A discussion of race, politics, media and the like… What I see is what you get.

Posts tagged “politics

Matthews: Match Politics with the Government We’ve Created


Agreed…

: Matthews: Match politics with the government we’ve created.

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The Right’s War on Moderation


I agree with the sentiments here, and have for quite a while now. Any time I hear anyone explaining the joys they feel when they implement their “false equivalency”, the idea that they are somehow “post-partisan” because they proclaim to listen to both sides of the political arguments and see the points of both sides but also seem unwilling to stake a position, I will question their political aptitude. Politics does not work when one occupies the mythical center of what Mark Thompson (Make it Plain XM 167 5-8pm weekdays) calls “chaotic neutral”. Even those who consider themselves in the center have beliefs and convictions. To see some kind of virtue in being in the “center” on all issues is politically lazy, functionally unrealistic and disingenuous. And when a budget is released like the one proposed by Paul Ryan and the GOP, staying in the middle seems untenable…

Political moderates and on-the-fencers have had it easy up to now on budget issues. They could condemn “both sides,” and insist on the need for “courage” in tackling the deficit.

Thanks to Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget and the Republicans’ maximalist stance in negotiations to avert a government shutdown, the days of straddling are over.

Ryan’s truly outrageous proposal, built on heaping sacrifice onto the poor, slashing scholarship aid to college students and bestowing benefits on the rich, ought to force middle-of-the-roaders to take sides. No one who is even remotely moderate can possibly support what Ryan has in mind.

And please, let’s dispense with the idea that Ryan is courageous in offering his design. There is nothing courageous about asking for givebacks from the least advantaged and least powerful in our society. It takes no guts to demand a lot from groups that have little to give, and tend to vote against your party anyway.

And there is nothing daring about a conservative Republican delivering yet more benefits to the wealthiest people in our society, the sort who privately finance the big ad campaigns to elect conservatives to Congress. – E.J. Dionne

via E.J. Dionne, Jr.: The Right’s War on Moderation – Truthdig.


Why Washington Doesn’t Care About Jobs


As an independent progressive, my take on Republicans is well chronicled. But hidden in my extreme distaste for Republicans is my utter lack of patience for some Democrats. Namely, Blue Dogs, DINO’s, conservative Dems or anyone else who has taken on the talking points and perspective of a Republican but somehow still wants to call themselves a Democrat.

The analogy that Chris Hayes refers to about the lack of heat in certain office buildings, I think, makes the point. Washington does not have the sense of urgency that is needed when it is the people’s interest they are supposed to be serving. The notion of servanthood is lost, in most part, it seems to me, in the milieu of money and lobbyists and self-grandizement that appears to rule the day in Washington…meanwhile, regular people need heat or the opportunity to get the heat turned back on. Washington seems insulated, figuratively and literally.

Social distance of this sort isn’t new, of course. The “out of touchness” of the Beltway is such a cliché that Beltway denizens themselves love to invoke it to demonstrate their self-awareness. But I’d wager the social distance that characterizes this moment is probably as bad as it’s been in at least a generation. We’ve had more than three decades of accelerating inequality that has placed the top 10 percent further and further away from the bottom 90 percent, followed by a financial crisis and “recovery” that has only exacerbated these distributional trends. There were already Two Americas before the Great Recession, but in the wake of that seismic disruption, those two continents have only moved further apart.

This manifests itself in our politics in two ways. For one, it just so happens that policy-makers, pundits and politicians are drawn from the classes that are in recovery, and they live in an area where new sushi restaurants are opening all the time. For even the best-intentioned and most conscientious staffers and aides this has, I think, a subconscious effect. Think of it this way: two office buildings are operating side by side in Chicago’s Loop in the middle of a brutally cold January day, when the heat in both buildings gives out. The manager of one building has an on-site office, so he finds himself plunged into cold; the other building is managed remotely, from a warm office whose heat is functioning. If you had to bet, you’d guess that the manager experiencing the cold himself would have a bit more urgency in restoring the heat. The same holds for the economy. The people running the country are not viscerally experiencing the depredations of this ghastly economic winter, and they lack what might be called the “fierce urgency of now” in getting the heat turned back on.

The other problem is that our system is responsive only to voices at the top of the social pyramid—the bankers and businessmen who are raking in record bonuses and the professional upper middle class, which is recovering much faster than the nation as a whole. In a 2007 paper titled “Inequality and Democratic Responsiveness in the United States,” Princeton political scientist Martin Gilens analyzed 2,000 survey questions from 1981 to 2002, looking for the relationship between public opinion and policy outcomes. He found that “when Americans with different income levels differ in their policy preferences, actual policy outcomes strongly reflect the preferences of the most affluent but bear little relationship to the preferences of poor or middle income Americans.”

There is only so much social distance a society can take. The social science literature shows that as social distance increases, trust declines and aberrant and predatory behavior increases. The basic mechanisms of representation erode, and the social fabric tears. “An imbalance between rich and poor,” Plutarch warned, “is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.” – Chris Hayes

via Why Washington Doesn’t Care About Jobs | The Nation.


Rachel Maddow: Michigan’s Dystopian (Corporate Republican) Future And Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine


I live in Michigan…and this hits home.

Republicans are the enemy of the working people.

Period.

It’s time to understand the tactics of your enemy and make real counter-moves. This is not a game.

via YouTube – Rachel Maddow: Michigan’s Dystopian (Corporate Republican) Future And Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine.


Must see TV… (Rachel Maddow on Real Time with Bill Maher)


I love how Maddow’s facts cut so deeply that there is hardly a rebuttal from the victim. If reporters and columnists were this in your face at all times politicians would tread much more lightly. Bill Frist is in real trouble… Watch & learn…