Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Real sacrifice in "fake America"

You remember during the 2008 campaign when that loathsome Sarah Palin divisively talked about the south and midwest (bastions of GOP support) as the "real America"? It was part of the typical conservative strategy to act like the right alone owned and defined patriotism to manipulate toward its own belligerent ends.

ABC News points out that the greatest burden per capita of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars is borne by the state of Vermont, generally regarded as the most liberal state in the country and one which the arrogant Palin would smugly classify as being the anchor of "fake America."


PCS said...

Maybe I will switch to the Green or teabagger party. It sure is nice to be able to criticize everyone. (Happy "comment moderation")

Brian said...

Comment moderation is a blast. Hitting 'accept' almost all the time is so much fun. Reading the libelous ones you reject is even more interesting!

I'm sorry you object to my criticism of Sarah Palin and the far right (something you never engage in).

If you wish to write a defense of either or both, I'd be happy to give you the chance to publish it here.

Thanks again for your contribution.

PCS said...

Obviously you know I do not object to criticism of Sarah Palin or the right-wing. It just must be a really good feeling to be contrarian about just about everything. Heck, how many positive posts have you even made on your own political party?

Brian said...

I've never say anything positive about the Greens? I guess you pay as close attention to my blog as I to yours. I put forward their views whenever I can.

PCS said...

I have to apologize. I checked through your blog and actually saw the word "green" written about 40 posts ago. Clicked on your "green party" label and 3 articles purported to concern the green party came up. I guess "whenever I can" opportunites are few and far between.

Brian said...

I know your comment was intended to be snide and I've only used the label function for the last few years but sadly, you are right.

The Greens do a poor job communicating with members and a poorer job communicating with the public at large.

It's something I'm trying to push them on, but am having about as much success as you are in pushing the Dems.

PCS said...

Of course it was snide Brian. You made a statement that I must have missed all those positive articles you wrote about the Green Party. And, we've had this discussion before...we both agree that the Greens are terrible at communicating. You could go a long way towards helping me understand the party if you wrote more about them. I looked at their platform and it just comes across as hippie-pie-in-the-sky wish list. They need to focus on a couple items on their platform and maybe they could recruit someone like me to their party.

Brian said...

If I didn't have a math degree, I'd say I agree with you 1000 percent. That's EXACTLY what I and others have been trying to get them to understand for some time. And frankly, it's why I've been hesitant to promote the party too much, preferring to promote specific candidates who often have better focus and organization, who do what they do despite the party, rather than because of it. The party organization [sic] is filled with nice, well-intentioned people, usually more informed than average, but trying to get anything done is like herding cats. A lot of the reasons that they are ineffective are due to outside factors (corporate media bias, citizens' mentality against voting outside the major parties, rigged electoral law, etc) but I and many other Greens are fully aware that some of the reasons are internal.

I continue to latch to them, despite having become painfully aware of the party's flaws, because they are the third largest party in America and the only even semi-serious left-of-center party in NYS (the WFP being a faction of the Dems, not a party in and of itself). There's potential if roadblocks both internal and external can be overcome.

Basically, I have five options:

-belong to a corporate party and be frustrated by my irrelevance within the party
-belong to a smaller party, try to help build it and be frustrated by inertia
-form my own party and be frustrated by my irrelevance within the broader political scene
-be a 'free agent' operating outside any party, without ties but also with any support structure, and be frustrated by impotence
-withdraw from politics completely

None of them are really smooth options. At this point in my life, the second is the least unpalatable and the one with the most likelihood (by comparison, mind you) of success for the investment of time I put into it. Maybe I'll see things differently in the future but this is where I am now.

But I take your counsel as it's intended and will try to do a little more on that.

Brian said...

Let me give you an example.

If you still read my blog, you may be aware that I am supporter of what Gov. Paterson is trying to do in terms of getting the state's fiscal house in order. The reflexive Green/leftist position is to condemn anything the corporate party politicians are trying to do, especially budget cuts and double especially to cuts in education or health care (the majority of the state's expenditures). The reflexive position is to defend the invaluable contributions of programs of a, b and c. I've defended what the governor's trying to do because I realize that while the cuts are hardly ideal, there is a reality we have to face. And let's be honest, by we, I mean the governor. He's making the tough decisions and taking the heat.

The reality is that there is a fiscal crisis and that the governor is constitutionally required to submit a balanced budget. I think it's virtually impossible to close the budget gap without cuts to programs that I personally would much prefer to preserve. But maybe I'm wrong. So I've demanded his critics offer specific alternatives. They almost never do so. They always say "Restore $x million in [pet cause] funding" but they will never say where else the $x million should be cut or what should be done to raise $x million in revenue.

I believe that anyone who wants to be taken seriously can't just say no. They have to give the people something to say yes to. In order to be a serious alternative, you have to actually be serious and provide concrete alternatives. Should be self-evident...

What happens when I read the Greens' response to the state of the state? I agree with nearly all of it (two of the main people quoted in there are good friends of mine). Most of the stuff I've advocated repeatedly myself. But there is no acknowledgment whatsoever of the state's fiscal condition. How can a state party be taken seriously when it completely ignores the most pressing issue the state government has to face at this time? So I'm sure you understand why I didn't really promote this.

But like I said before, you do make a valid point that I will have to consider.

PCS said...

I too agree with Gov. Paterson's proposed cuts but haven't posted on that subject. I have posted quite a bit on the ADE comments area for letters and commentaries. The problem as I see it is simple. Everyone wants cut in NYS governemnt as long as it doesn't affect them in any way whatsoever.