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Thursday, May 19, 2011

"Ending Medicare Is the New GOP Litmus Test"

Now, if the DNC can get this spot to just under a minute we're off to the races.


jollyspaniard said...

I don't think the stance is going to work for them politicaly. I don't see seniors voting themselves to an early grave regardless of their ideological inclinations.

But the other half of the coin is military spending. So long as that remains bloated and sacrosanct the future of social programs is in peril regardless as to what the Republicans do legislatively.

jimf said...

What Conservatives Really Want
George Lakoff

jimf said...

> Budget deficits are convenient ruses for destroying American
> democracy and replacing it with conservative rule in all areas of life.
> What is saddest of all is to see Democrats helping them.
> Democrats help radical conservatives by accepting the deficit
> frame and arguing about what to cut. . .
> Democrats help conservatives by not shouting out loud over and
> over that it was conservative values that caused the global economic
> collapse: lack of regulation and a greed-is-good ethic.
> Democrats also help conservatives by what a friend has called
> Democratic Communication Disorder. Republican conservatives have
> constructed a vast and effective communication system, with
> think tanks, framing experts, training institutes, a system of
> trained speakers, vast holdings of media, and booking agents.
> Eighty percent of the talking heads on tv are conservatives. . .
> And Democrats help conservatives when they function as policy wonks —
> talking policy without communicating the moral values behind the
> policies. . .

-- George Lakoff
"What Conservatives Really Want"

> There’s a large cohort of people in the commentariat (and
> one in the White House, I fear) who are more or less liberal in
> sentiment, but desperately want to see themselves as men who
> transcend partisan differences; and to serve their self-image they
> keep looking for what Atrios calls “GOP daddies”, supposedly serious,
> sensible Republicans they can praise to show their open-mindedness.
> So what happens when this intense desire to find sensible Republicans
> faces the reality of a GOP gone bonkers? The answer is a series of
> unrequited crushes. Paul Ryan is only the latest figure to be held up
> as an example of competence and reasonableness despite clear evidence. . .
> Some of us remember that none other than George W. Bush once got the
> same treatment.
> So my guess is that any day now someone else will get the nod.
> Actually, Mitch Daniels would have gotten the Ryan treatment if
> he had run — and down the road pundits would have been shocked,
> shocked to find that Bush’s budget director, who did as much as
> anyone to explode America’s debt, is not actually sensible or moderate.
> Now unrequited centrist love will have to find a new object for
> its affections — but whoever it is, we can confidently predict that
> he will disappoint those expectations.
> Meet the new crank, same as the old cranks.

-- Paul Krugman
"Will Get Fooled Again"
May 23, 2011, 4:28 am

jimf said...

"A heavy smoker who refused to believe that smoking causes cancer. . .
[Ayn] Rand was a fatal victim of lung cancer.

However, it was revealed in the recent 'Oral History of Ayn Rand'
by Scott McConnell (founder of the media department at the
Ayn Rand Institute) that in the end Ayn was a vip-dipper as well.
An interview with Evva Pryror, a social worker and consultant
to Miss Rand's law firm of Ernst, Cane, Gitlin and Winick verified
that on Miss Rand's behalf she secured Rand's Social Security and
Medicare payments which Ayn received under the name of Ann O'Connor
(husband Frank O'Connor).

As Pryor said, 'Doctors cost a lot more money than books earn
and she could be totally wiped out' without the aid of these two
government programs. Ayn took the bail out even though Ayn 'despised
government interference and felt that people should and could live
independently... She didn't feel that an individual should take help.'

But alas she did and said it was wrong for everyone else to do so."

-- "Hypocrisy and Ayn Rand"
Commentary By Ron Beasley
January 29, 2011

jimf said...

> Ayn took the bail out. . .

Speaking of whom, here's an unsurprising if sad story:

How Ayn Rand ruined my childhood
By Alyssa Bereznak
Monday, Apr 4, 2011

jimf said...

Another side of the argument, from the man credited with
inventing the term "singularitarian":

Friday, April 29, 2011
Stop framing conservatives as marginal ignoramuses.

American conservatives have demography and a common self-identification
in their favor. That should count for something in a republic.

Speaking of framing, Lakoff's Newspeak tricks don't hide the fact
that progressives have an asymmetric relationship with progressives:
Progressives envy conservatives and want to persecute the more
successful ones through confiscations and legal restrictions. By
contrast, what would conservatives want from progressives? Their
grievance attitude generally makes them unemployable in the market.
Would you hire someone for your company who listed a stint as
a "community organizer" on his résumé?

Sunday, May 8, 2011
Ayn Rand's floating door

I've come up with a model to explain Ayn Rand's new popularity, because I
suspect that it says more about "progressivism" than about Rand's merits.

Suppose your ship at sea sinks, and in the effort to stay alive, you
latch onto the nearest buoyant object, in this case a floating door,
as your life raft. A door sucks as a raft, but it beats the alternative
of drowning. . .

Rand's philosophy has characteristics of the floating door in my model.
Many people feel an organic revulsion against the world view of progressivism
which threatens to drown them, as well they should. But in the absence of
a proper ship, a number of such individuals have grabbed onto Rand's
philosophy as a makeshift to maintain themselves in a viable condition.

In other words, when you have to choose between, on the one hand, the abyss
of abnegation offered by progressivism, and on the other hand, a weak
philosophy created by Ayn Rand which offers self-respect and values
your personal fulfillment - well, to many people Rand's weak philosophy
looks like a better deal.

Beneath Rand's nuttiness, I think she displayed fundamentally healthy
instincts. People tend to feel spiritually replenished by association
with competence, virtue and success (the constituency of conservatives);
and spiritually depleted by exposure to incompetence, immorality and failure
(the constituency of progressives). Human nature determines this polarization,
not ideology. You see this reality in even the most degraded underclass
communities from their enthusiasm for commercial sports. Sports celebrate
the conservative values of competition, a meritocracy of ability, and
differential financial rewards based on performance. Fans from the underclass
would not respect a sport which tries to enforce the progressive world
view on its outcomes, even when progressives try to do the same to them
through the political process.

He has a point -- I may be a "progressive" because I sucked
in gym class. ;->