Monday, August 15, 2011

The Balance Thing

from Digby

David Gregory: You know, Perry talked about potentially seceding from the union. You think that's extreme. Well people on the other side think that introducing health care reform for the whole country is akin to European Socialism.

The quote comes from Digby, and was made on Meet the Press yesterday.  It illustrates pretty well why Americans who simply watch the occasional Sunday opinion show to find out what's going on remain in a state of confusion or even decide they'd better go to the next Tea Party rally to make their voice heard.  What Mr. Gregory did in that quote was to suggest that secession and a flawed but needed reform of the American health care system are pretty much equivalent, because there are people who think that's so.  In the same way, the idea that in the recent Republican created debt ceiling crisis it was actually both parties who were causing the crisis and endangering the economy and the well-being of millions of Americans is pretty much what Americans now think--because that's how it was reported, pretty much.

The American tragedy is that essential to a working democracy is an informed voting public.  A vibrant journalism is essential for an informed public.  But weaknesses in our system have now allowed a Lord Haw Haw media to develop and blossom over the past thirty so years, unchecked, and even in less doctrine driven media outlets (such as David Gregory's), the balance muddle in fact distorts the truth of our political situation.

As someone pointed out over the weekend, the best President we could elect in 2008 was an Eisenhower Republican.  All the Republican candidates running against him next year assert that Mr. Obama is a radical socialist, and some even hint that he isn't even an American.  This state of affairs is extremely dangerous to the future of America.  As Digby also pointed out recently, some people saw Governor Rick Perry's execution of an innocent man as a positive character trait.  "It takes balls to execute an innocent man," a constituent is reported to have remarked at the time.  (And Bill Clinton, let us recall, pretty much made his chops the same way in 1992, as did George W. Bush in 2000.)  Meanwhile, the practical result of our more and more militarized foreign policy is permanent war, and in that regard both our major parties can be called simply "The War Party."  You doubt?  Mr. Gates.  QED. 

Tuesday morning update:
It's not like the Ayn Rand Cult has utterly eaten the brains of all our "job creators."  Warren Buffet offered this in the New York Times recently.  It's worth a read, if only for the statistics about jobs created in more taxing eras.

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