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Thu May 28, 2015, 11:37 AM

The Proof Centrism is DEAD -- who is burying "no difference btw Ds & Rs"




This piece from Mike Konczal appeared in The Nation yesterday and the discussion that resulted on Facebook showed that folks missed the point of the article (or didn't read it).

Centrism ISN'T the middle between the two parties. It's literally a "third way" that gives primacy to business interests and then says, "see, they're doing better now -- what's your problem?" It's just another way of selling trickle down economics. It's neoliberalism. It's a lie. We've done this for 30 years and done nothing but dig our hole deeper, to the point where people in my age group have no hope of retirement and are likely looking at seriously dire circumstances due to not being able to work and pay for housing.

None of this is "sensible," unless you're a Wall Street millionaire. It's time we took off our blinders and realized that when people say "there's no difference between the parties," THIS is what they're talking about: bogus CENTRISM.

Ideology isn't a bad word. For liberals and progressives, ideology is our value system that says if you work hard and play by the rules you won't wind up living on the streets when you're 65 and too sick to work. It's the value system that says big business should pay their fair share and not leave our country in ruins. It's the value system that says economic and political inequality is MORALLY wrong. It's the value system that says we fucking mean it when we say "one person one vote." Not, one person (who hasn't been arrested, or isn't diluted in a certain district, or shows up at an under-resourced polling place, or has been purged from the rolls b/c their names sounds hispanic, etc etc). It's the value system that says OUR government exists to create a better world for us and our children. We call that CIVILIZATION. That means cities that work with infrastructure that doesn't kill people, but it also means exploring the cosmos and finding cures for diseases.

Hell yeah Centrism is dead. It killed itself from its own gluttony. It's time to replace it with real Democratic values that benefit everyone. We have serious problems to solve and no time to waste on triangulation and corporate giveaways.

LET'S DO THIS.

And yes, this message is in support of Bernie Sanders, Alan Grayson and any other Democrat who isn't afraid to have actual REAL values that can improve life for all of us.



http://m.thenation.com/article/207833-proof-centrism-dead

The Proof That Centrism is Dead

(snip)

An optical illusion has shielded centrism from critique. Centrists position themselves as anti-ideology, representing a responsible compromise between liberals and conservatives. The word conjures sobriety and restraint, caution and moderation—all of which sound compelling in uncertain economic times.

But institutionalized centrism is more than that: It's an elite group of thinkers and writers, popular in Washington, DC, and favorable to business leaders, who told a very specific story about what was happening during the Great Recession. Circa 2010, they argued for a "sensible" response to the Great Recession: reduce the deficit to fix the short-term jobs crisis, privatize Medicare, and focus on the long-term economy—since, they claimed, working Americans would eventually bounce back during the recovery. Democratic candidates took these positions seriously. Yet each element of the centrist story has turned out to be absolutely false.

(snip)


This failure explains why liberal politicians will sound more confidently liberal in 2016: The dominant ideology pulling them toward business interests has failed. Thus, liberals can analyze the economy within a structural framework that isn't muddled by a commitment to wrongheaded corporate prerogatives.

The last, and arguably most insidious, thing about centrism is the implicit idea that there's no real difference between the parties—just good and bad administration of the centrist common sense. President Obama, who thought he could transcend party differences through personality, suffered from the centrist orthodoxy. The GOP, caring far more about privatization and lowering taxes on the rich than about deficits, benefited. However, 2016 will point up the real differences between the two parties, and this time the Democrats have a shot at getting it right.

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Reply The Proof Centrism is DEAD -- who is burying "no difference btw Ds & Rs" (Original post)
nashville_brook May 2015 OP
djean111 May 2015 #1
nashville_brook May 2015 #3
DirkGently May 2015 #2
nashville_brook May 2015 #4
DirkGently May 2015 #9
MisterP May 2015 #5
nashville_brook May 2015 #6
DirkGently May 2015 #7
nashville_brook May 2015 #8
pampango May 2015 #10
DirkGently May 2015 #11
KG May 2015 #12

Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu May 28, 2015, 11:39 AM

1. This -

 

Hell yeah Centrism is dead. It killed itself from its own gluttony. It's time to replace it with real Democratic values that benefit everyone. We have serious problems to solve and no time to waste on triangulation and corporate giveaways.

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Response to djean111 (Reply #1)

Thu May 28, 2015, 12:16 PM

3. i spent too long believing this would solve things, back in the 90s

it's so sad seeing history repeat itself with young folks these days.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu May 28, 2015, 11:42 AM

2. "Third way;" "No labels," etc etc. = GREEDEOLOGY


It's just sleight of hand. Take away those pesky social issues and reduce everything in the world to MONEY, then claim that's sensible, or pragmatic, or "moderate."

Just another paint job on the same old jalopy.

I don't think anyone's buying it, but apparently they're never going to stop selling it.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #2)

Thu May 28, 2015, 12:31 PM

4. well, that depends. Hillary is selling it and lots of people are buying it.

the message at the state and local level is that the only way to win to is ride her coattails. i think it's a bad strategy for a number of reasons.

the biggest two are that 1) it might fail electorally and 2) it might work electorally and we'll get another neoliberal administration that attempts to "solve" problems through neoliberal means, which will in effect not solve any problems.

also, Pete Peterson.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #4)

Fri May 29, 2015, 08:26 AM

9. Money & connections are nice ...


...but people still have the vote. And it doesn't cost a billion dollars to get a message out anymore.

I can't wait to see the new Endless Dark Money regime go splat when some "inevitable" candidate with all the right friends and all the right numbers loses to better ideas.

It's the only hope for democracy at this point, but I think it can be done.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Thu May 28, 2015, 12:32 PM

5. centrism is predicated on there not being a difference, complains when anyone says

there isn't a difference, and moves heaven and earth to make sure there isn't a difference

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Response to MisterP (Reply #5)

Thu May 28, 2015, 12:38 PM

6. i might have to map that out :)

but i think i get your drift.

True progressives with real values that they fight for, like Bernie Sanders, are showing how there's a bright line between the two.

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Response to MisterP (Reply #5)

Thu May 28, 2015, 12:42 PM

7. That's beautiful.

Like a high-class fortune cookie. A fortune cookie about the myth of centrism.

Well done.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Fri May 29, 2015, 08:59 AM

10. Krugman disagrees with "no difference btw Ds & Rs" on economic policy. On social issues

we all know there is a huge difference between the parties.

... each party is quite unified on major policy issues — and these unified positions are very far from each other. The huge, substantive gulf between the parties will be reflected in the policy positions of whomever they nominate, and will almost surely be reflected in the actual policies adopted by whoever wins.

How did the parties get this far apart? Political scientists suggest that it has a lot to do with income inequality. As the wealthy grow richer compared with everyone else, their policy preferences have moved to the right — and they have pulled the Republican Party ever further in their direction. Meanwhile, the influence of big money on Democrats has at least eroded a bit, now that Wall Street, furious over regulations and modest tax hikes, has deserted the party en masse. The result is a level of political polarization not seen since the Civil War.

On one side, suppose that Ms. Clinton is indeed the Democratic nominee. If so, you can be sure that she’ll be accused, early and often, of insincerity, of not being the populist progressive she claims to be.

On the other side, suppose that the Republican nominee is a supposed moderate like Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio. In either case we’d be sure to hear many assertions from political pundits that the candidate doesn’t believe a lot of what he says. But in their cases this alleged insincerity would be presented as a virtue, not a vice — sure, Mr. Bush is saying crazy things about health care and climate change, but he doesn’t really mean it, and he’d be reasonable once in office. Just like his brother.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/13/opinion/it-takes-a-party.html

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Response to pampango (Reply #10)

Fri May 29, 2015, 09:06 AM

11. Thats an interesting observation.


Republicans, and conservatives in general, feel entitled to hyperbolize and take rash positions as a form of rhetorical warfare, but even their supporters "don't really mean it" a lot of the time.

Problem is, the Tea Party types and even some of their mainstreamers, are quite prepared to follow through on clearly irrational positions, like climate change denial or their central economic conceit that favors for the wealthy trickle down to everyone else.

So here we are. A party that preaches horrendous ideas, with the gleeful support of its followers, with the tacit assumption they don't really mean it, and a party that espouses largely better ideas, with the cynical understanding from its followers that they often don't really mean it.

This is why we can't have nice things.

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Response to nashville_brook (Original post)

Fri May 29, 2015, 09:23 AM

12. K to the R

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