Monday, November 10, 2014

Democrats and ALEC

In the well duh category, the Huffington Post recently posted an article entitled Democrats Create An ALEC-Killer.

Gee, often I have heard the cries about these dark, underhanded, suspicious tactics of this group.

And what are these tactics, why  the Republicans have organized a right-wing group to push for its policies at the state level, providing political discipline, they create draft statutes, coordinate activities,  and support people who agree with them across the spectrum.  And all this has worked for them very well over the last decade.

You know, this is called activism.  I once tried to point this out at a MoveOn meeting I was stupid enough to attend.  The reception to that comment wasn't good.

Sure it's financed by the right's most fanatical and finanically interested participants, and you expected diffierent?

At last someone said, Hey they are killing us by being organized and forceful.  Maybe we should do something too.

Someday, what passed for the American left will actually realize that the game is called politics, and it involves getting things done.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Rant, before it become irrelevant

There will be lots of discussion about why the Democrats lost, and I wanted to get my licks in.

My observation is that there is a common thread when the Democrats have lost significant elections,such as 1980,1994, 2010, or today: the inability to govern, or to put in another way, weakness.

Eisenhower said, "When you appeal to force, there's one thing you must never do - lose."
If you believe in the power of collective action through elected government, then the one thing you cannot do it fail to govern.

Carter was seen (correctly I believe, though people will dispute this) as a weak ditherer.

Democrats under Clinton in 1994, and under Obama in 2010 were hammered because they could not marshal the strength to quickly propose and bring up policies -- most specifically the health plans.

And in the last year, Obama we have had failure to perform governance over, and over again.  There is not justification for:
  • The ACA web site roll out failure
  • That Obama's promise -- however stupid -- not to change existing plans was not honored
  • That the administration was surprised by the VA
  • That the administration was surprised by the board problems
  • That there was not a better Ebola communications plan
  • That there was not better planning about ISIL (screw the CIA missing it, the Economist knew it).
Please note that all of these issues are completely within the purview of an active executive.

The American left (if that is not a null set in any meaningful sense) is big on policies, but has never grasped that implementation -- the sinews of the state -- is an absolute necessity first.

One cannot make a case for government as a useful tool, if its performance is so poor.

Why the current president seems so passively gormless is a question not worth addressing here.

What is worthwhile is the simplest lesson that can be gleaned from this: fill the damned pothots.