Give me Libertarian pundits or give me death (of our future)

Please read this article that ran in the WaPo on July 17 before proceeding further.

What’s Next, Mr. President – Cardigans?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/17/AR2009071702093.html

The authors are Nick Gillespie the editor of Reason.com and Reason.tv. Matt Welch is editor of Reason magazine. They will discuss this article online at 11 a.m. on Monday at www.washingtonpost.com/liveonline.

The article is clearly written to support an ideology, Libertarianism, and is full of distortions. It also smacks of M$M race horse journalism although I don’t believe the authors can be considered M$M even though the article ran in the WaPo. Slamming Jimmy Carter though M$M myths created during and after Carter’s presidency and claiming Obama should follow Clinton not Carter may be the most disgusting aspect to this hit piece. When you consider Carter’s foresight, integrity and the disaster that has happened to our nation and the world because of the election of Reagan, the ascendancy of the Repugs and Neocons, how disastrous their approach has been to our economic strength, the tactics used by Gillespie and Welch keeps me just short of vomiting. So too does the Libertarian philosophy throughout the article that if we just leave things alone like the economy, everything will be fine.

These authors just discard all the factors that have led to our economic crisis and how long it will take for Americans to suffer for a real economic recovery to take place, an economy that will probably never return to the false security levels of the early 21st century because of lost jobs that will never come back. New ones have to be created that if possible will take a long time to accomplish. The don’t raise taxes even on the filthy rich and all we need is to get government out of our business is simplistic nonsense.

To sit back in your comfortable magazine office and criticize everything the Obama Administration has done and tried to do shows the kind of journalism and punditry that I was condemning in my previous article. Their propaganda goal is to feed the minds of their reader followers with more of the same pulp and not to try to come up with reasonable ideas that could help get America back on its feet.

An article in the Nation http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090803/johnston shows the history of how Democratic administrations, not Republican have created twice as many jobs. Since 1940, Republicans have controlled the White House for thirty-six years; Democrats for thirty-three. Yet Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that almost two-thirds of new jobs were created during Democratic administrations. What about the years since Reagan was elected, promising prosperity through lower taxes, balanced budgets and less regulation? The Clinton years resulted in 21 million jobs, more than two decades of Reagan, Bush I and Bush II. One last detail: these numbers reflect only private-sector jobs; including the public sector would widen the gap in the Democrats’ favor.

The lead sentence by Gillespie and Welch foretells how distorted and twisted the article will prove to be, “Barely six months into his presidency, Barack Obama seems to be driving south into that political speed trap known as Carter Country: a sad-sack landscape in which every major initiative meets not just with failure but with scorn from political allies and foes alike.” Or this sentence, “Like Carter, Obama is smart, moralistic and enamored of alternative energy schemes that were nonstarters back when America’s best-known peanut farmer was installing solar panels at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.”

Jimmy Carter’s problem is that he refused to play the Beltway game and bend his integrity. He provided our nation and the world a very sound blueprint for how to bring peace and justice to the world. Corrupt Washington D.C. and the corporate world were scared to death that they would lose power so they brought in a party that only cared to be in power and gain personal success. We all have seen the tragic result.

Carter has more integrity is the tip of his left small toe, than these two magazine authors. Maybe some of you would want to get on line with them on Monday and expose these charlatans and their ridiculous recommendations for what they are, Bull Shit.

44 Comments

  1. dirigo says:

    The Republicans probably didn’t set it, knowingly, but the trap Obama may very well fall into (and not get out of prior to the mid-terms) is the one where a second stimulus is not approved.

    Several so-called liberal economists were calling for a larger stimulus when Obama took office; and they’re calling for a second one now (Krugman and others).

    Considering the attached piece here from Newsweek, you have to ask what kind of “dead hand” is always at work in this government when the need for real, sustained, macro investment in the nation is required. It always seems to be a day late and a dollar short.

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/207390

    • rmp says:

      The Repugs decided on the mantra, the stimulus isn’t working without any support for a second one. So the implication is that the stimulus hasn’t worked. When the stimulus bill was being put together everyone said that we should give to the states and let them go with their construction projects. At the time the Obama Administration warned that it would take time for the plan to work because it takes time to plan and execute any state project even those that were planned and waiting for money. So all the practicality and difficulties involved in any stimulus plan starting to work when the economy is in such a mess, are just ignored by the M$M as they parrot the Repug and Libertarian mantras.

      I’m ready to puke on the M$M for how they are such dupes. Every president’s polls drop from inaugeration day and Obama’s have held on longer than most all the others, yet now we are supposed to believe he is in trouble. The M$M desire to always have a horse race to cover so that stenography journalism can prevail or the opposition can claim they are seizing lost ground and are on their way back to taking over again, is all part of selfish thinking without caring about the real consequences to real people.

      Jesse Ventura told Larry King last Friday when asked about how Obama was doing said, it’s too early for me to have an answer to that. He said, when a year has gone buy, I will tell you what I think. Have you heard any in the M$M or punditry say anything reasonable like that? I’m not sure even a year will be enough to give my answer.

      When the M$M is incapable of having a fair conversation, what chance is there for seeking real solutions and compromises? What chance is there to have Stiglitz at an economic discussion with Obama where his views will get a fair hearing?

      • rmp says:

        Robert Fuller and Paul Rosenberg may have hit on the key thought about Obama that I have been searching for, dignity. Rosenberg wrote:

        I think that Fuller is very right about one thing–his concept of dignitarianism is something we very much need to adopt, and the opposite concept–that of rankism–is something we need to become much more sensitive to and commited to rooted out.  Fuller’s conception provides a common framework for encompassing all the struggles against forms of prejudice–racism, sexism, ethnocentrism, religious bigotry, etc.–as well as the far more various and diverse ways that systems of rank and power (both formal and informal) are subject to abuse.  And that’s a very powerful unifying concept.

        I also think that Fuller is half right about another thing–President Obama does have an intuitive dignitarian bent to him.  But I think Fuller sees more in Obama than Obama himself is aware of, or even committed to.  The exclusion of single-payer advocates from the health care debate is just one example of Obama “pulling rank” on a large segment of the base that helped elect him, as well as the American people generally, who at the very least deserve the opportunity for a full, free  and fair debate.

        My way of making sense of Obama’s relationship to the dignitarian philosophy that Fuller expounds is relatively simple: I think that Obama has a strong intuitive orientation toward dignitarian conduct, but that that he resists what is most needed, the open, explicit articulation of dignitarian principles, and the adoption of dignitarianism as an organizing framework, as context, as well as content.  Taking those steps would put him definitively at odds with Versailles, and that is a step that he is very loathe to take, to put it mildly.
        Obama & The Politics of Dignity
        http://www.openleft.com/diary/14245/obama-the-politics-of-dignity

        • rmp says:

          Jimmy Carter had as president and still has as an ex-president the utmost in dignity yet the authors who stimulated me to write my post maliciously and unfairly maligned him just to further their selfish propaganda and political agenda.

          • dirigo says:

            I read some of the Fuller stuff.

            I was taken aback by the word “dignitarianism.” It’s not in the dictionary – yet, I suppose. But then, by gosh, it’s probably just a matter of time, regardless of what someone like E.B White might think (Oops! He’s dead!).

            But I wonder if the idea of cultivating dignity can be done in the context of an “-ism” – a political program.

            I agree Obama has a bearing which can be called dignified. But that’s part of who he is, what he’s developed himself, as a communicator. Carter had and has a certain, different kind of dignity. Obviously that was used again him when he was in office (that’s the whole point with Republicans: attack an opponent where he’s strong; tear him down!); and now he’s an internationally renowned sage figure.

            I observe today, as people reflect on Walter Cronkite, that he was dignified, and that he learned some of that as an aspect of public performance; and further, people who knew and respected him said he was the same whether on or off the air. That’s a true sign of dignity. Yet, I am troubled by the large amount of disrespect shown by blog commenters toward Cronkite. Is it a sign that millions of people simply don’t want to be told the truth? On anything? Even from the most unimpeachable of sources?

            What factions or interests stand ready (and have always stood ready) to exploit that?

            Cronkite was dignified and deserved all the kudos; but there are lots of people these days who have none, or very little, respect for people who, one could say, are their “betters.”

            Still puzzled by “dignitarianism.”

            Kinda weird …

          • Dirigo, I took part briefly in the comments on the OpenLeft thread which rmp mentions, and as you might imagine, questioned the packaging of ancient concepts in new quasi-Orwellian packages.

            I thought that Fuller, who replied to my criticism himself, made a spirited defense of his terminology. Although the poet in me still winces at what I view as his egregious additions to newspeak, his defense made perfect sense, given what he was trying to accomplish. He seems to want to redefine the cui bono which most of us believe should ground politics in a democracy in terms better suited to the times. Despite my reservations, I wish him luck.

  2. rmp says:

    Dirigo, maybe you have to fight isms with isms to make it a fair fight.

    • rmp says:

      Heil Sarah!

    • dirigo says:

      I just read that on e-mail; and it’s making me stutter and swallow my vowels.

      She’s a real menace because she will feed, constantly, on the fear that FDR warned about.

      Neither dignity as a political pose, nor plain speaking will be enough in her case.

      She’s absolutely frightening, because she’s very talented in a media-wise, performance way; and she will hone that, under the guidance of some very sophisticated whore-handlers.

      • rmp says:

        If a sufficient number of voters buy her crap so she is a viable candidate, then our country is even more broken than I have surmised. It may not be worth saving. I refuse to believe that with the changing demographic of voters in 2012, that she can emerge from the swamp viable along with her whore-handlers. And as a leader of Repugs she is the champion of being your own worst enemy.

        • dirigo says:

          Well look, as Will Rogers said, I’m not a member of any organized party, and blah blah …

          Leaving aside any -ism or ideology, that means to me having the right and obligation to speak plainly as much as you can , especially to try and make sense in the face of nonsense.

          And some people are better at that than others, which is why, when all is said and done, there is, in nature as in politics, an inherent aristocracy of talent.

          Is that “rankism”? I don’t think so. And right now, I still think dignity is also inherent in a person; and it can be enhanced by learning.

          A political program? Eewwww !!!

          What’s key are the ethics or motives of the talented ones. The skills are neutral. Some are better than others, talent wise. But what does one talented person do that another one will not.

          Right now, the combination of Palin, the C-Street “family,” and the lust for power by the Republican Party, suggests a terrible witches’ brew ahead.

  3. dirigo says:

    Sorry, I mean Nebraskan (is there a difference?).

    • rmp says:

      Yes there is. I’ll have to ask my best friend who is from Kansas what the difference is though. Does anyone else know?

  4. dirigo says:

    While we’re waiting for a ruling on one Midwestern dialect compared to another, let me, as a New Englander, salute Tom Watson, a Missourian, on his great effort today to become the oldest man, at 59, to win a major professional golf tournament, and the second golfer to win six British Opens.

    He failed, losing in a four hole playoff to Stewart Cink.

    It was a high, and terribly poignant moment when Watson failed to par the last hole in regulation. Had he parred the last hole, he would have won. Then, exhausted, he went to the first playoff hole. He was spent by then, and it was very clear he could not go any more. He played the four holes but was out of it by the third.

    Great stuff.

    Not something you see every day.

    • Curse you, curse you, curse you. I recorded it, and had just started to watch the final round. I’ve avoided news, e-mail, all contact with the outside world. Who knew that I could be undone by a visit to the Hag.

      Maledetto Dirigo, Maledettissimo. Non ti perdono mai.

      :-(

      • dirigo says:

        I’m sorry, WT. Really …

        • It’s okay, D — it”s my own fault. And in truth, I made my peace with the peril of timeshifting soon after I got my first DVR. As a geezer golfer myself, I’m at least glad that it went to a playoff.

          I hereby revoke the maledizione, and beg your forgiveness. Chalk it up to age, crankiness, and a day spent wrestling 25 pounds of toilet paper, 50 pounds of dogfood (for a friend — I’m dogless) and 24-packs of cheez-its through the Costco checkout stand, and then trying jam it all into a vehicle better suited to the clown routine at Ringling Brothers.

          • dirigo says:

            Well thanks, but I remain apologetic.

            It was a very rare event. Sorry I undercut it for you.

    • rmp says:

      I really thought Tom would do it. I don’t think he choked, has he ever choked, but maybe he was tired before the playoff either mentally, physically or both.

      I can imagine your disappointment WT. At least now you won’t have to suffer along with Tom for a long period of time.

  5. dirigo says:

    Sarah hijacks RMP’s thread …

    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/07/18-2

  6. heru-ur says:

    rpm,

    I can see that you want to blame all the woes of the world on some ideology, but to blame the libertarians is beyond the pale. Reason is just another libertarian-leaning beltway group that is always oh-so presentable in polite company. Real libertarians, of the right or of the left, are all anarchists. Those big government loving fakes at reason are but a dim facsimile of a libertarian.

    I fear you think the Republicans, those you hate until you have gone blind, are “libertarian” in some way. Not so. They talk to the liberty streak in most thinking Americans, but they never deliver.

    There has not been a “libertarian administration” in DC in at least a century and there never will be one until the empire dies. (may Horace speed that wished for event)

    I hope that you were not fooled by the Republicans claiming they “deregulated” some industry or the other. What they did was engage in crony capitalism and made things far worse as cronyism always does. (law of unintended consequences says that it should make things better at least once on accident, but I have never seen it do so)

    You should do a post and tell us what you think should be done about the American economy before we all starve to death. (well not all, the poor get fucked as always while the super-wealthy are protected)

    • rmp says:

      I think it was fairly clear that I was criticizing the Libertarians at Reason and those who think like them. I am only interested in ideology as it relates to making our problems worse not better and this post was mostly about the M$M. These two lame authors seem to only represent their selfish selves.

      It’s fine to have a libertarian view of the world. My problem is that the cows are out of the barn and how do we go back to a time when it was possible to get them back in and close the door. I am far from an economic expert, but from the outside it was not hard to see a long time ago that the WS and bank money grabbers were heading us for a very bad place due to extreme selfishness, severed integrity and ends justifying the means as a life principle.

      It was not hard to see that voodoo economics would not work; that cheap jobs overseas to lift the lives of suffering people would make it hard to keep jobs here; that automation would remove more jobs; that the hard working middle class would be left behind; that houses in certain parts of our country were way overpriced; that America had become too materialistic a society; etc.

      Now you want me to find a solution to all that. The only chance we have is to change our society’s values, integrity and sense of community and set an example along with other nations of a new approach to living on this planet. When we have so many selfish people and broken systems that goal will be extremely hard to reach. That doesn’t mean we should give up or spend our time blaming others instead of trying to make some kind of a difference.

      Glenn Greenwald was not a journalist, just one individual who believed he could make a difference. It is people like him and those who support him who will make a difference. I suspect that is why you join me and so many quality commenters on UT daily.

      • heru-ur says:

        I often join in because I am not yet ready to admit there is no hope at all. I still have hope that a Glenn or one of the pundits who lurk and read will effect the USA to the degree that it will make a positive change.

        However, I am ever more pessimistic.

        Take for example what you and many others believe “libertarianism” is. It is simply the old time religion of classic liberalism. I, and those like me, take it a little further all the way to anarchy because we believe that no government works.

        I have waited almost 60 years for a better set of politicians; and yet all I ever get is lying bastards who are in it for the power alone. (with only a handful of exceptions)

        I hate Republicans just as you do. I just see the Democrats as no better.

  7. cocktailhag says:

    Wow, Paul. That was about the most infuriating, lie-filled, manipulative piece of trash the WaPoo has run in, uh, days. “Reason” magazine?How many readers do they have, 12? There clearly is no righty claptrap too stupid to print. I liked the threat contained in the Carter comparison; be a serial compromiser like Clinton or lose. Sheesh. Great post, though.

    • Ah, libertarians…. Bow ties and megaphones, Roman noms de plume and insufferable certainties — Stalinism’s American cousins. When the family gathers for Thanksgiving dinner, the only ones whose devotion to reason prevents them from praising the turkey, or complimenting Aunt Emily on her godawful sweet potato and marshmallow casserole.

      • rmp says:

        Insufferable certainties, devotion to reason, you do have a way with words. Can you class up these phrases: no solutions offered, blaming instead of gaming (solutions), contributions none, not part of the problem or solution, knowledge and skills wasted?

        • No, rmp, I’m sorry. Your phrases are perfectly descriptive. I should say, though, that I don’t have any political or philosophical bones to pick with libertarians; scholastic arguments are, in general, a waste of time, and those are the only kind of arguments that libertarians have to offer.

          To be perfectly honest, I think that they’ve misunderstood the implications of the Enlightenment, and I think that the reasons are more or less purely psychological. It has something to do with frustrations in childhood, I suspect, and no early anchor for their natural affections. The milk of human kindness isn’t entirely incomprehensible to them, but they definitely don’t trust it.

          I’m sure heru will be along bye-and-bye, to offer a rebuttal. That’s as it should be, but I’m afraid I’m past caring….

          • rmp says:

            Instead of inconsistent breast feeding which causes liking uncertainty and mess, my case with a bipolar mother, that the problem stems from potty training. Forcing those stools and spanking for making a mess produces an anal personality. Of course those are the extremes and there are many gradients in between.

          • heru-ur says:

            I am afraid I am past caring also. It really matters not at all what you or I think. It matters little if your candidate or mine gets elected. It matters little what a politician claims he/she will do for the poor and downtrodden.

            William, I am afraid that the future of humanity depends on the USA disintegrating like the old USSR. Horace help me, but I think we are the biggest obstacle to peace there is.

            Please convince me otherwise — I really would like to be wrong. My favorite niece is about to give birth to a young boy. (they already know the sex)

          • Well, there are some things we agree on, heru, which in your more charitable moments, you might remember from UT.

            While my instincts tell me that yes, the U.S. is the greatest present danger to world peace, it’s certainly had a lot of help becoming that. The Depression, World War II and Stalin following in close order would’ve tested the wisdom of the best men, and some of the men we had — Marshall and Kennan, for example — were as good as pretty much any country has produced before or since.

            Their biggest mistake was to become enchanted with the idea that it was America’s unique destiny to restore order to a shattered world, but honestly, you’d have to be an awful prig not to understand why they fell victim to that enchantment, and have at least some sympathy with their attempts to make the best of it.

            Truman authorized HIroshima, for example, but he also fired MacArthur for suggesting publicly that we do the same to Beijing. Given the temper of the times, this could actually have gotten him impeached.

            Our problem is that once a behemoth like our imperial apparat has been created, it’ll inevitably fall into the hands of truly base and ignorant men. Even when it doesn’t, the wise officials who would ordinarily not be tempted by the monstrous tools at our disposal, wind up making decisions in the abstract which can destroy thousands — even millions — of lives.

            Sometimes they do so because they fear that worse would follow if they shrink from making such decisions, and sometimes, as was the case with McNamara, they can’t see beyond decision making in the abstract, disconnected from any consequences engraved in other people’s flesh. Kings these days never walk incognito among the people, even in our myths.

            We’re in a fine pickle, no doubt, but I’m far from believing that the destruction of the U.S. is the only way out. I believe in democracy, heru. I’ve seen it accomplish marvelous things, even when the smart money, and the narrowly virtuous abstainers, were all betting against it.

  8. dirigo says:

    Carter: Friend of women …

    http://www.politicsdaily.com/2009/07/20/jimmy-carter-leaves-church-over-treatment-of-women/?icid=webmail|wbml-aol|dl1|link3|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.politicsdaily.com%2F2009%2F07%2F20%2Fjimmy-carter-leaves-church-over-treatment-of-women%2F

    • PDA says:

      Lee, I just read that too. What a great-hearted man he is… Jimmy Carter, probably more than any living human, gives me hope that not all professed Christians are hypocrites.

      He’s a helluva poet, to boot…

      • dirigo says:

        I’ve always liked him and think he kinda got screwed coming in after Nixon and Ford. It was a nasty time, after ‘Nam and Watergate. And then them damn Ay-rabs jacked up the awl !!! Hostages and whatnot.

        I watched an interview today of Cronkite, with Chris Matthews; and Cronkite said Carter was the smartest of the presidents he got to talk with and see up close.

        He may not have been able to delegate well. I recall people saying that about his Oval Office management style. Too much time down in the engine room with the mechanics and the greasy wrenches.

        • PDA says:

          Compare Carter’s Christianity with that of “The Family:”

          http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2009/07/21/c_street/

          They’re followers of a political religion that embraces elitism, disdains democracy, and pursues power for its members the better to “advance the Kingdom.” They say they’re working for Jesus, but their Christ is a power-hungry, inside-the-Beltway savior not many churchgoers would recognize.

          I submit that any category broad enough to include both Carter and John Ensign is too broad to be of any value: it’s like saying that both men have opposable thumbs.

          • dirigo says:

            The timing is interesting – that between Carter leaving the Southern Baptist Convention and the reports on the “family.”

            I’m not suggesting any conscious move by Carter related to the flame-outs of Ensign et al and the opening they created for the Sharlet stories to come through, showing the bigger picture about that outfit.

            However, put together, the two stories reveal real, reactionary political factions, driven by religion, which have been hiding in plain site, at least in the case of the “family,” formed in part as a reaction to Roosevelt(the SBC split from northern baptists in 1845 over slavery).

            Paul was talking about an “-ism” up thread. I am wary of all “-isms”, secret societies, speaking in tongues, and secret handshakes.

            Even if it were Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton doing the Raccoon Lodge tail wag and warble, I’d be suspicious and want to know what’s that all about.

          • dirigo says:

            According to another source (Think Progress), Carter actually severed ties with the SBC in 2000; so maybe this time he left his local church, decided he didn’t want to be a deacon or something.

            … ? …

          • dirigo says:

            Jeff Sharlet on C Street, Harper’s, 2003

            http://www.harpers.org/archive/2003/03/0079525

  9. heru-ur says:

    William T,

    I asked you to tell me it was going to get better and you took a decent shot at it. Thanks.

    We do agree on many things; mostly the ends, the goal, the destination that we would like to see humanity reach.

    Unfortunately, we often (always?) disagree on the means to the ends. We disagree on the vehicle that will work best on this road of life. I do wish that you were right, but I am far more pessimistic than you are. Personality trait perhaps.

    I was reading a modern book on logic, and the lady who wrote the book was talking about how we had to use our world view on most questions to fill in the missing information — no one can personally investigate every issue, sub-issue, and contributing factors, etc. I also had just read a book on the world views of those on the “left” and those on the “right”. Taken together, the two authors, writing on widely divergent things, had explained why no one at UT can discuss anything without a scream fest.

    I am tired of screaming. It is time to let the younger ones vote for “better democrats or better republicans” and find out for themselves that it just ain’t going to work.

    Take care.