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Yes, they’re despicable, and so are they

Sometimes people chastise me for focusing so much on Obama’s sins, and Democrats in general, and hardly ever on the loyal opposition’s.

My current understanding of the roles of everyone who holds elected federal office is that they’re all the opposition. My goal these days is to try to alter the perspectives of readers who think that one politician or another is on their side, and one or another is worthy of enthusiastic support.

None of them are. Some of them are blatantly reactionary. Some of them are blatantly vicious. Those are the ones people think should get more of my attention.

Others are more subtle about being viciously reactionary. Others are only propelling themselves down the slippery slope; others are more hapless than that. But they’re all opposed to most of us.

Most people know on some level that they’re getting played. They just get confused about who’s playing them.

A lot of people think they’re being played by poor people, who are only poor because being poor in America is such an easy life. Indoor plumbing! Government cheese!

Poor people get played too, but they’re so unimportant that mostly they just get openly screwed.

Some of the people who think they’re being played by poor people think they’re also being played by those few of their neighbors who enjoy the few remaining protections that unions provide to their members.

Structural unemployment, the idea that at any moment there has to be a certain unconscionably large and growing percentage of people who want jobs but can’t get one, is a game run on everybody who has or wants a job and isn’t singular. It’s a fixed roulette wheel. It costs you money every time you step to the table.

And so on. Any vote for anyone who has a chance to win is a vote to screw somebody who doesn’t deserve it and protect somebody who does.

Obviously what’s required is that everybody vote for someone who hasn’t a chance to win.

My someone, as goes without saying.

Marx got relationships right. That was almost 150 years ago and the mechanics have recently changed some, but the screwed and the screwers and the transactions between and among them haven’t.

So that’s all. That’s it. That’s why.

And remember, boys and girls, according to the President of these United States, it isn’t hostile to lob a missile at the object of your enmity if there’s no chance that you’ll get hurt in the process.

Here’s a great idea, which not to my surprise I found here.

Thank you, good night and God bless this Blog.

15 comments to Yes, they’re despicable, and so are they

  • Schmutzie

    “The 2 Party System is like a bowl of shit looking at itself in the mirror.”~ Lewis Black

    I think the reason people are disappointed with Obama is that he got them to drop their cynical guard. Briefly, people thought he might be something different. I did. Maybe he is and maybe he isn’t but there’s no way of knowing because of the utterly corrupt system in which he has to operate. What used to be considered a great president was a guy who delivered for the people, not for corporations and special interests. PAC money and god knows what else thanks to Citizens United have changed what a great president is.

    (ahem…twitter link)

  • JackD

    I take it you think there has never been an office holder worthy of support. I think you forget that they get gamed by the system too and that they have to operate, as Schmutzie says, within a system and context as flawed as humanity at large. I’m reminded of Durbin’s lament during debate on financial regulations bill that they (the banks) “own this place.”.

    • The Durbin remark is a good place to start. If he thinks the banks own the joint, then he has to think of himself as at best a sort of ombudsman with limited powers to wring concessions from the banks on behalf of his constituents. Probably his constituents aren’t all that wild about electing him to a corporate customer relations position rather than a federal office, or wouldn’t be if he explained that that’s what they’ve done. So he could, if he chose, do something like trying to persuade some of his fellow employees to take the train up the coast and join the rabble on Wall Street, and perhaps invite his constituents to join in as well.

      I don’t think I’m being particularly radical when I say that the system isn’t going to unfuck itself, or that a vote for someone who has no intention of trying to dramatically alter the balance of power in favor of non-corporate and non-wealthy citizens is a vote to continue more or less as things are, which is a vote to screw a lot of people. I think many people may be looking for permission to behave aggressively toward the people who own the country and I think Durbin and others like him could, but won’t, lead by example. Unfortunately the Republicans aren’t at all hesitant to encourage their own constituents to act out on behalf of the management’s interests.

      I didn’t say there’s never been an officeholder worthy of support—I would be really happy to be forced to settle for FDR at the moment— and I don’t know everybody in Congress now, but if they’re not out rabble-rousing and getting themselves arrested on the TeeVee, then yes, they’re not worth supporting.

  • JackD

    You want Durbin to shoot everyone else in the senate? How do you suggest he and others could lead by example? FDR, among other things, put Japanese Americans into internment camps.

    • No, not shoot everyone else. I want him to leave Bernie Sanders alive, for nostalgia’s sake.

      I don’t want Durbin to shoot anyone, and I don’t see how anything I said translates otherwise. I want him to join the demonstrators on Wall Street, as I said, and tell his constituents that if they’re upset about the way things are going then it’s fine for them to get together to shut down the banks or shut down Wall Street or occupy the Congress or surround the White House and he’ll support them and join them if they do. And I want him to encourage his colleagues to do the same sorts of things as well.

      He would never do that. Nobody up there would ever do that. But absent a (preferably peaceful) citizen uprising of massive proportions, what is going to significantly change if Durbin stays healthy and gets elected to another two or three terms before he calls it quits, or if anybody who can raise the kind of money it takes to get elected, gets elected? If someone can say “The banks own this place” and then go on about business as usual instead of continuing “and that has to stop now,” there’s not a lot of hope.

      I’m fairly sure FDR would not have interned the Japanese upon taking office in 2009, but we’ll never know.

  • JackD

    Durbin has not joined the march on Wall Street but he does continue to advocate for restraints on those people and to support legislation intended to accomplish that. I think it is unfair to assume that he “simply goes about business as usual” because he doesn’t join the street theatre in New York.
    You’re right. FDR probably wouldn’t have interned the Japanese in 2009. He might have interned Muslims however especially if people politically important to him were screaming for him to do it. FDR was quite capable of being an unprincipled prick on occasion.

    • My point with respect to Durbin is that one oughtn’t be able to say at one moment that the banks own the legislative process and then the next say that one is working to legislate away their ownership. The logic fails.

      I think civil disobedience has a long and honorable history and we ought to embrace it now. I think people who are upset enough to do that are so scared for their livelihoods and their homes that they won’t unless they see that someone in power has their backs. I think absent that, our current situation will only get worse. I think, therefore, that a vote for anyone who won’t summon people to the barricades and man one himself is a vote for things to get worse.

      And I think that I would much rather have had an unprincipled prick like FDR running the country in the first three months of 2009 than the guy that we actually had, whether or not he is principled.

      I know we disagree on this. I have held your view in the not so distant past. I do not expect anyone to flock, as it were, to my banner. I just want to be on the record after a decade or so of having suspended my convictions. Vote Green. Vote Communist. Whatever.

  • JackD

    Don’t misunderstand me. I think FDR was a great president and accomplished a lot. He was, however, no angel and had some advantages Obama did and does not like an overwhelmingly Democratic Congress.

    • I think FDR also had energy, vision and a sense of urgency that Obama did and does not. But the matter of Congress—you’ve noted that Obama, according to Bai, identifies as a Blue Dog, so he’s operating on the right flank of his party. I would and do argue that he’s actually more conservative than that, but in any event he did have pretty much the entire Democratic caucus at his back and that national sense of panic to work with in his first few months. Had he been a liberal, had he been energetic, had he really been infected with “the fierce urgency of now,” he would have had the opportunity to do some positive damage. But he’s cautious and, both politically and personally, conservative.

  • JackD

    You think he had pretty much the entire Democratic caucus at his back? How much was necessary, though, in light of the filibuster rules of the senate? Lieberman, Landrieu, Baucus, and some others made that “pretty much the entire Democratic caucus” pretty ephemeral. Roosevelt never faced anything like that. Truman did and campaigned against them and won but didn’t get anything done in the meantime.

    • Well, if he thinks of himself as a Blue Dog, doesn’t that mean that everybody in the caucus was either ideologically aligned with him or to his left? That aside, he’s a conservative, corporate Democrat; he wouldn’t have been FDR under any circumstances. I didn’t just make up the stuff I was saying before the election.*

      *Upon reflection, I should amend that to “I didn’t just make up all the stuff …”

  • JackD

    Perhaps, but recall the extended and tedious process of coming up with the affordable health care act. It’s hard to believe that Obama wanted it to consume that much time and energy. Recall also the effort to close Guantanamo. That got stopped because Congress wouldn’t allow the prisoners to be held in the U.S. even though Illinois was willing to house them in Thomson, a town that wanted the prison jobs. Consider also the foot dragging and probable emasculation of financial reform and the water torture death of the consumer protection agency. Those initiatives were Obama’s, blue dog or not. Maybe there are blue dogs and then there are blue dogs.

    • I knew Obama would face a challenging legislative environment, and said so. I also knew that his initiatives would be pretty weak tea and would probably get watered down further if they survived the process at all. No doubt he’s invested in some of the stuff he campaigned on and some of the stuff he has proposed, but clearly not enough so to break out the Grade A rhetoric we’re seeing now, as campaign season starts, ostensibly in service to a (weak) stimulus package that he knows full well will never be adopted. And then there’s his own adoption of patently right-wing policies such as social insurance program “reform”, supply side nonsense and deficit reduction fever.

      So yeah, he’s had a rough go, but from my perspective he wouldn’t have amounted to much in even in the smoothest of waters.

  • JackD

    Well, at a minimum then, it’s time to play defense. Those other folks are bizarre.