Out With the Old Politics, In With the New

anachronism_pilloryAs the curtain finally goes up on the election season one full decade into the 21st Century,  our politic conversation remains hopelessly mired in the previous century. The complex problems of the contemporary world are ignored as conservatives sneer about states rights, of all things. The Karl Rove generation of the Right hates the sixties, and in their obsession they never left the decade that ended forty years ago.

Even progressives who want to move on are stuck in old habits. Defending against anachronistic right wing attacks, they too are acting in a costume drama or period piece. The message legacy of the 20th Century is dangerously out of date.  The Right blames big government for everything.  The Left, always on the defensive, fights off accusations of socialism and communism — failed 19th Century models about as relevant as the telegraph. I’ve never met a serious socialist or communist. Any still around are made of straw.

While we’re stuck in the old politics, the corporatists have consolidated real power.  A corporatist believes that corporations transcend democratic institutions, safeguards, the public will, checks and balances. He aims for rule by corporation, unfettered by any regulations, voter reprisals or legal accountability. So-called tort reform was about ending public accountability for corporate wrongdoing.

It’s the corporatist who is the real enemy of a free, transparent and open market. I’m a fan of the profit motive, I’m aware of the efficiencies big companies can maintain, efficiencies that improve our quality of life. I am opposed to their absolute political power. People deserve financial reward for risk and accomplishment. Corporatism eliminates its risk, however. Banks’ unregulated and dangerous lending practices caused the Great Recession. Taxpayers were then made to cover their losses. That’s corporatism.

Continue reading “Out With the Old Politics, In With the New”

Don’t Think Twice, Karl

horseflySo, on an otherwise cool and enjoyable evening, I come across Karl Rove saying Barack Obama and the Democrats are coming after the beer. Defending the downtrodden insurance industry, Rove said even beer makers make a bigger profit, blah, blah, blah.

Karl, if we were in a bar together I’d be tempted to crack a bottle of the stuff over your head. Even one of those breakaway bottles in the movies would be satisfying. I bet you couldn’t find a jury of my peers who would convict me. Your peers wouldn’t, either. Trust me.

Karl, you are a tiresome old nag, and I want you to go away. I’d say you remind me of Lawyer Gas in the movie, The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, except you’re not a lawyer. You are just one of the guys who hated guys like me in high school because our parties were better. Maybe it was simply because we had parties.

Continue reading “Don’t Think Twice, Karl”

Gilgamesh versus the Evangelical-Capitalist Resonance Machine

In The Art of War, Sun Tzu writes:

Not knowing the other and not knowing oneself, in every battle certain defeat.

Many of us on the Left have not worked hard enough at this knowing. Continue reading “Gilgamesh versus the Evangelical-Capitalist Resonance Machine”

You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go

You’re gonna make me wonder what I’m doing
Staying far behind without you
You’re gonna make me wonder what I’m saying
You’re gonna make me give myself a good talkin’ to.

Bob Dylan, “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go.”

The collapse of the American news business is a sad thing. It’s hard to feel much sympathy for the business. They lost their way years ago, sacrificing an always-tense commitment to public knowledge upon the altars of Wall Street’s hawk-faced gods. Continue reading “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go”

Year of Reckoning: 2008 is when Karl Rove’s “genius” is measured

Karl Rove’s deepest fantasy was that in the future, some lonely and ambitious young person would read of him as he once read of Mark Hanna, the political operative who guided President William McKinley’s successful 1896 campaign. He saw himself as a right wing hero who had insured a generation of Republican rule. Continue reading “Year of Reckoning: 2008 is when Karl Rove’s “genius” is measured”

Why the Media Can’t See the Trees for the ACORNs

John McCain and other Republicans making criminal allegations against the community-organizing group ACORN know exactly what they’re doing. They’re using alarmist allegations of “voter fraud” to fire up their conservative base and suppress the votes of some citizens who may, out of fear, stay away from the polls. Continue reading “Why the Media Can’t See the Trees for the ACORNs”

Bush as Empty Cargo Shorts: How Perfect Is That

Austin, Texas was once a laid-back, creative haven full of college students, hippies, affable red necks and university professors. Even the conservative Democrats in power in the late ’60s and early ’70s went to pot-god Willie Nelson concerts.

George W. and Laura Bush, Karl Rove, Alberto Gonzalez, Karen Hughes – these people who held the Texas governor’s mansion from 1994-2000 just aren’t Austin’s idea of hip. So how did they captivate the city just a coupla decades later? Continue reading “Bush as Empty Cargo Shorts: How Perfect Is That”