"You left poor Behemoth, betraying him for a glass of brandy -- though it was very good brandy!"

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

  Political Taboos, the Series: Introduction

[Reposted from my diary at Daily Kos]

For some time now I have been scheming (but not producing, dilettante that I am) to write a series of essays concerning political taboos – that is, issues that will or can not be debated within the current parameters of American political discourse. Most of the energy on dKos and other liberal blogs is rightly devoted to criticizing the current administration and other powers that be and figuring out how we can help rid our country of the various debacles they have foisted upon us. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a place for dreaming and for suggesting how the discourse could be shifted.

Let me be clear that my planned analyses are in no way intended to be directly critical of the Democratic Party for not taking up these issues. Most if not all of them are politically impossible at the current time and any effort to broach them directly right now would be both suicidal and ineffective. Politics is, of course, the art of the possible, and in my extremely humble opinion the basic flaw of the Naderite movement is in not recognizing that this is the case (or, to be less charitable, willfully ignoring this fact). But at the same time this does not prohibit those of us who represent no one but ourselves from discussing them and, where possible, developing strategies for helping to change the parameters. Eventually it is through the burgeoning liberal echo chamber, of which this blog [that is, meaning Daily Kos of course] represents one increasingly important part (and this diary one miniscule part), that we can begin to change the discourse itself.

The entries I have planned so far run the gamut from utter political impossibilities (the replacement of the electoral college with direct presidential voting) to the unlikely (the abolition of agricultural subsidies) to the potentially viable, if approached in the right way (a concerted effort to shift attention from cutting progressive income taxes to cutting regressive payroll taxes). I welcome suggestions from the rest of y'all and will take them up if and when I can – but better yet, I welcome entries in the Kos diaries from others. I will post first at DailyKos and then repost my and (with their authors' permission) other entries here at begemot, which perhaps can become a repository of our collective political wish list.

Now that I’ve posted this introduction and hypothetically whetted at least one or two appetites (have I?), perhaps I will overcome my dilettantism and get to work. The first post, which I hope to promise by this weekend, will be on the abolition of agricultural subsidies, on which I have gathered a good deal of research …

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