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I don't often read big long articles of punditry on what the liberals are doing/did wrong, but this one engaged me from beginning to end.

What's the matter with liberals? by Thomas Frank

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( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
ubet_cha
Apr. 28th, 2005 06:22 pm (UTC)
Hey Thanks!
I had no idea about this story ….

Then came what must rank as one of the most ill-conceived liberal electoral efforts of all time: in October the British Guardian newspaper launched a campaign to persuade one contested, blue-collar county in Ohio to vote against President Bush. The idea was to have Guardian readers in Britain write personal letters to voters in Ohio, whose names and addresses the newspaper had secured from registration rolls. Unsurprisingly, the Ohioans strongly resented being lectured to on the foolishness of their national leader by some random bunch of erudite Europeans.

….and have to agree it was of the most stupid maneuvers I have every heard of.

But the author should be careful. When he says things like this to make a point….

” state of West Virginia, one of the poorest in the nation, in the process of transforming itself into a conservative redoubt. This is a place where the largest private-sector employer is Wal-Mart and

One of the problems with all of the wailing that went on when Kerry lost was that much of it sounded elitist and insulting to the red states, where many people did vote for the man.. West Virginia has been a bastion for the Democratic party for decades. Will it be in 2008? I doubt it. There is a lot of damage control to undue.

I am still utterly amazed that moral values even was considered to be a factor in this or any election. I mean that, it is still shocking. On the other hand I am one of those parents who will hold on to the term “ Merry Christmas” as long as I can, although I know many who still boycott Macy’s because of their view on the phrase and think that’s just ridiculous.
larksdream
Apr. 28th, 2005 06:30 pm (UTC)
I am still utterly amazed that moral values even was considered to be a factor in this or any election.

Oh, I'm not. Consider the history of Europe and more recently the Middle East. All dictators rise to power on a platform of "moral values".
ubet_cha
Apr. 28th, 2005 06:47 pm (UTC)
In the past Dictators have usurped democracies with the overwhelming ‘love’ of the people. Bush is hardly loved, or even liked. In 2008 he’s gone and I can’t see anyone coming up from the RNC to replace him. I was asked to write a piece about possible 2008 candidates and so far just haven’t felt like it. Unless things are going splendidly, we typically swap parties. I’d say unless a tape of Hillary doing porn turns up, she is a shoe in. What’s to write about? The political campus looks boring.
ubet_cha
Apr. 28th, 2005 06:49 pm (UTC)
sub canvas for campus.........Damn brain-farts.
larksdream
Apr. 28th, 2005 06:59 pm (UTC)
Bush is hardly loved, or even liked.

I would totally disagree with you here. I think Bush is FEVERISHLY "loved" because his entire campaign has been "I'm the only one who can protect you from { terrorists / gays / liberals / flag-burners / abortionists / the French / not knowing what's on Mars }". (Remember his little plan to go to Mars? Heh. That lasted what, all of a week? Look, Elvis!)

I just wish I understood why so much of America is so anti-intellectual. I want to do GOOD with my fancy schmancy college education. I want to use my skills and talents to serve others, *especially* those who don't have the advantages I've had. Maybe that's seen as patronizing and disconnected from working-class realities? Though believe me, nobody would dare say that if they saw some of the places I lived while in school...
ubet_cha
Apr. 28th, 2005 07:24 pm (UTC)
I just wish I understood why so much of America is so anti-intellectual. I want to do GOOD with my fancy schmancy college education. I want to use my skills and talents to serve others, *especially* those who don't have the advantages I've had. Maybe that's seen as patronizing and disconnected from working-class realities? Though believe me, nobody would dare say that if they saw some of the places I lived while in school..

Class warfare has been used effectively in this country for a very long time by both parties. Its fascinating to me, that the Republicans are able to do it so successfully, right now. I think people on the D-left ( As opposed to my whacko-libertarian-left that no listens to anyway.) really hurt themselves when they point out how much of their supporters are college educated or, as I mentioned, make fun of the intellectual abilities of people in Red States.

I know people are just venting, but when you’re on a losing side you don’t dig the hole deeper. What people say matters in the public realm. Its similar to Newt Gingrich shooting his mouth off after the 1994 elections. How quickly was he trashed after that? 96? People are won over by the conviction of arguments, not by belittling everyone who disagrees with a point of view. Its petty and hardly appealing to anyone save people who already feel the same way.

Bush hurts himself almost every time he talks. Do you think he’ll change anything tonight with his 8:30 speech? Give him enough room to botch it and he will.

PS – You’re right there are people who love him. I like to forget they exist.

PPS – Sorry K*, not trying to hijack your journal.
larksdream
Apr. 28th, 2005 07:32 pm (UTC)
Its petty and hardly appealing to anyone save people who already feel the same way.

Yes, this is true. But... grrrrrraaaaarrrrrghhh!, you know?

I think we lost a lot politically when trying to achieve compromise started being called "weak" and "a betrayal of your own principles" and the only way you could avoid that charge was by extreme polarization and a mule-headed refusal to back down...
snidegrrl
Apr. 28th, 2005 07:42 pm (UTC)
it's called commenting, not hijacking :)

i just don't have time to participate until later tonight. :)
larksdream
Apr. 28th, 2005 07:52 pm (UTC)
Okay, I'm glad you feel that way, I was about to apologize too. *G*
larksdream
Apr. 28th, 2005 09:32 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but what gets me is that I'm on their side!!! I'm against the rich getting richer while the poor suck it up. I want to see that the common guy is taken care of if something happens to him. I am NOT for free handouts but I think that, given that it's OBVIOUS sometimes people need a little help, it's better to provide that help than to say they shouldn't need it in the first place. I want to make sure all kids in this country go to bed warm and safe and fed and have good schools to go to the next morning, no matter how much their parents earn. I want to preserve our environment so that everyone can enjoy good health, not just multimillionaires who'll be able to afford half-mile-diameter plastic bubbles and brand-name air. I even want them to be able to practice their religion, as silly as I may think it is. I want to prevent teen pregnancy. I want to honor marriage. I want strong communities. Honestly and truly, what the HELL do they not agree with????

*pant*
*pant*
*faint*
multiplexer
Apr. 28th, 2005 07:48 pm (UTC)
Bush is polling at 47% today, with 43% believing "strongly" that he is flushing the country down the toilet. It's on the front page of the WaPo.

Bush is not loved by anyone except the feverish extreme right, and even they are getting bored with the man. With his big signature items tanking, the only thing he polls positively on is terrorism, and even there he's pretty luke warm.

Bush is in danger of becoming irrelevant, which is why he's starting to have press conferences prime time, like he's planning tonight. Not that anyone will watch, because who cares about an irrelevant 2nd term president when gas is $2.37 a gallon.
larksdream
Apr. 28th, 2005 07:51 pm (UTC)
Would it be very cynical of me to start expecting a new dire threat to pop up soon?
multiplexer
Apr. 28th, 2005 07:54 pm (UTC)
There won't be any dire threats. Why?

* It will draw attention to the fact that a report was just released showing that there were 3x the number of worldwide terrorist attacks last year than in 2003.

* It will make Bush look weak.

* It will distract from his Social Security and Energy bills, both of which are tanking anyway.

But his initiatives are doomed anyway, because we're all watching the Tom DeLay deathwatch.
larksdream
Apr. 28th, 2005 09:34 pm (UTC)
You almost give me hope.
rob_donoghue
Apr. 28th, 2005 08:13 pm (UTC)
Actually, the press conference is because today is th elast day of his 60 day social security tour. If he doesn't do somethign distracting (like this press conference) then tomorrow's headlines will be about how badly the tour went.
snidegrrl
Apr. 28th, 2005 07:51 pm (UTC)
Re: Hey Thanks!
I have to say that if I got a letter from someone in britain, I'd feel flattered. But that's probably just my fan-cee edumacation talkin'.
rob_donoghue
Apr. 28th, 2005 08:14 pm (UTC)
Re: Hey Thanks!
I'd be freaked. And dump their tea in the harbor. And then be murdered by my wife for wasting perfectly good tea.
larksdream
Apr. 28th, 2005 09:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Hey Thanks!
Thus confirming their image of Americans as bloodthirsty, violent criminals. It all ties together. *G*
chelidon
Apr. 28th, 2005 06:25 pm (UTC)
Excellent piece -- thanks for the link. I sent it to a number of people who might benefit from reading it, including my uber-conservative father.
larksdream
Apr. 28th, 2005 06:27 pm (UTC)
It's an excellent article. (I have the book that the title probably refers to, "What's the Matter With Kansas?", but haven't read it yet.) I remember the furor over Kerry, gasp, speaking a few words of French... to Haitians... the snob! *rolls eyes*

Okay, now I'm twitching again... I think that's enough politics for me for one day. *goes off to cry*
swartzdk
Apr. 29th, 2005 12:32 pm (UTC)
Good article. One thing it points out but doesn't discuss is that the Democrats put forth no ideas, no plans, no suggestions just total opposition to anything Bush has to offer. Social Security is a real good example. If you study history you will find out that Bush's plan is really Clinton's plan. Why would it be good for Clinton but Bad for Bush????
cheetahmaster
Apr. 29th, 2005 06:44 pm (UTC)
One thing it points out but doesn't discuss is that the Democrats put forth no ideas, no plans, no suggestions just total opposition to anything Bush has to offer.

See also the Republicans in the 90's.
rubinpdf
Apr. 30th, 2005 12:23 am (UTC)
Perhaps you forget The Contract with America circa 1994. Newt Gingrich, the vile evil man that he was, proposed that it wasn't enough for Republicans to just oppose Democrat policies, but needed also to propose ideas of their own.

See also 1996 Welfare Reform Act - proposed by Republicans in Congress, signed into law by William Jefferson Clinton.

I know American History isn't much in vogue to be taught in schools these days, but heck I thought you just might been old enough to actually remember these things.

bizarrojack
Apr. 30th, 2005 12:59 am (UTC)
That's a funny way to make a point about saying "in the 90's" instead of "in the early 90's".
rubinpdf
Apr. 30th, 2005 03:07 pm (UTC)
I would classify '94 and '96 as mid nineties.

Here's my breakdown:
1990-93 - Early Nineties
1994-96 - Mid Nineties
1997-99 - Late Nineties

I suppose you could classify 1994 as early mid nineties (and hence 1996 as late mid ninties), though I'm sure you weren't attempting to be as pedantic as that.
bizarrojack
Apr. 30th, 2005 12:46 am (UTC)
It doesn't point that out because it's a totally moronic statement. Ideas are a plenty (you just hate them all; I hate some of them too), plans are a waste when your party has no power (its a fact). Clinton's plan wasn't good either, that's why it never went anywhere. The stock market can lose money. If you want to make money, get a real IRA; If you want to guarantee that you have a little bit of money, keep people like Bush out of the whitehouse.

I love the way that his argument against the lockbox (that it is not locked) is that people like him could spend all the money. If you want to take fraud into account, well yeah, so could Bernie Ebbers or Ken Lay.
rubinpdf
Apr. 30th, 2005 04:07 pm (UTC)
Since the beginning of Social Security, Congress has spent any additional funds Social Security may have spent on the current years general fund budget. In the 1960's, Congress formalized this by including any Social Security surplus into the General Fund - making yearly deficit look smaller.
To be fair, there is no current method for the government to invest or save the money. The only thing that can be done with the money is to spend it. When you hear a politician say he wants to invest government funds into a new highway or new social program, what he really means is that he wants to spend money on some project. Treasury Bills/Bonds are just the way the government gets more money to spend now to pay back at a future date.

The Social Security Trust Fund/Lockbox is "invested" in Treasury Bills. What does the government do with money invested in itself? It spends it. So the Trust Fund is actually just part of the Total National Debt. There has never been any actually money in it. It is and always has always been just all I.O.U.s.

In essence, Social Security is a pay as you go system. The FICA taxes collected today pay for the benefits paid out today. The problem comes when taxes collected today no longer pay for the benefits paid today. That date is 2018. On that date, the government will start to "collect" on the money invested in Treasury Bills. The government will then have to pay back to itself the money it borrowed from itself.
How will it pay it back? By issuing more Treasury Bills... aka more debt.

BTW - 2018 is just 13 years away.

( 27 comments — Leave a comment )