Is our democracy is now in its death throes?

Is our democracy is now in its death throes?

Thanks to the Supreme Court, our democracy is now in deep trouble. Fueled by tens of millions of dollars in out-of-state corporate and billionaire cash – giving him an 8-to-1 spending advantage over his Democratic opponent – Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker prevailed in Tuesday night’s recall election. This is the second major election in the post-Citizens United era – and for the second straight time organized money beat organized people – just like what happened in 2010 when Tea Party Republicans swept into Congress with the help of over $300 million in outside corporate cash. In a slight consolation – Democrats may take control of the state Senate – as one Republican state Senator out of four facing a recall appears to be headed for a defeat.

Despite reports of massive voter turnout around the state Tuesday afternoon – the turnout was actually closer to 2010 levels when more than 2 million Wisconsinites voted and Republicans won big – rather than 2008 levels when closer to 3 million Wisconsinites elected President Obama and Democrats.

So what does all this mean? It means that things really are as bad as we think they are – and the Supreme Court really has handed over our democracy to the highest bidders – giant corporations, foreign governments, and the likes of the Koch brothers. Wisconsin gives us a glimpse into the election coming this November – and patriotic Americans have five months to figure out how to overcome these oligarchs – and undo the incredible damage the Roberts Court has done to democracy in the nation of its modern-era birth. Sherrod Brown and Bernie Sanders are fighting against the cancer in our democracy - Citizens United - and you can join their efforts at sherrodbrown.com and bernie.org, and movetoamend.org.

Comments

Sailorman's picture
Sailorman 2 years 24 weeks ago
#1

The Death of our democracy became very apparent here in Wisconsin.

The unlimited sums of money raised by Walker is one issue but the main issue, and the real concern for everybody here is that the lies, misinformation and scare tactics he bombarded the public with, the messaging was cruel, unscrupulous, and worked…. they drank the cool-aide. The Republican messaging machine is brilliant and I believe, even at even money, Barrett would have lost. Our great Senator Feingold, who was so instrumental to protecting our rights being assaulted by the Patriot Act, was targeted and taken out this way and the domino effect so proclaimed about Vietnam will be a reality with our state governments, our Congress, and the Presidency. The Republicans have figured out how to tell ruthless lies that the public will believe and accept as they walk merrily to the gallows to vote against their own best interest and kill this, yours and mine, modern experiment in individual empowerment, the United States of America. What wil the Republicans do to education, heath care, social security, the export of American jobs, with unlimited power and AUTHORITY. What will they do with our econcomy as they blackmail the rest of the world? What will they do with the most powerful military on Earth, to other countries, to the protesters in our streets? I was on State Street in Madison, WI when the National Guard became a band of thugs. They were our Wisconsin National Guard. What would Blackwater do under the authority of the Patriot Act and an all powerful Republican President and Congress?

azizhp's picture
azizhp 2 years 24 weeks ago
#2

I disagree, Thomm. I think yesterday was still a victory for democracy.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/azizpoonawalla/2012/06/wisconsin-recall-aft...

And Citizens United played less a role than a loophole in Wisconsin state law that exempts incumbents facing recalls from fundraising caps. There are structural changes we can make that level the playing field, even in a post-Citizens United world.

sdougreid's picture
sdougreid 2 years 24 weeks ago
#3

What disgusts me is the fact that 38% of union households in Wisconsin voted Republican! Recently I have read that 58% of Americans believe in Creationism. Thomas Jefferson said that our democracy depended on an educated informed electorate. It is too bad we don't have one in America.

dianasaurus's picture
dianasaurus 2 years 24 weeks ago
#4

Question:

What was the voting in Wisconsin done on?

Just curious - wondering if electronic voting intersected this story also.

tdarian's picture
tdarian 2 years 24 weeks ago
#5

I have an opportunity to retire in South Lebanon. Lovely but very corrupt country. I will not miss the USA, or whatever it's new owners wish to call it. I see where this is going.

mwalkerco's picture
mwalkerco 2 years 24 weeks ago
#6

Welcome to "Amercia", the best government money can buy! A place where all MEN are created equal, except in color and wealth. Thanks!

-GOP, keeping you down so we can go big!

mwalkerco's picture
mwalkerco 2 years 24 weeks ago
#7

sdougreid: The GOPs worst nightmare, is an informed and eduated electorate. There is no surprise in their desire to kill the Dept of Education, raise rates on student loans and defund higher education in almost all states.

rladlof's picture
rladlof 2 years 24 weeks ago
#8

We need to remember how to speak into the darkness, create a spark, kindle a light and build a bonfire. We need to remember how to step into the breach, join hands together, throw one another a line then build a bridge. We need to remember that we are We the People, what We the People are, and we are our power.

I know that Saint RawnDawg Raygun and gambling Willie Bennett then GWB43 destroyed a huge hunk of America's institutional memory in their war on humanities education. I know that wingnut media feeds folk with the attention spans of goldfish propaganda in jingoistic sound bites that lodge in to their lizard-like brains. I know the economic royalty have a nearly insurmountable lead to purchasing messaging power . . . BUT

I remember having my soul moved by a passage or a quote. I remember that words have weight that that can be felt across millennia. I remember how to shout into the darkness.

I need to teach one other how to teach another how to shout into the darkness.

iamfreespirited's picture
iamfreespirited 2 years 24 weeks ago
#9

We must work hard to teach our children to understand what democracy is and how it truly works. We must teach them to recognize and confront abuse at it's tiniest act. For the takeover of our democracy by these "powerful men" is simply abuse. These "powerful men" are cowardly abusers, or bullies as more commonly said. And we MUST teach our children to stand up to the abusers, say no and refuse to allow the bullies to attack us. This is how we will change our present and future.

Uncle Geo's picture
Uncle Geo 2 years 24 weeks ago
#10

Despite years of effort we are still where we were in 2000 -half the people vote Republican. Not any significant bit of the electorate has been effectually nudged from this nice neat 50/50 split in over a decade. The pendulum is not swinging -it's rusted stuck and the divisions only deepen in our cold civil war. A crashed economy, a war we didn't have to fight, crazy Bachmann/Palin talk and and a looming "end times" theocracy hasn't been enough to wake people up.

One thing I can tell you is that the vanishingly small number of people like Sailorman who actually show up and do anything -at all- are getting pretty tired of fighting this crazy train alone. Four or five hundred people in my congressional district and maybe a few hundred more who pop in the week before election day do the work for almost a million people -half a mil if you figure the other half are GOP pod-people. And that few hundred number has not changed much since 2004, meaning all the zillions of bloviators having flame wars with right wingers in comment sections must feel that kind of pointless babble is more important than actually persuading voters in person or getting them to the polls.

So blame Citizens United and GOP propaganda all you want, but if you are one of those ersatz patriots who sits on your keester instead of volunteering for a campaign or party (or being in leadership or running for office) then you, my friend, are the freakin problem. The GOP is just taking advantage of the fact that you say you care -but not enough to actually hurt them in any way.

renegrippo's picture
renegrippo 2 years 24 weeks ago
#11

If the Winsonsin Senate was handed over to extreme right wing republicans in 2010 and now -- less than two years later -- it is in the control of democrats, how is this not a possitive outcome of the recall election process as a whole, for progressives in Wisconsin, irrespective of the outcome of the gubernatorial recall election?

Lindawyeth 2 years 24 weeks ago
#12

Rladlof --this is all very eloquently said. But it is hard to be poetic here in rural north central Wisconsin the "day after." In fact, it is the opinion of some of us that yesterday's election results are proof that the fantasy of living in a democracy is for real dead as a door nail. I have believed this for a long time, but then Barack Obama revived my hopes again. The honeymoon with Obama lasted, for me, only until he rolled over and played dead with the health care issue.

Then hope flared again with the efforts to recall Scott Walker, Rebecca Kleefisch, and four state senators. We worked so damned hard to make it happen. I do not know what happened, but I can tell you that there is something very wrong with the vote totals. Turnout at the place we were poll watching topped 70% by 6 pm, and people were still streaming in as we were leaving. Friends have reported similar numbers in other places. I do NOT believe the vote numbers were similar to the 2010 election.

I could not believe it this morning when one of the national Democratic groups contacted me and had the gall to ask for money for the fall election! President Barack Obama and the national Dems sold Wisconsin down the river, and they think I will ever again give money to, work for, or vote for a Democrat?

Not I, says the little red hen. I am now officially retired from political activism. Instead, I will feed my chickens and take care of my grandchildren.

Lindawyeth 2 years 24 weeks ago
#13

Uncle Geo,

I live in Wisconsin, in one of the senate districts where a Walker rubber stamp was up for recall. I have been to countless demonstrations and rallies all over the state, attended numerous public hearings on issues, donated money we couldn't afford to candidates brave enough to stand up for democracy here, collected recall signature, and knocked on hundreds of doors in our district. We worked our butts off, dammit! And so did thousands of other volunteers. But democracy died yesterday anyway. So now I am retiring from the war. We here in Wisconsin gave this our all, and still it was not good enough.

Lindawyeth 2 years 24 weeks ago
#14

Dianasaurus,

Good question. In our small rural county each polling place has one ES&S electronic machine to comply with HAVA (Help America Vote Act). The rest of the ballots are paper optical scanned ballots. I participated in a recount last year for a very close state Supreme Court election. There were problems with some of the electronic machines. Both the local Democratic and Republican observers felt we should get rid of the electronic machines entirely.

There are rumors of major problems with these machines state wide in this election. I have not yet had time and energy to read the information I have received to decide if it is or is not credible.

The other major problem we are seeing is a big discrepancy on how many votes were cast. Reports from the field yesterday indicated a huge huge turnout everywhere, far more voters than there were in 2010. But when the total votes were tallied up, it seems the turnout was comparable to 2010, when turnout was very low. That makes absolutely no sense to those of us who were poll watching all over the state, not just in heavily partisan areas.

But when all is said and done here, it really does not matter how they won, whether it was by hacked voting machines, or buying the election, or by the many really dirty tactics and tricks they used -- what matters is that the system is so broken that we cannot even call it democracy any longer. We truly gave this fight our very best shot. But we were, ultimately, betrayed by President Barack Obama and the national Democrats who hung us out to dry.

Lindawyeth 2 years 24 weeks ago
#15

Renegrippo,

The Republicans had a very narrow margin of control in the state Senate after 2010. They had a commanding margin in the state Assembly. Last summer we tried to recall 6 or 8 Republicans but managed to recall only two. (Republicans tried to recall several Dems, but did not succeed in getting all of their recall efforts off the ground and did not recall any Dems.)

After last year, the Republicand had a one vote majority in the Senate, but one of them sometimes voted with Democrats on key issues. Now the Democrats will have a one-vote actual majority.

But how long do you think it will last?

Another thing, in 2010 Wisconsin sent empty-headed millionaire Tea Party candidate Ron Johnson to the US Senate instead of Russ Feingold. How stupid was that? This year Representative Tammy Baldwin is running for the seat of retiring Democrat Herb Kohl. We don't know who the Republican candidate will be yet, but the field is pretty awful. Tammy has been an awesome reprentative; we used to live in her district. But after yesterday, I think her chances are not good at all.

So, no, all is not well here in Wisconsin. We had this one last great shot at changing things, but we did not succeed. Not even close.

George Reiter's picture
George Reiter 2 years 24 weeks ago
#16

With the onslaught of Corporate Money flowing from the Citizens United decision from the Robert’s Supreme Court, I find it difficult to understand why a person would vote against his/her best self-interest. I can understand why a Rich person would vote Republican because it is in their best self-interest, but for a working person to vote Republican must be because they are cruel, or ignorant, i.e., a low information voter.

Robert Reich on PoliticsNation with Rev Al Sharpton said tonight, and I’m paraphrasing, that trickle down economics is a “cruel joke”. But the Republicans continue with this lie of “job creators” and if you keep telling the same lie, people will believe.

We Progressives have to message differently. We have to tell the truth over, and over again that the “cruel joke” being perpetuated is a lie.

SHFabian's picture
SHFabian 2 years 24 weeks ago
#17

We could have learned from our own history. This isn't the first time that the richest few gained the upper hand, to the great harm of the nation. The Gilded Age is probably the most striking example. Historically, when the richest few gained the upper hand, the poor and middle classes united to successfully push back, to the benefit of both. Not this time. This time, the poor and middle classes were sharply divided, and Bill Clinton pounded in the final wedge to "divide and conquer" the masses. The middle class has already shrunk by 1/3 so far. Those pushed out of the middle class are now the poor. Tensions just keep growing, and something's going to break.

historywriter's picture
historywriter 2 years 24 weeks ago
#18

Raidiof

Bless you. That's the only thing we can do now. Keep the lights on and keep trying to educate people.

PaulScott 2 years 24 weeks ago
#19

Coming from a slightly different POV... the money is clearly a big problem, if not the biggest problem. Much of it comes from the oil & gas industry. We now have a means of driving without oil in cars that run on electricity. Electricity is 100% domestic and costs abotu 20% that of oil per mile driven. Over 25,000 Americans have bought electric cars in the past two years. For the most part, these folks stopped giving the oil companies any of their money. In my case, I got solar panels and my first EV in 2002. I've driven 105,000 miles on sunlight without giving the oil companies a single sime.

Progressives should be buying these cars as fast as they are made. If you can't beat them, then at least stop giving them your money. Use some of the money you save to support progressive causes.

BTW, a nice byproduct of this is a clean environment.

SHFabian's picture
SHFabian 2 years 24 weeks ago
#20

The part of the story that was left out of the media and appears to have eluded progressive media was the powerful effort to define the recall solely as a middle-class workers' issue (actually, it was about a range of legally questionable tactics taken by an administration that has been costly and profoundly disruptive to the state). We couldn't talk about the actual consequences of crushing out unions (using the end of public employee unions as a template) because those consequences would require taking a legitimate look at poverty. We won't do that.The middle class has shrunk by nearly 1/3 so far. Every step of the way, during the lead-up to the election, it was made very clear that the participation (votes) of anyone other than middle class workers were unwanted. Note: I don't blame Tom Barrett for that. As a lifelong Wisconsinite, I remain certain that he would be an outstanding governor.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 2 years 24 weeks ago
#21

I don't believe for a second that anyone willing to vote for a Koch-Teabagger like Walker will turn around and vote for President Obama, but the exit polls showed a 51- 45 percent in favor of Obama....nobody questions this....... either voters lied to the pollsters or those figures represent something real foul!!!

mrallnaturall's picture
mrallnaturall 2 years 24 weeks ago
#22

i m schock .........thom thank u

mrallnaturall's picture
mrallnaturall 2 years 24 weeks ago
#23

more is bad......

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 2 years 24 weeks ago
#24

Short of more tax breaks for billionaires, what does the Walker voter think they will gain? You can look forward to lower wages, unsafe working conditions, less beneifits, more pollution of your natural resources, and the comfort of knowing that the rich mothers you really voted for don't give a flying crap about about your general welfare. Let's drown our only representation in a bathtub, that's the ticket!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 2 years 24 weeks ago
#25

Paul Scott: Just curious...how many times have you had to replace expensive batteries (and there are a lot of them in each car) or other electrical parts? I love the idea of EV and using sun power but I have been reluctant because of the possibility that EV may not be as cheap or economical as is initially believed by many. Those batteries and solar cells don't last forever and they are expensive to replace..after the initial warranty runs out. If you are able to go totally on solar...that's great...but most people with EV cars will use electricity to charge the batteries and one has to wonder what creates the electricity...coal, oil, nuclear?

Oh, and electricity may be 100% domestic but where do the batteries and solar cells and other electronic parts come from...most likely China.

I don't drive much anymore because I am retired and really hate to go anywhere anyway...and try to stay away from rush hour traffic. If I was still working....I'd be spending much of what I earned on commuting. I don't see how many people do it...especially if they have to commute very far. Those "affordable" houses 50 or 60 miles away from work don't seem so affordable anymore.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 2 years 24 weeks ago
#26

LindaWyeth: "what matters is that the system is so broken that we cannot even call it democracy any longer. We truly gave this fight our very best shot. But we were, ultimately, betrayed by President Barack Obama and the national Democrats who hung us out to dry."

And when the people are hurting enough, eventually, they may find another way to defend themselves against tyranny..and it won't be with the rigged election system.

no to fascism's picture
no to fascism 2 years 24 weeks ago
#27

I throw in the towel, and I'll take whatever comes, just like the rest of us. It's here, full fledged fascism (according to the republicons, thank god it wasn't socialism) - just what they wanted.

Yeah, Democrats won the senate - It was probably a fluke. The Democrats might be able to stop the damage for a while, but you know they will cave. They'll probably offer an "olive branch" to the Koch sucker - everything including the kitchen sink for the right to breathe. They just can't, or won't stand up to them.

3 things caused the failure:

1. money from the right. 8-1 is too much to overcome. Even if we had a strong candidate, I'm not so sure we could have won. the sheeple are too brainwashed by the right. They would rather have an 80 hour work week (and make sure that no one gets ahead of them), a gun in their pocket, and the ability to pray that they can make it through another 80 hour work week. I guess it is easier to close your eyes and do that than to think on your own. If we had a strong candidate, and obama came here and gave some great speeches, we might have made that big 8-1 deficite interesting, but it still may not have been enough.

2. not a strong enough candidate to win. Even our own Russ Feingold from MIddleton wouldn't jump into the race. We need someone to take them on. However, no one will stand up there and call it what it is. a sign of weakness that people know and recognize, and thirst for. There were a few good candidates, but even they couldn't, or wouldn't, call a skunk a skunk. Even 2 weeks ago, Thom called Barrett - Barnett. Face it, Barnett, faulk, all too damn weak.

3. no help from outside the state. Not even "our own president"? no visit to the state. What on earth is going through his mind. Either he was told not to show up because it wasn't necessary, or he truly is one of them. Perhaps someone should tell him that winning los angeles, chicago, and new york won't put him back in there. there is a little thing called the electoral college.

You think obama will carry wisconsin - you're out of your mind. our collective necks are as red as they are in kansas, texas, oklahoma - especially now that our politics are controlled by them. might as well start rolling back the clocks now.

I think I'll save my $120.00 satellite radio subscription (to listen to sensible talk radio) and my political contributions - and spend them on my boat so I can fish better. I suspect our republicon friends will now compete with the chinese and polute everything. I'm sure the pipelines that will criss cross our state (you know the Koch sucker will let that happen) won't at all hurt our water supply and out lakes and streams. It will be funny to hear the "sportsmen" bitch about that. at least they will be able to have a gun at their side.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 2 years 24 weeks ago
#28

I watched the movie "For Greater Glory" today and, despite being an atheist and having, perhaps, more in common with the Mexican President Calle in the 1920s in that respect, I now can possibly understand why most of the critics gave it such low marks.

Most of the critics work for major media and represents the best interests of the ruling elite who owns them. The movie is about revolution! Yes, it is also about other things... primarily presenting the very strong religious iconography and how the bad old atheist Mexican government persecuted, tortured, and murdered so many people who persisted in rebelling against the dictates of the cruel government and military.

It is also about freedom to believe whatever the hell you want to believe..although the Catholic Church, in it's own history of inquisitions, torture, and murder of people who wanted to believe differently has not always been so "freedom loving" itself. And many people, of whatever religion, often bedevil others who call themselves agnostics, or atheists, or even any other religion or belief. And once there is an overpowering religious force majeure running things, as in the Spanish Inquisition (or Catholic Dominated Mexico, perhaps), those seeking freedom to believe differently will likely be bullied by the more dominant will.

And it was about how the devout Catholics rose up and fought back...some martyring themselves. There was even an old Catholic priest who didn't go any further than merely kissing an alter boy on the forehead. Different times? Yeah, right!

That same alter boy, later, seemed to be played up as a kind of parallel to Jesus, perhaps. I won't give it away entirely. They didn't go so far as to give him a crown of thorns though. And then there was a soldier turned business-man, played by Andy Garcia, who was a "non-believer" unlike his wife and 3 young girls who was convinced to use his old skills as a kind of mercenary on the side of the "Cristeros" (Soldiers for Christ) who were the insurgents or terrorists who fought back against their oppressors. And, of course, he eventually "saw the light" in the end. Won't give that away entirely either. And don't be too hurried to leave the theater in the end if you want to see some real historical photos and text on the screen to fill you in about things.

But the whole idea of a powerful elite forcing their rule against "the people" (especially since the Catholic Church had already brainwashed them with scare stories of Satan and Hell and lured them with prospects of 18 young virgins..oops! wrong religion...I mean pearly gates and streets paved with gold...an eternal life....life after death....the Catholic Church was quite an obstacle to any other competing power over "hearts and minds") and the idea that people could rebel and fight back may have been too close to what is happening in America and around the world today.

Anything that can influence and inspire people today to rebel against our enemies...the ones who have been waging war against us for several decades now....the ruling elite...the banksters...Wall Street...powerful corporations...corrupt politicians....may be a part of the reason why they want to downplay this movie...or any other movies that address ideas of revolution and rebellion as possible answers to today's problems. Of course, there are other highly rated movies that do this...like Hunger Games and Avatar.

And a new version of Les Miserables is coming out this Christmas...love that one...Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Russel Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, Helena Bonham Carter, Colm Wilkinson and even Sacha Baron Cohen (can he really play a serious part?)....Wow! Can't wait! Viva la revolutions! Even if it is only in the theater...for now!

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 2 years 24 weeks ago
#29

Do or die time... either we do amend the constitution to say corporations are not people and money is not speech, or our democracy dies.

This crisis may just be the opportunity our democracy needs to be made strong.

N

growin's picture
growin 2 years 24 weeks ago
#30

Well maybe this catastrophe will be what it takes to get people to start working together, because it sounds like pretty soon the form of government may be the least of our problems: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/06/06/environmental-collapse-now-a-serious-threat-scientists/#.T9C6Ab_tpR0.email

TP.Wood's picture
TP.Wood 2 years 24 weeks ago
#31

Hey, If we just keep RECYCLING this thread to post all of your other garbage blogs then we can all take credit for having a green job and further inflate job increases.

dowdotica's picture
dowdotica 2 years 24 weeks ago
#32

wow! sad, sad, sad!

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 2 years 24 weeks ago
#33

The Citizens United v the Federal Election Commission Supreme Court decision of 2010 took away restrictions on and regulations of spending on political and defined money as speech. That is, the freedom to spend money on political ads was equated with freedom of speech. Oligarchic capitalists, the obeisant and uncritical and sophistic libertarians accepted the definition.

Anybody who thinks money is speech believes that people with more money have more a right to be heard than those with less. They apparently believe that "money is truth". If "the solution to bad speech is more speech" - which I believe is true - then if you don't have enough money for "more speech" to counter "bad speech" then the bad speech or fraudulent, false speech prevails.

This is a particarly odious part of capitalism where apparently someone can buy truth. As is said in geopolitics, "truth belongs to the one with the power". In our capitalist and campaign finance system "truth belongs to the one with the money". We live in a situation where anyone with enough money can "buy the truth".

The ideas that no one is ever deceived by bad speech or false campaigning or that those who are fooled - and so, the rest of us - deserve a terrible society because they were gullible or innocent enough to be decieved (and both cannot be simultaneously true, by the way) are absurd on their faces. If the first were true then no one would spend more than the cost of initial basic public information on a political campaign - if that were even necessary since noone could ever be decieved. The second, of course, is just an avoidance of responsibility for what happens in one's own society.

Libertarianism, therefore, is just a slippery evasion of responsibility to one's community.`

david c. 2 years 24 weeks ago
#34

DEATH THROES FOR DEMOCRACY? That maybe is, in part, why viewers find programs like Hartmann's and Maddow [TRMS] entertaining to watch; To see daily reporting on how this epic struggle is unfolding.

Thom there makes a strong case (no mean feat, by-the-way) for (and argueably taking the lead in) what he's described as a decades long process whereby political power eventually shifts, in effect, from capital (Reaganites and/or oligarchs) back towards labor (workers and/or the middle class).

Meanwhile, over on MSNBC [tv]: We've seen (for decades now) how political conservatives have in effect held the ideological high ground, right? Well, no longer, because Rachael Maddow's 'gatling gun' like rapid-fire of potent (in part, Steve Benen powered) counter- arguements effectively supresses the political-rights best talking points, often to the point of embarassment, humiliation and/or disgrace (gays giving as good as they get, huh?)

Yes, conservatives still have mountains of (might-makes-right) cash to go along with their merciless (take no prisoners) approach. So maybe the question is; Is that sustainable and/or for how long?

Jimspy's picture
Jimspy 2 years 24 weeks ago
#35

I hear ya. We're headed for - no joke - the Cayman Islands. Not for any tax privileges, but because (a) my wife's health seems to be the best there, and (b) being part of the British Commonwealth, they have a top-notch climate change plan. Unlike a certain behemoth world-leading economic "powerhouse" I once knew...

Shawnna's picture
Shawnna 2 years 24 weeks ago
#36

This is the most intelligent comment I've read on the Internet in a while!

Thank you!

am4dems12 2 years 24 weeks ago
#37

Dont we need to restructure the setup process for our democratic system to make it so that when we elect a certain group that the house, congress and the senate and all of it,s connecting orginizations are in office and have the same groups wanting and working for the same changes all at the same time ? if we dont like the way they do things we can clean house every four years or so. and start with the new group that will sureley try to keep their posts if they know they have no choice but to do what,s right. Ive, been watching the same ol swing back and forth for better than 60 years and it,s always been only some change or what the one party can get approved while the other has controll. ENOUGH ALREADY IT DOESN,T WORK ! CLEAN HOUSE AND PUT ALL OF ONE PARTY IN FOR A TERM (ALL AT ONCE) THEN WATCH THEM FALL OR MAKE GOOD.!

mauiman58's picture
mauiman58 2 years 24 weeks ago
#38

David, 2 questions for you:

Why is it the PMS-NBC has less than half fo the ratings of Fox news?

Why did Rachel Maddow declare the Wisconsin recall one the biggest wins the progressives will ever get a month ago, yet obviously changed her tune completely Tuesday night?

cspan2 2 years 24 weeks ago
#39

The one positive to look at in the 2010 election is that Walker outspent his opponent 3:1 and this election it was 8:1. The first result he got 53% of the vote. The second time he got 54%. That's a helluva lot of money spent for a one point difference.

The bad news is, one only needs 51% of the vote to win.

The plus side is, despite all his negative ads, he did just about the same.

So this begs the question: did anybody change their minds as a result of the ads? (More on this later.)

I haven't heard or read anything to confirm that either way. But if what you are saying is true that the turnout was closer to the last election rather than the general election, it might be fair to assume that many of those eligible to vote chose not to vote both now and 2010. One reason why this may be true is that many of the non-voters didn't agree with the recall. It doesn't mean they agree with Walker either.

What I would like to know is how many stayed home this time but voted before and how many voted this time but stayed home before. My guess is that the difference is negligible. I say this because I believe those that stayed home, either didn't agree with the recall or didn't feel Walker's actions impacted them.

This brings me to question posed here: Is democracy in its death throes?

Unfortunately, I think it is. I believe it's safe to say that one-third of the country will always vote Republican, no matter who runs. Of the other two-thirds, some are equally die hard Democratic voters. However, I can't say with any certainty how much of that two-thirds is them. We had "Reagan Democrats" which implies that some registered Democratic voters can be swayed. I believe this is true of small segment of Republican voters who are willing to vote against their party because they see how screwed up it is. Plus we have that Independent base. (I know I have too many "thirds" here, but just go with me here)

Of these groups, the die hard Republicans (Tea Party, if you will) could fit nicely into the category of low information voters--they live off of FNC. But any amount of information, or facts, thrown their way would simply be deflected with hate and bigotry. So calling them low information would be inaccurate. They treat politics like a blood feud, so no amount of facts will change their mind. I do, however, believe there are low information voters in the other two thirds. They are mixed in with the Democrats and Independents, just a smattering though. I like to believe the "Reagan Democrat" numbers have subsided and those that remain must be low information voters. While I haven't taken a scientific poll, most Independents I know tend to be well informed, but I do feel safe to say that some who call themselves Independents are actually fairly conservative and vote accordingly and may very well be included as low information voters.

Where am I going with all this? Well, if, or should I say, IF there is a high voter turnout, the Democratic Party should win. The GOP knows this, hence we get voter purging and voter ID laws. But, if the turnout is just slightly better than average, I fear that the amount of low information voters will tip the balance. My math, rounded out because I suck at math, works like this: With a third of Tea Party votes and just enough of low information voters from the other two thirds, it could give someone like Romney just what he needs: 50.1% of the vote. (The upside of this possibility is that it doesn't mean he wins the Electoral Votes)

For argument's sake, let's say he wins the EV. With the GOP in control, and I see Romney easily being controlled by the GOP, I sadly believe we will be looking at a one party government for some time.

The two ways to prevent this from happening: 1) get out the vote 2) reduce low information voters.

Touching back to Walker's one point change leads me to believe that while negative campaigning does influence some voters, I also believe excessive negative campaigning exhausts the average voter, who then becomes disenfranchised about the whole election process because of the saturation and opts to stay home. I believe the GOP realizes this. Citizens United creates a two-pronged attack--extreme negative ads with extreme frequency. If you can't beat them into believing you, then just beat them down until they don't care. My difference of opinion regarding the Citizens case is that I believe it drives voter apathy more than it changes minds. Plus we have those who voted for Obama last year and feel he failed them, so they have become apathetic.

What about the low information voters? We could use them but can they be informed? There are so many kinds, I'm not sure how many can be saved. Between those that vote against their interests to those who don't even keep up with the campaigns until the day they vote, I'm not sure how they can be reached. The former would be swayed by negative ads, the latter may be too ambivalent to persuade them to vote for a major party. Is one way to invite them over and casually turn on Free Speech TV or a progressive radio station? Progressive radio tends to preach to the choir (as does conservative radio). Tho I do see that progressive hosts will give conservative callers air time so there is an opportunity to hear both sides. Anyway, at the very least it may stir discussion with your low info guest. Are there other ways to educate on a larger scale? We know we can't trust corporate media to do it.

We still need to reach out and give those tired and and apathetic voters a reason to get excited. But Obama may have to work on his strategy in such a way that will help do that. What that will or should be, is beyond me. He ran on Hope and Change last time. A lot of people lost that hope and the change we really need is in Congress, but he can't make that his focus. Campaign managers have a way of knowing the right things to trigger results. Unfortunately, I'm not seeing anything to suggest that from the Obama campaign at the moment. I am hopeful they will, otherwise the change we get will be backwards.

am4dems12 2 years 23 weeks ago
#40

way to go , I agree with you and believe that you have set out a format that may drive the( not so informed ) to check their selves if they have any self reason. a good attitude as you have presented will sweep through the uninformed if you can find a way to present it to the masses. good luck .

cherylkelmar 2 years 21 weeks ago
#41

We NEED attention on the courts NOW. In my case, I have a judge who is a defendant under a RICO charge, because this allowed judge allowed IndyMac bank to commit fraud on the courts, through an unlawful declaration. Yet, this judge refuses to recuse himself and my disqualification was denied, because I supposedly didn't meet the reasonable person test. Amazing? This judge is NOW implementing procedural tricks to try to water down my case. It is AMAZING!! The level of judicial abuse that is taking place in California against the homeowner, and especially pro per litigant is unconsionable and should be illegal. Our courts are already bought and sold by the banks, yet no one is talking about it. SEEKING MEDIA ATTENTION IN CALIFORNIA ON A CORRUPT JUDICIAL. PLEASE HELP. Cheryl@medicalworks.com

The world we're leaving for today's teens...

Without immediate global action on climate change, today's teenagers will be forced to live with the consequences of our inaction. The World Bank has issued their third report of climate change, and it says that global temperatures could rise by as much as 4 degrees Celsius by the time today's teens hit their 80th birthday.

From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Beneath the success and rise of American enterprise is an untold history that is antithetical to every value Americans hold dear. This is a seminal work, a godsend really, a clear message to every citizen about the need to reform our country, laws, and companies."
Paul Hawken, coauthor of Natural Capitalism and author of The Ecology of Commerce
From Screwed:
"The powers that be are running roughshod over the powers that OUGHT to be. Hartmann tells us what went wrong — and what you and I can do to help set American right again."
Jim Hightower, National Radio Commentator, Writer, Public Speaker, and author of the bestselling Thieves in High Places
From Screwed:
"Once again, Thom Hartmann hits the bull’s eye with a much needed exposé of the so-called ‘free market.’ Anyone concerned about the future of our nation needs to read Screwed now."
Michael Toms, Founding President, New Dimensions World Broadcasting Network and author of A Time For Choices: Deep Dialogues for Deep Democracy