Showing posts with label Heading Off At the Pass. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Heading Off At the Pass. Show all posts

Thursday, September 06, 2012


I don't understand why the Right is up in arms over the disagreement over whether or not the word "God" should be included in the Democratic Party Platform. Or the disagreement over whether or not Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Huh?

It's a surprise that there are people in the Democratic party who believe God is a fairy tale for infant minded people? Heck, there are people in my comments section that think that.

It's a surprise that the Democratic party has Muslims in it that feel that the Palestinians have been treated unfairly by the Israelis? Perhaps here there is a hope that some undecided voters will be scared off by the Moose-lems!

Or is it a surprise that Democrats don't march in lockstep on an issue?

I guess my initial thought is that it's none of those things and the Right is simply doing what they always do...not taking responsibility for something (their own truly awful platform) and bloviating, "Well, their's is worser and stuff!!!!" in typical juvenile fashion.

I really don't get it. What's the dig supposed to be?

Hauling The Fucking Nail

The 42nd president took the stage last night at the DNC and reminded everyone why he has a 69 percent approval rating. Bill Clinton's speech, which can be seen in its entirety below, illustrated in detail the great job President Obama has done in his first term.

The Big Dog also showed what happens when you rip his party: you get taken out to the fucking shed. As I watched him completely demolish every single Republican talking point from the last four years, I couldn't help but wonder why the current administration has been out to lunch on this for the past four years. They've been putting out too many campaign surrogates (Axelrod, Plouffe, Cutter) and not enough elected leaders (Castro, Patrick, Strickland). Bill Clinton is proof positive that this is how the rest of the campaign should be run.

Two things stood out for me from President Clinton's speech last night...the first very serious and the second, not so serious but eerily familiar. His quiet moment describing what is going to happen to Medicaid if Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have their way with it was seriously depressing. The "pro-life" party was shown to be the complete lie that it is as many families  will lose a very valuable resource in caring for those loved ones who cannot care for themselves. What is the GOP answer to this?

The second was my favorite quote from the night (which was extremely tough, given there were so many from which to choose).

When Congressman Ryan looked into that TV camera and attacked President Obama’s Medicare savings as “the biggest, coldest power play,” I did not know whether to laugh or cry. Key cuts that $716 billion is exactly to the dollar the same amount of medicare savings that he had in his own budget. It takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did.

Dude, that's the exact story of every political discussion I've had for the last 10 years! (see: Heading Off At The Pass). I still can't figure out if they do this on purpose or not but I do know that it's a vain attempt to make up for the fact that they have no substantive plans of their own.

There is no doubt in my mind that this speech will go down in history as one of the greatest political speeches of all time. Every high school speech and/or debate club should be using it as a shining example of perfection.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Managing Fantasies Indeed

Last in line asked me yesterday if I wanted to go see Dinesh D'Souza's new film about the president. I told him that I would pass (even if he paid for it) and here's the reason why: I'm not going to be a party to the continued population of a fictional world.

The record of the last decade or so suggests that the party these days is animated by two main goals. First, it seeks unchallengeable, absolute power. Its modus operandi for achieving that goal has been to use institutional power—the power of corporations, courts and legislatures—to acquire more institutional power. A recent case is the drive in Republican-dominated states around the country to disenfranchise Democratic-leaning constituencies, such as the poor and minorities, by legislating onerous requirements for voting.

The other goal has been a less familiar one. More and more, Republicans have exhibited a strong desire to take up residence in an imaginary world, an alternate reality—one in which global warming is found to be a fraud perpetrated by the world’s top scientists, Obama turns out to have been born in Kenya and is a Muslim (and a socialist), budgets can be slashed without social pain, firing government employees reduces unemployment, tax cuts for the wealthy replenish government coffers, and so forth. Perhaps it seems odd to identify such an objective as a political goal, but past ideological movements of the left as well as the right offer many examples of the power of such a longing.

There is nothing more dangerous than a very large group of people who refuse to admit error and continue anyway with their meglomaniacal fantasies.

Worse, they seem to slip effortlessly into what I've been calling recently, "Heading Off At The Pass" syndrome. A severely debilitating avoidance reaction, this can take many forms (rest assured, I will be talking about them quite a bit between now and the election). An excellent example of this is Kevin Baker's continued use of the phrase "Do it again, only harder." His complaint is that liberal and progressive ideas have failed and that's why we have all these problems. Liberals want to do more to try to make up for their "failures."

In reality, (not the fictional world in which Kevin, his ilk, and what is now the GOP reside) however, those policies have worked.  Since Social Security first started we've seen our country grow into a massive power in the world. We had massive debt, deficits, high taxes, big government and socialized medicine while we essentially became the financial and cultural hegemenon of the world. We defeated the Nazis, the Communists, and are about to defeat Islamic extremism all with our free market ideals, capitalism, and democracy.

There's no need do any of it again or harder. We've already won.

And by "we," I mean all of us. Of course, people on the right wont't accept this because they can't stand losing an ideological argument (in typical adolescent form). They will have you believe our world is going to end any minute. In a certain sense, THEIR world has ended, in their eyes, because they have been proven wrong.  Their enemy is the truth so they have to invent fiction. Since there is never a shortage of fearful and ignorant people, they have power and here's where the danger comes in.

As the very famous and accurate phrase goes, we hate in others what we fear in ourselves. Yet, it was THEIR policies of deregulation and free market fundamentalism that brought us to the tough economic spot we are in right now. THEY are the ones that want to "Do it again, only harder" because they simply can't stand being wrong or admitting fault.

This is the Romney-Ryan ticket in a nutshell. It's a fantasy world filled with promises of giving failed policies another shot because somehow it was the fault of liberals that they didn't work the first time. I've said this many times and I guess I have to say it again.

The party who champions individual responsibility claims none of it.