Americans are grossly undertaxed.
How do I know this?
Because there is still enough loose, stupid money out there to fund politically-impotent, boutique, Centrist Civility Tone Police scams like these:
The Centrist Project
The Niskanen Center for Doing Centrism Stuff
The Bulwark (Formerly The Weekly Standard but we'd appreciate it if you'd not mention that.)
The Howard-Schultz-to-Steve-Schmidt Fund Transfer Project
Political vanity projects which exist to serve a tiny, craven demographic sliver whose moral palette has been so bastardized by years of gorging on Both Sides Do It political propaganda that they still can't quite make up their mind whether to vote for the party that wants to make sure people have access to affordable health care...
...or the party that puts babies in cages.
Oh won't someone please help them split the difference!
And because "gullible people with too much money" draw grifters like "zombies bobbing for turds" draws flies, today yet another contender has elbowed its way into this already wildly over-saturated, over-capitalized, over-hyped marketplace of politically-impotent, boutique, Centrist Civility Tone Police scams.
Presenting "Purple: Project for Democracy":
Purple is a non-partisan coalition, campaign and movement. We span the breadth of American society to rediscover and recommit to our democratic values and institutions.
Yes, Purple brings together the finest minds of the 1970s to pretend that the past 40 years of Republican failure, sedition, corruption, fanaticism, rage and racism never fking happened. Because if only one party is actually out of its fking mind and has been for decades -- if only one party bears the overwhelming share of responsibility for most of what is broken in our political, media and culture -- then the Both Siderists would be fked. They'd be forced to pick a side. Make a stand. To actually do something. And they would rather pull their own heads off than do that.
Instead they want to cower in the Imaginary Middle and bitch about civility and society and tribalism and "the culture" and every other accountability-deflecting conjure-word the Beltway media has taught them to recite in times of crisis.
So what has Purple done to Save Democracy so far?
Well, so far it has gotten this glowing op-ed from NPR's Bob Garfield placed in USA Today. Which, to be fair, is more than I have ever done.
When celebrating July 4th this week, remember that democracy is a core principle
But here's the thing. If you search the article you will find all kinds of empty, glowing paragraphs praising Goodness and Civility and empty, dire paragraphs warning about our Existential Crisis, and yet not one mention what exactly has caused that Existential Crisis. In the Purple world, there are no political parties which believe specific things and have actual, documented histories. Republicans are never mentioned. Neither is Donald Trump, nor is Mitch McConnell. Fox News doesn't exist either.
Which comes across as the rankest kind of ahistorical cowardice -- like reading an article about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln which never mentions John Wilkes Booth.
So instead of any attempt to begin a serious, adult discussion of how we got to where we are and how to get us out of it, you'll find pablum this:
This existential crisis isn’t about scandal or political conflict. It’s about hearts and minds...
Let’s create a brand for civic understanding and engagement, embracing all of the countless institutions with a dog in the democracy fight. Let’s put it in magazines and newspapers, TV shows and podcasts, country songs and video games. And, of course, classrooms everywhere.
Purple Project for Democracy, which has zero to do with politics and everything to do with American hearts and minds. It’s a rising purple tide to lift all democracy ships...
Of course, the greatest threat to scams like this is not a nobody blogger like me getting up on my tiny soapbox and shouting into the abyss.
The greatest threat to them is history. Specifically, the existence of the Obama administration.
The existence of President Obama obliterates every idiotic fairy tale the Both Siderist want to sell to the gullible chumps they hope will queue up to buy their wares.
There is simply no way to reconcile their theory of the case -- that " [t]his existential crisis isn’t about scandal or political conflict" -- with the fact that Democrats twice elected a formidably intelligent, fundamentally decent, calm and humane president who reached out to Republicans to a fault, no matter how ruthlessly they slandered him, how scurrilously they attacked his family and no matter how relentlessly they sabotaged anything he tried to accomplish, even when it means filibustering their own bills.
There is simply no way to reconcile their diagnosis of what ails us -- that "[i]t’s about hearts and minds..." -- with the fact that Republicans reacted to every overture from President Obama by telling him to go pound sand, and then nominating and electing the King of the Birthers.
And since Both Siderists cannot reconcile the facts of history with the myth they're selling, they simply ignore history in the sure and certain knowledge that their many collaborators and co-conspirators in the media are just as anxious as they are to avoid talking about painful truths that will definitely hurt the delicate fee-fees of at least 30% of this country.
Both Siderists desperately want to skip over the serious and necessary surgery this country needs in order to survive and get right to the Capraesque ending where they wheel a cheerfully recuperating American into a recovery room full of flowers and "Best Wishes" cards and grateful allies and family members.
And that is not how we will save our republic.
Republished with permission from Driftglass: "The Riders of the Purple Wage"