You may only read this site if you've purchased Our Kampf from Amazon or Powell's or me
• • •
"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show

"Who can really judge what's funny? If humor is a subjective medium, then can there be something that is really and truly hilarious? Me. This book."—Daniel Handler, author, Adverbs, and personal representative of Lemony Snicket

"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

February 01, 2008

What Happened?

The Democrats have been one percent different from Republicans on foreign policy since World War II. But they once had significant differences on domestic policy. What happened? Weldon Berger explains.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at February 1, 2008 12:37 PM

Here's one mixed bag of possible explanations. Some are competing, some are complementary and any one would require pages of elaboration or proof:

1. The New Deal/Great Society coalition disintegrated, replaced by a GOP coalition led by social conservatives and corporations.

2. Money replaced organizing in terms of importance for winning elections. Dems abandon the working class in pursuit of campaign cash.

3. Communism collapsed, undermining the motivation to pay attention to equality or a safety net.

4. The long-time generational pendulum in U.S. politics swung right, leaving more liberal Dems with a narrower base.

5. The Military-Industrial Complex, tax cuts and the resulting deficit spending made ambitious domestic programs more difficult.

6. U.S. workers -- a key part of the progressive Dem base -- lost their power as WWII industrial powers recovered, industrial centers emerged in the 3rd World, and global movement of good and services increased.

7. Massive increases in the prison population disenfranchised millions of African Americans. The threat of deportation and lack of a vote detered political participation by millions of the poorest workers (illegal immigrants), thus knocking the political legs out from under any attempt to promote progressive economic policies.

8. Television eroded social networks that facilitate grassroots politics in the working class, and made it difficult for more radical voices to be heard or accepted.

Posted by: Whistler Blue at February 1, 2008 05:12 PM

Whistler Blue: Excellent points.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at February 1, 2008 10:49 PM

Interesting list. Here's a question: of the eight items, which factors leading to the weakening of the Dem party did the leadership of the Dem party actually oppose? Growth of the Military Industrial Complex? Sending jobs overseas? The huge expansion of the prison system? A stronger role for money in politics?

Nah, didn't think so.

Posted by: SteveB at February 2, 2008 07:21 AM