Thursday, November 08, 2012

Imaginary Liberal Theater

Kevin Drum gets on the "scolding Imaginary Liberals about all of our unseemly triumphalism, city-blocks-long parades, demanding two ponies in every Prius and a bunch of other stuff that no Liberal anywhere is actually doing" bandwagon early:

We Should Probably All Calm Down a Bit

—By Kevin Drum| Wed Nov. 7, 2012 9:44 PM PST

Liberals, you should rein in the triumphalism. Obama won a narrow 51-49 percent victory and the composition of Congress changed only slightly. This was not a historic vindication of liberalism, and it doesn't mean that we can suddenly decide that demography will sweep us to victory for the next couple of decades. The plain truth is that although an increasing number of voters are turned off by what Republicans represent, that doesn't mean they've become lefty converts. A lot of them are still pretty nervous about a big part of our agenda, and we have a lot of work ahead to get them more solidly on our side.

Also: No matter how much you hate to hear it, long-term deficit reduction and entitlement reform really are pretty important. Just because conservatives abuse the point doesn't mean there isn't something to it.

There is nothing quite so bracing as being condescended to by someone who apparently really hates winning.


DeistPaladin said...

This time, when I voted for Obama, I did it with my eyes wide open. I knew he was going to throw us all under the bus as soon as the election was over and I voted for him anyway. The alternative was just too terrible and, hey, voting the lesser evil is a long American tradition.

It's a small satisfaction, but at least I can say I didn't get fooled this time.

Jack said...

Now that Obama is going to serve a second term, we have to wonder what his disposition will be towards the right. Will he repeat the mistake he made at the start of his first term? Will he try to cooperate with the Republicans? That's what The Village is telling him he needs to do. But the Republicans are talking obstruction, and war! A lot hinges on whether "war" is being used literally or figuratively, but the GOP is happy to throw it around anyway.

Let's face it: before the 2010 midterms, the tea party base of the GOP was on the brink of open revolt. The conservative rank and file spoke like citizens of an enemy-occupied nation, where revolt was actually patriotism.

But then the GOP triumphed in the 2010 midterms, and cold water was thrown on the hottest tempers of the wingnut base. The GOP decided to wait it out; maybe they could defeat Obama peacefully, at the polls. A semblance of calm was restored.

But now? Now that that hope has collapsed, and Obama has been reelected? Their fury will be reignited, and it will burn brighter than before. Democracy has failed the GOP base, so the GOP base will go looking for "other solutions."

To listen to the Village, the GOP is going to enter a long period of quiet reflection and come out a better, more moderate party, ready to govern! By 2016! And Obama's job, they tell us, is to help them with their therapy by being nice and compromisy.

But tonight, the GOP is sharpening its swords and planning new treachery. This time around, I hope Obama's ready for them.

I just flipped to Fox, just for the hathos of it. And I saw Michelle Malkin and Sean Hannity screeching about Benghazi, and how great it is that we have a "vigilant US Congress that has the power to investigate these crimes" (or words to that effect). Malkin closed with the suggestion that Obama should be impeached.

Oh, and have you seen this video, posted at TPM? Here's how Josh Marshall intros it:

"Um … Holy Crap. A reader just sent me this video from Heritage Action, the PAC of the Heritage Foundation, the conservative think tank. On one level it’s just a call for conservatives to keep up the fight, stay involved, despite Obama’s reelection victory. Nothing too surprising about that. But it has this sort of Wagnerian, Leni Riefenstahl quality to it that seems a tad jarring, at least a day or two after the election. (Notably, it was posted on Tuesday.) It has the feel of that fortitude against the bleak tomorrow futurism that I associate with the Terminator series."

You can see the video here:

These are the monsters the Village is telling us Obama *must* cooperate with.

Mal Wood said...

Hmmm is it really a good idea for liberals to even contemplate embracing the ideas of the Right? "Entitlement" - really? Really, Mr Drum?

Batocchio said...

Kevin's a nice guy, but he has an unfortunate tendency to do this crap.

Likewise, I have a couple of friends posting false equivalency both sides do it kumbaya bullshit on Facebook. Oh well, they're "civilians." (Another wrote what amounted to a secular prayer for Congress to act responsibly, but he used to be a congressional intern, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't think it will actually happen.)

Honestly, despite Obama being a disappointment in some areas, this election might have given me more hope than 2008 (that was more relief). The referendum on liberalism won.

But I'm actually getting more pissed at the conservatives, perhaps because of all their whining and promises of vengeance. Two key points keep sticking out for me about movement conservatives/the Republican Party.

1. They are delusional.

2. They are assholes.

Either one of is enough reason to oppose them, but together, it tastes great, err, awful, like Sununu and Ayn Rand. Sure, they're evil, too, but they simply cannot accept reality. The entire Romney team and many other conservatives were actually shocked they lost. They actually thought that forced childbirth and "no sex without our permission" would win them votes. The religious right is still claiming this (and that's fantastic, since they'll keep losing). And obviously, they're mean bastards.

The real advice? Throw 'em a fucking anvil. Throw them many. Throw one for every clang of the Anvil Chorus. It would be irresponsible and immoral not to. They deserved to lose, and they deserve to lose. The movement conservatives are already picking another fight. Obama can take the high road for now, as he should. But for the rest of us – let's oblige these fuckers. Let's keep reporting what they actually say and goading them into being honest, like O'Reilly lamenting the decline of conservative white privilege.

Bustednuckles said...

Who the fuck elected Kevin Drum to be a Den Mother?

Anonymous said...

FakeNews and wrongwing radio may have hushed a bit on Tuesday think'n they was gonna win, but come Wednesday it was business as usual. It's the inability to consider, even for a moment, that perhaps, some other opinion could have validity. Besides, there is too much money to be made spreading the same manure that you've been spreading.

Kevin Holsinger said...

Good morning, Mr. Glass.

I have to admit that the first part of Mr. Drum's piece did ring a little true to me. Even Glenn Greenwald was calling this election a triumph for liberalism (right before the "yeah, but" on the expected Grand Bargain). And I might have bought that idea a little more if the Republicans got slaughtered in the election, instead of what actually happened.

However, the last part about deficit reduction...especially combined with his reference to liberals with words like "us" and "our"...made me wonder what liberals he interacts with. And the "Let me calmly explain how your apocalyptic vision of America isn't logical...because you've proven to be so susceptible to logic." bit was morbidly amusing in its futility.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Bang the Drum slowly.

Suzan said...

And heartily embraces right-wing memes.

(That won't upset their personal boats.)

Good catch!

Also: No matter how much you hate to hear it, long-term deficit reduction and entitlement reform really are pretty important. Just because conservatives abuse the point doesn't mean there isn't something to it.

casimir said...

Everyone please remember that after the 2008 election is was clear that the Republican Party was utterly defeated and consigned to the wilderness. Its policy of absolute obstruction and the Democrats' policy of "bipartisanship" together allowed the Republicans, astonishingly, to reemerge to a dominant position within a period of months. Is it really possible that history will repeat itself within just four years?

There is 30% of the population that will never be "on our side." Their cognition and psychic makeup have been permanently deformed by expert authoritarian manipulation of their self-loathing and existential anxiety. Another 5% fancy themselves masters of the universe and prefer authoritarian anarchy. If the Democrats unilaterally pursue a sound, mildly progressive agenda (much to the right of me, but you can't have everything) and communicate strength, they will have a solid 65% of the people and the Republican party and their damaged base can go rot somewhere.

bluicebank said...

Well, Liberals and moderates have plenty to be triumphant about: The Southern Strategy finally failed the Republican Party. There simply aren't enough crackers in the box, anymore.

Of course, it's always possible that Obama will, as he's done before, reach out and save the GOP from itself. Because, like, he's such a gracious winner.

Rehctaw said...

The plain truth is that although an increasing number of voters are turned off by what Republicans represent, that doesn't mean they've become lefty converts. A lot of them are still pretty nervous about a big part of our agenda, and we have a lot of work ahead to get them more solidly on our side.

Plain truth? How the fuck did he recognize that?
Parsing the second sentence, just for fun, did Drum just say they'll need to LIE better from now on?

You know what makes folks pretty nervous about a big part of their agenda? Big parts of their agenda to finish looting, pillaging and selling off what they didn't get around to stealing or giving away already.

It's the $2.6 Trillion Social Security surplus that's been the POG goal since day one. All the rest; deficits, tax cuts, graft, witch hunts, wars have been their transparent attempt to get their hands on and dismantle the SSA.

Anonymous said...

Batocchio has it exactly right: if there is an admonition here it isn't "don't gloat", it's "don't take your foot off their fucking necks!" Obama had serious momentum the first time around, and it was largely squandered.

I say it's time for some political tough love.

blackdaug said...

"No matter how much you hate to hear it, long-term deficit reduction and entitlement reform really are pretty important. Just because conservatives abuse the point doesn't mean there isn't something to it."

Yes, it means exactly that, there is nothing to it.

Entitlement reform:
Social Security: Raise the contribution cap that hasn't been touched since Reagan...problem solved.
Medicare: See "The Affordable Healthcare Act"....Problem solved.
Long term deficit reduction:
Two wars ending, combined with expiration of the Bush Tax cuts, and a possible new middle to lower income tax cut putting tax rates back to Clinton era levels. Problem Solved.
Nothing to it..but to do it.
I think many are underestimating how heavily vested the Republicans are in to tanking the economy.
Their platform is, on it's face, repugnant to 75% of the population, and their insane base will keep any moderates cut off at the knees before they ever see a primary.
Dems need to focus with laser like intensity on wringing out the rest of the tea baggers in the next midterm, which will overwhelm the gerrymandered imbalance and put the house back in the hands of the adults....
Kick then when they are down, and continue to keep a boot on their throat until 2016.

Anonymous said...

Here's a thought
Read Rude Pundit's conversation with Rove's Leather slave
It basically makes a very similar point
One of the men's writing is very offensive.
But not the one you'd think.

RobertM said...

"[..]long-term deficit reduction and entitlement reform really are pretty important".

No, Mr. Drum, they are not important at all. They are bogus talking points made by people who don't understand the basics of macroeconomics.

Perhaps he should spend a few minutes with Prof. Kelton so she can explain to him (and all others) why the deficit hysteria is a bunch of nonsense.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Long term deficit reduction and entitlement reform can both be solved in one step:

Deficit spending.

Create some goddam demand in the system. More people hired=more people paying taxes=more money coming into the system and into the entitlement trusts.

Also, less stress on the safety net features like unemployment and Medicaid.

And since money is basically free right now, the only reason this cant be done is obstructionism from House Republicans and their enablers like Drum.

lea-p said...

Huh. People still read Kevin Drum? Weird. He was like this 10 years ago, a nice-guy moderate-verging-on-Repbulican-lite. He was at his best with Friday Cat Blogging. That's about it.