I know, I know. You’re not feeling that chipper over the last-minute aversion of a government shutdown. Perceived “caves” on key defunding issues like Planned Parenthood, NPR, and the budget in general have a lot of us feeling a bit down, although there may be room for some guarded optimism – my colleague Joseph Klein lays out the case here. And although all right-thinking people are relieved that the Left will not hold our soldiers hostage during a government shutdown, many of us think that shutting down so-called nonessential federal functions is EXACTLY what we need to do long term.
However. We can certainly take heart in knowing that our friends on the Left are reeling with despair over Friday night’s deal.
Illustrative of this perceived trauma is Huffington Post writer Richard (RJ) Eskow, otherwise known as “Senior Fellow with The Campaign for America’s Future” (in the interest of full disclosure, please note that I am “Senior Gal with The Campaign to Cut the Snot out of the Federal Budget”). Anyway, Eskow’s article is entitled “Why Progressives Keep On Losing and the Right Keeps on Winning,” which tells you right there the mood over at Huffpo.
Eskow attempts to rally the troops by explaining how those evil Tea Partiers manage to outmaneuver the socialist Left, but he’s got his premises (surprise!) all wrong:
“…it’s not as if progressives don’t have any cards to play. Their policies are very popular, while those of the Tea Party and the Republicans are equally unpopular.”
Uh, what? Eskow must have screwed on his lefty blinders so tightly that it’s interfering with his ability to remember the 2010 election. See, RJ, that was kind of a popularity contest, that thing we did last November. And to paraphrase Dear Leader, YOU LOST. The real question is, how can one can explain your absolutely delusional insistence that leftist ideas are actually more popular than the core Tea Party mantras of lower taxes, less spending and limited government?
Speaking of delusions, ol’ RJ just keeps ‘em coming. Why are we intellectually and morally superior “progressives” losing, he asks? Because! Because The Tea Party is way richer than we are (of course, the phrase “Koch Brothers” makes the requisite appearance, one word away from the phrase “ultra-conservative” – why can’t the poor Koch brothers ever just be regular old conservatives?) And the Koch brothers happened because the Supreme Court has been packed, ideologically, by the GOP! (Uh, what?) Those damnable evil rich Republican ultra-conservatives!
“…decades worth of funding for ad campaigns and ‘conservative think tanks’ (an oxymoron, perhaps?) continue to lay the groundwork for destructive moves like the one we so (sic) last night.”
Is anyone else amused by the fact that RJ mocks the idea of conservative thinking while in the same sentence misspells the word “saw”? Heh heh. Of course, he’s talking out of a bodily orifice other than his mouth when he claims that more money is being pumped into “their side” than “his side.” Big Democrat money is only a union away, RJ. You might want to consider reading this and this, my friend.
Ah, but that would mean dropping the daisy chain of magical fairy-dust delusions you’re peddling here. Like:
“Only 6% of those polled think that reducing the deficit is Congress’ highest priority.”
Yes, I’m sure that’s the case – if “those polled” are, say, all current occupants of the White House (and the 6% would represent the wisdom of Bo, the First Dog).
This lack of grasp on reality is worrisome. Isn’t that a sign of mental illness? I’m concerned for RJ, and with good reason. After demonizing Paul Ryan’s budget proposal as positively Dickensian…
“…the environment is despoiled, the poor go unfed, and the middle class faces a lifetime of financial insecurity following (sic, again) by an old age of sickness and penury.”
…he then goes on to lay out HIS vision for America. You may have to grab an Excedrin for this one:
“First increase Social Security retirement benefits by 15%, across the board, by lifting the payroll tax cap and imposing a financial transactions tax. Second, increase income taxes on a sliding scale that goes up to 60% for the highest earners in the country… Third, add $500 billion to our stimulus spending over the next two years, and keep adding it until unemployment is down to 4%. Fourth, immediately add a public option, ‘Medicare For All’ plan that’s voluntarily available to Americans of all age brackets.”
Yes, RJ, you’re right. That vision is far, far more popular than anything being offered by those dumb teabaggers. And way smarter and more sophisticated-like, too!
RJ offers a glimpse into the leftist mind (is this where I say “an oxymoron, perhaps?”) in his gloomy disillusionment over Obama, who he once thought was the long yearned-for Energizing Great Leader of the Left. Now he’s more of a “we don’t need no stinking leader” school of thought:
“The Tea Party is seen as a leaderless movement. By having no alliance to a party or politician, it holds a credible veto threat over the Republicans and their leadership.”
Insert “Tea Party” for “progressive” and “Republican” for “Democratic” and he’s got this one right:
“Challenging incumbents doesn’t just help the progressive cause. Paradoxically, it helps the Democratic Party too, by forcing it to clarify its ‘brand” and espouse more popular positions than those it now holds.”
He counsels his fellow socialists (although he insists on calling them progressives) to work within the Democratic party, but with this caveat:
“…their relationship to the party should mirror what Thoreau said about his relationship to the world: Be in it, but not of it.”
Sheesh. Leave it to a leftist to quote the Bible, but credit Thoreau. Then again, RJ’s in a bad mood today.
Come to think of it, I’m starting to feel a little more chipper now.