As long as our country has Gail Collins, Rachel Maddow and Elizabeth Warren, I can clutch a tiny bit of hope in my wrinkly, age spotted hands.
Truthfully, I’ve given up looking for the next progressive era. In the 20th century, our society swung back and forth from conservative to progressive times as regularly as the big old clock in the White House hallway. During the 1920’s, 50’s and 80’s we took a step back to figure out how to incorporate all the progressive changes from the previous years. According to this cycles theory, the 1990s and early 2000’s should have seen a burst of new laws and programs to extend and improve on the progress made earlier.
But times had changed by the end of the “American century,” and another giant leap forward was not in the cards. Michele Bachman is crowing now about how the tea party destruction of Obamacare is their historic opportunity to bury liberalism forever. Given all the cuts to programs that help the poor, the Affordable Care Act may be the only survivor of the right wing, corporate funded attacks on American families.
But all is not lost. Better late than never. Every revolution needs a whole slew of different talents. First, someone has to distract us from the pity party we so much enjoy. Gail Collins does this with pin prick humor. Then we need the ‘splainer. No one can teach us what we need to know better than Rachel Maddow. OMG – charts, maps, historical lessons. Who knew that the number of federal judgeships was evenly divided between those appointed by Republican presidents and those appointed by Democratic presidents? And that there are 93 vacancies? We would never get that kind of background – that very important information – from lamestream media. So now we know why the whole confirmation of judges thing in the Senate is such a big deal.
Once our attention has been diverted away from all the terrible news, and the cloud of doom has been lifted from us, we need a charismatic leader to inspire us to crawl out of our protective cocoons. Elizabeth Warren has the right combination of talents and the sincere desire to make life better for the 98% of us not part of the robber baron class.
So time will tell. Harry Reid finally got enough support in the Senate to change the filibuster rules. Rachel Maddow says this is “a really big deal.” I’ve been pretty hard on old Harry from time to time. I’ll call his office today and thank him for finally bringing the hammer down on Republican obstructionism.
But the good old boys’ time is about up. The times they are a changin’. Economic populism is in the ascendancy. We can never go back to the days of Camelot, but we can pull ourselves together for the next reimagining of what a fair and just society looks like. Let’s do it.