Faith in the system
Ruin The Economy Or Not? Congress Still Unable To Decide
Also from The Onion; this is from last week, but needless to say the melodrama is still playing. Am I expecting too much if I'm disappointed that they don't point out that BHO is also trying to cut entitlements?
And(below),from August 2008,
Today Now!: How To Pretend You Give A Shit About The Election
I was reminded of this because Ian Welsh recently discussed a Firedoglake post of his from August '08, and I linked to the second Onion video at Hugo Zoom that summer.
I've been meaning to add Ian Welsh's site to the blogroll, as well as Jodi Dean's I Cite, both of which are very valuable to me, along with some others.
For example, Robert Bonomo(The Cactus Land),Bob Somerby(Daily Howler), Moon of Alabama, and Washingtonsblog.
However I hesitated, partly because sometimes I think of shutting down this wee blog. I'm not going to, although I may take a pretty lengthy break, say six to ten or twelve months. At any rate I wouldn't feel right doing so without consulting Bob in Pacifica, Mimi, and Micah Holmquist, and naturally they may still post. I hope they will.
I miss when Rob Payne was affiliated with us, although I understand his reasons for leaving, some of which is my fault, as he is a very gracious and decent chap. (As I said before, he essentially carried this blog on his shoulders at times.) I always looked forward to going to the web site when he was here, as I am always look forward to posts from Bob and Mimi and Micah today, as I also looked forward to Micah Pyre's posts in 2009. If you post solo you miss out on the pleasure of being surprised by your blog collaborators, although I guess if you're a big-shot blogger who takes getting 50 or more comments for granted every time you discuss your dog or cat or parakeet, you may not understand, or you may understand but not care too much about things like that.
Does blogging matter? Not as much as concrete action, but the sense of solidarity people can get from reading and writing political blogs matters, especially living in a surreal age of impression management and "optics" and a constantly changing, distracting spectacle. Maybe we should be disappointed that left and right-wing blogs don't have more of a conversation, although maybe they do and I don't see it, and maybe worrying about it is false sentimentality.
(There's a little more to it than "left=good", "right=bad", and the brutishness and tribalism that corrodes the culture is more complicated than left vs right, but I want to leave that discussion for another day. )
I note the conversion of Balloon Juice's John Cole from being a George W. Bush supporter to a team democrat booster in 2008, although in his case I think it illustrates Cole's recognition of Obama's right wing corporatist aspect more than anything else.
Ultimately millions of people are like John Cole, even if most of them don't blog; they prefer government that treats them like consumers (of constitutional services?) and asks them to vote every 2 to 4 years to reaffirm the legitimacy of the system but which they otherwise don't have to think about too much, like an insurance agent who shows you where to sign and assures you he's trustworthy and respectable by virtue of a genial manner and the numerous plaques on the wall, and doesn't want you to worry about the details apart from where to send your check.
To some extent this is understandable. Certainly it's preferable, or would be if it existed, when contrasted with a government that seems intent on making you worry that it's on the verge of collapse. But it's a fiction. It's a desire to have one's delusions and childish disposition protected, and that same desire helps open the door to precisely the people who create the opposite situation, with the manufactured crises designed to rattle us. Ultimately it requires a massive suspension of disbelief to give the people in power that much benefit of the doubt, and you have to wonder if the people who behave as if they have that much faith actually do. And if they don't, what do they tell themselves to make believe they believe?
I've talked to several persons I know who are reliably democratic voters, who are willing to accept the notion that BHO might be a weak leader, or the best we can do under the circumstances, or just befuddled and outfoxed by the wily Tea Partiers, etc. But they are usually aghast when I suggest he might just be a right-wing(not "centrist") crook and that Obama, Pelosi, Reid, as well as republicans like Ryan and Cantor are in collusion, whether de facto or otherwise, in a concerted effort to wreck the welfare state. And actually, if he is trying to ruin the economy for the lower 80 or 90 percent of people on the economic ladder, does it even matter what kind of crook he is?
Moon of Alabama, "Obama's Artificial Debt Crisis"