Wednesday, November 07, 2012
Yes, I am actually a bit less cynical today
The corporate media are, no surprise, only grudgingly conceding a Democratic victory, and pretty much universally describing the outcome of yesterday's election as essentially maintaining the status quo. It isn't.
1. The right has lost the culture wars: Gay marriage, contraception and abortion are losing issues for them now. They've lost that wedge almost everywhere. This is good news in itself, of course, but it's also an enormous clearing of the terrain for the liberal coalition.
2. Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers' billions couldn't buy the election because the fundamental premises behind their propaganda barrage were rejected by the voters. Yes Virginia, there is a role for government in creating a strong economy, boosting employment, and providing a safety net for the unfortunate. Rich people should pay more to help make those things happen. The basic social infrastructure of the New Deal and the Great Society is built into the bedrock of the political culture; it is unassailable, at least in 2012.
3. The right has lost the race war: It will never be possible to win an election by marshaling white racism and resentment. The changing demographics of the country rule that out forever.
4. The right has lost the generational battle: Their electoral base is dying and the 16-year-olds who will vote in 2014 will be overwhelmingly against them.
They only held onto the House because the 2010 wave election gave them control of legislative redistricting. That advantage will gradually fade between now and 2020 as congressional districts naturally change. The Senate is considerably more liberal. Finally, the corporate media may have finally found the right-wing lies just a little too much to include in the phony balancing act, and Fox News is no longer taken seriously. Oh yeah, the religious right's influence is also clearly withering.
This is really pretty good news. The republic may endure. Now if we can really start to do something about carbon emissions . . .