Tuesday, June 15, 2010

More and Better Democrats!

But oh yeah, we had some elections in the US too a few weeks back, didn't we? Just primaries, though. The most depressing thing I read about them was this piece on the apotheosis of Blanche Lincoln.
Lincoln's comeback strategy was twofold: She took the anti-incumbent mood head on — "I know you're angry at Washington," she said in one ad — while making out-of-state unions a political boogeyman more scary than even, well, a Washington incumbent.

These outsiders, she said, "try to tell us who we are and buy our votes."

Former President Bill Clinton, still popular in his home state, especially among black voters, echoed Lincoln's messages.

With Clinton and Arkansas business leaders behind Lincoln, the race became a fight between the state's establishment (Lincoln, Clinton and the Chamber of Commerce) and the Washington establishment (unions).

Washington lost.

No, "Washington" won; the people lost. Of course, if they could listen to Obama and Bill Clinton and Lincoln, and forget that they are all three Washington insiders, the voters deserve what they will get. If all it took to defuse the voters' anti-incumbent fury was the sort of transparent lies Lincoln and Obama and Clinton told, then their anti-incumbent fury doesn't amount to much. (I admit, I thought for a moment I detected a trace of sarcasm in this writer's prose, but after reading it again, I think I was wrong after all.)

Glenn Greenwald had this to say about Lincoln.
She repeatedly joined with Republicans to support the extremist Bush/Cheney Terrorism agenda (from the the Protect America Act to the Iraq War and virtually everything in between), serves the corporate interests that run Washington as loyally as any member of Congress, and even threatened to join the GOP in filibustering health care reform if it contained the public option which Obama claimed he wanted. Obama loyalists constantly point to the Blanche Lincolns of the world to justify why the Party scorns the values of their voters: Obama can't do anything about these bad Democratic Senators; it's not his fault if he doesn't have the votes, they insist. ...

So what did the Democratic Party establishment do when a Senator who allegedly impedes their agenda faced a primary challenger who would be more supportive of that agenda? They engaged in full-scale efforts to support Blanche Lincoln.
This reminds me of what I've said before about Democratic party loyalists: when they talk about "we", they mean Democrats. They don't mean Americans, or human beings. They mean the party. That's okay, I guess, but it's important to remember for everyone who might have larger concerns.

Then, on Monday Greenwald linked to this video clip of a Democratic Congressman assaulting a college student who politely asked him a question. As Greenwald says, even if the kid was a right-wing stooge, it wouldn't justify Etheridge's behavior.

But they're not Bush! And surely, comrades, you do not want Bush back?