I should offer that the second linked article is off base in a fundamental way. It characterizes the Tea Party phenomenon as a grassroots insurgency; a quick perusal of the Media Matters Action Network website betrays the corporate and wealthy funding behind the teabaggers.
That established, the two articles are indicative of what those wealthy and corporate assholes are up to right now. They are capitalizing on two things. First, the Obama election offered the moneyed right wing a unique opportunity to double down on the seething hatred and fear of the nation’s perpetually ignorant and resentful right wing base. Having a negro Democrat in the White House is like a godsend to the right wing.
Given the egregiously catastrophic failure (and, in a diabolical sense, success) of the Bush Administration and the GOP-dominated Congress and Supreme Court, an alien landing on Earth in Autumn 2008 might be forgiven for believing that liberals and progressives were poised to capitalize on the national malaise and roll into power with their restorative and progressive agenda in hand. Anyone who’s been living on the planet longer than that should know better.
The Democratic Party in general is not interested in catering to liberals and progressives. It is interested in pursuing many of the same corporate and wealthy dollars that the GOP lives on. So that leads us to the second thing which benefits the GOP: they have no effective ideological or practical opposition. The Democratic Party contents itself with being not as insulting or openly destructive as the GOP has been (at least since the Southern Strategy). It refuses to challenge the corporate and imperial hegemony (in either regulatory or punitive fashion). By so favoring the wealthy and powerful over everyday working people (including the besieged and shrinking middle class), those working people are forced to make voting decisions based on an ever-narrowing list of material choices. Liberals and progressives, for their part, continue to throw their lot in with the Democrats, who are given no incentive to change their ways.
The GOP and its wealthy asshole masters understand this, and they understand that the growing frustration and disappointment of most of the population is and shall be looking for an outlet. The liberals have worked themselves into a political corner, as they’ve got ‘their people’ in the White House and both houses of Congress and are doing little more than grumbling at the diminishing returns. The party hierarchy has grown very effective at shutting down and isolating effective organization from the left, and liberal voters’ efforts to ‘primary’ right-wing and nakedly corporatist Democrats have met with feeble national results.
As the linked stories at the top illustrate, the GOP’s backers aren’t having such difficulties. Their Tea Party operation is reaping impressive ape-shit-right-wing results. While the Democrats spin their policy wheels and barely talk tough to the expanding litany of conservative, corporate, and imperialist failures, the right wing rakes in the growing insecurity and resentment and invests it (along with the usual millions of dollars) in retaking political power.
Now, the liberal Straw Man in my mind’s eye is wagging his finger at me and telling me that we must continue to vote for Democrats, because having a teabagger-led, GOP-controlled government is a far worse outcome. To that Straw Man, and to all who’d echo his pusillanimous sentiment, I say No.
I’ve been consistently voting Green for a few years now, and I’m not going to stop. The Green Party has no money, no corporate connections, and no lobbyists coming to call. It often has a problem fielding candidates for many if not most contested offices at all levels of government nationwide. You know what? I don’t give a shit. I refuse to be a coward in the voting booth, especially when my future and that of my daughter hang in the balance. If there is a ballot alternative to the current bipartisan death spiral, I’m morally obligated to take it. If you care about the future, I suggest you join me. I don’t want my final act to be etching “I TOLD YOU SO” into the rocks for the future amusement of cockroaches.