Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
All this is further evidence that the Republicons are so addicted to a thoroughly refuted ideology—that deregulation and tax cutting and shrinking government will lead to a boom—that they are delusional. The most prominent evidence of this, though, is the respectful reception that Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan had in the Republican debates. It was obviously a crackpot idea. The only one who said it would work were Cain and his "economist" who wasn't an economist. No others, liberal or conservative, were backing it.
The fact that Cain rose to number one in the polls among Republicans is the biggest evidence that the Republican electorate is out of touch with reality. The latest, most thorough analysis from the Tax Policy Center makes clear just how big a disaster Cain's plan would be, and how far it is from what he claims. 84% of Americans would pay more taxes, and the top income earners would pay massively less. So Cain's plan would strike a body blow against consumer demand, and in turn massively increase unemployment.
The Republi-CON is not only Cain, but all of them, including Romney. The success of the Democrats in 2012 is going to depend on their discrediting the whole Republi-CON, in the way that Cain is now discredited. Cain will now sink in the polls, I believe. If only Obama and other Democratic leaders would bring the argument to bear on the whole Republican con!
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Over lunch, Barry [Barack], who was 9 at the time, sat at the dining table and listened intently but did not speak. When he asked to be excused, Ann [Obama's mother] directed him to ask the hostess for permission. Permission granted, he got down on the floor and played with Bryant’s son, who was 13 months old. After lunch, the group took a walk, with Barry running ahead. A flock of Indonesian children began lobbing rocks in his direction. They ducked behind a wall and shouted racial epithets. He seemed unfazed, dancing around as though playing dodge ball “with unseen players,” Bryant said. Ann did not react. Assuming she must not have understood the words, Bryant offered to intervene. “No, he’s O.K.,” Ann said. “He’s used to it.”
“We were floored that she’d bring a half-black child to Indonesia, knowing the disrespect they have for blacks,” Bryant said. At the same time, she admired Ann for teaching her boy to be fearless. A child in Indonesia needed to be raised that way — for self-preservation, Bryant decided. Ann also seemed to be teaching Barry respect. He had all the politeness that Indonesian children displayed toward their parents. He seemed to be learning Indonesian ways.
“I think this is one reason he’s so halus,” Bryant said of the president, using the Indonesian adjective that means “polite, refined, or courteous,” referring to qualities some see as distinctively Javanese. “He has the manners of Asians and the ways of Americans — being halus, being patient, calm, a good listener. If you’re not a good listener in Indonesia, you’d better leave.”
In short, it seems clear that Obama's cultural upbringing taught him to behave with an almost overweaning civility and respect to authority figures. Arguably, this trait, which epitomizes his civility and basic morality, has damaged his ability to portray himself as an effective transactional leader (in the bureaucratic form envisioned by Max Weber). While he may be an incredible charismatic leader, that type of leadership is not enough. When your opponents are uncivil, insist upon economic theories which are unworkable in a recession; when they work arduously to suppress voter registration of minority groups and low income populations; and persist in arguing that massive growth in wealth inequality is "O.K" or perhaps indicative of a lazy attitude among workers, it behooves a real leader to stand up and use the bully pulpit. Obama has been weak-kneed in doing so. (Oh, and by the way, if Republicans persist in acting as if Article 6 of the Constituion - which prohibits any test for the office of the President based upon religion - does not exist, the forth estate needs to inform them of therror of their ways. It's not happening.)