Fall of the Rovean empire?

For 30 years, beginning with the Nixon presidency, advanced under Reagan, stalled with the elder Bush, a new political economy struggled to be born. The idea was pure and simple: centralization of power in the hands of the Republican Party would ensure that it never lost it again. Under George W. Bush, this new system reached its apotheosis. It is a radically novel social, political and economic formation that deserves study alongside capitalism and socialism. Neither Adam Smith nor Vladimir Lenin captures its essence, though it has far more elements of Leninist democratic-centralism than Smithian free markets. Some have referred to this model as crony capitalism; others compare the waste, extravagance and greed to the Gilded Age. Call it 21st century Republicanism.

From a great article on Salon about Rove and the end of this bleak era in American history.

While some people may insist on being cheerleaders for the GOP, the facts don’t support them. The top 1% are the only ones doing better, according to the IRS. For the other 99%, wages have not kept pace with inflation. We as a nation are getter poorer while the GOP Feudalists have become wealthier. Debt is out of control. We are losing a war.

Now that Karl Rove, DeLay and Abramoff are under investigation, the movement is finally coming undone. So what comes next?

“It’s not an entitlement politics,” says David Axelrod, a consultant to Spitzer’s 2002 re-election campaign. “It’s a fairness politics, a let everyone compete on the same playing field politics.”

Spitzer is part of the new progressive movement that gets past the big/small government paradigm and looks to a government that works to be FARE. Frugal, Accessible, Responsible and Efficient.

Things are starting to look good for 2006. While I expect Spitzer to be a target of the Right Wing Feudalists like Grover Norquist, I think momentium is finally on the side of the people again.

christopher hitchens on imperialism

Christopher Hitchens is a right wing pundit that annoys me to no end. Not because his arguments are flawed, but because they are so well thought out and so damn convincing. Case in point

East Timor was for many years, and quite rightly, a signature cause of the Noam Chomsky “left.” The near-genocide of its people is an eternal stain on Indonesia and on the Western states that were complicit or silent. Yet Bin Ladenism wants not less of this killing and repression but more. Its demand to re-establish the caliphate is a pro-imperialist demand, not an anti-imperialist one.

His argument is that the al-Qaida goal of the re-establishment of the caliphate is, at its core, imperialist in nature. This is intriguing to say the least. In addition, it does more to explain why al-Qaida support comes not from the poorest in the Arab world, but the middle class. But I am still not sure that western imperialism isn’t a factor in the rise of Caliphate imperialism. Why would this be a zero-sum game? Why wouldn’t western imperialism convince otherwise neutral Muslims of the need for an Islamist empire?