In an otherwise excellent piece in the NY Times about the drastic expansion of poverty in suburban America, this quote stood out:
“The whole political class is just getting the memo that Ozzie and Harriet don’t live here anymore,” said Edward Hill, dean of the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University.
That’s just wrong. A good portion of the political class has spent the last couple years trying to do something, anything, to help out the economic situation in America. The problem is that the Republicans have just blocked everything. You could argue that even what the Democrats are proposing is not enough, and Paul Krugman does every day, but it is just nonsense that they aren’t trying to do something or “haven’t got the memo.” I understand when people are desperate and feel abandoned they think no one cares, but it’s just not true. There are a lot of people fighting every single day to try and fix the economy.
Both parties aren’t the same.
Is it a false equivalence or does it rest on the idea that DFHs don’t count as the political class?
Nonsense. Republicans say they had legislation to fix the economy and it failed. Democrats say they had legislation to fix the economy and it failed, too.
They both failed. I blame everybody! Nobody look behind the curtain. The Wizard has spoken.
Pretty sure it’s just projection on the writer’s part. Or confusing people who appear on NPR with the entire political class. Morons.
By “whole political class” they mean the GOP. It is the only political class a rag like the NYT’s recognizes. The others aren’t in a political class they are just hippies and no good beatniks.
I think the fact that the President and some Dems were willing to diddle with SS and other social programs a while back just to get along with republicans probably scared the crap out of some people and they probably did think, hmmm, neither party gets it that we are drowning, here. Thank god republicans were too stupid to take that sweet, sweet deal. I think I can fully understand if some people are or were disillusioned.
Republicans may be out to destroy America and the economy, but Dems have been enablers for a long, long time.
The media is nothing but a bunch of 1%-ers or 1% wannabes. They’ll play the “both sides do it” card for as long as possible.
@SectarianSofa: That quote is from “dean of the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University”, so it’s (presumably) not a construct of the NYT writer. I would have asked him to define the “political class” of which he speaks, for clarity. I suspect he really means the chattering class though.
Sad sad sad.
i don’t think any of the diddling the Dems proposed was going to destroy America or its economy.
The best definition of Republicans (and Galtians) that I have read recently:
Democrats in Congress have many flaws, rampant greed and promiscuity being endemic to the entire political class, but for the most part true psychopathy isn’t one of them. It also explains, however, why they are constantly surprised at the GOPers lying to their faces and doing the exact opposite of what they said they’d do: it is difficult to recognize psychopathy when you are not one yourself. And unfortunately, that critical blind spot exists in the general public as well.
The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik
Fuck you hippie, both sides, same thing.
(There, am I NYT material now?)
I just sent my memo to Bank of America – in the form of a phone call telling them I want to close my credit card. They asked why, i mentioned the upcoming debit card monthly fees and my disgust that BoA would refuse to let customers close their accounts during the occupy wall street protests. She tried to tell me that there are ways that some people can avoid the fees and besides, all the other banks are going to do it, too. I cut her off, politely I hope, and said that the credit unions aren’t charging those fees and said that I was tired of BoA ripping off their customers with one fee after another. I hate these banksters.
I hadn’t used a credit card in 3 years, but I had it just for emergencies. Now I got a credit card at my credit union just so I could tell BoA to shove it.
I went to a talk by my senator, Dick Durbin, last night. One thing he mentioned is that web hits to credit unions have gone up 800% since the BoA fees were announced. I hope the banks are starting to get the message. JUMP! You Fuckers! Honestly, if I didn’t think it would look unprofessional in my business correspondence, I would have that line and a small image of that sign as my signature line in email.
Ah, there are some future Republicans right there: “Fuck the lazy fucking poor. We always had food on the table.”
C’mon John, you’re a big MSM blogger now. Didn’t you get the memo that the 2012 election is rigged? The results are already in….(the bag)
Since the economy crashed, the Democratic Party has advocated a rise in the retirement age, cuts in Medicare and Social Security, a $100+/month mandate to buy crap health insurance and massive federal government cutbacks and layoffs. And that’s not getting into more wars, more free trade agreements and the perpetual love-in with the investment banks.
The fucking Democrats aren’t as evil as the Republicans, but they may be even more clueless. I do not think that anyone currently in power – excepting a handful of powerless Congressmen – has any clue how bad things have gotten outside the D.C. Beltway.
Only slightly OT, why has this train wreck from the Saturday WSJ not received the ridicule it so richly deserves?
Oh, the humanity.
@cleek: personally, it scared the heck out of me, because what it said to me was that they were willing to trade protecting the most vulnerable members of our society for some republican tongue – whether or not that would have destroyed the economy, i don’t know, but it would have destroyed the lives of many helpless elderly, poor adults and children. that’s really not what i thought my party was about. such a cruelly cynical move struck fear in my heart that my own party was abandoning those they claimed to protect and, while the party certainly ain’t perfect, they’re all we’ve got as far as protection against the “job creators” goes.
@John X.: I listened to my senator, Dick Durbin from Illinois, speak in person in Champaign-Urbana last night, and I can say that I believe he does not fit your description as not having a clue.
One party says we’ve done all we can, and the other says we should be doing a lot less. Nobody forced the Democrats to jump aboard the deficit reduction bandwagon, but they did all the same. If they had been talking about jobs back then, maybe there would have been enough political pressure to actually get something done. Even if Republicans hadn’t relented, they might have been damaged to the point where Democrats might actually win next fall.
The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik
Linked that about here-around. You forgot the money quote at the end too with the plane and the kids.
@smintheus: somebody, i think Jenny, posted this a few days ago in comments. I laughed, I cried. Very last line of that article is classic.
Dear John, I’m not sure you if you’ve heard about this movement that’s kinda taken off – oh, yes, you have, that’s right, you smeared the protestors at the outset, called them trustafarians. Anwyay, I suggest you stop drinking tea on your couch and go to an #occupy event. There you might discover what a lot of Americans think about the “political class.” They’re more than willing to indict the system in its entirety, and they’re correct to do so.
@The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik: Hadn’t seen your comment, sorry. Yeah, the kids on a public plane part was pathetic. What’s with the block quote formating here, anyway? It kept screwing up, as if it doesn’t permit blank lines between grafs.
@The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik: ah, beat me to it! curses
Ah yes, Dick “Put Everything on the table, including entitlements” Durbin. He’s a mensch.
Here’s a clue – Any solution that takes the little money left out of the pockets of the average American to pay for the political classes pet problems helps no one. Both parties think that the solution to the nation’s problems is to make the citizenry even poorer, it’s just that the Democrats might put a little aside for lube.
Uncle Clarence Thomas
Exactly, although 3/4 of an apple is more like an apple than it is an orange.
You’ll notice that firing 15 of their staff is considered a horrible disaster to the Siegels, not, like, the 15 workers who are now out of a job.
You got to hand it to all the Marie Fucking Antoinettes out there, doing the OWS’s job for them.
I just want to punch everyone connected to this article…so…damn…hard!
@The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik:
No. To be NYT material you have to be able to take 1000 words to say that at least once a week. Also, you have say it differently enough every time that most of the readers don’t realize that that’s all you’re saying.
@John X.: My take away from his Q&A is that he thinks we are well and truly fucked as things stand right now, so we have to move off the mark. He seems to think that if we can “go big” with a bi-partisan effort on this stuff, that it won’t be such a political hot potato that will get someone defeated in the next election. Maybe that’s because he’s been there long enough and has seen that work. But right now, I’d say the radical right wing (aka republicans0 on the other side are “not your father’s republican party”.
I don’t agree with his “put it all on the table” but I don’t think it’s fair to say that he thinks it’s okay to screw the little guy. If think he thinks we are headed for a train wreck, and he’s trying to do something to change the course.
@ericblair: Or the 6,000 people the guy fired at his company after he screwed it up by engaging in reckless business practices. Their problems and lost houses don’t appear to exist.
Paul Krugman also points out that the fantasized centrist moderates who could solve things — something so desired by not just pundits and such but so many people who want a vision of themselves as serious and distanced — are in fact the existing Democratic Party. Meaning, the reasonable solutions that people say we need ‘centrists’ for are what Democrats are overall proposing, and even more so if their main conservative internal forces were weakened. I.e., the Nelson etc brigades.
@ruemara: Please spare the former beauty queen with the platinum hair.
Villago Delenda Est
John, spot on comment.
The fascist fucks who are the GOP are blocking every fucking attempt to get the economy back on track. They don’t care…they’re the servants of neo-feudalist assholes like the vile parasitic Koch brothers.
Absolutely. It’s mindboggling how all the little people just Do Not Count. Until the little person with the big shiny guillotine gets down to business, I guess.
Ozzie and Harriet still live there. They are just trying to live on their decreasing pensions and trying to make sure a reverse mortgage isn’t going to end up with a bank stealing their home.
AMG you are starting to get it.
I recognize that the current obstruction is caused by the GOP’s mindless Obama haterage. At the same time, I want better Democrats, though my voting patterns will not change, the party is not blameless in the current situation and many of the bad decisions made in the past and past administrations were of a bipartisan sort and must be remembered.
The same, no. Alike in many ways that is disheartening, yes. But unless you’re down with actual violent revolution (you can count me out), voting and getting out in the streets to move the conversation is all we got. Go go crooked political funding scheme!
Good post, John.
But you know, it might be good for you to attend some protest somewhere, somehow. Jeans, sweatshirt, baseball cap. Speak when spoken to but don’t volunteer anything. Try to blend in with the crowd.
I say this because I suspect that you have never done this. You might find it mind-expanding, as we dfhs used to say. :-)
@david mizner: Does OWS represent a reliable voting bloc or a popular set of ideas?
Do the Democrats?
Oh, but the protesters haven’t accomplished anything! Moving the national dialogue forward in such a way that ordinary people from all ages and walks of life can discuss the real problems facing this nation is a little too healthy, productive and hits too close to home for the delicate sensibilities of the “job creators'” – hell, those tender souls are even threatening to stop hiring unless the “assault on business” stops. See Teapartynation.
Villago Delenda Est
I want better Dems too, but if Rethugs weren’t such utter assholes, a lot more legislation would have been enacted over the last three years, not to mention appointments made.
@harlana: Right? As if we’d be talking about job instead of deficits right now if not for OWS.
I’m still waiting for my OWS pony, a call for a Constitutional Convention to define person as an eligible voter and therefore bypass all the bullshit about corporations have the same rights as people.
I’m not going to hold my breath for that call to be made or for the 1%ers in Congress to laugh at the idea, stop, and then laugh for another couple minutes either.
I’m glad that Durbin is worried that cutting grandma’s Social Security check needs to be bipartisan. It’s always best when you can hide behind everyone else when doing “unpopular” things to regular people. Profiles in courage.
I seem to remember that these “entitlements” date back to a period when America was a much poorer nation. Some of them were even created during the Great Depression.
Maybe the problem isn’t the entitlements, which are paltry in reality and barely keep the people depending on them afloat. Maybe the problem is that all of the politicians in power are incompetents, especially the ones who would like to find bipartisan compromises to fuck people with.
Totally OT: Well, John, now that (I hear) your Mountaineers are to be proud members of the Big 12, let me know when you’re around KC Mo for a game and I’ll find you the real barbecue.
Oh, and screw assholes whose notion of the political class excludes anyone that doesn’t fit the narrative.
@wengler: The kids have moved back in-lost jobs does that to you. They will probably stay there until both Ozzie and Harriet pass away, and then inherit the underwater house their parents live in because it’s the only thing they can get without going to the bank for another mortgage.
It’s food stamps at the mall IGA, it’s the outlet/secondhand store/Goodwill that’s replaced the boutique. It’s the yard sales that seem to be everywhere in every suburb on every weekend day now. It’s the sudden explosion in folks making ends meet by doing everything themselves and for each other. Ozzie now mows his own lawn, Harriet her own hair, and the kids take turns cooking.
Yes, poverty has come to the suburbs.
@Jay B.: Yes.
October 25, 2011 2:15 PM
Obama’s big jobs speech happened almost two weeks before the first official OWS gathering.
A true false equivalency would involve him saying something like “The whole political class is working in earnest to strip the American people of a dignified existence”. After all the rolling over of the past decade — simply saying they’ve all been ignorant to what’s going on in realmurika seems sadly like an accurate equivalency to me.
@cleek: And maybe the two of those events combined had a positive effect together? What happens more often? A presidential speech or protests in multiple American cities?
The village was dragged along into talking about jobs after they had to admit that OWS was a story and the DFHs (as they would term them had some points). Good on Obama for that jobs speech, keep them coming.
Yes, and when they realize that it’s the Democratic agenda, they take it all back and start spewing the gooper party line. Exactly like the ACA. You’ll peel a few off every time this happens, but it’s 90% tribalism out there.
@ericblair: True enough. It’s all in the margins. 50% + 1 was a winning formula in the last decade.
Uncle Clarence Thomas
I concur with your judgement of Sen. Durbin, bipartisanship, “entitlements,” and the current crop of politicians. Case closed.
he’s been giving them for years. nobody pays attention.
@cleek: My point exactly sir. It is unlikely that his jobs speech alone produced the change in the conversation. Therefore, IMHO, OWS helped move the conversation along. We’re back in aggreeance…
Ozzie Nelson has been dead for 35 years. Harriet for almost 20. Ricky for 25. David died in January. Good lord. Their TV show went off the air 45 years ago. I expect that they had good reasons for not being there when people went looking for them.
The Carringtons and Ewings, however, are mostly alive and well. Couldn’t be better.
So did the bully pulpit work to change the discussion to jobs, or not? Because why did you mention it if you feel it never does any good?
[Let’s see if I got the two graf block quote right]
I get your point, but 40 years ago when I was growing up (and hey, get off my lawn), mowing your own lawn and doing your own hair and cooking your own meals weren’t considered markers of poverty – that was middle class life. Not having a lawn or food or being able to afford the home perm kit was where the line was (and I suspect still is) more on the mark.
That’s a “some Democrats” agenda for sure. But it sure as fuck isn’t the one that Obama and the Democrats proposed when they actually had votes and power, is it? I remember having a 59 vote minority party, insufficient stimulus, zero tax increases, lots and lots of tax breaks, the continuation of the Bush Tax Cuts (because of Unemployment hostage-taking), “everything on the table”, entitlement cut talk for 14 solid months and Town Hells from which the poor, traumatized Democrats shrank to utter incoherence.
Reliable votes and doable agenda. That’s your standard for OWS. The Democrats, clearly, don’t meet your own criteria.
Dude, if you don’t remember that the payroll tax cut and the infrastructure investments were in the freakin’ stimulus that you hate so much, I can’t help you. The ODS has eaten too far into your brain for you to even think rationally anymore if you can decide that those things weren’t part of the Democratic agenda just because they were, you know, part of the Democratic agenda that got passed into law.
@drkrick: Ozzie and Harriet would be the middle to upper middle class folks back then who could afford a maid and to hire a lawn care service.
Later versions could hire an illegal immigrant to do things around the house. There were weekly trips to the salon and to the mall for shopping. People but a lot on the credit card, and now the cards have to be paid back.
Uncle Clarence Thomas
More false equivalency in the news:
Feds Embrace Lying in Response to Public-Record Requests (wired.com)
The Obama Justice Department is proposing new Freedom of Information Act rules allowing the government to inform the public that records do not exist even if they do.
The proposal, published in the Federal Registrar for comment, may codify existing practice, as the government has already lied to requesters of public records that relevant documents did not exist.
Uncle Clarence Thomas
The ODS (Obama Deification Syndrome) has eaten too far into your brain for you to even think rationally anymore.
This is so obvious I am sure John overlooked it on purpose. But when you see something like this, you see that the political class may not have reckoned with suburban voters not being who they used to be or having different experiences. You thought you knew these people were a swing group, maybe. You had a group of voters who thought that everything was going to be all right, or that the threats to them were from some scary foreign power. Now they have to decide if they are going to choose their empathy or their fears. Each party may be able to help them choose either one.
I’m going to cry. What part of “John Cole is an irritable crank whose first opinions will always–without exception–be wrong” do you not understand? Of course that was posted over the holidays IIRC.
Well, Mizzou can go to the SEC now that the Big 12 has been totally devalued :)
(Yes, John, I am aware that Pitt is going nowhere this year. Maybe not even to the Meineke Car Care Bowl.)
25 million voters did.
actually yes it was, and some of that was actually passed.
No, because the House is still voting on stupid shit like abortion and the media is still discussing how we should stop being mean to rich people.
@singfoom: Despite some initial success, I thin OWS will soon disappear into the dustbin of history if they don’t latch themselves onto at least some local issue, if not national issue, of important to the working class. In the last few weeks, they’ve been too silent on policy and it’s allowing the media to define them as a bunch of hippies that don’t shower instead of front lineman in the fight against the aristocracy.
In America, everything is based on personal impressions, and if they become defined as dirty hippies, their message is lost.
Luckily, some OWSers are making the millionaire’s tax an issue in New York State, that’s a good move. They should endorse paid sick leave in NYC.
They also need to put forward people who don’t come across as a bunch of Williamsburg hipsters.
That’s pretty much the Romney/Perry split right there, isn’t it?