Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Which battles to fight?

That final paragraph really gets to one of my obsessions: that the political left and the mainstream media focus so heavily on culture-wars issues–especially regarding the Supreme Court–that the corporatocracy and other rightwing non-culture-wars interests (states’ rights!) have been having an incredible run these past years in the courts, without most people even knowing it.

Tags: , , Comments Off on Which battles to fight? | |

James Wagner, President, Emory University op ed. for Sunday afternoon

James Wagner, President, Emory University has offered the idea that compromises for a ‘more perfect union’ comes in many forms. The link presents Mr. Wagner’s reply to the storm of comment to the original, which follows. Here is an excerpt:

One instance of constitutional compromise was the agreement to count three-fifths of the slave population for purposes of state representation in Congress. Southern delegates wanted to count the whole slave population, which would have given the South greater influence over national policy. Northern delegates argued that slaves should not be counted at all, because they had no vote. As the price for achieving the ultimate aim of the Constitution—“to form a more perfect union”—the two sides compromised on this immediate issue of how to count slaves in the new nation. Pragmatic half-victories kept in view the higher aspiration of drawing the country more closely together.

Some might suggest that the constitutional compromise reached for the lowest common denominator—for the barest minimum value on which both sides could agree. I rather think something different happened. Both sides found a way to temper ideology and continue working toward the highest aspiration they both shared—the aspiration to form a more perfect union. They set their sights higher, not lower, in order to identify their common goal and keep moving toward it.

Tags: , Comments (15) | |

"G.O.P. Anger Over Tax Deal Endangers Final Passage"

by run75411
Op ed.

G.O.P. Anger Over Tax Deal Endangers Final Passage

NYT is reporting Eric Cantor and many other House Republicans will not vote for the Senate (89-8) passed Hr8 bill American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. Again another line is drawn in the sand for the President and whether he will use the political advantage the Repubs and Teabaggers keep forcing on him to knock the chip off their shoulders.

“Go ahead, knock it off, I dare you” sneer on Cantor’s face just begs for the President to begin to exercise some of the political capital he gained from being re-elected to a second term and the Repubs backing themselves into the corner. Meanwhile Boehner, the Republican eunuch can be seen scurrying in the background not committing to a stance on the Senate passed HR8. So is this the golden moment where the President finally grows a pair and takes on a Republican party which protects 3 million household taxpayers without regard for the other 151 million?

“I would be shocked if this bill doesn’t go back to the Senate,” said Representative Spencer Bachus, Republican of Alabama.

Or is this the moment, the President apologizes to the Republicans for asking for too much and slinks off to the Oval Office to begin his proposal a sellout of SS, Medicare, Medicaid, CHSCH in answer to House Republican? The stage is once again set for the President to emerge as a real statesman and kill the Groundhog Day scenario in which Congress appears to be stuck. The President does not appear to be a true Chicago City street-wise kid for which so many of them are recognized.

“It is clear that the vice president and the president are convinced that they have done the right thing. They don’t see it as a perfect deal though, and nobody else does,” said Representative Elijah Cummings, Democrat of Maryland.

If it is sent back to the Senate, the next Congress will decide on its passage and hopefully without Barack Obama conceding anything else. One can only hope . . .

Tags: Comments (1) | |

Conservative Historical Awareness: Does ‘Falange’ Violate Godwin’s Law?

by Bruce Webb

I ask people to examine the following labels and concepts:
Arbitrary Executive
Permanent Majority
Homeland Security
New American Century

Did any of these labels or the concepts behind them come from the Left? Well no and we could easily assign names to people associated with each, for example we could name in the same order Addington/Yoo, Norquist/Rove, Bush, Cheney/Rumsfeld. Each man or pair of men openly and publicly associated themselves with one or more or generally all of these concepts.

Lets add some more terms:
American Exceptionalism
Christian Nation
Traditional Family

Are these in origin from the Left? Are there very many American Conservatives out there that wouldn’t endorse all three concepts? I think not.

If we examined only post-war history what country would (with its own changes on the tune) this combination best resemble? If you said ‘Spain under Franco’ you would have a winner. To which some would add ‘Chile under Pinochet’. There is a word for regimes that combine their version of all seven concepts. A word that by convention we cannot use because it is attached to a great deal of other historical baggage. Which doesn’t make it less historically correct.

Conservatism has always been wary of democracy, in fact 19th century conservatism in Britain and the United States was in large part by a determined effort to control democracy by retaining strict control over the franchise to vote. This effort went hand in hand with an attempt to retain control over the acceptable shape of the family and especially over the sexual conduct of family members.

While Conservatives by and large are fully aware of what they see as the dangers of too much license in speech, conduct and their expressions in things like art and music, they seem less aware of the dangers of slipping back into something that resembles Franco’s Spain. If it helps to reduce the temperature we can simply say that from the Left Bush/Cheneyism could not easily be distinguished from Falangism. (

Tags: Comments Off on Conservative Historical Awareness: Does ‘Falange’ Violate Godwin’s Law? | |