Thursday, August 24, 2017

Bits from the Dustbin: Part 2

3/24/13 Postcard from that uncle.
Conveniently Close to the Trumpaquog Casino & Resort

 9/24/13 Raising the debt ceiling is paying the bills you already racked up.
So Gangsta

6/26/15 An earlier go-'round with tax 'reform'.
Frank Luntz: Cunning Linguist

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Election Postmortem Turns Crapfest, Again

There are so many left-leaners self-immolating right now, all this talk of an indivisible resistance is heading straight for that tired old sack of "yeah right" I fear.  

Occupy; enough said.

The right are grabbing media attention for their sometimes hilarious internecine struggles, but fuck those guys. They don't want us and reciprocity dictates not wasting one drop of energy right back at them.

We on the left have a dilemma. It's not as simple as if it were just Bernie/Hillary and the two supposed factions they have left to drag in the wake of 2016. (That has to cease or neither will get a shot in 2018/20.) No, it's that it's Bernie/Hillary and the two factions they have left dragging on and on in the wake of 2016.

Realizing that, you'd think the Democrats could arrive at a wider consensus without incentivizing third or splinter parties. And you'd be wrong. Four wheel low range might not be enough for that hill.

Speaking of fours, I've been thinking about how well our two party system has lived up to the framers' disdain for political parties. Republicans and Democrats agree only to keep the fight between them, and the rest is pretty much up for grabs each contest.

I drew a little diagram to help me make a point about fours having to get political as twos. I used Cartesian coordinates with an "x" and a "y" axis and will admit up front that choosing suitable opposites to juxtapose, without relying on the words Democrat, Republican, liberal or conservative was a project unto itself. The savvy reader could no doubt find better.
The conservative/liberal dichotomy is hackneyed times infinity. I chose libertarian/progressive to run the gamut from limited government to a commonweal with subsistence and good health an entry-level birth right. 

The "y" axis is meant to strip the financing of government from the confusion which years of co-option of language has left muddy at best. The free-spending end refers to willingness to increase the debt; it would be a matter of such importance. The penny-pinching end budgets to pay down the national debt while adding nothing in deficits.

Democrats picked a bad time to be thrashing about for a consistent principled identity. Ben Ray Lujan of my former state (the Bill Richardson seat) sent shock waves through the keepers of the flame by suggesting pro-life candidates might find shekels in the party's coffers. I say let there be those zones of the Venn diagram we'll just stipulate. We don't want them. 

Which is why every time a perceived slight is voiced by one of the two drags in the wake I scream. 

The roman numeral quadrants are populated by points, placed by each registered party member from progressive free-spending to progressive penny-pinching in the Democrats camp. For me, the two quadrants of a libertarian bent, I think we can do without. I'd put Rand Paul and his daddy in III and the Kochs and their ilk in IV.  Because, boy howdy, they will gladly not tax nor spend on the one hand, or free-spend your taxes right straight into their gluttonous maws. How much of a Democrat is bedfellows with either of those?

Who's at the origin? 

A guy who votes every time, has withholding cover any surprises, pays taxes like everyone, reluctantly but for the greater good, likes the Interstate to the lake, thinks CNN is for the airport lounge, juggles an amazing portfolio of debt but has a decent job, lets people be and wants to be let be, likes football and pie. 

If you're a strategist who wants to poach that for your whiteboard, substitute freely: skin pigmentation, ethnicity, gender and the rest; but essentially the area around the cross-hairs are by definition reachable to any political party with shiny objects.

The Democrats, if there's to be an outreach or an embracing, might consider putting the emphasis on shared progressiveness. As if the arc of America hadn't lost its mind starting in 80's. 

The cleft left by the culture wars is stronger than any disagreement over "tax and spend" which is the other side's framing. So fuck that. Yes, we tax. Yes, we spend. The Republicans are doing it right now. And the culture wars were often smoke and cover for plutocracy, so double fuck that.

Are Democrats going to patiently and without snark make the case to the purists within that given an infinity of revenue such and such? It ain't happening, with all due respect. And to the "your father's Democrats" a word of caution. These kids who are no longer kids really have something. They can find the north star from inside the tent. And those who are Bernie's age, you know, 39, it's gotta seem like it's about fucking time to them. They can probably say "government without sausage making" in Latin.

You don't get your own facts but you do get your own reality. Mine says we're on the same team, though I voted for she who must never make a speaking fee. 

I'll put myself to the outer margins of progressive but I have to confess to hugging the axis. Another great band name.

A guy who votes every time, has estimated payments cover any surprises, pays taxes like everyone, reluctantly but for the greater good, standard deductions, thinks news media sell soap - journalists report on the day's events, juggles an amazing portfolio of cats and meal planning, lets people be and wants to be let be (although vive la resistance hawh hawh), likes Premier League football and Serrano peppers.

I've thought for a while that those voices of re-hash, from both drags in the wake, might just be troll-bot-pranksters from a parallel reality, but judging by the screaming and yelling it's probably genuine animosity.

And that's why I'm putting Descartes before the hoarse.