Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Conservative Agenda Dominates American Politics




Before the day is out, Matt Grossmann's bullshit will be eviscerated eight ways to Sunday. Here's what I carved out of his delusional piece:

Conservatives in Congress are the prime suspects in Washington’s dysfunction. Veteran congressional watchdogs Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann called the previous session the “worst Congress ever,” and they did not hold back in assigning blame: “The Republicans are the problem,” they said. After a fruitless government shutdown last fall, even House Speaker John Boehner lashed out at conservative groups and passed bills over the opposition of his caucus.


In response, conservatives make two simple claims: Most policies under debate are liberal, and Republican leaders sacrifice conservative principles when they compromise. History shows they are right on both counts.


Ornstein and Mann have simply identified the tactic of obstructionism; this is how Republicans drive the agenda. They obstruct when they cannot simply destroy something, like the labor movement or the regulatory agencies of the American government. 



The idea that U.S. policy has "gone the liberals' way" is laughable. The agenda that runs American politics is almost entirely a conservative one; liberal ideas are often non-starters.There are--as of yesterday--efforts underway by an anything-but-liberal President who wants to undertake the radical idea of closing gender pay gaps, something that would have been accomplished decades ago if liberals controlled the agenda. We are watching the destruction of voting rights in this country and conservatives are driving this agenda. We have a bloated defense budget and cannot establish a foreign policy initiative in this country without hearing John McCain scream for more war. There are no jobs bills alive anywhere and, hence, there is no initiative within the Federal government that has a chance of passing that would do anything to put people back to work. The oligarchs are in charge, and they are not liberals.

Obamacare? A liberal idea pushed by liberals on a conservative country? Oh my God--give me a break. We need single payer insurance for anyone to be convinced that the "liberals" have won this debate. We're lucky to have anything, period.





What few policies end up being delivered by the government are watered-down to the point where they almost inevitably betray the liberal agenda. I mean, there is no coherent energy policy, a liberal idea and agenda item if there ever was one. There is no way a progressive with a desire to protect the environment or the American worker is ever going to be elected to national office. And what? Go out and try to deliver jobless benefits, and stimulate business hiring in order to deal with our crippling unemployment?

The conservatives have successfully driven abortion providers into hiding in this country if they're even available at all. Despite things like actual democracy and voting--elections, Supreme Court decisions, constitutional amendments--the conservative agenda is one that subjects Americans to relentless attack. They hide behind bringing freedom because going out and actively saying, "we're here to force things into your vagina" only play in certain rural areas.They don't care about privacy, and what little they do pretend to care about will vanish as soon as a Republican wins the White House. 





Grossmann wants you to think the liberal agenda is one of handouts. It is not. The liberal agenda evens the playing field for working people. Ask your local oligarch how that's working out for him.

Monday, April 7, 2014

It's Not Controversial Because It's Dumb




The damage that bullshit does to our society is evident all around us. Witness the decision by Chili's to cancel a fundraiser for Autism because the people they partnered with persist in spreading bullshit far and wide:


In recent decades the decision of whether or not parents should vaccinate their children has become controversial because some have linked vaccinations to autism. Many opponents of vaccinations base their beliefs on a 1998 study that was declared fraudulent by a leading British medical journal. 


The NAA says the link between autism and vaccination mentioned on its site is based on "parent reports." 


"Though published mainstream science fails to acknowledge a causal link to any of these specific exposures, it's important that parental accounts be carefully considered," says the NAA on its website. 



It is not controversial. It's anti-intellectualism that ignores basic science and plays into the idea that people are "elite and special" and "care more than other parents" when they withhold vaccines from their kids. There really and truly are people who, by virtue of the fact that they make a little more money than everyone else, think that their own participation in the gene pool is an accident and that they have been bred to be superior than the lower class people who end up going to the same schools their special and talented and wonderful kids go to. 





They shop at Whole Foods and pay more for the same groceries that come from the same distribution centers in California and Florida that everyone else's groceries come from. They form their own self-deluding block of know-nothings who do not understand the basic history of science and medicine. They're dumbasses and they don't realize the danger they're putting everyone else in by believing their own lies.


The NAA site also mentions that unvaccinated children have been diagnosed with autism.


Which also means nothing because, you know, science and whatnot. If people actually cared about kids and stopped trying to make themselves appear to be smarter and more concerned than the imaginary people they compete with on a daily basis, you wouldn't have a resurgence of measles and whooping cough. You'd have properly vaccinated children living free and clear of the ravages of childhood diseases.