Sunday, September 4, 2011

For Folks Who Don't Pay Attention

This piece comes from a guy who wrote it as he was leaving the GOP.  It is a good analysis, although Driftglass and many others have been saying the same things for many many years.  One also wonders what took him so long--was it just time to retire, and was the beach house now paid for?  Still, it has the value of being in some sense "from the inside."

He's right about the problems the country faces with its political system, that's for sure.  Money is power, and the monied are pretty much all lined up on the wrong side now.  Moreover, they have funded via getting their people elected powerful efforts to destroy organized unions, which not only weakens still further the ordinary working folks who are probably 90% of America, but weakens their voice in politics via union donations which to some degree off sets money from business, in our elections.  Then there's the pathetic "mainstream" media, which does not inform, and the devolution of the Democratic Party into simply GOP lite (which seems to me is due in part to the defection of people like the author of the truth out piece, who will end up being or at least voting Democratic because we have a simple two-party system).

I'm sure people who understand that we have a two-party system will, in 2012, vote again for Obama.  I'm also sure that many of the people who voted for Obama in '08, as a hope of real change in the United States, will now simply not vote.  This has happened before.  The depressing quality of the Vietnam era lead to lower and lower turnouts, and drove one very good President, Lyndon Johnson, out of office. Mr. Johnson, a master politician who makes Mr. Obama look like he is still in knickers, gave up in 1968.  This remarkable fact is seldom appreciated, perhaps because only five years later his successor left office to avoid impeachment.  People, in 1968, voted in Richard Nixon.  The implausability of Nixon's election should also  give pause forever.  Nixon's eventual collapse and forced resignation was no surprise, but almost predictable given his history.  The more abstract fact, that our system of government can become shockingly unstable almost overnight, is little remarked upon. 

Fox, which runs the propaganda arm of the GOP, also televises NFL, MLB, much top college sports, half the NASCAR season, etc.  You think they don't have credibility for their ongoing political distortions among people who don't pay attention?  They have more credibility where it counts than all the MSNBCs combined (and there's really only just one, plus Olbermann over on the hippie channel, bless his heart).

We are at a place in this country's politics where actual facts--truth--simply doesn't matter.  Michael Steele, a fairly thoughtful man and now an MSNBC analyst, said the other day that when a candidate was talking to his base it wasn't appropriate to question any of his statements.  Ed Schultz offered an example of this a couple of days ago, comparing Marco Rubio's recent speech on the theme of how social security and medicare weakens the "moral fabric" of the nation, with other speeches of his using examples of his own parents and their usage of social security and medicare.  As Mr. Lofgren above notes, Ayn Rand received both medicare and social security, without a complaint.  Yet it is without any doubt an effective water torture to press on with the double-speak--e.g., Democrats now routinely refer to social security and medicare as "entitlements," which is a loaded term suggesting that recipients did not in fact pay into these plans.  Moreover, the GOP goal is to turn whatever ends up being called "social security" and "medicare" into welfare programs for folks who are in dire need, dire being solely defined by people who are NOT in any need whatsoever, but in fact have wonderful, government funded health programs and magnificent retirement pensions which they voted in for themselves many years ago.  Once that happens it will be even easier to tighten the screws on people who have passed their "productive" years.  Such people will be merely the "parasites" amongst us.  And this sort of language is already being mainstreamed by radio commentators such an Neil Boortz.

I'm glad Mr. Lofgren decided to have his say.  At the same time, I do have to wonder, what took him so long.  As an insider, you'd a thunk he might have been saying something a couple of decades back?  The horses have long left the barn, and their hoofbeats blend with the distant thunder and flickering lightning beyond the far horizon.  Strange, that lightning.  It's a starry night around here.  We ought to get out the telescope and give Saturn a look, maybe we can see the rings.  The kids don't have to go to bed early--it's Labor Day.  What ever the hell that means? 

And speaking of things astronomical, here's a bit of reality which will of course be lost in all the meaningless blather that passes for commentary and analysis.  As usual, Mr. Driftglass is right on the money.

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