Thursday, October 17, 2013

RINO blather from Ross Douthat

Ross Douthat:
But there is still something well-nigh-unprecedented about how Republicans have conducted themselves of late. It’s not the scale of their mistake, or the kind of damage that it’s caused, but the fact that their strategy was such self-evident folly, so transparently devoid of any method whatsoever. 
Every sensible person, most Republican politicians included, could recognize that the shutdown fever would blow up in the party’s face. Even the shutdown’s ardent champions never advanced a remotely compelling story for how it would deliver its objectives. And everything that’s transpired since, from the party’s polling nose dive to the frantic efforts to save face, was entirely predictable in advance. 
The methodless madness distinguishes this shutdown from prior Congressional Republican defeats (the Gingrich shutdown, the Clinton impeachment), when you could at least see what the politicians involved were thinking. And it distinguishes it, too, from many of history’s marches of folly as well. 
You could compare the behavior of current House Republicans to the diplomatic sleepwalking that led to World War I, but at least, in that case, the various powers had reasonable theories of how they would actually win the ensuing war. 
Or you could compare it to Paraguay’s decision in the 1860s to declare war on both Brazil and Argentina at once, but at least Paraguay’s armed forces managed to win some victories before being ground into defeat. 
Now, admittedly, just because the Republican strategy has been irrational doesn’t make it inexplicable. The trends that brought us to this point are clear enough: the discrediting of the Republican establishment during the Bush era; the rise of a populist right that often sees opposition as an end unto itself; the willingness of too many media figures, activists and politicians to stoke that wing’s worst impulses; and the current Republican leadership’s desire both to prevent an intraparty civil war and avoid a true national disaster like default.
Given this underlying landscape, it may be that John Boehner chose a kind of rational irrationality these last two weeks — accepting the Kurtzian shutdown “strategy” in order to demonstrate its senselessness and persuade his members to behave slightly more sensibly in the future. 
But even if Boehner’s decision-making ends up looking like a least-bad approach under the circumstances, he’ll only have won a temporary reprieve. Kurtz Republicanism isn’t likely to go away until somebody else within the party — someone with more movement credibility than the speaker, and more subtlety and vision than Ted Cruz — figures out how to take the energy driving the shutdown and redirect it to more constructive ends. 
It’s clear, right now, that the populists can’t be trusted not to drive their party into a ditch.
Douthat has to pay the lib tithe to keep his job at the NYT, and writing fatuous anti-Republican blather about the shutdown is his latest payment.

The shutdown is the consequence of a singular act of courage by a core of Republicans-- led conspicuously by Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul and a few others. Republicans have voted to fund every aspect of government except Obamacare, which, in their obviously correct judgement, is a catastrophe for the country. 

Democrats have shut the government down by insisting on linking funding of the rest of the government (or 20% of it, actually) to the Obamacare vote. With the leftie media, tithe-paying RINO commentators like Douthat, compliant goons in the National Park service willing to put on a show to make Americans notice the shutdown (nobody would notice or care otherwise), and the brain-dead-freebie-loving-Obama-re-electing-American electorate in the Democrats' pocket (pants actually), this singular act of integrity by the Republicans should be celebrated. A few politicians are standing on principle, for goodness sake. Call the Guinness Book of World Records. 

Will the shutdown hurt the Republicans? Of course not. Angelo Codevilla described the dynamic well. Democrats represent their own interest, which is the State and the parasites feeding off of it. They have a bevy of loyal hungry followers. But the parasites-- the elites and the bought-off voters-- are only about a third of the country. The country class-- the people who actually keep this country working-- are about two-thirds of the population, but they have no one representing them. The Republican politician class is an alloy of honest decent types and the State-and-perks loving types. Republican politicians inspire little loyalty, because, unlike the Democrats, they aren't wholly thieves stealing for thieves. 

The Republicans will succeed only to the extent that working Americans-- the non-parasite class-- sees Republicans fighting the good fight and representing honest working people. Undoubtedly the Repubs should have played it smarter-- Republican lawmakers personally going to the Mall and dismantling the barricades around the people's monuments and labeling the barricades the Obamacades (or Barrycades, but most Americans wouldn't get the pun), would have been a good idea. The good guys don't have such a flair for marketing, but they could learn. 

Republicans in the House and Senate need a hundred more Cruzes and Lees and Pauls-- men of integrity and competence. Only then do they have a realistic chance of governing our degenerating nation, and, perhaps, saving it from the elites and government-fed barnacles who are taking it down. 

53 comments:

  1. The shutdown is the consequence of a singular act of courage by a core of Republicans-- led conspicuously by Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul and a few others. Republicans have voted to fund every aspect of government except Obamacare, which, in their obviously correct judgement, is a catastrophe for the country.

    As usual, you are wrong. Those raving lunatics and fascists are terrified - and rightfully so - that Obamacare will succeed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyOctober 17, 2013 at 6:42 AM

      She needed seven hours of waiting on the phone and sitting in front of her computer, but Janice Baker can claim something few people in the First State can at the moment: She has signed up for health coverage through Delaware's insurance marketplace.
      --- USA Today

      When proglodytes celebrate the fact that one person has signed up, Jeebuscare has already failed.

      The WaPo reports that Jeebuscare recorded 9.47 million unique visitors, 36,000 enrollments. You do the math.

      I predict the next political move will be..... [drum roll]


      "Waaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh! We need MORE MONEY!!!!!"

      Delete
    2. Oh yeah, terrified. Ha. Have you seen the rollout train wreck? We're just scared of its awesomeness.

      Joey

      Delete
    3. O you poor bastards. People would pay attention to the disastrous rollout of Obamacare if it were not for Ted Cruz, Herritage Action, and their idiotic shutdown of the government. Conservatives shot themselves in the foot, having gained nothing whatsoever. They lost a PR battle and tanked in the polls.

      The smell of Schadenfreude is sweet.

      Hoo

      Delete
    4. Adm draft dodger:

      When proglodytes celebrate the fact that one person has signed up, Jeebuscare has already failed.

      I love it when conservatives squirm and deny reality. In a year from now the program will be so popular that it will be political suicide for Republicans to try and roll it back. The bought-and-paid-for 'representatives' might be raving lunatics but they have savvy 'advisers' who are only too well aware of this.

      Compare the ACA rollout with Medicare part D rollout. Look familiar? FYI



      Delete
  2. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyOctober 17, 2013 at 6:55 AM

    You are absolutely right, Egnor. Libertarians and economic conservatives need to dump the RINOs (e.g., McCain, McConnell, etc) and rebuild the Republican Party as representative of the American middle class.

    And I say the Republican Party only because a third party would be a disaster. One of the political problems that Cruz and the Tea Party Republicans experience is that political conservatives tend to be tolerant of dissent and intraparty political squabbling. The left, in contrast, has a long and sordid history of purging and punishing dissent, and the modern Democrat Party (being a child of that thuggish parentage) marches in an ideological lockstep that the leftist Saddam Hussein would have admired.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Admiral's recipe to avoid the third-party problem: 1. Create a third party. 2. Name it Republican.

      I am sure that will work, admiral.

      I also find it deliciously ironic that you whine about Democrats purging dissent in their rank while advocating precisely the same in the Republican Party. No self-awareness, I guess!

      Hoo

      Delete
    2. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyOctober 17, 2013 at 1:08 PM

      Now that traffic has abated, HHS concedes there were built-in information technology and structural defects [in Jeebuscare]. Some of Healthcare.gov's automatic operations mimic hacker denial-of-service attacks meant to disable a site.

      Now that is deliciously ironic. FAIL by design.

      Delete
    3. LOL. Change the subject and hope no one noticed your brain fart?

      Hoo

      Delete
    4. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyOctober 17, 2013 at 1:28 PM

      Brain fart?

      Delete
    5. Two, in fact.

      Hoo

      Delete
    6. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyOctober 17, 2013 at 1:50 PM

      Brain fart?

      Delete
    7. Short-term memory loss is a bitch, admiral.

      Brain fart 1: a solution to the third-party problem using the creation of a third party.

      Brain fart 2: a stern condemnation of ideological purges in the Democratic party, preceded by an enthusiastic endorsement of the same in the GOP.

      HTH

      Hoo

      Delete
    8. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyOctober 17, 2013 at 2:21 PM

      Oh, now I see what you mean. I think we have cultural disconnection...

      1: In my country, we have primary elections every two years. In many cases, there are several individuals wanting to run under each party banner. The one who gets the most votes within their own party is the official candidate for that party. That's how party representation in Washington evolves with the electorate. It's not a "new party". It's the same party. We don't have many lifetime politicians except in large, heavily Democratic urban areas.

      2: There is a difference between a party purge and an electoral purge. A party purge is accomplished by party bosses (e.g., the Politburo or DNC). An electoral purge is accomplished by grassroots efforts of the people (e.g., 2010 turnover of the House of Rep.).

      Delete
    9. "We don't have many lifetime politicians except in large, heavily Democratic urban areas."

      Really?

      Bill Young - 42 years.
      Thad Cochran - 40 years
      Don Young - 40 years
      Chuck Grassley - 38 years
      Orrin Hatch - 36 years
      John Boehner - 22 years
      Mitch McConnell - 28 years
      Jim Sensenbrenner - 33 years
      Tom Petri - 33 years
      Ralph Hall - 32 years
      Harold Rogers - 32 years
      Christopher Smith - 32 years
      Frank Wolf - 32 years

      Delete
    10. Name some Democratic politicians who were purged by the DNC, rather than the voters, admiral.

      Hoo

      Delete
    11. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyOctober 17, 2013 at 2:48 PM

      Bob Casey.

      Because he considered abortion a key social issue for the 1992 presidential election, Casey tried to get a speaking slot to give a minority plank on the topic at the 1992 Democratic National Convention. He was not given a speaking slot and said in a series of news conferences the party was censoring his pro-life views even though he agreed with the party on nearly all other issues
      --- Wiki: Robert P Casey

      Delete
    12. Admiral, if this is the best example you can come up with, you have no case.

      Bob Casey wasn't "purged," he wasn't given a speaking engagement at the Democratic party convention in 1992. He continued to serve as Pennsylvania governor until 1995, at which point he was too ill to continue in politics.

      Try again.

      Hoo

      Delete
    13. Casey was so "purged" that he retained his office until 1995. And, of course, the 1992 convention story appears to be a myth.

      Delete
    14. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyOctober 17, 2013 at 4:04 PM

      "Appears" to be a myth. So says Brendan Nyhan. Wow. Maybe Robert P Casey knows more about it than Brendan Nyhan in his blog. :-)

      Yes, he retained his office. So what? The DNC can't "unelect" him. They can only purge him from the party by silencing him.

      Delete
    15. Moving goalposts alert!

      Hoo

      Delete
    16. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyOctober 17, 2013 at 4:11 PM

      "There is a difference between a party purge and an electoral purge"

      Delete
    17. Don't confuse poor Boggsie with facts; his tiny brain can't handle it. Anyway, anyone who would voluntarily sign on with a raving lunatic like Glen Beck is clearly delusional.

      Delete
    18. So says Brendan Nyhan.

      No, so says Paul Begala and James Carville. The men who managed Casey's campaigns, and who were actually at the convention in question. But to find that out you would have had to actually read and understand something, which appears to be beyond your capabilities.

      Delete
  3. Polls have consistently shown two things: The public doesn't like Obamacare and the public doesn't like shutdowns. President Obama and the Democrat-controlled Senate had the power to sign a budget that would have defunded Obamacare and avoided a shutdown. They chose not to and it worked very well for them because they knew that the media would blame their political opponents. They went out of their way to make the shutdown as painful as possible, even going as far as closing national monuments that cost nothing to keep open.

    Republicans lost this one as I knew they would. That's because the referees in this fight are in the tank for the other side.

    Joey

    ReplyDelete
  4. It’s no surprise that Obamacare detractors fail to mention that 20% of people don’t like it because it doesn’t go far enough. Sometimes I wish Republicans will succeed in killing Obamacare because it would put us that much closer to single payer.

    Ironically, and much to the chagrin of Republicans, the public’s support for Obamacare went up 7 points during this fiasco. Perhaps this explains why the Republicans kept moving the goal post.

    At one point the primary Republican demand was that they wanted to eliminate the medical device tax that helps to fund Obamacare. A tax cut that would ensure the device makers maximum profit from all their new government subsidized business while adding to our debt. When that didn’t work they pivoted to the standard argument that our debt was too high. Republicans have no principles

    -KW

    ReplyDelete
  5. Stay tuned for a shift (nay sea change) in popular support for Obamacare.

    A "progressive" at the Daily Koz laments:

    "My wife and I just got our updates from Kaiser telling us what our 2014 rates will be. Her monthly has been $168 this year, mine $150. We have a high deductible. We are generally healthy people who don't go to the doctor often. I barely ever go. The insurance is in case of a major catastrophe.

    "Well, now, because of Obamacare, my wife's rate is going to $302 per month [up 69%] and mine is jumping to $284 [up 101%].

    "I am canceling insurance for us and I am not paying any fucking penalty. What the hell kind of reform is this?

    [...]

    "I don't know what to think now. This appears, in my experience, to not be a reform for the people. What am I missing?"

    This is no anomaly. Avik Roy calculated
    calculated that "Obamacare Will Increase Avg. Individual-Market Insurance Premiums By 99% For Men, 62% For Women," so the Kozmo's increases of 101% and 69% are typical.

    Act 2 will be a blizzard of pink slips as employers are hit with their bills.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, employers will be crushed when health care premiums double; the very same Avik Roy has also calculated that "Obamacare Will Increase Health Spending By $7,450 For A Typical Family of Four."

      So much for Dronemeister Barry's delusional claim that he'll save families up to $2,500 a year in his first term. Yeesh!

      Delete
  6. Republicans have voted to fund every aspect of government except Obamacare, which, in their obviously correct judgement, is a catastrophe for the country.

    Sure, take economic advice from people who think the government not paying its bills would be "no big deal". That's smart.

    ReplyDelete
  7. And whose pocket is Rich Lowry in?

    The shutdown fight has been interesting in its particulars but dull in its overall trajectory, which was so predictable that the news stories on the endgame almost could have been filed in advance. The late journalist Jack Germond called his book on the 1984 presidential election, “Wake Us When It’s Over.” No one who went to sleep two weeks ago would be surprised to wake up and find a last-minute, Senate-led deal that gives Republicans precious little for their trouble.

    Maybe, just maybe, conservatives were delusional about their ability to defund Obamacare?

    Hoo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Delusional? Who's delusional? What about "Dronemeister Barry's delusional claim that he'll save families up to $2,500 a year in his first term."

      Delete
    2. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyOctober 17, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      "What about 'Dronemeister Barry's delusional claim that he'll save families up to $2,500 a year in his first term.''

      That's after the earth is healed and the oceans recede.

      Delete
    3. @robertcostaNRO: McConnell on prospect of another shutdown: "We’re not going to do it," says other GOP leaders agree.

      It looks like some Republicans are capable of learning.

      Hoo

      Delete
    4. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyOctober 17, 2013 at 2:24 PM

      That's not "learning". That's doing it the same old way.

      In most cases, "learning" involves doing something differently.

      Delete
    5. That is precisely the point.

      McConnell understands that doing the same thing (shutting down the government in an attempt to defund Obamacare) will not work. So he will try something different.

      The wild-eyed Tea Party idiots, egged on by Heritage Action, have not learned a thing.

      Hoo

      Delete
    6. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyOctober 17, 2013 at 2:45 PM

      They have learned it is harder than they first thought, that the old party hacks will sell them out, and they need to be more clever.

      They should have stayed the course, called the bluff.

      Delete
    7. I hope they'll try the same thing again! That would be hilarious.

      Hoo

      Delete
    8. They should have stayed the course, called the bluff.

      Yes, because "keeping doing the same thing and expecting different results" is intelligent.

      Delete
    9. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyOctober 17, 2013 at 4:10 PM

      I hope they try the same thing again, too. I enjoyed this round as well. It was wonderful to see those folks in Washington picking up those barrycades and dumping them at the White House. That's hardly "keeping doing" [sic] the same thing, since they had never done it before. And it's always amusing to watch the notoriously thin-skinned Jeebus McLightworker and his excitable fanbois and girlzzz in a snit.

      Delete
    10. I hope they try the same thing again, too. I enjoyed this round as well.

      Well, if you want all of the Republican candidates to sink even further in the polls and ensure that we will have a Democratic House in 2014, then I guess you should be excited for another shut down.

      It was wonderful to see those folks in Washington picking up those barrycades and dumping them at the White House.

      Ah yes, people who decided to shut down the government protesting when the government actually shut down. Here's a hint: that made them look like idiots, not heroes.

      Delete
  8. Wall Street Journal's Kimberly Strassel deconstructs the shutdown debacle:

    The Republican Party is in a disorderly retreat from its own Valley of Death, having been led there by Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, flanked by drummers Heritage Action, FreedomWorks, Senate Conservatives Fund, and Club for Growth. Their cause was just, their charge courageous. And it was utterly suicidal. They were mowed down by a Democratic Party that was dug in, fully alerted and had every advantage.

    Hoo

    ReplyDelete
  9. Tell me, Dr. Egnor: What about all the millions of hardworking Americans who work in call centers, on assembly lines, or stocking shelves in Wal Mart? The ones who are trying to raise kids on eight bucks an hour? The ones who don't pay federal income taxes and wind up on state-paid programs like WIC and SNAP?

    Are they part of the parasite class?

    Or are the parasites rather the shareholders of their employer corporations, the ones who do no work (apart from the back-breaking labor of managing their portfolios) but profit every time benefits or staff hours get cut?

    The working poor don't hate Republicans because they're greedy and want freebies. They hate Republicans because Republicans call them parasites while acting as apologists for the real parasites. The Republican mantra seems to be, "Blessed are the rich, for clearly they are more industrious and morally superior to the poor."

    The working poor don't want handouts, Mr. Ivory Tower Medical/Academic Pontificator. We want the ability to support our families. Neither party gives a shit, but the Democrats do talk a better game.

    JH

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JH:

      My family was on welfare when I was a kid, and I grew up in a trailer park. My father was a janitor and a service station attendant, when he could work (he also had a small retirement check from the military).

      I lived in poverty (American-style poverty, that is, which has nothing to do with Biblical poverty), and I have no illusions about it.

      What poor people need is jobs and dignity, both of which are anathema to the Democrat party, which depends for its existence on keeping the poor on the government dole to get their votes.

      And while many (American) poor do struggle, they have much responsibility for their own station in life, as we all do.

      There are some folks who through disability or misfortune need public help-- they are not at issue here. There are many others who skim along because it's easier than making something of their lives and the money keeps coming in the mail.

      I've lived it, and I know it intimately. We need to move away from the Left's fairy tales about poverty, and realize that many of the poor-- most of the poor-- would be a lot better off with a little bit of enforced self-sufficiency and a thriving economy.

      No one in this country has done more for the poor than the Democrats. Look how many of them the party has created.

      Delete
    2. Staff hours usually get cut because of declining sales. Also known as LOWER profits.

      Delete
    3. @Dr. Egnor:
      My family was on welfare when I was a kid, and I grew up in a trailer park.

      So was your family part of the "parasite class?" Or was the welfare mitigating some other kind of social inequity?

      American-style poverty, that is ... has nothing to do with Biblical poverty
      Why do you think so?

      What poor people need is jobs and dignity...
      Agreed 100%. Also agreed that the Democrats are not interested in making this happen. Neither are the Republicans, of course.

      And while many (American) poor do struggle, they have much responsibility for their own station in life, as we all do.
      True, but not really relevant. I can look back over the last twenty years of my own life and see where the decisions I made led to my family sleeping six to a room while my wife and I work long hours to make ends meet. They seemed like decent decisions at the time, and they're no worse than decisions made by plenty of other people for whom things worked out considerably better. And they're no better than decisions made by plenty of other people for whom things worked out considerably worse. God has made the rain to fall and the sun to shine on me with little regard for my own worthiness, for which I am extremely grateful.

      But one thing is glaringly obvious to me, and that is that capitalism is fundamentally not a meritocracy. Capitalism is full of people who work hard to line other people's pockets, and the biggest parasites are not the people with SDI checks in the mail and EBT cards in their wallets; they're the people who make enormous profits while doing little to no real productive work of their own. If you Republicans spent half as much time complaining about the billion-dollar parasites in the boardrooms at AIG as you do about the thousand-dollar parasites in flophouse pay-by-the-month hotels, you'd be a lot more credible. As it is, the Ayn Rand brand of Republicanism is patent hypocrisy, and the working poor know it.

      There are some folks who through disability or misfortune need public help-- they are not at issue here. There are many others who skim along because it's easier than making something of their lives and the money keeps coming in the mail.
      Those others are not at issue either. I am talking about the millions of working poor who can't make ends meet on the only pay they can draw, and so fall back on some form of welfare. It sounds like you're calling them parasites, but you can correct me if I'm wrong.

      We need to ... realize that many of the poor-- most of the poor-- would be a lot better off with a little bit of enforced self-sufficiency and a thriving economy.
      More self-sufficiency leads to a thriving economy, and a thriving economy enables greater levels of self-sufficiency. The problem is that a concentration of wealth is antithetical to both, and the only party that is paying even lip service to this fact is the Democrats. That's why I say they talk a better game, although it's hard to talk a worse game than "The poor are a bunch of parasites."

      No one in this country has done more for the poor than the Democrats. Look how many of them the party has created.
      Please. The current recession (and debt crisis) started under a Republican administration. The Republicans and the Democrats are six of one, half a dozen of the other. For all they may talk a different talk on the campaign trail, the Republicans are the party of fiscal responsibility and individual freedom the way the Democrats are the party of peace and economic opportunity.

      JH

      Delete
    4. @JH:

      [@Dr. Egnor:
      My family was on welfare when I was a kid, and I grew up in a trailer park.

      So was your family part of the "parasite class?" Or was the welfare mitigating some other kind of social inequity?]

      Parasite class. My father was capable of working. I won't go into detail, but we had no business taking taxpayers hard-earned money. One of the most humiliating experiences of my life was when we received a charity turkey for thanksgiving from my classmates in junior high. It was of course done with the best of intentions, but I knew that my father could have worked and we could have been helping others, instead of being charity cases.


      Delete
    5. [American-style poverty, that is ... has nothing to do with Biblical poverty
      Why do you think so?]

      The most obese segment of our society is the poorest segment. The poor in America have a higher standard of living than several billion genuinely poor people in the world. Poor means having not enough food or no electricity, not being obese and having only one HDTV when you'd really like two. I have two relatives who are "poor". Their combined weight is 800 pounds, both are fully capable of working, and neither has worked in 15 years. Your tax money buys their snack food.

      [What poor people need is jobs and dignity...
      Agreed 100%. Also agreed that the Democrats are not interested in making this happen. Neither are the Republicans, of course.]

      Dems don't want them to have jobs or dignity, because then they won't have their votes. Repubs aren't that vile.

      [And while many (American) poor do struggle, they have much responsibility for their own station in life, as we all do.]
      True, but not really relevant. I can look back over the last twenty years of my own life and see where the decisions I made led to my family sleeping six to a room while my wife and I work long hours to make ends meet. They seemed like decent decisions at the time, and they're no worse than decisions made by plenty of other people for whom things worked out considerably better. And they're no better than decisions made by plenty of other people for whom things worked out considerably worse. God has made the rain to fall and the sun to shine on me with little regard for my own worthiness, for which I am extremely grateful.]

      But one thing is glaringly obvious to me, and that is that capitalism is fundamentally not a meritocracy. Capitalism is full of people who work hard to line other people's pockets, and the biggest parasites are not the people with SDI checks in the mail and EBT cards in their wallets; they're the people who make enormous profits while doing little to no real productive work of their own. If you Republicans spent half as much time complaining about the billion-dollar parasites in the boardrooms at AIG as you do about the thousand-dollar parasites in flophouse pay-by-the-month hotels, you'd be a lot more credible. As it is, the Ayn Rand brand of Republicanism is patent hypocrisy, and the working poor know it.]

      I'm not saying that you have done anything wrong, if you and your wife are working hard to support your family. That is admirable, and we should gladly help each other in such a situation. But there are millions of poor Americans who don't work to support their families, and who contribute enormous pathology to our country.

      Delete
    6. I detest corporate welfare, and I point out that the Democratic party is the party of corporate welfare. Crony capitalism is Obama's specialty. Perhaps I should blog more on it, because I detest it.

      [There are some folks who through disability or misfortune need public help-- they are not at issue here. There are many others who skim along because it's easier than making something of their lives and the money keeps coming in the mail.]
      Those others are not at issue either. I am talking about the millions of working poor who can't make ends meet on the only pay they can draw, and so fall back on some form of welfare. It sounds like you're calling them parasites, but you can correct me if I'm wrong.

      "Parasite" isn't really directed at working people who are having trouble making ends meet. I mean people who have no intention of working, and the elites who buy their votes with working people's money.

      Delete
    7. JH:

      In sum, I have no criticism of working people. Anyone who works has my respect.

      But there is a large class of people who won't work and who expect to be supported. Democrats exploit them, and even encourage their dependence.

      "Parasites" applies to the poor who refuse to work, and the politicians who give working people's money to them to buy their votes.

      By the way, what impact do you think Obamacare will have on working people, with the 50 employee threshold and the 30 hour threshold? I think it will be catastrophic for millions of working people on the margins.

      Delete
    8. I mean people who have no intention of working, and the elites who buy their votes with working people's money.

      In other words, people who are in actuality vanishingly rare. A category you can demonize who represent little more than your own self-loathing. I always knew you were a small man, it is interesting that you have made sure to confirm that.

      Delete
    9. But there is a large class of people who won't work and who expect to be supported. Democrats exploit them, and even encourage their dependence.

      Sorry, your assertion doesn't match reality. There are, at any given time, about a million adults receiving TANF benefits at any given time. That's about four tenths of one percent of the U.S. adult population. That's not a "large class". Most receive TANF benefits for a few months. A person can only receive TANF benefits for a grand total of 60 months in their entire lifetime. Most TANF recipients are children, elderly, or disabled.

      By the way, what impact do you think Obamacare will have on working people, with the 50 employee threshold and the 30 hour threshold? I think it will be catastrophic for millions of working people on the margins.

      It will be negligible. Contrary to wild-eyed claims that companies will cut hours and slash staff, the actual data shows the opposite is happening. More full-time jobs are being added than normal. Hours are not being cut at most companies, and job growth is the same as normal. It doesn't matter how much you want your fantasies to be true, reality just doesn't match any of your claims.

      Delete
  10. @Dr. Egnor:

    One of the most humiliating experiences of my life was when we received a charity turkey for thanksgiving from my classmates in junior high.
    Yes, I can imagine. You have my sympathy.

    Poor means having not enough food or no electricity, not being obese and having only one HDTV when you'd really like two.
    Poverty is relative, I suppose. Even American poverty means struggle and humiliation. But yes, people have it much worse elsewhere.

    I have two relatives who are "poor"... Your tax money buys their snack food.
    Well, not my tax money. I haven't paid federal income tax since the Bush tax cuts. But then taxes were never meant to apply to peasants - only to free citizens.

    Dems don't want them to have jobs or dignity, because then they won't have their votes. Repubs aren't that vile.
    Nonsense. Repubs are happy to send our soldiers overseas to fight and kill and die for the flimsiest reasons. They're happy to mortgage future generations into billions upon billions of dollars' worth of debt to pay for it. They're willing to sign agreements that make it easier to ship our jobs overseas. They consistently fight minimum wage increases. They gleefully signed up for billions in debt to bail out companies that were too big to fail. They don't give two bags of llama droppings for the dignity of the working poor either.

    I'm not saying that you have done anything wrong, if you and your wife are working hard to support your family.
    We are, but we are in this position because I didn't prioritize my career when I went to college, made a bad purchasing decision, and moved the family out of state at the worst possible time. In hindsight, I can point to half a dozen things we should have done differently. I'm not saying I'm an innocent victim. I've just seen enough hardworking people making peanuts and nonworking people raking in millions to know that the notion that modern American capitalism is a meritocracy is a myth. It's not that my situation is unjust; it's that the Randian "America-is-a-meritocracy" crowd are promoting a poisonous myth.

    That is admirable, and we should gladly help each other in such a situation.
    I'm getting all the help I need, and more than I deserve. And we are blessed in other, more important ways.

    But there are millions of poor Americans who don't work to support their families, and who contribute enormous pathology to our country.
    I keep hearing about them on talk radio, but I have met very few of them in real life.


    I detest corporate welfare, and I point out that the Democratic party is the party of corporate welfare. Crony capitalism is Obama's specialty. Perhaps I should blog more on it, because I detest it.
    In case you forgot, the Tea Party (before it was coopted by the Republican party) was formed as a conservative backlash against the exact same problem in the Elephant camp. The bailouts really started and peaked under Bush, although they continued under Obama. The red party is just as bad as the blue party. Although sometimes they do talk a better line.

    JH

    ReplyDelete
  11. (continued)
    In sum, I have no criticism of working people. Anyone who works has my respect... But there is a large class of people who won't work and who expect to be supported. Democrats exploit them, and even encourage their dependence.
    As do the Republicans. If low skill wages were living wages, they would have no cannon fodder for their wars, and would have a much harder time demonizing immigrants.

    By the way, what impact do you think Obamacare will have on working people, with the 50 employee threshold and the 30 hour threshold? I think it will be catastrophic for millions of working people on the margins.
    I haven't read the bill, and I'm not an expert on such things, but the basic math looks pretty bad. This is mandated insurance, not universal healthcare, and the way I see it:
    1. More care will be covered than before.
    2. Insurance companies will have a larger captive audience with less real competition.

    1+2= higher aggregate costs. In my experience, these costs are always borne, directly or indirectly, by the least among us.

    We'll see how it all really shakes out (and I suspect there will be some surprises in both directions before all is said and done) but I don't see it being good for the country, on the whole. Insurance companies are part of the problem.

    JH

    ReplyDelete