Sunday, March 06, 2011

Sunday political ricochet

I wrote "A Conservative Eulogy" for the May 6, 2009 issue of Scene. Having just reviewed that work, I've come to the following conclustions:

1. I should be writing more.

2. Everything I said in that column was right.

3. The column as a whole was wrong.

Yeah, yeah.

* * *

35 comments:

Bill said...

I can't help it but I totally loved the Velociman quote! Just cracked me up.

1. you should be writing more!
2. not sure about that!
3. right.

I admire the fact that you have no problem being critical of yourself.

Big Mark 243 said...

Neat read... you were right as far as the direction but the consequences were a little off... I'd take 'close' most any day over out in the weeds..!

Kirk Jusko said...

With all due respect, here's where I think you went wrong. Most people aren't political, and don't know the difference between the Left and Right, Liberal and Conservative, Democrat and Republican. Even if they do know the difference, they don't have strong feelings about it. People just want things to get better, or, at the very least, things not to get worse. If you can convince them small government and deregulation will make things better, they'll vote for small government. If you can convince them big government will make things better, then they'll vote for that.

HOW do you go about convincing them? I'm afraid you have to be in the same corner as their pocketbooks. Reagan came into power during a recession. Things got better. Many an economist will tell you that recovery was brought about by Keynesian spending--the arms buildup--but he claimed it was because he cut down the size og government (except for the Pentagon, of course), and small government philosophy prevailed for the next three decades, simply because it was good politics.

In 2008, a recession more than the one that drove Carter from office brought Obama in. This should have been the perfect opportunity for the President to hammer away at Reaganomics. He did that a little bit, but the stimulis he passed was much too small, as many economists warned at the time. The economy improved on paper, and that's about it, and the Republicans were voted back in. Now, Obama's using the same sort of rhetoric that Reagan once used, because he knows it's good politics. Whether it will be good policy remains to be seen.

Erin O'Brien said...

Howdy gents and thanks for the comments. All good points, Kirk.

You can call this a self-indulgent moment. When I reread that thing I thought damn, this is good whether you love me or hate me.

I don't regret a word of it. It was the right column at the right time for that publication. It's just funny to me that things should turn out the way they have.

God help us all.

Bill said...

Kirk: Lots of "non political" people are tired of the Obama administration talking down the United States. People understand and like their American exceptionalism and inherently know that this President, like Carter, wants us to be more like Europe. Just another country. Some people are ok with that but most aren't. When our country is threatened, most Americans get it and get their backs up. We're being threatened. Don't underestimate the knowledge of the American people. That's a mistake.

Erin O'Brien said...

Oh good Christ, here we go.

Hey Bill? Have you heard that Karzai ain't taking too kindly to lip service for our "collateral damage?"

Say some other country wiped out an American school/neighborhood/embassy and said, "oops! sorry!" How would that go over? Would that be okay?

The rest of the world is getting fed the hell up with this bullshit "American Exceptionalism." Relatives of that "collateral damage" might call it FUCKING TYRANNY.

alphadog said...

Erin,
They might call it imperialism, colonialism or expansionism but I doubt they'd call it tyranny. Tyranny is what is happening in our country.
Tyranny is oppression exerted by government. Take a look at the TSA, DHS, ATF&E, DoJ, IRS or any other acronym of your choosing. Don't go shedding a tear for others until you've shed a thousand for us.
I agree that we have no business in the Middle East, doing nothing but wasting lives and money, but look a bit closer to home to see what cretinous and reprehensible actions our government is foisting upon it's own citizens in the name of security.

Bill said...

Erin: Our Commander In Chief is responsible for the way we're fightning in Afghanistan. He doesn't want to offend anyone. No way to win a war. I wish it were true that the rest of the world think we suck. Maybe they'd stop flocking here for a few years and give us a break and time to fix our immigration situation. Wasn't Obama suppose to make everyone like us?

Erin O'Brien said...

"Unauthorized immigrants make up about 3.7 percent of the nation's population --approximately 11.2 million persons. That number is statistically unchanged from last year, and follows a two-year decline from a high of 12 million unauthorized immigrants in 2007."

http://pr-usa.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=645174&Itemid=30

Vince said...

Quite honestly if the Sioux were banging on about immigration I might be prepared to listen. But when 95% of a population came in the last 250 years it's a bit fecking rich for all you are talking about is your grandfather.

philbilly said...

Vince, +1

Bill said...

Yep. The Sioux shoulda protected their borders. We learn from history.

Anonymous said...

I will admit to being a tad harsh with my comments but then again are you sure I am an old fat white guy?





James Old Guy

Erin O'Brien said...

To be honest with you JOG, at one point I was pretty sure Michael Steele was an old fat rich white guy, so there's that.

Hal said...

@Erin - Frankly, the only reason the GOP did so well in the last elections is because 1) Too many Dems stayed home and whined about how Obama isn't progressive enough, and 2) The Democratic leadership let them win. Off year elections usually favor the out party to begin with (they pick up about 25 seats in the house and 3-4 in the Senate since WWII), and with unemployment still high, they were bound to do better than that. But with all considering all Obama and the Democrats accomplished in the 111th Congress - Saving the country from a depression, saving the banks and car companies without nationalizing either, health car reform, banking reform, etc - the fact that they utterly failed to promote these achievements and defend them against flat out right wing lies meant that they deserved to lose. It amazes me how a campaign as brilliant as Obama's, which managed to shoot down each and every McCain-Palin lie right out of the sky (Remember that Jerome Corsi book called "Obamanation?") failed to sometimes even show up when he became president. Witness: "Death panels," The "Ground Zero" "Mosque," all the flat out lies about his agenda - "The government takeover of healthcare," "Government Motors," and suggesting that Obama was destroying the economy on purpose,' etc. etc. etc. The response to all of this was anemic. Most shockingly, the behavior of Obama's Ag Sec Tom Vilsack in the Shirley Sherrod fiasco. I mean, they took a video that a proven propagandist like Andrew Breitbart - ANDREW FUCKING BREITBART!!! - posted on his blog at face value. I mean, what the f*ck is THAT??? If Obama and the Democrats spent only half as much time exposing and correcting right wing lies as they did in 2008, there is no way in hell the GOP would have won 63 seats in November. No fucking way! Even with all that Koch Brother's money. Fortunately voters in some states grew weary of the looney right - see Sharron Angle, see Christine O'Donnell, see Joe Miller - so that's a consolation for a Marxist Fascist Maoist like me (Glenn Beck says it's possible to be all three at the same time, so it must be true...), but it is a small one all the same.

So you did end up being wrong, Erin, but I don't think you, or anyone who is sane could have seen that coming.

On a somewhat side note, @alphadog, you wrote this:

Tyranny (my emphasis) is what is happening in our country. Tyranny is oppression exerted by government. Take a look at the TSA, DHS, ATF&E, DoJ, IRS or any other acronym of your choosing.

Do you really believe that is "tyranny?" A big hassle? A violation of civil liberties? In many cases, absolutely. But don't you think it's a tad extreme to refer to this as "tyranny?"

This is what I was talking about above. Right wingers kept using words like that over and over again, and suggesting that gun confiscations were going to happen, along with concentration camps (see Michele Bachmann waxing paranoid about the census), that Obamacare was the first step to Nazism. I mean, really now. Tyranny? C'mon! Is there a secret police running around rounding people up? Are political dissidents mysteriously disappearing? It's hard to take anything like that seriously.

VideoDude said...

Hal!

+1000!

Bill said...

Hal. It's laughable that you might actually believe what you just wrote. If most of the left agrees with you, you have the main reason conservatives kicked ass.

WV: fecul (no comment needed)

Anonymous said...

America would be exceptional if the behavior of it's government and the laws governing it's citizens were consistent with the values upon which it was founded-liberty, equality are just a couple.
Most of us that "talk down America" are criticizing the incongruence between words and deeds not the piece of real estate called America.
Vince makes a good point. One way to begin to be exceptional would be to get the American Hitler off the 20 dollar bill.

RJ

Bill said...

If we follow the advice of critics like RJ, Vince, and the "leadership" of people like BHO, we will be exceptional. An exceptional failure! If I were a regular offerer of prayers, I'd pray for another huge conservative victory in 2012.

alphadog said...

Hal,
My day began at 3 a.m. and was just over not too long ago so forgive me for being brief and perhaps a bit terse. I offer you this example.
When GWB pushed through the Patriot Act it was met with bitching and gnashing of teeth by every leftist capable of speaking out. Interestingly there were those of us on what you call the right that were vehemently opposed to it also. Yet when it was due to expire and the current administration not only renewed it but strengthened it, I didn't hear one peep from the left.
You sir, are giving your President the same pass that you harangued the right for, for eight years.
For the record Hal, before you get all up in me, the last election I voted for two Republicans, one Democrat and the rest Independents and Libertarians. Guess what, the two Republicans won their elections. They also won against the Democrat and most of the Independents and Libertarians; Dems won the other seats. Which just proves to me that the American public is so spoiled, fickle and firmly entrenched in the two party system that they really have no business voting. My granddad used to say that the only problem with a Democracy (and yes, I know we supposedly live in a Republic) is that most of the people are too goddamn stupid to know what's best for them.
Tyranny? No, not really, but then my comment started out as an admonishment to Erin for using the same word when it was not appropriate. You chose to overlook that while taking me to task.
Secret Police? Dunno. If I did it wouldn't be a secret.
What I do know, is that civil liberties are being eroded daily. Personal property is at the discretion of the government. Thanks to the wonder of technology my every movement, purchase or communication may be subject to scrutiny. While this may not qualify as an exact definition of tyranny, it's certainly moving in that direction daily.

Erin O'Brien said...

Taking your shoes off to get on an airplane: not tyranny. Stupid, yes--but tyranny? No.

"Accidentally" killing nine kids to "protect" America: tyranny.

I standby my original content.

Anonymous said...

peep. peeped. peeping.

vocalization...not voyeur.

RJ

Anonymous said...

OK, maybe that's being too cute.

Any regular reader of this here blog knows at least one who would be called "leftist"(me) has been throwing a hissy fit abour Obama almost from day one.
It appears to me the U.S. has essentially gotten the 3rd term of GWB.

RJ

alphadog said...

I know this is a tired old horse to trot out, but there were over twenty kids killed in Waco in our country's best interest.
Five kids killed in Philadelphia when the police department, at a frustrated mayors behest, bombed the MOVE headquarters.
Right now the ATF is involved in a dirty little operation along our border, the illegality of which our DoJ is doing its best to cover up. At least one BPA is dead as a result.
Our government is corrupt regardless the party in office. It acts in its own best interest, not that of the citizens.

Anonymous said...

No argument with your erosion of civil liberties issue and selective law enforcement Alpha.

The latest incarnation:

Wall Street, where no one goes to jail.

(Madoff doesn't count)

RJ

Bill said...

A good example of how libs suck:
http://bit.ly/eEc2KE

alphadog said...

No argument with you about Wall St. RJ. And our governments complicity in the hooliganism that is Wall St. makes them every bit as guilty and criminally liable as the slimiest trader in the market.

Then there is this. Two different parties, two different ideologies? Not so much. First from the Cato Institute.

Terror Arrest Does Not Justify REAL ID Revival

The zeitgeist on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. may be for limited, constitutional government, but that doesn't mean that big-government conservatives aren't going to use the reprieve voters gave Republicans in the fall to once again advance big-government goals. On Monday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.) and Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security Subcommittee Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano encouraging her to fully implement our national ID law, the REAL ID Act of 2005.
Fuckers.

And from Politico.
The Obama administration, which famously pledged to be the most transparent in American history, is pursuing an unexpectedly aggressive legal offensive against federal workers who leak secret information to expose wrongdoing, highlight national security threats or pursue a personal agenda.
In just over two years since President Barack Obama took office, prosecutors have filed criminal charges in five separate cases involving unauthorized distribution of classified national security information to the media. And the government is now mulling what would be the most high-profile case of them all - prosecuting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
That’s a sharp break from recent history, when the U.S. government brought such cases on three occasions in roughly 40 years.
Liars.

But hey, at least you still get to vote who you're going to serve every four years.

Anonymous said...

In re: Bill and sucking NPR libs.

“If the Republicans will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them.”

Adelai Stevenson

RJ

Anonymous said...

Alpha we could go on and on...

"I intend to close Guantanamo, and I will follow through on that. I have said repeatedly that America doesn't torture. And I'm gonna make sure that we don't torture. Those are part and parcel of an effort to regain America's moral stature in the world."
Barack Obama
On CBS 60 Minutes, November 16, 2008.
ryangallagher/2011/03/07/a-visitor-watches-bradley-mannings-mental-health-deteriorate/

A visitor watches Bradley Manning's mental health deteriorate.

RJ

Anonymous said...

Error with link above. It takes a reader to firedoglake but not the intended article. It requires looking in the index.
At any rate Bradley Manning is being required to strip naked for long periods of time. He is held in isolation, sleep deprived, etc. in Quantico, Va. Whether one agrees with his actions or not one would think he would be treated humanely. Dennis Kucinich has been denied his request to visit to exercise congressional oversight. WTF?

RJ

alphadog said...

Honestly RJ, I'm more concerned about the implications for the whistle blowers. As soon as something is deemed "classified", at whomevers discretion, it gains automatic cover up status. Our government will be able to operate with absolute impunity and disregard for any established law or protocol.
I also find it a hoot that the U.S. is considering charges of treason against Assange, an Australian. Good luck with that one guys.

Anonymous said...

Anyway. We can identify the problem. What's the solution? I try to be informed. I vote. I go to school board meetings, county comish, etc. It just seems in the age of Citizens United the average Joe is fucked.

RJ

Bill said...

If only we had more liberal, elite, intellectuals. That would solve our problems! ha ha. What a bunch of asshats. (Erin; is that one word?)

Anonymous said...

"Liberal Elite": Often used as pejorative by small brained political conservatives. Actually denotes one capable of using pudendum correctly in a sentence, revealing superior intellectual abilities.

RJ

Bill said...

in this case it was used by a liberal, elite, intellectual, who worked (past tense) for NPR.