Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A question of morale

Reading this piece by Dave Weigel only furthers my conviction that, in addition to the genuinely good effects that passing health care reform will have for people out there, there will be a lot of secondary political advantages to passing it as well. For some time now we've heard about an enthusiasm gap between the left and the right. This has been largely due to the fact that the right has made some headway and won some victories (at least in PR terms), and it feels like it is making progress, while the left has largely felt that things aren't happening that should be happening. Morale is a pretty easy thing to figure out, finally: victories breed good morale, defeats crash it. I suspect that final passage of HCR will have the effect of causing a lot of the Tea Partiers to lose confidence in victory, while others will be even more radicalized and will demand that Republican candidates run on repealing HCR, which simply will not happen. I'm not even talking about the plan's resurgent public standing--the discussion is a loser for Republicans because it will force them to take the defensive once Democrats press them on what provisions they actually want to repeal, and it will refocus the conversation onto the actual stuff in the bill that people like.

I actually think that the Tea Parties are going to break up a lot sooner than people think. Not just over failing on HCR, but when one considers that the next big battles are going to be over financial regs and clean elections, where the far right doesn't have much purchase on public opinion (and which are issues that the Tea Parties are supposed to be exercised about), I really doubt that this movement is long for this world. But, then again, movements don't last forever. They either fail to achieve their goals and everything falls apart, or they achieve them and become institutions.

The Man, The Myth, The Bio

East Bay, California, United States
Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.