Monday, March 02, 2009

Less Politics

You are correct if you have noted a recent reluctance on my part to comment on political matters as much. It is only partly fatigue from the election.

I follow the links on Maggie's and Insty, at Neo's site and Tigerhawk's and Carl's NOFP. Barely into the Obama presidency and the new congress, there is already a stunning array of lies, scandals, reversals, and pettiness. Others are outraged. I am numbed, seeing article after article of corruption, blatant pandering, evasion of responsibility - and all at a cost hitherto unimagined. His supporters seem to be retreating into an imaginary land: Well, the country needs to change. I think we can do it.

It's a slow-motion train wreck. What is there to say? I'm glad all those other guys are keeping up their work, to hasten the disillusionment before the deluge. But I simply shake my head.

15 comments:

TomG said...

blah, blah, blah - all politics is really ... not by interpretation, but intent, and what happens - happens anyway ... regardless of pundits, op/eds, specialist, diviners, ad nauseum et ad infinitum. In that realm and vein, it's hard to disagree with the Gen X bumper sticker "Whatever" (oh wow, not another scandal to dwell on for the next umpteen months - keeping stride with the host of investors' unfolding dupings/schemes). Any wonder why it's become such a cynical topic?

copithorne said...

It is truly an amazing phenonomenon that the country is split into two parallel realities. It’s like watching a force of nature.

I am consoled that I think you’ll be marginalized until you are able to rejoin, for example, consensus New York Times reality. From what I can see, it remains inconceivable to people in your reality that you will be obliged to do that.

But the level of hysteria and paranoia is breathtaking. I hope you can use your skills to soothe people in your reality because they are making themselves sick with anxiety and it will lead to violence. There will be more Timothy McVeighs and Jim Adkinsons over the next eight years.

DirtyJobsGuy said...

I entered the professional workforce at the end of the Carter administration and only new the smallest part of that disaster. Now Jimmah wasn't a bad guy, but he had an unlimited ego combined with a total lack of the skills required to be president.

Modest reasonably competent, good guy Jerry Ford was tossed aside for change! We got it good and hard. It reminded me of some of some people who recounted the public mood before WW I. They kept noting that there was almost a wish for some upheaval or change to happen, that ordinary life was too boring or too unsatisfiying.

TomG said...

Interesting comment - as they say "be careful what you wish for ..." I too started out in the post-Carter recession, and it bit the big one for sure! And now along comes the "Change" train promising all kinds of goodies from the candyman ... yikes, at whose expense? As the Chinese curse goes: May you live in interesting times. Cheers, Tom

Assistant Village Idiot said...

copithorne - do you ever question yourself? You seem quite certain that it is your reality that is the nearer one to actuality. Interesting that you would choose the NYT, caught in many untruths over the last few years, as your flagship. And raising the specter of Timothy McVeigh, that those who disagree with you are somehow potentially dangerous, reveals more about you than you wanted us to see.

I can give a full answer why I believe my version is closer to reality. What evidence do you have that it is not thee who is the rube? Make the case.

Carl said...

Actually, AVI, I share your fatigue--I now avoid most political news and find it increasingly difficult to find topics about which I'm interested in writing. Foreign policy and the economy will deteriorate still further, and there isn't a thing any Republican can do to stop it. Will that establish which reality is right?

karrde said...

Parallel narratives, definitely.

Realities?

Only if reality is created by the narrative.

terri said...

I've been avoiding politics since the election als. Probably not for the same reasons, because I don't necessarily believe that the whole world is headed to hell in a handbasket.

Still, I'm over it already and while I am not happy about some of the things going on, I don't think that they can squarely be laid at the feet of one party over another.

I also think labeling your opponents as living in a "false reality" simply because they don't agree with you and see the wisdom of your views is lame....and certainly does nothing to produce constructive problem-solving or discussion.

but that's just me...living in a 3rd reality.

terri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
copithorne said...

I think we've gone around and around making the case. There doesn't seem to be a common set of standards or ways of responding to facts so that we could adjudicate this decision together. If you have any domain in particlar you'd like to examine I would.

I would say that I share in the reality of western civilization -- two thirds of this country and four fifths of Europe and much of the rest of the industrialized world.

I would say about less than 5% of the world shares your Fox News version of reality.

I think the reality that leads to peace and prosperity is preferable to the reality that leads to war and economic calamity.

And mostly now, if your reality is working for you it works for me too. My preference would be to work together to build this country. But if we can't do that together, you clinging to your sense of reality makes you mostly harmless.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I would disagree with your superficially pacific but generally condescending statement, copithorne. It is not a question of having gone round and round, but that you have gone round and round. You have been internally inconsistent, undermining the idea that you have a "reality" at all. You have bemoaned the Bush deficits as stealing from our children - with which I have partially agreed - but swallow the camel of the Obama proposals, to whit: he has proposed more spending in 6 weeks than the federal government has spent from its founding to his inauguration. By the definition of starting a war that you applied to Bush, Obama has "started a war" with Pakistan, but you are untroubled. I don't find any underlying principles behind your views, simply a tribal loyalty. You just know somehow that you are on the side of the angels, but are unable to offer evidence for that.

These are from your own words, not some values I impute to you by guess. You accusation is that you are on the side that wants to work together for peace and prosperity, but some other side - which you bizarrely estimate to be some 5% of the populace - obstructs you good people. I am simply asking you to question your assumptions in the face of hard evidence. Man up.

copithorne said...

We are in parallel realities. You see me as in an imaginary reality. I see the same in you. You see me as inconsistent. I see the same in you. You see me as unwilling to confront reality. I see the same in you. You see me as without principles, only a tribal loyalty. I see the same in you. You see me as unable to defend my beliefs consistently and rationally. I see the same in you.

My experience is that when Republicans are talking about Democrats they are engaged in projection. This projection is the point and purpose of Republican political philosophy.

So, we're at an impasse, for sure. There's not much way to adjudicate.

I have a preference for peace and prosperity over war and recession, so that's one bottom line. Following your reality leads to catastrophic consequences.

We are not at war with Pakistan now. I don't know if Fox News is telling you that we are at war with Pakistan or if that is what is going on in your reality. When we are at war with Pakistan, you'll notice the government of Pakistan opposing us and you'll notice corpses coming home.

About the deficit spending, I do find it more justifiable to borrow money from my children to invest in American infrastructure than it is justifiable to borrow from my children to indulge in war and to give to wealthy people.

I also think that cutting a person is wrong, but when the patient is as sick -- as the American economy was left by Republican stewardship -- then surgery may be necessary.

We are working to build peace and prosperity for America. We would like your help. But to share how I see things, I do think there is a third of the population that is unable to orient themselves to using the political system to build things. They use the political system to express unconscious psychological grievances. So, if they can be segregated into a marginalized faction, that is about as best as we can hope for.

For me, I don't perceive the Republican party/Fox News reality as having a constituency outside this country. So, when I say 5%, I mean globally. NYT/Western Civilization reality may top out at 50%.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

You answered far more revealingly than you know.

Gringo said...

Copithorne:
I have a preference for peace and prosperity over war and recession, so that's one bottom line. Following your reality leads to catastrophic consequences.


Tom Lehrer has the reply to Copithorne.

We are the Folk Song Army
Everyone of us – CARES.
We’re against poverty, war, and injustice.
Unlike the rest of you squares.”


‘Nuff said.

Carl said...

btw, AVI, I've noticed you're posting a lot more lately. Good for you, and good stuff.

Copithorne:

The proof is in the facts and the logic. What's yours?