Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Around the blogs

A number of articles and entries have caught my eye on other blogs over the course of the day. I thought I'd share a few with you.

Quote of the day must surely come from The Mad Lemming. In a comment to an article on Tamara's blog concerning the US political and electoral system, he opines:

For what it's worth, I like Vader's standing on defense, though I think the Death Star is way over budget, but I feel Cthulhu has a better grasp of domestic issues.

Next, Daddybear shares "Rum And Propellant", a tale of his misspent military service involving heavy artillery, illegal booze, and what happens when these elements are combined . . . Definitely giggleworthy!

Finally, I don't regularly read too many hard-left-wing blogs, because they're not exactly in alignment with my political compass. However, now and again I flip through several of them to get a feel for what's going on on that end of the spectrum. I found two articles today that interested me very much. I disagree profoundly with the perspective from which the authors are arguing, but I find several elements of truth in their observations.

The first is Peter Daou, who argues that "a handful of liberal bloggers are bringing down the Obama presidency".

Virtually all the liberal bloggers who have taken a critical stance toward the administration have one thing in common: they place principle above party. Their complaints are exactly the same complaints they lodged against the Bush administration. Contrary to the straw man posed by Obama supporters, they aren’t complaining about pie in the sky wishes but about tangible acts and omissions, from Gitmo to Afghanistan to the environment to gay rights to secrecy and executive power.

The essence of their critique is that the White House lacks a moral compass.

. . .

Some will dismiss them as minor players in the wider national discourse, but two things make them a thorn in the administration’s side:

a) they have a disproportionately large influence on the political debate, with numerous readers and followers — among them major media figures

b) they develop the frames and narratives that other progressive Obama critics adopt and disseminate

I’ve argued for some time that the story of Barack Obama’s presidency is the story of how the left turned on him. And it eats him up. You know it from Robert Gibbs, you know it from Rahm Emanuel, you know it from Joe Biden and you know it from Obama himself.

The constant refrain that liberals don’t appreciate the administration’s accomplishments betrays deep frustration. It was a given the right would try to destroy Obama’s presidency. It was a given Republicans would be obstructionists. It was a given the media would run with sensationalist stories. It was a given there would be a natural dip from the euphoric highs of the inauguration. Obama’s team was prepared to ride out the trough(s). But they were not prepared for a determined segment of the left to ignore party and focus on principle, to ignore happy talk and demand accountability.

There's much more at the link - and some of the points over which the Left takes President Obama to task should be of at least as much concern to those of us of more conservative persuasion. They're issues of genuine Constitutional importance. It may sound odd to say that we should be working together with our hard-line political opponents to deal with them, but truly, we should.

Finally, Truthdig highlights the excessive and overbearing role of corporate influence in America. It's couched in hyperbole and emotion, but again, there's a kernel of truth there that should resonate with those of us to the right of the political spectrum.

There are no longer any major institutions in American society, including the press, the educational system, the financial sector, labor unions, the arts, religious institutions and our dysfunctional political parties, which can be considered democratic. The intent, design and function of these institutions, controlled by corporate money, are to bolster the hierarchical and anti-democratic power of the corporate state. These institutions, often mouthing liberal values, abet and perpetuate mounting inequality. They operate increasingly in secrecy. They ignore suffering or sacrifice human lives for profit. They control and manipulate all levers of power and mass communication. They have muzzled the voices and concerns of citizens. They use entertainment, celebrity gossip and emotionally laden public-relations lies to seduce us into believing in a Disneyworld fantasy of democracy.

The menace we face does not come from the insane wing of the Republican Party, which may make huge inroads in the coming elections, but the institutions tasked with protecting democratic participation. Do not fear Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin. Do not fear the tea party movement, the birthers, the legions of conspiracy theorists or the militias. Fear the underlying corporate power structure, which no one, from Barack Obama to the right-wing nut cases who pollute the airwaves, can alter. If the hegemony of the corporate state is not soon broken we will descend into a technologically enhanced age of barbarism.

Again, more at the link - and well worth reading, if only to see where and why we disagree. Food for thought, certainly; and I'm not convinced that the author isn't more right than wrong when he emphasizes the danger to 'government of the people, by the people and for the people' represented by such corporate dominance. I think he may have a point. What say you, readers?



Anonymous said...

After reading the out-takes you just printed, one has to wonder what world those tools are living on.

Unknown said...

There is a point there, and it's not a new one. Recall President Eisenhower's parting shots, 50 years ago, against the military-industrial complex, essentially warning of the same problem.

Arthur said...

Corporations buy political favors when politicians have become so powerful that they can choose who wins and who loses in the corporate world.

Why go through the hassle of out-performing your rivals when you can just buy a bureaucrat to kneecap them for you.

Anonymous said...

This is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people no longer. It is a
government of corporations, by corporations, and for corporations.
- Rutherford B. Hayes, 1876

bruce said...

hand it to Authur, politicians have become the moderator, the referee, the ticket seller, the witch doctor.
corporations may have a seat at the table but the politicians decide who eats what.