“Disgust” as Political Motivator

December 3rd, 2013 at 1:38 pm

So, nu?  There’s maybe a bissel budget deal in the offing?

Let me get this straight:

–Sen. Murray and Rep. Ryan may actually agree on a budget, i.e., top line discretionary spending numbers, that shaves a bit off of the mindless 2014/15 sequester cuts?

–The healthcare.gov website is on the mend—not perfect, but much better.

–Speaker Boehner, as per the link above, is solidly on record against another shutdown; Sen. Cruz is nowhere in sight.

Must one pinch oneself?  Is Dysfunction Junction applying for a name change?  Is this the beginning of some sort of turnabout?

Surely not, but instead of the usual “everything’s as bad as ever, don’t be fooled!” let’s contemplate one aspect of this (briefly, as I’m on the road, scrunched in an airplane seat that would be a tight fit for a four-year old; btw, here’s a thought: you can’t lean your seat back in coach!  Sorry, but unless I’m your dentist, it just doesn’t work).

That aspect is not pretty, I grant you, but it is: disgust.  Polls quite clearly reveal that most people, even if they’re not paying that much attention, have pretty much come to loathe the DC dysfunction act.  Yes, there’s a minority that feels differently, but as I said, the Cruz contingent is absent, at least for now.  Most grownups—even most kids—tend to do what’s expected of them a good bit of the time.  We generally do our job and we don’t like to see our electeds or anyone else not do theirs.

Now, you can’t rebuild a great nation on disgust and loathing alone, but it’s a start.  People, and I include many politicians, will generally rise to the level of expectations.  The majority of the electorate expects the Congress to do a better job of working together and there’s some preliminary, partial evidence that they might be doing so—and yes, there are multiple hedges in that sentence.

So, no Kumbaya; for the foreseeable future I will have lots of opponents with whom to wrangle on cable news.  But stay tuned.  There may be a pinprick of light here.

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2 comments in reply to "“Disgust” as Political Motivator"

  1. Fred Donaldson says:

    Who are best served by most Americans being disgusted by government? Answer: the ideological opponents of government.

    Majority rule by all the people threatens any change to private rule by the elite few, and the few and powerful are wise if they dilute our enthusiasm for democracy and stifle our support for public governance. They will fill the vacuum that they have created – with themselves – governance by some vaunted Plutocrats United.

  2. urban legend says:

    Disgust unfortunately depresses turnout — as we have seen for at least the last 30-plus years when we were told to nod our heads at the words, “Government is the problem.” Accordingly, disgust favors Republicans. Democrats need to find a way to square the circle, turn that disgust entirely against Republicans, and convince the public that only their vote can trump control of the politicians by billionaires. They need to understand that politicians need two things, money and votes. If they check out and refuse to vote, they concede total control of the government to money. Traditional get-out-the-vote efforts without a galvanizing message will not do the job.