Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Difference Between the Parties

The ones trying to stop people from voting would be the repugs, but in case you need more proof, here's Scott Lemieux at Lawyers, Guns and Money:

Konczal’s response to the widely-discussed Adolph Reed essay makes an excellent point:
This [assertion that "the two parties converging in policy"] is the kind of stuff that drives liberals up the wall, and for good reason. The two parties at this point are pushing two very different, ideological visions of the role of the state and the market. Ignore for a second cuts and expansions. Conservatives want to privatize Social Security, while liberals want it to remain a public program. Conservatives want to turn Medicare into a coupon to buy health insurance on exchanges, while liberals want to use Medicare’s footprint to control health-care costs. Liberals see a greater role for the federal government, for instance in absorbing the costs of a major expansion of Medicaid. Conservatives want to turn everything over to the states where it will be easier to starve and replace with private control. These aren’t minor differences.
These battles are clearer if you look at the fighting in the states. States taken over by conservatives have waged an all-out war on workers, reproductive health, and public goods. Meanwhile liberal states and cities have moved to expand paid sick-leave, minimum wages, and reproductive health. Even the so-called culture wars have a hard economic edge. Reed dismisses feminism as a set of fake cultural politics. Yet health-care reform has eliminated “woman” as a pre-existing condition, and minimum wage hikes, which disproportionately benefit women of color, and equal pay are in the forefront.
The divergence between the parties at the national level is atypically large and growing, but is nonetheless inevitably blurred by the necessities of keeping a national governing coalition together. (Consider what Obama’s first term would have looked like with a unicemeral House — not just a better ACA but major climate change legislation and very likely card check as well.) In states, where the cores of the parties have less need to attract moderates, the differences between the parties are yet more stark. As I said in my recent post about PR, I simply don’t buy the idea that the crucial problem is a lack of imagination among progressives. There are plenty of good ideas, some of which are getting traction in states; it’s getting American political institutions that inherently protected the status quo to enact them.  And as Konczal points out, this is hardly a new problem.
 The thing that makes me personally crazy is the label "conservative Democrat." There's no such thing as a conservative Democrat. There are repugs who call themselves Democrats and even register to vote as Democrats, but they always vote for repugs - in the polling booth and in whatever legislative body they may get themselves falsely elected to.

Always have voted repug, always will vote repug.  Calling themselves "conservative Democrats" doesn't change that.

Don't be fooled.

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