Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018 September 2018 October 2018 November 2018 December 2018 January 2019 February 2019


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Friday, August 03, 2018


Worried about their future

by Tom Sullivan

“Democracy is on the ballot,” Barack Obama reminded 2016 voters who then did not heed his warning.

Nancy LeTourneau writes at Political Animal:

We have grown immune to politicians telling us that this election is the most monumental of our lifetimes. And yet that has never been more true than it is in 2018. That’s why I have a hard time focusing on all the chatter about which Democrats will be running in 2020. While I agree completely with what Paul Glastris wrote about how winning is not enough, I’m not sure what comes next if Democrats don’t win a sizable victory this November.

There’s good news and bad news in all of that. Because of the shock I experienced on election night in 2016, my trust and confidence in the American electorate has been severely shaken. But on the bright side, the fact that Trump’s consolidation of power is dependent on what happens in the midterm elections tells us that our democracy is still alive.
I hope she's right.

Writing for Madison, Wisconsin's Capitol Times, John Nichols reminds us how former state Senate Majority Leader Dale Schultz in 2014 bucked efforts by fellow Republicans to game the system in their favor,
...telling Wisconsin radio hosts Mike Crute and Dominic Salvia: “I am not willing to defend them anymore. I’m just not and I’m embarrassed by this.”

“It’s just sad when a political party has so lost faith in its ideas that it’s pouring all of its energy into election mechanics,” explained Schultz, who did not seek re-election that year. “We should be pitching as political parties our ideas for improving things in the future rather than mucking around in the mechanics and making it more confrontational at the voting sites and trying to suppress the vote.”
LeTourneau's colleague, Martin Longman, warns that keeping our democracy will be a fight. Republicans view suppressing the vote as their last, best chance for retaining power:
The simplest way of explaining this is that the demographics and voting preferences of the electorate have developed in such a way that higher voter turnout helps the Democrats and hurts the Republicans. This is unfortunate for two reasons. First, it gives the Republicans a strong motivation to discourage civic engagement and participation, and to go after people’s voting rights and all efforts to make voting easier and more convenient. Second, it makes the Democrats look like they’re being partisan when they promote civic engagement and participation and work to protect people’s voting rights. From the Republicans’ point of view, easier registration, more days of early voting, more voting machines/shorter lines, vote-by-mail, etc., are all partisan efforts to take away their jobs and their majorities. And, the thing is, it’s simply true that they’ll generally do worse if more people vote.
Yet, I would argue as the realities of a browning America settle into the Republican consciousness, their efforts to curtail the voting rights of their opponents, while more obvious, are nothing new. From the birth of the republic, opposition to "We the People" including everyone has been present among those who question the central proposition that all were all created equal.

Those attitudes simply remain dormant when "lessers" know their place. They become more pronounced in times such as these.

Longman continues:
It’s a genuine problem that things have developed in such a way that “delivering on the promise of American democracy” by encouraging people to participate in our civic life and protecting their right and ability to do so is synonymous with partisan gain for the Democratic Party. But that’s where we are. Fighting to win elections has become fighting to have meaningful elections at all.
Like a certain graduate, Longman and LeTourneau are worried about their futures. But concerns about meaningful elections and democracy remaining alive are perhaps too abstract for the times. There was a time in this country when we went to war to fight for abstract principles—for freedom and democracy, ours and others'. Now, those who have the gold and make the rules are laboring to ensure they and only they hold power. Principles be damned. This game is about power and for all the marbles. Fortunately for 21st century royalists, they have a population of loyal supporters willing to bow and scrape and chase their carriages hoping for a few coins flung their way.

"The greatest obstacle to voting is the feeling that it won’t matter," writes George Packer, noting that Democrat's propensity to sit out mid-term elections has handed power to those who have made democracy a window treatment for the new ruling class. Still, he sees some reason for hope:
This year, something seems to be changing. The new faces among Democratic candidates, the new energy behind them, suggest a party of members, not squatters. But, come November, they will have to vote. It’s the only thing left.
This is a fight to keep that republic Franklin warned us might be hard to keep. Saddle up.

* * * * * * * * *

For The Win 2018 is ready for download. Request a copy of my county-level election mechanics primer at tom.bluecentury at gmail.