The Zen of the American Public

Monday, February 08, 2010


What's right is wrong, what's true is false. We can cut taxes and not make any cuts to programs like Medicaid. We're Americans, and we can have our cake and eat it too!

The Slate's Jacob Weisberg, at least, thinks we're full of shit. Take a look at the article. His point is that Washington's gridlock has nothing to do with Obama's shitty salemanship or political ideologues. It has everything to do with the fact that we as the public, exhibit "the childishness, ignorance, and growing incoherence of the public at large."

Some gems from the article:

  • One year ago, 59 percent of the American public liked the stimulus plan, according to Gallup. A few months later, with the economy still deeply mired in recession, a majority of the same size said Obama was spending too much money on it.
  • Sixty percent of Americans want stricter regulations of financial institutions. But nearly the same proportion says we're suffering from too much regulation on business.
  • Nearly half the public wants to cancel the Obama stimulus, and a strong majority doesn't want another round of it. But 80-plus percent of people want to extend unemployment benefits and to spend more money on roads and bridges. There's another term for that stuff: more stimulus spending.
  • He brings it home with this quote, and I tend to agree:
    I don't mean to suggest that honesty is what separates the two parties. Increasingly, the crucial distinction is between the minority of serious politicians in either party who are prepared to speak directly about our choices, on the one hand, and the majority who indulge the public's delusions, on the other. I would put President Obama and his economic team in the first group, along with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Republicans are more indulgent of the public's unrealism in general, but Democrats have spent years fostering their own forms of denial. Where Republicans encourage popular myths about taxes, spending, and climate change, Democrats tend to stoke our fantasies about the sustainability of entitlement spending as well as about the cost of new programs.
    Go figure. We get our opinions fed to us in 25-second sound bites generally from one single source. It is easy for politicians to play to our basest sensibilities when we don't collectively know enough to call them out on their own glaring contradictions.

    Wake. Up.

    [readers and contributors to this blog are not subject to this criticism...we're fucking brilliant]

    6 comments:

    Bob 11:31 AM  

    Another issue where the public is schizophrenic is the health care bill: A majority are against the bill, but majorities support the parts of it.

    Good points all the way around. Our problems are mostly the fault of the public.

    Run on that platform.

    Smitty 2:11 PM  

    Run on that platform.

    Ha! I can just see it. "This November, Vote Smitty. You fucking dumbasses."

    steves 2:55 PM  

    A majority are against the bill, but majorities support the parts of it.

    I think the public is mostly stupid on a lot of issues, but this quote, and several other points from the article, just show what happens when you break apart any kind of complex issue and spending plan. From the article:

    Sixty percent of Americans want stricter regulations of financial institutions. But nearly the same proportion says we're suffering from too much regulation on business.

    and,

    Nearly half the public wants to cancel the Obama stimulus, and a strong majority doesn't want another round of it. But 80-plus percent of people want to extend unemployment benefits and to spend more money on roads and bridges.

    I can see how a person, in both situations, could take both positions. A person that supports stricter regulation of the financial industry may have a problem with some regulations in other areas. Not all regulations are good and some only benefit a small group of people, as opposed tot he public.

    In the second statement, I can see where a person may have problems with some parts of the stimulus and not others.

    I think we have a long history of wanting things without having to sacrifice or worry about how it is being paid for.

    Smitty 2:57 PM  

    I think we have a long history of wanting things without having to sacrifice or worry about how it is being paid for.

    Exactly, steve. And then we bitch about government intervention! We are a contradictory folk.

    Mr Furious 3:58 PM  

    Our Asian friend said it best...

    Post a Comment

    Followers

    Potential Drunks

    Search This Blog

      © Blogger template On The Road by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

    Back to TOP