Monday, August 17, 2009

"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste."

In the famous words of Rahm Emanuel, the crisis is doing its work very well. One might have expected that people would be picking up the pitchforks to demand change; instead, they have been whipped up to demand more of the same. Can anybody here imagine what would've happened if lefties had tried to hold their own tea parties at Republican meetings? People got arrested for wearing anti-Bush T-shirts.

As a result and crisis management of Rahm Emanuel, the United States continues its rapid degeneration in fine fashion. Here at home, we're about to begin the first of our furloughs was the beginning of the semester. Presumably, we have to sign some paper agreeing not to do any work, probably to protect the state of the university from any kind of legal liability for forcing us to work without pay. Thinking about a twist on next week's lecture during such times would be some kind of violation of a legal contract.

Gov. Arnold is on a tear, pushing for an undermining of the state pension plan.

Hopefully, health care reform -- now rebranded as insurance reform -- will be dead. I assume that the major reform will be to reduce the funding of Medicare.

Obama said that the choice is between hope and fear. He should have used the past tense. Either through political incompetence or some deep-seated neoconservative instincts, he has dashed any hopes -- at least, the hopes of any rational person. In many ways, we have the third Bush administration -- secrecy, war, and the coddling of the rich and powerful.

In the Confiscation of American Prosperity, I wrote: "Since the election of Franklin Roosevelt in 1932, every Democratic administration with the exception of Lyndon Johnson’s has been more conservative -- often far more conservative -- than the previous Democratic administration. Similarly, every elected Republican administration, with the single exception of George Herbert Walker Bush’s, has been more conservative than the previous Republican administration." At least, Obama has made sure that I will now have to revise a second edition.


Shag from Brookline said...

"Presumably, we have to sign some paper agreeing not to do any work, probably to protect the state of the university from any kind of legal liability for forcing us to work without pay."

Would this provide protection against a claim under the 13th Amendment?

gordon said...

Incompetence or closet neocon-ism seem a bit extreme. Pres. Obama is beginning to remind me of this famous fictional (musical) character from L'il Abner, though:

"When we almost had 'em but the issue still was in doubt,
Who suggested the retreat that turned it into a rout?
Why it was Jubilation T. Cornpone;
Old "Tattered and torn - pone."
Jubilation T. Cornpone, he kept us hidin' out!"

Or maybe this verse is more apt:

"When it seemed like our brave boys would keep on fighting for months,
Who took pity on them and ca-pit-u-lated at once?
Why it was Jubilation T. Cornpone; Unshaven and shorn - pone.
Jubilation T. Cornpone, he weren't nobody's dunce!"

Anonymous said...

On his first day in office, when he unleashed the predator drones on Afghanistan, you knew you had been fooled again.

Why it has taken you so long to admit it is beyond me.

The only thing Reagan ever got right: Government is the problem, not the solution...

Michael Perelman said...

Incompetence is a proud tradition of the Democrats, who remind me of the Washington Generals, who were decent basketball players, but always managed to lose.

Martin Langeland said...

Anon.: The only thing Reagan ever got right was to occasionally read his script without stumbling. Everything in that script was snake oil dictated by the pirates who brought us to the current maldistribution of the results of all our labor.
Thank you Mr. Perelman for confirming my observation that American politics has moved ever rightward until a common or garden variety centrist is viewed as a flaming radical leftist for such a simplistic belief as: "we are all in this together, and should organize our government as if that were so."

Anonymous said...


That is fine for you to say, but I have read NSC-68, and I know that the Democrats started all this evil empire stuff.

And, I know it was they who first pursued that empire by extending hours of work in this economy, using military Keynesianism to increase the growth rate and driving the nation directly toward a series of disasters beginning with Operation Ajax in Iran to Vietnam and the catastrophe of Southeast Asia wars.

Moreover, I know it was precisely these Democrats who jumped ship to join the Republicans - who until that time had been a small government party - to pursue their agenda to continue segregation in the South, and wars of aggression throughout the globe.

So who put words in Reagan's mouth?

Your "centrist" Democrats, who's cousins are now killing health care reform.

Read a book every now and then - preferably one not written by the evil SOBs who created this disaster...

The Democratic Party has been responsible for every disaster to hit this nation since the Civil War right up through deregulating the derivatives market and the housing bubble, and they don't seem quite ready to reform their ways now...

How many American and Iraqis died as Democrats dithered, complaining of powerlessness to end the war, only to have Obama increase defense spending by 13 percent in the last quarter, and expand operations in Afghanistan.

All in this together?

Tell that to the homeless! The unemployed! The wounded vets! To all who have been scarred and by decades of Democratic Party vileness and double-speak.

Anonymous said...

Please, Martin: Any time you feel froggy, just debate me on who has done more to hurt and destroy the live of millions of working people in this country - Republicans or "garden variety centrist democrats."

I'll show you where the bodies are buried...

TheTrucker said...

The Democrats are in a very precarious position. If they manage to get a decent "public option" past the bought and paid for Republicans and Blue Cross Democrats then they will retain control of the House of Representatives and the Senate. If they break ranks and start whining about a "Single Payer" system they will lose any hope whatsoever of pushing real reform over the goal line and they will be decimated in the 2010 elections. The administration has been showing weakness on the "public option" and that is also the "kiss of death" for the Democrats.

In reality there is no such thing as a failure to pass health care reform or insurance reform. There is only an improvement in reform that grows as the delay in getting there. Believe it or not, DELAY helps the truth. And the truth is what will pass HR 3200 with a public option.

At this point the Republicans have been given enough rope to hang themselves and that is what they have done. HR 3200 is on line and the administration has set up a fact check site that actually cites the bill, exposing the Republican lies. The longer this takes the more the people will learn the truth. And that spells death for the morons that oppose the actual proposal.

At this point it is merely a question of how long can the Democrats keep the PUBLIC debate alive and how well can the administration and the pro reform advocates DEFEND the truth before and after the passage of the reform. This is not an election. The win does not need to come before the bill is passed. The win _WILL_ come before the 2010 elections because the lies can't hold up until then. The truth leaks out. People recognize the lies and liars for what they are. But a failure to pass a reform bill with a public option will end the debate prematurely and will be a huge defeat for the Democrats. The current bill must pass in the House with a public option. And so long as that is the case the vote can be delayed in the Senate until next year if necessary. The truth is what matters.