I've been watching the liberal/progressive (or whatever they are called in the parlance of our times) bloggers having a bit of a freakout over the end of the Sequester for airline travelers while keeping Sequester firmly in place for the poor, the unemployed, university students on financial assistance, the elderly, etc. (for just one of many examples, see this post). Look, I'm sure a few will even try to spin this to be a positive (you know, all that brilliant 11 dimensional chess malarkey), but the reality is that austerity will remain in place for the vast majority of us with regard to the vast majority of basic services, and that we will be dealing with that austerity for some time to come. If you didn't believe Gil Scott-Heron back in the 1970s when he proclaimed it "Winter in America", well, what can I say? There is a chill in the air, my friends. Winter's going to be with us. You know which way the wind is blowing.
Why those most loyal to the Democratic Party get surprised by any of this is quite frankly surprising to me. The party has always been a capitalist party, although up until about the 1980s was one that acknowledged a need to keep capitalism on a fairly short leash. However, since the 1980s, the party's loyalties have become split between its labor base on the one hand and its corporate sponsors on the other hand. A Brief History of Neoliberalism by David Harvey provides a reasonably good treatment of the Democratic Party's transformation during that period to the present, and the implication of that transformation for those who value the New Deal and Great Society programs that the current party had inherited. In essence, the neoliberal incarnation of the Democratic Party is one that will perpetually disappoint it liberal base. If it weren't for the GOP's fixation with the most backward elements of American society, we'd be in an era of "permanent" GOP majorities. It appears we'll be spared that particular fate, but instead will be dealt one in which the Dems carry the GOP's water on economic matters while throwing us a few bones on matters of social issues (and then rather reluctantly).
And as I write this, many continue to silently suffer. I suppose it would be too much to ask for something resembling an organized and disciplined Left. The timing would be perfect for such an entity. But hey, those business travelers won't have to deal with inconvenient delays as they do the bidding of their various and sundry corporate masters - and that's all that matters. Let's pop open the bubbly. Might as well get tanked. It's going to be a long winter, indeed.