Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Conservatives' Obsession With Power

Harry Bradford's article in the Huffington Post, "Paul Krugman: Conservatives Are 'Obsessed -- More Than Anything Else -- With Power,'" offers a short reflection on Krugman's piece, that "Krugman recounts how most conservatives rejected the evidence coming in from pollsters and Nate Silver in the run-up to the election, offering that up as evidence of how much the right-wing needs to keep up appearances of crushing the opposition.

"The need to stay on top is so delusional that even election results couldn't tamp it down."

The famed economists article is titled, "Power-Mad Conservatives," and might be a reiteration of the message we have been preaching for the last five months, that Conservatism is all about pathological greed and power.  From Krugman:

"On the face of it, this makes no sense. The election was going to happen, and somebody was going to win. Why lash out so bitterly at people who you claimed to think would be revealed as fools in just a couple of days?

"I’ll try to present some more coherent thoughts on a later occasion, but here’s my quick take: what we’ve just seen is a peek into the modern right-wing psyche, which is obsessed — more than anything else — with power. Policy is one thing; but equally or even more important is the sense of being with the winners, of being part of the team that will stamp its boots on the faces of the other guys. And while conservatives of that ilk would probably concede if pressed on it that there’s a difference between the perception of being on top and the reality determined in an election, emotionally they can’t separate the two: they perceive anyone suggesting that maybe they aren’t going to smash their opponents as a threat.

"And we’re not just talking about teenagers blogging in their pajamas; look at Karl Rove’s temper tantrum on Fox."

"A few days later, Krugman published another essay on his blog The Conscience of A Liberal in the New York Times - "Oganization."  In that essay, he posited:

"...during primary season, when — as too many have forgotten — the GOP field seemed (and was) dominated by ridiculous figures. Obama almost rehabilitated the thing with his bobble in the first debate, but he and his party pulled it back together; the Democratic campaign seemed professional, while the Republicans seemed like the Keystone Kops. Karl Rove’s image has gone from terrifying master of politics to overpaid crybaby.

"But I’d go even further: the Democrats now look like the natural party of government. Bush had already established a reputation for being unable to get anything right in the actual business of governing; all that was supposedly left was political prowess, and now that’s gone too. And even the news media have, I think, begun to notice that we aren’t the 'center-right; country of fantasy, we’re a diverse nation, ethnically and otherwise, in which a lot of liberal ideas have become perfectly mainstream.

"Still, hubris and all that: this newly effective coalition could be shattered if taken for granted. And you know what could really produce the kind of dispirited base that was supposed to doom Obama in 2012? A sellout on key Democratic values as part of a Grand Bargain. If, say, Obama raises the retirement age in return for vague promises on revenue (promises that would be betrayed at the first opportunity); if he appoints a deficit scold to a major economic post; it could all fall apart."

"Fall apart," indeed!  Whenever we seek to compromise with Conservatives, democracy takes another left to the jaw; whenever we seek to negotiate with the right-wing criminals the middle class takes another economic right cross to the solar plexus.

There will be NO improvement in the financial position of the middle class until Conservatism is criminalized.  The middle class as the shining result of the Great Democratic Experiment of the Roosevelt years has been decimated, the poor are poorer, and American democracy is veering on the side of feudalism.


"We must act out passion before we can feel it."

Jean-Paul Sartre (French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter,

political activist, biographer, and literary critic. 1905 - 1980.)