Liberals Win Culture War, Face Economic Test

As the dust settles on the 2012 election it seems to me that its greatest significance is how social conservatives are finally losing the culture war, shifting the balance of power (for now) to progressives. But even the winners are unsure. Liberals have been beat up and demonized for so long that I think they’re having trouble accepting victory.

Will it last? Use victory to deliver real economic results for the middle class and it will. Wimp out, and conservatives can bring back social wedges to distract working-class voters and nurture the rich.

Ruy Teixeira and John Halpin of the Center for American Progress are making sense:

President Obama and his progressive allies have successfully stitched together a new coalition in American politics, not by gravitating toward the right or downplaying the party’s diversity in favor of white voters. Rather, they did it by uniting disparate constituencies — including an important segment of the white working class — behind a populist, progressive vision of middle-class economics and social advancement for all people regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation. Should President Obama and progressives deliver on their agenda for the nation and improve the economic standing of working-class families, the potential for solidifying and expanding this progressive coalition well beyond the Obama years will only increase.

51 thoughts on “Liberals Win Culture War, Face Economic Test”

  1. Obama did not win because the Americans are moving to a liberal or progressive posture. Let’s face it the American people may blow like the wind in these matters.

    Obama won as he out messaged to the consumer based political buyer and with all of the entitlements and promises to pay. The payoff to the unions delivered Ohio and Mitt who was not selling of the auto industry did a horrible job of messaging the realistic approach he proposed.

    Obama won with the little slips of the tongue and some not so little delivery the Candy on CNN… And Mitt failed to deliver the appropriate response which would have sealed the deal in the second debate.

    We will all lose if we continue down the path of the big central government. Obama is backing down already on his commitments. Sure it is Chicago style bargaining right now and not leadership. But when has Barack lead?

  2. sea, was wondering the other day when jace bro’t up advent if you had in your inventory chocolate advent calendars. you might also consider producing eight days of channukah chocolates (kosher of course). don’t know how but must be some tasty tidbit you could make for ramadan and diwali.

  3. The so called fiscal cliff is nothing of the kind.
    It might be a fiscal jumping off point. A point at which we close the book on the thirty year failed policy of supply side economics, and the bad joke that was the trickle down theory.
    The trickle dried up before it reached those it was intended to help. If all the tax cuts, and tax incentives awarded during that period had worked as promised, it wouldn’t have been a trickle it would have been a cascade.
    The middle class has paid the price for bad and incoherent economic policy in the form of stagnant wages and reduced purchasing power, while the top two percent has seen their wealth grow by leaps and bounds.
    Rather than investing their gains in plant and machinery they chose to invest credit default swaps and derivatives, which created nothing other than the illusion of economic strength, and a subsequent worldwide economic meltdown.
    To do something for the middle class will require a good deal more than a 3 percent tax hike on the wealthy. It will require more political will than is generally on display in the seat of our government.
    The people who can effect those changes, republicans and democrats, are both equally indebted to the special interests that have benefited so handsomely from the status quo.
    The prognosis is not good. 😥

  4. Thanks Pat. Great idea- but a project indeed, will think on it. I make chocolate dreidels,not a huge seller. Ramadan definitely not in the future though.

  5. Ping, not so much saying americans “moving” to lib posture in big numbers, just that more lib/progressive voters turned out — and the question is whether they come back when Obama not on the ballot. and you can’t discount the impact of republicans so outside the stream on social stuff they helped turn out Obama vote. and going out of their way to aggravate latino vote about the dumbest thing i’ve ever seen in politics

  6. I LOVE the fact that the Republicans started all this culture war nonsense because they thought it’d help them win… and now it’s backfired and blown up all over their faces…. HA!

    But the economic stuff is another matter. Obama and the Democrats absolutely must pass policies that will help the middle class if they want to remain in power. Yes, it will take a lot of political will… and the crushing of the Koch bros. funded tea party (which has a good start). We shall see what we shall see. I’m a glass half full kinda gal… so, I’m happy.

  7. Ping… good to see you… hope you aren’t lickin’ your wounds too hard… :smile:

    OSH… really nice website. We went to a holiday bazaar this past weekend and bought some local made chocolates. They aren’t anywhere near as good as yours… you make the best!

  8. oldseahag, welcome to blogging. you’ve inspired me to start a Blogroll in our sidebar at long last. Just added it at the bottom of the right sidebar.

    Gang, open to suggestion for your favorite news or discussion sites to add to the roll. Also, trailmixers with blogs post the url here. (I’ve got a few, adding them now to join sea)

  9. As long as we are playing fantasy politics
    how about a match up for the Illinois senate seat between Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama

    And I think if HClinton wants to be an on-going player may be the chips they will cash in are for a seat on the supreme court

  10. Ping your statement is why the Republicans lost and without Hispanic intervention won’t make it past the mid-terms

    The American voters aren’t wavering or even moving back and forth on separation of church and state. Each election brings more affirmative votes that civil society should not be enforcing church rules. There is no going back as people recognize we truly do believe in separation of church and state.

    There isn’t much to wonder about a party that thinks corporations are people and that based on religious views some people are not entitled to civil rights.

    The Republicans make it easy to doubt their sincerity because they are such hypocrites

    If Republicans want smaller government they should start by getting out of people’s personal lives and ending prohibition…think of the money that could be saved and raised……

    Congratulations to the State of Washington where it is legal to smoke pot and get married to the same sex partner of your choice as of today.

  11. Hey Ping did you see poor ole Bob Dole go to the senate floor in a wheel chair to plead for a yes vote on a UNNON-BINDING resolutions that mimics American’s for Disability Act standards and the republicans say no because they can ..and concocted the most ridiculous statements —

    There are not two equal parties here — I think the Democrats and the third parties are more likely to conduct policy discussions. The Republicans have reduced themselves to ankle-biters and their leaders
    McConnell and Boehner can only say ..”I know I am but so are you”

    And as evidenced by Ping’s goofy nonsense — many in the party agree with Rmoney. I predict a Latino-libertarian party — that steals the Republican brand and the Republicans who can’t or won’t change will be left with the likes of Rick Warren and that will be no where

  12. DeMint is such a pathetic man. Giving up on the office the people of South Carolina elected him so that he can be an even greater bigot? Clearly the man is ill.

  13. Ping! Nice to see you!

    It’s my understanding that our Gov is going to appoint a short-term placeholder as senator, declare a special election, resign as governor, run for DeMint’s seat, be elected, and then run for prez in 2016.

    Is Senator Nikki Haley a candidate that you can support?

  14. Sturg,

    When you got up North, I hope you found your daughter safe and in something resembling good spirits. I bet she was happy to see good old Dad!

  15. Craig…
    my 2 favorites are Talking Points Memo… and a place called dagblog.

    Dagblog is a blog where some of the posters from TPM Muckraker went after Josh shut down the ability of bloggers to post there own topics. It’s a very lively bloggers fueled blog. Like here many of the posters have been together for a long time and obviously know one another.

  16. they skated the sand-eye with no loss of power and we had the cooking of the happybird, saw the spongee bobpants balloon at columbus circle, ate in a few nice slope eateries, quaffed a bit of the old brooklyn lager, and walked the entire HighLine. Saw the grand army arch at prospect park and saw Chelsea market.
    Saw the most rottenest canal I ever did see…the Gowanus….very foul, that. the rats had floats, and if one of ’em got knocked in you could hear his scream for miles.

  17. added those, RR. thanks

    Blogroll suggestions welcome. Especially like to add lesser known and interesting sites (like Dagblog), instead of the usual suspects

    and of course any other Trail Mixers with blogs who’d like to be added, let me know

  18. “Saw the grand army arch at prospect park.” Sturg@1224

    When I was a little boy, not far from our farm at a small village in Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley named Peninusla, there was a GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) Hall which I surmise would be something like the VFW posts that abounded after WW2.

    In any case, the elderly Civil War vets would parade at every opportunity during the summer months.

    Because of this, and the oral histories by people who were alive while I was alive, it is as if I have a tangible connection with that horrendous war, albeit the absolutely convincing statement of American union.

  19. I visited a $ Store this morning to buy a few Christmas decorations to pretty up the outdoor planters (if they walk off, who cares:they’re $ store stuff.)
    At the checkout was a sign asking to purchase a gift for baskets the chain was sending to our military. The sentiment is good;generous. But I was thinking: the $ store is pleading for donated gifts to our enlisted folks; Republicans in Congress & the Senate are obstinate over ensuring no tax cuts for the very rich. What a disconnect. How screwed up is this picture?
    A lot of my neighbors shop in these stores because they have to. Their clothes come from AmVets. Many times Thanksgiving is courtesy of the Food Bank.
    This is reality for too many. Republicans sell themselves to the very rich. Sure, that helps with campaign donations and other payola, but this constituency is limited. Being insular, exclusive and in a way, incestuous, leads to ending up like the Habsburgs: needing a drool bib and becoming a punchline in history. This is the future for Republicans unless they change their ways.
    Americans are naturally progressive. We move forward. We expand. To expand you must be inclusive, or at least a realist.
    The choice was clear this year. Like him, loathe him, or be lukewarm about him, at least the President still represents a glimmer of hope.Democrats, Liberals and Progressives tend to be more of an obstacle to each other than the Republicans are to them. But the difference between an Obama and a Romney future was too clear. It’s no leap to say several moderate Republicans voted against their own candidate when they had to mark an X on the ballot.
    Future success means the Big Tent keeps getting bigger. The best way to grow is to open the doors and let people in. Hold the door open for the person behind you – don’t let it slam in his face.
    People respond to this.As long as the Democrats, Liberals and Progressives stay on this course, the future looks good. For everyone.

  20. sjwny, i enjoyed watching Stanwyck with ya last night in chat room. although this is one case i’d welcome commercials, to allow more discussion time. i went on to watch two more by the way, 4 in all. i hope i don’t get so obsessed i watch all 55. david will send me to the loony bin. documentary narrated by sally fields is tonight 7pm

  21. So, Craig, is Michelle running for Senate or is Kirk running for 1st lady? PPP is obviously time rich and looking for something, anything that might get them a little sponsorship.

    OK, Obama got 3.5 million votes more than Rmoney. It wasn’t Candy or payoffs or nonexistent promises or any of the other BS being put out there by the losers that delivered the election to Obama. It was picking an awful candidate who was right for the 50s but doesn’t get the 21st Century socially or economically.

    Path to big central government? Glass houses come to mind. From ’82 to ’00 federal spending declined by 5% of GDP. From ’00 to ’09 it increased by 6% of GDP (whose budgets did that?) Under Obama the federal deficit has decreased by 2% of GDP, under Bush it increased by 12% of GDP. It increased under Reagan, Bush I and Bush II and is lower now than under Reagan or Bush I & II. It declined under Carter, Clinton and now Obama. In other words, to hear Rs tell it, debt and deficits are bad when Dems are in the WH and they are just peachy when R’s are there.

  22. Craig- Enjoyed it too. And it’s not an obsession. It’s good stuff. Thanks to TCM for showing them. Quality nevers get old.

  23. Flatus – the GAR.
    My mom’s great-uncle was a Commander in the NYS GAR and was the last surviving Civil War vet in Chemung County, NY.
    She remembered seeing him march every Memorial Day, but the significance of who he was didn’t mean anything to her as a child. She later realized and regretted not knowing him better.
    He saw some ugly stuff – Petersburg and environs.

  24. Flatus

    Isn’t that running up the price of that commodity. It would be rather poor quality. I think I would want to have two for a penny. Saves money too, the chance of two coherent thoughts in a row coming out of that head………


  25. One other thing, I’m not sure that the Democrats won the culture war so much as the Republicans were too busy shooting themselves in the foot


  26. Apparently the threat of a 4% tax increase didn’t deter Jim DeMint from pursuing a 600% salary increase. When it comes to lining his own pockets, he’s not so dumb after all.

  27. Apparently since the GOP hates government, they do it badly in order to go on getting elected to continue to become wealthy while being bad at their jobs.

  28. ahhhhh… Sturg… I’ve seen Ladysmith Black Mambazo twice in concert… they are a definite must see if they are in your area.


  29. If you have not read James Downie’s WaPo article from today’s post go read it now! It is wonderful.

  30. Was away from a computer but able to watch the TCM Documentary on Barbara Stanwyck. Three words:
    Yum. Yum. YumYum.

  31. I only caught part of the early Stanwyck movie from 1933, “The Bitter Tea of General Yen”, but I have seen many of her films over the years on TCM. She was really great in “Meet John Doe”, which I have watched three times by now.
    Well, I have a movie cued up right now OnDemand, CYAL8R.

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