Ev Speaks Truth

I have long said that a goal of people in power is to keep us squabbling amongst ourselves while they continue to have power. This–what Ev writes–is the hard lesson we, as a country, just won’t learn. And so we sit through the lesson again.

When they said they were taking back the country, they didn’t actually mean for you Teabaggers, white-trash Republicans, Dittoheads, and protectors of sanctity. They actually meant that you would be protecting it from us, and they would be cashing the checks.

I’m honestly not that bummed that Scott Brown won. Yes, I think he’s a jerk and a toad, but the massive failure on the part of Democrats to pass meaningful healthcare reform months ago is what stuck us in this situation. And why did we have a candidate who doesn’t mind having innocent people in prison and who won’t prosecute child rapists in the first place? If you looked around Massachusetts and said “This is the best we can do, the epitome of what it means to be a Democrat,” either you’re a liar, so fuck you, or the party is in big trouble, enormous trouble.

Eh, I don’t know. In a way it reminds me of the Harold Ford thing–watching these old political structures assume that they can remain in place as long as they find the right message and the right place to run. Got a woman? She have some ties to the Kennedy machine? Okay, run her. Oh, where can a Ford run and win? Let’s send Harold there.

The wheels are coming off the train. The truth is that the wheels are coming off both trains–Republican and Democrat. I don’t think you see this kind of authoritarian impulse otherwise. People who feel at ease and secure don’t turn to authoritarians on their own side while fearing the authoritarians on the other.

Everyone knows we’re in the middle of some massive upheaval, but no one knows quite of what sort it is. And, as always, the folks on top are just shifting their footing, hoping that they can do enough to keep their place when things settle. And they will and have always done that by keeping those beneath them aimed at each other.

Who fucking cares that Scott Brown won? It’s a smokescreen to excuse any lack of uncomfortable change.

22 thoughts on “Ev Speaks Truth

  1. I don’t think you see this kind of authoritarian impulse otherwise. People who feel at ease and secure don’t turn to authoritarians on their own side while fearing the authoritarians on the other.

    Excellent observation.

    “May we live in interesting times.”

  2. Who fucking cares that Scott Brown won? It’s a smokescreen to excuse any lack of uncomfortable change.


    The lede on NPR this morning was “Democrats lose the power to pass any legislation that they want.” Uh… which was a power that they chose not to exercise. The toothless supermajority, lost. Big whoop.

    It’s forever finding excuses with this lot.

  3. Pingback: Scott Brown The Individual Is Not Important : Post Politics: Political News and Views in Tennessee

  4. I would like to point out that this does have some relevance for Tennessee politics insofar as…well, look at the electoral map. Do you see where Brown is winning by a much larger margin? Those are Appalachian counties. Massachusetts is not all lefty college towns and Boston suburbs. If the Democratic party doesn’t figure out how to address (not just talk about, but FIX) the concerns of rural upland people (north or south), it’s screwedillydood. Job loss. Poverty. Infrastructural decay and lack of institutional investment. High school dropout rates and educational inequality in general.

    Brown is a haircut in a borrowed truck. I don’t invest too much Significance in this — although the people who are paid to spin now have much to work with — because I think that local issues played a much bigger role than anything on the national scene.

  5. One good thing may come of this. Without the supermajority-that-must-never-be-used to protect, the Democrats don’t need to make nice to Lieberman any more. Can we get him stripped of his committee chairmanships, by, say, 5:00 this evening? Pretty please?

    And has it struck anyone else that the one Democrat who has been right about tactics (whether or not one agrees with him on all the issues) is still Howard Dean? I think we need to listen to him more about how to get things done.

  6. Hey, the bright side for you guys, is that come November, this increases the likelihood of you all getting the distinct pleasure of seeing Harold Ford denied election to the Senate from NY.

    (PS: if you want to convince people skeptical of your agenda, engage them, don’t insult them. But if you want to go the Olbermann route and wonder why so many people in Mass are racists, don’t let me stop you.)

  7. if you want to convince people skeptical of your agenda, engage them, don’t insult them.

    That works really well for Republicans. Which is why you see so many black and Latino faces and gay couples at the tea party rallies and other GOP events.

    No, if you want to convince people of your agenda, you announce it as something they will like, you spell out the details in a clear fashion, and then you follow through. If they’re grown-ups, you won’t have to worry about hurting their wittle feefees as long as you deliver.

    The Democrats are unsuccessful because they want to play nice with everyone while they service the same corporate johns that the Republicans are enthusiastically blowing. The Democrats rally their base using hope, and the Republicans do it with fear and loathing. Neither side has delivered much of anything good, which may be why so many Dems stayed home and let the tea bagger baiter win in Massachusetts. But the Republican voters didn’t really want anything good, they just wanted to make sure that the niggers and wetbacks keep having it worse. Because anything else is socialism.

  8. I should amend the Democratic formula to add that the Democrats sometimes use fear, too– fear of Republicans. After eight years of Bush, that part of the formula should work automatically on its own; that it doesn’t shows how disgusted and disillusioned many progressive-minded (or at least humane) voters have become with Dem duplicity. Oh, well. There’s plenty of room here under the Green Party tent.

    We have a tent now, you know.

  9. “they just wanted to make sure that the niggers and wetbacks keep having it worse. Because anything else is socialism.”

    That is what my parents and sister pretty much said at x-mas when healthcare reform came up. I just wanted to ask “Is that what it takes for you feel good about yourself? The ‘other’ can’t have anything nice/good?”

    Sorry for the thread hijack but I’m still reeling from family togetherness….

  10. The tent is constructed as you describe, Heather, but we made it plenty big to account for the shrinkage. More importantly, unlike the other two tents on the market, it’s not a tent that is designed to leave most of the people under it soaked.

    Heather, I don’t own the thread, but I wouldn’t consider your comment a hijack. Most people are voting against their own interests, but they probably have different reasons. Personally, I find some people’s reasons to be more vile than others, but in the end we’re all cheating ourselves.

  11. People skeptical of “reform” were told they were racists, they hated poor people, they were astroturf shills, etc, etc. You guys used the occasional idiot among the group to make a convenient characature of a whole growing, churning, discontentment.

    No, they’re basically good people who disagree with you. You may never actually change their minds, but while you were insulting them, they were talking to their undecided neighbors.

    While smug self-satisfaction may be fun (“tea-bagger baiter,” “niggers and wetbacks keep having it worse,”)…

    … Arguments will usually trump insults. Especially coupled with folks witnessing secret backroom reconciliation deals hidden from CSPAN, kickbacks to Neb and Ark, etc.

    If this plan was so fucking good, why did it have to be negotiated in secret? If it was so ball-dipping excellent, why did it take legal bribery to get folks to sign on?

    A lot of folks started asking that, including those in Mass. Nobody addressed that in good faith. Instead they got Bush!Palin!Teabaggers!Racists!!!!

    Respectful good faith was never shown in the selling of healthcare, right from the beginning. Remember that the original strategy was to have it rushed before August, before anybody could even have a clue of what it would entail.

    So now supporters lost the sympathies of even liberal Massachusetts. A state won by Obama by 22 points back in 2008.

    Some self-reflection is due, fellas.

  12. Dunno. I think the article from the local blogger B linked up front (the “Ev speaks truth” post) has closer to the straight dope than anyone. You’re just not seeing anything, anything at all, in the national press about MassHealth and how that influenced folks’ votes locally. Not that Coakley didn’t commit the most classic of election-losing errors, the taking for granted of votes, and not that the Mass. good-ol-boy network likely didn’t come into play. MA, while allegedly liberal, elects far fewer women than virtually any other state in the Northeast – read this for more info:


    The reason Dems had to strongarm health care is that Republicans kept saying health care reform, any health care reform, was socialism and they’d fight anything to do with it. Further, it’s my firm belief a lot of people woke up earlier this year, realized they had a ‘nigger President,’ and decided to do whatever they could to derail him, no matter the cost.

    Not that I’m a fan of Obama or Pelosi/Reid – quite the opposite. I didn’t actually vote for Obama, due to the vote-stealing from Hillary during the primaries (I just don’t think that kind of thing is ever OK in the Dem Party or any other), but you can see how things shaped up the way they did.

    Oh, and Lee? If you’re going to try to win an argument around here? You might try not calling all of us “fellas,” especially since one of the wimminfolk runs this place.

  13. I have, though, often threatened to carry around the most life-like looking dildo I can find in order to thump it on the table when I want to be heard.

    This is, at heart, the real and hard problem about healthcare reform. It’s probably going to suck for some people. (or I guess I should follow Pelosi’s lead and talk about it in the past tense). The question has always been–“will it suck less than the current situation for most people?”

    I think most Americans think that some legislation that would forbid insurance companies from dropping you and would forbid them from refusing to cover you for “preexisting” condition is necessary.

    A lot of folks think a lot of other things are necessary, but I think those are the two things that most people from all political perspectives agree on–if you want to buy insurance, they shouldn’t be able to turn you down or price it so high as to effectively turn you down and, once you have insurance, if you pay, you should get to keep it.

    The fact that even this will not pass, even if it’s the Republicans who obstruct it, is rightly going to look like a failure of the Democrats.

    Lee, I love you, but when you come around here complaining about whatall everyone on our side did wrong while arguing that we don’t engage with your side in good faith… well, I think you can see why that’s met with a little eye-rolling.

  14. B, you’re a cool fella gal, but the point isn’t that you all didn’t convince me. I’d be lying if I said that what the Democrats proposed ever had a shot at convincing me.

    My personal belief is that “reform” would be about as costly and successful at driving down costs, as the stimulus has been, mainly: very costly, very ineffective.

    But my beliefs aside, the real point is that through the tactics and rhetoric used by Democrats and liberals, and by their supporters among the mainstream and new media, you all sure as hell did something wrong and riled up a lot of people against you on this issue who may have been up for grabs. What was it? You have my theory on the previous comment.

    Another possibility was that they never were up for grabs in the first place on this issue, and the American public as a whole was misread after the election of ’08.

    Either way, looks like Harry Reid’s a goner come November, and I think we can all agree that’s a good thing.

  15. The stimulus may have been ineffective at driving down costs, etc…

    But we’re getting some darn fine infrastructure improvements out of it.

  16. Newsflash, Lee: a whole lot of Democratic faithful and other liberal progressives are not at all happy with the plan that the Dems are trying to foist on the public. The difference between the angry left and the angry right is that the angry left is demanding specific policies, while the angry right is shouting nonsense and voting for [what, exactly?] The angry left wants health care for everyone, no exceptions. What exactly are the tea baggers demanding? Meanwhile, the Democratic leadership is ignoring their base (at their peril), while the Republicans, while not even offering solutions, are just pandering to the tea baggers.

    Eleanor, I watched a panel on the always excellent GritTV about this issue, and one of the panelists (a nurse from Mass) said pretty much what you and Ev are saying: that MassHealth is a nightmare and the idea of another corporate Dem trying to push this concept on the whole country just didn’t sit well. I’m with that sentiment 100 %, though the choice of a tea bagger-baiter is not exactly an improvement. Maybe the voters there can take the next two years to organize and do something that perhaps only their neighbors in Vermont have been able to do: elect a senator who’s not an obvious whore for corporate interests.

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