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Thursday, July 21, 2016

They Are Coming

Watching the RNC is like reading the Book of Mazarbul: "We cannot get out. The shadow moves in the dark. We cannot get out. They are coming."


jimf said...
Political Insanity and Dysfunction: Are we citizens to blame?
Tuesday, July 12, 2016

In this widely cited article from The Atlantic
( ),
Jonathan Rauch starts with one blatant fact -- the systematic destruction
of American politics as our means for negotiating pragmatic solutions
to national and world problems. I have long called this the most
horrendous damage done to the U.S., it's people and in fact the world,
since politics is our method for negotiating shifts and navigating a
path through shoals of rapid change.

Ah, then Mr. Rauch proceeds to diagnose the cause, in a stunning
pile of wrongheaded rationalizations. . .

History makes this very clear. Whenever there is a Republican president
and a Democratic Congress, budgets and enabling bills get passed.
The GOP President’s agenda is used at the starting point for
negotiations. From Nixon to Reagan to both Bushes, appointments
got hearings and were mostly confirmed. Negotiations were tough —
but they were negotiated.

In contrast, Democratic presidents always face a state of bilious
war from Republican Congresses… with one year - 1995 - as a marked
exception, when Speaker Newt Gingrich paused amid the preening
fury of culture war, to negotiate legislation with Bill Clinton,
for the good of the nation. (And Gingrich was punished for this
by those great role models, Dennis Hastert, Tom DeLay, John Boehner
and Paul Ryan, who jointly declared the “Hastert Rule” — to punish
any GOP legislator who dared to negotiate independently with democrats
over anything at all, without express permission from Roger Ailes.). . .

This has nothing to do with classic left or right. I am compelled
to repeat -- since absolutely no one else points this out -- that
market enterprise always (and I mean always) does better under
democrats. As does **fiscal responsibility**. And – indeed – every
other statistical metric of U.S. national health.

No, this is not "left" versus "right." A better model is
phase 8 of the American Civil War
( ). . .

. . .but no. It truly is as simple as sane versus insane. The Murdochian-right’s
outright war on science (along with every other knowledge profession in
American life) says it all. . .

We are in no less a time of critical choice than 1861. . .

"Phase 8" -- I like that! (Say, wasn't that the model name
of a top-of-the-line Oldsmobile back in the good old days? ;-> ).

No, it's always been pretty clear that the Civil War never **quite**
ended, even though the media doesn't ever characterize "the troubles"
in those terms (for obvious reasons -- it would be extremely
indelicate, PR-wise, not to say inflammatory, to do so).

jimf said...

> They Are Coming

They've always been here.
Phase one of the American Civil War took place in the South,
during the Revolution, when the British found their strongest
support among Loyalist/Tory militias in Georgia and the
Carolinas. . .

Phase two. . . [S]outhern politicians
grew ever stronger in control of the U.S. federal government. . .
[Andrew] Jackson's overall sentiments were what we might call
"confederate." . . . [S]outhern control over levers of power
only grew until, by 1860, five of nine Supreme Court justices
were slave-owners. . .

**[T]he "confederate" social movement is not always anti-central-government!**
It is only opposed to federal government when it does not control
those levers of power. . .

[Phase Three] . . . starting in 1852, when the Fugitive Slave Act
turned the division violent. . .

[P]hase four — the one we normally think of as “The Civil War.”. . .

Phase 5- The 1870s early end of Reconstruction...
The “confederacy” won this phase, big time, when they dickered
their way into an end of Civil Rights protections and a surge
of Jim Crow laws that ripped from freed slaves the right
to vote. The real losers, though? Not just minorities, but
in every pragmatic sense the **entire South**, which thereupon
slumped into a backwater of economic retardation and romantic,
old-timey hatred of progress. . .

Phase 6 . The 1880s. . . William Jennings Bryan's white-christian
populism, Free Silver and a rebuke to the steamroller effects
of consolidated northern corporations. . . Northern oligarchs
won phase six… unfortunately, in this case!. . .

Phase 7 - The 1940s through 1970s … the civil rights movement,
started with Harry Truman’s bold desegregation of the military,
then Dwight Eisenhower’s firm support of school desegregation.
The essential and too-long delayed resumption of Reconstruction. . .
This phase was clearly won by Blue America (though the South
benefited prodigiously, economically), but at a cost — which was. . .

Phase 8 - …the Nixonian, southern-strategy “flip" leads ultimatel
to today's full scale New Confederacy effort to finally destroy
the United States of America.

Not by force of arms, but by ending the effectiveness of politics
as a pragmatic, open-minded process by which undogmatic citizens
negotiate a mix of experiments and find out what works -- the
methodology behind all of our successes. Replacing all of that
with **dogma** more intense than communism ever was.

Pragmatism and science and re-evaluation are now portrayed
to half our neighbors as enemies. A conviction of moral superiority
that cannot be shaken by facts.

Run through a long list of social ills: teen sex ages and rates,
teen pregnancies, STDs, domestic violence, divorce rates, bankruptcy
and debt default rates, education, economic productivity, net tax
parasitism…even obesity rates. . . tell us clearly that outcome
metrics **do not support any claims that salt-of-the-earth types are
better at life** or raising kids than 'decadent' university-city-folk.
Indeed, by all of those measures... and countless more... they get
spectacularly worse outcomes.

So? The response is to utterly ignore statistics. Truthiness is all
that matters.

I could go on, but the point is clear: this rebellion against the
American Experiment is both ancient and culturally deeply rooted.
We are in its eighth phase (at least). . .

Dale Carrico said...

Remember Fuck The South? I actually taught that text in an undergraduate rhetoric course called "Rants and Raves" back in the day.