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...up to hundreds of thousands of the most reliable Fidesz voters (the lowest-information rural old) were gathered, to counter the anti-government protests and reinforce the community feeling. Over the last year or so, even these crowds dwindled, what's more, Fidesz had difficulties recruiting young people for those illegal voter-data-gathering campaign operations. (It's tragicomic, however, that all of the pro-Orbán protesters who physically insulted the counter-protesters today in the videos I saw were at least 50 but usually older.)

This is hopeful. It is very similar to http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/opinion/29rich.html?_r=0 the local Arkansas population of Tea Party supporters who had grievances based in the genuine consequences of the US political process but were co-opted by our own oligarchs, especially the Koch brothers acting through Dick Armey and Freedom Works, along with PR provided by Rupert Murcoch and Fox News, largely took over local politics in 2010 based on that organization, PR and money. Small rebound locally for Democrats in 2014, big win in 2016, despite growing disillusionment.

Now the Republicans are in control and pushing the rollback of anti discrimination laws, cutting any funding that might help Family Planning, etc. The only save has been for the Arkansas Private Option for Medicare expansion. They had to keep that or deal with the crushing costs of health care for all of the prisoners in state prisons and county jails and to keep the state's hospitals from bankruptcy. And taking away the new coverage from hundreds of thousands of Arkansans looked to do them great damage. So they voted to drain the reserve funds in some of the state backed insurance plans instead and leave funding to the next legislature. Depending on the Democratic presidential candidate, 2016 could be a good year for Democrats in state and local elections. I expect a lot of disillusionment from the base and lots of opposition within Republican ranks from the more business and country club set.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Mar 16th, 2015 at 11:32:48 AM EST

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