The S&P downgrade will no doubt lead to a round of “this country used to be the greatest in the world, now look at it” from many quarters — teahadists, Sinophilic Friedmanians, vodkaphilic Noonanians, and so on.
Whether or not one believes in the notion of “American exceptionalism”, how can anyone think that it’s a useful concept? Yurp sucks, the Chinese think we’re fat and lazy — what do you do, from a policy-making perspective, with these trenchant insights? Anyway, the most stalwart believers in American exceptionalism are ready to move to Costa Rica if their marginal rate comes up a few points and ready to insist we copy the glibertarian policies of the economic “tiger” (be it Celtic, Asian, or Baltic) du jour.
American exceptionalism is just an excuse to be stupid, to claim that it’s awesome to pay 16% of your GDP for shitty health care, to dream of tall buildings and missions to Mars, to worry that East Asians are laughing at us, to rock out to Lee Greenwood as we act as “the world’s policeman”. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?
Why do you hate our freedoms?
Why do you hate… our way of life?
If Americans had to think of their country as just one of many and not The Best Top Number One Country Ever(tm) they’d have to pay attention to what people in the rest of the world thought and did. That’s a huge change in outlook. It’s easier to imagine a privileged role for themselves and tell everyone else to go pound sand.
…have their money offshore to begin with.
Here’s the $64 question: In what way is ‘exceptionalism’ different from ‘nationalism’? I’m not particularly bothered by American nationalism, but I don’t think there’s anything, y’know, ‘exceptional’ about it.
Annie Lowrey @ Slate:
Someone give Pelosi machine gun. Just for self-defense.
That’s a keeper. Should be new tag.
exceptionalism don’t mean a thing
it’s just another way to be right wing
The Republic of Stupidity
I think it’s safe to say that the rest of the world is just SOOOOOOOOO flat out over us at this point…
Didn’t Vlad Putin just call the U.S. a ‘parasite on the world economy’ and the Chinese say something about ‘time to cure (our) addiction to debt’?
American Exceptionalism is just an excuse for laziness and a surrender of sorts. Exceptional is as exceptional does, and I don’t see us doing much of anything right now. Resting on long-decayed laurels is a strategy for losers and indolent, vodkaphilic Noonanians.
I’m watching a live feed of the massive protest in Tel Aviv. They say the American equivalent would be 11 million people out on the streets. Now that would be exceptional.
@The Republic of Stupidity: The Chinese are as dumb as our overlords on this one. I wonder who they expect are going to be buying all that shit they are producing once our austerity regime kicks in here.
America is exceptional, just not in the ways the nihilistic nationalists think it is.
America gets away with being the loudmouthed bully at the global party because we’ve got the money and muscle to back it up. For now. Assuming that will last forever is probably a fool’s bet.
I really don’t get to set policy prescriptions and most of the elite I come across are on the old tv, telling me how this is my fault for not being like a chinese peasant. My personal policy is raise my middle finger as often as I can. Now if there was a way to operationalize that, we’d be set
The Republic of Stupidity
I wasn’t inferring the Chinese know better…
Just pointing out how much the rest of the world is tired of us…
In no way do I have any faith that the Russians, or the Chinese, are going to do any better, or be any smarter… it’s just that a lot of people around the world do seem to be coming to the realization they can live w/out us after all… and I’m not just talking the Chinese on that one…
Orrr…we could really make our country the best in the world. We could do what we used to do, which was make national decisions based on what worked, as opposed to cutting off any alternatives that were not conservatively correct. If the market works on a particular issue, do that. If not, work collectively. Or offer incentives to get something done. Right now, decisions are made on the basis of: 1) will this cost rich people money? 2) will this line private pockets? Therefore, we are getting the wrong answers.
Saying “we’re No. 1” and outshouting dissenters doesn’t make it so. Let’s do what we gotta do.
Villago Delenda Est
Well, it’s different in that people who speak of “My country right or wrong” miss the second half of the quotation. Which was about fixing what is wrong. Of course, Carl Schurz, who gave us that quotation, was a stinking liberal soshulist commie Islamogerman, so what the fuck did he know?
Why do you hate our Friedmans?
@jwb china can figure out what to do with our pieces of paper when they remove their capital controls. Until then, they can deal with their hard landing. Blame us to keep the atrocious workers party in power during the downturn. We got their stuff. They got jobs and paper. We can keep their stuff.
I guess this applies on our side of the pond as well.
It’s about power and control, that means specific power over some person place, or thing. Or just a general mindset that everything is grudge match with winners and losers. And of course, the most logical avenue to that power and control is financial in a capitalist society, or about any other society.
it is a base instinct, that humans can master in service to higher ideals for the human race, like civil rights, equal protection under the law, economic justice etc…., ie liberal philosophy, OR it can be the party of the republican, whose main interest is self interest, and maybe a nuclear family, where the sign above the American Door reads, “I got mine, fuck you”
I don’t think “exceptionalism” comes from nationalism as a prime element, as much as from some lower brain compulsion for the authority to tell others how to live and what to do.
@The Republic of Stupidity: Well, the thing is, I don’t think the Chinese could live without us at the moment—they’re up to their neck in treasuries, their currency is tied to the dollar, and they export a huge amount of junk our direction. They can’t afford to cut off any of those ties at the moment—though they’d be stupid not to be working on finding a way to get their economy less dependent on the US. I actually took this little lecture of theirs to be directed at their domestic audience in any case.
But we’re doing that. See, Rick Perry is hosting a National Prayer Day. We’ll have these problems solved by tomorrow, and if tomorrow is the problem, we’ll just eliminate that through prayer.
The only thing we have going for us is that the demographic of white, racist, uneducated, gay-hating, christian, southeastern, older people is shrinking, and with it, support for the Party of Stupid.
OT, I see our good host has resumed tweeting. He regrets everything.
What is missing in America is ‘can do’. It used to be American’s believed they could do anything. Now we cannot do anything. I see it in the organizations I am involved with. If you want to try something new to your area, it’s ‘we can’t do that’, even if everywhere else does it. This attitude is everywhere.
America has become afraid of failure, and this has lead us to keep the status quo, even if that status quo is not optimal. We used to reach, and that reaching gave us drive and progress.
Exceptionalism is dead, because we stopped trying. What you see now is not exceptionalism, it’s a society wrapping itself in a security blanket of nationalism, because deep down inside the members of that society knows it’s afraid.
L. Ron Obama
I read that as “Noonians”, as in Khan.
@nalbar: That fear reaction was certainly evident in the response to 9/11/2001.
@jwb: I don’t do twitter. What does he regret?
I don’t care what whining Tea Baggers have to say. While W turned our “shining city on a hill” into a sadistic bully by invading on lies and a budget that kept troops from having armored vehicles; torturing anyone they wanted, and shipping pallets of cash to their cronies, they were not even silent; they were friggin’ celebratory.
Clinton and Gore built up the surplus for all of us; W and his gang stole it all. Then tried to burn the house down so no one could come after them.
I just hope we are at the second act closer; and there is a third act still to come.
Janeane The Acerbic Goblin
@The Republic of Stupidity:
True. I believe the world has been so over us for quite some time now. This recent mess just increases their contempt for the US.
@WaterGirl: Everything from last night and he blames Clinton for it. George Clinton.
@WaterGirl: Last night, I guess. He was ripping up the twitterfeed, TWI (tweeting while intoxicated).
@ Ol’ Dirty DougJ:
one of your best ever.
Fixed that for ya.
@Omnes Omnibus: Sigh. Why does everyone blame poor George?
(the Clinton, not the Bush. The Shrub deserves it.)
Villago Delenda Est
George Clinton is the guy who had a mission in life to “save dance music from the blacks”, you know…
Janeane The Acerbic Goblin
What have we done lately that really makes us “exceptional” anyway?
@Janeane The Acerbic Goblin: Invaded Iraq for no good reason.
ETA: Or did you mean exceptional in a good way?
@Janeane The Acerbic Goblin: We have Louis CK, then I can’t think of anything.
Villago Delenda Est
We come on the ship they call the Mayflower
We come on the ship that sailed the moon
We come in the age’s most uncertain hour
and sing an American tune
But it’s all right, it’s all right
You can’t be forever blessed
Still, tomorrow’s going to be another working day
And I’m trying to get some rest
That’s all I’m trying to get some rest
@Omnes Omnibus: @jwb: It seemed like Balloon Juice was just doom and gloom last night, so I closed the computer and walked away. Looks like I will need to check out the open thread from last night. Thanks.
@WaterGirl: Don’t go there; it is a big sloppy mess. I don’t think anyone has cleaned up yet.
One more week till the EPL starts, then I can distract myself a little from this quagmire of political stupidity.
ETA: I mean American Media and Politics, not B-J.
@BGinCHI: New Glarus Fat Squirrel.
Nobody could have predicted that the exact words “there is blame to go around” would appear in Mark Halperin’s Twitter feed this afternoon.
@Omnes Omnibus: And Spotted Cow.
And even though it’s from Kansas City, you really need to try Boulevard’s Tank 7. Best summer beer after The Bruery’s Orchard White.
@JenJen: Undoubtedly David Brooks will add a new chapter in his book on humility to include Halperin’s trenchant analysis and selfless work ethic.
Yeah, I see it as well. Ironically, it’s a disease of success. Once you’re successful – particularly if you are most successful, you have something to lose and it becomes easy to convince yourself that its a zero sum game, and the only thing left is to lose.
You see it in a lot of corporations – as they get successful they get conservative. They’re afraid to take risks. They’re afraid to go for that next big market because it might cost them their last big market. Inevitably, they lose everything. In the tech world it happens fast. Nokia is in a death spiral. So is RIM. They weren’t willing to risk their existing markets to be competitive in the emerging one, and now they’re fucked. Happens all the time.
@Janeane The Acerbic Goblin:
While I don’t completely disagree with the world noting the change, I do not think that its as welcome as you think. Yes, we can be the bully and the unpleasant demander, but we have also put up barriers to certain extremes. There is also a jokying for power amongst many nations that was suppressed somewhat under the influence of the big dog… It will take time to see how that plays out, but smaller countries who want to take over this or that are not necessarily little heroes. Nor would I say that the rest of the world is necessarily better or more honorable and selfless than we. Be careful of those assumptions. Its always interesting to live a time in another country and let reality of their good and bad parts level out.
For me, while I don’t want the US to remain the world policeman as far as warfare, there are other things that I want us to continue to play a leadership role. People for example, think the US, as the biggest consumer, is the worst for environmental concerns. Believe me, that is not the case and a trip to many parts of the world will disabuse you of that.
We are not the great Satan. We are a diverse, in fact the most diverse country of its size. We have had many blessings economically but there are some changes ahead. I hope that we make the changes that we need in the right way. If we do so, I believe we will continue to be a world leader if not the only world leader.
So Jim Demented is calling fro Geithner’s resignation because back ion April he said there was little chance or no chance we would be downgraded and now we have. Fucking assholes. He and his cabal caused the downgrade and now they are calling out that people who never thought the insanity would be such that they would cause this?
Kill me now!
That’s spot on. Much of our policy is around the wealthy holding onto their wealth with low taxes, and keeping resources from the poor and middle class, rather than spreading the money around and growing the economy.
Not to mention his well-considered choice of parents.
It will be their usual stance to churn up a lot of chaos, like scared squid, to hide behind.
If you think we have chaos now, just have Geithner removed as he suggests… Oh boy, would the markets love THAT!
He is a dick and all the republicans are dicks. But now what? We have been saying that for years and years but they keep on doing what they do. What are we going to do and what are the American people going to do?
While the WWII generation is slippin away, the next wave of seniors, the boomers are arriving to older age with a whole new landscape of financial risk: more debt, homes with diminished value but with sky high expectations and a sense of the same entitlement as the most wealthy. The generation x and y ers are inheriting a very very different landscape but are psychological introverts, focused on their ipods and facebook as a relationship reality. Are they going to save us?
We are in a huge crisis that transcends the political. Republicans and their behavior are just one of the symptoms, not the cause.
The key to that reality is why so many working class white people have so strongly identified with the wealthy that they vote against their own self interest. In their minds, they are wealthy or have that sense of entitlement to wealth. The Democrats have not been able to break that down ever since the 70’s and have avoided the politics of class. To be sure, I don’t think that most would have listened anyway. Its the white middle and working class. They are the guardians of this illusion and until that distortion is corrected through demographic changes or a revolution in awareness, we are stuck in their bad dream.
Janeane The Acerbic Goblin
Exceptional in a good way. I can’t think of anything in recent memory that has made us exceptional in a good way.
@Valdivia: Yeah, and the repubs will gladly approve another treasury secretary.
A month or 4 from now, Geithner could announce his resignation pending the approval of Krugman. A girl can dream.
Krugman wouldn’t want to be caught dead in that role. So much more fun being the critic. Don’t have to worry about a real bloody nose.
lets just make sure Israel gets its 3 billion. thats all I care about.
Edward Conrad, donating to Romney.
It is to their advantage to identify the donor because people like us are suggesting the presence of foreign donors, etc.
Regarding 16% of GDP for sh*tty health care K-Thug had this today:
Don’t do the math on those comparative percentages lest you bash your head on the table.
I’ve heard that recently, but only from commenters. Haven’t seen a news story. Can someone explain to me why Nokia and RIM are so screwed, please?
is that a sex pistols reference, i spy in the header? :)
@ciaran: I think Doug is holding “I’m so bored with the u-s-a…but what can I do?” in reserve.
Ol' Dirty DougJ
@Ol’ Dirty DougJ:
i love it!
@Ol’ Dirty DougJ:
@ciaran: I have had it as an earworm since I saw the header. Could be worse, could be ABBA.
@Omnes Omnibus: Don’t go there? Balloon Juice has been too negative lately for my taste – so this was a breath of fresh air. Great fun, sorry I missed it in real time!
Certainly John Cole must have sobered up by now.
Off to check Twitter, I guess…
@WaterGirl: Yeah, but now I am out of rum. Which reminds me, I am out of rum; I need to go shopping.
@Janeane The Acerbic Goblin:
We’re really, really fat. Exceptionally fat, in fact.
Shawn in ShowMe
@Janeane The Acerbic Goblin:
The election of a black man to the highest political office in a nation with a white majority is pretty exceptional. So exceptional that I don’t see it happening in any other nation for decades.
At the risk of making Elie disappointed in me again (sorry Elie), it is my opinion that we, the United States, suck, that we, the United States have always sucked, that “we are a great country” has always been a crock of shit, and that we, the United States, deserve to land in the dumpster of empires which is where we are clearly headed.
A nation built on genocide, slave labor, exploitation of the poor at home and bloody adventurism abroad is not, and never has been, great.
Sure, most other nations are no better. But at least they’re not a bunch of chest-thumping, self-deluded hypocrites.
Rev. Wright said it best.
@Omnes Omnibus: Hey, while reading the thread from last night, I wondered… Do I recall correctly from a discussion months ago that you prefer long hair but Mme preferred shorter hair? So with your new found freedom, are you growing your hair longer?
I disagree with this. I think working class white people have shown that they can be manipulated with suggestions that someone else out there is getting a free ride. I don’t think they identify with wealth, I think they identify with hard work and see rich people as having gotten that way through.. hard work. They also believe that rich people are the ones who hire them, so punishing the rich ends up punishing themselves.
That’s why my pet political-strategy fantasy is actually meta in nature: explaining to middle- and working-class people that Republicans blatantly lie to them and treat them like they’re stupid.
@WaterGirl: Hair is growing out, yes.
Looks like the Tea Party is getting what it has long desired, a return to the financial situation at the time of the Tea Party in 1773: Poor credit standing by the government(s), a preference for “hard money”, hostility to debt of any kind, and economic thinking suitable for small farms and firms operating in villages. It’s simple and works fairly well if you have a family-based social services culture, although growth is severely constrained.
Faced with the realities of modern capitalism’s atomized and dispersed work force along with occasional disruptions within the system, both Bismark and Keynes advocated for (a) a substantial government-run safety net, and (b) counter-cyclical spending. Both involving debt and taxes. And – most important – it requires a citizenry that agrees to the social contract and does not have callous disregard for those in distress and needing aid (usually people, but can be firms, e.g. General Motors).
Republicans are practicing myopianomics. If they, and their supporters, still have jobs, then that’s as far as they care to look. Therefore, it’s easy to propose elimination of whatever policies that might help the “other guys”. And so they have. And here we are.
Shawn in ShowMe
When those other nations were going through their empire phase, they were also teeming with chest-thumping, self-deluded hypocrites. That’s what imperial privilege does to the minds of its citizens.
Wealthy people vote their own interests, and white working class people often do not. Often: it’s because 1) messagemakers incite fear of other people in the same boat: “the coloreds” will take what little you have–better to side against them. and 2) to self-identify as non-wealthy is, in the minds of a lot of people, shameful. To honestly admit your interests and their are different makes people feel as if they are bitter losers. Also, many working class people held out the hope that they could be rich,too, although I think that’s starting to change.
That having been said, if Obama had the courage to go full-on class war early in his administration, he might have been pleasantly surprised.
Yet another reason to raise taxes.
Man, I’m really sorry I missed John’s drunken debauchery. He’s always entertaining when he’s wasted out of his gourd. Perhaps tonight I’ll emulate him…
Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal
american exceptionalism reminds me of sec football. you can’t argue that it sucks, just that it isn’t as great as its believers think it is. the core of both is money, and the willingness to spend as much as it takes, regardless of opportunity cost, to assert self-styled superiority.
are there benefits? you can’t argue that there aren’t. being the baddest military on the block by an exponent does still have advantages, but at a cost.
the only way to argue against maintaining the mantra of american exceptionalism is to argue that the costs of maintaining it, and the opportunity costs of what we could do if we didn’t have to maintain it, are higher than the benefits we derive.
that is a message even right wingers i talk to, can edge around agreeing with. even if only in abstract terms. in the real and political world, where power, prestige and personal wealth are at stake, the inertia of the status quo rules the day.
some right wingers don’t want to play world police, or spend so much on defense. they don’t act on these views, and they don’t see the alternatives.
Another part of American exceptionalism for those who believe it thus is that God Almighty has raised this nation up for His own purposes. And this most usually involves protecting the nation of Israel until the eschaton. This is not a minority view among the exceptionalists by any means.
@Omnes Omnibus: I can’t imagine that you’d trade that freedom for more time with your wife, but it will be an adventure for you to discover what you will look like – your hair, the clothes you buy, etc – when you are on your own.
@Joseph Nobles: American Exceptionalism has always seemed suspiciously like a PC substitute for ‘White Pride’ to me.
Shawn in ShowMe
If Obama had gone full on class-war early in his administration, ACA never would have passed. If he adopts that strategy at any point in his administration, he would be marginalized by the MSM as an Angry Black Man. His whole presidency is possible because Obama crafted a political persona as The Only Adult in the Room.
The moment he gives the media a reason to focus on his racial heritage, he (and we) lose. The sports parallel is Jackie Robinson holding his tongue and letting him teammates fight his personal battles for him. Unfortunately, very few Democratic pols seem to have Obama’s back.
Talk is cheap. Every day that you wake up in the United States instead of somewhere else is a vote for the United States. So just stop.
At one time, this country was the singular greatest place on earth.
But it wasn’t due to its European conquerors: Geographic isolation/protection, vast mineral wealth, a fantastic internal river/waterway system, arable land, huge forests, a temperate climate, and spectacular historic timing. It would have been hard to screw this up, though we did seem to try.
Even after much of of the above ran low, or out, we still had near-monopoly advantages in academic output and technology. These two are definitely gone.
Now the real fun begins as we have few of the above advantages left. No longer can we expand out of out problems. I hope as a whole society we would learn how to do more with less.
Our people could be our last, best resource if we only would invest in them, but that would be European.
Everyday I wake up in the United States is a day I lament the fact that the only other country in which I could claim citizenship is even more fucked up than this one.
Yes, talk is cheap. It’s all I can afford.
Burnspbesq is wrong. Every day I wake up in the US is an abstention.
This is very true but so, so wrong. Where do they get that? What part of “you shall have no other gods before me” and “you shall not make for yourself an idol” do they not understand? This US worship is so idolatrous, it really flips me out.
The Israel worship is biblically illiterate but at least understandable. “Jesus loves the Ew-nited States” has no biblical excuse.
t jasper parnell
@BGinCHI: “even though”? What’s wrong with KC? All the Boulevard beers are perfectly fine. I would, however, say that Capital’s Naked Beer is the ideal summer, hefe, brew.
“the Chinese think we’re fat and lazy”
Who gives a shit what the Chinese think.
China is a Randian’s dream state. Unregulated capitalism to the nth degree. People who can poison infant formula to make profits trump pretty much anything going on in America today.
America is fucked, to be sure, but I just want to point out the obvious about China.
I couldn’t possibly improve on that.
The parade of American exceptionalism is another form of flag pins, freedom fries, and empty rhetoric about supporting the troops. It allows for those who know nothing of patriotism and sacrifice to feel superior as they thump their chest and vilify others in the name of God and country.
Our melting pot of nationalities, ethnicities, religions and cultures is most vibrant when we are embraced as one while our individual uniqueness remains. But when there are individuals or a political party that not only rejects this notion but also has great disdain for such words as tolerance and acceptance and they are blind to the value of our diversity, they are forever compelled to invent reasons why they are better than others. “American exceptionalism” is the latest form.
The most stalwart believers in American exceptionalism are too poor to move to Costa Rica and, even if they had the money, wouldn’t affirmatively choose to live in a country with a non-white majority.
Modern American exceptionalism isn’t an intellectual or religious argument. This isn’t John Winthrop or Alexis de Toqueville. It’s a claim made by people who believe they have no power over their lives, so they cling to the notion of the invincible, history-defying nation to make themselves feel they’re actually part of something powerful (and, as a result, have power over others). That they may be working three jobs to keep up with child support and mortgage payments and are getting kicked in the teeth by life on a daily basis, but at least they’re American, dammit.
@t jasper parnell: Just trying to get you KCers to show some city pride.
I salute your excellent brewery and your Masterpiece BBQ sauce.
And Len Dawson went to my alma mater.
Your future dream is a shopping scheme.
Insisting that politicians tell you how great you are, over and over, is so insecure it’s pitiful.
@eemom: I am obviously late to this, but this isn 100% true.
@Svensker: It’s from a Christian body of teaching called Dispensationalism, popularlized by the notes in the Scofield Bible. It’s rooted in a literal interpretation of Daniel, Revelations, and other apocalyptic passages in the Scriptures. By “dividing the times correctly,” you can come up with a basic storyline of the end of days, which has Jesus Christ reigning literally from an earthly throne in Jerusalem. His people will be the godly Christians, of course, but more important are the 144,000 who will be converts to Christianity from Israel.
The Jews have to return to Palestine, and the nations have to line up against them (except for the righteous nations like the United States). As the nations gather to destroy Israel at Armageddon, Jesus will return, gather the faithful 144,000 to himself, destroy the wicked armies of Earth, and rule for 1,000 years from Jerusalem. Note: none of this is seen metaphorically. This is Bible prophecy, meant to happen, and most of those yahoos surrounding Rick Perry think that we’re in the middle of these prophecies being fulfilled.
This is the way any commandments are skirted and the United States become anointed in their minds. The United States has a role to play to fulfill the end times. That is the core of any religious understanding of American exceptionalism. It’s right there in the B-I-B-L-E.
Google some things like Dispensationalism (different from Dominionism, but only in degree) and the Scofield Bible. The Left Behind series was clearly fiction to all its readers, but most saw it as an eminently plausible forecast of how the near future could go down, a Christian de Tocqueville showing the general shape of the future.
These people are quite rational in everyday life, functional, responsible, decent, hard-working. But they accept some truly whacked-out premises as absolute truth. And it affects how they vote and how they work politically.
One other thing — ever heard of Dave Ramsey? He’s a Christian financial advisor on talk radio and he’s as big as Rush Limbaugh ever thought about being. Mostly he deals strictly with practical everyday advice for people, and it’s rock-solid stuff. But when he gets switched over into politics (a rare occurence last I checked, but it happens), he’s as wingnutty as any of the radio talk show hosts out there.
One of his favorite phrases from the Bible is this: “The borrower is slave to the lender.” He drives this quote from Proverbs home again and again, getting people to work his plan to get themselves out of debt, and they do it. I’ll be the first to say that his financial plan out of debt is as good as it gets.
But I recently read a story where a reporter saw three Tea Party Congressmen talking with each other. One picked up a Bible and read that verse, Proverbs 22:7. Another said, that’s good enough for me, and they all three went out to vote against the debt ceiling raise. I know this sounds apocryphal, but I’m looking for where I found that story, and when I find it, I’ll link it.
In the meantime, look at this Google search:
We have people in Congress who are voting their faith because the borrower is slave to the lender and Jesus is coming back to pick up the pieces, after all. The Constitution forbids any religious test for office, of course, but what these people believe should be known by their constituents. They aren’t all literal-minded fools.
All the characteristics of the country you live in, good, bad, or indifferent are the result of historical accidents that you as an individual had absolute zilch to do with.
Odie Hugh Manatee
Good, let them go. I think that the people of Costa Rica would do a better job of handling these assholes when they try to fuck that country up.
Found the story. It’s in the Washington Post.
I was wrong about how close this anecdote was to the vote, but that shows you where the pigheadness of these idiots in the Congress is coming from: a hardcore stance currently being drilled into the faithful by one of the most successful right wing talk show hosts you’ve never heard of — Dave Ramsey.
@Linda: I beg to differ. For better or worse, Obama is, like Jackie Robinson was, a “race man.” If he had gone full metal Malcolm X (that’s how the old white folks who are still fighting the 60s wars would see it) — well, I’m afraid to even imagine what the hell would have happened. He succeeds because he appears calm, thoughtful, and non-threatening.
Now, if the Democrats around him, in the Senate and the House, really knew how to play the game, they would be the ones pushing the envelope. Maybe Nancy can give lessons?
“So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?”
DougJ, when you called your own mind “beautiful,” I must say that I heard a young Muhammad Ali yelling, “I’m pretty, so pretty!”
You may not be the Ali of blogging, sir, but I think you’re influenced by the best. :-)
Seems like they were pretty aghast at that second part. Any news on their feelings about the first?
The Bible also says that collecting interest on a loan in inherently evil, and yet I don’t see those guys voting to force Citibank to stop collecting credit card interest payments.
Almost like they only pull out the parts that are convenient to what they want to do and ignore the rest, innit?
Ol' Dirty DougJ
I regret to tell you that I was quoting Barbara Bush there.
Maybe he couldn’t be Mr. Angry Black Guy, but he could have put the war against the poor and middle class in clear terms. Reagan sent simple–and misleading–messages that influenced how people viewed policy for the next 30 years. Obama believed we could all reason together and split the difference, but that only works if the other side cares to reason. When they showed no interest in doing that, he was out of bullets.
@Mnemosyne & @FlipYrWhig: I completely agree. The ability of the religious to ignore what they don’t need to see is always amazing to behold.
One of the best posts I’ve ever read.
Well done, sir.
Obviously, Doug, it’s like any winning concept. If you teach why it won, you can repeat it. Nothing succeeds like success.
It’s silly to ask a Cheeto-stained 300lb. X-Boxer about the concept of physical fitness, because he’ll likely respond, “it sucks, it’s a waste of time, people who work out are stupid.” It’s equally silly to ask a lefty Ball-Juicer about the concept of American exceptionalism. At your heart, you don’t want to understand it, even as history stares you in the face with obvious answers.
I think you should entirely stop wasting your mind on any of this stuff. Concentrate on whatever your day job is, and leave the political issues to people who have a clue.
@RossInDetroit: Why don’t you learn what a fallacy is? Seriously, everyone outside U.S.A. (which includes myself, btw) is tired with the “Why you hate our freedoms”-thing; this has nothing to do with hate nor freedom