Left-wing populist party wins huge in Scotland

Democrats, you want to win big? Here’s how. The Scottish National Party just destroyed Labour, Lib Dems, and the Conservatives and now hold a majority in the Scottish Parliament. They didn’t do this by constantly caving in to right-wing agendas. They did it by being unabashedly left-wing and populist.

Steve Hynd, who is Scottish, explains two reasons why the political earthquake that just hit Scotland matters.

The first is that a truly left-wing and populist party didn’t have to move to the right to get votes – and left the faux-left and the further-right in their dust. Every progressive and lefty in the world should be looking to Britain right now and asking “how do we do that?” The second is that, in less than five years, there will be a referendum which could mean the end of the 300 year old United Kingdom of Great Britain – potentially a massive shakeup for American foreign policy which for decades has relied on the UK, and Scotland in particular, as the “unsinkable aircraft carrier” on the Northern flank of NATO in Europe.

The SNP is pro-independence and anti-nuclear. Were Scotland to become independent there would be no US or Brit nuclear weapons or nuclear subs allowed. Scottish independence would also probably insure the Conservatives become the majority in Britain as well as upsetting the balance of power in the EU.

Full disclosure – I’ve voted SNP my entire life. I’m convinced that an independent and leftist Scotland is best for Scots. I’m just not entirely sure that the ripple effects from that are going to be good for the rest of you.

The SNP just showed lefties that they can win and showed us how to do it. Let’s learn from them and adopt their tactics.

Populism is coming to the USA

Populism has re-ignited back where it started over one hundred years ago, in the heartland, now in states like Wisconsin and Indiana.

Thousands gather at Indiana Statehouse for labor rally

Leo Gerard, international president of the United Steelworkers. said that corporate America started a war on unions. “We’re going to kick their ass,” Gerard said.

The Populist Party of the 1890’s was Midwest farmers who banded together because they were losing their farms to thieving banks and being gouged by predatory crop speculators.

What were seeing now is much more populist than it is left vs. right. Good. Because populism aims at the right target, the elites who are plundering the country, not at each other.

Democratic governor. Democrats are elitist and gutless

The Fighting Poodles of the Democratic Party prepare to do battle against Republicans

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland

Democrats suffer from an “intellectual elitism” that prevents them from adopting the type of populist tone to relate to voters, he said. And while President Obama had made a series of monumental legislative advancements — any one of which would have been “historic” in its own right — he fails to recognize that he is being “slapped in the face” by his Republican critics.

Perhaps the real truth is that Obama is basically complicit with the Republicans. I mean, he did work with them secretly to kill a probe by Spain into war crimes by George Bush.

“I think there is a hesitancy to talk using populist language. I think it has to do with a sort of intellectual elitism that considers that kind of talk is somehow lacking in sophistication. I’m not sure where it comes from. But I think it’s there. There’s an unwillingness to draw a line in the sand.”

That says it all. The overweening arrogance and implied elitism of the mainstream Democratic Party is just killing them. People in the heartland know when they’re being condescended to and told that urban elites know what’s best for all those untutored unwashed goobers in the country who really need to STFU. Bizarrely, this approach has backfired badly for Democrats. Who would have imagined that could happen?. Plus, they never take a stand on anything so why should anyone respect them?

Strickland said he was dumbfounded at the party’s inability to sell the idea that the rates for the wealthy should be allowed to expire. “I mean, if we can’t win that argument we might as well just fold up,”

I’ll happily come to the funeral. The Democratic Party is long past its expiration date.

“I saw what CNN said after that meeting yesterday. A line saying the president said he should have been willing to work with the GOP earlier. What? After all of this you don’t realize these people want to destroy you and your agenda? How many times do you have to be, you know, slapped in the face?”

Remember, this is from a Democratic governor.

The left right paradigm is over: It’s you vs. corporations

Ritholtz sums it up well. Be sure to read the whole thing

The new dynamic, however, has moved past the old Left Right paradigm. We now live in an era defined by increasing Corporate influence and authority over the individual. These two “interest groups” – I can barely suppress snorting derisively over that phrase – have been on a headlong collision course for decades, which came to a head with the financial collapse and bailouts. Where there is massive concentrations of wealth and influence, there will be abuse of power. The Individual has been supplanted in the political process nearly entirely by corporate money, legislative influence, campaign contributions, even free speech rights.

The corporations and their politician errand boys continue to grind away individual rights as they sluice more money to the already wealthy.

For those of you who are stuck in the old Left/Right debate, you are missing the bigger picture. Consider this about the Bailouts: It was a right-winger who bailed out all of the big banks, Fannie Mae, and AIG in the first place; then his left winger successor continued to pour more money into the fire pit.

What difference did the Left/Right dynamic make? Almost none whatsoever.

If you see the world in terms of Left & Right, you really aren’t seeing the world at all

I’m thinking what we we need is a old-fashioned, American-as-apple-pie populist revolt.

On the brink of a new age of rage

Execution of Louis XVI

Simon Schama in Financial Times says unless governments quickly move to recognize the genuine and building anger of citizens over the looting of their countries by a few with resultant recessions for the many, that things could get seriously ugly, if not violent.

When Senate Republicans succeed in briefly blocking financial regulation by representing it as an infringement on liberty rather than as a measure minimally needed for the security of the commonwealth, you know the truth needs help from the Presidential Communicator-in-Chief. He is back on the stump, but as with the case for healthcare reform, his efforts are belated and cramped by misplaced obligations of civility. But if his government is to survive the November elections with a shred of authority, it will need Barack Obama to be more than a head tutor. It will need him to be a warrior of the word every bit as combative as the army of the righteous that believes it has the constitution on its side, and in its inchoate thrashings can yet bring down the governance of the American Republic.

So far, Obama has proven himself anything but a warrior for the people. He gives Wall Street most everything it wants after mouthing a few obligatory phrases of outrage (backed by little or no action.)

From the comments to the article:

Speaking as a US citizen full of sound and fury, who has been shouting fruitlessly for Obama to stand up against those who pillage, profit and brought down the economy, this article is brilliant and prescient. It should be required reading, at least on the 24/7 cable news channel crawl. Unfortunately, the Obama administration abandoned its progressive base once he was elected and let the right wing fill the vacuum created by economic distress and populist rage.

Obama too often seems aloof and cerebral, not engaged with the issues of the day. Those with a cynical view might say he was installed with big support from the banksters with the understanding that he would shovel them hundreds of billions, a job he has performed admirably indeed.

Naked Capitalism

Are the guillotines being sharpened?

Having weakened faith in government and made considerable progress towards creating a social Darwinist paradise of isolated individuals pitted against each other, the oligarchs may be about to harvest a whirlwind.