I largely agree with you Jim, and would make a couple points and have a couple questions. Again, in what universe have you seen the crazies be anything but loud, and crazy? I guess I don’t get why you think they would make less noise about what you would call a centrist plan than they would about what Jonathan Alter ( and I believe, that Obama must go bold, even if there is no chance of it passing. As I’ve watched the crazies, reality doesn’t matter. Again, they called Warren Buffett a socialist for suggesting we could raise taxes on the super rich. How could they get louder or crazier if Obama called for a New Deal?
And calling for a New Deal isn’t being equally irrational on the other side. We’ve seen historically that it works. And an awful lot of mainstream economists (who aren’t on the payroll of the Heritage Foundation) think that more government spending is exactly what is needed, and may be the only thing that can pull us out of the mess we’re in. We need to look at the actual ideas and historic precedent, not simply knee-jerk that oh, this is just as bad as the crazies but on the left. You have well pointed out and shown how truly crazy the Right is today. So why not just ignore them? Eventually they’ll scream loud and no one will come. We’ve already started to see that with now more than half of Americans having negative views of the tea party for the first time. I don’t want to quiet them down. I want to stir them up with reality, make them go even crazier, to the point where they will truly be marginalized and disappear from American politics. Giving them a chance to quiet down I think would only make them appear less crazy and more legitimate, and all the harder to get rid of.
Spending a lot of money now may not happen politically, but I strongly disagree it would send the economy teetering to the edge. I mean, as I’ve pointed out before, we have a great case study in austerity going on before our eyes in Europe, and it hasn’t exactly worked out. And I’m really tired of letting the crazies set the terms of the debate. I don’t care if they won’t let something happen. If it’s the right thing to do, we have to make it part of the debate, as that will ultimately show them to be wrong. Warren Buffett wants us to stop coddling the super-rich. I want us to stop coddling the tea party and letting them set the limits of our debate.
You ask, “Shall we try to reach these people, or simply stay in our corner and believe our way totally rocks and rules?” And yet in not wanting to rile them up, wanting to quiet them down, it seems like you want to sit in our corner and let them go on thinking they’re legitimate. I believe we have to continually call them out. Some of them will wake up, and the ones who won’t are lost anyway.


About JP

We're two guys who met in college, in 1980. We've stayed in touch, and like to talk politics, current events, music and religion. JP is nore liberal than Sid, but not in every way. We figure that dialogue stimulates ideas, moderates perspective, and is in general friendly. These are things we need badly in these dangerous times. The blog name is taken from a song by Bruce Cockburn.
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