Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A New Post-Season Reality

As we noted yesterday, with the Super Bowl over, one of America's most dominating diversions is officially done for a few months. For some football-addicted Americans, that means today may be the saddest day of the year.

The good news is that now that football season's over, more Americans might be able to wake up and notice that politics in America have really been changing rapidly over the past seven months. Admittedly, some problems - like heavily slanted media - are still right where they've been for years, a fact that was blindingly obvious during the pre-Super Bowl interview of President Obama by Fox's resident bully-in-chief, Bill O'Reilly.

As Dana Milbank pointed out on Monday, during the brief interview, O'Reilly was rude and hostile towards President Obama. This time, however, President Obama displayed the strength of character we hope to see a lot more of from all progressives and liberals this year. The President even called out O'Reilly and Fox as one of the causes of divisiveness and misinformation in American politics today.

In a nutshell, Americans on the political left are beginning to stand together more often, and to stand up to the bullies on the right - and when they do so, they're winning.

From the hard-nosed campaign being waged against Republican incumbent Sen. Mitch McConnell by progressive Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, to the anti-Keystone movement, to the way those on the left are rallying around Sen. Harry Reid's refusal to fast-track some very bad trade proposals, Democrats - led by the progressive left - are rapidly gaining in political courage as they unite. As Ed Kilgore of Washington Monthly noted, that kind of unity isn't without some minor individual differences of opinion - differences that more desperate media outlets will try to exploit to claim a false equivalence for Democrats to the ongoing GOP civil war.

Even with such false eqivalence, the rising political power and self-assurance on the left has been unmistakable - and seems to be matched by ever-shrinking levels of assurance, unity, and certainty on the right.

House Republicans, who've tried to take the nation hostage, politically, numerous times over the last few years, can't even agree on what political item to try and hold ransom for the debt ceiling this time. Even if those Republicans can agree to a demand, polls seem to be showing that Americans may have finally awakened, and look to place the blame on Republicans if they do try to hold the nation hostage another time.

As Steve Benen pointed out on Monday, Americans also seem to finally be seeing Republican politicians' lame attempts at finding "common ground" for what they really are - no real attempt to compromise at all.

That doesn't mean every person or organization that tends to side with the left has found their backbone yet. As 'The American Prospect's' Paul Waldman pointed out Monday, MSNBC's Phil Griffin is still willing to grovel and pander to many on the right, even if many of his evening and weekend hosts no longer are.

Greg Sargent also pointed out a piece on Monday from National Journal's Peter Beinart that may explain some of the major shifts and changes happening in America - though we don't tend to agree with Beinart that "American exceptionalism" is ending.

What we are noticing seems to be the beginning of the end of the view that Americans who lean left politically are weak, and the beginning of strong, focused progressives pushing back, and pushing America forward.

Imagine what Americans might discover if they weren't so distracted so much of the year.

No comments:

Post a Comment