[FoRK] Daniel Rosen / ["conservative", "liberal"] apologetics and critique
dmorton at bitfurnace.com
Fri Nov 6 06:25:34 PST 2009
I move that all video of politicians should not only depict the (D) or
(R)-ness of the representative, but also codes representing the top 5 donor
groups funding that representative.
Something like the proposal Jesse Ventura makes that members of congress and
senators wear sponsor badges on the suits, but better, because it doesnt
require cooperation from those reps.
On Sat, Nov 7, 2009 at 1:12 AM, Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> wrote:
> So... interesting week.
> The GOP wins some gubernatorial races yet loses the state race on which its
> own internecine coup hinged, yet both intra-party factions claim victory,
> Steele trading blows with an illusory "movement" within his own party while
> at the same time pandering to those he believes to be its constituents.
> Meanwhile Wednesday morning CNN proudly trumpets, with the most vacuous
> "analysis" I've seen yet, that this isn't a referendum on Obama. (Other
> outlets, including rather weirdly the usually-delusional LA Times, come to
> the opposite conclusion.)
> The internecine war in the GOP is a *good* thing; I tend to agree with
> Boortz that until the GOP manages to cut itself loose from the rhetoric and
> activism of its theocrat wing, it will continue to degenerate. OTOH, it
> appears certain (cf. Congressional approval, etc.) at this point that the
> 2010 election will shift the balance of power back to some form of checked
> arrangement between the parties with respect to bicameral control. This
> could be either good or bad, but will almost certainly be bad in the long
> run unless the GOP reality check continues. This reality check, however,
> seems likely to drown in the tsunami of propaganda being thrown off by the
> GOP's fraternal struggle. Meanwhile it seems unlikely that the
> still-punch-drunk Democrats will "get the message" in time to make
> meaningful changes in behavior, either --- even if they were inclined to do
> so, which clearly they aren't.
> Stephen tosses out Rosen's useless swipe at Hayward's critique of
> conservatism: "Steven F. Hayward wrote: 'The single largest defect of
> modern conservatism, in my mind, is its insufficient ability to challenge
> liberalism at the intellectual level. . . .' No. The single largest defect
> of modern conservatism is that it has ruined the nation. Conservatives do
> not have ideas; they have interests. Conservatives are not 'thinkers'"...
> blah blah blah...
> This is like arguing about whether Superman can beat up Mighty Mouse.
> Is there any political commentator or pundit *at all* left in this country
> that has a brain *at all?*
> Neither "conservative" nor "liberal" (nor any other kind of) governmental
> activism has set well with voters over the course of this decade (and
> longer.) Until the parties recognize this, and learn to govern as *less*
> than they are now, the situation will continue to devolve, with increasingly
> degenerate prospects for long-term stability and consistency. And meanwhile
> the critics and apologetics on both sides of this
> aisle-of-their-own-imagining continue to exacerbate the problem.
> Let's recap:
> - elections are being determined by a some "middle" population voters with
> loose and shifting allegiance
> - we can speculate about how big this middle is, however
> - *neither* party's hewing-to-the-base / increasing extremism is winning
> things for them
> - criticizing the "intellectualism" of "conservatives" (or "liberals") is
> just stupid (as is identifying with either)
> - until *both* parties realize what's going on, they'll continue to eat
> their own (and trade elections)
> - there is no single "left" and "right" --- politics is a
> multi-dimensional landscape
> - popular opinion shifts constantly about this landscape
> - the last few elections have made clear what the voters value:
> - a government of *public service*, *humility*, and *integrity*
> - a government that acts responsibly, responsively, yet with restraint
> - a government that subordinates itself to *general* popular (i.e., not
> niche) interest(s)
> - a government that seeks to engineer neither culture nor economy
> - a government that does what it must --- but *only that* and *no more*
> - ...and that set (i.e., *must*) is the *intersection* of consensus, not
> the union!
> (I infer the latter re: voter values by observing that none of the
> statements above describe any of the governmental configurations the US has
> enjoyed in the last decade, and by noting the popular dissatisfaction with
> those various governments over time.)
> If we get the government we deserve, then apparently America has for nearly
> a decade (and arguably quite a bit longer) deserved government primarily by
> and for arrogant, extremist oligarchs and technocrats whose view of reality
> is so dominated by ideology (or in some cases by absurdly "rationalized,"
> myopic self-interest) that it verges on, or perhaps definitionally is,
> simply delusional.
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