Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter 4 Share on Facebook 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit 1 Share on StumbleUpon 1 Tell A Friend (7 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   42 comments

Exclusive to OpEdNews:
Life Arts

New Progressive Era -- or Dead Cat Bounce?

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

Funny 3   Well Said 2   Interesting 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 11/25/13

Become a Fan
  (30 fans)
- Advertisement -


(image by jbonessahr.edublogs.org/2012/01/16/4-goals-of-progressivism/)   DMCA

Captive by the relentless train wreck called establishment politics, let us pause and consider potential breakthroughs. Scoff at my optimism, even fantasies, but doesn't every epic calamity beget a perk or two, eventually? I trust the "gift in the wound" as learned from poet Robert Bly. And my father's best lesson, "If you don't learn from failure, you suffer a double loss." 

Just for balance, after all, isn't it high time someone took on the gloom and doomsters? Okay, compare the odds over the next 100-500 years, of a new progressive era breaking out vs. the likelihood the world explodes, or implodes, no matter whether a bang or whimper. Medium odds wipe out the long, long shot of apocalypse. Doesn't history celebrate  those dreadful bottoms on which reform springboards? 

So, can we rise above our morbid fascination with the wreckage to imagine whether today's misery of failures could ignite a leftwing surge? Not much else has, and I tire of hearing our current life and times are locked in a death spiral. Instead, attend to Somerset Maugham, "The pendulum swings backwards and forwards. The circle is ever travelled anew."

No doubt, a new progressive movement must feast on the nexus of failed, faux Obama liberalism bloodied by failed, faux Tea Party conservatism. On point, both face paradigm-shifting blowback: Obamacare could doom Democratic Senate control while unstinting Tea Party idiocy jeopardizes House control. When else did minority extremists cost a national party six Senate seats (and control), ripping defeat from the jaws of victory? A less bizarre GOP primary would have widened Romney's PR choices, rather than sinking him with staggeringly absurd talking points.

Lame Nominee vs. Lame Duck

Doesn't leverage on the left increase as this president crash-lands, marked as our earliest lame duck. Betrayal is coming home to roost. Remember, Occupy anger didn't menace the horrid Bush years but only after Obama's neo-liberal betrayal droned on and on. The most vigorous '60's anti-war protests exploded after LBJ's nightmare, "liberal" Vietnam "adventure" crashed and burned on the rocks of the "domino theory." Civil rights agitation didn't surge because '50's racists started new abuses but from profound disgust with centrist-liberal foot-dragging. Segregationists never hid their racism, whereas JFK type-hypocrites talked equality but delayed intervention. Ever the politician, JFK waited and waited, knowing he'd offend key southern racists when protecting our citizens from murder. Movements often break out not during noxious enemy misbehavior but after perceived betrayals by false friends.

- Advertisement -

Perhaps Obama's ultimate audacity of hope wasn't simply dashed but passed on to those with more courage. Consider the chronic negligence committed by this White House: not only with the ACA, but dumb denials of secret spying, wimpy economic stimuli, enslavement to big business, vision-less foreign affairs lurching from crisis to crisis, all topped by persistent scandals, billions wasted on "anti-terrorism" and abuse of dissenting whistleblowers. My only surprise is how long it took Obama's approval numbers to skitter.

Is there to be no payoff from the literal dis-illusion-ment by millions of ex-Obama fans, aware now their hero is a garden-variety, feel-good politician. For the badly betrayed, we've skipped past "Obama fatigue" to "Obama exhaustion." Further, does not a collapsed Obama administration undermine establishment stand-ins, like Queen Hillary, or party Senate dominance after '14? Discredited "pragmatism" that serves paralysis, or worse, opens a wedge for unifying disconsolate liberals with disgruntled centrists. 

That's why I see the ongoing, Great Obama Fail as a springboard to revitalize progressive politics -- boosting Bernie Sanders and/or Elizabeth Warren. If the second Obama term were to end in triumph, then Hillary cruises home, singing "let the good times roll." "Why elect anti-government nut cases," she'd declare, "sure to dump the punch bowl?" Instead, now 52% judge Obama dishonest, as his thin support withers. What a dastardly fall from grace, etching towards the predecessor he mocked, the least trusted modern president! Why, Obama's political capital is so depleted, I hear, the House will charge him to appear for the State of the Union. 

Dem Debacles vs. GOP Civil War

The looming question for three years: will enough Democratic Party debacles offset hemorrhaging, rightwing acrimony? Right now it's a toss-up. Defensive Democrats can't or won't capitalize on the GOP civil war, pitting unelectable loonies vs. merely ultra-conservative wingnuts. What a treat: either a Tea Party ignoramus or a primary-battered nominee more vulnerable after bloodletting. Overhanging all, though, frustrated voters fret over Obama's stubborn reign as hawkish, right-leaning centrist who enables endless foreign wars and Wall Street mercenaries while trading away untouchables, like Social Security. 

- Advertisement -

Whatever residual fans find to praise, how long can Obama sell "damage control" against "worse" when broken bandaids cover shredded ones? Finally, will there be no penalty against a party and president failing its core task: to reverse the worst of Bushism -- on Constitutional rights, taxation, cronyism, divide & conquer tactics, unilateral militarism, abusive surveillance, or privacy violations?

Working assumption: few voters will abandon national parties as prime change agents, thus pressure on Democrats to honor New Deal roots will grow, especially as implacable, rightwing fumblers keep threatening to shoot the hostage. Thus, by this logic, the time is right for leftwing realignment, but only if now scattered groups come together and focus protests, with media-savvy spokespeople, striking headlines, and surgically-clear reforms. 

Obamacare Dooms Liberalism?

Oddly, I find good news in exaggerations that allege if Obamacare fails, so does liberalism. The right jumped on this propaganda and centrist voices, like Politico's Todd Purdum, echoed: "[T]he fiasco of the launch of Obama's sweeping health care overhaul has put the reputation of Big Government progressivism at risk for at least this generation." Even the savvy liberal Frank Rich worries, "If the ACA fails, it will also be a serious setback for the Democratic party and liberalism in general, since that failure will greatly further the conservative case."

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Northern California, region. For a decade, Robert S. Becker's rebel-rousing essays on politics and culture analyze overall trends, messaging and frameworks, now featured author at OpEdNews, Nation of Change and RSN. He appears regularly at (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Summer in the GOP Asylum: "Who are these guys?"

Trickle-down Gulf Wreck-onomics

"Apocalypse Now' Vogue Engulfs Chicken Littles

Moses Kaput -- Rightwing Ten Commandments To Serve Looming Theocracy

Deadline Looms To Fund Critical Ocean Plastic-Trash Film

"God Particle' Refudiates the Religious Right

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
4 people are discussing this page, with 42 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

Which would you rather prefer: an upsurge in progr... by Robert S. Becker on Monday, Nov 25, 2013 at 4:17:02 PM
"Just because the task is daunting doesn't dissuad... by Charles Roll on Monday, Nov 25, 2013 at 7:27:44 PM
Thanks for the kind words. I didn't exactly claim,... by Robert S. Becker on Monday, Nov 25, 2013 at 8:05:46 PM
"Obama's stubborn reign as hawkish, right-leaning ... by Charles Roll on Monday, Nov 25, 2013 at 11:58:29 PM
 As a person of  foreign origin I have t... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013 at 7:13:51 AM
Well, reactionaries look more defensive and the re... by Robert S. Becker on Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013 at 9:52:03 AM
 I sincerely hope  so, like Russians say... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013 at 10:46:28 AM
Well, there were four strains of progressive thoug... by Robert S. Becker on Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013 at 11:56:20 AM
Of course,  why not But we  will be naiv... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013 at 12:28:02 PM
True, progressives are not responsible for trigger... by Robert S. Becker on Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013 at 1:26:03 PM
Ok, I admit the unfairness  of mine with this... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013 at 3:36:26 PM
Only one comment, from Wikipedia, indicating Malco... by Robert S. Becker on Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013 at 7:26:30 PM
"Hope some others jump in" concludes Mark Sashine.... by Charles Roll on Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013 at 8:39:30 PM
Just a typo: as in the Progressive spirit was rebo... by Robert S. Becker on Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013 at 10:24:23 AM
Thanks for Mencken and Barnum! It was the Mencken ... by Charles Roll on Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013 at 12:52:29 PM
BTW: slogan of Mothers for Peace, aka 'Another Mot... by Charles Roll on Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013 at 12:57:19 PM
Included in values/goals of a new progressive move... by Charles Roll on Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 at 3:57:08 AM
Good question.  At the least to open up the d... by Robert S. Becker on Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 at 11:09:40 AM
 I am happy  that the exchange here ... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013 at 10:57:53 AM
one more thing: I am not here to denigrate- I am d... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013 at 11:13:05 AM
part II -- read below firstThe reason we have sepa... by Robert S. Becker on Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013 at 11:30:29 AM
"We have divisions that reflect ten variables, not... by Charles Roll on Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013 at 3:07:35 PM
In postwar USA, (referring to WW2), in the more-or... by Charles Roll on Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013 at 3:11:15 PM
Nazis?  Where did Nazis enter the picture?? S... by Robert S. Becker on Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013 at 3:38:50 PM
About "the 'romantic' nature of progressive activi... by Charles Roll on Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 at 3:18:43 AM
Sorry for the perhaps confusing use of the word "r... by Robert S. Becker on Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 at 11:32:03 AM
Well actually  the terms  romantic and c... by Mark Sashine on Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 at 12:57:02 PM
part IDon't get the Stendhal quotation, but the ch... by Robert S. Becker on Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 at 2:01:40 PM
Part IIYou begin, as you say, with a personal posi... by Robert S. Becker on Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 at 2:01:52 PM
I don't understand what "going to wards" means-- d... by Robert S. Becker on Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013 at 11:42:47 AM
" ... divide and conquer? ... Race is a greater di... by Charles Roll on Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013 at 1:52:10 PM
"if black ghetto youths would start training in fa... by Charles Roll on Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013 at 1:35:50 PM
part I1) I am logical and exact when that is appro... by Robert S. Becker on Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013 at 11:30:09 AM
Just a small mote: I do not think that I am conspi... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013 at 11:57:14 AM
Mark:Some of the differences between you and Becke... by Charles Roll on Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013 at 3:23:51 PM
Stylistic differences?!  Not that substantial... by Robert S. Becker on Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013 at 5:05:47 PM
Well, that is certainly civil, well-mannered, and ... by Charles Roll on Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 at 3:39:30 AM
There was no attempt to discourage your comments, ... by Robert S. Becker on Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 at 11:12:49 AM
S'all good then!... by Charles Roll on Friday, Nov 29, 2013 at 1:12:25 AM
Mr. Becker, you are anything but "civil." You are ... by Michael David Morrissey on Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 at 1:26:44 PM
I will be thrilled if you never read, nor comment,... by Robert S. Becker on Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 at 2:13:32 PM
Mr. Morrissey,I am highly complimented, as I have ... by Charles Roll on Friday, Nov 29, 2013 at 1:10:57 AM