On balance

Pundits and prognosticators are coming out of the woodwork today with all manner of revisionist history and self-indulgent back slapping. Having made their electoral predictions, they're all trying to prove how smart they might have been, as though anyone outside their tiny fan clubs actually cared what they had to say in the first place. It's a three-ring Puppetshow with ideologues sifting through their carefully constructed tea leaves to reach foregone, face-saving conclusions.

What's most disingenuous are the rationalizations that Tuesday's dramatic Democratic victories were about campaigning tactics. Art Pope's Stage Manager at the John Locke Foundation declares,

Their broad victory, however, was not a deep victory. It was not an earth-shattering, ideological transformation of the political landscape.

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For those unfamiliar with the JLF Puppetshow, this is the kind of irrelevant, red-herring bullshit we've come to know and love. Who ever said it WAS an earth-shattering, ideological transformation of anything? Of course, the election was close ... this nation is sharply divided. And it sharply divided for one reason: right-wing extremists and free-market fundamentalists have spent the past two decades finding and exploiting wedge issues designed to erode our common ground.

At the national level, Karl Rove has been the master of dirt and division, beating the drum of greed and fear to the point of mind-numbing tedium. After falling prey to his tactics for six long years, the American people have finally awakened from their stupor. Even in bright red states like South Dakota and Arizona, the people have said, 'stay the hell out of our bedrooms and bodies' with resounding clarity.

Here in North Carolina, the right-wing extremists have also been firmly repudiated. But it's not because they don't know how to buy elections and purify their shrinking center of power, it's because their policy ideas are bankrupt and irrelevant. They have cried wolf again and again to an electorate that simply does not share their extremism. As I wrote on Monday:

The people of North Carolina seem to have more confidence in Democrats to operate the machinery of public policy for the common good. And with good reason. Republicans hate government, which explains why they're so bad at it.

Chris Fitzsimon echoed these thoughts at NC Policy Watch on Wednesday, and closed with a prudent recommendation to our newly elected officials:

Current and future members of the House Democratic Caucus are reportedly meeting Wednesday night in Raleigh to talk about the election results. Let’s hope they don’t get too caught up in analyzing tactics that worked and forget about the policy decisions they made that played an important role in their campaign successes.

And so it begins, the hard work of governing.

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The reactionaries on the right will continue to push for tax policy that favors the wealthy elite. In doing so, they seek to dismantle the institutions of public service, all the while proclaiming that "You're on your own." This YoYo approach dismisses the notion of common good in favor of personal greed and profit.

People interested in progress realize that we are indeed all in this together. We want to see the same kind of excellence in public service that we see in the best companies in the private sector. We do not believe government is the solution to everything, but we firmly reject the idea that it is not the solution to anything of importance. We recognize the value of planning and investment in public infrastructure and public service. We're happy to pay for extraordinary performance because we recognize that the key to success is having great people engaged and committed to a shared vision of the common good.

Are we anywhere near "excellence" in public service? Sadly, we have much room for improvement even though there are pockets of excellence sprinkled throughout our state. Because after decades of anti-tax bullshit and the rush to the bottom, too many people have bought into the belief that public service is a second-class job. We say it's okay for CEOs to make billions profiting from Bush's war in Iraq, while teachers in public schools barely make enough to live on. We cut budgets and end up hiring second-tier employees who often have little choice but to value longevity over innovation.

In sum, the balance has been shifted too far. Too many citizens accept the government-haters' mantra that good enough is good enough, and that the privatization is a cure for whatever ails us. It's time to restore balance. It's time to truly value excellence in public service and invest in what it takes to achieve it.

Comments

Hood's predictions

I seem to recall Hood claiming that there was little or no chance of control of either chamber of Congress switching parties. I was going to look it up for his exact words, but I know that he cited the redistricting as the main obstacle.

Keep up the pressure, Anglico

I have to admit, I didn't pay much attention to the Art Pope stuff. I mean, I knew it was important, but I had other issues to pursue, namely the Chainsawed One. I even worked in another county for the last three weeks because those races were closer and I thought my House rep, Walt Church, was safe.

Just found out Church (D-86) won by only 7 votes on election day. (He was tied in absentees and got a bigger margin from early voting). Why did the challenger come so close? Massive negative campaign funded by your buddy, Art Pope.

And if people still doubt the importance of organizing in your own community: Church would have lost on election day had we not called every single D and U in our little town.
 
“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.”
So enjoy the Drama.

Thanks DQ

I hope every one of our 1500 visitors today reads your comment. This election was incredibly close ... and corporate money was one of the big reasons.

And thanks for your encouragement re: the Puppetmaster. I know I seem to go overboard sometimes, but that's what you have to do when it's David and Goliath. These guys are spending a quarter of a million a month to drive their opinion-manufacturing machine ... and somebody has to call bullshit on them. For better or for worse, I guess I'm the volunteer for now.

You guys rock! Thanks so much for all you've done on the ground.

____________________________________

“Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.”
― Joe Biden

"Their Broad Victory"

Rejected versions of this statement:

Their broad victory, however, was not a popsicle. It was not a dinosaur, a microwave oven, or double-dutching of the political landscape."

Their broad victory, however, was not a very, very, very deep victory. It was not an apocalyptic, end times revolution heralding the second coming of Yahweh's child into the political landscape.

Their broad victory, however, was not anything like sex with my hot mistress. It was not a sweaty, groaning, feast of love transformation of the political landscape.

Their broad victory, however, did not really happen. It was engineered by the liberal media and will be revealed as a hoax just as soon as we get some leadership in our news.

Try it! It's fun!

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

Hot sex

Their broad victory, however, was not anything like sex with my hot mistress. It was not a sweaty, groaning, feast of love transformation of the political landscape.

Very funny, Screwy. You're in a good mood ... and deservedly so!

____________________________________

“Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.”
― Joe Biden

too funny.

I may have just sent a recent transplant your way, through drinkign liberally. He came from Atlanta to Asheville in May and had heard about it, but not attended.

His first name is John and I gave him your first name, in case he comes up and introduces himself.

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

My turn

Their broad victory was not a deep victory. And, besides, the drug tests haven't come back yet. Everyone knows the Democrats were on steriods. Nothing else can explain it.

Their broad victory was not a deep victory. Sure, they made inroads on the white evangelicals over the corruption thing but that was only because of Delay, Foley, Cunningham, Haggert, Abramoff, Burns, Bob Ney -- cough, cough, cough. Oh, there's something in my throat. Let me get back to you on that, okay?

Their broad victory was not a deep victory. You know, it's the difference between a clitoral orgasm and a vaginal one. One is okay for fleeting, transitory pleasure while but the other one spasms and sates for at least two more election cycles.
 
“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.”
So enjoy the Drama.

Whoa!

Spasms and sates for two more election cycles.

This has got to win BlueNC's First Annual Comment of the Year Award!

____________________________________

“Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.”
― Joe Biden

Wow, thanks. I've never won anything before

P.S. I guess Syntax is shy. But he can't be that shy with a wife named Bliss.
 
“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.”
So enjoy the Drama.

Now I know

why you are called Screwy.

Lovex7

Allen concedes to Webb

With his wife and John Warner by his side George Allen concedes to Webb. Took him a while to get to the point but he finally said it.

What can be done to make Boylan less than effective?

The pope machine took out Richard Morgan and replaced him with a freshman hairdresser. The #1 concern, some in Pinewild don't want to be annexed by Pinehurst and Boylan was the only candidate that promised he would stop it with legislation. Of course no one down here questioned how he would do that with a Dem majority and the fact that he has ZERO clout. Any ideas? Who can I write to?

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

You'll have to talk to the Pupeptmaster.

He's in charge of Boylan.

____________________________________

“Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.”
― Joe Biden

Funny typo

Maybe I was thinking

Pup-inept-master

____________________________________

“Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.”
― Joe Biden