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March 13, 2011

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Some things never change: http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2010/06/04/missi-health/> What's The Matter With Mississippi?

So, where's the slavery? I assume you've got some slavery, or something equivalent to point to, or else it might just be that those people who think they're fighting for their rights really are fighting for their rights.

Now, I can think of a few things which, in today's America, approach slavery for an evil, such as the war on Drugs, and the consequent incarceration state. But that kind of lacks for the other side fighting against it, doesn't it?

One thing Sherman might have mentioned is that large predominantly poor-white areas stayed with the Union, or tried to: Kentucky and West Virginia successfully, and a big part of Tennessee unsuccessfully. Even one part of Alabama (the NW corner if I recall correctly) was full of unionists.

The secessionists only got 18% of the vote in 1860. A reminder of how you can leverage your numbers with determined violence and the creation of "facts on the ground".

Another case was North Carolina in 1898. Republicans and Populists had swept the state in 1896, but the white supremacy Democrats were more unified and much better armed, and they forcibly overthrew the elected government, replaced it with a Democratic government, and changed the voting rules so that it could never happen again. (That's an oversimplification -- only the Wilmington city government was actually overthrown, but in such a way that the Republican governor was completely discredited).

While the insurrection was being planned (during the period of a year, and partly wide open in public) there was some talk in the north about sending the US military down to enforce voting rights. The murderous Democrats whined endlessly about how horrible it would be for federal bayonets to impose order on their wonderful selves.

What they were fighting against was "Negro supremacy". If you interpret the data, you find that whenever one single black man had authority over one single white man (much less woman) that was Negro supremacy.

Self-pity is a useful tool for anyone planning violence. Not to break any internet laws, but Hitler reeked of self-pity.

"Michael Moore exposes how the wealthy are manipulating the poor to do their bidding"

*clicks on link* Hmm. Rants, maybe. Exposes? I don't think so. "Exposes" implies a reasoned argument and evidence. All he does is scream that the rich aren't paying their "fair share" of taxes, whatever that means.

A visit to the Gettysburg Memorial Battlefield in New Hampshire would set you people straight.

You can take in Lexington and Concord on the same trip.

Dead confederate rats everywhere.

What's a matta with Mississippi?

Not enough rats, like a minimum level of health care.

You say that's not a rat?

What Mississippi needs is an underground bullet train to deliver more rats.

Yever wonda why people like Haley in dose cracka states set out poison evey moning?

They want to kill yo rats. They fraid you might grow to like yo rats if dey was allowed to live.

Mr. President, default on the $14 trillion debt before the rats do it for ya.

Preempt Fort Sumter this time.

You got the nukes. Use 'em.

Kill the rats so that our rats may live.

> But the informed veiwer is left shaking his
> or her head, No, my poor son. In fact, you
> are not fighting for your "rats" or even
> your "rights." What you are truly fighting
> for is slavery. You are fighting and dying
> for demagogues who are trying to secure
> their slave-based wealth.

In the original book (_Killer Angels_), author Shaara has a group of enlisted men from the 20th Maine holding this conversation with the prisoner. After figuring out the "rats" issue, one of these Maine fishermen/potato farmers replies "What about them Negro slaves you keep down there?". In blocking out the scenes for a movie it makes more sense to have the Chamberlain character appear in this scene to keep the character focus tighter, but I believe it is historically accurate that many of the ordinary foot-soldiers of the Union Army were far better informed about the fundamental issues than their opponents.

Cranky

Sherman's memoirs are well worth reading; it takes a few chapters to get used to the dense prose of the period but his life story overall is amazing (3 round trips to California via Panama in 5 years?!).

Grant, in his memoirs, also reflected on this phenomenon:

The great bulk of the legal voters of the South were men who owned no slaves; their homes were generally in the hills and poor country; their facilities for educating their children, even up to the point of reading and writing, were very limited; their interest in the contest was very meagre--what there was, if they had been capable of seeing it, was with the North; they too needed emancipation. Under the old regime they were looked down upon by those who controlled all the affairs in the interest of slave-owners, as poor white trash who were allowed the ballot so long as they cast it according to direction.

So, where's the slavery? I assume you've got some slavery, or something equivalent to point to,

Rand Paul ran explicitly on wanting to repeal the Civil Rights Act of 1964, so let's just take that as a starting point.

John, that was Jones County Mississippi. As might be expected, historians have argued a bit about that. This book was a debunking
Legend of the Free State of Jones

These two books debunked the debunking
Free state of Jones: Mississippi's longest Civil War
and
The State of Jones: The Small Southern County That Seceded from the Confederacy

not sure what the current consensus is, or if there is one.

Sherman was one of the founders of Louisiana State U. in a sense anyway. (He was a founder of a school that morphed into LSU). I don't know anyone down there to ask whether it really happens, but it would make sense for the LSU marching band to feature "Marching Through Georgia" when the two schools play.

Can you say "self-serving crap"? I knew you could.

Abolition was a hugely popular political issue at the start of the War Between the States, and a heck of a lot of people wanted it to be about abolition. President Lincoln resisted this, because the war was "about" secession. The Constitution specifically reserve all functions not specifically enumerated in the Constitution to the states -- i.e., states rights. It was only late in the war, when manumitted slaves fighting against their former masters became a serious military question, that Lincoln assimilated the slavery question to the War -- and therefore cut the Gordian knot that had vexed Anerucab political life for four-score-and-seven-years.

It was the right thing to do, in the bigger picture -- but that does not excuse your obliteration of issues that were important enough for our ancestors to put their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor on the line for, reducing the convictions of people who felt (wrongly) that their way of life was an embodiment of the Constitution to no-neck caricatures.

The War Between the States tested the Constiutution-as-written, and shattered it by force majeur -- an event so traumatic, as you point out, that no one has really recovered from it.

Shame on you for your tactics. They do not do justice to your sentiments

The tragedy of the Civil War -- and why it is a tragedy that still resonates, 150 years later -- is that it accomplished a great good by doing a great evil.

I think that there's a lot to be said that the Constitution as written was a sort of patchwork hodgepodge some of whose enormous problems were the result of attempts to protect slavery. I'm not a constitutionalist any more if I ever was one. I'm not sure how much you can separate the two issues.

Slavery was the big public issue constantly for decades before the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln danced around the issue, infuriating the abolitionists, but the fact of his election was one of the things that set the slaveholders off.

I do not really understand Bill Patterson's point, much less his indignation.

If the war was about states rights and individual rights, does that mean that Southern Unionists didn't care about these things? It seems to me that they just didn't want to defend slavery, which everyone knew was the real issue. Why screw around with figleaves.

My ancestors were unionists. Someone else's ancestors are non-neck caricatures, and the ancestors' descendants are too.

So, where's the slavery? I assume you've got some slavery, or something equivalent to point to, or else it might just be that those people who think they're fighting for their rights really are fighting for their rights.

Go back, re-read the post, and think about it for a few minutes, Brett--rather than dashing off a petulant "so what's your point?" comment that clearly demonstrates that no, you did not in fact get the point.

The secession of the South was about slavery.

Period.

There is no legitimate historical debate about this. It is right there in black and white, in the words of its leaders. They were extremely explicit about it.

It is equally well-documented, as HK noted, that the underclass whites doing the majority of the fighting and dying in the Civil War were largely led to believe that they were fighting to defend their rights against so-called Yankee tyranny. This is made obvious in countless ways, not least of which is the too-clever-by-half euphemism used then in the South (and by its modern-day Lost Cause adherents) to refer to the war: the "War of Northern Aggression". It was a little less than a century before Orwell would write his famous dystopian novel, but this was Orwellian language at its finest.

Clear enough so far? Good. Fast-forward a century and a half.

Now re-read the post starting with the sentence, "looking at the right's attacks", and think about it a bit. This is an analogy. Consider all the complaints commonly raised by the rank-and-file Teabaggers--and consider how little in common they actually have with the truth of the way things are ("keep gubmint outta my Medicare!"), or with the stated and actual goals of the wealthy politicians they elect to save them from government oppression.

The Republican agenda is not to their benefit. It is, at its heart, about protecting the status quo, further enriching the wealthy, destroying the middle class, eliminating workers' rights, eroding the advances in women's rights, and gutting public services in the name of small government while pushing intrusive "big government" policies wherever it redounds to their favor.

The Republican agenda, as actually practiced by Republican politicians, has little to nothing in common with what the so-called Tea Party says they want. It does, in fact, harm them and their interests.

Seeing a parallel yet?

If not, think about it some more.

a heck of a lot of people wanted it to be about abolition. President Lincoln resisted this, because the war was "about" secession.

Now just ask yourself why the states in question wanted to secede, and you'll have arrived at your destination.

One thing Sherman might have mentioned is that large predominantly poor-white areas stayed with the Union,

They were predominantly white, and thus there was no need to manipulate the locals into taking the side of the wealthy against the blacks. In the absence of such demagoguery from the plantation class, they threw their lot with the union.

The tragedy of the Civil War -- and why it is a tragedy that still resonates, 150 years later -- is that it accomplished a great good by doing a great evil.

Fighting against spurious claims of "states' rights" is not in any way evil and to draw an equivalence between a strong federal government and slavery is simply an insult. The death of the ability to use the excuse of "states rights" to enforce slavery and segregation does not enslave anyone.

Bill Patterson--

You're making a logical error. You're right that for Lincoln and many Northerners, the issue was secession. As you also point out, for many others the issue was abolition, but not for Lincoln, at least not at the beginning.

But for the Southern leaders, the issue was the right to own slaves. The fact that for Lincoln the issue was secession doesn't negate this.


Well, how about a few facts not wrapped in a symbolic hoo haw. Mississippi has a 5B state budget, 44% is spent on education, another 7% on Higher education for atotal of 61% on educatio. I cant believe it would be a good thing to raid that. 6% is spent on prisons and another 7% on debt servicing. for a total of 73% of 5B or 3.65B.

Add 8.5% for current Social Welfare and 1.5% for Local assistance and you are at 4.15B and less tahn 900M to everythings else the state has to do. So adding 125M a year+ is a big nut when revenues are going down.

So you can couch the discussion in 150 year old debates all you want but facts are always convenient things to have.

All numbers from The 2010 Mississippi Budget Sunshine Review scroll down there is a nice table for 2010 appropriations.

BTW, some of are not amused by the cute insult of our southern dialect.


hk,

i luv this post

sorry, most of my comment was for bobbyp.

CCDG: So you can couch the discussion in 150 year old debates all you want but facts are always convenient things to have.

I'm scratching my head trying to grok how this relates to the core point of this post, as I understand it: the disconnect between the actual purpose of the South's secession and what poor whites in the South thought it was about, the disconnect between the Republican agenda as practiced by Republican politicians and what the rank-and-file Tea Party think it is, and the parallels between the two.

BTW, some of are not amused by the cute insult of our southern dialect.

Whereas some of us are from the South, love where we grew up, and still think it's funny--as well as being entirely incidental to the point of the post. If it bugs you, set it aside; it doesn't bear on the substance of HK's argument.

"Similarly, regardless of the "rats" which the foot soldiers of the modern tea party are led to believe they are fighting for, the Koch brothers and their friends know that the real goal of their so-called tea party revolution is protecting and securing their ever-increasing wealth. Michael Moore eexposes how the wealthy are manipulating the poor to do their bidding."

Since this seems to be the only paragraph to make a point in this post I would like to point out two things.

1) Michael Moore is quite self aggrandizing and manipulates the poor for his self interest, If you haven't noticed.

2) Which people here are you trying to cry out to help?

Is it really your contention that over 50% of the people in the US are so stupid that they are cattle led to the polls without taking into account that wealthy self interested people are behind much of what they hear?

That perhaps 75% of people don't sort the wheat form the chaff and determine that, out of the choices, they are voting for the one that best represents their interests?

Do you believe that your view of their interests is universally what they should believe?

Or is just the people with a Southern drawl that are that stupid?

CCDG,
I'm not sure if Mississippi is the best example. It has never had a very large tax base, and it's a place that probably needs more in terms of federal largess than a lot of other states as a a matter of course, setting aside budget problems arising from the financial meltdown. You cite the budget percentages, and mention education and say "I cant believe it would be a good thing to raid that," but my understanding is that the IHL trustees have already directed all the state's universities to cut their budgets and I understand that program closures have been slated. Your link has a comparison between 2009 and 2010 and it notes that higher education is being cut by 3% and public education by 5%. As your link notes, that would have been higher had the federal government not required certain expenditures in order to qualify for federal funds.

After Congress approved federal funds for the states on August 10, 2010, Gov. Haley Barbour said Mississippi would be forced to rewrite its budget to qualify for $98 million in education funds, moving at least $50 million into education spending from public safety and health. "There is no justification for the federal government hijacking state budgets," Barbour said.

So the current state administration does think it is necessary, so invoking it as something that is to be 'raided' is strange, especially when the federal government is the one forcing the state to keep it at certain levels.

So I assume that the cuts would have been more severe had the federal government not stepped in. I'm not sure if that helps your point.

I agree about the point about making fun of dialect, though I think it arises out of explaining what goes on in the video. Still, I agree that after that explanation, it shouldn't have been used for a title or as a focus.

lj,

Again, I didn't invoke it, I was responding to bobbyp's first comment, bad commenting protocol on my part.

@ Amezuki, "Clear enough so far? Good. Fast-forward a century and a half.

Now re-read the post starting with the sentence, "looking at the right's attacks", and think about it a bit. This is an analogy"

"Consider all the complaints commonly raised by the rank-and-file Teabaggers--and consider how little in common they actually have with the truth of the way things are"

I don't think anyone here is unable to understand that an analogy is being drawn. What is being challenged, is the accuracy/relevance of that analogy. I see no facts from you (or more importantly, this post) demonstrating survey data that reveals the interests of tea party supporters, and how they somehow conflict with the group's socio-economic background. You can't just say "look look look! analogy" without any actual evidence.

and by the way, pithy insults like "keep gubmint outta my Medicare" and "teabaggers" make you sound like a less-than-intelligent debater.

Michael Moore is quite self aggrandizing and manipulates the poor for his self interest, If you haven't noticed.

This gratuitous swipe from you was inappropriate and unbecoming and speaks to the deep-rooted classism that infects conservatism-- namely hatred and resentment of anyone who uses their resources to publicly take the side of the poor.

It also bespeaks a certain amount of cowardice I see from conservatives-- they are socially constrained from advocating for liberal policies or acting with concern for the less-well-off because their social and business relationships would suffer or they themselves might be perceived as "poor," so they resent those like Michael Moore with the social freedom to do so-- even more so because Moore came from a modest background, so his behavior is taken as a insult to conservatives because he has the freedom to do what they can't and he does it publicly.

Is it really your contention that over 50% of the people in the US are so stupid that they are cattle led to the polls without taking into account that wealthy self interested people are behind much of what they hear?

I think this number, if anything, may be too low--although it's less about stupidity and more about being inundated day in and day out with misinformation.

And it's not about the accent with which they speak--it has far more to do with the ideology to which they adhere and the sources from which they get their news.

It is a demographic that is overwhelmingly Republican. And if it exists predominantly in the South, that is not because Southerners are inherently stupid, it is because the modern-day Republican Party has figured out that they can make the South a regional base of power by exploiting the grievances and resentments from the Civil War that never really healed in the South.

Also, slightly relevant to LJ's point (to be clear, this wasn't his argument--it's a thought that occurred to me): I think that it is ideologically inconsistent for liberals to complain about how economically poor red states leech off the Federal teat, taking in $X in Federal funds for every $Y in taxes they pay. It is useful as a way of highlighting the hypocrisy of red state politicians, but if you think about it, it's really the same dynamic at work between the underprivileged and the well-off, except between states and the Federal government.

In other words: some of us pay a little more in order to raise up those who are less well-off. I don't have a problem with this. It's at the heart of liberal social policy. We should welcome the fact that this works for states just as well as people--and point out that those who live in these states are the beneficiaries of the very principles they (if they are conservatives) decry.

"so they resent those like Michael Moore with the social freedom to do so-"

You mean like, for money?

I see no facts from you (or more importantly, this post) demonstrating survey data that reveals the interests of tea party supporters, and how they somehow conflict with the group's socio-economic background.

I'm going to take the side of my right-wing brothers and sisters in a rare move and say that I don't completely disagree here.

There is a certain interest that aligns here. Take someone who is middle aged and unemployed or underemployed. Odds are at 50 or so, he's never going to work again unless he gets lucky. Assuming he's from Mississippi, let's look at what happens to people who commit the sin of advocating for liberal beliefs:

Built in the mid-1950s with federal assistance, the Yazoo City hospital was, at the insistence of the local White Citizens Council, a whites-only facility, Mangold says. As a child, he had the nighttime assignment of answering the back door at his parents' home, where they had their medical practice (whites came to the front door, blacks to the back). He would often see black residents with grievous injuries requiring emergency care -- but they had nowhere to go.

"There was no hospital in town where blacks could go. They would have to go to Jackson 40 or 50 miles away, and many died on the way," he says, adding that this state of affairs lasted for years.

Further, his parents became pariahs in town and their business was damaged because they had resisted the White Citizens Council petition that the hospital be whites-only.

"Threatening phone calls, dead cats on the lawn and other acts of intimidation combined to run my father out of town for two years," Mangold wrote in his letter to the Clarion-Ledger.

These guys are never going to work, never going to get promoted, and never going to have their businesses succeed unless they owe social fealty to a right-wing economic elite. And along with that comes a seething, angry resentment towards economic success stories that did not get their by advocating for a right-wing agenda and instead have the social freedom to stick up for those who are less well off.

But it's not just "sticks" that keep them in line. It's also carrots. By "acting" right-wing, people start to think you're successful. I mean, when you're a member of "the party of the rich and powerful," you're going to hope that "rich and powerful" aroma rubs off on you...and that gives all the more reason for people like CCDG to engage in that sort of gauche, classless anger and lashing out at those who don't have to go through the motions and can advocate for the less-well-off without the social consequence that others would face.

Just remember the rules, folks: if a liberal earns a dollar, he's a hypocrite and a parasite. If a Republican earns a dollar, he's a wealth producer, and almost godlike.

"So I assume that the cuts would have been more severe had the federal government not stepped in. I'm not sure if that helps your point."

No, They would have left 50M in the public safety and health, maybe where it is needed more, to education, So Instead of getting 98M from the Fed for education and being able to use that they were FORCED to move money inside their budget to qualify.

See thats a states rights issue. It is also a common sense issue. If the fed wants to help, great, but what is their criteria for saying that fifty million was better spent in Mississippi on education than public safety? In a very tight budget. That 50M was more than all the money left in the public health budget in 2010. and less than 2% of the education budget.

The overall budget, except the 98m was the same.

...and Tyro completely misses the point.

ME: I see no facts from you (or more importantly, this post) demonstrating survey data that reveals the interests of tea party supporters, and how they somehow conflict with the group's socio-economic background.

TYRO: I'm going to take the side of my right-wing brothers and sisters in a rare move and say that I don't completely disagree here.

There's nothing to disagree about. The above commentary...contains...no...facts. No polling data, no survey data, no negative correlations between a tea party supporter's positions and his self-interest. You and the author are just projecting your own opinions on a diverse swath of the US public, and calling them all (essentially) poor white southern and easily-fooled. There is no actual analysis here.

Just a group of Internet posters self-confirming their own opinions about the "others." Those misinformed poor "others" who must only hold their beliefs out of ignorance. We know where there true interests should lie. If only they would listen to us.

Oh, and I forgot. 1950s Mississippi. Clearly this is a representative climate under which all tea partiers live.

There is a big misunderstanding about teabaggers and Republicans, and that's the idea that they are mostly poor and uneducated. Actually, in education they're about average, with a mix of well- and poorly-educated, and they're probably a little more prosperous than average in income.

What Gellman's "Rich state, Poor state...." found was that in poor states, both poor people are more conservative (Republican) than in better-off states, but that in these states the poor are more liberal (Democratic) than the rich.

In better-off states, the well-off are less Republican, and so are the poor.

As for education, the best Democratic demographics is the least educated 10%, and the most educated 10% comes next. High school grduates, "some college", and college graduates without an advanced degree are a tossup.

Other surveys have found that the more educated a conservative is, the more extreme he becomes. (Same for liberals).

The hard right can't be explained by ignorance.

I seriously doubt that the wealthy in Mississippi are overtaxed.

"The secession of the South was about slavery."

Yeah, and the secession of the South was about 150 years ago, and the tea party is today.

So, I want to know what modern day evil comparable to slavery you think the Tea party movement is actually defending under the guise of states' rights. I think you've got nothing.

So, I want to know what modern day evil comparable to slavery you think the Tea party movement is actually defending under the guise of states' rights. I think you've got nothing.

The Tea Party prevented cap and trade from becining law, which ultimately hurt the CCX investors that did not sell out early.

It always astonishes me the superficial level of analysis on the left about how the big bad capitalists tilt the system to nefariously aid their interests. Of course they do, but how? Dig deep into the details and you will find, time after time, the use of big government to pass rules and regulations that hinder their upstart competitors (direct and indirect) and leave themselves largely free to continue making disproportionate profits.

The solution seems obvious, to enumerate all the regulations, sift through them, get rid of the ones who give the rich an unfair advantage, and maintain the structure as a regular counter to the inevitable attempts the well off will sponsor to put in a new crop in future.

But looking at the mechanics of getting rid of the unfair privileges of the upper classes and you find yourself looking at a process that is a lot more like a tea party Republican's platform than a progressive Democrat's. So put your shoulder to the grindstone and enumerate all the governments, enumerate all their laws, rules, and regulations. Identify in each what is upholding unfair privilege for the rich and you'll find a large cadre of tea party people right there supporting the repeal.

I don't believe for a minute that the left will actually do this because their anti-corporatism is a sham, a shakedown, an appeal for a check written to shut the leadership up. I would be pleasantly surprised to be wrong and more than happy to collaborate on freeing up our economy from welfare for the rich which is another thing that is choking this country.

"What you are truly fighting for is slavery. You are fighting and dying for demagogues who are trying to secure their slave-based wealth."

Mais bien sur. Tout le monde connait, "le plus choses changent, le plus ils restent la meme".

I'd be surprised if there are any real bosses here; nor any truly free people. We are all slaves, and, to some extent, fighting on behalf of our bosses to decide who will own us and what form the slavery will take. Will it be the stinging pain of the bullwhip or the slow dull soul rot of the life indentured to the mortgage/credit bank and unloyal company of employment? Pick your poison.

The typical 'citizen' of this country is a slave zombie that can tell you more about what Charlie Sheen had for breakfast than what is in the Bill of Rights.


But then we are all tools; even the intellectuals around here. Get over it. The civil war, like all wars, was about deciding which group of elites would control the wealth of a nation. Period.

Michael Moore is a fat greasy jackass who has discovered that he can make money by braying loudly and publicly. He has not accomplished one iota of quantifiable good for society.

apologies CCDG, I didn't see bobby p's comment. I gotta ask, is anyone here from Mississippi?

What's the matter is that Barbour has presidential ambitions and so he has to stand on principles in order to make sure he can maintain his national base. If you are thinking about state's rights, you could complain that national Tea Party activists are preventing governors from taking the local actions they need to in order to deal with the current set of problems. Or at least Republican governors with presidential aspirations.

In fact, there seem to be two groups of people who are potential Republican candidates, current governors, (Pawlenty, Jindal, Barbour maybe even Walker and Christie think/thought they had a shot) who feel they need to prove their bonafides and former governors (Palin, Huckabee, Romney) who claim they have already proven themselves, with Gingrich the odd man out (as he usually is) (note, the list of candidates is not based on any announcements, just a list of the usual suspects)

Do you have an iota meter for quantifying good, Avedis? I have a bunch of good to quantify and I sure could use it.

you will find, time after time, the use of big government to pass rules and regulations that hinder their upstart competitors (direct and indirect) and leave themselves largely free to continue making disproportionate profits.

Except that's not all they'll do--what they'll do specifically is hide under the law to justify mistreating their workers and deceiving their customers and then appeal to the limited reach of the law to claim that they cannot be punished for it. The rest of what you write is just libertarian-window-dressing for unchecked corporate power.

Michael Moore is a fat greasy jackass who has discovered that he can make money by braying loudly and publicly.

You lived you life either in fear of what people would say about you if you advocated for the well-being of the less-well-off,or you engaged in a campaign of hate and rage against those not as well off at you, and now you lash out at those with the freedom and good spirit to care about the people and the issues that you don't. It's typical right-wing classist hatred and resentment against those more moral than yourself. I consistently see this classist resentment from the right over and over again, and it disgusts me.

Well, JE, I do have a meter. It is specifically designed for quantifying politically generated 'good'.

To be honest I am not sure it works.I think it does, but I dunno. I built it in 2000 and every time I try to test it, it reads 0. The needle is just stuck there. Doesn't seem to matter if the test material/subject is left, right, middle or whacko (e.g. tea party, McCain, etc).

I see this a lot-- people have class ambitions-- so they buy expensive clothes, carefully choose their friends to me pretty and rich, and say the "right things" about how lazy and stupid the poor are and how great rich people are. It's their ambition. And who, really, can blame them? You are not going to make those business connections or land that sales contract by caring about stagnating wages.

But a guy like Michael Moore becomes successful and yet stays on the side of those who aren't well off and have been screwed over by the economy, and it represents a certain defiance of all the class-ambitious. A way of saying, "I don't have to act like you act. I am free." And these people basically hate social and political freedom and kind of resent the sort of successful people for whom success comes with it social freedom to say what you want rather than success through a constant kiss up/kick down dynamic that they've dedicated their lives to. And to have to listen to Moore who isn't one of the "pretty people" or members of the "born to rule" elite that they so desperately want to be led by makes it even worse-- he committed the sin of being successful while not being of the right "class" that CCDG and Luta believes are "allowed" to have public positions.

Avedis, I suspect that your meter is not very useful for anyone who actually wants to know whether or not good is being done.


"I see this a lot-- people have class ambitions-- so they buy expensive clothes, carefully choose their friends to me pretty and rich, and say the "right things" about how lazy and stupid the poor are and how great rich people are. It's their ambition."

I called and read this to my best friend, he and my wife are still laughing that anyone could begin to describe me this way. But, I do know a couple of people like this, you are correct, they exist.

But my friends and family are mostly those people you see Michael Moore hanging around with, running his camera and making a million bucks off their day to day troubles.

The only people I know that really like Michael Moore are the people with lots of money walking around in their expensive clothes, with their pretty friends, who say all the right things about how they really do care about the poor from their multimillion dollar Manhattan apartments or Malibu beacn houses, who wanna think they are soooo good because they wanna be like Mike.

See, I can be as generically rude as you.


See, I can be as generically rude as you.

Yes, I can, but I would appreciate it if you weren't. Thanks.

sorry lj

Maybe the fight is not over slavery this time but when we have a socio-economic system that produces 10% unemployment (or 20% by some measures) and provides an insufficient safety net for the populace then I would posit that the system needs to be changed, call it wage slavery if you will, but something is wrong when we accept that as the status quo.

JE’s earlier post on the media explains part of the problem, but there is plenty of ignorance on all sides. I would just point to this recent post by Krugman as an example of how even basic economic precepts are rejected based on misinformation and manipulation. Not everyone will educate themselves on the larger forces that drive our society, they are often too busy dealing with the day to day reality of surviving in this world.

I do not know when the tipping point will come but I was heartened that 100,000 folks in Madison showed up yesterday, that’s something, I just hope that carries over to the polls.

CCDG, I hope you didn't seriously think I place you in the position of the class-ambitious. You're just trying to scrape by and know that you're not going to make it by caring about the poor. In fact you'll have more social accolades to be gained making fun of Michael Moore than worrying about stagnant wages.

But, yeah, you don't have much of a problem with well-heeling wealthy right-wing Bush partisans who were violently advocating for the use of torture and worked up into a demonic rage about how awful relatively honest politicians like John Kerry wear. You reserve your outrage for people like Michael Moore who have the social freedom to tell right-wingers to where they can stuff their horrible policies.

"Symbolic hoo-haw".

My, that is indeed an argument that defies an answer. Perhaps you can answer this CC: The feds pick up the entire tab until 2016. Maybe you missed that part in your zeal to demonstrate how tight the state's budget is. But I gotta' ask, have you never heard of maybe a few of the richer in Miss chipping in a bit more to pick up the tab? I mean, it's pretty damned stupid to turn down a 20 to 1 payback. Obviously, you are not a businessman, or for that matter, much of an optimist for the future growth path of the state's economy. Perhaps you could explain further. I mean a $100m/year bite out of an economy that produces $88Billion annually is peanuts.

On another point, I thoroughly enjoy the conservative venom this post has unleashed. Highly unusual for this little corner of the internets...I mean we're supposed to be impressed by folks calling Mr. M. Moore a "fat greasy jackass"? You can't be serious. Isn't that a logical fallacy, or something like that...

As for Mr. Lincoln. Prior to his election, he was indeed coy about emancipation, but let there be no mistake, his election sealed the doom of slavery as an institution since the outcome pretty much showed that slavery's spread to the territories had ceased, and for the South this was the handwriting on the wall.

I would be pleasantly surprised to be wrong and more than happy to collaborate on freeing up our economy from welfare for the rich which is another thing that is choking this country.

Insofar as many Democrats have bought into the neoliberal policies that are bringing this nation to its knees, I salute you. You might also read Dean Baker's "The Conservative Nanny State" for starters. Then I ask you to join us in our effort to free politics from the control of the rich and the comfortable.

As for anybody else who was put off by my innocuous little one liner....I remain puzzled.

Look Tyro, I am not going to continue this. You have no idea what I think about "relatively honest politiicans" like John Kerry. Or how I get my social accolades. Or how much I care about the poor. Or, unless you read it here which would by and large refute your opinion, what I think about torture. So, no,you're just wrong about everrything except my opinion of Michael Moore, and you are wrong about my reasons for that.

CCDG, I just think it's interesting that when it comes to the multitudes of successful, well-off people out there, especially those with a high profile, that's the particular person you single out for your rather gauche, uncalled for spasm of rage against. Simply because he ended up talking about economic inequities. It's just kind of curious-- like you think that other successful, popular people are ok when they advocate for the use of torture or become full-throated partisans of an incompetent Bush administration, but suddenly, if you advocate for the plight of the well-off, then that person becomes a target for your classist rage who should be guilty for being successful. It's just a curious phenomenon about how you pick your targets, particularly someone who has a better moral compass than you clearly do, and isn't afraid to say it.

But then, that almost answers the question, doesn't it, CCDG? Plenty of people are like you... probably plenty of people you know. If you said the same things Michael Moore said, they might call you a flat slob and say you're "self aggrandizing and manipulates the poor for his self interest," probably shut you out socially, make it harder for you to get a job, etc. So your self-interest has to lie with the self-aggrandizing people who manipulate people like you for their personal benefit because you have no other choice. And those who don't face the devil's bargain that you have made are targets for your rage and resentment. It's not an honest way to live, but I understand that you have to eat. But don't take out your plight on others who have a certain social freedom of movement that you, unfortunately, do not.


bobbyp,

the problem with the 2016 thing is that nothing happens until 2014, then not much until 2016. But in the Kaiser study at the bottom it says that the states will start paying in 2014. So the facts aren't clear, like everything else in the healthcare bill. One is clear, the dollars for uncompensated care go down 14B dollars in 2014. So either we get Medicaid, surprise surprise, or we don't get the fed funds. Hmmmmmm, how could that have happened.


. 1950s Mississippi. Clearly this is a representative climate under which all tea partiers live.

If there's one thing I've learned from conservatives, it's that human nature exists and doesn't change. And conservatives thrive on an environment of social intimidation and economic attacks against those who don't toe the line along with classist demands of conformity.

Bush was an advocate for torture. He had an army of right-wing toadies willing to advocate for bad policies which melted down the economy and got us mired into stupid wars. And you were too afraid to disagree because people would have called you a greasy fat slob who was just doing it for money and you depended socially and economically on those suck ups. You have top engage in these spasms of rage against people who advocate for the less-well-off because otherwise the right-wing will start targeting you. It's a form of social positioning. And it starts by lashing out at anyone who points out the obviously while maintaining a cowardly silence against the self-aggrandizing immoral flat slobs who actually deserve condemnation. And this has been a constant within conservative culture for decades.

So if you're not that well off (or even if you're doing ok) and you want to avoid being called a self-aggrandizing fat slob by the right-wing people you depend on for a living, you learn to be silent and start looking for other people to lash out at in order to prove your social bona fides. And it's uncalled for, classless behavior from someone whose parents should have taught them to behave better. I'm sorry that you've been afraid all your life to call out economic inequities. Don't allow your personal insecurities and petty jealousies lead you to condemn others who have that kind of freedom to do so.

tyro, please turn it down a notch (or several). I would appreciate it.

tyro, the problem with Michael Moore is not his message per se, but that he delivers it being a fat greasy slob. Therefore, he may appeal to a segment of poor slobs who are getting the shaft in our society, but he has no traction with those who are of the class that make decisions. So it's just a schtick. Moore makes money off the troubles of unfortunates and does nothing to help them. The power brokers like his form of buffoonery because it serves as a harmless pressure release valve.

On the other hand, if Moore presented in a more refined manner so as to gain more respect from the decision making class, I suppose he would lose the sense of identification he enjoys with the great unwashed. Which sort of speaks to one of the points of the post; which is that the unwashed don't know what's in their best interest.

Personally, I don't trust anyone whose ass is wider than his shoulders and who can't stand up straight, but then I don't trust anyone who adds accesories like a Rolex to emmaculate demeanor either.

Moore doesn't say anything that Krugman doesn't say better; much better.

"Bush was an advocate for torture. He had an army of right-wing toadies willing to advocate for bad policies which melted down the economy and got us mired into stupid wars."

Policies which Obama perpetuates. What's your point?

Yeah, and the secession of the South was about 150 years ago, and the tea party is today.

I'm taking bets on how closely the ratio of "tea party member" to "Confederate flag bumper sticker" approaches 1. The over/under is .75.

Jesus Christ, Avedis. What a useless snot you are. What the Democrats need is a more refined manner, to get the maiden aunt vote I suppose. And a fake goodness meter to prove that nothing ever does any good.

Let' see John Emerson, what has M. Moore done for anyone? Ummmmm......nothing that I can see.

What has Obama changed? Endless excessively costly war? Nope. Tax cuts favorable to the wealthiest? Nope. An increasing gini coefficient? Nope. Torture? Nope. Erosdion of civil rights? Nope. Coorperate lobbying, pandering and special favors that constitute market failures? Nope. Employment? Nope. Universal healthcare? Nope. Let me know if you want me to continue the list, ok.

Sorry. I don't see any change I can believe in....In fact, I don't see any change at all.

But I'm the useless snot.....hmmmm.Ouch.

There has been discussion of how stupid the southern troops were to fight for the interest of the wealthiest. What was the typical northern grunt fighting for? What did he get out of his service (if he survived)?

BTW, Are people here aware that there were even African Americans who fought for the south? Bunch of uncle tom's or what?

All I'm saying is that all politicians work for some wealthy interest(s) or another; tea party, republicans, deomcrats...doesn't matter. The job of the politicians is to enlist the support of the masses long enough to get elected and then to spin the screwing of the masses well enough that they can stay in office.

Whereas most soldiers fight for their own more personal reasons and don't put as much stock in the political spin as the politicians would like them to. So the original analogy in this post isn't totally wrong; it's just skewed against southern troops in a way that creates a false dichotomy of right versus stupid and wrong - re; troop motivation - that is then supposed to be carried forward to today's political arena.

I think it's likely there's a huge amount of misinformation being bandied about here regarding the mindset of southern participants in the civil conflict of the mid-nineteenth century. Here's a list of those that I am seeing here:

1. From the quote in the video about 'rats' it is asserted that common southern soldiers were duped into thinking they were fighting to preserve their rights when, in fact, they were fighting to preserve slavery as a southern institution. The opportunity is taken to point to the level of ignorance among those, mainly from the hill country of western Virginia and eastern Tennessee, who did not support fighting to preserve slavery and opted out or tried to.

2. Wealthy plantation owners with slaves and others of their ilk closely tied to the continuation of the existing southern economic order who indeed, in their own pursuit of what they viewed as their self-interest, supported the secession.

3. And a third group, most of whom were neither ignorant, slave owners, nor particularly interested in fighting to preserve the institution of slavery. They were simply patriots answering the call to arms of their state political leaders to defend the sovereignty of their state.

My gg grandfather died on the battlefield in that service in 1862. His grandfather was born in North Carolina in 1781 and his father and a brother fought at Kings Mountain in an important turning point in the War for Independence. My gg grandfather's father was a county sheriff and one uncle was a medical doctor and close associate of Crawford W. Long. These people don't seem to be unable to have some understanding of what was happening. Memories of the revolutionary conflict and the years between 1776 and 1787 were likely still strong and that means there was a much stronger sense of state sovereignty unrelated to slavery than we can imagine 150 years later. I was born before WWII and I have strong knowledge and memory of that period. We still have enough political activists who support less Federal government and more devolving of power back to the states to make a difference. Otherwise, we wouldn't have all this effort by the left to spread misinformation about those who support the Tea Party efforts. So, just consider for a moment that most of the combatants for the Confederacy would have had a strong sense of patriotism and willingness to serve their state to preserve its sovereignty. In other words, they fall into the third category above.


the problem with the 2016 thing is that nothing happens until 2014, then not much until 2016.

Assuming that's the case, what's the problem? Why turn down free money? What's the big rush if nothing happens for 3 years?

But in the Kaiser study at the bottom it says that the states will start paying in 2014.

Yes. But Mississippi pays nothing for new enrolled eligibles. Again, what's Barbour's problem?

So the facts aren't clear, like everything else in the healthcare bill.

Neat claim, but hardly convincing. The feds pay 95% of added costs to expand the program. Mississippi kicks in maybe $100+m/year. The return at 20 to 1 is huge for minimal cost. Further, you don't address the fact that Mississippi is hardly "overtaxed" (about 6% of state income). The expenditure of an additional $100m/yr amounts to something like 0.1% of state income. You also don't address how much of a burden this would be given some kind of reasonable assumptions regarding future economic growth.

Your case for stinginess is lacking. Much like the dismal results observed from the state imbibing the exotic fumes of the Galtian weltenschauung.

You tell me Avedis. How often has any public figure of Michael Moore's type (writers, moviemakers, spokesmen) accomplished "an iota of quantifiable good for society"? Never. I have no idea what "quantifiable good" means to you.

Neither I nor Moore is a defender of Obama. I voted for him very fearfully, and gave up on him very quickly. "Better than McCain" isn't much.

"Aware"? The story about African American who fought for the south is bogus. There were some black personal servants who attended their masters as camp followers.

A large number of black soldiers fought for the Union, and in several incidents the Confederates murdered them when they were captured.

The goddamn Confederates were stupid and wrong. Unfortunately they were treated too leniently after the war, and they've got control of the government again.

The "rats" of the hapless foot soldiers from the lower classes are a complete fiction.

Well, there is an important psychological 'right' in racism- the right to feel superior to someone else even if your life is objectively a failure. That is, the supposedly stoked-up fears about being "ruled" by the negro were not totally fictional in the sense that they represented a real attack on the psychological well-being of (some of) the lower class whites.

President Lincoln resisted this, because the war was "about" secession

And yet, the war was also "about" slavery, in the sense that without that conflict, the war would not have occurred. That conflict over slavery was possible because of unresolved tensions in the federal-state governing apparatus, but saying that the war wasn't about slavery is like saying that the outbreak of WWII in Europe wasn't about Poland (ie confusing proximity in the chain of 'causes' with being correct or incorrect).
Did the victim die because he doublecrossed the wrong person? Or because that person shot him? Or because a piece of metal nicked his aorta, causing loss of blood sufficient to deprive his brain of a minimum level of oxygen?

The War Between the States tested the Constiutution-as-written, and shattered it by force majeur

The Constitution does not appear to allow for nullification or secession either; at least, no clauses of the document explicitly support those actions. Yet your position appears to be that the North broke the Constitution while the South attempted to adhere to it (in the name of a bad cause).
It was iirc only in the 20th century that the right of self-determination gave even a shred of legitimacy to the idea of peacefully withdrawing from a national unity- surely if the Founders had envisioned such a remarkable, novel action as being necessary for the preservation of freedom they would've included it.

[People from pro-union areas of the Confederacy] were predominantly white, and thus there was no need to manipulate the locals into taking the side of the wealthy against the blacks. In the absence of such demagoguery from the plantation class, they threw their lot with the union

In fairness, iirc those areas were not only different bc of their racial mix- they were culturally different from their lowland neighbors. So we ought not ascribe their different loyalties *just* to their racial composition.

Just remember the rules, folks: if a liberal earns a dollar, he's a hypocrite and a parasite. If a Republican earns a dollar, he's a wealth producer, and almost godlike.

If a liberal has money and advocates for the poor, they are a limousine (read: fake) liberal. If they do not have money and advocate for the poor, they are merely the head leech of an army of leeches.
(Ironically, Id already written that when it was stated unironically by another poster).

So Instead of getting 98M from the Fed for education and being able to use that they were FORCED to move money inside their budget to qualify.
See thats a states rights issue.

It is a states rights issue that if states are granted aid by the federal government (from other peoples' pockets, no less) it must have no strings attached? There is a right to "get the handout I want and do what I want with it?"

I see no facts from you (or more importantly, this post) demonstrating survey data that reveals the interests of tea party supporters, and how they somehow conflict with the group's socio-economic background.

It's so, I dunno, cute(?) to say this at the same time as you ask people not to use the example of 'keep your government hands off of my medicare' because it is- insulting? That's a picture-perfect example of the matter at hand: someone who's trying digest these two facts: they want their Medicare, and they've been told that the government (excuse me, gubmit) is grasping and evil. And so you get this synthesis- stuff I get from the government, be it a tax break for my mortgage or cheap student loans for my kids, is from the sweat of my own brow. The 95% (in their minds) the federal government sends to Africa or spends on food stamps etc is being 'stolen' from them. And now, the nasty gubmit is out to take away their hard-earned welfare to spend on the unemployed or foreigners (excuse me, furiners).
Again, I can see why you'd want to proactively immunize your argument against that, but what's not clear is how you can have the self-awareness of the flaw in your position & rather than fix it, attempt to preemptively dismiss it.

No, that's not a poll. But it is an unavoidable fact that the GOP and significant chunks of their base were up in arms about attacks *on* Medicare from Obama's health care bill. I havent seen any evidence that cutting defense is popular among Tea Partiers. What I have seen concerning support for cutting Social Security or Medicare is usually based on wacky assumptions (eg that they'd have done much better for themselves using private savings accounts).
So there's a lot of angry rhetoric about cutting taxes (mostly helps the wealthy), cutting social programs (mostly helps the wealthy), and balancing the budget (unlikely to occur by cutting taxes and the small savings available from anything short of gutting non-discretionary spending even without tax cuts).

The closest Ive seen to a real TP budget is Ryan's, and it 1)assumes that tax cuts dont lead to losses in revenue and 2)conducts a slow-motion gutting of Medicare/Medicaid by fixing their rates of increase far below the actual rate of increase of medical costs (altho to the 50-ish TPer, that may serve to "keep your gubmit hands off my medicare" at least until she's dead, but screwing her children over might also be see as not in her best interests. ymmv.)

But looking at the mechanics of getting rid of the unfair privileges of the upper classes and you find yourself looking at a process that is a lot more like a tea party Republican's platform than a progressive Democrat's.

obviously, there are a lot of people who would disagree with that assertion. Since it's the core of your argument, leaving it as a bad assertion seems kinda pointless.
Furthermore, many on the left would argue that the methods used by the rich to "tilt the system" often involve private actions, often in cooperation/collusion. And that those actions can be best prevented or their consequences addressed via government action. Your analysis presumes that all evil emanates from government power- again, a sentiment unlikely to be shared by many on the left.

I don't believe for a minute that the left will actually do this because their anti-corporatism is a sham, a shakedown, an appeal for a check written to shut the leadership up.

Whereas I believe you've made a bunch of assumptions unshared by those on the left, and therefore reached a bunch of erroneous conclusions about their motives. If you assume that libertarianism is the answer and we all really know it deep down- well, you're bound to have a whole bunch of fruitless conversations with liberals and then exile yourself to the likes of RedState, where you no longer have to hear it.
If that's what you want, go for it I guess. But fwiw, I think there's little risk to you to actually try to understand liberal positions rather than caricaturing them.

The typical 'citizen' of this country is a slave zombie that can tell you more about what Charlie Sheen had for breakfast than what is in the Bill of Rights.

Ironically, breaking news is that Charlie Sheen broke into the Library of Congress this morning and ate the Bill Of Rights.

"Ironically, breaking news is that Charlie Sheen broke into the Library of Congress this morning and ate the Bill Of Rights."

LOL!

"I'm different. I have a different constitution, I have a different brain, I have a different heart. I got tiger blood, man. Dying's for fools, dying's for amateurs." Charlie Sheen

I guess now he has The Constitution.

It is a demographic that is overwhelmingly Republican. And if it exists predominantly in the South, that is not because Southerners are inherently stupid, it is because the modern-day Republican Party has figured out that they can make the South a regional base of power by exploiting the grievances and resentments from the Civil War that never really healed in the South.

Over at TiO, I have found a map of this base of power.

Well said -- you mentioned the Cornerstone speech, by Stephens.

Far more important -- and almost always overlooked - is that the Southern leaders issued Five Ultimatums to the North, according to Southern papers at the time.

All five Ultimatums were about the SPREAD of slavery. Not the protection of it , but the SPREAD of it. Essentially-- help us spread slavery into areas that do not want it, or face war.

I kid you not. The First Ultimatum was that the territories accept and respect slavery. They meant Kansas. Kansas had just voted 98% to 2% against slavery! And they fought a war to push slavery out.

Still the Southern newspapers reported their OWN LEADERS Ultimatums to spread slavery there.

Gone was even the fig leaf, the farce, of states rights. These Ultimatums specifically said states would not have rights!! States could not stop slavery, no matter if 98% of the people didnt want it!

And the newspaper headlines in Richmond about the Ultimatum read: THE TRUE ISSUE!

The TRUE issue was the SPREAD of slavery.

That's not what said, that's not what some book said, that is what the SOUTH said at the time. In headlines. Bragging about it.

Plus, Jefferson Davis had his own "cornerstone speech" in a broadside he issued Jam 5 1863.

What these guy bragged about at the time, what they put in their headlines, their speeches, their Ultimatums, they dare not even mention now.

http://fivedemands.blogspot.com/

"they dare not even mention now"

They're dead.

They're dead.

I think "they" here, in context, pretty clearly refers to the modern-day heirs of the Lost Cause of the Confederacy.

But looking at the mechanics of getting rid of the unfair privileges of the upper classes and you find yourself looking at a process that is a lot more like a tea party Republican's platform than a progressive Democrat's.

There's a good point in there somewhere. That good point is that many "tea party" folks are, at some emotional level, uncomfortable with the power of very wealthy people, and of the influence they exert on public life.

Not all, because a non-trivial number of tea party folks are, in fact, wealthy. But many.

The problem is that the tea party platform, in fact, does nothing - not one thing - to address that in any practical way.

The tea party platform is:

1. lower taxes
2. smaller government
3. strict reading of the Constitution

Most would also include:

4. free markets

There is nothing whatsoever in that platform that will have any effect on the privileges, power, or influence of wealthy persons - whether natural human or corporate.

Not one damned thing.

So, populist, maybe, at some kind of emotional or notional level.

But to the degree the tea party agenda is about putting limits on the political influence and privileges of the "big guys", however those "big guys" are construed, their actual policy recommendations are boneheaded.

I have nothing against tea partiers personally, and I appreciate their anger, but as far as I can tell they have no freaking idea about what the real-world consequences of what they're trying to accomplish will be.

Blow it up, and let the chips fall where they may. That appears to be the agenda.

If they are interested in reining in the influence of wealthy people, that ain't gonna get it done.

If you talk with tea partiers on any kind of regular basis, I encourage you to point this out to them, I'm not sure it's occurred to them.

Russell:


'The tea party platform is:

1. lower taxes
2. smaller government
3. strict reading of the Constitution

Most would also include:

4. free markets

There is nothing whatsoever in that platform that will have any effect on the privileges, power, or influence of wealthy persons - whether natural human or corporate.'

Implementing the Tea Party platform will reduce big corporate power in Washington by eliminating the spending, subsidies, and favors lavished on their behalf. Tea Partiers will work to remove any senator or representative who shows corporate interests is what they respond to. We sent Mike Lee to replace Bob Bennett and we will watch Senator Lee very attentively. Senator Hatch is working hard to avoid the same fate. The 17th Amendment made senators elected by state voters more responsive to national and international influences than to the states they represent. We actually need those senators to act in ways that do not impede small business success. Much of what they have been doing has helped big corporations at the expense of small business. This is actually the only way the people can regain control of events in Washington. No predictions on the sustainability of this effort, but I still have hope.

Similarly, regardless of the "rats" which the foot soldiers of the modern tea party are led to believe they are fighting for, the Koch brothers and their friends know that the real goal of their so-called tea party revolution is protecting and securing their ever-increasing wealth.

Which is probably why they each gave $10 million to the ACLU, that notorious bastion of Bircher fundamentalism. Not to mention the good $600 million they've given to other notorious right-wing causes, such as Sloan-Kettering and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Probably for a creationism display.

The political world is not about obvious black hats and white hats. I know, I know, you'd really like to live in simpler times when it was all about slavery or communism, but sadly, our current political reality is much more complex.

I have nothing against tea partiers personally

I don't have anything against self-identified "tea partiers" any more than I have anything against Republicans. Which is to say, I realize that the success of their political agenda and their candidates will be destructive to everything I'm working for.

The Koch brothers are rightwing libertarians, which means that they can support the ACLU. The other "notorious right-wing causes" were not political causes at all; these donations were apolitical.

Your entire comment was premised on the reader's complete ignorance of anything that the Koch brothers had ever done. How the f*ck could that have contributed anything to the discussion?

The Koch brothers are black hats, if you're a liberal. If you're a rightwing libertarian, they're white hats. There's no difficulty, subtelty, or paradox here. In the same way, to some people Jefferson Davis was a white hat, and to others he was a black hat. (Note that I did not mention Hitler).

What a goddamn fu*cking stupid argument. "Political reality is much more complex". That's a tired, tired old NPR cliche of limited application, and here it's being presented as wisdom.

[This post has been edited on March 15th, 2011, 11:21 p.m., PST to comply with the Posting Rules; John, I'd appreciate it if you didn't make me have to be sure to check threads days later, and stay up late at night, to dive into the software, to deal with violations; you've been informed of the rules; it's not hard to use an asterisk or different spelling to ostensibly avoid setting off workplace software filters, or, at least, the Rules; thanks for your future cooperation --- gf]

JE- posting rules, man.

Gosh John, I am so glad they have your permission.

Now if somehow you could get a clue on the vocabulary permitted here.

John Emerson is having difficulty expressing his thoughts!

No, I am not. I made my point, and then I vividly expressed my exasperation at the stupidity and dishonesty of the comment I was responding to.

This is my second or third try here, and the experiment has not been successful so far. Civility is a good thing, but people impose on it.

John,
we do have a 'no 7 words' policy here (actually more like 5 and a half), so I hope you can roll with that. Thanks.

Actually, I'm thinking of calling for the banning all Civil War related threads, unless you are talking Oregon vs Oregon State...

Gob avers: Implementing the Tea Party platform will reduce big corporate power in Washington by eliminating the spending, subsidies, and favors lavished on their behalf.

This is really depressing. This is the expression of a fantasy world with which I am totally unfamiliar. That you appear to share this belief (well, d'oh, you wrote it) is all the more distressing since you apparently read and participate in this forum...infested as it is with all manner of liberal elitists and a few who are even worse.

Tell all here how erasing federal funding for Planned Parenthood attains those stated goals. Go ahead. I dare you.

If this is truly its stated goals, the Tea Party movement has gone beyond tragedy and well into farce.

The TRUE issue was the SPREAD of slavery.

Well, the dynamic of the time was pretty messed up. eg the Southern States were very upset that Northern states (and Northern individuals) tried to prevent enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act (which seems like a states rights issue going the other way, and even had its own nullification attempts). Or, as you point out, the issue of the expansion of slavery to the territories.
But I think it simplifies it to say that it was about spreading slavery per se- the Southerners wanted to spread slavery to the territories because without spreading, slave states would soon be outnumbered and would lose ground at the federal level (where the issue would eventually be decided). Spreading slavery was a strategy in the overall struggle over slavery rather than the driving force.

But this does point at a serious flaw in the states rights position- slavery was a national issue with all kinds of national implications. Claiming that any attempt to stop slavery was interference in local affairs was disingenous then and is disingenuous now.

'Tell all here how erasing federal funding for Planned Parenthood attains those stated goals.'

This is not significantly related to the four points listed as parts of the Tea Party agenda. It just might be part of the Republican Party's effort to convince Tea Party advocates that they are responding, but it won't fly.

Nice try, bobbyp, but this is outside my realm of interest. I cannot imagine this is much spending anyway even if it is inappropriate.

Carleton,

The period of the 1850's was also similar to the present insofar as positions had hardened so much on either side that compromise simply was not a possibility. The north, too, fell increasingly into the anti-accommodation camp as the election of 1860 neared. The abolitionists in the north were no longer a despised and barely tolerated minority like they were in the 1840's and earlier.

Similarly to the ante-bellum era, we have an incipient and developing anti-accommodationist wing of the Republican Party. It is gaining influence. It is largely regionally based.

If there ever was a time for the repetition of history to be a farce, this is it.

Farce Alert Status: Magenta

If this is truly its stated goals, the Tea Party movement has gone beyond tragedy and well into farce.

I think it's still just in an all-thing-to-all-people kind of moment, at least on the right. I've heard people telling me how it's going to dismantle entitlement programs, or how it's going to save them. It's going to make the US more isolationist or how it's going to prepare us for the coming conflict with China. It's all about bringing us back to our identity as a Christian nation. Or is it all about liberating businesses from onerous regulation?

On one hand, that makes it seem pretty innocuous to me- a bunch of people rallying because they sense the American Century coming to a close and it makes them nervous. Because everybody always has a theory about how things ought to be done better and suddenly they imagine that this is the vehicle for that.
otoh, sometimes I think it could be dangerous; there's a real threat when simpletons get into large groups and think that drastic solutions are necessary, especially when they're threatened and frightened by changes in society and the world that they cannot control. When they turn, as conservatives do sometimes, to the stab in the back theory, the peter pan theory that national greatness has been eclipsed by a lack of clapping on the part of various unpatriotic scapegoats...

Mostly I think harmless though.

lj, you must mean "war between the states" related threads. I can't abide the word civil.

I was going to quote the Poor Man ("Michael Moore is fat"). I hardly expected to see it become an issue raised without irony.

"Mostly harmless"? Great, we can expect to be demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass.

Joking aside, this is no farce, alas. We are in big trouble.

unless you are talking Oregon vs Oregon State...

Point taken. But if you ban one, you'd better ban both. Irreparable hurt feelings and flying expletives characterize both of them!

If there ever was a time for the repetition of history to be a farce, this is it.

We do have some of the same regional tensions, but I think we're just much too tightly integrated as a national now (Gov Perry nonwithstanding- 'America- I love it so much I have to leave it?'). And while there are regional tensions in social policy etc, we dont have the regional differences in fundamental economic structures that we had in the 1850s. Lacking that kind of economic divide, or a wave of genuine religious fanaticism, I think we'll be Ok.
Im mostly waiting for the other shoe to drop in 2012; I suspect that the GOP will find trying to manage the ideological split between the TPers and the independents to be impossible. The GOP spends a little time in the wilderness, putting up 'electable' or 'true' candidates for a while, then someone will give us a new synthesis from the right and we'll move to the next phase.

'But this does point at a serious flaw in the states rights position- slavery was a national issue with all kinds of national implications. Claiming that any attempt to stop slavery was interference in local affairs was disingenous then and is disingenuous now.'

Your idea here is correct and points to the flaws in the political thinking of those who knew that the admission of new free states would eventually result in an amendment to the Constitution outlawing slavery. A states' rights argument could not support their effort. That does not mean that others who didn't care or opposed slavery would not have thought that the Federal government was infringing states' rights just as people in Wisconsin did in their 'nullification' of the Fugitive Slave Act as unconstitutional. There was more than one thing going on at the same time. Not everything was slavery. Kind of like bobbyp suggesting that I support the Tea Party agenda so I can get Planned Parenthood.

(Gov Perry nonwithstanding- 'America- I love it so much I have to leave it?')

I dunno, Newt just explained that he ran around on his wife because he loved his country so much

Now if somehow you could get a clue on the vocabulary permitted here.

Posted by: CCDG

and

John Emerson is having difficulty expressing his thoughts!

Posted by: GoodOleBoy

I seem to be the only one around this evening, and I'm about to hit the sack, so please note. Poking someone to get a reaction and then dancing around when you do is the precise definition of trolling. Stop it please.

Brett
So, I want to know what modern day evil comparable to slavery you think the Tea party movement is actually defending under the guise of states' rights. I think you've got nothing.

Let me try to answer you with direct answer since no one did, but there were many indirect answers to this.
Tea Party is defending unlimited power of big corporations, under the name of what TP imagine "FREE market" means, under the Reagan's myth "all federal government is bad". States have power only over itself, on the other sides big corporations are over all states. So in order to control corporations in other state, single states would have to organize in order to control a corporation that is in one other state but has power to sell its products to every state. Only the state that hosts the corporation has benefits from the corp that sells faulty product, and would not want to undermine the cash/job cow. Non host states would not be able to satisfy complaints of their residents, except to ban the faulty product which would be ineffective until other states do the same and organize to do it. That's why there is federal government.

'The tea party platform is:

1. lower taxes
2. smaller government
3. strict reading of the Constitution

Most would also include:

4. free markets

There is nothing whatsoever in that platform that will have any effect on the privileges, power, or influence of wealthy persons - whether natural human or corporate

1,2 and 4 is the same as in small government. But if there is small government, then who will be there to enforce 3 (Constitution), since small government also means small DOJ.
There is a little bit of truth in free markets, without tax credits, loopholes that benefit particular corp/industry. A bit of truth if the conditions were such and now there are no federal regulators, but then who would enforce pollution controls from state to state where codes are different but pollution does not know borders. Who would enforce workers rights uniformly. So on and on...

TPs are advocating for no control over corporations/wealthy who would have all power trough attorney costs that poor would never be able to get their constitutional rights enforced trough courts.

Since the topic of the civil war has been raised, I cannot resist sharing this piece of trivia, which pair of college teams have met on the basketball court more than any other?

I bet you thought the record would be held by a pair of Ivy League or other East Coast teams but, in fact, the Ducks and the Beavers have played each other 333 times, an NCAA record.

As for the other Civil War, Oregon was granted statehood in 1859 and the State Flag and Seal bear the words "The Union."

I think defense of tax subsidies for oil companies is probably a clearer example of Tea Party supported elected officials doing the exact opposite of what GoB claims the Tea Partiers are concerned about, on which the Tea Partiers have been absolutely silent in their response.

GoB, I'd be curious to hear your explanation of why a group very concerned with reigning in the use of Federal power to benefit corporations (so you say) and very concerned with cutting deficits (so many people say) is remaining silent as the people it elected support the continuation of tens of billions of dollars in tax giveaways to giant corporations.

Don't make me pull this car over, kids.

And looking at the right's attacks on collective bargaining, you start to wonder how much the goal might be to re-establish something ever closer to slavery

Oh. Refusing to bargain collectively == slavery. Or even has any equivalence at all.

This, my friend, is a stretch.

Slavery was about denying that the enslaved were legally people. Removal of collective bargaining rights is nothing of the sort. If nothing else, teachers in Wisconsin now have exactly the same power to negotiate their wages and working conditions as I (and most of the rest of the country) do.

You may see it as just the beginning of a very slippery slope. If that's the argument, fine. Just own it, is all.

When the Tea party became a household word, I couldn't see what exactly the Tea Partiers stood for. I was struck by how thoroughly incomprehensible it all was.

It didn't take me long to get hipped, though. It was clear to me that while the buzz in such a "movement" was full of talk about the Palins, the O'Donnells, etc., that's not what animated most of them. For in looking at the tenor of their rhetoric, it didn't take me long to see that most of what they have protested is more about what they are against rather than what they are for, and while in the last mid-terms they huffed and puffed mightily over holding the new majority's feet to the fire, the truth is that they have no effective way to make the GOP toe the ideological line they say they subscribe to.

Like most movements based on resentment and self-pity, look past the surface and you'll find there's very little there. So as Charles S pointed out above, the GOP has been happy to use the TPers for votes and anti-liberal resentment, and that's the extent of the relationship.

"Personally, I don't trust anyone whose ass is wider than his shoulders"

This, btw, is a form of bigotry. The size of your rear end has nothing to do with personal virtue. Well, unless you're so obsessed with keeping your tush firm that you become a narcissist.


"Poking someone to get a reaction and then dancing around when you do is the precise definition of trolling. Stop it please."

You know lj, this one has me baffled. I can't find anything in this thread that qualifies as me poking anyone, the distiguished Mr. Emerson in particular. (except maybe tyro, and then I was poking back. Already apologized for even that.)

Perhaps you could, in this instance, point out how I was trolling Mr. Emerson before mildly objecting to his multiple objectionable word comment.

When the Tea party became a household word, I couldn't see what exactly the Tea Partiers stood for

Electing right-wing Republicans.

Interesting choice of analogy for a guest post.

Michael Moore eexposes how the wealthy are manipulating the poor to do their bidding.

"Eexposes" is right. Geez, those Warren Buffets and Bill Gates, don't they know their wealth is our national resource?

Yes, let's take it all!

I think this is the right take . Is Moore offering up his wealth, too, as a "national resource"?

The "400 little Mubaraks" swipe was about as apt as the civil war analogy.

And looking at the right's attacks on collective bargaining, you start to wonder how much the goal might be to re-establish something ever closer to slavery, in which the workers have little to say about their working conditions or compensation.

Yes, most federal workers are slaves, I guess, because they cannot bargain for even wages. What are the Wisconsin workers, part slaves, since they can still bargain over wages? And do you think the Wisconsin retirement benefits are slavery-like? Why not? If they are not and Wisconsin workers can still bargain for wages, how in the world is this a path to slavery?

Not to mention that if you don't like the government job, YOU ARE FREE TO MOVE ABOUT THE COUNTRY (sorry SWA).

I'm somewhat open to the "raise the rates" discussion, but it ends when there is talk that taking away collective bargaining from public workers is akin to slavery.

BTW, where did all the disapproval of violence-inducing rhetoric go? Out the window as soon as it was being spewed in Madison? At least the protests in Madison did one thing for me-it confirmed taking away collective bargaining was exactly the right thing to do.

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