Let’s be clear here, this is a non rebuttal rebuttal (NRR), Mr. Crank. Keeping my mouth shut is not always easy, as my librarian can attest, but I will try to keep the rebut-thing to a minimum. This post will cover our continued budget woes, what the Florida shooting says about society, and the Discord’s failed attempt at being a uniter. Who’d have thought a site called The Daily Discord would fail to bring people together? Shocking.
For the moment, we’ve given up on rebuttals here, as they have proven less productive than a certain Phoenix construction site.
The death of the debt deal last year mirrors the recent debates between R and D nicely. Picture our two-party system as an old married couple. Say goodnight, Gracie. The lack of any decision, once again, shows how damaging all-or-none thinking can be. So let’s all take a moment to thank the poster child for all-or-none thinking himself, Grover Norquist, and his tax pledge to poverty. Last week the House voted down Simpson-Bowles 382 to 38. Who does that Hugh Laurie guy think he is? For those of you unfamiliar with this plan, it was a budget proposal that just might have worked. This proposal—even more so than the Congressional Deficit Committee’s recommendations before it—seemed to strike the right balance between revenue creation and budget cuts (aka, doomed from the fucking get-go). This is a proposal that Chris Christie and Barack Obama both liked, but Obama believed it had a no-ball’s chance in Congress of passing, so our illustrious leader, showing no balls himself, never championed it...and Christie, with even less balls, never even mentioned it until it was already flat line.
Like most of our sausage making, the July debt "negotiations" between John Boehner and Barack Obama were a farce. One of my few necessary retractions was this: I thought the collapse of 2008 was all she wrote economically for the United States. But here’s what I learned over the last couple of years:
1.) Possibilities existed, albeit it slim ones, to climb out of this Bushian economic abyss, 2.) there is at least some merit to Keynesian economics (Obama at least bought us some time with his Stimulus. Most economists agree, had we stopped printing money post Bush, our country would have gone into a Lohan-like freefall) and 3.) Republicans have no intention of even starting to climb out of this hole until 2012 (ask your doctor if a budget-blocker is right for you).
A New York Times reporter interviewed most of those involved with that doomed debt-deal. It’s a long article but worth the slog. Here’s two of my favorite excerpts:
"Over time, the whole debacle became the perfect metaphor for a city in which the two parties seem more and more to occupy not just opposing places on the political spectrum, but distinct realities altogether."
Who does that sound like? Hmmm.
"...what’s undeniable, despite all the furious efforts to peddle a different story, is that Obama managed to persuade his closest allies to sign off on what he wanted them to do, and Boehner didn’t, or couldn’t. While Democratic leaders were willing to swallow either a deal with more revenue or a deal with less, Boehner’s theoretical counteroffer, which probably reflected what he would have done if empowered to act alone, never even got a hearing from his leadership team."
—Matt Bai, New York Times
I don’t agree with that one line. ‘Republican leadership’ is clearly an oxymoron. I know, I know that’s name calling to folks in the Heartland, a place completely devoid of any and all dictionaries—where Roget’s sounds "way too French", where Webster’s is that old TV show with that black kid, and the existence of a Thesaurus flies in the face of Creationism. Oh wait, that’s dividing again...oh come on, I have to have some fun.
At least the Democratic politicians still have some ability to look away from ideology from time to time in the spirit of compromise. Meanwhile, the most dangerous side remains a megalith of greed and ignorance. Sphinxters? Yeah...I can’t wait until they get back into power. Frankly, this Obama thing sucks. Incompetence is much funnier. Don’t worry... coming soon to a White House near you. Don’t think of it as losing a country as gaining some traffic for an important blog/ezine thingie.
With the current political landscape, we never had a chance to fix the budget under Obama. That’s not an excuse...that’ a fact (aka, politically meaningless). On a semi related note, MSNBC’s coverage of this Trayvon tragedy has been disgusting, nearly Fox level disgusting. Seriously, yuck. And here I thought Fox News cornered the market on disgusting? You just knew, regardless of the facts, MSNBC would side with the black kid and Fox News would side with the gun-toting white-ish guy. The details? Fuck’em...we’re only supporting our bullshit narratives and facts be damned...you know, the usual. Our increasing need to fit things into an ongoing all-inclusive narrative invariably leaves the truth in the dust and me with a deficit-sized headache. My God this is an unhealthy bunch. In fact, I think our country’s zeitgeist was just seen throwing beer bottles and swerving through traffic with Linsay Lohan.
I came across this Julian Sanchez piece just as I was trying to voice a similar sentiment:
Channeling me he said:
"Browsing a conservative news site the other day, I was struck by the sheer oddness of that familiar genre of political commentary that treats liberals and conservatives, not just as groups of people with systematic disagreements on policy questions, but as something like distinct subspecies of humanity..."
And, apparently channeling Camus, he said:
"...we’ve made the mind into an armed camp—in which not only politicians and legislative proposals, but moral philosophies, artworks, even scientific theories, have to wear the insignia of one or the other army. This obviously oversimplifies—a taxonomy with two categories is not particularly rich—but also obscures the internal fault lines within each domain in a way that’s guaranteed to undermine our understanding. We’re at the point where people are morally certain about the empirical facts of what happened between Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman on the basis of their general political worldviews. This isn’t exactly surprising—we are tribal creatures who like master narratives—but it feels as though it’s gotten more pronounced recently, and it’s almost certainly making us all stupider.
Speaking of stupider: why is MSNBC trying so hard to mimic these basal bumpkins? ...ratings and money, no doubt. It’s a futile effort. The few viewers they have will likely change the channel. I have. Not many liberals are as far left as Ed of the Ed Show or Lawrence let’s-divvy-shit-up O’Donnell. They are on par with the Rosie Os and the Michael Moores of the world. They simply add to the meager fodder on the Right. Other than Rather-gate, Keith Olbermann was the first journalistic screw up on the left. He regularly employed Fox News’s guilt of omission strategy. That will be his sad, sad legacy. So why would you replace him with Olbermann Thing 1 and Thing 2? Liberals are not going to embrace this crap. You’re barking up the wrong demographic.
For instance, it is deeply disturbing to me how MSNBC only discusses our obscene debt problems when something surfaces to further pin our woes on the Republicans. They have never covered this shit otherwise, as if our colossal debt is not a story worth telling. Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle, Fox News uses guilt of omission, distortions and flat out lies (their Trio Grande).
Fox News: disturbingly conscienceless views propagandized ad infinitum (DCVPAI).
Why has, yours truly—or as the Crank calls me, Mr. No Solutions—been mentioning the Deficit Committee and Simpson Bowles recommendations all along? Where exactly are the Conservatives on feasible debt solutions? The Right does not want to fix anything until they’re comfortably back in power. Somewhere in 2012 the Romney Administration will graciously start trying to help (then we’re really screwed). At that time the last few pragmatic bones left in Dr. Etch-a-Sketch’s body will be shaken into oblivion by his base (his baseless’s base? There’s a joke in there somewhere).
Again, if you don’t like either party, I can sympathize, but if you vote for a group who wears their incompetence on their lapel next to their flag pin, I think you should consider losing your ID before the next election. There’s just no reason to support a group who embraces their own brand of shameless, retractionless, journalism-free propaganda (SRJ...F...oh, F-it). When you add the Republican’s blatant obstructionism to their economic culpability...umm, they should be stripped of those lapel flag pins, sent to Guantanamo and forced to watch Real Time reruns. But could they be permanently Mahered?! (Sorry, all the jokes can’t be funny).
Now, as warned, addressing my blogversary, the Crankster:
I’ll try to avoid addressing specific political points...operative word try. There hasn’t been a syllable directed at you personally for some time, Mr. Crank. We have on this site welcomed you to continue your political posts so your ‘epiphany’ that we’re trying to silence opposing views is as faulty as your take on most policies. I happen to think your non-political pieces have been among our funniest lately and I’m not the only one (see our CEO, Pierce Winslow’s related comments here). And, if and when we ever get a comment section, that should be a fun addition for all.
Meanwhile, my main points and themes remain as consistent as your ability to misinterpret them. My hope is that the Right’s media coverage would improve, not disband, and I am not linking back to all of my related examples for the umpteen millionth time. But if the media, in particular Fox News, refuses to improve, then by all means dis-fucking-band already! It’s useless and counterproductive in its current form as evidence by the Iraq War, the reelection of George W. Bush, and the ongoing misrepresentation of the Obama Administration. Not to mention a recent Maryland study suggesting Fox viewers are the single most misinformed group in America. You’re all turning into some type of Borgian StepfKoch Brothers, which would be fine except it’s still legal for you to vote.
And, whereas it’s true I recently referred to someone who perpetuated an Obamacare lie via email as "some right wing moron," I wasn’t talking about you or my friend Jeff who originally forwarded me the email. Jeff is a moron but for entirely different reasons...but I still love him...oh, and by the way, Jeff, Galileo-7 was not the worst Star Trek episode ever. You just didn’t like it because Shatner wasn’t in it and that homoerotic Kirk thing you have going on. There, I said it.
As for calling people assholes, I reserve that accolade for the Hannitys and the Limbaughs of the world, because they fit that sphincterly description—a snug fit indeed. Rectublicams? But I agree, I need to tone down the rhetoric a bit and I will certainly try from here on out (hint: after this post, I promise). This is also the same line I use with my crack dealer. Just once more.
Look, I go where the jokes lead me...to Fox and Friends. And, admittedly, I should not be flagrantly offending those with opposing views, I should be flagrantly offending everyone equally, as Mel Brooks commands us.
"I give you these 15 Blogging Commandments...oi. Ten...ten Blogging Commandments for all to obey!"
Sorry, miles away. Nor should I be using so many adverbs so freely (or adverbidly?). But you, Crankster, need to stop taking things so damn personally. You’re wrong about a lot of shit, but that’s okay, because today there’s still a 1st Amendment...well, until the next Republican championing our Constitution arrives in orifice (sorry, that was a Freudian slip. Honest). I can insert Rectublicams into so many orifices.
My posts are certainly not meant to be personal attacks on another blogger, except Alex Bone, who deserves it. I have always attacked those starting these lies, not the people who perpetuate them out of ignorance. I tend to go for the source, the big fish, the architects of the lies...you know, Snooki.
The bottom line, Mr. Crank, you have made up your mind on any given subject waaaaay in advance. Whether we hold the argument today or a thousand years from now, I can predict your responses every time. I can read your side like a book (illiterate redneck joke omitted as part of my new approach to blogging). See? I’m getting better already.
You have somehow managed to harness the energy from some sort of temporal-hyper-wrongness-drive (THWD), an ability scientists have only begun to understand. Oh wait, your side doesn’t’ believe in science either.
During my tenor here at the Discord, I have covered the collapse of the media, the divisions and distortions that have created two separate political realities, and our increasing inability to agree on even the most basic of facts....and, yes, the sicker, more rigid side of each and every issue has been the Right. Sorry, as the dust settles that fact will become ever more apparent.
I really feel I was among the first bloggers to keep harping on this shit and now, years later, everyone’s talking about. Today, we are effectively two countries, one that worships the bullshit on the left and one that worships the bullshit on the right. You have always conflated my arguments with the Left’s, Mr. Crank, which is the case some, but not all of the time.
I hope some find my columns both funny and informative, but words do hurt, as you say, so I will try to watch my language. I started this blog to unite not divide, but I found over the years the biggest obstacle to a sensible third party, or healing, or unity, or economic reform, or sanity, or anything at all, is the Right. And Fox News, not you, remains the 800 lb gorilla in the room. They, much like my parole officer, are largest barrier to freedom (the ankle bracelet doesn’t help either). Their propaganda has proven to be far more orchestrated and sinister than anything the left has ever mustered. Again, I don’t believe this is merely opinion...but time will tell.
You say I seek those like-minded folks to yuck things up, yet the Transcosmetic Party is all but three people...and my young daughter hardly counts. But hearing the endless, nonsensical discourse of the talking heads on cable television makes me proud to have a somewhat different view than either side. Same as it ever was. They are all an embarrassment. I think we can at least agree on that.
Long ago, in a blogosphere far, far away, I realized that changing a Foxeteer’s mind is a fool’s errand. I see my blogging as more of my own personal political therapy. I started writing when I, unlike you, saw this collapse coming a mile away. I also see it as an attempt to define the territory, so to speak. If we successfully mark the boundaries and the perimeters, maybe the next generation need not fall into this steamy pile of propaganda. I’m talking to you, Pokey McDooris!
Division and derision were certainly not the original intent of this blog, so I appreciate you pointing out my shortcoming, but until the poison at Fox News is replaced with something bordering on reporting, this widening chasm between left and right will continue to quell any attempts at a viable third party or even any revolution, should one becomes necessary (hat tip: Occupy). After all, as research indicates, no news is better than Fox News.
Obama needs to do everything within the law to get around the Right. And the Right needs to make one last ditch effort to reach for that slippery place—fading in their collective rearview mirror—called reality, or you know what? Happy trails to you, until we meet again. I hope that doesn’t Trigger something in you (sorry. Winslow feels we don’t have enough Roy Rogers jokes on this site).
Again, here’s my summary of today’s Republicans (aka, not directed at you, Cranko):
"We revel in the fact that Obama can barely recoup from our own guy’s recent fiscal horror show, so we can slither back in the ring and champion the same policies all over again in the name of patriotism!"
That’s not so much patriotic, or fiscally conservative, as idiotic. Stop pretending you care about our debt or our country as you continue to follow a whole host of sociopathic policies designed to help your own stock options for one more day. My summation is also how history will rate this faction, because history tends to be written by historians, scholars, and those able to discern facts and shit. Oh wait, they do have the shit part down.
And I will leave you with another prediction: Barack Obama will go down, not as a radical, but as a pragmatic moderate. And the story of our time will be this massive societal shift, not toward socialism, but toward what can only be described as "the bat shit Right."
Is that name calling? If it quacks like a schmuck...
Wait, is that name calling?
Let me end by extending this laurel and hardy handshake and I will do as Mel Brooks commands, make fun of everyone and let Blog sort it out.
Next time no name calling...this time I mean it.
Yes, in your reality I'm sure Egypt is between Syria and Iran...among other things.