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  • Romanticism, meet reality

    Romanticism, meet reality





    WE WILL never see the current incarnation of right-wing populism clearly, warns Ross Douthat, or weigh "its merits and demerits judiciously [without] acknowledging the legitimate sense of political disappointment that underlies the right's inclination towards intransigence". So by all means, now that the right-wing populists in Congress have acquiesced to doing their jobs and not blowing up the global financial system, let the acknowledging begin! That legitimate sense of disappointment, Mr Douthat explains, citing David Frum, stems from Republicans' repeated failure to "undo the work of Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon".

    Brit Hume gave Ted Cruz a similar elegy last night, worth citing in full:

    “
    In conventional terms, it seems inexplicable, but Senator Cruz and his adherents do not view things in conventional terms. They look back over the past half-century, including the supposedly golden era of Ronald Reagan, and see the uninterrupted forward march of the American left. Entitlement spending never stopped growing. The regulatory state continued to expand. The national debt grew and grew and finally in the Obama years, exploded. They see an American population becoming unrecognizable from the free and self-reliant people they thought they knew. And they see the Republican Party as having utterly failed to stop the drift toward an unfree nation supervised by an overweening and bloated bureaucracy. They are not interested in Republican policies that merely slow the growth of this leviathan. They want to stop it and reverse it. And they want to show their supporters they'll try anything to bring that about.

    And if some of those things turn out to be reckless and doomed, well so be it.”


    Now, I ought to admit that I have spent the past three weeks of shutdown high-drama in Singapore and Britain—nations, I suppose, of "unfree" people stumbling miserably about, enslaved by the horrors of universal health care—so perhaps I have lost my taste for freedom. And I wonder where these champions of government shrinkage were during George W. Bush's eight years of federal-government expansion, and why their calls to repeal Medicare Part D and defund the Transportation Security Administration are so much quieter than their calls to repeal and defund the Affordable Care Act.

    But such details are boringly quotidian; and as Mr Hume explains, Mr Cruz and his ilk operate in a realm of pure sentiment. Their goal in the shutdown was not to accomplish any specific policy objectives, but to "show their supporters they'll try anything" to shrink the state. Except, it seems, actually shrinking the state. There is a crucial difference between showing people how much you want to shrink the state and actually shrinking it. To do that, they will have to convince people that it's worth doing. They will have to make their case—and it's a hard case to make. People like Obamacare. They like Medicare and Social Security too, and not just because they are junkies hooked on the government yayo, but also, I suspect, out of a sense that in a country as rich as America people should not starve or freeze or die because they cannot afford to see a doctor. To roll all of this back, Republicans will have to set aside the exciting, romantic, vox clamantis thrill of noble failure, and get about the boring drudgery of actually winning elections—and not just in gerrymandered districts, but nationally. As I tell my five-year-old: destroying things is easy. Building is hard.
    "There are four lights!"

  • #2
    People like Obamacare. They like Medicare and Social Security too, and not just because they are junkies hooked on the government yayo, but also, I suspect, out of a sense that in a country as rich as America people should not starve or freeze or die because they cannot afford to see a doctor.
    Thanks, I needed the chuckle.
    Not where I breathe, but where I love, I live...
    Robert Southwell, S.J.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by phillygirl View Post
      Thanks, I needed the chuckle.
      Yea. He obviously missed the Republican debates in 2012.
      "There are four lights!"

      Comment


      • #4
        People like Obamacare.
        Originally posted by phillygirl View Post
        Thanks, I needed the chuckle.


        May we raise children who love the unloved things - the dandelion, the worm, the spiderlings.
        Children who sense the rose needs the thorn and run into rainswept days the same way they turn towards the sun...
        And when they're grown and someone has to speak for those who have no voice,
        may they draw upon that wilder bond, those days of tending tender things and be the one.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Billy Jingo View Post
          Now, I ought to admit that I have spent the past three weeks of shutdown high-drama in Singapore and Britain—nations, I suppose, of "unfree" people stumbling miserably about, enslaved by the horrors of universal health care—so perhaps I have lost my taste for freedom. And I wonder where these champions of government shrinkage were during George W. Bush's eight years of federal-government expansion, and why their calls to repeal Medicare Part D and defund the Transportation Security Administration are so much quieter than their calls to repeal and defund the Affordable Care Act.
          It's hard for them to have a taste of freedom when they've known nothing else. If this country overwhelmingly supported government run healthcare like they have in Great Britain and presumably Singapore, then I would have to say all our objections would be for naught. Instead, we as a nation don't want anything resembling that. Hence this Frankenstein's monster of a hybrid plan, where we've somehow let ourselves be talked into be forced to buy a product we may not want from private companies who are doing little to compete for our business.

          As for the other accusations, I've known enough hardcore conservatives online and in real life long enough to know that there ARE a lot of vocal critics of Bush's unfettered expansionism, and almost as many willing to shut down the TSA and take our chances.

          I'm sure any second now someone will bring up that this ACA is practically a Republican plan, but I would be wise to point out that aside from Massachusetts (states rights!) it has never been implemented anywhere else. It was rightly shot down when it was created as an alternative to Hillarycare and it should have been shot down when Obama got his grubby little hands on it.

          Originally posted by Billy Jingo View Post
          People like Obamacare. They like Medicare and Social Security too, and not just because they are junkies hooked on the government yayo, but also, I suspect, out of a sense that in a country as rich as America people should not starve or freeze or die because they cannot afford to see a doctor. To roll all of this back, Republicans will have to set aside the exciting, romantic, vox clamantis thrill of noble failure, and get about the boring drudgery of actually winning elections—and not just in gerrymandered districts, but nationally. As I tell my five-year-old: destroying things is easy. Building is hard.
          They like certain aspects of it. Not all of it is popular. And last I checked, I've never seen an article detailing anyone's death by freezing, starving or any other horror movie plot because they couldn't get emergency medical care.

          As for gerrymandering, am I truly to believe you think all the Democrats elected were done so fair and square like? What a bunch of horse squeeze. Gerrymandering benefits whoever gets to do the redrawing. And it has been anything but a Republican tactic. For every Ted Cruz who is safe from his own incredible stupidity, there's a Nancy Pelosi safe and secure from common sense.
          “Any sufficiently advanced capitalism is indistinguishable from rent seeking.” ~ =j

          Comment


          • #6
            It's rather amusing having The Economist try to lecture Americans about reality. Like Der Spiegel, they, too, have become increasingly shrill and ever more Leftist extremist as they see, but don't dare admit, that Barack Obama was a gigantic mistake. So they turn to the usual Leftist tactic: try anything and everything to defend the indefensible.




            The stinging rebuke from this reader nails it pretty much right to the wall, as far as the whining author goes:

            A bit lad-de-da, this column. It seems to imply that the T-Party is to be criticized, or at least those who support their views, for not playing well with others.

            I am glad for Social Security (especially on the arrival of each check) and also for Medicare (ditto.) I want all Americans to have health care and I think AC is a good start.

            I voted for Obama and I could have hugged him when he had the manliness to back away from his ill-coceived Syrian threats and embraced Putin's face-saving plan. And, in addition, his conciliatory and open-handed approach to Iran may truly earn him that Nobel prize he rather gratuitously was awarded. So far . . . not a bad run for the Prexy.

            But, it is the job of a protest party -- to PROTEST. Remember that bumper sticker, "Well-behaved women seldom make history?" Well, the same applies in politics. From the Jeffersonian Republicans through the Free Soil and nascent Republican Parties down to the Populists, Grangers and Greenback Parties of the agrarian protest era and thence among the Bull Moose and Progressive Parties of the early20th century the criticism leveled against them has always been the same -- LUNATIC, IRRESPONSIBLE AND DANGEROUS.

            But, in the end, their outre ideas were usually incorporated into the body politic as having merit. It is hard for some commentators to believe but the statism of current American political philosophy is actually now our conservative tradition. It is the T-Party sorts who are our political radicals -- those trying to revive older strains of American discourse as well as introduce a new frame for analysis of our woes.

            How thrilled were readers to learn this past summer that government surveillance has reached unprecedented heights? And, is this power of surveillance possible without a powerful federal government? Will the government always just deliver my SS check when it can now also read my email?

            What about the question of debt and deficit? If the dollar slides from reserve currency status then is our future the editorialist's Singapore -- or is it Detroit?

            You put out a fire by, first, screaming "FIRE" so people become aware of an issue. That is, exactly, what this recent "crisis" was all about.

            I am not a T-Partier, I am not particularly conservative and I was as annoyed as the rest of you with this recent melodrama. But, to airily dismiss the whole business seems ostrich-like. The T-Party types raise important issues -- they are not required to do so in a manner that pleases editorial writers.


            Ouch.



            The author is yet another in a long string of head-in-the-clouds voluntary Eurotrash who think that they know what's best for America: just be like Europe! Well, we're not Europe, and we don't want to be Europe. If people want to live in Europe, there's already one there for them to go to.
            Bask in the warmth of the Deep South
            No one will be denied:
            Big law suits and bathroom toots;
            We're all getting Dixie-fried.
            But somewhere Hank and Lefty
            Are rollin' in their graves
            While kudzu vines grow over signs that read "Jesus Saves."

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