Old Establishment party pretending to be “outsiders”

A year is a long time in politics:

“What happened here in Massachusetts can happen all over America,” Senator Brown told a cheering crowd after his win. “I hope [Washington] is paying attention because tonight the independent voice of Massachusetts has spoken.”

“Independent”? Of What? In what conceivable way are the Republicans “independent”? Of Washington? Of corporate influence? Of having been in government when the financial crisis occurred?

Was that a “cheering” crowd, or were they laughing uproariously at his chutzpah?

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158 responses to “Old Establishment party pretending to be “outsiders”

  1. Over 50% of Massachusetts voters are independents rather than registered as Republicans or Democrats. It is quite apt to describe the vote for change in Massachusetts as the collective scream of independent voices scared witless that hope and change now appears to mean being driven off a cliff by the Democrat power elite.

  2. They were already driven off a cliff by the Republican power elite, and only a year and a half ago! How short are their memories?

    And they’re not so opposed to government healthcare that they’ve gotten rid of it in Massachusetts.

  3. Maybe the system in Massachusetts works. We still don’t know the details of the mangled compromise being worked out in dark places despite Obama’s promises of sunlight and a transparent process:

    I’m going to have all the negotiations around a big table. We’ll have doctors and nurses and hospital administrators. Insurance companies, drug companies—they’ll get a seat at the table, they just won’t be able to buy every chair

  4. Sounds pretty reasonable to me SB.

  5. Northern Exposure

    Independants are fickle people. They assess and then either reward or punish. They dont vote D or R unless they want to, and Coakely, by all accounts, was a terrible candidate. Independants wont go for it.

    Let the fillibuster begin. I want to hear Great Expectations ringing from the mircophones in the capitol at 3 in the morning.

  6. I must agree with SB here – despite Obama’s lofty promises of transparent negotiations, public consultation and a Public Option, what has been delivered is legislation that hands a billion dollar gift to the private health insurers by forcing poor people to actually buy crappy, loophole-ridden private insurance policies without a public option safety net.

    Worse still, Obama’s administration has been caught out negotiating this deal in secret with health insurance industry lobbyists, in spite of his promises to do the exact opposite. I think it has even been reported that he let them write some parts of the legislation!!

    The lobbyists have totally corrupted the initiative and literally bought themselves the legislation they wanted. Private health insurer stocks actually rose after the details of the universal health care bill were announced – why wouldn’t they, the government is about to pass a law forcing millions of people to buy their product. Those same stocks now look set to take a hit if the legislation is pulled.

    Obama, at this point, appears to be little more than another run-of-the-mill, spineless, corporate-controlled machine politician cowering and capitulating to the ‘Blue Dog’ right-wing of his party. As much as I prefer him to Bush, I’m embarrassed to have been sucked in by his message of ‘change’.

    If it weren’t for the fact that the idiotic Beltway will interpret this defeat as a signal that the Democrats should shift further to the Right I’d be quite pleased that Obama had received such a slap down.

  7. ygo, Obama’s suggestion is reasonable. The problem is that now the discussions are going on, they are being held in private and the people definitely cannot see the deals are being cut, by the special interest groups.

  8. They were already driven off a cliff by the Republican power elite, and only a year and a half ago! How short are their memories?

    Oh how quickly Obama’s presidency crumbled. Obama is an example of what happens when the left elevate an in-experienced candidate who was only ever a community organiser to the top and they generate a god like hype around him.

    Massachusetts represents the democratic heart land as registered democrat voters out number republican 3 to 1. It is democrat voters not republican that will be the end of Obama’s presidency. Obama’s presidency is now terminal and in 2012 he will be booted out of office. Maybe Sarah Palin will be president in 2012. If she wins the Republican ticket then she is a shoe in.

  9. Northern Exposure

    I for one AM pleased he was given such a message. He squandered an invaluable opportunity.
    With this vocal new blood into the mix of negotiations, it will free alot of the republican moderates who couldnt vote for the bill to enter the room.
    It will of course not be the ideal, but Pres. Obama let them in the door by not conducting himself the way he said he would. He was too clever by half and has now tripped himself up.
    He needs a big win, he needs it soon or even the starry eyed yanks might start questioning whether or not in fact they actually can.

    Where’s Leo, Toby, Josh, Sam and CJ when you need them? Winning spin with heart.

  10. Palin can’t win. Someone like Mitt Romney is much more likely to succeed.

  11. Maybe Sarah Palin will be president in 2012. If she wins the Republican ticket then she is a shoe in

    I think that the guy that won Massachusetts, Scott Brown may also have a good chance of the US presidency in 2012. If he doesn’t put his hat in the ring in 2012 then Palin has a chance as she has tapped into the same voter anger of Washington and the deception of Obama’s government that elevated Brown’s campaign. Americans fell cheated and angered by Obama and this is more evident among democrats.

  12. Says a conservative who’d never have voted for Obama in a blue fit.

  13. Palin can’t win. Someone like Mitt Romney is much more likely to succeed.

    Don’t underestimate her. Her opponent ability to do that is her biggest weapon. I think her move to the Fox network as a political commentator will elevate her profile to a level among the right and conservatives in the US that she will pull more votes in the primaries than her competitors.

  14. She might be able to win the primaries.

    But appealing to those outside the conservative echo chamber, enough to win a general election? Hope the Republicans have a HUGE war chest to pay for that.

  15. Palin can’t win

    Isn’t that what they said about republican Scott Brown in the deeply democrat state of Massachusetts?

    I have to agree with Bill, too many people underestimate her chances and that is what fuels her popularity with the republican base.

  16. As between Obama and McCain, Obama was looking good. But that was then. The trouble is that Obama is on the nose. People have lost hope, and the only change they see is the short-change being doled out by a Chicago crony corruptocrat.

  17. But appealing to those outside the conservative echo chamber, enough to win a general election? Hope the Republicans have a HUGE war chest to pay for that

    …..and the republicans winning a senate seat in Massachusetts has taught you what?

    All she needs to do is count on enough democrats being pissed off with Obama to not turn out to vote in 2012, while the energised republican party turn out in record numbers.

  18. …..and the republicans winning a senate seat in Massachusetts has taught you what?

    That a mainstream candidate appeals to independent voters more than an organisation-selected one. Palin has zero appeal with independants as she’s a partisan idealogue.

    And I disagree with SB that Obama is “on the nose” sufficiently to see him lose office in 2 years time.

  19. Bill – independents handed Brown his victory in Massachusetts, not the Republican base. That’s just a simple fact you might want to take into account when extrapolating a ‘lesson’ from that race.

    Although I do hope the Rebublicans put Palin up as a candidate for President. Somehow I doubt that those same independents will warm to her extremist right-wing charms.

  20. That a mainstream candidate appeals to independent voters more than an organisation-selected one.

    And I disagree with SB that Obama is “on the nose” sufficiently to see him lose office in 2 years time

    lol that is the biggest load of crap I have ever heard.

    that is pure gold.

  21. Although I do hope the Rebublicans put Palin up as a candidate for President. Somehow I doubt that those same independents will warm to her extremist right-wing charms

    You aren’t taking into account the US system of voting. It is not compulsary to vote so when democrats are angry at their candidate and they don’t want to vote for the republican, they simply just don’t turn out to vote.

    All Palin has to do is rally the republican base while Obama is festering deep anger within his own base.

  22. I suspect Bill thinks that the majority of voters really agree with his conservative political views, and they only vote against conservatives when they don’t understand him.

  23. “All Palin has to do is rally the republican base while Obama is festering deep anger within his own base.”

    Actually, I hope you’re right – it’d be good for the Democrats to LISTEN TO THEIR DAMN BASE for a moment. They’re doing far too much listening to the Republican base, which will always hate them anyway.

  24. Actually, I hope you’re right – it’d be good for the Democrats to LISTEN TO THEIR DAMN BASE for a moment. They’re doing far too much listening to the Republican base, which will always hate them anyway

    Excuse me? OMG you can’t be serious?!

    Obama isn’t crashing because the democratic heartland are listening to the republicans. Democrats in the US are angry with Obama’s style of government and broken promises. They are angry with his healthcare reform. Obama only has himself to blame for his failure.

    if anything Obama’s failure as president and his ability to piss off the democrat heartland is a gift to the republicans.

  25. Actually, I hope you’re right – it’d be good for the Democrats to LISTEN TO THEIR DAMN BASE for a moment. They’re doing far too much listening to the Republican base, which will always hate them anyway.

    LOL

    Jeremy and confessions, you are seriously in denial about Obamas failing.

  26. So… conservative candidates should listen to the conservative base.

    Non-conservative candidates (it’d be absurd to call Obama “progressive”) should also listen to the conservative base.

    In this democracy of yours, do we progressives get a say?

  27. it’d be absurd to call Obama “progressive”

    As I recall, the left were trumpeting Obama as a progressive a year ago. How quickly you re-write history when your golden child goes sour.

    The reason why Obama is on the nose in the US is because he has taken his government too far to the left.

  28. I would like to add that Obama has no hope in hell of passing any kind of ETS, cap and trade or climate change policy. Democrat politicians will be so intimidated by what they saw in Massachusetts that they wont want to go any where near it between now and 2012.

    it will be interesting to see how rudd copes with this revalation?!

  29. “As I recall, the left were trumpeting Obama as a progressive a year ago. How quickly you re-write history when your golden child goes sour. “

    Um, I wasn’t.

    Americans might have been, based on their limited version of “progressive”; we were just hoping there’d be a push in the right direction. There hasn’t been.

    American progressives’ optimism – remember, Americans actually think their system is a “democracy” – was obviously misplaced, but it’s not their fault Obama promised actual change and then gave the country more of the Republican same.

    “The reason why Obama is on the nose in the US is because he has taken his government too far to the left.”

    Uh, how? He’s basically continued the Republicans’ pro-corporate America policies.

    Also, I note you completely ignored the questions in my last comment.

  30. Why do you bother arguing with these sepo fuck heads of the right like Bill and Great Fossil. They are the lowest form of life on the planet and their country shits me to tears. Repulsive bible bashing war mongering hate squads of these turds infest the planet – somebody should just nuke the USA and we’d all be better off.

  31. Doubt it. But it’d be nice if they developed some kind of actual democracy and stopped screwing over their own poor, let alone those of the rest of the world.

  32. Repulsive bible bashing war mongering hate squads of these turds infest the planet – somebody should just nuke the USA and we’d all be better off.

    lol and with a comment like that what makes you think that your not part of some war mongering hate squads .

    I would have thought your desire to nuke the US would be nothing but ….. war mongering hate squads

  33. Bill ignores the comments and questions to which he has no answer.

    To recap –
    – if the Democrats move further to the right as you suggest, who’s going to represent progressive Americans? Who should they vote for?
    – in what way has Obama gone “too far to the left”?

  34. if the Democrats move further to the right as you suggest, who’s going to represent progressive Americans? Who should they vote for?

    The problem is that the progressives don’t make up enough of the population to sustain the democrats in the US to develop policy without pissing off the majority of their voter base.

    So the progressives are out on their own. Love it or hate it that’s the way the cookie crumbles in the US.

    Obama has been burnt by developing policy for the progressives. His healthcare reform is one of them. If Obama had been more centralist with healthcare, he wouldn’t have angered the majority of the democrat base.

    The reality is that Americans are more conservative leaning that most other western nations.

  35. Bill – you kooky fellow – progressive America is the Democratic base.

    What you mean to say is that the Democrats can’t pander to their base without alienating the independents.

    Funnily enough the Republicans face exactly the same challenge, which is why putting Palin forward as a Presidential nominee would be such a mistake. Although I’ll admit that they’re far better at cajoling the centre into supporting them than the Democrats appear to be – so maybe they could pull it off.

    As I recall, the left were trumpeting Obama as a progressive a year ago. How quickly you re-write history when your golden child goes sour.

    Dude – have a think about what you’re saying here. If Obama was considered ‘progressive’ a year ago and was massively popular, but is now unpopular because he is seen to have betrayed his progressive agenda and, what policy direction do you think he should take to regain his popularity?

  36. What you mean to say is that the Democrats can’t pander to their base without alienating the independents

    Not all Democrats are progressives. Quite a lot of the democrat base are centralist while some are even conservative. Hence why Hilary had so much support in the primaries in 2008.

    Dude – have a think about what you’re saying here. If Obama was considered ‘progressive’ a year ago and was massively popular, but is now unpopular because he is seen to have betrayed his progressive agenda and, what policy direction do you think he should take to regain his popularity?

    I was refering to the left only. As stated above, not all those that vote democrat are left or progressive.

  37. This isn’t the GOP resurgence some are trumpeting.

    I haven’t looked at the turnout figures personally, but I’ve read others suggesting that the Democrat turnout was poor.

    Obama is disappointing Democrat voters by pandering too much to conservative’s in an attempt to be bipartisan. The GOP holds no attraction for the disaffected Democrat.

  38. It is not Democrats turning, so much as independents.

  39. I haven’t looked at the turnout figures personally, but I’ve read others suggesting that the Democrat turnout was poor

    I hate to burst your bubble but there was a record turnout of over 2 Million voters on the day.

    Obama is disappointing Democrat voters by pandering too much to conservative’s in an attempt to be bipartisan. The GOP holds no attraction for the disaffected Democrat.

    As long as Obama and the democrat politicians keep believing this then they will continue to see anger from the democratic base.

    BTW, if Obama was pandering so much to conservatives, then why did a state that is more democrat than any other vote in a conservative republican?!

    Your analysis just doesn’t add up. People angry with a politician pandering to conservatives don’t vote in a person more conservative than the one they are angry with.

  40. “The problem is that the progressives don’t make up enough of the population to sustain the democrats in the US to develop policy without pissing off the majority of their voter base.”

    Ah, so the right is the Republicans’ voter base, but the left… they’re just a fringe.

    Just so we know what you’re talking about here, can you define what you mean by “progressive” – what policies do you think a “progressive” espouses – and then the basis for your claim that people espousing those policies are such a minority they should be ignored, should not be represented by either of the major parties; whilst the Republicans should still pander to the fringe gun-nut fundamentalists.

    Remember, polls earlier this year made it very clear that the majority of the public wanted A PUBLIC OPTION. They wanted healthcare reform.

    Do you think a revolt against the healthcare plan is because it is too much like what they wanted, or not enough?

    “Obama has been burnt by developing policy for the progressives. His healthcare reform is one of them. If Obama had been more centralist with healthcare, he wouldn’t have angered the majority of the democrat base.”

    He’s been TOO centralist with healthcare! He’s given up on a public option entirely! He’s just giving the insurance companies what they want!

    How is that “developing policy for the progressives”? (Pending your definition of “progressive”.)

  41. “then why did a state that is more democrat than any other vote in a conservative republican?!”

    Wasn’t Mitt Romney the Massachusetts governor recently?

  42. Not all Democrats are progressives.

    No – but all progressives are Democrats, thus my description of them as the democratic ‘base’.

    Centrists and conservatives do often vote Democrat as you say, but these groups also regularly split and vote Republican – which is what just happened in Massachusetts. As such they cannot be the Democratic base.

    Personally I’d like to see the result that Jeremy has hoped for above – i.e. Obama returning to his incredibly popular progressive campaign positions, and using his considerable charisma and influence to sell them to the center.

    Constantly capitulating to the Republicans in some insane attempt at bipartisanship is clearly not working for him.

  43. He’s been TOO centralist with healthcare! He’s given up on a public option entirely! He’s just giving the insurance companies what they want!

    If that is the case then why did Scott Brown win by campaigning that he would be the 41st vote in the senate that would block not only Obama’s healthcare policy but end the democrats dominace of the Senate?!

    If Obama was more of a centralist with his healthcare, then the independents and conservative democrates would never have voted for him given his campaign.

  44. Mondo, Commos knew the dream was over when the Berlin wall fell and the Soviet Union fell apart. They renamed themselves “Progressives” to distance themselves from the odium of communism. Now the “progressive” umbrella has widened to include what used to be called fellow-travellers of various descriptions.

    In essence “progressive” is a nice sounding word used to disguise the stench that rightly belongs to socialism in all its stinking forms.

  45. In essence “progressive” is a nice sounding word used to disguise the stench that rightly belongs to socialism in all its stinking forms.

    LOL – SB is donning his cape and putting the Superman soundtrack in the CD player again . . .

  46. If Obama was more of a centralist with his healthcare, then the independents and conservative democrates would never have voted for him given his campaign.

    Huh?

  47. “In essence “progressive” is a nice sounding word used to disguise the stench that rightly belongs to socialism in all its stinking forms.”

    Apparently one may not believe that all people should have access to decent education or healthcare, rather than those things being at the mercy of the “market”, because those common views are “fringe”. In fact, they’re EXACTLY THE SAME as a malevolent dictatorship in Russia, so we must call them the same name. Want a government that doesn’t pander to one particular religion? You’re a COMMUNIST and want to send us to a GULAG!

    Conservative polemicists know – if you can’t argue with a proposal, accuse those advocating it of being JUST LIKE MASS MURDERERS.

    And Bill, the healthcare bill that’s left is a mess. I don’t support it, and that’s not because it’s “too progressive”.

    You still haven’t given us any way in which Obama is “progressive”. What’s a “progressive” policy that Obama’s pushed? (Hint: making everyone join a private health insurance company instead of providing a government safety net is NOT a “progressive” policy.)

  48. Out of interest SB, whose health system do you think delivers the better outcome to the society it serves – Australia’s socialised system or the US system?

  49. I hate to burst your bubble but there was a record turnout of over 2 Million voters on the day. ” – Bill

    I said “democrat turnout was poor”.

    If you compare the vote to the 2008 Presidential vote, Coakley got only just over half of the votes that Obama did, while Brown out-polled McCain.

    A lot of Democrat voters stayed away.

    And with voter turn-out so generally low, it is fertile ground for upset results.

  50. It’d be very interesting to hear some vox pops from people voting in that poll – I suspect the increased Republican vote is wingnuts who’ve spent the year listening to the likes of Glenn Beck. The less Obama does, the more they fear he’s doing.

    Obama – YOU CANNOT PLEASE THOSE PEOPLE. Now, can you remember the base to whom you promised actual national healthcare?

  51. Yes Michael, but it makes more sense to compare this special election to other mid-terms rather than Presidetnial elections. In that context the turnout was quite high.

  52. Northern Exposure

    Everything Obama has done so far has screamed “I dont want to be a one term President!” ie NOTHING. But everyone, in their blurry “Nuhuhs”, is forgetting the cult of personality that is the PoTUS, especially when there is a Dem in the Oval. The centre-right and central-centre-left voters over there will never hear a word against him, but they arent the people who are going to help or hinder legisative agenda, as it stands at the moment.
    Mid terms are coming up and Pres. Obama needs to win, win big, and win soon, on something, ANYTHING, he promised in the campaign everyone with compassion and gravitas was so readily sucked into.
    I wanted to so believe he could change things, but it became clear, all too quickly, that he wouldn’t, and the left and independants, who carried him and beat down doors and helped get out to vote programs across the country, are extremely un-satisfied, to the point where they might even implode the party, again, just to see who crawls out of the midterm post hoc ergo propter hoc.

    Bill, if Pres. Obama had been more centralist, he still would have won. McCain-Palin were an atrocious pairing for one of the most important offices in the world. McCain who used to be a reasonable, moderate republican, turning into Bush 3.0 and Sarah Palin. The most useless woman I think I have ever seen in politics, she had nothing at all going for her in terms of politicking, as for executive experience, she led a speck on a map into crippling debt. But popular, and “straight shootin” or whatever.

    The Republicans are horrifying in the way they treat the system over there, but they get away with it, because when guys like Pres. Obama, former Pres. Clinton drop the ball on the centre pieces of their campaigns, the independant voters revolt. It’s hard to climb a mountain, when the ground is a treadmill.

    The only saving grace is that people still remember the Bush administration, and Pres. Obama is going to have to be fairly heinous to push those independants and lefts to vote against him personally in the next presidential election.

  53. Just wanted to ask it again, in case you missed it SB:

    Whose health system do you think delivers the better outcome to the society it serves – Australia’s socialised system or the US system?

    Don’t tell me you’re reluctant to answer!!

  54. Mondo, I have said previously that I think our system is really good. It has served my family excellently over the years, and I don’t understand why the Yanks don’t go for something similar.

    Actually it could be because of the institutionalised corruption in the US system with the influence of lobbyists and horse-trading with special interest groups.

    A sane thing to do would be to analyse the options by way of independent inquiry, and come up with one health system that covers everyone.

    Also ours is not a socialist system. It has the best of both worlds, and is much better than say, the UK or Canada.

  55. Bill:
    lol that is the biggest load of crap I have ever heard.

    Why?

  56. Mondo, I have said previously that I think our system is really good.

    Oh my God you’re a communist.

    The blood of innocents and the stench of the fetid corpses of Mao’s revolution are on your hands SB.

    Also ours is not a socialist system.

    Oh, I see.

    You’ve somehow convinced yourself that our public health system, owned by the government and funded through a federal tax, is a capitalist enterprise.

    Can you really not admit that the adoption of some socialist policy into our national fabric is beneficial? Are you that wedded to the black and white socialism = bad/capitalism = good dichotomy?

  57. The reason why Obama is on the nose in the US is because he has taken his government too far to the left.

    Now THAT is the biggest load of crap I’ve seen in recent days.

    Personally I hope Palin does win the primaries 2012. The republicans will never be a mainstream party again while people like her are considered serious leadership material. At the moment their only policy proposals seem to be deny climate change, cut taxes and keep entitlement spending where it is. In other words, more of the same bullshit that got the US into the trouble it’s in now.

  58. Mondo, ours is a capitalist health care system with some degree of cover provided by contributions under the medicare levy.

    At least we don’t have Death Panels!

    Socialism is generally bad, but at heart I’m a pragmatist. If something works, I mange to get over my ideological preconceptions and recognise that fact.

  59. Northern Exposure

    SB the republicans are opposed to our system.

  60. Confessions, Palin took on corruption in her home state. Obama is a Chicago corruptocrat, a user and supporter of earmarks and a benificiary of jailbird Tony Rezko’s largesse.

    He has made the US system more corrupt, not more transparent.

    Having said that, Palin would not be my choice of candidate.

  61. “Confessions, Palin took on corruption in her home state.”

    lol. Yeah, sure – if it’s on a bumper sticker, it must be true.

  62. NE, I am always interested in looking at the US and trying to understand the differences in approach to things there compared to here, instead of reflexly criticising them.

    I think they would be better off running an independent inquiry to try for a system that provides full coverage, but doesn’t destroy the incentives that make them the world leaders in medical advances (which the rest of the planet benefits from).

  63. Trouble is Jeremy, you have been looking at the wrong bumper stickers.

  64. Why?

    Obama is a lame duck president now. He has lost his majority in the senate, there is wide spread voter anger towards his presidency and the mid terms this year will wipe out the democrates.

    also he has had to make a very emnbarressing speach today to apologise to the american people for negleging them.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/barack-obama-says-he-mistakenly-neglected-the-people-after-massachusetts-senate-loss/story-e6frg6so-1225822079213

    His presidency is now terminal.

  65. Bill believes repeating something will MAKE IT TRUE.

    “Obama is a lame duck president now. He has lost his majority in the senate, “

    Ah, no he hasn’t. The Democrats still have a huge majority in the Senate that exceeds anything Bush ever had. The problem is that they’re too afraid of pissing off conservatives to actually DO WHAT THEY PROMISED THEIR OWN VOTERS.

    Oh, and while we’re there, Bill still hasn’t described anything “progressive” Obama has done.

  66. SB – putting aside your assertion that our taxpayer-funded public hospital system is capitalist in nature (not an easy task I can assure you), would you nonetheless accept that your preferred changes to the US health system would (at least in the US) identify you as part of the “progressive” or “left-wing” movement?

    If so, would this cause you to reconsider your condemnation of all progressive/left wing politics?

  67. He has lost his majority in the senate, there is wide spread voter anger towards his presidency and the mid terms this year will wipe out the democrates.

    Yeah – that’s just false Bill. Obama still has a majority of seats in the US Senate (the Democrats have nine more seats than the Republicans).

    What he has lost is his fillibuster-proof “super majority”.

    You really ought to read up a bit more on US politics.

  68. In Bill’s defence, it is easy to forget that the Democrats have a clear majority.

    I mean, they do.

  69. Ah, no he hasn’t. The Democrats still have a huge majority in the Senate that exceeds anything Bush ever had. The problem is that they’re too afraid of pissing off conservatives to actually DO WHAT THEY PROMISED THEIR OWN VOTERS

    No the problem is that they need 60 votes out of 100 to pass legislation. this is why Scott brown ran his campaign as the 41st republican in the senate. it meant that his vote could block Obama’s policies or healthplan and cap and trade.

  70. I thought the Democrats had 59 senate seats to the Republicans 41 with Brown’s win?

    And the Obama administration still has 3 years left of his first term and the option to run again so calling him lame duck is just stupid.

  71. And the Obama administration still has 3 years left of his first term and the option to run again so calling him lame duck is just stupid

    The mid term elections this year will change all of that.

  72. Bill’s just repeating words smarter people have used. He doesn’t know what a “lame duck president” in US parlance actually means.

    Bill, the Democrats have a clear majority. Under a particularly stupid Senate rule, the Republicans will now be able to sabotage debate by “filibustering” – waffling on indefinitely to stop anything being done – but even that could be beaten simply be abolishing that Senate rule (the “constitutional option”). It’s been done several times in the past.

    In any case, Bush never had a supermajority and he was still able to pass legislation that pleased his base. The Republicans never worried about bipartisanship.

    Maybe Massachusetts will remind the Democrats who actually voted for them, and what they expect.

  73. Northern Exposure

    SB our scientists do pretty bloody well. When I get restless leg i’ll give pfizer a call though.

    Mondo, SB sounds like more of a right-moderate than a flat out conservative. But he definately isnt left or progressive. The argument that ours is a capitalist system is tenuous, it provides a bet hedge though, thats for sure. If you cant pay the premiums for private, you always have public, giving people a bit more confidence to try and use private.

    But we all pay for it so it’s social.

  74. “The mid term elections this year will change all of that.”

    Bill likes to assert these things in the hope it’ll make them true.

    He doesn’t like to answer questions. Bill, WHAT HAS OBAMA DONE THAT IS PROGRESSIVE?

    I’m moderating your trolling here till you answer that.

  75. Obama will still be president after the mid term elections – his term doesn’t expire for another 3 years. My god, I thought my knowledge of US politics was limited!

  76. Mondo, of all the names and labels you have tried to attach to me, “progressive” is the most offensive.

    The fact that I am happy to adopt positions put forward by either side on particular issues makes me a pragmatist, unconstrained by ideology. Your juvenile attempt to pin labels on me fails. It does, however, reveal the blinkered nature of your own way of thinking.

  77. And yet, if you proposed anything like your ideal health system in America, they’d call you a “communist” or a “socialist”. Probably even the Democrats.

  78. Exactly Jeremy – it is not me who is using labels to criticise policy positions, but SB.

    The fact is – he clearly supports at least one progressive policy position in the US but refuses to admit it out of abject fear of being associated with his oft-cited Left-wing boogeyman.

    He’s fallen into a trap of his own making.

  79. Northern Exposure

    There does seem to be a bit label gun antics going on. Just argue the merits, everyone here is smart enough to know what the other is saying with out having to try to score cheap ridiculous QandA soundbite points, “Would you say you conservative because you hate poor people or because you love being rich?” “Are you a dirty hippy, or a communist?” You’re insulting your own intelligence as well as ours.

  80. The mid term elections this year will change all of that.

    Jesus Bill – Obama will still have three years left and the option of running again after the mid-term elections. None of that will change.

    You really don’t seem to understand what you’re talking about.

  81. Agreed NR, the labels are irrelevant to the argument.

  82. Just argue the merits, everyone here is smart enough to know what the other is saying with out having to try to score cheap ridiculous QandA soundbite points

    I agree NE – the whole point of my dialogue above was to try to convince SB to stop making idiotic statements like this: In essence “progressive” is a nice sounding word used to disguise the stench that rightly belongs to socialism in all its stinking forms.

    Since he supports a policy that is clearly a form of socialism (i.e. socialised medicine) I thought he might be willing to back away from this sort of rhetoric and simply let the issue stand on its own merits.

    Apparently not though.

  83. Mondo, I have a diverse set of views, and I don’t limit my choices to one side of the fence or the other. I am pragmatic, not ideological, and to try to pin me with any ideological label says nothing about me and truckloads about your narrow partisan mind. Your child-like simplicity, endearing as it is, amounts to no more than semantic trivia.

  84. SB: I think you’ll find all of us have a diverse set of views, but you still use silly and irrelevent labels to define us.

  85. Bill’s just repeating words smarter people have used. He doesn’t know what a “lame duck president” in US parlance actually means.

    Actually I was thinking I recall that’s how Sarah Palin described herself when she quit as governor in her first term, and so Bill probably thinks lame duck applies to all first term leaders. Or something like that.

    Bill: the gtovernment doesn’t have a senate majority, do you think Rudd’s a lame duck PM? LOL.

  86. Northern Exposure

    Now the label being thrown around is Labeller…srsly.

  87. Skepticus Autartikus

    Jeremy

    English wasn’t your best subject at school, was it dear? Brown is quite clear. The subject of the sentence is the voters of Massachusetts, who express their views and votes independently of Washington. In a federalist polity, such as the US, you will often hear these affirmations of autonomy.

  88. Skepticus Autartikus

    And your invocation of “tEh Establishment” is very telling. The people of Mass. did stick it to the murdering, bribing, bootlegging Kennedy Democrat Mass. establishment. Also, the Republicans put up a Cosmo centrefold, while the Dems countered with a Horses and Hounds pinup. You do the math.

  89. “Dear”? Get stuffed.

  90. Mondo, I have a diverse set of views, and I don’t limit my choices to one side of the fence or the other.

    Nor do I, as you should know by know. I resent your constant attempts to use my self-identification with the progressive side of politics to label me as a Stalinist.

    EVERY TIME you go off on one of your “the Left has blood on its hands” tirades you completely derail discussion, as the rest of us then spend multiple posts to get you to accept the tortology that our politics have nothing to do with an admiration for 20th century communism. You’re deliberately misusing the label “progressive” to lump us in with a polticial ideology that is offensive to most of us.

    It’s no different to someone constantly (and falsely) lecturing the right-wing of politics about their ideological ties with Hitler, and is both dishonest and intellectually offensive.

    And Northern Exposure – you’re getting awfully pious about the horrors of labelling for someone who said this above:

    SB sounds like more of a right-moderate than a flat out conservative. But he definately isnt left or progressive.

  91. “Also, the Republicans put up a Cosmo centrefold, while the Dems countered with a Horses and Hounds pinup. You do the math.”

    Yes, apparently some voters are able to be wooed by a politician representing the country’s richest and most powerful elites (as the Republicans do) “driving a truck” and “being handsome”.

  92. The people of Mass. did stick it to the murdering, bribing, bootlegging Kennedy Democrat Mass. establishment.

    How strange that they waited until Kennedy was off the ticket to express their objection to his murderous, bribing ways.

    Your sneering condescending aside, I heartily agree with the rest of what you’ve said. Once again the Repubs benefitted from putting up a pretend ‘everyman’ against a washington insider.

    But, of course, the “pretend” part of that observation is what highlights the stupidity of the result.

  93. Skepticus Autartikus

    Who are these dunderhead “progressives” and to where do they want to “progress”? I’m afraid that experience has taught me that as soon as anyone starts chest-thumping about being one of the “progressives” it is time we all reached for that revolver.

  94. Skepticus Autartikus

    Mondo

    Ah, they might have waited till the murdering, bribing, and intimidation had, er, “passed away”. 😉

  95. The Republican’s woes, although momentarily forgotten by Brown’s win, will have to come to the fore eventually:

    Throughout, there’s been a consistent chorus: Deficits are too high, but we must cut taxes (a move that will increase the deficit), and we must not cut Medicare spending in any way, shape, or form (a move that will increase the deficit), and we must not raise taxes (a move that would narrow the deficit). The Bush-era Medicare prescription-drug benefit funded entirely by deficit spending is fine, but a broader package to expand health insurance coverage that generates long-term fiscal savings would be disastrous. The bailouts were wrong but so are proposals to recoup bailout funds through taxes on banks.

    In fact, it’s virtually impossible to find an elected Republican official who can speak intelligently and accurately about budget issues.

    And Karl Rove was just on sky news lecturing Obama to forget about health care and start talking about the economy!

  96. Skepticus Autartikus

    Regardless of Obama’s fortunes going forward, I still say electing a non-white President was a fantastic advance, if not for any other reason than it shows that stuff-ups and successes come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Just like a box of chocolates, really. 😉

  97. Skepticus Autartikus

    Jeremy

    The Democrats are nothing like afraid of the conservatives. They are the conservatives.

  98. “Who are these dunderhead “progressives” and to where do they want to “progress”?”

    The opposite of conservatives, basically.

    “I’m afraid that experience has taught me that as soon as anyone starts chest-thumping about being one of the “progressives” it is time we all reached for that revolver.”

    You get that it’s just a name, right? What would you prefer we called ourselves?

    “The Democrats are nothing like afraid of the conservatives. They are the conservatives.”

    They’re conservatives, but they’re not the conservatives. The Republicans are even further off to the right.

  99. Skepticus Autartikus

    The Democrats need to fight with fire and pay all its sheilahs to have boob jobs and weekly Botox injections. Look what it did for Maria Shriva and that squint-free Bligh bird in QLD.

  100. Brown’s views on budgetary matters:

    My plan for the economy is simple: an across-the-board tax cut – in the tradition of John F. Kennedy – for families and businesses that will increase investment and lead to immediate new job growth. More tax increases will hurt our recovery. That’s why I have taken a no-new-tax pledge. My opponent will raise taxes.

    That’s it. Unbelievable! Massachusets people have just elected a fiscal lightweight to take his place alongside all the other fiscal lightweights in his party. But hey, he was a hottie 30 years ago so it doesn’t matter.

    http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2010/01/14/a_new_day_is_coming_restore_faith_and_balance/

  101. Skepticus Autartikus

    Jeremy

    I think you will find that at least from 2000 to 2008, it was the Republicans who were the radicals.

  102. You get that it’s just a name, right?

    I don’t think they do. They appear to believe that it holds some deeper signifigance over and above simply being a convenient way to group people who have similar policy ideals.

    SB certainly seems to imbue the word with a malevolence that goes far beyond what I would consider logical, despite apparently agreeing with some policies that are generally accepted as progressive.

  103. Skepticus Autartikus

    Jeremy

    The big mistake you and your fellow “progressive” travellers make is your ethnocentric, provincial projection of Australian political roots, myths, and tropes on to the United States.

    1. While Australian politics/government certainly has marxist/socialist DNA, the US does not.

    2. The irony of a Melbourne provincial presuming to pass judgement on the US’ democratic achievements compared to Australia, by sneering ‘Americans only think they live in a “democracy”‘ is pretty tragic in its ignorance of the US political system and its history.

    If you have a look at our own Constitution, and the decade of public debate leading to it, you will know we borrowed at least as much from the US as the UK. In particular that li’l ole house we call the er, Senate. When you have a squizz, you will learn that like the US, our Senate is not a democratic people’s house, but the State’s with an equal number of representatives from each, regardless of population.

    3. Unlike Australia, the US has defiantly stuck to its republican governance structure; hell they even had a l’il ole war over it.

    So in 2010, when you sneer at Republicans – for resisting any attempt to enlarge the power and reach of the federal government in their lives – and Americans generally for not complying with your own half-baked Manichean moggie Marxist bigotries, just remember your history, boy.

  104. “The big mistake you and your fellow “progressive” travellers make is your ethnocentric, provincial projection of Australian political roots, myths, and tropes on to the United States.”

    What a load of drivel. The idea that the poor should have access to healthcare is hardly an Australian invention.

    “1. While Australian politics/government certainly has marxist/socialist DNA, the US does not.”

    What do you mean by that? That no Americans have any belief in or desire for public healthcare and education?

    Funny, that’s not what they were saying in the 2008 election.

    “2. The irony of a Melbourne provincial presuming to pass judgement on the US’ democratic achievements compared to Australia, by sneering ‘Americans only think they live in a “democracy”‘ is pretty tragic in its ignorance of the US political system and its history. “

    Get stuffed. I’ve repeatedly argued why the US system is no real democracy. In particular:
    – pathetic voter participation
    – lack of preferential voting means it’s a permanent two-party state.

    “If you have a look at our own Constitution, and the decade of public debate leading to it, you will know we borrowed at least as much from the US as the UK. In particular that li’l ole house we call the er, Senate. When you have a squizz, you will learn that like the US, our Senate is not a democratic people’s house, but the State’s with an equal number of representatives from each, regardless of population.”

    This patronising lesson in obviousness brought to you by SA.

    “3. Unlike Australia, the US has defiantly stuck to its republican governance structure; hell they even had a l’il ole war over it.”

    Our link with the British monarchy is certainly something I agree is incompatible with democracy. The only excuse for it is that it’s pretty much been divested of its powers and in practice it’s an Australian who exercises them.

    “So in 2010, when you sneer at Republicans – for resisting any attempt to enlarge the power and reach of the federal government in their lives “

    What utter garbage. The Republicans passed the most intrusive legislation in the country’s history. The powers they’ve given the country’s police and military apparatus are without parallel in the first world.

    The Republicans only have a problem with “big government” when it is providing services to the poor. THEN they get angry.

    “and Americans generally for not complying with your own half-baked Manichean moggie Marxist bigotries, just remember your history, boy.”

    For all the relevance that has to the discussion.

    And “boy”? Who the hell do you think you are?

  105. There’s some real conservative ‘cognitive dissonance’ here.

    Their new weapon in the fight against Obama’s health care reform is a supporter of his state’s universal health care policy.

  106. I hope that this is a bit of a wake up call to Rudd on climate policy.

    Here we have a somewhat similiar case – progressive trying to appeal to the political opposition on a policy matter by making compromises, but finding that this pisses off your supporters and that the opposition has an entrenched position. A double loss.

  107. Skepticus Autartikus

    Ah yes. Once more with the “progressives”.

  108. “epublican governance structure;”

    The Republicans haven’t, they’ve spent like drunken sailors.

  109. Oh my bad, you were talking about republican as opposed to monarchist, either way your post is still drivel.

  110. “Ah yes. Once more with the “progressives”.”

    IT’S A BLOODY NAME!

    Got a reasonable alternative?

    “finding that this pisses off your supporters and that the opposition has an entrenched position.”

    It’s not as bad here, because if you think the ALP’s gone too far to the right you can vote for the Greens. In the US, all you can do is stay home – or vote for a party that’s even worse. Rudd will start shifting to the left when the Greens start making inroads on Labor territory.

  111. Skepticus Autartikus

    Rob

    Actually, my bad. That should read “federalist governance structure”.

  112. Jeremy,

    That’s why it’s hard to see how Abbott thinks his pandering to the hard right is going to work.

    He needs to come out with some kind of workable policy to address AGW. In the US, his equivelant can hope that general (or even relative) voting apathy and a mobilised base can pull off an unlikely victory. Abbott doesn’t have that luxury.

  113. Skepticus Autartikus

    Michael

    Oh puhleez, if Abbott did anything of the sort he would be laughed out of town, as there is no such thing possible as a “workable policy to address AGW” apart from perhaps “M’am”.

  114. And, completely OTT, good to see the ABC launch a 24 hr news service.

  115. “out of town” ? no, laughed out of the cave by the other neanderthals?- yes.

    Because that’s what we have from the newly more hopelessly conservative opposition – stone age policies in the silicon age.

  116. The Democrats need to fight with fire and pay all its sheilahs to have boob jobs and weekly Botox injections. Look what it did for Maria Shriva and that squint-free Bligh bird in QLD.

    Jeremy: Is it really necessary to have sexist offensive shit like this posted here?

  117. That’s why it’s hard to see how Abbott thinks his pandering to the hard right is going to work.

    Michael: Abbott’s denialism is having repercussions in political opinion polling:

    In a political nutshell – Labor is losing the ground war on generic global warming opinion in this country.

    This has some pretty serious implications.

    For a government to ever successfully act on carbon emissions, will require them to successfully counteract the denialists. This is something that the Rudd government has so far refused to do – no doubt, at least in part, because of the softness in the ALP vote they are picking up in both the 30-49 yr male demographic (primarily, but not isolated to non-capital cities) and their recent inroads into the over 50’s. Both of those cohorts are more likely to be climate change sceptics than any other.

    That’s why Rudd won’t move left and won’t pander to the Greens. Meanwhile action on climate change is languishing. 😦

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/01/20/when-climate-change-scepticism-changes-political-opinion/

  118. If this is the case then Rudd is in danger of a double loss – both the group your link refers to and those who want action. That’s a lose-lose situation.

    But from what I’ve read the threat to the ALP vote is not that great. The non-capital city 30-49 vote is relatively small and significantly already in Lib/Nat held seats.

  119. Skepticus Autartikus

    Why on earth would Rudd “move left”? Rudd is a rabid anti-leftist, and the ALP killed its left-wing soul when it elected Bob Hawke party leader nearly 30 years ago. Please keep up.

  120. Northern Exposure

    Confessions, Possum is probably one of the best polling analysts in the country. His conclusions are never far from the mark, that was the conclusion he was able to draw from the numbers from the latest polling.

  121. Skepticus Autartikus

    NE. I would say Possum is without peer certainly in this country and probably beyond. It just makes you wonder why the ravings of that MacKerras loon continue to be printed.

  122. NE: I know which is why I always read Poss.

    This was always going to be a risk: the denialism message lends itself to media sound bites which means Abbott and his populism are in the box seat of being able to get public attention to their stance. I never thought it would occur this quickly however.

  123. I’m not sure it’s so gloomy.

    AGW isn’t the only policy item affecting voter intention.

    Abbott and his crew have been sequestering. Soon they’ll need to emerge. I’m sure the PR hacks have been very busy polishing and training Tony and Barnaby. But once they start flapping their gums in public, anything is possible.

    I fully believe in the potential for Tony to plumb Downer-esque levels of preferred-PM ratings.

    At the moment they are picking the low hanging fruit by mining the seam of stupid in the Oz body-politic. Every ore-body has its life.

  124. A month ago I had your optimism Michael. Climate change is no longer about science, but has become a global political issue. Political parties (including the GOP) ignore it at their peril.

    But it seems I made the mistake of underestimating the relationship in voter land between the action itself, and the perception of how the public views the severity or otherwise of that action. I had assumed the government had the middle ground on this issue. But what if the middle ground means way more compensation to polluters, lower targets and longer lead in times? We can’t afford it, either economically or environmentally. And each delay, each dollar more of taxpayer funds given over to the energy sector represents another opportunity for denialists to entrench their message in voter land.

    If Poss’s analyses are correct and true, then we have buckley’s of getting the action we need to make a genuine effort at pricing GHGEs that will get behaviour change anywhere near the levels the science dictates.

  125. I agree that the Rudd middle-ground way is piss-poor.

    I would have preferred them to cosy up to Greens a little, even if this gave enough ammunition to the conservatives to launch an anti-Greens fear campaign (which they are just iching for) that could help them back to Govt. Un-doing a CPRS that was already functioning would be near impossible.

  126. “Why on earth would Rudd “move left”? Rudd is a rabid anti-leftist, and the ALP killed its left-wing soul when it elected Bob Hawke party leader nearly 30 years ago. Please keep up.”

    If left-wing voters realised they didn’t have to be taken for granted, and voted 1 Green instead of labor, then that would prompt a sudden rush by the ALP to cover its left flank.

  127. Skepticus Autartikus

    Jeremy the point is that Rudd knows that Labor’s left-flank is firstly pretty thin these days, especially compared to the Howard Battlers, and secondly will always preference Labor over Liberal, even if they were to throw a hissy fit, and vote 1 Green. What the Greens would do if they were truly sincere is drop most of the rest of their ‘right-on’ hoilier-than-thou non-environment policies, which is really what turns off the rest of the country.

  128. “if they were truly sincere is drop most of the rest of their ‘right-on’ hoilier-than-thou non-environment policies”

    Examples? Their (abandoned) policy ofLegalising drugs for example appeals to me because the benefits are obvious. I’ll concede that my views are considered radical (by the main stream)but I will also contend that I’m right, especially with regard to the legalisation of drugs, because the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages, as it stands with illegal drugs it’s the other way around. I’ll happily debate anyone because I’m confident that any rational person would come around to my way of thinking.

    I’m pro(ish)-nuclear, I vote Green because I’m a lefty, not because I’m an environmentalist.

  129. Skepticus Autartikus

    And therein lies the problem Jeremy identified. While most people might well want action on climate change, most people abhor lefties and leftism. The Greens brand has been severely diluted and confused, so that now itis seen more as a socialist party, rather than a climate change party.

  130. “most people abhor lefties and leftism. ”

    Only because of the bullshit the media feeds them. A classic example is America’s irrational fear of universal health care, they aren’t all stupid, they’re ill informed by politicians and media.

  131. And therein lies the problem Jeremy identified. While most people might well want action on climate change, most people abhor lefties and leftism.

    I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the problem that Lefty identified.

    SA – if you’re going to troll, you should at least try to hide your rank dishonesty a little better.

  132. Skepticus Autartikus

    Rob Actually no, you are more the problem than the media. Your association of leftism with superior intelligence basically makes your party a joke with the overwhelming majority of society, which unfortunately equally condemns any worthy ideas you might have about climate change.

  133. Skepticus Autartikus

    Mondo, the problem lefty identified was nobody willing to play with the greens because of the inanities spouted by Rob and his ilk. If you are going to continue to dismiss the vast majority of Australia’s derision towards the greens as “trolling,” then you are equally part of the problem.

  134. “Rob Actually no, you are more the problem than the media. Your association of leftism with superior intelligence”

    ….Aaaah we’re (that’s you, not me!) resorting to putting words in others mouths – You fail…..

    “makes your party”

    I don’t have a party, I wouldn’t vote Green if there was a better fit (for me).

    “which unfortunately equally condemns any worthy ideas you might have about climate change.”

    What? I’m a self confessed climate change dummy, I don’t comment much on the issue at all.

  135. “Rob and his ilk. ”

    LOL, I’m not the partisan one SA

    “the vast majority of Australia’s ”

    Look being in a majority doesn’t necesarily make one right, I also wonder how many of the ‘majority’ just go along with the flow?

  136. Skepticus, why would the legalisation of drugs be inane?

  137. “Your association of leftism with superior intelligence””

    I want to say one more thing about this, I’m no dummy but I don’t rate myself as much when compared to my peers here at Anonymous Lefty, and at PP. ie I have no delusions when it comes to the the limits of my nous..

    I don’t think it follows that lefty = smarter, To me it’s lefties = more likely to be compassionate. There are exceptions that prove every rule.

  138. “What the Greens would do if they were truly sincere is drop most of the rest of their ‘right-on’ hoilier-than-thou non-environment policies, which is really what turns off the rest of the country…

    And therein lies the problem Jeremy identified. While most people might well want action on climate change, most people abhor lefties and leftism. The Greens brand has been severely diluted and confused, so that now itis seen more as a socialist party, rather than a climate change party.”

    Projecting, much? Just because you – and other conservatives – abhor lefties doesn’t mean “most people” do.

    The arrogance. Not only is SA blandly declaring that no-one could really agree with his/her ideological opponents, but s/he is declaring that those voters should be abandoned by the Greens. Apparently ALL parties should adopt SA’s conservative viewpoint. SA will only vote for one of them, but the rest should all agree with SA anyway.

    SA, I don’t vote for the Greens for their environmental policies. I vote for them because they’re the only party that stands up for
    – public services (health, education, transport);
    – civil rights (equal rights eg for gays, rule of law as opposed to populist lauranorder drivel, civil liberties etc).

    If they abandoned progressives, they’d lose a LOT of support. Me, for one.

  139. SA – more than half of Australia recently voted for a party to the Left of the previous government.

    Your assertion that Autralia “abhors leftism” is therefore both ignorant and incorrect.

    You are transparently induging in the age-old stupidity of assuming that because you believe something, everyone else probably believes the same.

  140. Jeremy the point is that Rudd knows that Labor’s left-flank is firstly pretty thin these days, especially compared to the Howard Battlers,

    As I understnad it the Howard Battlers were never the right flank of the Liberal party, but working class types who historically voted labor.

  141. Hey confessions, now you pay attention, we’ll get you voting Green yet 😉

  142. LOL Rob! I live in a very safe Liberal seat so my vote really counts for nothing. The only thing it would count for is funds for the Greens based on giving them my primary vote.

    And this anti-Greens nonsense above completely overlooks the fact that the Greens vote has improved immeasurably on the 2007 election result, based on polling in the interim.

  143. And after last night feeling morose, I think some good news is in order.

    I can only think of a few things obama’s done that could be classed as progressive, so I’m up for hearing about some more. Where’s Bill gone?

  144. I think when I told him to put up or shut up he chose to shut up.

    Pity, I was looking forward to hearing of something progressive Obama had done, too.

  145. He has allowed his wife free reign to be both seen and heard.

    That’s a bit progressive.

  146. Northern Exposure

    The left will always be assosciated, unfairly, with eltisim. The only counter I would offer is that leftism isn’t of superior intelligence, but of superior compassion and reason.

    The Greens did start as a party for climate change, but then when the Dems imploded, they began to respond to a larger need in Aust Politics, a party driven by ideology, that wouldn’t be held in thrall by promises of power from either of the larger parties. They haven’t diluted their message, they have expanded it, to offer a real watchdog and yes an alternative. As to the ammount of votes they get, it is small, but give it time. We’ll see.

    The “Fair Go” that is so often ejaculated by the right into the media is not something they believe in, or even want. The “Howard” battlers were probably the largest group he totally buggered. Work Choices chief among the sodomy tools. Which the Coals, with it, were then treated in kind.

    People like you are on the fringe, SA. Which is why you shout so loudly, terrified that Australia circa 1953 will be lost to history where it belongs. It’s taken far too long but very slowly more reasonable people are entering the fray, things are going to happen. Both fringes, left and right, have no place in the discussion. When serious people sit down and talk, progress is made.

    Those on the edge of the camp are left behind as the camels moan, the caravan moves on.

    On Pres. Obamas progressive…ness(?), he did make some inroads into the Pharma Congress…I suppose… Oh! He let the estate tax die! wait…

  147. “The left will always be assosciated, unfairly, with eltisim. ”

    Heh, anybody who knows me would never describe me as an elitist.

  148. Northern Exposure

    Must be why she has a nice watch. House wives don’t need a watch, theres a clock on the oven.

  149. “The left will always be assosciated, unfairly, with eltisim. ”

    That’s always been a bizarre line, since it’s the left that advocates taxing the elites to provide services for the general public.

  150. Northern Exposure

    Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to matter to the rightards. Any time you say “pollution is bad” or “equal rights for everyone” they start quoting marx and pointing at you.

  151. The left will always be assosciated, unfairly, with eltisim.

    I think this is ignoring history. Throughout virtually all of its history, it was conservatives who were identified with ‘elitism’, and the left was assigned to the rabble. In Australia, this began to change in the late stages of Keating’s leadership, when the media and opposition would attack him for alleged pandering to special interest groups, his suits, clocks and pig farm, etc. Throughout the Howard era, the attempt to conjoin leftism with elitism became entrenched, primarily thanks to Howard’s footsoldiers in the media. ‘Academic’ and ‘artist’ virtually became terms of abuse.

    In reality, the Libs natural constituency amounts to a handful of suburbs in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs, and North Shore, and maybe a couple of suburbs in Adelaide and Perth. The Libs were traditionally a party for wealthy WASPs of grazier stock – Howard was the first non-toff leader, and much of his appeal was in appealing to individuals with similar class intersts to the toffs (small business, self-employed tradies, etc) and even managing to persuade some of the ALP’s voters that the Coalition could be pro-worker.

    This trick worked for some time, but when Workchoices was put on the table, it became impossible to keep up the illusion.

  152. Northern Exposure

    I’m reminded of a quote from Boston Legal, best show ever written.
    “Why dont we want the best and the brightest running things? Why is it that an Ivy League degree is considered a liability?”
    “The Ivy League got us in to Vietnam.”
    “Bush has an Ivy League Degree”
    “Oh Alan please…do either of us think that he really did?”

  153. “Throughout virtually all of its history, it was conservatives who were identified with ‘elitism’, and the left was assigned to the rabble.”

    Which of course makes sense. Which side of politics wants to tax the rich (the elite) and provide services to the poor? Hint: It’s not the conservatives!

  154. Northern Exposure

    THR you would concede that leftyness is now considered elitist though, yes? As for Howards sultans of spin, they are the reason I said unfairly. Maybe I should have said dishonestly? I’m talking about the now and beyond, can’t do much about the then.

  155. It’s said by conservatives to be “elitist”. But that’s a bullshit characterisation – and a misleading diversion – that should be fought hard.

    Because there are elitists out there who should be fought – it’s just that they’re the pro-market pro-rich rightwingers who’ve been working so hard to trick the public into thinking they’re somehow on their side.

  156. I don’t think you should give up so easily NE.

    The Right’s spin doctors only took a few years to pull off the deceit required to characterise progressive politics as ‘elite’ – surely an increased commitment from the Left to do the opposite could also work.

    Although in the US it will be difficult. The Democratic establishment actually is the elite over there – old, moneyed up special interests pandering to their wallets rather than the people.

    The Republicans may be just as rich and corrupt but at least they have the sense to hide it behind fake-hokiness. That George Bush was considered an ordinary man of the people still cause my head to spin – god their strategists are good.

  157. Northern Exposure

    Of course it should be fought hard! Where did I say meek capitulation to those idiots was a good course of action? Maybe I shouldn’t have said always, but, it has stuck. The left need to employ some ends-justify-means campaign managers, and it will absurdly easy to overturn this ridiculousness. Those on the left side of political ideology have more sympathetic causes, but they havent done it yet, I wish they would hurry up.

  158. Northern Exposure

    157 comments. Jezzer whats the record?

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