Perhaps the key difference between Republicans and Democrats at the moment is that Republicans want to make America even shittier for people who aren’t rich white straight Christian males, while Democrats feel that we’re at about the right level of shittiness right here. The notion that America could perhaps be made not shitty for the majority of Americans is an idea that appears to have died sometime in the 70s. “A chicken in every pot” has transformed into “well, sorry you weren’t born rich, but we really do admire all the backbreaking work you do for less than a living wage!”
This is what passes for Democratic rhetoric in 2012:
The bad news is that as emotionally compelling as many of the speeches were tonight, the key themes almost all centered around equal access to opportunity. Over and over again, the theme was that success should be available to those who work hard. Michelle Obama celebrated her father who went to work every day despite physically devastating illness just to pay for her college education, and even took out loans to make it happen. She said that it mattered less how much you made, and more how hard you worked.
And all I could do at certain points was sigh and shake my head.
Last night at the Democratic convention, Michelle Obama defined “the very best of the American spirit” as “teachers in a near-bankrupt school district who vowed to keep teaching without pay.”
Why are we celebrating that teachers are willing to work without pay in a near-bankrupt school district, instead of questioning why a school district in a nation with a GDP of $15 trillion has been allowed to descend to the brink of bankruptcy? Why are we praising a state of affairs in which employees, with no alternatives left to them, will allow their employers to run roughshod over them? Why are megabanks deemed so essential to our country that hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money is handed to them when they nearly destroy themselves, but school districts are left floundering? And why isn’t Michelle Obama asking these questions instead of praising the teachers who are being asked to work without pay while Jamie Dimon takes home a $23 million paycheck as CEO of a bank that is posting record profits a mere five years after nearly destroying the economy?
Obama is spitting all over the Wisconsin teachers who were willing to stand up against this plutocratic arrangement—teachers who received no assistance from the national Dems even as Republican money poured in to support Governor Walker’s campaign of suppression—when she ignores them and instead praises the teachers who keep their heads down in the face of such injustice.
This is the party workers and disadvantaged people used to look to to protect their interests, and now the best they can muster for workers is, “We know you’re working longer hours for worse benefits, if you’re lucky enough to have a job at all. Keep it up!”
The real message coming from the Democrats this year is: get used to this. It’s not going to get better. And if they have their way, it certainly isn’t.