Banner Archive

Marvel Comics Timeline
Godzilla Timeline



« His non-union Mexican equivalent | Main | Privacy Bill Of Rights »


tristero from Hullaballo:

Bob Herbert poses a question which deserves some thought, because although the immediate answer is obvious, it leads to one of the great question marks of the 21st century:
I wonder whether Americans will ever become fed up with the loathsome politicking, the fear-mongering, the dissembling and the gruesome incompetence of this crowd.

Well, in fact, polls say that some two-thirds of Americans *are* fed up. So maybe Herbert means something about the public expression of outrage, something like, "Where are the legions of mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, lovers, and friends of the soldiers dying for Bush's stupidity? Why haven't we heard from them? Where, after Katrina, are the Kings, the Malcolms, the Stokelys? Where are the Berrigans? The Dillingers? Where are the Edward R. Murrows, the Oppenheimers, the Ellsbergs, the McGoverns, the McCarthys?"

The thing is. there are many of these, too. Including, off the top of my head, Cindy Sheehan, Brady Kiesling, Colleen Rowley, Richard Clarke, Bob Herbert himself, Amy Goodman, James Hansen, Al Gore, Howard Dean, John Murtha, Paul Krugman, Barbara Ehrenreich. All very different people with very different concerns and, to be sure, very different politics. But all share a deep level of competence, intelligence, and public commitment to the notion of a small "d" democratic America.

So in thinking about it, Herbert's question surely isn't about the dearth of protest and dissent. As for positive alternatives to Bushism, Herbert knows as well as the rest of us that plenty of those exist. What Herbert is getting at is that all that protest, all those proposals are happening in an organizational void. His question really is,

"When will America again have two national political parties?"

I honestly wish I could say 2006. There are some positive signs that a second party could emerge, in the face of major attempts to suppress it, from what's left of the Democratic Party. It certainly would save a lot of time. Building a second party from scratch will be no picnic.

Tristero sees that there is as much protest and positive alternatives as there ever has been in the past. The problem is that it's been totally marginalized in every possible way. In the 60s, a protest of several thousand people got major media coverage. Today it might as well not occur. You've got just as many angry bands making political protest music, but it's not gonna get played on any Clear Channel radio stations. And you can have all the sophisticated thinkers with alternatives that you want, but they're never going to have any influence on cable news. The corporate establishment has successfully shunted away just about all of that unpleasantness and they are left to quest for their profits undisturbed.

Where i disagree with Tristero is that he thinks that electoral politics is the answer. Unfortunately i don't know how much that matters any more, when you look at it from this perspective. We can spend all our efforts rebuilding the Democratic party into something useful, kicking out all the Liebermans, but the Republicans are still going to rig the elections and outspend the Democrats 10 to 1 and get the support of the pundits on the TV and Democrats are still going to lose elections. We have to find another way out of this. But i don't know what it is.

By fnord12 | June 28, 2006, 9:53 AM | Liberal Outrage