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And one side won.


A great read this morning from Chait at the New York Magazine. This needs to be read in its entirety, but here is just one part that I think we here at Daily Kos picked up on at the time. In my mind, it was a turning point.
It began last December, when Obama delivered a trademark Big Speech in Osawatomie, Kansas, where Teddy Roose­velt once spoke, on government’s place in mitigating income inequality. It was, in a sense, an extension of his failed budget negotiations with House Republicans. Obama had decided that his reelection effort would be an attempt to go over Speaker of the House John Boehner’s head and bring to the voters the proposition he couldn’t get the opposing party to accept: that both moral decency and plausible budgeting required an end to George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the rich.

From Obama's Osawatomie speech:
Throughout the country, it has sparked protests and political movements – from the Tea Party to the people who have been occupying the streets of New York and other cities. It’s left Washington in a near-constant state of gridlock. And it’s been the topic of heated and sometimes colorful discussion among the men and women who are running for president.

But this isn’t just another political debate. This is the defining issue of our time.

...
You see, this isn’t the first time America has faced this choice. At the turn of the last century, when a nation of farmers was transitioning to become the world’s industrial giant, we had to decide: would we settle for a country where most of the new railroads and factories were controlled by a few giant monopolies that kept prices high and wages low? Would we allow our citizens and even our children to work ungodly hours in conditions that were unsafe and unsanitary? Would we restrict education to the privileged few? Because some people thought massive inequality and exploitation was just the price of progress.

Theodore Roosevelt disagreed. He was the Republican son of a wealthy family. He praised what the titans of industry had done to create jobs and grow the economy. He believed then what we know is true today: that the free market is the greatest force for economic progress in human history. It’s led to a prosperity and standard of living unmatched by the rest of the world.

But Roosevelt also knew that the free market has never been a free license to take whatever you want from whoever you can. It only works when there are rules of the road to ensure that competition is fair, open, and honest. And so he busted up monopolies, forcing those companies to compete for customers with better services and better prices. And today, they still must.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This piece should make Ministry of Truth happy (8+ / 0-)

    Thanks for your hard work, Jesse.

    When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat. George Carlin

    by Zwoof on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 07:48:24 AM PST

  •  you speak like it's over (10+ / 0-)

    This was just a campaign, not the entire war.  The war is far from over.  They're retrenching and preparing to attack the Social Security hill right now.  We need to man the defenses more than ever.

    A battle won is a good thing, but don't let yourself think it's anywhere near over.

  •  The part I noticed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zwoof, Dave in Northridge, phonegery

    from the President's speech was his bit on American exceptionalism.  The Republicans made American exceptionalism their peroration at their convention (though nowhere else), so the President's taking it and turning it around -- emphasizing the exceptional American people, rather than some mythical, exceptional American business advantage, was brilliant.

  •  I wish we'd stop calling it the "free market" (4+ / 0-)

    I don't even know what that means. Obviously it's not free because we all have to pay for the things we buy. And just as obviously it's not free in that you're not free to do anything you want to make a profit. So then what does the "free" part mean, that it's not as centrally managed and controlled as markets in communist or socialist economies? Are we still running scared from these silly demons?

    I find the term "free market" to be yet another RW framing that when repeated only reinforces RW ideology. Why not just call it a market, or a well-regulated market, because that's basically what it is, and it removes the innacurate and misleading word "free" from the discussion. Markets are no more "free" than the products and services sold in them.

    And yes, absolutely, we need well-regulated markets.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 08:05:58 AM PST

    •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kovie, Dave in Northridge, phonegery

      The right actually means the market is free for them to exploit. We need to take charge of the language in the same way Frank Luntz has for the Republicans,

      The good news, IMHO, is that we are reclaiming the word "liberal" slowly but surely.  

      When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat. George Carlin

      by Zwoof on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 08:12:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, be careful with that (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dave in Northridge, johanus, J M F

        Because the original political usage of the term roughly translates into today's neoliberalism, thus the "neo". I.e. early to mid 19th century economic liberalism of the sort that promoted the "free market", making it a lot closer to Burkean Conservatism than to today's New Deal liberalism, which is obviously what you mean by it. Of course, not many people know that or think of liberalism in this way, so in popular discussion it's ok. But in more academic discussions, it's easy to confuse the two even though they're quite different.

        Sorry, me being pedantic. Carry on. :-)

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 08:23:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I enjoy using the term because (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kovie

          it just pisses them off so much.

          When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat. George Carlin

          by Zwoof on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 08:26:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Works for me (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            J M F

            I wonder if it would piss them off even more if we started calling them liberals, both when they support certain progressive-liberal policies like Social Security, and when they support certain classical/neo-liberal policies like deregulation.

            Hey Mitt, Paul, John, I never knew you were such liberals!

            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

            by kovie on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 08:33:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for the heads up on this article. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zwoof, Dave in Northridge, phonegery

    Chait has been writing great stuff lately. Did you read his piece from mid Oct about the looming 'fiscal cliff', how it's not a cliff, and how it might position Obama / us to actually be the progressive nation we all want to be? [if he doesn't blink]?

    I'll find a link for it if you'd like.

    "I can't do it by myself. No president can. Remember: Change doesn't happen from the top. It happens because of you." B Obama, 2008

    by nzanne on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 08:14:40 AM PST

    •  here's the link. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Zwoof, phonegery, Catte Nappe

      I'd really like some eyes here at DK tofocus on this and discuss. I think it's pretty fascinating, but there's quite a bit over my head, too.

      "I can't do it by myself. No president can. Remember: Change doesn't happen from the top. It happens because of you." B Obama, 2008

      by nzanne on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 08:15:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And here's the money shot (4+ / 0-)
        Here is how it will happen. On the morning of November 7, a reelected President Obama will do … nothing. For the next 53 days, nothing. And then, on January 1, 2013, we will all awake to a different, substantially more liberal country. The Bush tax cuts will have disappeared, restoring Clinton-era tax rates and flooding government coffers with revenue to fund its current operations for years to come. The military will be facing dire budget cuts that shake the military-industrial complex to its core. It will be a real-world approximation of the old liberal bumper-sticker fantasy in which schools have all the money they require and the Pentagon needs to hold a bake sale.

        All this can come to pass because, while Obama has spent the last two years surrendering short-term policy concessions, he has been quietly hoarding a fortune in the equivalent of a political trust fund that comes due on the first of the year. At that point, he will reside in a political world he finds at most mildly uncomfortable and the Republicans consider a hellish dystopia. Then he’ll be ready to make a deal.

        When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat. George Carlin

        by Zwoof on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 08:23:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yep, he is spot on these days n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dave in Northridge

      When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat. George Carlin

      by Zwoof on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 08:16:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This was but one skirmish in the ongoing Class War (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zwoof, Gooserock, gzodik

    and I have no doubt the Right Wing will be back in 2014 to fight anew.  We are going to have to keep fighting like this until elections are no longer as "close" as they were able to make it seem this time.

    We need to be ready for them in 2014.  They're right -- turnout in 2014 won't be like it was in 2008 or 2012, it'll be like it was in 2010 unless we keep our noses to the grindstone.  American politics happens in tiny increments.  This was one small battle in the overall Class War, not the winning of it.

    •  Yes, we cannot slack off in '14 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Loquatrix

      You can see how this could have given the right a permanent majority in 2010 if we didn't have a strong candidate in 2012.

      The coincidence of the 2010 census and Democratic apathy could have killed our party.

      We see it in Republican Governors trying to suppress the vote, and the gerrymandering of Democrat strongholds in local, state, and national  races.

      When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat. George Carlin

      by Zwoof on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 08:34:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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