Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Change Campaign Mantra

Change. Change. Change. You now see every candidate using the word. It is, apparently, a big meaningful word. Change. Mitt Romney uses it, so it must mean something. You might be thinking it means more than changing the initials of the people or party occupying the White House and Congress, you might. You might be really deluded, also. Oh, heck; maybe you mean it.

The thing of it is, that it is not what America wants.

Let me repeat that, it is not what America wants. I have empirical data to back up that assertion. It is called votes and polling. Not rhetoric, not partisanship, those numbers.

Here's the deal, let's forget the Republicans, Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee might actually mean it, in some odd way, but I'm not inclined in either of their directions. When Mitt says it, he does mean the initials on the stationary.

Democrats. These folks are supposed to be all about change, '06 elections, big swings in general voter preferences, hogwash. Change is not what is desired, security is. Not the Guiliani security, though it's a factor, the warm blanket momma's soothing tones security. Return to the '90s with Hillary, the soothing dulcet tones of the Democratic middle right black man. Change in gender or race, just don't rock the boat change. The voting records and public statements of both are on record, and the record stinks if you're expecting change that isn't cosmetic. Take a look for political risk taking in the Senate, see any? Oh sure, the risk of offending left Democrats was taken, you know, Patriot Act, FISA, Credit, Betrayus Ad, go ahead, read and weep. There are your front runners. Indistinguishable on domestic and economic issues, possibly a bit different on foreign policy bellicosity. Oh, guns. Two of the most ardent gun banners in Congress. Are you too simple minded to miss the connection between perceived security, BushCo's infringements, and infringing the Second? Maybe it's not your favorite, well, it still is there, like it or not, it is #2 in the Bill of Rights.

Look, liberty is a risky dangerous proposal, letting people speak their minds, a press that can do it, and worship whom they want, odd ideas in the safety game. Oh it gets considerably worse, you have to have your day in court, the government is really constrained in how it can search and what it can take. Blah, blah, blah. No it's not. It was, once upon a time. But at that time it was an ordinary part of life to have risks involved in living in this country, now we're safe. Well, no, not yet, but we could be if... Utter nonsense, we can succeed in putting our necks under the government wheel, we can cede liberty sufficiently that the plutocratic masters cannot be made to answer, but it will still be dangerous out there - you'll just have added the government to your problems.

Change, sure. If change had anything to do with this election the inoffensively mildly left of center John Edwards would be sweeping this Primary and Dennis Kucinich would be the one giving him trouble and Hillary and Obama would be footnotes. Not so. Kucinich is way out of sight and Edwards is headed for footnote-hood. The Clibama votes are such mirror images that the debate devolves into faux experience and who is blackest, there's nothing else there to fight over - oh my, I forgot kindergarten. There is one Senator's Iraq vote, compared with the blank checks both have voted for - I'm seriously underwhelmed.

I'm sorry, but judging from the polling and the current votes, the two thirds of the Democratic Party are pussies. Yes, mewling kittens, no tigers to be found. Not a shark, not a wolf, not a grizzly to be found in that 2/3rds. The status quo in economics, and roll over at the first politically risky item is the mantra. Look at the goddam votes when it counted. Look at the votes and look at the Republican votes, a nice match. Big changes are on the way.

Does all this make me a big Edwards partisan? Not hardly, he can't more than mutter single payer not for profit health care. He whispers media de-consolidation. He never says confiscatory economic rape taxes. He just barely gets out "class warfare," he's about as mild in change as I can even begin to stomach. No, I'm no hard core Edwards guy; but he does actually propose change. Sure, Clibama is considerably less offensive than the least offensive Republican, but I'm pretty tired of voting for least offensive, I'd hoped John Kerry would be the end of that. Nope.

Sure, I'll vote for Edwards on Oregon's May 5th, whether he's still in the race or not. I'm a Democrat and I'll vote for one in the Primary, absolutely will. After that, I'll probably wind up voting for a faux-Democrat, a socially acceptable fear assuaging same old same old. The reality check of this Primary is pretty hard to swallow, somehow I had the idea that 20 years in the wilderness gave the Democrats something to think about - apparently it just made them afraid of their own shadows. I wonder just how scared the electorate has to get before their fear of going ahead is overwhelmed.

I watch people I know to be flaming liberals lining up behind the candidates of sameness and I hear them spout, "Change." I am sorely disappointed, I have some differences with these folks, but nothing nearly as serious as I have with their candidates. That leaves me flummoxed, yes flummoxed. These folks are ardent supporters, not lukewarm settle for supporters. It is not as though there are no other choices to be made, real enthusiasm for candidates who do not in the least reflect their political views. Odd? No, it really isn't odd, it is safe or it feels right, it certainly is not a matter of cold-blooded rationality. It is not rational to see a Democrat vote for a credit card lobby written bill and not grab your head to keep it from exploding. It is not rational it is something else. In a rational world a large chunk of the Republican Party would vote for Clibama, and as a Democrat I find that offensive, we ought to at least spook those folks if not offend them. Sure, they'll be scared and offensive but it will be manufactured out of non-existent RNC framing.

I seem to remember a bunch of teeth gnashing about the spineless Democratic Congress, well look who we're going to run for President. How quickly we forget, a magic name and some high falutin' rhetoric and all is forgiven, we'll have our change. Small change, nickle and dime, pathetic to settle for so little and call it something.

There's not much point in whining about the media, or big money in campaigns, or how the elite always wins no matter, because the simple matter is that it's not that, it us/US. The problem lies with the scared us, the voter. We have choices and we choose what is least in our interests in the name of emotional comfort. I'm sorry John Edwards, you thought people cared, you thought they were fed up, you thought economic justice and representational politics were an issue, you missed the need for thumb sucking, it trumps your stuff. Change ain't a blowin in the wind, it just plain got blown.


Steve Culley said...

If you get just a little more pissed off Chuck I have a Ron Paul button for you.

Nick Istre said...

Chuck, you, again, quite closely air my own sentiments.

Hillary, for entirely irrational reasons, makes the back of my hair stand up when I hear her, but she isn't as bad realistically as many people make her out to be. I like listening to Obama's pretty speeches, but that is all I really hear from him and is really not much different substance-wise than Hillary. But I would still vote for the Democrats this round no matter which candidate is place as their front runner. And I am someone who's libertarian-leaning and was basically raised in a conservative (politically) household.

Steve, as for Ron Paul, as much as I like some of his ideas (like taking a strict view of the constitution, including the second amendment), I think he would be much better placed in Congress. His presidential campaign does at least get important issues aired in the media, as much as the media try to marginalize him. I don't think he's presidential material. The real task is to get more legistlatures with similar ideals into Congress. I believe the President should be practical and competent, things that I don't see enough in Ron Paul (and that I don't see at all in the rest of the Republican field). Still, I am very tempted to donate to his cause just to keep the message up.

KISS said...

A poll was taken by CNN and Rasmussen
John Edwards is by far the Democrats' strongest candidate in the general election. He is the only one who is not beaten outright by any Republican candidate: He ties with Giuliani at 44% each, but easily beats McCain, Thompson, Romney, and Huckabee, the latter two by double-digit margins. Hillary loses to all the front runners and Obama loses to McCain
It must be tough to be so entrenched with dimmos that the truth of being lap-dogs to corporate is so disheartening. JFK was the turning point for me and than I saw the sameness of repugs and dimmos. For a long time I only voted on issues and left candidates out of my voting. I am with Lou Dobbs, time to be an independent and vote accordingly.
In Oregon we have a fanatical bunch that is Sizemore phobic and they are dimmos. Every year when I pay my property tax I say " Thanks Bill".Oh yes my dimmo friends who hate Sizemore I tell there is no law that they can pay the tax assessor the amount that Bill saved them...no takers to this day, hypocrites everyone of them. So I think it starts in Oregon to find dimmos that respect the constitution and the citizens and work for a government for all the people, not for a good job later or a shill for corporate.
Ron Paul's idiotic take on social issues is scary as hell.Mike Gravel on the other hand would be my choice.

Steve Culley said...

Guess I'm getting more simplistic the older I get. I hear candidiates argue about how to pay for health care, the Ron Paul message, quit screwing away trillions on overseas adventures and you will have the money, don't go to war unless it is declared, the founders put this little clause in to make sure war was well thought out by the entire congress and wasn't left to the whim of one man, and of course the second ammmendment was intended as an ace in the hole just in case we ended up to where we are headed, straight for dictatorship. I am still waiting for one candidate, republican or democrat to mention the constitution during one of their speeches.

Zak J. said...

KISS - those poll numbers strike me on right on the money as to who would beat whom.

Regarding "fear," well, it's always with us:

We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men— not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular. We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the result." - Edward Murrow

KISS said...

Being the outspoken lightening rod that I am; I now try to put a fact of statistic to what I speak, so the Rasmussen stats are correct.
As for fear, I fear the policia will break down my door and arrest me everyday. I fear my wife and I will go to jail for any of the trump up charges that the IRS or CIA or FBI is capable of charging us for any serious offense that the party in charge deems to be necessary for the good of the nation, or what I say regarding the crookedness of corporate Amerika deems to be Anti American. The Patriot Act scares the hell out of me and I do fear the consequences of speaking out against the disopian we all disdain, and apostasy of constitutional
America that is now allowed.
Not one of the front leaders have spoken out about the loss of freedoms nor the absolution of the dismissal of constitutional rights usurped by this administration.
In other words who will reinstate the Bill of Rights for us?
Power is hard to give up,no matter which candidate succeeds to the mighty throne..