Markos Is Optimistic

Boehner will fail, and Democrats will pounce in 2012. If only things were so.

Now, this new GOP-led House will make sure that nothing of note passes, and will try to gum up the works further with investigations into President Obama’s birth certificate and other such insanities. There’s nothing Democrats can do about that, but with power comes responsibility, and presumptive Speaker John Boehner will be under pressure to walk the line between the ideological purity his tea party base demands, and the pragmatism of governing. When he fails (and he will), Democrats need to be ready to pounce.

The last three cycles have proven that the House can swing wildly from extreme to extreme. We truly have an angry, downright schizophrenic electorate, ready to take out its frustrations on whomever is in power. The Democrats took the brunt of that anger in 2010. Unless they help turn things around in America, Republicans shouldn’t get too comfortable in their new congressional digs before 2012. Especially in a year when the Democratic base will turn out.

Most of that paragraph is boilerplate. The calculus that Boehner faces risk almost all pollsters commenting on 2010 would find unexceptional. The rationale behind his conclusion, however, seems built on sand. He assumes that Millennial turn out in 2008 is a baseline and not what it is, an exceptional outlier. Second, it’s premature to assume those Millennials who actually bother to vote will break the same way. Most pointedly, his assurance that the same Obama coalition including independents will somehow re-materialize and ‘pounce’. . .

Markos as AgitProp field commander needs to ride the horse, waving the cap before troops-of-the-line to boost morale. That’s a given. Objectively, it’s at best wishful thinking. The netroots experiment to us was one part of a possible solution to the Dark Years. A reason is that republics in decay show disintegration of functioning organized, coordinated politics based around institutional concepts and devolve into coalitions around personalities. To us the netroots interest in working through pluralistic institutions hinted at tangible, possible re-vitalization. Even if their journey might end differently than they envisioned now it would still herald a great service to restoring a working Dahl-esque pluralism. We just thought they would have more time.


  1. Comment says

    re Sys Admin – what’s funny (and sad) is that the jargon he mined for metaphors is sort of universally regarded as some of the most unpleasant language ever created. He would have been better off using vulgar digestive metaphors: “let’s beat the crap out of [little country x]”

    Barnett’s whole language is so bizarre – sounds like Joe Heller invented it.

  2. Dr Leo Strauss says

    To think the military used to run war games based on his ‘Sys Admin’ pap. How frustrating it must be for him now, making a side witticism to an audience about Commander Riker/Deanna Troi and see all the blank faces.

  3. Comment says

    Barnett should host a panel so the gap closing community can get together with the dot connecting community and decide if the want to zig or if the want to zag. Then they can decide to do a bit of zigging here or zagging there while to do this country or do that country and connect all the accumulated dots and fill in all the gaps.

  4. Dr Leo Strauss says

    Barnett’s a survivor. It takes a certain policy-entreprenurial grit to go to Beijing circa 2005 and explain why China ought to contribute 50,000 troops to Iraq.

  5. Comment says

    “Obama zigged in India when he should have zagged -To work Afghanistan is to work Pashtun is to work Kashmir.” T.P.M. Barnett

  6. Comment says

    For years Beck has been pushing conspiracy authors – often anti semites. He doesn’t focus on that aspect of the authors but it doesn’t really matter – A reliable percentage of angry low info people who read Dilling and the others on Beck’s recommendation will pick up on the racial aspects in the books. For a long time Foxman has been hampere.
    d by his alliance with the right – and you can see how lashes out against something irrelevant from time to time – his anger is clouding his judgement. Now he obviously knows what Beck is doing – the games Beck is playing – But he is contrained and he cannot really explain why he is constrained because he still likes to style himself as a scrappy liberal outsider even though he is a lethargic conservative insider.
    But this is all unsustainable because more kooks will be inspired by Beck’s hate spew. It’s all gonna come apart. Foxman whined about feeling squeezed by what Kevin Dowd calls the ground zero mosque – He will have to whine more later on.

  7. Dr Leo Strauss says

    re Beck and Stewart on MSNBC

    Beck’s day of reckoning will be brutal, you’re right. When?

    On Soros, in the end, Abe Foxman and others need Fox News and News Corp’s patronage more. Murdoch gave fulsome public praise for Beck explicitly over O’Reilly recently. Another knife stored for that day.

    MSNBC’s collective derangement over Stewart dissing them on the Mall is also fascinating. How desperately they crave his approval.

    An entire network pimped a comedian’s interview more than a head of State. Maddow several times ran a clip whinging that she used to be the kool funny kid until people realized that Stewart was funnier (and more incisive). Really.

    And that’s the *varsity team*, folks.

  8. Comment says

    We have not seen the Beck show in long time but heard he may have jumped the shark with his attacks on Soros – Everyone knows what Beck is up to – It’s only a matter of time before the politics of the moment change and he loses all support.

  9. Hunter says

    Just got around to watching that clip… The first half was hilarious as advertised, but the second half (when Grayson was gone and the other four started blathering) was amazingly depressing. I knew there was a reason I don’t watch FNC, or even TV.

  10. Comment says

    Another great think about that clip – Grayson laughing at his own joke against Bolling – Then the semi demonic smile. Bolling is speechless, tries to parry back and the Grayson talks to him like a teacher or parent “are you gonna let me finish?” then goes silent until Bolling (against his nature but worried about dead air) says “yes.” There are so many mini status games in that clip – It should be used in an American studies class.

    Btw – have you noticed that Khordokovsky has become the Mummia Abu-Jamal of the neolibs?

  11. Comment says

    On the liberal side – we have noticed a number of libs still outraged that Christine O’Donnell won’t go away – Doesn’t O’Donnell KNOW she lost?? Maddow is a exasperated – Olberman is flummoxed.

    O’Donnell really annoys Meghan McCain – It is a fact that O’Donnell has spoken in impolitic ways – was that violate the customs of our Orient — But she is funny and cute – While she is very ignorant on a number of topics, she is prob no more so than McCain’s daughter – O’D probably does not advocate anything different than McCain.

    But since McCain comes from a well to do family – much of his foolishness is discounted or ignored. Media people still excuse McCain – saying he has to pander to the angry white men, but soon Serious John will return and work with Russ and Teddy.

    When O’Donnell replied sarcastically to Meghan McCain – She showed she did not know her place – as if she were some heroin in a depression era movie.

  12. Comment says

    Meant to say say Grayson was classic type of nerd who was not gonna say Uncle to this natural adversary of his. So he lost an election in the right wing district he amazingly won in years back – He can still think of his victories and the many vindications he has had since those lonely days when high test scores provided only theoretical promise. The jock trader is his natural enemy – far more so than any other American grouping. Bolling is joined by Brian Kilmeade and a few others at FNC who seem to be Tom Wolfe creations rather than actual human beings.
    We bet that Grayson loaths Bolling far more than the man who lost to in the election – Dan Webster – the one he called Taliban Dan.

  13. Comment says

    Damm – our most common typo – always tacking on a superfluous apostrophe and then noticing the error too late.

  14. Comment says

    We know a number of Bolling’s from our middling time on the Street – we know a few Grayson’s too – It’s easy to see Bolling doing basic currency swaps, arbs, and long bond in the mid 90s – Just as the quants are beginning to eclipse the meatheads on the trading desk. Bolling is sort of at the top of the meathead curve where loathing of the nerds is most heated – especially when someone has become “successful” – The socially awkward Grayson – a classic man who as come into his own by achieving the compensatory success he was promised back in his haute nerd days Bronx science.
    These two are natural adversaries – As you noted – Grayson’s flat dis, combined with his smirk – You know if this was a bar Bolling would have had trouble restraining himself.

  15. Dr Leo Strauss says

    Great breakdown, especially with Grayson’s immediate, flatly-delivered “I wouldn’t want your job” opening gambit.

  16. Comment says

    Bolling wanted the caustic Grayson to show his bruises, say sorry, and admit to being a comedian. But he knows from biographical info that Grayson was successful in business – just like Bollling – So he feels a bit threatned by the unbowed Grayson. Even though Grayson lost. Grayson condescended too and Bolling prob has not had people talk down to him since he was in school – But after success as a jock and commodity trader he became use to everyone acting like a waiter around him. So you have the jock vs. nerd thing too – Bolling the baseball scholarship student feeling the elite sting of Grayson’s Bronx Science degree.
    All these things were at play –

  17. DrLeoStrauss says

    Larry, yup, the adults left the building. When self-appointed serious people advise the solution is Powelll as WH Chief of Staff, kind of says it all, right?

  18. DrLeoStrauss says

    Yeah, Bolling’s anger is that Movement thing about needing to control their consensual narrative. Here, ‘defeating’ an opponent isn’t enough. Defeat still involves some recognition that the electoral process is legitimate, while its covertly loathed as a process-oriented inconvenience. As we’ve all noted, the Movement only tolerates electoral outcomes when they win.

    Either way, as you point out, more is needed. An emotional need for further cathartic destruction of an opponent and what they stand for. Or creation of other fake opponents elastic enough to absorb the rage – “Wars on Christmas’, $200 million-a-day fantasies, etc. A mere ‘process’ electoral victory will never be a satisfactory narrative conclusion. Belief is inherently irrational.

    How comforting then when poll after poll shows Democrats and Obama-leaning independents calling for compromise. Glad to see they understand their circumstances so well, no?

  19. Comment says

    Bolling is not alone in his still steaming anger at people who lost the election – Check out MoDo’s right wing brother Kevin for his angry whine in the NYT today. So many unhappy winners. Also – kind of funny the brother of MoDo thinks Barry was a devoted disciple of Saul Alinsky. Shows how deep low info travels into the Times family.

  20. LarryM says

    If there’s ANY hope at all … and see the last thread, I’m no optimist – it’s that, after the likely Republican take over of the senate and the presidency in 2012, the longstanding inherent contradictions in Movement conservatism (low taxes, lots of expensive wars, don’t meaningfully cut domestic spending), combined with a horrible economy, result in a huge catastrophe and the adults of both parties take over.

    The recent performance of said “adults,” combined with all the other factors correctly identified by our host over the years, make this scenario likely wishful thinking.

  21. cb says

    @rkka Rkka, we HAVE TO vote for Democrats so we can end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan! And close Gitmo!

    Lather, rinse, repeat.

  22. rkka says

    What would be the point of getting the House and the Presidency back for the Democrats in 2012? We have already seen what the Democrats will do with Obama as President and crushing majorities in both Houses of Congress. In 2012, they will kowtow to the Banksters, and our people will continue on the road to debt peonage, though many presently in the upper-middle and lower-upper classes will be shocked to find themselves in the relentless grasp of the Bankster Personal Wealth Destruction Machine that has already sucked the Lower-to-Middle Classes dry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


CommentLuv badge