( – promoted by buhdydharma )
Must Read Eric Alterman article about our kabuki democracy — and what to do about it.
Face it, the system is rigged, and it’s rigged against us. Sure, presidents can pretty easily pass tax cuts for the wealthy and powerful corporations. They can start whatever wars they wish and wiretap whomever they want without warrants. They can order the torture of terrorist suspects, lie about it and see that their intelligence services destroy the evidence. But what they cannot do, even with supermajorities in both houses of Congress behind them, is pass the kind of transformative progressive legislation that Barack Obama promised in his 2008 presidential campaign. Here’s why.
As for the “Here’s why” and how to fix things part, one should go read the whole article at The Nation, and go below the fold for more.
Crossposted at The Progressive Electorate.com
(P)ost-Bush America is one disaster waiting to happen after another, all of which-when they do-are laid at the feet of the current president.
Some legacy, huh?
Like Digby, I strongly urge one and all to read this entire piece, titled “Kabuki Democracy: Why a Progressive Presidency Is Impossible, for Now”. Also like Digby, I do not fully endorse this point of view, but I highly recommend that everyone read it.
In it’s entirety, the article by Eric Alterman strikes at the heart of much that is wrong with our political system. The problem is the MONEY.
Washington operates on a culture of implied bribery no less than it does the real thing.
Alterman attacks lobbyists, the media, the Special Interests, both parties and many other actors in the kabuki he describes. Alterman explains in detail exactly why Congress is totally dysfunctional, and best of all he gives us ideas on how to fix things.
Indeed, with regard to almost every single one of our problems, we need better, smarter organizing at every level and a willingness on the part of liberals and leftists to work with what remains of the center to begin the process of reforms that are a beginning, rather than an endpoint in the process of societal transformation. As American history consistently instructs us, this is pretty much the only way things change in our system.
Read the whole article. To quote Dave Eggers it is “a heartbreaking work of staggering genius” in my humble opinion, and it explains in detail why progressives can NOT win under these circumstances, not with the nearly unlimited powers of Big Money Lobbyists, Media and the status quo arrayed against us. But Eric Alterman also offers hope in this piece, the hope that things can be made better, though, if we want it we have to start working our tails off now.
Because the nearly unlimited powers of Big Money Lobbyists, Media and the status quo want to return us to a world that sounds like it was designed by the Egyptian Pharaohs of old, as Digby describes so eloquently.
This is a rigged game for average Americans and they should wise up.
Update: Pastordan writes in to explain that the Pharaohs had this all under control many moons ago:
From Exodus 5:
But the king of Egypt said to them, ‘Moses and Aaron, why are you taking the people away from their work? Get to your labours!’ Pharaoh continued, ‘Now they are more numerous than the people of the land and yet you want them to stop working!’ That same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people, as well as their supervisors, ‘You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as before; let them go and gather straw for themselves. But you shall require of them the same quantity of bricks as they have made previously; do not diminish it, for they are lazy; that is why they cry, “Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.” Let heavier work be laid on them; then they will labour at it and pay no attention to deceptive words.’
Pharaoh gives the benefits, Pharaoh expects results, not slaves getting rational economic ideas in their heads.
Have hope, but fight like hell.
I leave you with the same final words as Eric Alterman did, and I ask to you this one question . . .
To borrow from Hillel the Elder: “If not now, when? If not us, who?”
Because there is a wolf at the door, it has all the money in the world behind it, and it wants to blow your house down and take it’s country back. It wants to pay your less and charge you more, and it believes “social justice” is the enemy.
So how do we fight back? And if not now, when? If not us, who?
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