2.10.2009

AWK! Socialism sucks AWK!: The Parrots of the Neocon Movement are out in Force

This op-ed piece from the local paper greeted me this morning. Lowry is one of the parrots of the right who's never seemed to be burdened too much with factual concerns. Right now he's one of several of the Neocon mouth pieces out either fear mongering an impending terrorist attack, or bemoaning the rampant threat of socialism.
--------------
Last Gasp for Limited Government? Obama charts a socialized course.

By Rich Lowry Is American exceptionalism about to be bundled off on a long trip to the Continent, never to return? Socialism may happen here.
UHH, by exceptionalism do you mean personal responsibility for everyone but your wealthy cronies? The last 8 years the government of this country funneled national wealth into the insatiable gullets of people who took the notion that 'God helps those who help themselves' to mean helping themselves at the public till with both hands. All with the blessings of people such as yourself, Rich. I'm not sure we can afford any more of your exceptionalism - least wise for another 80 years or so.
-----------
"Republicans fought an inspired battle against the stimulus bill, holding all but three of their 219 senators and congressmen. And they still lost."
Too bad they weren't so inspired to prevent the deficits and deregulation that helped fuel this economic collapse in the first place. Just imagine if they'd have gotten their way and privatized Social Security. I'm not sure the bailouts are a good idea or not but the Republicans 'let them eat cake' approach to the poor (a voting body growing by leaps and bounds each day) surely isn't.
-----------
.....Randolph Bourne posited that war is the health of the state. True. But one wonders: What isn’t the health of the state? Republicans from Ronald Reagan to Newt Gingrich intent on limiting government during the past 25 years have succeeded in a limited way: From 1983 to 2000, the size of the federal government relative to GDP declined from 23.5 percent to 18.4 percent. Federal spending didn’t shrink, but it grew at a slower rate than the economy, providing more breathing room for the private sector.
It had bounced back to 20.9 percent last year, and could conceivably go as high as 28 percent this year. According to Newsweek (latest cover: “We Are All Socialists Now”), in 2010 total U.S. government spending will be 39.9 percent of GDP, only about eight percentage points below the average in the socialistic eurozone countries.
I don't know Rich, maybe it has something to do with you guys cutting taxes below sustainable levels in the midst of a ruinous war, while simultaneously unregulated industry shipped jobs overseas followed by an economic collapse that decimated the tax rolls. Think that might have had at least something to do with it? Plus I do recall (something that no doubt separates me from your fan base) something about huge surpluses a few years back - during another Democratic era. Something you fiscally responsible champions of the working man put a stop to.
---------------
That’s the momentous question posed by Obama’s presidency. Those who favor socialism of the creeping variety are feasting on a collapse of Wall Street’s reputation as complete as that of the early 1930s, when it was said of disgraced banker Charles E. Mitchell: “If you steal $25, you’re a thief. If you steal $250,000, you’re an embezzler. If you steal $2,500,000, you’re a financier.” The lost moral authority of the financial sector—and the market generally—has accrued to government, now on the hook for $9.7 trillion worth of interventions in the economy. Whether this program is perceived to work, whether Obama further nationalizes heath care, and how much of our wealth is claimed by looming entitlements will determine the country’s future, and its nature. The backdrop to the debate over these questions is a roiling, up-for-grabs populism. The ascendant left-leaning populism feeds off anger at the new “malefactors of great wealth.” But a right-leaning populism is building. It takes the same anger but lumps government in with the malefactors, through its bailout of failed industries and its self-serving irresponsibility, symbolized by silly pet projects in the stimulus bill and burgeoning deficits (which Republicans are newly outraged about).
Too bad they weren't outraged enough to stop it in the first place. Sorry to disappoint ya Richy but people like me aren't outraged that people are wealthy. We are outraged that for the last 8 years the most extreme form of Reaganomics has been nurtured by an administration and its benefactors who probably can't even spell accountability any more. Yes the Democrats in Congress were a sorry lot but you guys pulled the strings. Is it any wonder that corporate fat cats took Bush's bailout (oh that's right - he passed out a bunch of money with no real conditions - the last chance for his cronies to stuff their pockets with our money) and used it to pay bonuses to people whose piss poor stewardship helped wreck the economy. I want a job like that!

As for socialism, are you incapable of engaging in an intelligent dialogue or is it pandering to some idiot class who can't fathom a decision making process more complicated than a coin toss? I don't know. I know some real conservatives who could handle the challenge.

Can you guys not approach a problem in any context other than 'fer us or agin us'? Socialism - reminds me of Indigo Montoya: "There's that word. I do no think it means what you think it means." Sorry, as usual I digress. No one - repeat NO ONE that I know is advocating socialism. But it is clear that some compromise other than 'screw the poor!' and unbridled capitalism is needed if we all don't want to go buy a loaf of bread with a wheelbarrow full of money.

And yes - you sold your souls and lost your moral authority by bankrupting the country.
-------------
Obama can’t get on the wrong side of this populist sentiment. It is why he did his rapid about-face on the nomination of Tom Daschle (a liberal swell enjoying a privileged Washington lifestyle, while neglecting his tax bills), and won’t yet ask for more spending as part of the latest financial bailout. Obama’s position gets more precarious if he ever imposes a broad-based tax increase to pay for an imminent deficit of nearly $2 trillion, larger than the entire federal government a mere eight years ago.
ARRRRGH! My head may yet explode. And where did that deficit come from? Who was in charge? Who spent all that money in the face of tax cuts? Yes, some of us knew that your tax cuts were just your draconian plan to run up the deficits so that you could feign despair for having to cut all those social programs (except more prisons)- you know - like the ones that actually feed, educate and care for all those babies who you defended as fetuses but despise as poor children.
----------
If Obama manages to cement an aggrandized government, his domestic political accomplishment will equal Ronald Reagan’s—although, obviously, in reverse. The late sociologist Seymour Lipset wrote a brilliant book on why the U.S. didn’t embrace socialism, called It Didn’t Happen Here. In a few years, its conclusion might look premature.
An aggrandized government? I guess you mean one other than a government that suspends civil liberties and whose leaders thumb their noses at the commoners/ from some undisclosed location. Ah yes, St Ron. The patron saint of conservatism under who's watch government spending soared. I guess being a neocon is never having to say you are sorry and never having to abide by the truth of history. GUT save us all if they get back in power anytime soon...

Sorry for the rant but I am so sick and tired of these talking heads and the trash that they sling.

12 comments:

Stacy said...

Pliney, as I am reading this ... everywhere you have -I assume-quoted an article, it just looks like a bunch of odd keboard characters.

Is it supposed to??

Is it just me??

Stacy

pboyfloyd said...

I think that it's all in PNAC isn't it?

As the days turn into weeks they want to 'solidify' the idea that this recession is all Obama's fault.

If McCain had been elected the recession would still be being blamed on too much government spending on the poor.

The fact that the free market turned to shit? Well that was the poor borrowing above their means, wasn't it?

Pliny-the-in-Between said...

Pliney, as I am reading this ... everywhere you have -I assume-quoted an article, it just looks like a bunch of odd keboard characters.

Is it supposed to??

Is it just me??

Stacy
-------
DOH! hope this is better - sorry for the snafu.

Stacy said...

Whew! Yes-it's all better now. It was very strange. I was thinking of taking a picture of my computer screen and posting it so you could see what I was seeing.

And then another thing happened ... I tried to copy and paste the offending text into "word" and it became readable.

I'm sooo confused!

Michael Lockridge said...

Why does the term "socialism" have such fear factor with conservatives? I have visited "socialist" countries and found people living lives very much like our own. I am sure they contended with imperfections in their systems just like we contend with imperfections in our own. I saw nothing to fear.

Government remains a necessary evil, and a thing to be tolerated as much as celebrated. I prefer systems that allow greater freedom for individuals, but recognize that I will have to tolerate less freedom than I prefer due to the very nature of government.

My hope is that Obama and the popular movement he seems to represent will change the course of our nation. The change may prove ill, but probably not worse than the course we were on.

In four years we will most likely long for another change in direction.

mac said...

I think calling ideas socialist is the new McCartyism.

They can play on gullible peoples fears that socialism is the dread concern of all the world.

This reminds of what my idiot co-worker told me the other day" You know, that Huckabee guy is pretty smart. I wish we would heve elected him. He's better than this commie Obama" I wondered aloud if he thought Theocracy to be a valid option, he wasn't exactly sure what I meant.

That's the audience Mr Lowry seeks with this piece.

Richelle said...

pliny,

i happen to work with one of these neocon parrots (go figure, in texas they are EVERYWHERE).

within the first week or so at my job this parrot walks up to me and asks in a half-joking sort of way, "so, richelle, are you a communist?"

i knew he was asking because danny and i proudly slapped a couple obama stickers on the back of his truck before the election and i had been driving it to work.

i responded sarcastically by mentioning something about the red scare that resulted in the addition of the words "under god" being added to the pledge in 1954 and my amazement that such an irrational fear still plagued the uneducated fools of this country.

he seemed shocked that i said this and just walked away. i think he had assumed that i would be a weak target because i'm so young (i'm 23 but everyone always tells me i only look 18). he had expected to make me look like a foolish, uninformed little girl who only voted for obama because it was what the hip celebrities were doing.

he clearly underestimated me.

mac said...

A foolish move to be sure, Richelle.

Poor guy ;-)

Pliny-the-in-Between said...

One of the things that galls me about all this - well, it's hard to settle on only one, but I'll try. When the WTC and Pentagon were destroyed I, like many others, put aside my political views of W and really hoped that he would succeed for all of our sakes. I didn't want him to fail, because failure in cases of true national emergency isn't a matter of political bragging rights. It's about the health and security of the nation. I just want to shake these dirt bags and ask them if they really understand the consequences of failure at this point? If they do, would it be worth it politically? Or is it so dire that we all need to work at it.

Saint Brian the Godless said...

Excellent rant, though.

Hits home on so many points.

AWK!!!

Asylum Seeker said...

"When the WTC and Pentagon were destroyed I, like many others, put aside my political views of W and really hoped that he would succeed for all of our sakes. I didn't want him to fail, because failure in cases of true national emergency isn't a matter of political bragging rights. It's about the health and security of the nation."

They sure exploited that sentiment, didn't they? They are incredible at doing that.

Pliny-the-in-Between said...

They sure exploited that sentiment, didn't they? They are incredible at doing that.
----------------
Yes they are - it would be nice if they returned the favor - for at least a month or two at least