When in Doubt Rant, it Feels Better then Facing Inconvenient Facts and Thoughts.

There is a popular video of an MSNBC commentator/guest making the rounds where said commentator passionately declares a Pox on both political parties; interesting, yes; insightful no! Like most people I like the feeling of a “good rant” every now and then; but I am also aware of its utter political uselessness.  I have also spent a life-time encouraging young people (and myself) to look deeper and wider, to look into places that challenge ones strongly held thoughts, to think about the sources and process of your own thinking. I read somewhere: “When I was a child I thought like a child…”. Graphic translation: In my younger days the world was a circle with a thin grey line (diameter) down the middle dividing the world into black and white (good-evil; hero-villain, friend-foe). But the older I got the wider that grey line grew; alas, I have learned that events in the world are not so easily divided into black and white absolute categories. The problem in the case of our present political crisis is that the “Both sides are broken” or “Washington dysfunction” narrative pushed by an intellectually lazy news media; is also intellectually dishonest. The “middle ground” could also be dangerously deceptive; because there is always the risk that an extreme objectivity prevents us from being honest about what is actually happening. The both sides are wrong; “why can’t they just get along” song  we hear over and over again is of course comfortable because it allows us to hate the abstract “Washington Politics”; this removes the need and responsibility to fix the bad, and keep and expand the good. This is a case of a comfortable simplicity acting as the enemy of a thoughtful complexity, a static belief that is the enemy of positive change. Why bother doing anything if the entire system is hopelessly broken? Ironically the public (polling) are closer to the reality then the professional media “talking-heads”; the public continues to say that it was not necessary to shut the government down, or breach the debt limit, simply to overturn a law through extra-legal means. Sometimes facts get in the way of a good story:

Fact: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) or “Obamacare” is a properly passed law that was challenge in the Supreme Court (and failed); and the Republicans in congress have made 41 attempts to repeal the ACA (and these efforts have also failed). The obscene expansion of unregulated money being poured into political campaigns was passed by the conservative section of the Supreme Court. Republican controlled statehouses created a series of Republican pure districts, and therefore made themselves immune to any push/feedback from more liberal/progressive voters; this also increased the power of “outside” conservative funding sources to exert a great deal of influence over local congressional primary races. Finally, this President has faced a relentless head wind of opposition that was pledged and carried out by the Republican-Tea-Party cabal upon his first inauguration; emotional condemnations of “Both sides are equally bad”, seeks to overlook this important fact. Do we need campaign finance reform, absolutely. But I also agree with 2 very smart economic guys (Paul Krugman and Robert Reich); that this “debt problem” is artificially being over-played as a way for conservatives to cut aid and support to the poor, the hungry, seniors and children. Are the Democrats  innocent of “bad acts”; absolutely not. Especially when the citizens and civil service workers in Detroit are told they are too small to matter; and corporations in that same city are financially bailed out because they are too big to fail. But the act of holding Smokey the Bear hostage so as to just  score political points is harming millions of people and damaging our fragile economic recovery; and it is wrong independent of the shortcomings of the Democrats…… “The New Confederacy is Very Much like the Old Confederacy”… http://majmuse.net/