Posts Tagged ‘Politics’
Doc Zero has a good post up in the Green Room on the protests at townhalls. A good primer for pols and pundits who have claim that the protesters are Brooks Bros. lime green and pink wearing plants of the insurance industry, Nazis waving swastikas around and uncivil types who need a good investigating. Or the ones who simply think we are too dumb to know what’s good for us.
We don’t blame people for showing up to grab their share of a government handout. We blame the people who stole the money from the rest of us, and put it on the table for them. We don’t think respect for private property ends at a certain income level, or that only some people should be applauded for doing their best to get ahead in life. We believe in the power and righteousness of capitalism, the exchange of goods and services between free people acting in their own best interests. There is no moral substitute for it. Every other scheme for governing human affairs amounts to a few dominating some, to the applause of others. Our freedom is not for sale, and we reserve the right to defend it from theft.
We don’t invest our hopes in the government. It is beneath the dignity of free men and women to spend their days hoping a politician decides to provide for our needs. We face the future, not with passive and helpless “hope”, but with active and dynamic faith in ourselves, and our fellow Americans.
Too bad no one who is running their yap in the media will ever see that. Even if they did, they wouldn’t be likely to lend it any credence as it doesn’t fit their preconceived notion of reality.
(Typical town hall protester)
UDPATE: And thugs. Those who oppose this crap are now thugs. Keep it up, Congress. You ain’t seen nothing yet if you keep demonizing normal every day folks, I’m pretty sure.
Beating a dead horse here, I know, and preaching to the choir. But Lance Fairchok has a new article up about the perils of playing politics for the sake of politics (And I love the Revel quote at the end).
President Obama has yet to realize that in the real world, the diplomacy of jackals seldom goes well for the sheep.
I think he is far too generous in allowing that those who play politics with our future have only winning in mind. I think a majority of them do it with full knowledge of the outcome of the policies they want to enact. I believe they do it with full knowledge of what has come before and how history has treated others of their ideological ilk.
I think they 1) simply care more about personal power and gain than anything else and 2) they really do believe they are the ones who can make it work when all before have failed.
They really are that arrogant and self-important. They live in an echo chamber in which the media parrot back almost everything they want to believe is true. Their constituents have been raised from young ages to believe what their masters tell them and to rely on them for everything. The will of the people has atrophied in a near majority.
Those of us howling in the dark outside the circle of firelight are dismissed as wolves, wanting only the destruction of the sheep. We know better. We are trying to be the sheepdogs, trying to show the sheep the predators that sit among them. We hope against hope that if shown enough empty sheep suits with gleaming fangs inside, the herd will eventually begin to trust themselves more than their masters. But fear is a powerful tool to keep sheep in line. And being responsible for yourself can be a pretty scary thought. Especially when you’ve been taken care of your entire life.
No one ever seems to think that problems begin before a Republican takes office or that success starts before a Democrat takes office. Once a Democrat takes office, well, then, all the problems he faces were generated by his predecessor and all the successes he enjoys magically started on the day he took office.
Our government moves at a monolithically slow pace – which is partly why it has no business trying to run anything that responds to global markets on a hourly basis – and any success or failure of any politician can be traced back to policies that started rolling and decisions that were made before he ever got in office. The slate doesn’t wipe clean and there isn’t a restart button once a new pol puts his butt in the seat.
After a certain time, yes, the current butt in the seat owns the issues for better or worse. But initially, although I hate to agree with The One and his sycophantic cult, the issues facing a newly installed butt are those that were set in motion by the actions or inactions of previous butts – possibly several previous seat warmers. This economic collapse was set in motion long before Bush’s last 4 years, possibly even most of both of his terms, and a president doesn’t have a huge amount of sway over policy when Congress is largely of the opposite party. Let’s remember that while Obama all by himself didn’t create this mess, his pals in Congress and the squishy, spineless Republicans in Congress sure did do their part.
But people have barely better memories than goldfish when it comes to politics. That’s why any campaigning done before October is mainly preaching to the choir. Anyone who pays attention to politics as far out as say July of an election year is likely well informed on their own and doesn’t need campaigning to convince them who to vote for. Undecideds don’t even start paying attention till October. So all the campaigning is essentially monetary masturbation. Raise a lot of money for a lot of ads to try to throw something at your opponent a year out that will stick hard enough that it will still be in the minds of the mushy middle come November. That’s all it is – an extended season in which to take pot shots at everyone who doesn’t agree with you. Put your foot in your mouth, be inconsistent, whatever – unless you have a juicy scandal that becomes newsworthy, no one will even remember it come November and if they do, chances are they had their minds made up before that anyway.
If the populace can’t even pay attention enough to be informed voters, they sure don’t have the attention spans to keep track of who did what 4 or more years ago that affected today. Representative democracy gives you lawn chairs and beer, not coherent policy, but it’s the best of the available systems at this point. Personally, I kind of favor the Starship Troopers* meritocracy system. If you contribute to society, you get a say in how it is run. If not, then you don’t. But that would hurt some poor crack addict’s feelings and we can’t have that.
*The movie was entertaining crap, but read the book instead.
UPDATE: Westsoundmodern adds some good thoughts.
Good post over at dpud’s that I can’t seem to figure out how to excerpt here so simply go read it all, you know you should anyway. It adds to my post below on The Politics of Arrogance.
While I could probably do without all the biblical references and the overuse of the term “evil”, I think the overall article is pretty well done.
Gary Cooper is facing an outlaw and his brothers by himself. The town won’t help, his wife won’t help.
In Hadleyville there are as many reasons for not standing and fighting as there are citizens.
Kane’s young deputy, Harvey Pell, arrives at the Sheriff’s office with an ultimatum, “You want me to stick, you put the word in like I said.” Pell is angry that Will Kane did not tap him to become Marshall and now will stand and fight only if Kane will tell the City Fathers, “The Board of Selectmen,” to anoint him the next Marshall.
Kane answers: “Sure I do [want you to stick], but I’m not buying it [your offer], it’s up to you.” Kane is duty bound – a hero relic of an old Hollywood that celebrated patriotism, the American spirit, and the precious artistic freedom Hollywood owes to it. Harv’ Pell is the French, the Germans, the Russians et al, who enjoy unparalleled freedom brought about by the United States but will join the posse only if their political and financial aspirations are met.
Kane’s next visitor is Deputy Sheriff Herb Baker who stops by to pick up his badge and tell Kane that he can be counted on. But when Baker discovers that he is the only deputy who has re-volunteered to stand and fight, he backs out saying, “This is plain just committing suicide. This town ain’t that low [that so many would refuse to fight]…I ain’t no lawman – I got no stake in this – if you get more let me know.”
Read it all. There are many, many more parallels drawn with various organizations and positions.
First, Obama gives his first televised interview to an Arab station. Which, in part, I like because it slaps the slobbering US media in the faces that he didn’t give it to one of them. Largely, I can’t believe the sheer effrontery of the man. It’s bad form for a previous US president to knock the current administration abroad. What is it for the sitting administration to knock the whole country he is in charge of?
Then, Russia gets all happy because he has decided to not pursue the missile system in Poland. Already letting allies down – he promised Poland in November that he wouldn’t scrap this. But, as the leftards are finding out, he didn’t really mean anything he said – then or now.
Now, he’s probably gonna apologize to Iran for our “past transgressions” or whatever and further let the world know that we aren’t really all that gung-ho anymore about helping people be free.
I know I said he was my President because he was elected. He may be the President and he may be the only one we have right now. But the man has zero respect from me and I honestly don’t see what he’s gonna do that will change that. Good thing he has enough self-respect and self-adulation to get by without my contribution. He really does seem to have no concept at all of how the world works. Either that or he actually buys his own press and believes he can change the minds of the violent just by being his charming lil self.
The next time someone who voted for Obama gets all preachy with me about how much more they care about people than those evil conservatives, I’m gonna sock ‘im right in the mouth.
Via Gateway Pundit
Iowahawk reallly does have a talent.
When the Demos people saw the Chicagomon they shrugged,
but Obamacles was taking no chances for the general battle;
He had no more further use for the Chicagomon and thus he summoned
Underbus, the destroyer of memes. One by one he disposed them,
The Jeremiad and Phlegeron and Ayres, all sacrificed to Underbus.
When Hildusa saw this her eyes boiled with rage,
and she summoned her Amazon Pumas
But they were too fat and old and employed
to battle the snarky college assholes in official Obamacles tunics.
Palina emerged from the sea, springing fully formed from a clamshell,
Brandishing the spear that had slain a thousand antlered beasts.
Once mutinous, the Crustonauts were instantly heartened,
For now they and sensed a chance at victory.
Although his pollsters warned of danger, Obamacles was stalwart
For he knew just how he got here. “Attack,” he beckoned very calmly,
And from across the land of Soros, a thousand score of demons answered;
HuffPo nutjobs, New York Kronos, the shrieking hags of talk TV,
Couric, Fey, Oprah, Behar, the hermaphrodites of NBC.
Palina was undaunted by the minions and thus she battled gamely on.
But at last she was attacked by Crustius himself;
For so addled and contrary was the wizened sailor
That he had forgotten which side he was on.
Vanquished Palina returned to Wasilla to fight another day,
While Crustius sails again, forever seeking the elusive Sirens of Media.
Truly, truly fantastic work. Go read it all.
Go to Mission 1 Accomplished and click to sign a thank you to President Bush for keeping us safe since 9/11. I have my issues with his tenure in office but that isn’t one of them. I think he made some poor decisions on other fronts but I am very grateful that he didn’t let public opinion polls sway his resolve on Iraq and terrorism. Yeah, I wish he had been a bit more aggressive about taking it to the terrorists, but he did what he was able to do, I think. Letters left there along with signatures may be presented to his Library in the future.
In addition, I just would like the man to have some kind of good feedback. It is obvious he didn’t run his Presidency with feedback in mind but he is human, after all. Knowing that the whole nation doesn’t think he was a miserable failure might be nice.
I think history, if allowed to be written truthfully, will show him in a favorable light as far as combating terrorism goes at the very least. But, history is written by the winners and it may take a long time and a lot of effort to get that truth out there. I’m sure textbooks written in the next few years will portray him as a horrible fascist failure. It is up to us to balance the education kids around us get from the school system. Balance it with another point of view. If we survive long enough, the fruits of President Bush’s efforts will be seen in an accurate light.
Does the selection of Leon Panetta for head of CIA really signal that Obama is putting politics above all else? Or, if he is truly the cagey scrapper he is portrayed to be, is Panetta maybe just a front face yes-man and will Obama himself really run the intelligence programs? I know which one I’d find more disturbing. I recognize the inherent conspiracy-ness of this idea. But it has been obvious for a long time that the O considers himself above mere mortals and sees himself as king of the world. It is really so far fetched?
We’ve had a variation of free market capitalism, but we haven’t had “unfettered, free-market capitalism“. Mr. Younge is correct in noting in the Guardian that
Greenspan’s ideology was unfettered, free-market capitalism. Its understanding of how the world works was rooted in self-interest. It was a value system that placed the private before the public, the individual before the collective, and the wealth of the few before the welfare of the many.
We have always had government interference in the markets. Pure unfettered free-markets would mean no oversight, no regulations… right? Or am I mistaken in my understanding of this?
I don’t want to take Mr. Younge to task for misunderstanding or mischaracterizing what we have in the US, but it seems to me he is making an argument against a system that doesn’t exist in order to cast aspersions on the system that does exist.
When a political system where you have to pay to play meets a financial system run like a giant Ponzi scheme, widespread criminality, corruption and calamity are the only feasible outcomes. The only remaining questions then are what society is prepared to excuse, accountants are able to write off or lawyers are able to defend.
Yes, there are flaws aplenty with our political system. Money is one of the huge ones. But that doesn’t stem from free markets or from capitalism. Simply acknowledging that these actions are criminal indicates that they are not acceptable or legal. That means that there are already laws in place to prevent them or to punish transgressions of this kind. In the free market, capitalistic society that we have, there are already laws in place against pay to play.
This same kind of thinking is what leads to spouting off about how all guns need to be banned so there is no crime. It is already a crime to shoot people. Law abiding folks don’t do it. Someone who is breaking the law is already outside of the social compact. Making guns illegal means that law abiding folks are at the mercy of people who won’t obey the law. Laws and more laws, regulations, prohibitions, all that – won’t prevent people from being immoral, violent, selfish, etc.
It isn’t the American way to be selfish and scheming.
Their actions may have violated the letter of the law. But they were consistent with the spirit of the ideology that has governed American life for at least a generation.
These folks who have brought down the market aren’t typical, average Americans. Blago isn’t a typical average American. Americans give more to others than any other nation on the planet. Most of us are helpful, open and friendly to each other. At least enough to get by day to day rubbing elbows with each other. Money and power corrupt – of that there is no doubt. But corruption, while part of history and interwoven with the human condition, is not an accepted, legal part of American society.
On a final note, I wonder if Mr. Younge, from New York, voted for Obama. This was the most purchased election I can remember in my lifetime. Talk about the line between reckless and fraudulent in finance – look at those donors from overseas and the ones named things like Xhjklsdh Smith and turning off the credit card verification system… and
Blagojevich did not invent the notion that wealth and political influence go hand in hand.
No, he didn’t. And yes, it is a fact that money, power and influence go together. But that isn’t because of a free market. That doesn’t go away under communism or socialism. Money, power and influence will always go together. Human nature makes it so, not any system of government or finance.
“We’ve lent some of it. We’ve not lent some of it. We’ve not given any accounting of, ‘Here’s how we’re doing it,’” said Thomas Kelly, a spokesman for JPMorgan Chase, which received $25 billion in emergency bailout money. “We have not disclosed that to the public. We’re declining to.”
Excuse the fuck out of me, but isn’t that my money you are “declining” to tell me where it is going? Who the fuck are you? In a just world, this arrogant piece of shit would be run out of town on a rail. Along with all the Congress-lumps-on-logs who are letting them get by with this bullshit. There was accountablility forced on Paulson and the White House by Congress. Yay, for them for having a single spark of common sense and stewardship. Now that Paulson decided that yeah, that isn’t really what he’s gonna do with the money, there appears to be no reckoning, no accountability, no transparency. Billions and possibly trillions of taxpayer money going to businesses who don’t have to show what they are doing with it. Seems like if they weren’t doing something stupid with it, they’d have no problem showing where it is going, hm? Hint: when you essentially plead the fifth, it makes you look guilty no matter what the truth of it is.
Okay. Yeah, he ran a really poor campaign. And I know to some it came across like he thought he was too good to get into the actual campaigning of it all. But dang it, I still like Teh Fred!
Several of the supporting actors in this year’s Republican primary are showing interest in the medium, too. Fred Thompson, the “Law & Order” star turned presidential candidate, will begin hosting a two-hour show in March, as the syndicator Westwood One is expected to announce this week. Mr. Thompson’s show would take the place of Mr. O’Reilly’s
All good. I like Teh Fred and O’Reilly irritates the crap out of me. Gives me something to listen to when I leave work early instead of more Hannity – who also annoys the crap out of me on most days. But the local hosts piss me off even more, so I’m stuck with suck music or suck talk, no matter where I go. Thank goodness my commute got cut in half a few months ago.