Write “What’s in a Name?” on Hand and Wall

14 02 2010

Then maybe we’ll remember to keep asking it out loud until we get some real answers.

Frank Rich in the Sunday NYT exhorts:

This G.O.P. populism is all bunk, of course. Republicans in office now, as well as Palin during her furtive public service in Alaska, have feasted on federal pork, catered to special interests, and pursued policies indifferent to recession-battered Americans. And yet they’re getting away with their populist masquerade — not just with a considerable swath of voters but even with certain elements in the “liberal media.”

Or we could turn to Mark Twain’s “last refuge” of scoundrels and sophist beauty queens like Palin and Prejean: religion. (Wait, or was that “patriotism” back in his day? Oh well, doesn’t matter once they’ve given over our government to god and made State power their religion . . .go team, go god, we must rule on earth the better to bring on the apocalypse and rule eternity, amen.)

As a congressman [Republican Mark Sanford] had slept on a futon in his office and voted against a breast cancer postage stamp as wasteful “feel-good legislation.” As governor, he refused to take stimulus money despite the fact that South Carolina had the nation’s fastest-growing unemployment rate. When an unemployed man from Charleston caring for a seriously ill mother and sister called in to C-Span last February begging Sanford for help, he didn’t budge. But he did volunteer to pray for the caller and his family.

So it went with Palin last weekend. Her only concrete program for dealing with America’s pressing problems came in the question-and-answer session. “It would be wise of us to start seeking some divine intervention again in this country,” she said, “so that we can be safe and secure and prosperous again.”

That pretty much sums up her party’s economic program, at least: divine intervention will achieve what government intervention cannot. That the G.O.P. may actually be winning this argument is less an indictment of Palin than of Washington Democrats too busy reading the writing on her hand to see or respond to the ominous political writing on the wall.

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13 responses

14 02 2010
Nance Confer

As long as the Ds continue to fail to get the big things done, Palin and her cronies will be successful. Yep, it’s hard. Not an excuse. At least until I get to use that as an excuse. Sorry, FPL, paying that bill is just too hard. No? That won’t work this month? Sorry, Obama and Congress, you’re still on the hook. Get to work, stop whining, stop wasting my time with bipartisan crap and force something good to happen.

Vent over. . . 🙂

Nance

14 02 2010
sam

Seems like instead of trying to do their jobs or attempting to effect positive change both parties are just working toward the next election. The job of politicians has become to keep their jobs or at least keep the jobs for people with the same R or D next to their title and name.

14 02 2010
Nance Confer

It’s a sad state of affairs, Sam.

And I’m not convinced that just becoming an “Independent” makes an ounce of difference.

Nance

14 02 2010
JJ

Agree with Nance, that just being an I rather than R or D, or Tea or Green or Objectivist etc is no answer. Fixing the system itself is Job One now, seems to me, because by making all problems possible to solve, it benefits everybody (except the folks who’ve been winning by keeping us real Americans broken and paying for what we’re not getting.)

15 02 2010
COD

The system is corrupted beyond repair.

15 02 2010
JJ

So — what do we think of quitting, not sticking around to lead the charge for change OF the system, BY the system, FOR the system, whether Palin or Bayh?

I saw this about Bayh quitting today btw:

Between 2006 and 2008 [his wife] Susan earned $2.1 million from health insurers. Legal under Senate rules, Susan Bayh’s refusal to step down from WellPoint’s board, and her husband’s denial that the millions she had earned from WellPoint would influence him, were greeted with derision from ethics watchdogs.

. . .no doubt the reason Bayh cited in his announcement to the Indianapolis Star, increasing polarization in the Senate, weighed on him. But the promised attacks on Susan must have weighed on him just as much if not more, and he decided he wasn’t going to take it anymore.

So my question is, once he’s out of office, will they even have the chance to “take it anymore” or will the health care industry stop paying them for their um, services? What good will he, therefore she, be to them then? (And unlike Palin, he’s no thrilling media base magnet!)

16 02 2010
COD

He’ll become a lobbyist – using his connections in Washington to continue to push the agenda of the health insurance industry.

16 02 2010
JJ

To go all intellectual for a minute, the brilliant historian Jacques Barzun made the case in 2000’s From Dawn to Decadence, that western philosophy and democracy had played out to the predictable, inevitable decline and fall of our 500-year era of discovering, developing, enjoying and finally exploiting “Individualism” as Culture.

Much good came from it as it started with the Renaissance and helped us progress from the Middle Ages but as we maxed it out, milking it for all it was worth (literally) in the end, our ideals got boiled down to every man for himself. Get while the getting is good, no points for helping rivals much less the weak and poor, or collaborating for the sake of human advancement rather than your own — and here we are.

16 02 2010
JJ

Evan Bayh won’t rule out lobbying — he’s making you look smart, Chris! 😉

17 02 2010
COD

It doesn’t take a rocket science to predict what a retiring politician will do next!

17 02 2010
JJ

True — especially a “corporatist” politician.

18 02 2010
JJ

Remember the great Google ad from Superbowl Sunday? Now there’s a Palin version:

I put it here because the tagline is “how to remove ink from skin” wink wink . . .

30 06 2010
JJ

What’s in a name? Sarah Palin has colorful names at her disposal but can’t match them to the right things even as well as a first-grader with a phonics workbook. BP’s current “oil spill” for example is no spill or leak; it’s literally her for-profit corporate death panel empowered by government and here to help.

We keep calling it the Gulf oil spill. But it’s a gusher, a geyser, a “four-dimensional catastrophe,” in the words of one fisheries expert: “‘Leak’ is totally wrong. A leak is something you wrap duct tape around . . .

“I think a whole new language is going to have to be developed to discuss accidents – events – environmental catastrophes of this magnitude. Nothing quite like it exists.”

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