We've got an election coming up in this country next week, though, and The Big Picture matters, especially with Big Media so happily wedded to Big Stupidity these days.
Let's lead off with Senator Al "won by 312 votes" Franken's reminder that every vote counts. Even yours. That's right, you. He also opines:
The month Barack Obama was sworn in we lost 750,000 jobs in this country. With all due respect to the President, I think his analogy that the economy was a car in a ditch when he took office is just a little too static. Here's my analogy, which, in my opinion, is both more kinetic and, frankly, far more accurate.
When the President took office, not only had the car gone into a ditch, the car had flipped over and was rolling down a steep embankment. We, the American people, were in the back seat, and the Bush Administration had removed all the seat belts, so we were all flying around the interior of this car as it was rolling and flipping and careening down this steep embankment, headed to a 2,000 foot cliff. And at the bottom of that cliff were jagged rocks. And alligators.
Now, at noon on January 20th, 2009, as the car was careening toward the cliff, George W. Bush jumped out of the car.
President Obama somehow managed to dive in through the window, take the wheel and get control of the thing just inches before it went over the precipice. Then, he and Congress starting pushing this wreck back up the embankment. Now you can't push a car up an embankment as fast as it careens down the embankment, especially if some people are trying to push against you. But we got it going in the right direction. And slowly we've gotten ourselves up the embankment, out of the ditch and onto the shoulder of the road.
[Italics mine ... and I confess I'm not quite as optimistic as Sen. Franken that we're quite "up the embankment" yet. Then again, I count things like "war without end" and "condoning torture" as part of the mud on the slippery slope.]
To expand the "every vote counts" theme into one of Solidarity, velvetpage gives a concrete example from this week's Canadian elections:
Toronto: the vote on the left was split several ways, while the vote on the right was concentrated on one right-wing ideologue who got the ear of the suburbs by promising an end to corruption and a drastic reduction in social services that the suburbs use less anyway. Want to know how it is that a country where most people lean to the left of centre manages to keep electing these clowns? Here's how: there are so many good ideas and decent people on the left that people can't settle on just one, and with a first-past-the-post system, it means the right-wing guy with less than a majority often comes up from behind.
And with the preliminaries out of the way, some Quick Links:
- Eight False Things The Public “Knows” Prior To Election Day. Forget "statistics"; these are lies, damned lies, and sh*t with absolutely no basis in reality whatsoever.
- Invasion of the Brain-Devouring Platitudes. Another list of "commonly accepted" sound bytes that fall apart with even a modicum of historical context.
- More historical context, this time about the Tea Party and its ancestors. Same shtick, different decade; the only difference is that this generation is so fired up agin' Big Gummint that they're demanding the "freedom" to be serfs to the rich.
- And finally, a reminder: No two sources agree just what the early voter counts really mean. It seems evident, though, that fears of a "voter gap" between frenzied Tea Party wonks and discouraged Progressives may be Greatly Exaggerated. Want to make sure of that? Then get the hell out and vote!
Thanks to Mark Evanier, velvetpage, and most especially pseudomanitou for links and leads. Seriously, folks, pseudomanitou's LJ is the best Progressive News Aggregator I've encountered. I have a lot of news feeds, but PM's news posts put all the best stuff in one place.