Until I read all about it in today's New York Times, I'd been totally, unforgivably oblivious to having just lived through a monumental event called "The Liberal Spring."
In the space of just one week, a tsunami from "the left" has apparently changed the entire ideological landscape of America!
Jonathan Martin explains it all to ignoramuses like me:
A cascade of events suggests that 2015 could be remembered as a Liberal Spring: the moment when deeply divisive and consuming questions of race, sexuality and broadened access to health care were settled in quick succession, and social tolerance was cemented as a cornerstone of American public life.Happy days are here again! The skies above are clear again! We can sing a song of cheer again! We all have guaranteed health care for life, gender and sexual equality is here to stay, and institutional racism has disappeared as quick as you can tear down a Confederate flag.
And lest we be deemed ungrateful, we must give all the credit for our unexpected salvation to Obama Triumphans. He is being widely portrayed in the corporate media as a latter-day Joshua. The president miraculously escaped from the Egypt of Lameduckville to finish leading the refugees of America into the neoliberal promised land of brand-name milk and honey. All it took was one off-key but sonorous rendition of We Shall Overcome to further cement mass delusion as a cornerstone of public life.
The Times piece continues,
Yet what appears, in headlines and celebrations across the country, to represent an unalloyed victory for Democrats, in which lawmakers and judges alike seemed to give in to the leftward shift of public opinion, may contain an opening for the Republican Party to move beyond losing battles and seemingly lost causes.OK, now that we got spring out of the way, we can get into the nitty-gritty of what the permanent ruling class really wants. And that is the GOP repudiating the Tea Party in order to get back to its big business roots. As fast as pro-market forces once tore down the Berlin Wall, as fast as Obama tore down the walls of racism, John Boehner is purging Congressional committees of those anti-trade, anti-government, anti-corporate welfare ideologues. Newly empowered by their partnership with Obama's Wall Street Democrats, the Wall Street Republicans aim to make the world safe for plutocracy.
But even as conservatives appear under siege, some Republicans predict that this moment will be remembered as an effective wiping of the slate before the nation begins focusing in earnest on the presidential race.
As important as some of these issues may be to the most conservative elements of the party’s base and in the primaries ahead, few Republican leaders want to contest the 2016 elections on social or cultural grounds, where polls suggest that they are sharply out of step with the American public.Polls, shmolls. More than measuring public opinion, polls actually serve to influence it. Witness the recent Pew Poll purporting to show widespread domestic and international support for the anti-democracy job-destroying Trans-Pacific Partnership. What reasonable person doesn't support free trade? Never mind that the respondents were not allowed to actually see what is in the classified TPP Nor did the pollsters bother to inform the people whom they called about the various leaked portions of the agreements.
As G. William Domhoff further elucidates in Who Rules America?:
Polls also can be used to suggest that a public opinion exists on issues for which there is none. This does not mean people do not have general opinions, but that they often make it up as they go along when responding to specific questions about policy preferences. If questions about affirmative action or oil drilling are framed in one way, they yield one answer, but framed in another way, they yield a different answer, especially for those without knowledge or firm opinions.Obama the Joshua-Josher and his plutopals know full well that ordinary people would never support the replacement of local and national justice courts with fascist Investor State Dispute Tribunals. They know that people would never agree to become personally financially liable for the "lost" corporate profits of Big Oil, Big Pharma and Big Tobacco. Therefore they keep the whole deal secret while at the same time cynically ordering rigged polls which falsely show public support for programs that are precisely antithetical to the public interest.
The Pew polls are funded by the Pew Charitable Trust, a think tank originally funded and still largely controlled by the conservative heirs of the Sun Oil Company. They're also in the astroturf business, hiring advocates to appear on TV and before congressional committees, poll results clutched tightly in their hands as evidence of public support for filthy rich interests.
Now, back to the latest Times propaganda effort in the service of the plutocracy:
It's almost enough to make you root for the Tea Party. What the Establishment really fears is the extra-partisan, left-right coalition against the TPP and other corporate coups, along with widespread transpartisan, populist disgust with mass surveillance, the bloated Pentagon and Wall Street crime. What the Establishment really loves is Obama-style bipartisanship in the service of those who run the place and who matter only to themselves. Remember that it was the Tea Party "crazies" who put the kibosh on the Boehner-Obama Grand Bargain of Social Security and Medicare cuts.“Every once in a while, we bring down the curtain on the politics of a prior era,” said David Frum, the conservative writer. “The stage is now cleared for the next generation of issues. And Republicans can say, ‘Whether you’re gay, black or a recent migrant to our country, we are going to welcome you as a fully cherished member of our coalition.’ ”The critical question is whether the Republican Party will embrace such a message in order to seize what many party officials see as an opening to turn the election toward economic and national security issues.
The reason that marriage equality has sailed through in record time has just as much to do with gay rights being a non-issue for the hyper-rich as it does with popular demand. Either marriage equality doesn't affect the interests of the Power Elite, or it has affected them personally enough to make them devote their money and their influence to getting it done. If millionaires and billionaires aren't gay themselves, they statistically have a family member, friend or business associate who belongs to the LGBT community. Granting marriage equality in all 50 states, regardless of class, has the double advantage of being no skin off their uplifted noses and a deflective public relations ploy. The granting and mass celebration of "diversity" by the Imperium gives the Imperium a false patina of morality as a cosmetic healing of class divides is broadcast by media conglomerates. Rich gays and poor gays join together to march in parades. Even lowly cannon fodder has been granted marriage equality. (although sex crimes in the military have now reached epidemic proportions, due in part to Obama's strange refusal to take prosecution of them out of the corrupt chain of command. But, hooray anyway.)
So on with Extreme Centrism, as told by the New York Times for the benefit of #WealthyLivesMatter:
While acknowledging that the country has become more tolerant and, in some ways, culturally liberal, many Republicans contend that America is still receptive to a more conservative approach on economics and national security. After all, the same week that highlighted the ascent of cultural liberalism also illustrated the limitations of economic populism, as organized labor was unable to block a measure giving President Obama expansive trade authority."America," aka the rich, is more open to a "conservative approach", aka austerity for the masses. It is in the interest of both wings of the Big Business Party to marginalize organized labor, which, despite the fact that it's been marginalized for nearly half a century, still occasionally manages to be a pesky thorn in the side of the GOP-New Democrat partnership. Therefore, if the presidential debates can be restricted to scaring the voters to death over phony foreign terror threats while deflecting our attention from the real economic and social threat of a global oligarchy gone wild, it won't much matter to the ruling class whether Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush gets "elected". The oligarchy will not only have won, it will be able to claim with a straight, stuffed face that it was a legitimate populist victory.
(Needless to say, despite his growing popularity with the actual populace, Bernie Sanders' name did not appear one single time in today's Power Elite-dictated, fair & balanced front page Times "news analysis.")