Wednesday, June 27, 2012

And where Robert Reich has a conversation with a paleo-conservative stereotype


When he's not divvying up Porkulus or lecturing America on "the other", he's having imaginary conversations with people and writing about them. Well, maybe he is having actual conversations but not with an actual person, but rather, in Presidential book-writing parlance, "composites". Here's Reich, Bill Clinton's former Labor Secretary yesterday in Business Insider:

Recently I publicly debated* a regressive Republican who said Arizona and every other state should use whatever means necessary to keep out illegal immigrants. He also wants English to be spoken in every classroom in the nation, and the pledge of allegiance recited every morning. “We have to preserve and protect America,” he said. “That’s the meaning of patriotism.”

We're not going to debate the finer and varied points of border control and immigration policy but is Reich aware of this concept of English immersion which became the law in the state of California about some 15 years ago and has been found to work quite well. And what does Reich have against saying the Pledge every morning before class? He never explains.

Back to the article:

To my debating partner and other regressives, patriotism is about securing the nation from outsiders eager to overrun us. That’s why they also want to restore every dollar of the $500 billion in defense cuts scheduled to start in January.

Yet many of these same regressives have no interest in preserving or protecting our system of government. To the contrary, they show every sign of wanting to be rid of it.

In fact, regressives in Congress have substituted partisanship for patriotism, placing party loyalty above loyalty to America.

The GOP’s highest-ranking member of Congress has said his “number one aim” is to unseat President Obama. For more than three years congressional Republicans have marched in lockstep, determined to do just that. They have brooked no compromise.

Funny. We remember a Democrat in the Oval Office and solid Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate in 2009/2010 and as is their right that had been granted to them electorally, we don't recall a whole lot of compromising and to show for it we got a big fat $800 billion political payback in Porkulus and an unpopular overhaul of the healthcare system that puts even more regulatory burdens on the health insurance companies and with no real way to pay for it.

The American public thought so much of these accomplishments, the Democrats were swepped out of power in the House by historic margins. True story. We aren't making this up. Republicans were sent to D.C. with a mandate from the public to stop the statist expansion of the federal government and Reich is bitching about gridlock? You all brought it upon yourselves, you nitwit.

And you just knew this was coming:

Regressives on the Supreme Court have opened the floodgates to unlimited money from billionaires and corporations overwhelming our democracy, on the bizarre theory that money is speech under the First Amendment and corporations are people.

Count on this being whine du jour from here until November and beyond if things continue to go south in opinion polls and elections later on this Fall. Again, all that money in politics wasn't necessarily a problem back in 2008 when Reich's guy turned down public financing of his campaign so he could crush McCain in fundraising which included record amounts of cash from Wall Street firms.


True patriots don’t hate the government of the United States. They’re proud of it. Generations of Americans have risked their lives to preserve it. They may not like everything it does, and they justifiably worry when special interests gain too much power over it. But true patriots work to improve the U.S. government, not destroy it.

What? Generations of Americans did no such thing. Generations of Americans risked and sacrificed their lives in defense of this country and the Constitution, not its government. You may think it's a distinction without a difference but in the context of Reich's partisan attack piece, here, it's a convenient yet hopelessly false strawman. Reich's intellectual laziness is palpable

Reich, signing off:

But regressive Republicans loathe the government – and are doing everything they can to paralyze it, starve it, and make the public so cynical about it that it’s no longer capable of doing much of anything. Tea Partiers are out to gut it entirely. Norquist says he wants to shrink it down to a size it can be “drowned in a bathtub.”

Yep. We don't know why we aren't the slightest bit skeptical of our government these days. After all, it's not like the federal government was running guns across the border and into the hands of violent Mexican drug cartels. It's not like they recently gave themselves the power to kill U.S. citizens overseas for alleged terrorism without due process or to detain, indefinitely, the same here on U.S. soil without due cause.

Why are we worried about the random exercise of power? It's not like we have an executive branch that is issuing executive orders that countermand written law with respect to immigration or simply stops enforcing written law when the Supreme Court hands down rulings that it doesn't agree with regarding the same. That sort of stuff never happens.

So, let's all turn that frown upside down and pick up the flag of the U.S. government for which so many have sacrificed, because, as you can see from the above, patriots, there is nothing to fear... they're from the government and they're here to help.

* An earlier online version of this article did not speak of a debate, only a "conversation".


K T Cat said...

A link is on the way in a post scheduled for later today.

drozz said...

why do i get the feeling the author's account of the "debate" has been...twisted a little?

it's sad libs don't know the difference between anarchists and the tea party.

Road Dawg said...

Good post!

Doo Doo Econ said...

Social Devolutionists calling themselves "progressive" are resorting to calling others "regressives"? What a Partiinost pea brain!

Socialism is devolution to tyranny.

Excellent post

Road Dawg said...

Hey Doo Doo,
that made me laugh!