Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Zeitgeist: "Cornel West Predicts Fight for Entitlements in 'the Streets'" (and how it ties in to Presidential politics)

If you do a Google search for -make ungovernable- (no quotes) you'll see that it's recent use as a political term is most common in Africa. On the first couple page of hits you'll find Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana with LDC's in other hemispheres also represented.
It's also starting to pop up in the developed world, here's a British anarchist website back in March:
To fight the cuts, make the country ungovernable
The thinking has a long informal history, though some intellectual heft was afforded to it, in the context of actual poverty, with the 1966 with the publication by The Nation of "The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty".

I've mentioned the Cloward-Piven Strategy a few time and probably will again.
At it's base the strategy requires pigeonholing people into groups and classes to divide and sub-divide the populace, the intellectually laziest criteria being race. I'l have some links after the jump.
From The Root:

Cornel West Predicts Fight for Entitlements in 'the Streets'
Cornel West (Getty Images)
In an appearance on MSNBC, Princeton professor Cornel West said that there may be more civil disobedience as more people become frustrated by the poverty rate, especially as it relates to children. Read the transcript from Real Clear Politics:

"I think the problem is that the poor children, keep in mind it's 42% of poor children who live at or near poverty, it's 25% in poverty. Our audience needs to keep that in mind," West said on MSNBC this afternoon.

"Poor children need more than just a $1,000 for their family, they need a war against poverty to make it a major priority in the way which we have a priority for Afghanistan, and a priority to bail out banks, and a priority to defend corporate interests when it comes to environmental issues," West said about more and new entitlements for the poor.

West didn't just call for another war on poverty (the first war was fought by Lyndon B. Johnson), but went on to say that the push for more entitlements "is going to be fought in the streets." West showered the Occupy movement with praise for making people aware of the issue...MORE
Here are a few commentaries on the 2012 presidential race. From the New York Times' Campaign Stops blog, November 27, 2011:
The Future of the Obama Coalition
For decades, Democrats have suffered continuous and increasingly severe losses among white voters. But preparations by Democratic operatives for the 2012 election make it clear for the first time that the party will explicitly abandon the white working class.

All pretense of trying to win a majority of the white working class has been effectively jettisoned in favor of cementing a center-left coalition made up, on the one hand, of voters who have gotten ahead on the basis of educational attainment — professors, artists, designers, editors, human resources managers, lawyers, librarians, social workers, teachers and therapists — and a second, substantial constituency of lower-income voters who are disproportionately African-American and Hispanic.

It is instructive to trace the evolution of a political strategy based on securing this coalition in the writings and comments, over time, of such Democratic analysts as Stanley Greenberg and Ruy Teixeira. Both men were initially determined to win back the white working-class majority, but both currently advocate a revised Democratic alliance in which whites without college degrees are effectively replaced by well-educated socially liberal whites in alliance with the growing ranks of less affluent minority voters, especially Hispanics.
The 2012 approach treats white voters without college degrees as an unattainable cohort. The Democratic goal with these voters is to keep Republican winning margins to manageable levels, in the 12 to 15 percent range, as opposed to the 30-point margin of 2010 — a level at which even solid wins among minorities and other constituencies are not enough to produce Democratic victories....MORE
From The Center For Americaqn Progress:
November 2011
The Path to 270
Demographics versus Economics in the 2012 Presidential Election
(68 page PDF)

Finally from National Journal, November 15, 2011:
Obama’s Choice: Ohio or Virginia 
The president needs white working-class voters in the Rust Belt and upscale professionals in swing states. Can he woo both? 
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has been parodied for changing his positions over his political career. But when it comes to devising an election strategy for 2012, President Obama is the candidate at risk of being seen as a waffler.

The president’s advisers are stuck between pursuing two distinctly different strategies and two very different kinds of voters, each of which is crucial to his reelection. The first is an “Ohio strategy,” which means adopting an aggressively populist message to win back blue-collar voters in Rust Belt states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The second is a “Virginia strategy,” which would emphasize a more centrist message aimed at upscale white-collar professionals and college-educated suburbanites. The Virginia strategy would also appeal to voters in Colorado, Nevada, and North Carolina, and would probably be bolstered by a mobilization of young voters and minority groups, who make up a significant share of the electorate in those states....MORE
So there you have it,a framework to hang things on as the next year unfolds.
In twelve months we'll see if it's an objective analysis or just projection on my part of a radical youth.
In the meantime, stop me if you've heard this, Two politicians walk into a bar...