Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Kos Gets It

At last some progressives are awakening to the political reality of our economic condition:

Nothing in this year’s exit polling hurt more than this:

wall street exit poll

Got that? Of the 35 percent who think Wall Street is to blame for our economic problems, 57 percent voted Republican – the party that does nothing but carry water for Wall Street.

Kos – Get Wall Street out of the White House Daily Kos 18 Nov 10

Yeah.  But what makes Democrats so different?  Well…  Not much, it seems:

…people think there is no difference between the parties when it comes to the rich and powerful.  And why should they?  Obama’s finance team is essentially a branch office of Goldman Sachs and company.

Kos – Get Wall Street out of the White House Daily Kos 18 Nov 10

Time to get serious, folks.  And big decision time for Obama.  I think Kos has got this right:

Here’s the bottom line – Obama and the Democrats need to repair their relationship with voters.  They can either focus on that, and the hell with Wall Street’s hurt feefees, or we’re headed for a Republican trifecta in the White House, Senate, and House in 2012.

Kos – Get Wall Street out of the White House Daily Kos 18 Nov 10

The next president will be the one who has convinced a nation of confused and angry voters that he or she is going to lead an administration which will put a stop to this nonsense, and let the chips fall where they may.

If we don’t change course soon it will only get worse.  Matt Stoller, formerly of MyDD and more recently a consultant for Alan Grayson, puts where we are headed succinctly as far as progressive politics is concerned:

Young people and what only cynics might call ‘homeowners’ have no choice but to jump on the treadmill of debt, as debtcroppers.  The goal is not to have them pay off their debts, but to owe forever.  Whatever a debtcropper owes, a wealthy creditor owns.  And as a bonus, the heavier the debt burden of American citizenry, the less able we are able to organize and claim our democratic rights as citizens.

Debtcroppers don’t start companies and innovate, they don’t take chances, and they don’t claim their political rights.  Think about this when you hear the calls from ex-Morgan Stanley banker and current World Bank President Robert Zoellick and his nebulous mutterings pining for the gold standard.  Or when you hear Warren Buffett partner Charlie Munger talk about how the bailouts of the wealthy were patriotic, but we mustn’t bail out homeowners for fear of ‘moral hazard’.  Or when you hear Pete Peterson Foundation President and former Comptroller General David Walker yearn nostalgically for debtor’s prisons.

Matt Stoller – A Debtcropper Society Naked Capitalism 18 Nov 10

There should be no bigger issue, frankly, among progressives than keeping our constituencies active, unencumbered and able to be engaged.  Once the coils of financial obligation fall upon the masses it is too late for anything but penury or insurrection and our ancestors left us a legacy of many instruments to avail ourselves of before we get there.  Let’s exercise them.  Voting would be the first prize but it would be nice to have some real choices.


  1. Hitting Wall Street, who own the media outlets, will hammer back.  And keep the rhetoric up until the next election.

    Instead, focus on sane regulation, hit one or two of the worst offenders who can be exposed, and HIT THE GOP BACK WHEN THEY TAKE SWIPES.

    With Boehner slagging off a meeting to talk bipartisanship to hit a press release to decry Obama’s lack of bipartisanship, and McConnel blowing off a meeting to go to most ironically named Federalist Society, then you see what the atmosphere is going to be when they hit the new session.

    When blogs call Pataki’s Peter Johnson Jr, a liberal, folks need to hit the lies up.

    The Obama Administration NEEDS to hit back. It needs some balls. Being sweet and polite is only going to invite more mugging. Hold folks accountable for their actions. Hold them with their own words. Their own votes.

    When you get support from the AFA, who thought that Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, who was just awarded the Medal of Honor, as being too feminized, hit them with it.  When Pat Robertson goes and complains about dirty Mooslims, then ask him if that applies to serving Muslims in our Army.


    That will get the electorate back. Show some balls, and hit back, and not politely, and then hit them for whining about it.  Show the billionaires who are lining up in favor of more taxes voluntarily. Show folks working like hell to make their communities better, show the small business owners who will benefit.

    Hit them back, and hit them with the people that the policies will hurt. And give them voice. That’s the only way that the GOP is going to be hurt. Let them attack small business owners. Let them be seen attacking small business owners. Let them be seen attacking soldiers. And save that footage, and let the DNC run with it.

    Hit the asshats where it hurts, and smile while you do it. Otherwise, it will be ugly next election.  Help run the asshats out, and maybe we can get some folks in who aren’t stone cold crazy or so disconnected from integrity and the truth that it doesn’t even occur to them to try the truth.  

  2. this bloody well staggered me!

    Despite a stubbornly sour national economy congressional members’ personal wealth collectively increased by more than 16 percent between 2008 and 2009, according to a new study by the Center for Responsive Politics of federal financial disclosures released earlier this year.

    And while some members’ financial portfolios lost value, no need to bemoan most lawmakers’ financial lot: Nearly half of them — 261 — are millionaires, a slight increase from the previous year, the Center’s study finds.

    You’re kidding. HALF your reps are millionaires? An economic group representing 1 per cent of the population or less, account for 50% of your legislators?

    I’m assuming that number is too great to be accounted for by previous jobs. The only assumption I can make is that becoming a politician makes you rich!

    This is verging on Banana Republic style corruption

  3. LotusBloom

    the time to have “taken on the banks” was when their balance sheets were a mess.  The logical, and also the politically expedient thing, to have done then was to wipe out the bondholders and shareholders.

    But, that option was ruled out very early during this administration


    You cannot take on the banks when the banks are healthy.  The fact that the banks are healthy because you just gave them a whole bunch of free money (your chosen strategy to make them healthy) is not relevant.

  4. HappyinVT

    I’m not sure the messaging war hasn’t already been lost.  No one is talking about how bad things would have been without government intervention.  People voted for Republicans when not one of them offered any solution other than the very things that got us into this position in the first place.

    The administration did a poor job laying out the economic case for healthcare reform and look unengaged in creative jobs creation.  The national media (afaik) is not talking about how the governors-elect of WI and OH have already promised to cost their states jobs by planning to cancel the high-speed rail projects.  One of the WI newspapers that endorsed the Republican candidate has picked the story up and is, somehow, surprised by the guy’s actions.

    Who knows that Republicans are, just in time for the holidays, blocking an extension of unemployment benefits?

    The whole thing is frustrating.


    that these tax cuts are for “job creators”.  What bullshit!

    Let’s say you or I manufacture toasters.  Under which scenario would we expand our plant and/or hire more workers?

    1.  We get a bunch of cash back on our taxes.


    2.  The demand for toasters goes up.

    I don’t care how much money we have in our pockets, we aren’t going to expand our toaster empire unless we can’t keep up with the demand for our toasters.

    I used this example to my Republican brother who said, “Rich people buy toasters too.”  Yep, he said that.  I had to explain to him that the top 2% of earners only buy 2% of the toasters, no matter how low their taxes are.

    btw: Republican brother is a CPA.  Goes to show accountants aren’t necessarily good economists.

  6. creamer

      It would be interesting to know how much of their wealth is invested in finacial services.

     Great stuff in this diary. Very informative. I’m just not sure who would lead this populist movement to restructure the U.S.(world) banking system. There is zero political will in this country to do so. The debt commision initial talking points are being met with opposition from both sides.(On a plan that really leans conservative.)

     If Obama walked down this road I would walk with him, but I think we would be walking into the political wilderness. If you bring in Bloomberg, Romney and Palin maybe you get somwhere but how likely does that seem. Total restructuring of the U.S. finacial system is an  assault on the existing power structure, somthing our masters would not accept lying down.

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