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In response to:

How to Appeal to the White Working Class

Zenarts Wrote: Oct 29, 2013 1:02 PM
Natural Allies: Mona Charen thinks the GOP can take advantage of the flaws of Obamacare so the party of No, the representative of the wealthy, and corporate American can keep fooling the White Working Class (WWC) into believing the GOP is the party of the WWC. All the polling data she herself brings up point out that the WWC and the Dems are natural allies. The GOP may claim to better represent the cultural interests of the WWC, but even there they are losing ground. It is clear how to win over this group: you do it with New Deal programs and higher taxes on the wealthy. These are the most effective appeals, but the Right-Wingers are ideologically ill-prepared to accept or implement them. On the other hand, the Tea Party GOP is gradually losing their most effective appeal, i.e. getting the WWC to vote their prejudices and not their interests. They have been successful it ginning up resentment against so-called slackers, illegal immigrants, other minorities, and so-called non-deserving groups. But she is also saying Tea Party assumptions that the WWC are more favorable towards free enterprise and small government is a fantasy the Tea Party needs to get rid of and return to the world of reality if the Right-Wingers hope to avoid political oblivion and irrelevancy. Mona Charen thinks she has found a wedge issue, Obamacare, to divide the WWC from the Dems. It is not going to happen. The WWC is well aware that the agenda of the Right is to crush the labor movement, its benefits and rights and return to some heartless version of Reaganomics. Judging by the way the British working classes celebrated the death of Margaret Thatcher, good luck with that. Zen-
Mutually Exclusive Agendas: This article fails to give an account of the political agenda of the conservative woman. The conservative agenda, like Right-Wing positions on God, guns, and gays, attempts to mobilize these women in support of the corporate agenda. But the irony here is that every conservative woman enjoys rights and privileges that are the results of years of bitter progressive struggles: e.g her right to vote and the suffragette movement, equal access to an education, equal pay for equal work, access to bank loans and credit, greater equality at home and the work place. The feminist movement is about equality, fairness, opportunity, and safety. It is not about man bashing as the Right-Wingers imply. Male bashing only extends to ending rape and domestic violence against women, which are the results of a learned male macho culture that views women as possessions and sex objects. Does the conservative woman want to return to the days when she was less than human and existed only to please the male ego? Without doubt, the feminist agenda is mutually exclusive of the Right-Wing, conservative, Tea Party, and corporate agenda. Does the conservative woman want to give up her rights by ending affirmative action, equal pay for equal work, and suppression of women’s votes in the Red States? In so many ways, the women in NeW are working against their own interest and in support of an agenda that will again marginalize them and reinforce negative stereotypes. These young ladies are privileged in ways their mothers and grandmothers never experienced. They never had to live in a world without a feminist movement to speak against and protect them from sexism. This explains their lack of consciousness and solidarity with feminism, but, unfortunately, it makes it easy for the Right to disenfranchise and disempower them. Zen-
The Intolerable Acts: John Ransom must have been under a rock the last few years. He fails to see the similarity in European economic policies and Tea Party ‘reforms’ of the status quo. The political agenda of the European financial elites, to include the European Central Bank (ECB), European Commission, and the IMF, is to force political changes whose longer-term goal is to dismantle the European welfare state. Like their American Right-Wing brethrens, they want labor law changes to bust the power of unions, cuts in health care spending, cuts to education, deficit reductions that will put even more people out of work, and balanced budgets. These are all changes begun by Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. No wonder the British working classes celebrated the death of Thatcher (the wicked witch of the North they called her). However, the American Right-Wingers are instigating one crisis after another, government shutdowns and refusal to raise the debt ceiling, to force through Right-Wing ‘reforms.’ These kinds of changes represent political ideologues. They do nothing for economic recovery except provide an opportunity to dismantle the welfare state for the benefit of capitalists. What Ransom and his Right-Wing ilk are pushing is a political agenda at the expense of economic recovery. Economic recovery involves growing the economy and creating jobs. It does not involve Right-Wing austerity programs to enlarge the reserve army of the unemployed for the benefit of capitalists. The very Right-Wing ‘reforms’ that Greeks and Spaniards find so intolerable, Ransom and his Right-Wing ilk want to impose on working American families. It would truly be a radical change in the status quo. Zen-
In response to:

The Progressive Agenda On Display

Zenarts Wrote: Oct 06, 2013 12:14 PM
Low Information and Ignorance of History: Derek Hunter wants to make a bogeyman of liberal government and equate it with Stalinism or totalitarian government. Nice try, but politically and historically incorrect. Low information readers and those ignorant of history might be scared by his false scenarios, but it is a useless misdiagnosis. It is the Right-Wingers who, by minimizing government, benefit the privileged with tax breaks and reduced outlays for public health and services, welfare, and national investments, environmental protection. Hunter and his ilk want to return to the Gilded Age of corporate robber barons. Derek Hunter envisions a back to the future where inequality, concentrated prosperity and wealth, and selective mobility dominate a society controlled by the plutocrats. That era came to an end when progressive reformers like Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson pushed for fair labor standards, women’s suffrage, trust busting, federal income taxation, and direct election of senators. There is nothing in the current progressive agenda that even closely resembles Stalinism: i.e. reduced income inequality, strong unions, environmental protection, public investments, higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations, people before profits, people votes before the dollar votes of corporations, shared prosperity, and a restored democracy to replace corporate autocracy. If Hunter is so worried about body counts and PR disasters, why does he and his Right-Wing ilk not count the bodies of those who will surely die or sicken when the Right cuts funding for food stamps, or the millions in red states denied the opportunity to sign up for Obamacare? Why not count the bodies of the old, sick, infirm, and disabled as the Right defund or abolish Social Security and Medicare programs? Hunter and his ilk are only concerned about protecting the interests of the corporate rich and powerful. It is just propaganda or gross exaggeration to link liberal governance to Stalinism or totalitarianism and their body counts. Zen-
Delusions and Fantasies: The advice Michael Barone offers is worthless because the GOP is no longer a center-right party, but a far-Right party that refuses to compromise or work with a real center-left party. In the context of American politics, center-right and center-left parties can work together and produce bipartisan legislation. There would not be that much difference between the parties. But the far-Right has managed to hijack the GOP, drive out its most moderate and liberal RINOs and emphasize ideological purity over practical politics. The GOP has been drifting away from the ‘soggy center.’ The consequences are paralysis and gridlock as the GOP is willing to blow the country up rather than deviate from ideological purity. The Republican primaries are producing whacko candidates that are truly out of the mainstream, e.g. Todd Akin, Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell. As for public policy it is my way or the highway, all or nothing. A party not willing to share power with its moderates, a party that has an exclusive small tent that drives away minorities, is a losing not winning party. It is no wonder Karl Rove has called for reforms that the party base has refused, further driving the party to the Right. The far-Right base controls the agenda because it can ‘primary’ out of power its deviates. It makes the ‘party of stupid’ a real obstruction and obstacle to the workings of our presidential democracy. The choice is no longer becoming more moderate or more extreme. The GOP is already too far to the Right and no longer has that choice. Michael Barone is fantasying. The American presidential democracy is different from British parliamentary democracy in that US politics are pluralistic and more coalitional based. The goal should be a ‘big tent.’ However, The Right-wingers would not have the influence they have without the Southern Strategy of the conservative and racist South. Eventually, red states like Texas or Virginia will turn blue or purple. It is just a matter of time. Zen-
In response to:

The Warmongering President

Zenarts Wrote: Sep 09, 2013 10:08 AM
Some Real Distractions: Rachel Alexander’s whole argument boils down to: if a Right-Wing president had done the same things he should be trusted because he would not have had a sex scandal or something to hide and distract from. The truth is both parties are guilty of empire building. Both parties use tear jerking excuses or pretexts to fight a war of choice not necessity. The author should say what she really feels as a Neo-Con Right Winger, which is we have to take out Assad. Instead, she wants to cast doubt on Obama’s competence to take out Assad as a matter of ideology. It is not a question of which president, Bush or Obama, is more war mongering since it is a question of degree not kind. In any case, the American people see no value in fighting a war with Syria, as in Iraq and Afghanistan, which will gain us nothing, not valuable resources, not profitable markets, not more jobs at home, nada, zero, nothing. Obama’s foreign policy is a continuation of the failed Bush policies in quantitative and qualitative terms. President Bush placed Special Forces people in 60 nations. Obama has moved that number up to 75 nations, a continuation not a break in policy. Even as he has refused to name it, Obama is fighting the same ‘global war on terrorism’ that Bush started. Since 911, both parties have built a repressive police state to spy on and keep under surveillance millions of Americans while tracking their E-mails, web sites, and tapping their phones. Both parties have instituted an elaborate and massive police, intelligence, and judicial apparatus to control dissent. Both parties have passed enabling legislation to suspend the civil liberties and constitutional rights of millions of Americans. If the goal is distraction, both parties want to fight imperial wars to distract from the massive unemployment, growing inequality, poverty, corporate oligarchic rule, and lack of democracy at home. These are the kinds of issues Rachel Alexander should focus on instead of distracting us with ideological personal attacks on President Obama. Zen-
In response to:

Liberals Hate Job Creation

Zenarts Wrote: Sep 08, 2013 10:54 AM
Making a Commitment: While it should not be the ambition of any American to work at a hamburger flipping job as a 15 year career, the fact is more and more Americans are stuck working such jobs because more and more full time manufacturing jobs have flown to China. Those full time manufacturing jobs meant workers worked at least 40 hours for higher wages, and not for the peanuts offered by service sector jobs. This is just fine for corporate America. Hiring ‘temps’ and ‘contracts workers’ has many advantages. ‘Full time work’ at entry level wages is just a play with rhetoric. It means overworking and underpaying workers. For example, temp warehouse workers for Wal-Mart actually work full time hours for a succession of temp agencies but with less take home pay and none of the benefits. Wal-Mart reaps all the benefits since it has no obligation to provide raises or benefits to temporary workers, nor be legally liable if these workers get hurt on the job. It is a great arrangement for corporate America. The corporate jobs plan is to make more profits, repeal more regulations, and bust more unions, and roll back more reforms like Dodd-Franks Act. The difference is between designing an economy for the top 1% or one that benefits working families. The difference is between an economy designed for, dedicated to and directed by corporations, or a just economy controlled by and beneficial to the 99 percent. When elected to the House in 2012, the Right-Wingers promised to create jobs. They have not done that and appear not to have any intent of doing that. If corporate America has no commitment to creating good paying jobs, then government has to make a commitment to full employment and make the investments to make it happen. A full employment economy will not happen as long as corporate America is willing to drag down hours and take home pay for the remaining service sector jobs. Contrary to Michael Schaus, it is the Right that as no commitment to a decent jobs plan for the service sector because full time manufacturing jobs are becoming extinct. Zen-
In response to:

Obama’s Middle East War on Progress

Zenarts Wrote: Sep 05, 2013 10:37 AM
Living a Delusion: The reason President Obama’s foreign policy in the Middle East looks so confusing is his rejection of the Neo-Con formula of ‘peace through strength.’ It is a formula that gets the U.S. into unnecessary wars around the world, waste our national treasure, and the lives and blood of our young men in an attempt to gain U.S. economic, political, and military supremacy. Neo-con Right-Wingers want us to strive for unilateral economic and military supremacy in a world that requires multilateral responses to transnational issues like climate change (which Right-Wingers deny), pollution, terrorism, international criminal cartels, and environmental standards. Their policies of ‘pre-emption’ and ‘regime change’ are part of their rhetoric of supremacy and power. There is even a cultural component to their foreign policy vision that attracts the Christian Right-Wingers. It is to spread the Judeo-Christian conservative moral values to other peoples who do not want them because they have their own civilizational values to defend. In a sense the Islamists are correct. We, or at least the Christian Right-Wingers, wish to impose our values upon the rest of the world in a Christian Crusade like the ones in the 12th and 13th centuries. It is these kinds of delusions Right-Wingers mistakenly think will make us stronger, safer, and more respected in the world. These policies may make Right-Wingers rigidly hard and proud to be Americans. They are also policies that have unintended consequences, can lead to disasters, and can make us ashamed to be Americans. In all the cases Michael Schaus mentions, the US has little if any control. To believe as the Right-Wingers believe that we can control, in our favour, the outcome of events in the Middle East is to live in a delusional world divorce from reality. Zen-
In response to:

Liberalism Twerks Normal Americans

Zenarts Wrote: Sep 02, 2013 11:18 AM
Losing the War: Twerking is just another sign the Right-Wingers are losing the cultural wars. As long as they focus on culture wars, they will continue to lose elections and policy debates. The Right believes that American cultural decline is the cause of our economic decline. The truth is most Americans do not agree with the Right over the causes of American political and economic decline. Most American do not believe the economic collapse of American is the result of Twerking, i.e. moral and cultural degeneration. The Right wants to sell us the fairy tale that we can restore American greatness by cultural renewal. Economic security and the welfare state will have to be destroyed first if we are to achieve this moral and cultural regeneration. The truth is more Americans have become more liberal, tolerant, and open-minded, and reject the Puritanism of the Right. They are more interested in ways to survive in a crisis economy. The Right ignores the fact that an average American family cannot survive on the poverty wages of McDonald’s. The way to restore the family is the pay male bread winners a living wage so their wives are not forced to join the work force to supplement their husband’s meager poverty wages. When Right-Wing governors refuse to expand Obamacare or take ‘stimulus’ money, it is a good sign the Right fails to understand it is the economy stupid. When the Right argues for destroying Social Security and Medicare as a way to get off the Democratic plantation, they insult and demean average hard working Americans, the same 47% Romney insulted as irrelevant. It is these non-economic cultural arguments on the Right that progressives should keep encouraging. Sure, the Right claims it has good laissez-faire solutions to what ails the family, but even those the majority of Americans have rejected. Zen-
In response to:

The True Martin Luther King, Jr.

Zenarts Wrote: Aug 31, 2013 9:17 AM
Civil Rights and Redistributive Justice: In his lifetime, the Right feared Doctor King as a socialist and a communist. The Right feared the Civil Rights Movements as the opening vanguard to the feared revolution. All kinds of horrific images came to their minds like Stalin tanks rumbling through Mississippi, making General Sherman’s march to sea seem mild by comparison. According to Jack Kerwick, there is much truth in those accusations. Doctor King was a man of the hard left who did support the Left’s agenda. Civil Rights for blacks were only a small part of that agenda. Radical transformation of American capitalism was another larger part of that agenda. For example, King’s call for a gigantic economic Bill of Rights was similar to FDR’s proposed ‘economic bill of rights.’ Doctor King was calling for a radical redistribution of incomes and resources that would transform the economy into one approaching economic justice, and not just for black people but for all working and under-classes, all victims of capitalism. King was correct to call civil rights and voting rights only temporary surface changes which can be easily reversed. The Right-Wingers are proving how true that is with their voter Id laws and Citizens United rulings that make it easy to buy the best obstructionists for Congressmen and Senators. Jack Kerwick wants to credit King for tactics of nonviolence. But he also understands that the civil rights movement was a direct frontal attack on capitalism. King and the civil rights leaders understood that only a radical transformation of capitalism and the system of economics that sustained it were the best means of affording people of color a chance for equality of opportunity. LBJ and white liberals tried to implement King’s goal through a war on poverty, but the war in Vietnam ate up most of the income and resources needed for radical transformation of American values. Also the Right-Wing’s white backlash also helped save the system from radical transformation. Those struggles continue to this day. The fight for civil rights and redistributive justice cannot be separated and will benefit all Americans, not just black people. Zen-
In response to:

Detroit Broke City

Zenarts Wrote: Aug 29, 2013 7:52 AM
As Simple as the Laws of Physics: Schiff’s claim, ‘that private enterprise built Detroit and Government destroyed it’ is just not true. It was the hard fought struggles of labor unions to forcibly extract better wages, benefits, and working conditions from the auto capitalists that made Detroit a prosperous middle class city. The dynamic processes that now destroy Detroit are as simple as the laws of physics. The auto industry is the classic example of how workers’ productivity has risen over the years, producing even greater profits for the auto capitalists, while workers’ take home pay stagnated or decline. The consequences of not paying workers a ‘living wage’ comes in the form of workers going into credit card debt and working overtime or part-time to pay the bills. For the company, the alternative to paying workers a ‘living wage’ is to move the company too China where labor is cheap and exploitable. It is a process called ‘globalization.’ This is the cause of the crisis in Detroit. The businesses and companies moving to China leave behind an ever larger reserve army of the unemployed. This, in turn, gives additional powers to the auto capitalists to attack further the unions, benefits, and wages of remaining workers. It is simple physics and logic that even a grade schooler can understand. With a large reserve army of unemployed and the destruction of the middle classes that come with a prosperous auto industry, government no longer has the revenues to support a disappearing middle class, and maintain city services. These are the very state and local governments that the Right-Wingers, in support of the auto capitalists, wants to eviscerate, claiming they over-regulate and are in bed with the local unions. The processes at work create an ever downward spiral resulted in the destruction of the regulatory framework, the auto jobs, labor unions, and a once growing middle class supported by both auto industry jobs and local government. But this destruction is just what the Right wants in its drive to revive unfettered and unregulated capitalism. Let us applaud Peter Schiff for being honest about it. Zen-
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