Friday, January 02, 2015

Scattershooting -- resolutions

-- Mario Cuomo's passing is being properly eulogized by many; I can still see his keynote address at the DNC in 1984 as his defining, thrust-onto-the-national-stage moment, but what I seem to recall the clearest is his declining to run for president in 1992.  And what I remember is being disappointed.  I was just coming out of my own Republican darkness after more than ten years of supporting Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush, the shock and disgust of Iran-contra, the noticeable feeble-mindedness of the old actor, followed subsequently by the disastrous Mondale '84 and Dukakis '88 campaigns.  (For the record, and out of sheer revulsion for the ineptitude for the Democratic nominees, I was still a Reagan Democrat at this time.  I voted both for RWR twice and GHWB the first time.  I take full responsibility for my errors, and have since resolved never to make those mistakes again.)

I am certain now that the seed of dissatisfaction with the two political parties I hold today was germinated in that environment.  And when Cuomo bailed in December of '91 -- see, we used to wait a year after the midterms before launching ourselves into the next round of presidential mock drafts -- the Democrats panicked.  Bush the Elder was winning a war with Iraq (so we all thought), his approval ratings were 89%, and no one of seeming consequence really wanted to be the lamb at that altar.  This was before anyone outside of Arkansas knew much of anything about a fellow named Clinton beyond an ignominous DNC keynote four years earlier.  The frontrunners in '92 post-Cuomo were Tom Harkin, Paul Tsongas, and Jerry Brown, all of whom were well to the left of the eventual nominee.  Thus goes history.  National Democrats simply couldn't unite behind a progressive, and a centrist moderate won the prize.  See any parallels?

Another declination during Clinton's term led to the Notorious RBG landing on the SCOTUS.  So in my book, Mario Cuomo is much more famous for what he did not do than for what he did.

-- Via Charles, Battleground Texas and by natural extension Wendy Davis get the Texas Monthly treatment from the Texas Observer.  Spleens are still full of bile, still being vented.  This is likely to go on for some time.  I'm thankful I don't have to participate in the piranhas gnashing themselves to feel better about the 2014 debacle.

-- Syrian and Iraqi refugees are crowding on to leaking rustbuckets headed for Italy -- arrangements made by human traffickers -- to escape the Islamist civil wars being waged in those countries.  Germany's Angela Merkel recently pleaded with her citizens to disavow the growing hatred of fleeing Muslim immigrants.  See any comparisons?

-- In ten years, Cuba might end up looking much like Puerto Rico today.  Is that a good thing?  One excerpt:

The advent of Obam-apertura, the great “opening” that the U.S. neoliberal narrative holds as a form of liberation for a suffering people, is also something its internal corporate banking cabal sees as a way to recapture a lost market.  [...] the opening creates the possibility of a sudden windfall of previously unexploited consumers and a workforce accustomed to even lower wages that are foisted on places like Mexico, India, and Vietnam. For an American economy that has been largely stagnant—aside from a recent spurt sparked by falling gas prices and temporary holiday season hires—the opening up of Cuba has the look of a last-ditch opportunity to stave off looming worldwide economic disaster.


Gadfly said...

Nice Observer piece. That said, if Davis makes good on her threat (sic) to run again, the venting of spleens will start all over.


Puerto Rico? Boy, it cratered even more than the mainland US during the Great Recession.

Unknown said...

What a fantastic thinker and speaker, though. Even though I hadn't heard much from Cuomo for many years, it made me sad to hear he'd passed.

PDiddie said...

K: Yeah, I liked Cuomo a lot, but he earned that nickname ("Hamlet on the Hudson"). People swooned when he spoke and then he'd leave 'em high and dry. The tease he kept going all the time without consummation...

Okay that's a little sexualized so I'll stop.

G: I've been to PR and really enjoyed it. It reminds of less whiter version of Miami. So I disappointed that the author has such condemnation for what it has become. His descriptions of its exploitation are hardly unique in American history. Maybe I'm just discouraged in my own attempts to slow down the relentless assault of capitalism.