On the Democratic Internets, there seems to be considerable gnashing of teeth and wailing about the loss by Bill Halter to corporate Democrat Senator Blanche Lincoln in the Arkansas primary. I’m not particularly shook up by the outcome. First, Halter really wouldn’t have been much better (although not rewarding Lincoln’s bad behavior is worth doing). Second, it’s good to see the mainstream Democratic constituencies begin to realize they’re getting screwed by their own party–and do something about it.
Over at AmericaBlog, Gaius Publius has three good conclusions regarding the Arkansas senate primary:
1. It’s time for us to get serious about primaries. Lots of them. Joe is right. It’s frankly our only hope. If we fail now, the Big Boys will go to Disneyland for their post-game celebration (on our dime, I might add). Don’t hand one cent to third parties, and not one minute to them either. Both are precious.
I’ll give it to you straight, right from my inner Trotsky:
You don’t replace the party in power; you take over the party in power.
Tape it to your wall.
It wasn’t Lenin who toppled the Czar, it was the Mensheviks. Once Kerenski and his group had set up the revolutionary government, Lenin grabbed control. The Texas Chainsaw Conservatives didn’t topple the Republican Party, they took it over, one county office at a time. The Baptist Church fell to the pseudo-godly in the same godless way. (I hear other churches are fending off similar assaults from the cadres; God help them.)
Primaries, lots of them, until the Democratic party is ours. We’ll need an entire party if we expect to go toe-to-toe ourselves. Yes, Obi-wan, it really is our only hope.
One key thing is to realize that ‘small’ offices–local government–matters a lot, and they’re good places for people to hone political skills. This is also critical:
2. Be clear-eyed to the point of madness. I agree, this can make you crazy, but face the fact that, as Paul Krugman said in his must-read introduction to The Great Unraveling — Movement Conservatism is “a revolutionary power… a movement whose leaders do not accept the legitimacy of our current political system.” This is not your daddy’s conservative movement. Reagan was a revolutionary; he took power by revolutionary means; as did Bush Jr.; as did John Roberts by lying through his teeth at his confirmation hearing.
We’re fighting a revolutionary force. It’s a world-historical moment. We can’t afford to be confused.
I’ve written many times before: conservatives do not rethink and reconsider, they regroup and rearm. As anyone who has dealt with theopolitical conservatives regarding evolution knows, they are willing to use words as weapons, and tell many little lies in service to their Big Truth. Understand this, and no more Lucy With The Football. Finally:
3. The Big Boys are getting lazy (you know who I mean — anyone resembling BP and their retainers). They think they’re in the fourth quarter, and it’s only the third. They think they own the refs. They’re getting careless — tone-deaf and arrogant.
Time to slip them the shiv, and by that I mean, Occam‘s switchblade. Now’s the time to throw big lights on who they are and brand them — like calves. (Branding does work both ways, you know — you always brand yourself by your behavior.)
So let them appear to be what they really are — they’re eager to dance their little end-zone waggle — and let us be relentless about putting that dance on the world’s bright billboard. No one should be confused. There’s just too much at stake.
I agree. It’s remarkable how shameless and brazen conservatives and corporate Democrats are. I would say it borders on sociopathy, except that would be an insult to borderline sociopaths. As they have racked victories, they’re not even trying to hide their real feeling (e.g., arguing that debtors prisons were good things). There’s an opportunity here.
And we need to take it. Because the Republicans are out of their minds, and too many Democrats just don’t give a damn about most Americans.