Nice Leap from a forwarded EJ Dionne column to me being Vain

Jim, I loved your headline, and then was disappointed it was all blather, and in your post you said nothing about why or how I was vain! I was so disappointed. And for readers who are confused what you are responding to, I’ll let them in on it. I forwarded you this EJ Dionne column and said that I agreed with it. So really you’re saying Dionne is accusing Obama of being conservative (I’d say he is very mainstream, and thought the column interesting because it was a good tonic to the screaming right who think Obama is a socialist).
On the whole “country moving to the right” thing, well, we’ve had this debate before, and apparently it is something you take on faith in a very deductive way. The last time we discussed it I provided a great number of facts and surveys to show the country isn’t moving to the right (though certainly our government is, and that is because it is controlled by money, the money of the very rich, who now have a greater percentage of our overall wealth than they have had since the Guilded age). You responded that I simply needed to get over it and believe what you believed without providing any counter-evidence. When I responded again, you dropped it. The whole point of this blog is to make your case with facts and reasoning, you know, inductively.
You are right on about the military and the military industrial complex and the fact that who is president doesn’t make that much difference, and that it a big part of our problem. Since you don’t seem convinced, I’ll say it again; the system is completely corrupted by money. You don’t get to be president without sucking at the teat of Wall Street.
Like you, I support Obama, and on balance he is infinitely preferable to any of the candidates on the Republican side.
You do, in your quest for the imaginary center, make the false equivalency argument. You decry the “din” of the left as though it is just people complaining and may or may not have any basis in reality. And of course as we’ve shown over and over and over and over in this blog, there are facts and figures that make the case. In the past 30 years our economy has grown dramatically, and ALL of the gains have gone to the top one percent. Did you see the study that came out a couple days ago showing that the wealth of the average congressman has gone up 15% in the last few years while over the same period the wealth of the average American has gone down about 8%? It’s no wonder that congress is out of touch (the only question I have is why you still believe they represent the will of the people). In the last 40 years union membership has gone from around 45% down to about 12%. Over the same period the percentage of our national wealth in the hands of the middle class has gone from around 56% down to about 24%. The graphs are nearly identical. If you want to say it is just the “din” from the left and has no more basis in reality than the “din” from the right that we can’t raise taxes on job creators, then make your case. Don’t simply pretend you are above it all and correct because you are in the center. (And answer the question I keep asking John Boehner; if lowering taxes on the wealthy creates jobs, given that we now have historically low tax rates, particularly on the rich, why aren’t we living in a golden age of full employment?)
Facts matter. I didn’t include a ton of links in this post because I have done so many times before. If they didn’t get through the “center” blockade before, I’m not sure why they would now. When you start from a position of deciding you will shut out the “din” from all sides, you may also be shutting out facts, and reality.
You say you want “policies that truly favor the regular guy.” Hey, that could well be the single best simple statement of what Occupy Wall Street is all about; but no matter, we won’t hear it from them because we have shut out the “din.”


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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