Bait and Switch

Here’s a thought.

The Republican Party has used Evangelical Christians over the past 30 plus years to help them win power. The Republicans held out the promise of overturning Roe v Wade and outlawing abortion. The promised public school prayer legal, to remove evolution from textbooks, to prevent same-sex marriages, and champion other conservative Baptist values.

But success never quite has come for the Evangelical agenda. The Republicans were always a few Congressional seats short, a few judges short, even when they controlled all three branches of the government, they still were not enough Republicans to make good on the promises they made to the Evangelicals.

Now take the Democratic Party. The mantra coming from many of the people in the Democratic leadership is elect more Democrats in order to make possible the progressive agenda. A liberal progressive that includes providing universal healthcare, leaving Iraq, restoring civil liberties, rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and securing energy independence, and protecting the environment all seem tantalizing within reach with more Democrats in Congress.

But, we had Democratic control of Congress when Clinton took office in 1993. But, universal healthcare was sabotaged, we stayed in Iraq, civil liberties were eroded, the infrastructure continued to crumble, and despite a Vice President Al Gore little was done to fight climate change and move to a renewable energy economy.

Are Progressives to Democrats, the same as Evangelicals are to Republicans? Just so many useful idiots to keep the wealthy and corporatists in power?

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  1. Next question.

  2. Reid, & Landrieu & her “blue dog” republicans Democrat buddies, we won’t get much progressive work done.  IMHO, many of these people only ran as Democrats because they calculated which party would personally benefit their chances of winning an election–they’re the “Lieberman” “democrats”.  

  3. …this is a rather sticky issue, and to analyze it properly, we ought to all have read Bryan Caplan’s The Myth of the Rational Voter first.  But, presuming most people haven’t, I’ll try to break it down.

    The answer is “sort of”.  Government, as an institution, has three main desires: to protect its own role and prestige, to give people what they want, and to prevent people from being too stupid.  A great example would be the Terri Shiavo affair; evangelicals wanted something badly, and government tried to give it to them.  But when that clearly damaged government prestige, they abandoned it.  Abortion is a similar issue.  Evangelicals badly want action on abortion, but little action takes place, because the Republicans know that drastic action on abortion is stupid.

    Ergo, progressive positions will be respected by the Democratic party when those positions don’t damage their own power and prestige (you’ll see rapid movement, I expect, on infrastructure, but not on civil liberties), when people want it badly enough (expect a draw down in Iraq), and when the ideas aren’t too foolish to be implemented (don’t expect true universal health care or drastic movement on the environment).

    At the end of the day, most people vote to make themselves feel good.  The job of the political parties is to make you continue to feel good about voting for them.

    • pfiore8 on June 18, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    good cop/bad cop.

    it’s all an act. and think about David Kuo. perhaps the most telling of all political stories.

    but his story keeps getting lost.  

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