Trust us, we care: The Democrats' postmodernist narrative

Remember the stolen gubernatorial election of November 2004 in Washington State?  Seattle blogger Stephan Sharkansky got a look last week at some poll books in Democratic King County.  At the Denny Terrace polling station (a public housing project) the records show that a total of 30 machine—readable provisional ballots were illegally inserted into the AccuVote counting machine.  That is 30 out of 869 ballots cast at the polling station.  How could this happen in squeaky clean progressive Seattle?

But that is the whole idea behind the modern Democratic Party.  It fronts the party of patronage and go—along—to—get—along with the scrubbed faces of earnest high—born experts, and nowhere better than in Seattle.  Democrats believe in passing out benefits and pensions to their supporters not because they can but because it is right.  And if we can help the little people, they lecture us, why bother with a few pettifogging rules about provisional ballots?

Democrats almost had us convinced.  Should Democratic journalists pay for their libels?  Certainly not!  Should Democratic teachers be held responsible for actual educational results?  What an absurd idea!  Should Democratic city governments check up on people scamming the system?  Why pick on the little guy when Enron is getting away with murder?  Democrats are the good guys, and their hearts are in the right place.  How dare you suggest otherwise!  But counting provisional ballots without even checking?  Are you sure about that one? 

Because Democrats are the good guys, for them the rules need not apply.  But woe unto evil corporations, Republicans, and Christian fundamentalists if they break the rules!  There can be no wiggle room for crooks, racists, and bigots; they deserve whatever is coming to them.  No wonder that everyone observes the great American tradition that whenever a Democrat is caught in flagrante delicto a Republican should resign.

The idea that we should trust the Democrats because they are the good guys is what the postmodernists call a narrative, the myth that a ruling elite tells to justify its power.  Don't believe a word of such discourse, the professors of English Literature tell us. 

OK, we won't.  We understand now that the Democratic narrative about helping the little guy is just a naked bid for power. 

And the facts seem to back up the postmodernists.  Here are three stories about government and the little guy that came in over the transom in the last month.

A friend was worried about his aging mother, and her ability to look after herself at home.  Unfortunately she had substantial assets that made her ineligible to receive government 'chore' services.  But he and his siblings had gradually relieved her of her assets, and now a relative who worked for social services had shown them how to get her the taxpayer—paid services she needed. He also spoke wryly about a neighbor who had 'retired' on government industrial insurance in his forties and could now devote full time to his business.

Another friend has a son working as an apartment building manager.  He had been working to restore electricity and plumbing in his building after a fire, and had foolishly allowed a couple of troublesome friends to live there rent free.  After he had kicked them out, one of them went to the City of Seattle's Department of Design, Construction and Land Use (DCLU) and applied for relocation assistance.  It was only after they had given him a few thousand dollars that DCLU found out that the applicant had been living rent—free and was therefore not eligible to receive the assistance.

It's a great concept, and it has worked so well for so many years.  Democrats set up programs like chore services, industrial insurance, and relocation assistance as noble, compassionate initiatives that help people.  Of course, stripped of their hegemonic discourse, they are merely handing out free money to their supporters, who too often turn out to be small—time hustlers that live by scamming the system. But everyone (who matters) benefits: the recipients, their families, the government workers that hand out the benefits, the enforcement officers that cluck around looking for violators, and the Democratic politicians who gather in the provisional ballots of their loyal servitors at election time.

But should Senator Rodham Clinton (D—NY) be co—sponsoring the Democrats' Count Every Vote Act in Congress to further loosen the rules for voting?  The bill would impose Election Day voter registration on the states so that anyone could turn up at a polling station (Social Security number, drivers license, proof of citizenship not required) and cast a provisional ballot to be 'counted in the same manner as a vote cast by an eligible voter who properly registered during the regular registration period.' 

Does this really work?  A Clinton as poster—girl for 'Trust Us, We Care' voter registration? 

One day middle—class America is going to wake up and say: Enough already.  Maybe it already did.

Christopher Chantrill (mailto:chrischantrill@msn.com) blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.

Remember the stolen gubernatorial election of November 2004 in Washington State?  Seattle blogger Stephan Sharkansky got a look last week at some poll books in Democratic King County.  At the Denny Terrace polling station (a public housing project) the records show that a total of 30 machine—readable provisional ballots were illegally inserted into the AccuVote counting machine.  That is 30 out of 869 ballots cast at the polling station.  How could this happen in squeaky clean progressive Seattle?

But that is the whole idea behind the modern Democratic Party.  It fronts the party of patronage and go—along—to—get—along with the scrubbed faces of earnest high—born experts, and nowhere better than in Seattle.  Democrats believe in passing out benefits and pensions to their supporters not because they can but because it is right.  And if we can help the little people, they lecture us, why bother with a few pettifogging rules about provisional ballots?

Democrats almost had us convinced.  Should Democratic journalists pay for their libels?  Certainly not!  Should Democratic teachers be held responsible for actual educational results?  What an absurd idea!  Should Democratic city governments check up on people scamming the system?  Why pick on the little guy when Enron is getting away with murder?  Democrats are the good guys, and their hearts are in the right place.  How dare you suggest otherwise!  But counting provisional ballots without even checking?  Are you sure about that one? 

Because Democrats are the good guys, for them the rules need not apply.  But woe unto evil corporations, Republicans, and Christian fundamentalists if they break the rules!  There can be no wiggle room for crooks, racists, and bigots; they deserve whatever is coming to them.  No wonder that everyone observes the great American tradition that whenever a Democrat is caught in flagrante delicto a Republican should resign.

The idea that we should trust the Democrats because they are the good guys is what the postmodernists call a narrative, the myth that a ruling elite tells to justify its power.  Don't believe a word of such discourse, the professors of English Literature tell us. 

OK, we won't.  We understand now that the Democratic narrative about helping the little guy is just a naked bid for power. 

And the facts seem to back up the postmodernists.  Here are three stories about government and the little guy that came in over the transom in the last month.

A friend was worried about his aging mother, and her ability to look after herself at home.  Unfortunately she had substantial assets that made her ineligible to receive government 'chore' services.  But he and his siblings had gradually relieved her of her assets, and now a relative who worked for social services had shown them how to get her the taxpayer—paid services she needed. He also spoke wryly about a neighbor who had 'retired' on government industrial insurance in his forties and could now devote full time to his business.

Another friend has a son working as an apartment building manager.  He had been working to restore electricity and plumbing in his building after a fire, and had foolishly allowed a couple of troublesome friends to live there rent free.  After he had kicked them out, one of them went to the City of Seattle's Department of Design, Construction and Land Use (DCLU) and applied for relocation assistance.  It was only after they had given him a few thousand dollars that DCLU found out that the applicant had been living rent—free and was therefore not eligible to receive the assistance.

It's a great concept, and it has worked so well for so many years.  Democrats set up programs like chore services, industrial insurance, and relocation assistance as noble, compassionate initiatives that help people.  Of course, stripped of their hegemonic discourse, they are merely handing out free money to their supporters, who too often turn out to be small—time hustlers that live by scamming the system. But everyone (who matters) benefits: the recipients, their families, the government workers that hand out the benefits, the enforcement officers that cluck around looking for violators, and the Democratic politicians who gather in the provisional ballots of their loyal servitors at election time.

But should Senator Rodham Clinton (D—NY) be co—sponsoring the Democrats' Count Every Vote Act in Congress to further loosen the rules for voting?  The bill would impose Election Day voter registration on the states so that anyone could turn up at a polling station (Social Security number, drivers license, proof of citizenship not required) and cast a provisional ballot to be 'counted in the same manner as a vote cast by an eligible voter who properly registered during the regular registration period.' 

Does this really work?  A Clinton as poster—girl for 'Trust Us, We Care' voter registration? 

One day middle—class America is going to wake up and say: Enough already.  Maybe it already did.

Christopher Chantrill (mailto:chrischantrill@msn.com) blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.