dad. Please free to post another links, I do enjoy them;)

Rangoon78's picture
Submitted by Rangoon78 on

Makes sooo much sense:

From our foil file:

Actor Lennix Coy On Claims He Trained Obama | CounterPsyOps

Lennix’s body language and demeanor is remarkably similar to Barack Obama’s, which is why many have called for Lennix to play the president in a biopic. The actor has also been pictured with Obama in numerous photos.

However, the fact that Lennix reportedly turned down such a role suggests that he is aware of the irony of playing a character who mimics his own behavior – meaning Lennix would essentially be playing himself.

http://counterpsyops.com/2013/11/19/actor-lennix-coy-on-claims-he-traine...