The Shirley Sherrod Template

Republican "free market" economic policies are explicitly designed to concentrate the nation's wealth in as few hands as possible.  As collateral damage, the middle class will necessarily be ground into dust.  Hence, in a democratic system of government, the only way the GOP will be able to hold on to power is by attempting to exploit divisive social issues.

This is because, in economic terms, Republicans have nothing to offer their struggling foot soldiers except slogans.  And -- to paraphrase Hillary Clinton -- you can't eat a slogan. 

Filling the void, slick right-wing operators like Andrew Breitbart stand ready to serve up double portions of cultural red meat -- but on their own timetable.

Shirley Sherrod scenarios will arise, in myriad forms, for years to come.  Sometimes they will seem to benefit Republicans, sometimes they won't.  In either case, GOP politicians will be powerless to control them.  They'll simply have to ride the tiger and try to spin things to their political advantage.

"Flashpoint" racial politics will be a major part of the conservative playbook going forward.  Progressives need to be ready to combat it.

(From my blog http://partisandawn.wordpress.com/)

 

 

The Shirley Sherrod Template

Republican "free market" economic policies are explicitly designed to concentrate the nation's wealth in as few hands as possible.  As collateral damage, the middle class will necessarily be ground into dust.  Hence, in a democratic system of government, the only way the GOP will be able to hold on to power is by attempting to exploit divisive social issues.

This is because, in economic terms, Republicans have nothing to offer their struggling foot soldiers except slogans.  And -- to paraphrase Hillary Clinton -- you can't eat a slogan. 

Filling the void, slick right-wing operators like Andrew Breitbart stand ready to serve up double portions of cultural red meat -- but on their own timetable.

Shirley Sherrod scenarios will arise, in myriad forms, for years to come.  Sometimes they will seem to benefit Republicans, sometimes they won't.  In either case, GOP politicians will be powerless to control them.  They'll simply have to ride the tiger and try to spin things to their political advantage.

"Flashpoint" racial politics will be a major part of the conservative playbook going forward.  Progressives need to be ready to combat it.

(From my blog http://partisandawn.wordpress.com/)

 

 

When Life Gives You Lemonade, Conservatives Make Lemons

Apparently random acts of kindness are too much for conservatives. Acts of simple humanity are unbearable to them. Such the only conclusion one can draw from Terry Savage's column in the Chicago Sun Times where she rushes to monetize acts of kindness.

Last week, I was in a car with my brother and his fiancee, driving through their upscale neighborhood on a hot summer day. At the corner, we all noticed three little girls sitting at a homemade lemonade stand.

We follow the same rules in our family, and one of them is: Always stop to buy lemonade from kids who are entrepreneurial enough to open up a little business.

My brother immediately pulled over to the side of the road and asked about the choices.

The three young girls -- under the watchful eye of a nanny, sitting on the grass with them -- explained that they had regular lemonade, raspberry lemonade, and small chocolate candy bars.

Then my brother asked how much each item cost.

"Oh, no," they replied in unison, "they're all free!"

I sat in the back seat in shock. Free? My brother questioned them again: "But you have to charge something? What should I pay for a lemonade? I'm really thirsty!"

His fiancee smiled and commented, "Isn't that cute. They have the spirit of giving."

That really set me off, as my regular readers can imagine.

"No!" I exclaimed from the back seat. "That's not the spirit of giving. You can only really give when you give something you own. They're giving away their parents' things -- the lemonade, cups, candy. It's not theirs to give."

I pushed the button to roll down the window and stuck my head out to set them straight.

"You must charge something for the lemonade," I explained. "That's the whole point of a lemonade stand. You figure out your costs -- how much the lemonade costs, and the cups -- and then you charge a little more than what it costs you, so you can make money. Then you can buy more stuff, and make more lemonade, and sell it and make more money."

It is their obsession to monetize everything that has brought us to this juncture. Where once there was a commons, a respect for that which belongs to all of us, conservative ideology has craved up the planet into private enclosures and if they could they monetize the very air we breathe, they would. The irony is that free market ain't free as both the financial crises and the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico prove. 

Why Washington is More Right-Wing Than the Rest of the Country

We recently had John Avlon on the program and he is a devout "centrist." That used to mean that you were somewhere on the political spectrum between the left and the right. It now means that you set up false equivalencies between the left and the right and call everything even no matter what.

I'm an actual centrist. I used to be a liberal Republican from the North East. Of course, no such thing exists anymore. I'm against affirmative action. I'm a deficit hawk (except I believe we should balance the budget by not just cutting "entitlements" but also by cutting the Pentagon and raising taxes). I was for the Persian Gulf War but against the Iraq War. I am against Bush or Obama violating civil liberties or abusing executive authority.

So, in the country I'm right in the middle of the political spectrum. There is hardly a national poll that doesn't agree with my political position. Hence, I am now considered a raging liberal in Washington. Apparently, I am so far left now that Obama is significantly to the right of me.

How does that make sense? It doesn't, in any place outside of DC. But what's maddening is that no one acknowledges two things: 1. How far to the right of the country Washington is. 2. How far the political spectrum has moved to the right.

Why is Washington more right-wing than the rest of the nation? Because that's where power and the establishment reside. Power is by nature conservative -- it wants to protect its current privileged position. That's not nefarious, it's natural. But not acknowledging that is silly. The establishment loves the status quo, because that's what got them their current position. Why would they want to change that?

And how can anyone consider themselves a political analyst and not see how far to the right we have moved as a country? Eisenhower warned us of the military industrial complex. If he had said that now, people would say he's weak on national security and doesn't support the troops. And he was a Republican. Truman ran on single payer healthcare -- Obama wouldn't even consider that. Nixon started the Environmental Protection Agency. Reagan sold arms to terrorists, negotiated with the evil empire, raised taxes eleven times, ran from Lebanon. Are you absolutely sure that Obama is to the left of Reagan?

Watch this debate with John Avlon, the author of Wingnuts, How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America, and see if you really think there is such a thing as the hard left in this country and whether they are anywhere near as extreme as the hard right:

One other thing that we touched on in this conversation was the idea of corporatism. Being against corporatists doesn't mean you're anti-business. There is this absurd myth that liberals are anti-business. What does that mean? Liberals don't want there to be any more businesses? Does anyone really believe that? Liberals, centrists and conservatives have no problem with business as long as they are not taking our taxpayer money!

Do conservatives want trillions of taxpayer money going to Wall Street banks? My understanding was that they hated the bailouts. Do conservatives want taxpayers rather than BP to pay for the clean up of the oil spill in the Gulf? Well, I hope not.

Maybe some of the conservative leaders who take money from oil companies want that to happen -- but that's the whole point. The politicians aren't working for us anymore, liberals or conservatives. They are not driven by ideology. They're driven by whoever pays them, which is the lobbyists. Seventy percent of campaign contributions come from corporations. Now who do you think the politicians are going to work for?

Being against corporate control of our democracy shouldn't be a liberal position. It should be a universal position. It's not that multi-national corporations are evil, it's just that they're amoral. They are unconcerned with American taxpayers or citizens; they are concerned only with profits. That is what they have to be by law. It's absurd to argue otherwise.

Yet, the conventional wisdom in DC is that people who are worried about corporatist influence on American politics are far left crazies. They're not crazy, they're awake. And they're not even liberals, they're every American who is sick of their politicians being bought by the highest bidder. That's all of us, except the "centrists" in DC.

Watch The Young Turks Here

Follow Cenk Uygur on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TheYoungTurks
Follow The Young Turks on Facebook: www.facebook.com/tytnation

 

 

Send Chase to Netroots Nation

If you don't know Chase Whiteside and Erick Stoll of New Left Media, well you really should get to know them. They're two of the most talented individuals doing incredibly outstanding work documenting the idiocy of the Tea Party movement. There's nothing more damning that Tea Partiers in their own words as Rand Paul discovered this week.

Here is some of their work:

Please help in sending Chase to Netroots Nations by supporting his application for a DFA scholarship. Thank you.

Diaries

Advertise Blogads