Texas Liberal

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Some Observations On Debt Ceiling Agreement

An agreement to raise the debt ceiling has been agreed upon that may resolve the issue at least through the projected Mayan apocalypse at the end of 2012. 

So I guess none of us really have much to worry about from this point on.

Though the agreement still does have to be approved by both chambers of Congress.

I’m not happy with all the cuts and the absence of tax increases. How can this be what we are getting when we have a Democratic President and a Senate controlled by Democrats?

Though this observer at Daily Kos says that deal is not nearly as bad as it seems to many liberals. I don’t read Daily Kos very often, but somebody on my Facebook suggested the link. I do whatever it is that people tell me I should do on Facebook.

All 970 of those people on my Facebook are close personal friends.  (Feel free to send me a friend request yourself. I’ll take anybody!)   

Paul Krugman is not very happy about the deal. 

I’m not in a mood to be angry. I’ve got a trip planned in the next few days to help go and put my father’s ashes in Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island.  It is going to be a nice trip.

I’m just not into always being riled up by the 24 hour news cycle. And why be steamed about the agreement when I know I’ll have plenty of time and plenty of blog space to be angry as we proceed.

I will however, because I can’t help myself, make 5 observations—

1. If we wanted a better deal, than we should have all voted and worked harder in the 2010 elections. Republicans control the House because they won the election.

2. As I said above— How can this be what we are getting when we have a Democratic President and a Senate controlled by Democrats?

3. The response to losing elections and not getting the things you counted on from the people you supported is to keep working hard, and to apply more thought and imagination to what you are doing. You’ve always got to proceed.

4. The Republican opposition to tax cuts seems more like a religious belief than public policy.

5. We’ve got to really ponder the question that big money and greed has left this country in the hands of an oligarchy. We could not raise any revenue in this deal even as we were being told by Republicans that the future of the nation was at stake? Options like open protests and civil disobedience need to start being considered. We can’t simply be helpless in the face of powerful interests.  

With this being the first day of August, I hope you’re having a great summer and that you are moving forward. Let’s enjoy the lives we have and be involved in public affairs. Let’s be both thoughtful and forceful.

Below–Prudence Island is in Narragansett Bay.  Just because I’m not mad at the moment, does not mean I won’t be working hard for liberal values in the weeks and months ahead. Photo by junior75.)

August 1, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Kos Thinks I’m A Liberal Weenie

Below are two paragraphs from Daily Kos written by Kos himself. They are from a post discussing potential Democratic wins on Election Day that would be highly injurious to Republicans. The post makes the obvious assertion, one all Democrats would agree with, that it would be best if Republicans were to lose in as many places as possible on November 4.  

Who on our side of the aisle could disagree?

Then, somewhat out of context at that point in the post, Kos says the following—-

“I realize there are people uncomfortable with aggressive language and action. That’s the difference between liberal weenies and movement progressives. Liberal weenies sit around thinking that “the truth” is enough for victory, and that if we simply explain to voters why Democrats are better, why, we can’t possibly lose any elections! That’s the crowd that wants to keep the “high ground” and doesn’t want to go down in the gutters and fight the GOP where they live, lest we get a little muddied ourselves.

Movement progressives realize that we must do everything necessary allowable under the law to win because elections have consequences. This isn’t about who is most pure, but about taking the fight to the enemy and aggressively embracing progressivism, offering clear contrasts between us and them, and fighting fire with fire. There’s no ambiguity about where I belong.”

Kos says if you do not feel we should do all allowed by law to win elections, that you are a ‘liberal weenie.” We should conduct ourselves as if we were Republicans.

Gay bashing? Suggesting a candidate has fathered an illegitimate black child as the George W. Bush campaign said about John McCain in 2000? A Willie Horton type campaign? Voter suppression within the bounds of the law?  

We’ve seen in the primaries and in the general election campaign that plenty of Democrats might well respond favorably to such strategies.

I do not think it would be best to proceed in these ways. 

Here is a post where Kos takes on the McCain campaign for being the most negative of the two major campaigns. Is Mr. Obama a weenie? This post was written the same day of the post I quote above.

Written by Kos just 40 minutes before what I excerpt up top here, is a post praising Senator Obama for going after Fox News. The contention , correct in my view, is that Fox News makes a point to exacerbate cultural differences as part of a larger political strategy.

So what does Kos do the very afternoon he rightly takes after Fox News? He looks to promote an internal culture war. Effete liberals are “weenies.”  

Advocating for one of the two mainstream parties, appearing on Meet The Press, writing for Newsweek and being part of the 24/7 campaign industry all make Kos an embodiment of “mainstream.”

Think about it. What is more mainstream than being a partisan of one of the two broad based political parties in a nation of 300 million people? What media outlet or consumer product would not kill for the market share of the political world held by the Democratic and Republican parties?

I think Kos is for most part helpful to Democrats and liberals. If he can make a buck off of all this stuff then more power to him. 

Kos is very good at marketing his brand. You can bet he’ll do “everything allowable under the law” to make sure his market share does not slip.

( Below–A weenie that a liberal or any other person could have for lunch.)

October 17, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

A Difference Between Martin Luther King And MoveOn’s Eli Pariser

I just finished reading The Argument—Billionaires, Bloggers and the Battle to Remake Democratic Politics by Matt Bai of The New York Times. 

The title of this book, published in 2007, gives the idea of what it is about.

The future direction of the Democratic party is the subject of a struggle between wealthy activists, bloggers who represent the so-called “netroots”, and the old-line party establishment.

Representatives of these factions might be, among a number of others, George Soros for the billionaires, Daily Kos for bloggers and Congressman Rahm Emanuel from Chicago for the party establishment. (The Emanuel story I’ve linked with is two years old, but is still useful to read.) 

If you care about the subject beyond this brief summary, you can click the book title above, read the review and figure out what you think.   

Personally, I see it as an interesting question and I’m glad I read the book. However, until new ideas emerge instead of what often seems to be a zero-sum quest for power, what I feel I’m seeing is a circulation of elites and insiders (even if they are now sometimes self-created elites and insiders drawn from a somewhat wider base of people) and not real change.   

What caught my eye most in The Argument was a quote by MoveOn.Org‘s Political Action Executive Director Eli Pariser. He said the following- — (To be clear, I like MoveOn and Eli Pariser just fine.)

The vision of Democrats controlling all three branches of government—That’s not the vision I’m in it for. The vision is to actually to get somewhere on the issues we care about. Democrats are a vehicle. But if I’m trying to got to Boston, you know the vision isn’t Hartford.

Contrast that to what Martin Luther King said in his great sermon Unfulfilled Dreams

There’s a highway called Highway 80. I’ve marched on that highway from Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery. But I never will forget my first experience with Highway 80 was driving with Coretta and Ralph and Juanita Abernathy to California. We drove from Montgomery all the way to Los Angeles on Highway 80—it goes all the way out to Los Angeles. And you know, being a good man, being a good woman, does not mean that you’ve arrived in Los Angeles. It simply means that you’re on Highway 80. Maybe you haven’t gotten as far as Selma, or maybe you haven’t gotten as far as Meridian, Mississippi, or Monroe, Louisiana—that isn’t the question. The question is whether you are on the right road. Salvation is being on the right road, not having reached a destination.

On this question, more relevant to daily life and to the goals we set for ourselves in our private and public lives than what group of elites controls the Democratic Party, I stand with Reverend King.

It’s okay if we don’t reach a final destination as long as we have made a good faith effort. I say this even though Mr. Pariser’s point is well-taken. In the end it is not about the Democratic Party, it is about the things that will make people’s lives better.  

Still, life is such that many aren’t going to reach the goals they set for themselves. Reverend King’s message on this fact never loses it’s resonance.

Above is a picture of Downtown Hartford. Here is a link to the tourism attractions of Hartford.  

Please click here for other Texas Liberal posts on Martin Luther King including a post on his Unfulfilled Dreams sermon.    

December 26, 2007 Posted by | Blogging, Books, Politics | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments