Friday, November 10, 2006

The Care and Feeding of Memes

Memes survive by reproduction: in human brains, in print, in any medium they find hospitable. And as with all reproducing creatures, there are some memes ought to be encouraged in their reproduction, for they are helpful -- in the case of memes, "helpful" means roughly "true and important". So allow me to pass on some points that others are making that deserve to be spread far and wide. Because they're important. And true.

Investigate the Electoral Cheating. Rick Perlstein: Despite the fact that the Democratic wave was too big for Republicans to cheat their way around, they did try to cheat, and this fact desperately needs to be investigated, prosecuted, reported widely and anticipated in future elections, since they'll clearly try again. (More here.) I would add: and clean and fair elections laws should be a Democratic priority; there is no more important issue than this, since failure on this means failure on every other conceivable issue. (Update: And just because they didn't cheat enough to win the House, their vote-suppression may have won them some races.)

Winning Through Conviction. Greg Sargent: We won because we stood up to the Republicans on the failures of Iraq, the horrors of torture, the illegality of warrantless wiretaps. Do not let the Republicans -- or the "sensible" pundits of the MSM -- sucker us into retreat on these matters. Stick to our guns. We are not here to enable Bush's policies on Iraq, but to try and change them.

Hold them Accountable. We must, must, must find out more about what the Republicans have been doing while in power -- prosecute the illegality to the fullest extent of the law, and hold them politically accountable for the things that are merely immoral but not illegal. Digby:
None of that means that there isn't ample room for legislation on which we can all agree. The door should always be open to those who want to negotiate and compromise. But unless the last decade of Republican mendacity, malfeasance and corruption is exposed, the lesson republicans will take from this is that they can promise everything, do anything and the only repurcussions will a couple of years out of power when they can blame the Democrats for their failures. To not require some sort of accountability for this is a very serious moral hazard.
And, unsurprisingly, Glenn Greenwald is also all over this; see for example this and this. Corruption was a big issue this election; we need to clean out the Augean stables. It's our mandate. (And it should go without saying that the first step is not to let them pour any more filth in.)

(More to come, FSM willing. (Update: yep.))

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