How to Break the White Nationalist Stranglehold

The most frustrating thing about the Tea Party is that it’s never been clear what it’s weakness is in the sense of what policies would weaken its stranglehold without screwing over vulnerable people. For example, the Tea Party trends towards the elderly, but suspending Social Security payments is, well, evil. How do you negotiate with someone who seemingly has nothing to lose? What is the quid for quo? Michael Lind has some good ideas:

Setting political difficulty aside, it is intellectually easy to set forth a grand national strategy that consists of coordinated federal policies to defeat the Southern Autonomy Project.

A federal living wage. At one blow, a much higher federal minimum wage would cripple the ability of Southern states to lure companies from more generous states which supplement the too-low present federal minimum wage with higher local state or urban minimum wages. (Strong national unions could do the same, but that is not a realistic option at present.)

Nationalization of social insurance. Social insurance programs with both federal and state components, like Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), allow Southern states to be stingier than many other states, creating more desperate workers who are more dependent on the mercy of employers and elite-dominated charities. Completely federalizing Medicaid (as President Ronald Reagan suggested!) and other hybrid federal-state social insurance programs would cripple the Southern Autonomy Project further.

Real voting rights. Using the authority of the Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Congress should completely federalize voting requirements for all federal, state and local elections, making it as easy as possible for U.S. citizens to vote — over the objections of kicking and screaming neo-Confederates.

Nonpartisan redistricting. Partisan redistricting by majorities in state legislatures should be replaced by nonpartisan redistricting commissions, as in California, New Jersey and other states. The redistricting commissions should be truly nonpartisan, not “bipartisan” arrangements in which incumbent Republicans and incumbent Democrats cut deals to protect their safe seats from competition. (Electoral reforms like instant run-off voting and proportional representation are struggles for a more distant future).

Abolish the Senate filibuster. The filibuster is not part of the U.S. constitution. It has been used by Southern white conservatives from the nineteenth century to the twenty-first to preserve Southern white power and economic privilege. This relic of premodern British parliamentary politics should be abolished. Democracy means majority rule. If the Southern Right loses a battle in Congress, it can try to round up allies and win next time. It should no longer be able to paralyze the Senate, the Congress or the federal government as a whole.

Abolish the federal debt ceiling completely. The federal debt ceiling is another institution like the filibuster which has now been ruined by being abused by Southern conservatives. Now that the Southern right is trying to turn it into a recurrent tool of hostage-taking when it loses votes in Congress, the federal debt ceiling should be abolished. The federal government should be authorized to borrow any amount necessary to fund spending appropriated or authorized by Congress, if there is any shortfall in tax revenues.

Sure, they’ll go berserk, but they go berserk over anything at the drop of a hat. Might as well do something useful if you’re going to take the heat.

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6 Responses to How to Break the White Nationalist Stranglehold

  1. jonolan says:

    Nice ideas. They’re the best reasons for real Americans to finally rise up, overthrow, and exterminate the Liberals and the eater and takers that feed off their largess – which Americans are forced to pay for.

    • Dbp says:

      You don’t get to decide what a “real American” is you dumb fucking asshole. The history of the “real american” ideological horsecrap is steeped in white supremacy and white nationalism. But you probably are aware of this fact but you’re too fucking cowardly to actually spout your truly fascist thoughts.

    • albanaeon says:

      Yeah, we’ve just seen what “real murkans” are capable of the last few years. Lots of bluff and blunder and a never ending displays of complete stupidity. The ‘grand uprising’ would probably be the same thing. In fact we did see that. It was called the Civil War. FYI, you’re real Americans lost.

  2. anthrosciguy says:

    The facts are that the places that vote conservative are the places that most comprise “eaters and takers that feed off American’s largess”‘ that “largess” mostly coming from the placed that vote liberal. Kinda messes up your uninformed frame, jonolan.

  3. hipparchia says:

    abolish the debt ceiling for sure. abolish paygo too.

    getting rid of secret holds is probably more important than the filibuster. i’m inclined to keep it, especially if the rules were to require the filibusterer to actually stand there and talk (or read dr seuss).

    nationalization, yes! national social insurance, national living wage, national voting rights (and can we abolish real id while we’re at it?)

    i like the idea of nonpartisan redistricting, but we could probably get by without it if we got rid of the two biggest money chokepoints (paygo and debt ceiling), and maybe even the congressional budget process entirely. then the two parties could back to old-fashioned horse-trading (i’ll vote for your shrimps-on-treadmills grant if you’ll vote for my bridge to nowhere). congresscritters should be going to washington solely to get federal dollars spent in their districts.

  4. coloncancercommunity says:

    Great ideas although you might want to rethink the filibuster. The republicans COULD retake the Senate in 2014. That filibuster might be the only thing standing between us and total havoc. That said – a great deal of what you are suggesting would be challenged through the courts and overturned by the Supreme Court. What we really need is several amendments to the Constitution…and a Constitutional Convention.

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