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We recently had John Avlon on the program and he is a devout "centrist." That used to mean that you were somewhere on the political spectrum between the left and the right. It now means that you set up false equivalencies between the left and the right and call everything even no matter what.

I'm an actual centrist. I used to be a liberal Republican from the North East. Of course, no such thing exists anymore. I'm against affirmative action. I'm a deficit hawk (except I believe we should balance the budget by not just cutting "entitlements" but also by cutting the Pentagon and raising taxes). I was for the Persian Gulf War but against the Iraq War. I am against Bush or Obama violating civil liberties or abusing executive authority.

So, in the country I'm right in the middle of the political spectrum. There is hardly a national poll that doesn't agree with my political position. Hence, I am now considered a raging liberal in Washington. Apparently, I am so far left now that Obama is significantly to the right of me.

How does that make sense? It doesn't, in any place outside of DC. But what's maddening is that no one acknowledges two things: 1. How far to the right of the country Washington is. 2. How far the political spectrum has moved to the right.

Why is Washington more right-wing than the rest of the nation? Because that's where power and the establishment reside. Power is by nature conservative -- it wants to protect its current privileged position. That's not nefarious, it's natural. But not acknowledging that is silly. The establishment loves the status quo, because that's what got them their current position. Why would they want to change that?

And how can anyone consider themselves a political analyst and not see how far to the right we have moved as a country? Eisenhower warned us of the military industrial complex. If he had said that now, people would say he's weak on national security and doesn't support the troops. And he was a Republican. Truman ran on single payer healthcare -- Obama wouldn't even consider that. Nixon started the Environmental Protection Agency. Reagan sold arms to terrorists, negotiated with the evil empire, raised taxes eleven times, ran from Lebanon. Are you absolutely sure that Obama is to the left of Reagan?

Watch this debate with John Avlon, the author of Wingnuts, How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America, and see if you really think there is such a thing as the hard left in this country and whether they are anywhere near as extreme as the hard right:





One other thing that we touched on in this conversation was the idea of corporatism. Being against corporatists doesn't mean you're anti-business. There is this absurd myth that liberals are anti-business. What does that mean? Liberals don't want there to be any more businesses? Does anyone really believe that? Liberals, centrists and conservatives have no problem with business as long as they are not taking our taxpayer money!

Do conservatives want trillions of taxpayer money going to Wall Street banks? My understanding was that they hated the bailouts. Do conservatives want taxpayers rather than BP to pay for the clean up of the oil spill in the Gulf? Well, I hope not.

Maybe some of the conservative leaders who take money from oil companies want that to happen -- but that's the whole point. The politicians aren't working for us anymore, liberals or conservatives. They are not driven by ideology. They're driven by whoever pays them, which is the lobbyists. Seventy percent of campaign contributions come from corporations. Now who do you think the politicians are going to work for?

Being against corporate control of our democracy shouldn't be a liberal position. It should be a universal position. It's not that multi-national corporations are evil, it's just that they're amoral. They are unconcerned with American taxpayers or citizens; they are concerned only with profits. That is what they have to be by law. It's absurd to argue otherwise.

Yet, the conventional wisdom in DC is that people who are worried about corporatist influence on American politics are far left crazies. They're not crazy, they're awake. And they're not even liberals, they're every American who is sick of their politicians being bought by the highest bidder. That's all of us, except the "centrists" in DC.

Watch The Young Turks Here

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Originally posted to Cenk Uygur on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 02:50 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (284+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Serephin, Superskepticalman, Ed in Montana, Angie in WA State, Mimikatz, DeminNewJ, LeislerNYC, Ivan, miasmo, Geenius at Wrok, tiponeill, emal, janinsanfran, Sprinkles, savvyspy, Shockwave, TJ, Byron from Denver, eeff, RickD, leftyboy666, musicsleuth, mataliandy, Jerome a Paris, expatjourno, hubcap, regis, Cassandra77, MD patriot, chuckvw, SCFrog, mkfarkus, JuliaAnn, nargel, skwimmer, Major Tom, semiot, splashy, Eddie C, NMRed, tidalwave1, psnyder, businessdem, brainwave, crackpot, westyny, JimWilson, Chirons apprentice, lcrp, dkmich, walkshills, mungley, Deward Hastings, bablhous, eztempo, Josiah Bartlett, environmentalist, Desert Rose, Tinfoil Hat, salmo, CTPatriot, disrael, Independent Musings, democracy inaction, irate, PBen, Militarytracy, Flint, frandor55, clammyc, Simplify, eightlivesleft, tomfool, ChemBob, drewfromct, Dobber, trinityfly, The Lager Lad, eru, bleeding blue, majcmb1, Dem Beans, rlochow, lotlizard, peteri2, Sandino, sundancekid11, FightTheFuture, sodalis, JanL, murasaki, psyched, Land of Enchantment, hatdog, xaxnar, CJnyc, Jim P, SoulCatcher, BachFan, MissInformation, myboo, Kingsmeg, ej25, Clytemnestra, Themistoclea, Kimball Cross, ActivistGuy, Yellow Canary, seefleur, buckstop, pengiep, Son of a Cat, kck, Hobbitfoot, Joshua Lyman, blueoasis, MJ via Chicago, erratic, Glorfindel, Libby Shaw, JVolvo, Dauphin, Preston S, el cid, Unitary Moonbat, MBNYC, hlsmlane, blue in NC, kurt, revgerry, PhilW, DBunn, Thinking Fella, tegrat, lams712, bigchin, lightfoot, Habitat Vic, Loudoun County Dem, Bob Guyer, camlbacker, ColoTim, EdSF, moosely2006, Jimdotz, terabytes, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, LamontCranston, Unbozo, Orange County Liberal, jayden, st minutia, letsgetreal, Uberbah, millwood, pioneer111, GeorgeXVIII, cacamp, oxon, Terra Mystica, TomP, rmonroe, JDWolverton, MKinTN, rogerdaddy, gfv6800, pullbackthecurtain, ChocolateChris, DraftChickenHawks, kingneil, scooter in brooklyn, Involuntary Exile, dadadata, monroematt, Greasy Grant, Happy Days, Lujane, hwmnbn, geomoo, Snarky McAngus, Tam in CA, 3rdOption, bob zimway, luckylizard, Virginia mom, BYw, ihavenobias, stillwaters, DoctorRobert, Robobagpiper, Mayfly, CupofTea, Michael Bindner, CIndyCasella, FudgeFighter, maggiejean, cameoanne, SciMathGuy, prettygirlxoxoxo, multilee, Rhysling, Florene, beatpanda, cybrestrike, greengemini, more liberal than you, Methinks They Lie, viet vet, jck, SciVo, JesseCW, dRefractor, allep10, kevinpdx, IreGyre, maxzj05, Knarfc, futureliveshere, Leftcandid, o possum, bryker, sneakers563, bohemian darling, brentbent, henlesloop, awcomeon, LaughingPlanet, Crabby Abbey, angelajean, cazcee, pixxer, JRandomPoster, Otteray Scribe, Floande, alamacTHC, bluestatedem84, Rockpopple, BrowniesAreGood, renbear, Colorado is the Shiznit, allenjo, SuperBowlXX, annominous, poorbuster, Situational Lefty, kevin k, trumpeter, theone718, dle2GA, felldestroyed, merrily1000, tardis10, ajwysocki, LSmith, Vtdblue, whaddaya, Wom Bat, lincoln deschain, daveusf, innereye, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, Sunspots, stunvegas, MichaelNY, PrometheusUnbound, Dakit, Dom9000, CalliopeIrjaPearl, virtual0, laker, jacey, nominalize, JTinDC, Flying Goat, StonyB, Gay CA Democrat, pawtucketpat, oblios arrow, Williston Barrett, Siri, LiberalATX, Eric Nelson, magnuskn, Leo Zooson
  •  Well said, (7+ / 0-)

    I have felt this way for years.

    I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.- Edna St.Vincent Millay

    by prettygirlxoxoxo on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 03:00:44 AM PDT

  •  I'd venture two observations. (15+ / 0-)

    The first is that this political shift was mostly due to the Republican Party. In the beginning of the 1990s, both parties were sort of centrist/centre-right. But then the Republicans began their long march further rightward, while the Democrats remained more or less where they were. As Washington is the seat of power, it makes sense that this shift is reflected in the populace.

    Secondly, just as a matter of curiosity, another social stratum that is almost by definition conservative is organised crime. While terrorists are revolutionary and overt, the activities of organised crime (even if they deal with terrorists) tend to be covert and organised crime usually wants to prevent change, since they profit from the injustices of the current state of affairs. Change it, and you'll force them to change their strategy or force them out of business.

    Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

    by Dauphin on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 03:06:45 AM PDT

  •  Cenk, look at global government in action (11+ / 0-)

    They are extending the war out to at least 2015 and slashing benefits for the workers and the poor while refraining from regulating banks.

    Obama isn't even a part of the negotiations.

    We have global government and it needs to stop.

    For the elite there are no material problems, only PR problems. Time for a new elite.

    by Paul Goodman on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 03:24:00 AM PDT

    •  Yes, we do. (0+ / 0-)

      And it's called the UN. All the rest are just influential groups.

      Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

      by Dauphin on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 03:28:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Travels of Prometheus (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pohjola, Orange County Liberal

      The mirror of social peace begins to crack. The European social democratic management is expiring and the current political classes take notice of it. While in some other countries the legal bases for this shift have already been voted in the parliaments under relatively peaceful circumstances, the enmities in Greece took an unexpected width. This conflictuality could be put under the banner of the usual social movements against the dismantling of the welfare state, were it not that it is tending towards something very different. An agreement with the state in the logic of the old social pact seems to become less and less probable because there is no economic, political and social base left for it. We are experiencing something new. Accustomed to struggle against the social pacification and its consensus, we might now be facing a new form of management tending towards a climate of war.

      from Travels of Prometheus, a reflection on the recent Greek events

      We who have been nothing shall be all. This is the final struggle. ~E. Pottier

      by ActivistGuy on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 06:40:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The make-up of the Senate (21+ / 0-)

    California and New York get the same representation as Arkansas and Mississippi.

    The legislative road will always be uphill because of this structural impediment to progressive change.  We can drone on about money, the media, corporatism and the usual boogeymen, but in truth the system is set up to frustrate us.

    Our job is not to let it get to us and to simply build enough support in the smaller states to meet the high threshold of support required for change.

    Your outrage is duly noted.

    by snout on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 03:29:21 AM PDT

    •  In all honesty (8+ / 0-)

      I wish we could abolish the Senate. (Such a heresy & I'm aware it won't happen) The disproportionate amount of power wielded by small states is suppressing.

      "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

      by tardis10 on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 04:59:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We need to make Congress stronger. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vcmvo2, tardis10

        Elect more sane Representatives to the House. The Senate is always going to be problematic, but when the Republican extremists and their conservative Democratic allies take control of the House, that's when the real trouble starts.

      •  It would mean something (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        esquimaux, fizziks, tardis10

        if, as the Founders did, we still viewed the states as what we call nations. The Founders weren't "Americans," they were citizens of Virginia and Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, banding together to pay the colonies' debts, mint a common currency and get some post roads built. When we stopped thinking of ourselves as citizens of our states and began thinking of ourselves as Americans first, the Senate lost its raison d'être. There's nothing that makes a person from Oklahoma essentially different from a person from Texas. Why should Oklahomans have different laws, different policies -- and, collectively, representation in a chamber of Congress equal to the representation of the entire state of Texas?

        If we're constitutionally obliged to keep the Senate, we should dissolve the 50 states and reconstitute them into 15 states along economic, cultural and climatic lines: New England, Greater New York, Delaware, Carolina, Miami (including Puerto Rico), Mississippi, Highland, Lakeland, Dakota, Texas, New Mexico, Alta California, Cascadia, Montana and Hawai'i. (The Alaska panhandle and the borough of Anchorage can be part of Cascadia; the rest of it should devolve to territorial status.)

        "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk." --Ian McDonald

        by Geenius at Wrok on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 11:26:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The Senate never did us any good when Bush (8+ / 0-)

      was in the WH.  All they ever did was keep their powder dry and let people like Alito and Roberts skate right onto the SCOTUS so they could dump more money into a system that is already corrupt.   If ELOs aren't willing to fight for what's right, the country will never correct course.

      They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20. ~~ Dennis Kucinich

      by dkmich on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 05:24:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course it did. (11+ / 0-)

        The Senate is where Bush's platform died.  ANWR drilling passed the House repeatedly and died in the Senate every time.  The Senate didn't even look at Bush's proposal to privatize Social Security. The Federal Marriage ban lost in both chambers, but by a much greater percentage in the Senate.  It really is the chamber with the most resistance to any kind of major legislation, whether it's 'theirs' or 'ours'.  We've had a better success rate with it than Bush had: his two big successes were the Patriot Act (almost unanimous) and NCLB (written and sponsored by a Democrat).  Think about that.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 06:39:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  True..and yet (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pico, tardis10

          Because of the greater representation of smaller states, the Senate naturally favors conservative legislation.  The fact that it has also resisted some of the GOP's excesses is frankly a wonder of our system.  Expecting the senate to do us ANY favors is a bad expectation.

          Your outrage is duly noted.

          by snout on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 07:40:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I think the makeup of the congress explains (11+ / 0-)

      why they are to the right of the rest of America. And here's the makeup:

      Two-hundred-and-thirty-seven members of Congress are millionaires. That’s 44 percent of the body – compared to about 1 percent of Americans overall.

      237 millionaires

      That's called a disproportionate amount. The elected body looks NOTHING like the people they represent anymore. It's now millionaires serving the needs of themselves.

  •  I would argue that the country (33+ / 0-)

    was wealthiest when the unions were strongest and the tax rates were considered "regressive" towards the wealthiest.  Jobs were here for the less educated and allowed them to provide for their family and let their children get an education the parents couldn't have afforded themselves.  For the most part, Washington has always fought the "unwashed masses" from bettering themselves, and it has only become more extreme since the Reagan years.  I truly fear for our country right now when I hear an out of work laborer blame the unions instead of the corporatists and politicians who sold out his job to another country that provides cheaper labor.

    It's not really cherry picking. Cherries are sweet and delicious. It's more like ...turd mining

    by henlesloop on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 03:33:36 AM PDT

  •  Washington is a Company Town (17+ / 0-)

    It's as simple as that.  The "company" is the military and its array of contractors and hangers-on.  The local media, which are the national media, simply pay homage to who runs the town, who has the jobs, who controls things.  

  •  Wingnut cash has moved the goalposts. (20+ / 0-)

    This has been one of the great successes of the forces of reaction in the US. Through a well-conceived, concerted and highly funded effort, Wingnuts have succeeded in shifting the parameters of debate in this country. The main technique has been the ceaseless repetition, in every forum a hundred times a day for 30 years, of their Big Lies: Government is your enemy; Blacks are taking your jobs; Science is anti-religion; the Media are Left Wing; Cops and the Military are beyond criticism; and of course, Democrats are spineless, grasping, unpatriotic bureaucrats who just want to waste taxpayer money and grow government.

    It's incredible that Democrats haven't fought back against this pervasive perversion of political "debate." They are almost hopelessly stupid. They continue to bring a butter spreader to the knife fight.

  •  Centrism is a rhetorical stance, (10+ / 0-)

    not an ideological one.  Just because (you think) the polls all agree with you doesn't make you a centrist, and it's a little confusing to see you define centrism first by ideology, then by popularity.  These are two radically different yardsticks.  

    Then again, left/right have always been semi-coherent masses of issues where generalizations overwhelm specifics.  I mean, really:

    Are you absolutely sure that Obama is to the left of Reagan?

    On foreign policy or domestic?  Taxes or social welfare?  Education or environment?  Economics or civil rights?  Should we create a list and tick off individual points?  What would be a sufficient margin of leftishness for this to make any sense, what with a 30-year difference in political and social landscape?

    I mean, I agree that the fact that (some of!) Reagan's policies look further left than the contemporary Democrats' is unnerving.  I'm just not sure it's as applicable to this discussion as you're arguing.

    But I think that kind of fuzziness is what confuses me about your article overall.  Washington can be much more conservative than the population - see Don't Ask Don't Tell.  Washington can also be less conservative than the population - see the Federal Marriage Ban.  That they're highly committed to the status quo means that they're conservative in the classical sense, but that doesn't always align with conservatism in the current, American ideological sense.  It's much more about stasis and the fear of rocking various boats.    See also: frustration on conservative blogs about how little of their platform got passed under Bush + Republican Congress.

    Doesn't mean I disagree with your main point, that the undue influence of and reliance on corporatism is one of our biggest challenges.  The answer to that, unfortunately, lies in Congress having the impetus to self-regulate, which is not exactly the most promising path to success.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 04:00:46 AM PDT

  •  I once caught Avlon in a false equivalence game (12+ / 0-)

    when he went on CNN and compared Code Pink to the Hutaree militia.

    Apparently, that got Keith Olbermann's attention, as he named Avlon as one of his worst persons in the world on Countdown for that very reason two nights later:

  •  In an otherwise good diary (19+ / 0-)

    This stinks up the place.

    Are you absolutely sure that Obama is to the left of Reagan?

    Actually, yes I am.

    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

    by Empty Vessel on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 04:23:17 AM PDT

  •  Obama may not always be to the left of Reagan... (12+ / 0-)

    ...but Obama is a whole lot blacker than Reagan. I still think that's a good chunk of what drives the hard right - plain old-fashioned racism, spiced with fear of black and brown people and served with a dollop of terrified memories of Duck and Cover.

    -8.75, -6.72 If it's 15000 ft below sea level, maybe it should stay there.

    by SciMathGuy on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 04:32:08 AM PDT

  •  "How bad does it have to get?" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    valadon, salmo, Kimball Cross

    And, "What is to be done?"

    Those two questions haunt me, because the answers I see emerging:

    "Not much more." And, "Get your gun and join the Freicorp."

    "Who am I to give science the brush?" Sugarpuss O'Shea

    by semiot on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 04:46:01 AM PDT

  •  Exactly (10+ / 0-)

    we are way out of "balance" and there is no equivalence between the Left and Right in terms of extremism.

    I'm a Liberal...very Liberal that hasn't changed...everything else around me has...

    Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

    by valadon on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 04:48:32 AM PDT

  •  Power (5+ / 0-)

    wants to maintain itself. That's a really basic maxim. It's also built into the very structure of our government, with its aristocratic-by-design upper chamber, judicial supremacy and the increasingly imperial Presidency.

    The system perpetuates itself, and whether the outcomes it produces are good or bad depends on the input from an informed and aware citizenry.

    Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

    by MBNYC on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 04:57:15 AM PDT

    •  Interestingly... (12+ / 0-)

      The government is actually less aristocratic than it has every been.  The Founders basically set up our government to be led by a class of elites.  In the old days they weren't paid for their services and the Senate was chosen by state legislatures.  And, of course, our notion of popular sovereignty was highly limited.  By limiting the vote to white, males men of property their insured that only an educated "enlightened" elite could have an influence at the ballot box.  

      I would argue that the real problem is not so much the elites as it is, what I call, the stupid "20%."  These are the people that believe the literal word of the Bible, they believe in angels and demons, UFOs, the Kennedy conspiracy, that global warming is a hoax, and that the oil spill ain't no thang.  And they vote.  In every district, in every state people who don't have the good sense to understand that oil in the ocean is a bad thing are going to the ballot box and choosing who will lead the most powerful nation in the history of history.

      I'm not saying we should go back to the old elitist system, but I am saying that you get bad either way.  Your last statement is critical - keeping the population stupid and unaware is, honestly, the best tool the Right Wing has for keeping and holding power.  

      In high school you get three to four years of mathematics classes that you'll probably never use, versus one semester of government.  Damn.  Think about that.  As they say: there's your problem right there.  

      No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. - Edward R. Murrow

      by CrazyHorse on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 05:06:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm actually reading (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sofia, pico, hlsmlane, henlesloop

        a really great book right now about the early Republic, and how democratization was vigorously opposed by the elite Federalists around Washington (the man, not the city).

        The structure of our government opened up immensely over the two hundred plus years since it was first devised, but it's still in outline what was first proposed.

        As to the stupid, I don't know that I like that argument. But there is something to it, cf. Palin, Sarah.

        Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

        by MBNYC on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 05:12:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't like it. (9+ / 0-)
          I don't like that argument either, but if you look at the polling data and the weight of history it's unavoidable.  

          We as liberals like to think the best of people - and we like to forgive their trespasses.  But there comes a point when you have to throw up your hands and go, look, a big chunk of this nation is mean-spirited and ignorant.  And probably mean-spirited because they're ignorant.  Until we get our heads around that and understand that issue as a fundamental failing of our democracy, we're going to be stuck just like we are for a very long time.  

          No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. - Edward R. Murrow

          by CrazyHorse on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 06:01:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well (0+ / 0-)

            I think that's a little too Hobbesian for my taste. But then again, I have a lot of faith in the basic decency of the American people. Maybe sometimes too much, but there you have it.

            Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

            by MBNYC on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 09:02:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  But the difference between "elite" and "bloke" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Orange County Liberal

        was a lot smaller then. There simply wasn't the incredible disparity of wealth.

        Thom Hartmann likes to point out that at the time of the signing of the Constitution, the richest man in the United States had total assets worth $700k in today's dollars. That's not rich - that's an upper class professional (IIRC, it was a merchant, and that included the value of his ships). The country didn't have its first millionaire, in adjusted dollars, until the early 19th century.

        So yes, the system was biased towards the elite - but the elite were not in the stratosphere of wealth. That came later.

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 06:39:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Cross-century wealth comparisons (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MBNYC

          don't work very well. In terms of money, no, they were not all that wealthy by today's standards. But they were a hell of a lot wealthier in their command of others: even the moderately rich would have legions of servants. An upper-middle class professional might, at most, have a nanny, maybe a part-time maid.

          More recently, Agatha Christie said, revealingly, that when she was a child, she never imagined she would be rich enough to own a car, or be so poor that she would not have servants.

          •  Um, I'm an UCP (on the lower end, no one goes (5+ / 0-)

            into physics for the Benjamins), and I have a part-time maid. I've had single mom UCP ex-girlfriends that had nannies. The more things change...

            Most of the founders were owners of business enterprises - a merchant would likely have a secretary (possibly a live-in one), and a farm would have numerous workers, free and unfree - all of whom were as much liabilities as they were assets (same went for land).

            The issue regarding the upper classes and especially the wealthy and servants have not changed because of democratization so much as because of mechanization. Basic household appliances replaced servants for most of these people, not a leveling of the playing field. I don't need a farrier, stable boy, coachman, dishwasher, or washmaid because I have a car, I drive myself, and I have a mechanical dishwasher and washer/dryer.

            Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

            by Robobagpiper on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 07:17:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Beg to differ: the aristocracy is of the 1890s, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MBNYC, Orange County Liberal

        not the 1790s.

        "Fight the Stupids" - Maple Street Book Shops, New Orleans

        by Superskepticalman on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 06:41:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  input? where? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Orange County Liberal

      I though we wanted a PO, I thought we wanted accountability for Bush's crimes, I thought "we" werwe against giving our treasure to Wall Street for nothing in return...

      it's a long and devastating list.

      input?

      where?

      "History is a tragedy, not a melodrama." - I.F.Stone

      by bigchin on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 09:55:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for the thoughtful comment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MBNYC

      I plan on saving this one.  Makes me think.

  •  Great. (22+ / 0-)

    Another "What's Wrong with the Beltway" diary from someone who doesn't know a damn thing about what living and working inside the federal government is really like.  I'm an executive level staff member within the executive branch of the federal government.  I work with civil servants, White House staff, and the staffers from members of Congress and, occasionally, the members themselves.  

    And I'm a raging liberal.  I was against both those Persian adventures (and war in general), I don't really know what the hell a deficit hawk is (somone who doesn't want to ever grow the economy, because they don't understand how a federal budget works, apparently), and I think the First Amendment is the closest thing we ought to have to religion in this country.  And there's plenty of people JUST LIKE ME at every level of the federal government.  There's plenty of conservatives, and, indeed, plenty of cetrists.  Though in my experience, the centrists are actually the rarer breed.  Most of us liberals and conservatives have made up our minds about issues and got off the fence long ago.  Yellow lines and dead armadillos, so to speak.    

    That being said, what the people in the Beltway are - above and beyond everything else - are realists.  The down and dirty realpolitik is the order of the day.  "True believers" can't function in Washington.  You find them in advocacy groups, think tanks, lobby firms, and bars.  When they do eventually get on the payroll, they burn out quickly and shamble off in a huff.  True beleivers don't like compromise - they think the power of their ideas and the righteousness of their beliefs should be enough to convince everyone that their policy position should be adopted.  But when you come at a policy from that position, you're doomed before you even get started because you've left no room for political horsetrading.  

    The bad news is, the United States is a democracy.  It sucks sometimes because the party in power can't always get done what its base thinks it should get done.  George Bush did a lot of horrible stuff we all hate, but look back on his agenda.  Even with the momentum of 9-11 he got virtually none of his big ticket items passed.  No Child Left Behind was his only major domestic policy "success."  Obama, in the first two years, has done a better job of enacting his agenda than Bush did in all eight.  He didn't have enough ideas that could actually get from the think tank to the program level.  So he basically settled for cutting taxes and then heading to the ranch to cut timber.  

    So, the point is, Washington is always going to look "more conservative" to X-Person and "more liberal" to Y-Person depending on where they stand on the political spectrum.  If anything, centrists should be happy with Obama.  He's made a lot of policy changes that will, ultimately, take the country foward, but he hasn't done much to tinker with the fundamentals - which I personally wish he would do.  Let's face it - we do need to seriously overhaul our American model of oligarchical capitalism.  But that's HARDLY a centrist idea - it's actually quite radical because both parties have demonstrated their unquestioning loyalty to Wall Street-driven government supported capitalism.  

    The point: it's fine to bash Washington.  But bash it from an educated position.  

    No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. - Edward R. Murrow

    by CrazyHorse on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 04:57:32 AM PDT

    •  The thing is (0+ / 0-)

      it isn't only our country...since the onset of the Bush admin (at least), there was a decided shift to the political Right globally.

      Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

      by valadon on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 05:04:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's the result... (9+ / 0-)

        ...of war and economic uncertainty.  At times of stress we turn to our traditional institutions and we begin to scapegoat 'the Other' as a way to place blame and deal with our feelings of cognitive dissonance.  

        Why do you honestly think the GOP isn't doing a damn thing to work with Obama to help fix the country - Rush said it when he said he wanted Obama to fail.  Everyday the nation stays in the dumper, the better chance the GOP has of returning to power.  The electorate is simply too unsophisticated - sorry, but it's true - to understand that "throwing the bums out" in this case is not a good solution.  

        No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. - Edward R. Murrow

        by CrazyHorse on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 05:09:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I know why they aren't doing anything (0+ / 0-)

          they think if they allow things to fail, that they can try to persuade people of Democratic failures, but they are taking a big risk with that strategy because most people know why we haven't passed more significant legislation and it their own obstruction.

          I do see your point and there is some truth to it, but I do not think we've shifted Right out of uncertainty or stress. There is a decidedly ideological shift.

          Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

          by valadon on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 05:19:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  SP: it's (0+ / 0-)

            Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

            by valadon on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 05:24:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I just don't see... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            salmo, Matt Z, CupofTea, AnonObamaAid

            ...any examples of an ideological shift.  Deficti hawkishness, border security, war mongering - all those things are symptoms of a response to social stress and economic downturn.  These aren't big right wing policy issues, their driven by an emotional response to uncertainty.  People still want all the same government benefits and programs - if anything they're demanding more - they're just no longer willing to actually pay for them!  

            No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. - Edward R. Murrow

            by CrazyHorse on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 05:57:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  the Bush admin came in (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Val

              with a specific agenda, there was no "uncertainty" when they took office... they inherited a surplus. They knew they wanted war long before we had any economic effects of it.

              Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

              by valadon on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 11:13:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  This diary makes an interesting counterpoint (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      henlesloop

      with I said GOOD DAY sir's rant yesterday about a similar topic - and coming to the opposite conclusions.  This balance between ideals and practical goals is never easy, and there's always a danger that one side will overplay its hand and scuttle both.  One gets the sense the Founders anticipated this is focusing so much on process, implicitly rejecting aristocratic whim.

      I think Cenk does make some good points in here, but you're right that his view of 'the Beltway' and centrism are not among those points.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 06:15:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Democracy has nothing to do with it (7+ / 0-)

      Large corporations and the wealthiest 1000 families have become increasingly rich and powerful at the expense of the middle class. They increasingly call the shots at the highest levels of power...which you serve willingly.

      look for my DK Greenroots diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

      by FishOutofWater on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 06:35:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  H'mm. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      esquimaux

      I suggest that it is because you work in Washington you can't see what comes out of it: conservative legislation and tons of BS.

      As for..

      If anything, centrists should be happy with Obama.  He's made a lot of policy changes that will, ultimately, take the country foward, but he hasn't done much to tinker with the fundamentals - which I personally wish he would do.

      I'd agree with you if you had replaced the word "centrists" with "corporatists".

  •  The Pentagon and lobbies are there. They want (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Orange County Liberal, Knarfc

    complete control over our country...no...not just our country...the world.  

    Our pesky Bill of Rights gets in the way, so they whittle it down, little by little.

    Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

    by CIndyCasella on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 04:58:13 AM PDT

  •  Cenk Quixote (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vcmvo2, IrnBru001, Matt Z, AnonObamaAid

    "Another "What's Wrong with the Beltway" diary from someone who doesn't know a damn thing about what living and working inside the federal government is really like."

    Exactly....Cenk's problem isn't that he's a moderate...his problem is that he's a raging narcissist who thinks  he is smarter than the little people.  

  •  Washington more RW b/c RW pays better. And that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bnasley, arendt

    makes Washington a whorehouse.

    As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he ever were to break wind in the echo chamber, he would never hear the end of it. --Bulwer-Lytton Contest entry

    by Wom Bat on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 05:21:48 AM PDT

  •  Right and left are meaningless reference (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bnasley, lightshine

    points when it comes to beliefs about the allocation of power among humans.  
    Humans are either independent mobile, gregarious and vocal creatures or they are subjugated to some restrictive force which violates these basic attributes, but does not negate them.

    Humans have a tendency to subjugate other organisms, both within and without their own species.  This tendency likely persists in the genome because getting others to co-operate is beneficial to the survival of the species.
    Some organisms, such as toads and frogs, require no co-operation from other organisms to survive.  All they require is a water body in which the spawn can develop into mature organisms whose survival depends on capturing prey on land.  Unlike avian organisms, toads don't depend on parental co-operation.  Humans actually don't either.  Human survival depends on social support, but it needn't be provided by parents.  That's the lesson of Romulus and Remus.

    The Constitution is not a menu for an exclusive diner.

    by hannah on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 05:21:54 AM PDT

  •  It's been shifting further (8+ / 0-)

    and further right every year since I was born. I remember the transition from Carter to Reagan. The messaging in the children's programming changed drastically. The USA political doctrine that seemed to be fused with Revelations scared the hell out of me. The presence of the TV evangelists was increasing. Reagan was being a dick to organized and striking workers. Taxes for rich people were slashed. Plants were closing and the unemployment was increasing. The govt. was giving away food in mass quantities. The charities were cleaned out at Christmas time. The TV was censored. People who had no talent but could sell Diet Coke were dominating the airwaves and the top 40 charts. People were unquestionably paying retail prices like they were stupid. Everything was "sponsored" or "brought to you by" some corporate God in the sky.

    It goes on and on. It all adds up to right wingism. A child doesn't know right from left but looking back as an adult, it's quite clear.

  •  We Park In The Same Garage (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jlukes, nicteis

    Began my voting life as a Northeastern liberal Republican. The now extinct sub-species. I liked Jack Kemp and his negative income tax and his enterprise zones. Did not want public anything but wanted vouchers to help the poor participate in the marketplace. I first voted for George Bush in the GOP primary in 1980. He was an internationalist and pro-choice. My views have not shifted that much really. But now I am a far out liberal.  

  •  Another home run. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    valadon

    A very reasoned diary; helps explain that Grand Canyon disconnect between DC and the real world.

    Let tyrants fear.-Queen Elizabeth I

    by Virginia mom on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 05:24:30 AM PDT

  •  The Hard Left Used to Advocate Entirely Different (9+ / 0-)

    economic system, socialism at minimum.

    Today the hard left are the looneys who insist on repeated hard mathematical, historical and scientific fact.

    That's what gets you tossed out of the conversation with the serious people.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 05:37:48 AM PDT

  •  We're not anti-business (8+ / 0-)

    One other thing that we touched on in this conversation was the idea of corporatism. Being against corporatists doesn't mean you're anti-business. There is this absurd myth that liberals are anti-business. What does that mean?

    We're anti-business as usual. We want businesses to profit, but not always at our expense. We shouldn't always have to have less, so that they might have more.

    Andrew Jackson warned that the unchecked concentration of wealth into private hands was the greatest threat our nation faced. No president, before or since, has had the stones to put it into such stark terms, but here we bloody well are, aren't we?

    We can start at the top, elect more and better Democrats. and lobby the hell out of them to do the right thing -- build, strengthen our countervailing institutions to the influence of corporatism -- that's one way.

    Or we can start at the bottom, and in our communities, we can do the one single bottom-up thing that will put more fear into the hearts of the forces of power, profit, and privilege than anything else.

    That one single act is to support organized labor, wherever we find it, in new unit organizing, ongoing bargaining, and -- if worse comes to worst -- in strikes or other labor actions. This applies to both the private and public sectors.

    We must do both at the same time. It must be this kind of multi-front war, and we have to commit ourselves to a lifetime of activism, because the other side is in it to win, and in it for keeps.

    "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

    by Ivan on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 05:52:57 AM PDT

  •  One quibble (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vcmvo2, dww44

    right now, we really shouldn't be worried about deficits and debts but rather on starting up the economy.

    "Obama won. Get over it."

    by onanyes on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 05:54:57 AM PDT

  •  Being Right-Wing is profitable (4+ / 0-)

    The greatest trick the devil every pulled was convincing half of America the GOP gives a damn about them

    by blingbling65 on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 05:56:11 AM PDT

  •  DC isn't right-wing at all (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lookit, mahakali overdrive

    ...many politicians, media people and lobbyists are...which represents maybe 10% of Washington. i lived in Washington for 8 years and knew very, very few right-wingers. in fact i was always surprised to meet a republican.

    "An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war." -Mark Twain

    by humanistique on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 05:57:54 AM PDT

    •  Exactly (7+ / 0-)

      What's hilarious is that not even very many of the folks in media, politics or lobbying are very right wing. What Cenk doesn't want to address, because it contradicts the "Cenk vs. The Man" narrative he's trying to construct, is that conservative politics holds some sway in Washington because there are enough conservative voters out in the country to get alot of conservatives elected.

      It isn't rocket science and it isn't some diabolical plot by Dr. Evil and his hand servant Rahm.

      What should concern readers of this post is that Cenk already knows this.....

    •  Pointlessly obtuse. Ungers speaking of gov't. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tidalwave1, cybrestrike

      Not people living in DC.

      Why hasn't US solved its oil energy problem even though it economic, environmental, military threat to US?  Because US politicians are paid NOT to fix the problem because it benefits oil companies.

      Halliburton did not pay Cheney $40M for nothing. The most obvious example of what Unger is talking about.

      •  like (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vcmvo2

        icebergslim was talking about 'the body of congress' yesterday when saying congress doesn't give a shit about people. Not our good reps.

        nonsense posturing.

        •  That's not what he says (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vcmvo2

          Explain this line, then. Because of his moderate views: "Hence, I am now considered a raging liberal in Washington."

          That's just dumb. And terribly unobservant.

          I am perfectly aware of the right-wing influences on the power structure of Washington, DC which is a rather liberal city. This diary is pointlessly obtuse.

          "An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war." -Mark Twain

          by humanistique on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 09:19:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Raging Cenk (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            vcmvo2

            This is such a self serving bit of tripe....Cenk's not considered a raging liberal here. He's considered to be an unrealistic whiner who can't understand the difference between governing and activism. He will  bitch and moan because he's only gotten 90% of what he wanted. In other words, he's somebody on the sidelines.  

      •  No....just well informed. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vcmvo2

        If Cenk is speaking of government he's still completely and willfully wrong. Taken as a whole, the agencies are far more liberal than not. Ditto for folks on the Hill (yes, even a large chunk of the GOP). DC is a far more liberal place than it was even a decade ago.

        This, of course, doesn't fit the narrative that he wants to sell. Funny really...because it is a mirror image of that being peddled on Glenn Beck.

  •  it's time progressives stopped wondering why (8+ / 0-)

    1000 UNCONTESTED radio stations decide the center the collective left lets it be so.

    no other single factor does more to move the center or the perception of the center rightward. no political tool , rove's invisible 2x4, has more say in what is acceptable or unacceptable in US politics. there is no bigger PC cop and censor-by-threat than your local limbaugh/hannity/beck megastatons

    politicians still need constituencies or they become to obvious as bought. one of the important functions of the radio monopoly  and its coordinated uncontested repetition is to launder the corporate talking points from the think tanks to create made-to-order constituencies for the corporate politicians to point to as theirs, to excuse their anti-american votes. that is where the town hall screamers came from, the tea baggers, the anti immigration movement, etc. that is the republican base- palin was chosen to get limbaugh on board with mccain.

    on the local level the limbaugh megastations dominate or heavily influence not just republican politics but all politics, especially rural areas where there are no alternatives for political media while working or driving.

    rw radio is the reason obama needs supermajorities. increasingly, republican politicians that get through their primaries are the ones that best repeat the limbaugh hannity talking points. without the radio stations blasting/repeating the GOP/think tank talking points 24/7 the talking points they read in their daily faxes and repeat really are absurd. the local blowhards pile on too. and the state megastations also do their best to swiftboat true progressives in dem primaries.

    tragically, and why we are still wondering how we got here, the left and its analysts still seem to ignore this massive problem.

    Progressives will lose all major messaging battles until they picket the limbaugh/hannity megastations and boycott those stations' local sponsors.

    by certainot on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 05:59:48 AM PDT

  •  corporations are amoral...you nailed it... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    musicalhair, dww44

    that is exactly the correct description. Corporations are beholden to the almighty dollar (or whatever currency..).  Whether or not it environmentally destroys us is of no consequence to a corporation.  

  •  Centrist (9+ / 0-)

    no longer refers to position on a political spectrum.  Rather, it is a self-identifier of those who define themselves by their proximity to, or desire for proximity to, the centers of power.  Power Centrism.  

    It's just one of an entire series of redefinitions of traditional terms that serve to conceal more than they reveal.  Take "pragmatism" (please).  "Pragmatism" used to mean "being flexible in one's means in order to achieve defined, desired ends."  Like "centrism", that meaning has been subtly altered in practice, while for public consumption is made to appear to retain that original meaning.  However, the new reality of the meaning of "pragmatism" is this:  "Being flexible in one's ends in order to accommodate the career ambitions, personal sloth, and/or political cowardice of those holding high office."

    We who have been nothing shall be all. This is the final struggle. ~E. Pottier

    by ActivistGuy on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 06:28:16 AM PDT

  •  It's not about right vs. left (8+ / 0-)

    or conservative vs. liberal. It's about corrupt money and power vs. the people. Period. It matters less whether one is a conservative, liberal or centrist than whether you're for protecting the interests of a rich and powerful few, or for the public interest. You can't be for both, at least the way things are so skewed these days.

    Today, though, all too many people who call themselves conservative, centrist and even liberal are actually for preserving the interests of the rich and powerful few, and of their hired lackeys (who, unsurprisingly, tend to be themselves). Much of the whole right vs. left debate these days is just a red herring, to distract from the real debate, between haves and have nots. And the haves are kicking our asses.

    "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

    by kovie on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 06:29:43 AM PDT

  •  There IS a hard left in this country (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hyperstation, JuliaAnn

    However, as one of its members, I can tell you that our numbers are vanishingly small.

    We who have been nothing shall be all. This is the final struggle. ~E. Pottier

    by ActivistGuy on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 06:29:58 AM PDT

    •  Believe in them? I've SEEN them. (0+ / 0-)

      Every time I go to a protest march, there'll be a few thousand people - never covered by the media, of course. And there will always be a little knot of a dozen or so hard left folks. The rest of us in the Real Center register their presence as one of the inevitable decorations, like the big puppets, and proceed to ignore them.

      Perhaps it's just as well there are no media. They'd gleefully home in on that little knot like fruit flies on a banana.

  •  A bit contradictory (0+ / 0-)

    You wrote: "It's not that multi-national corporations are evil, it's just that they're amoral."

    Not exactly lederdemain, but borderline. Some might argue that to be "amoral" is to dip one's toe into evil.

    •  Amoral in terms of being sociopathic (0+ / 0-)

      If doing good benefits the bottom line, giving some profits to a charity, for example, they will do it to help their public image. Like a Lex Luther comforting a dying old woman to get her money. The woman got some comfort, but... The actions they take, evil or good, are in pursuit of money. That is frequently, some would say almost always, evil, sometimes spectacularly so.

  •  Diary Title FAIL (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mahakali overdrive
    How can washington be more right-wing than the south?

    if you said "Why Washington is more right-wing than the north of the coutry, or more right-wing than some part of the country", i would understand.

    FAIL

    •  I don't agree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      codairem, Dr Marcos

      I live in the South and Virginia is in many ways far more conservative than my red state location much further south.  My brother lives in the Northern Virginia DC suburbs and is a raging conservative.  Virtually every single one of the syndicated columnists (all conservative, by the way, except for Robinson) on the editorial pages of my newspaper ( I complain mightily) are from the Washington Post.

      I agree with the diarist and feel that DC (which is in the South, after all) is more conservative/right wing than the rest of the country.  There is also the unalterable fact that, in spite of their protests to the contrary, conservatives control the media and the media messaging in the country, which means they control the messaging in DC.  We must all fight to counter the conservative messaging.

  •  You are absolutely correct about the Political (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    musicalhair, codairem

    tilt in this country.

    It actually started 20 years ago when first the Berlin Wall came down and then shortly after that the Kremlin Wall fell.

    At that time Bill Clinton moved the Democratic Party into the position formerly occupied by Republicans and the Republicans went so far Right that they are no longer recognizeable.

    It is a sad state of affairs but there is no longer anyone representing the people in this country.

    With Communism no longer a threat, we are moving back to Medievel Serfdom.

    The state of education in the country is so bad that most of the people can't see what is happening yet and by the time they do it will be too late.

  •  People are (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Val, musicalhair

    sick of it.

    I think it does cross all political barriers.

    I think it does embrace all ideologies.

    People are just tired of being bent over the proverbial barrel by corporations.

    I saw this comment somewhere-here-and it's perfect-

    We truly ARE just ATM machines for corporations.

    We ARE their banks.

    Enough is enough.

    "Republicans keep saying they want their country back. I want my country forward."-Bill Maher

    by lyvwyr101 on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 07:17:41 AM PDT

  •  Public funding would outlaw 3rd parties. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leema

    With winner-take-all elections, 3rd parties would probably receive their state funding based on their current success in Congress - zip, zilch, nada. With current election regulations, Public Financing would be an "Incumbent Protection Mechanism".

    There would have to be a ton of changes to make Public Financing workable in the USA. And these changes would have to come at the expense of the Democratic and Republican Parties. Fat chance.

    I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

    by shann on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 07:20:05 AM PDT

    •  IRE might be helpful .... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      musicalhair, codairem

      Instant Runoff Elections.  We already have them in some local elections.  It is a method that people can use to vote for who they really want...without sacrificing their second place more apt to win candidate.  Much more democratic and inclusive of third parties.

      OTOH as you say: Fat Chance... given current Republican seditious acts in Congress.

      "I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong." Richard Feynman

      by leema on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 07:42:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Ponzi Scheme Nonsense (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    musicalhair, leema

    Social Security would have plenty of money had American corporation not sent as many jobs as possible overseas where people DON'T pay into the SS system. If they'd kept those jobs here then all those workers would be paying into that system now. Case closed.

    The Modern GOP: A holy pwned subsidiary of the Tea Party.

    by The Lone Apple on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 07:26:46 AM PDT

  •  Ugh... (5+ / 0-)

    Why is Washington more right-wing than the rest of the nation? Because that's where power and the establishment reside. Power is by nature conservative -- it wants to protect its current privileged position. That's not nefarious, it's natural. But not acknowledging that is silly. The establishment loves the status quo, because that's what got them their current position. Why would they want to change that?

    As an historian, I would take my red pen to this one if it showed up on a student's paper. Once again, Cenk offers us an ahistorical analysis that ignores the dynamism of human agency and suggests the "staus quo" is forever locked in place. A simple formulation--that there is something "natural" about social behavior--is betrayed by a closer study of the past. Indeed, Cenk seems to invoke something called "human nature" in this diary. This is the same argument Cheney and his crew made when they argued that we would be greeted as liberators in Iraq because all people want liberal (classical definition) democratic capitalism.  The neoconservatives ignored the power of history, sect, tribe, family, etc. Come on Cenk, Human nature as an explanation for human social relations is a fiction easily discounted by the historical record.

    Is that a real poncho, or is that a Sears' poncho? - Frank Zappa

    by JoesGarage on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 07:30:18 AM PDT

    •  Hope you really aren't a teacher. "F" for you. (4+ / 0-)

      "Cenk...the "staus quo" is forever locked in place."

      Nope. He does say those in power want to remain there. Entirely true.

      Cenk seems to invoke something called "human nature" in this diary

      Nope. See above. He does say those in power wish to remain in power which is true.

      There is something called "human nature" we are very much driven by our evolution. Lots of great science on it. So you get it wrong twice. Suggesting "human nature" doesn't exist. It does and lots of science on it.  Second, Unger is not "invoking" human nature as you state but making a comment on power in society.

      Human nature as an explanation for human social relations is a fiction easily discounted by the historical record.

      Howler du jour. Probably du millenium. Human nature is the only explanation for human behavior.  You might mean we do not fully understand human nature scientifically which is true but irrelevant to Unger's comments.

      •  Invoking "Human Nature"... (3+ / 0-)

        suggests an inviolable set of traits that are trans-historical and dictate the actions of all human beings and historical development. Is democracy--for example--a reflection of so-called human nature? Is capitalism a reflection of human nature? No, they are social constructions. I assume when you say "there is something called "human nature" we are very much driven by our evolution" you are referencing  disciplines like evolutionary psychology. But, these disciplines only point to a general set of traits and do not limit human agency and social possibilities. My objection to Cenk was his reliance on a simple formulation that tells us nothing. At any rate, thanks for this:

        Hope you really aren't a teacher.

        Heres a tip: when you begin a discussion with an insult you undercut the power of your argument. Indeed, you telegraph that your argument cannot stand on its own and requires some gratuitous attack--some trick of rhetoric--to convince your audience.  

        Is that a real poncho, or is that a Sears' poncho? - Frank Zappa

        by JoesGarage on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 08:08:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Oh please (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      esquimaux, cybrestrike, CapeTown96

      you're grading an off-hand conversational remark as if it's a philosophical thesis.

      He's just using shorthand to express the ubiquitous tendency for humans to defend their status.

      You can't possibly be stupid enough to argue that this is merely a fluke of cultural history.

    •  Pundits tend to be legends in their own mind (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2, sherijr, JoesGarage

      I take issue with this guy's opinion that Obama is to the right of him. He finds any issue to complain about and criticize Obama. That doesn't make him a progressive, it makes him a contrarian. It is far easier to gather a following if you are a critic in the media these days than to promote sound solutions for any issue.

      Solitude is painful when one is young, but delightful when one is more mature...Einstein

      by tazz on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 08:47:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The bureaucratic politics model (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pontechango, vcmvo2

      which applies to the modern era of the West closely and, if you wince a bit, to earlier bureacracies and other geographies, would support in detail the notion that entrenched interests tend to, well, entrench themselves against replacement  - against fellow members, prospective members and competing institutions.

      It's not quite natural - it's specific to a class of organizations and perhaps to a specific era and culture - but I can grok what Cenk is getting at.

      With regards to Cheney-ists - If the Federal bureaucracy isn't packed with burrowed-in neocons then no organization is.

  •  Corporations not evil but amoral? (0+ / 0-)

    Well, the entity is not a person, despite what the Supremes think, so morality is not at issue. Thus "amoral" may be the right word.

    But the people who run them are responsible for the actions of the corporation. And if those actions have evil results, then those people are evil.

    Conservatives believe evil comes from violating rules. Liberals believe evil comes from violating each other.

    by tcorse on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 07:35:51 AM PDT

    •  The people that run them are responsible to their (0+ / 0-)

      share holders....and have only one goal: profit. Usually using short term thinking...like next quarter profit.

      Trans national corporations and monopolies are complex entities...they are not grandpa wanting to pass on the company to the grandkids and they are not community based or connected.  Some of these entities are richer and more powerful than nations.   All of which  is why government regulation is vital.

      "I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong." Richard Feynman

      by leema on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 07:49:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Corporations aren't evil; corporatism is. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tacet

      The Milgram experiments demonstrated how powerfully almost any individual's sense of morality will be overridden by even the mildest cues of setting and social expectation. The social setting in which individuals make decisions for corporations is one in which profit is the only operative value.

      It doesn't take an evil individual to make heartless decisions when they're embedded in such a social context. None of us want to believe we'd shock the experimental subject to the point of collapse in that Milgram experiment, just because a vaguely authoritative figure told us to. But the experimemtal data proves almost all of us would. Likewise, almost all of us would make heartless decisions once inserted into the corporate structure.  It doesn't take an "evil" person.

      Unusual individuals, and none of us here really know how we'd measure up, may have the insight, independence and courage to apply human values in a corporate setting. And it follows that everyone has the responsibility to do so. But most people, most good people, won't. The primary locus of the evil therefore resides in the structure, the secondary locus in an educational system that doesn't train us to be  conscious of how we are constrained by social expectations, sufficiently conscious to break free of those constraints.

      There's a theory that, under the conditions of the corporate ethos, the most ruthless and sociopathic individuals tend to rise to the top. The theory has its appeal, especially given the attitudes recently displayed by the re-ascendant Masters of the Universe. But absent hard data in support of the theory, I'd hesitate to make a blanket attribution of personal evilness even to the heads of the most rapacious firms. I'd just posit them to be (possibly quite moral) people who make consistently amoral decisions under the right set of stimuli.

      Understand, none of that means they shouldn't be thrown in the slammer for what they do. It's one fruitful way of altering the stimulus set.

  •  Examining my own attitudes (0+ / 0-)

    There is this absurd myth that liberals are anti-business. What does that mean? Liberals don't want there to be any more businesses? Does anyone really believe that? Liberals, centrists and conservatives have no problem with business as long as they are not taking our taxpayer money!

    Speaking as one of those raging liberals, I find I do have a problem with business when its behavior threatens everyone and every thing on the planet. While Cenk's framing is nice (bad corporations vs. good business), the reality is that whatever you want to call it, I want hard controls on the policies that have led (for example) to the massive, unending hemorrhaging of toxins into the Gulf ecosystem. I assume where I part ways with my "centrist" and "conservative" brethren – if those terms even mean anything in the actual context of a naked kleptocracy vs. the rest of us – is that I'm willing to 1) pay more for less to prevent that situation when possible and 2) promote the restriction of growth if prevention itself is simply impossible.

    Whether a foreign national pays for the current mess in the Gulf or we do in the end is not my primary concern in the face of massive ecocide; it shouldn't have been allowed to happen in the first place. Mindless corporations never says no to "opportunities", but sanity sometimes dictates that responsible adults do. I think that's what's meant by the "anti-business" label.

  •  Three things John Avlon doesn't get: (5+ / 0-)
    1. 1960's leftism = Civil Rights Movement and
    1. Opposition to the Vietnam War
    1. Economic inequality is at an all time high.  Unions are the primary bulwark against this trend.

    Conservatives oppose the civil rights granted by our Constitution, support expensive crypto-imperialist wars abroad and aristocratic, hereditary wealth.

    Simple as that.

  •  Is there another democracy in the world... (0+ / 0-)

    ...with no limits on political campaign contributions for corporations?  I haven't heard of one.

    Is there another democracy with such low voter participation? Not that I can think of.

    If we made voting mandatory and we adopted public financing of political campaigns and put a limit on political contributions by corporations DC would move to the left.

    Dailykos.com; an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action -1.75 -7.23

    by Shockwave on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 07:55:32 AM PDT

  •  Maybe you're part of the problem. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mahakali overdrive

    If we've got one of the few 'progressive' radio hosts, on a liberal blog, declaring himself to be a centrist, then no wonder the political discourse is moving right.  Our 'own' talking heads admits to not being one of us.

    If you're not with us, go somewhere else.  We don't need anymore weak willed leaders in the progressive movement.

    •  this is not a "liberal blog" (0+ / 0-)

      FAQ:

      This is a Democratic blog, a partisan blog. One that recognizes that Democrats run from left to right on the ideological spectrum, and yet we're all still in this fight together. We happily embrace centrists like NDN's Simon Rosenberg and Howard Dean, conservatives like Martin Frost and Brad Carson, and liberals like John Kerry and Barack Obama. Liberal? Yeah, we're around here and we're proud. But it's not a liberal blog. It's a Democratic blog with one goal in mind: electoral victory. And since we haven't gotten any of that from the current crew, we're one more thing: a reform blog. The battle for the party is not an ideological battle. It's one between establishment and anti-establishment factions. And as I've said a million times, the status quo is untenable.

      "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

      by catnip on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 09:21:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Republicans are good at messaging (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    codairem, JTinDC

    Democrats are not. They started the minute Obama was elected and hammered away over and over and over about deficits and too much spending. They succeeded in getting the country worried about the deficits. When they are in power, they don't talk about deficits and play them down. The GOP controls the message and Democrats let them. It is as simple as that.

  •  agreed as usual Cenk (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925, esquimaux, codairem

    And that was a great "debate" you had with John Avlon. Not in the sense that both sides had good points, but that it was just fun watching you corner him for the last 10 minutes or so. I have honestly had enough of the whole "centrist" narrative. Guys like Barack Obama and Evan Bayh aren't "centrists", they are corporatists. The left isn't loony or extreme for disliking them. And we certainly aren't equivalent to the bigoted, bible-thumping, corporate pack mule right-wing base. The left and the REAL center (i.e. Cenk Uygur) are the most reasonable, and most consistently correct, people in the country.  

  •  Reagan Also Gave Illegals Amnesty (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave

    Reagan would be primaried and purged from the GOP today.

    He would be run out of the party by Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin...Reagan would be smeared as a RINO.

    It's amazing to me that back in the early seventies laughed at how ridiculous the idead of Reagan winning the White House was.

    I've learned my lesson and now I seriously fear President Palin.

    With SCOTUS giving corporations the legal right to make infinite donations to politicians, things can get pretty bad around America.

    McCain and Obama together spent 1 billion in the campaign; BP makes that much in a couple of hours ( intentional hyperbole ) ; Exxon and Shell makes much more than BP.

    Imagine what these corporations putting their economic might behind a Sarah Palin presidency would mean.

    Would a President Sarah Palin appoint Glenn Beck to her administration?  Michelle Bachmann might be DOJ.

    Fascism is not such a far out thing anymore in present day America. Fascism traditionally aligns corporations with the Govt. and we all know how right wing politicians ( GOBP ) rush to the defense of Banks, big oil, insurance companies, etc.

    It's a match made in hell.

  •  leagalize (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    musicalhair, mahakali overdrive

    everything. Feed the hungry. Help the poor.
    peace

  •  I strongly disagree with . . . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925, esquimaux

    It's not that multi-national corporations are evil, it's just that they're amoral. They are unconcerned with American taxpayers or citizens; they are concerned only with profits.
    That is what they have to be by law. It's absurd to argue otherwise.

    I fail to see the difference between amorality and immorality when it comes to multi-national corporations. Greed is immoral and greed is the core of the problem.

    It's one thing to make a fair profit, I agree it would be absurd to argue that specific point. But there is no longer any sense of what "fair" is or that fairness is even a valid consideration. This may be where, in my opinion, the extreme left parts ways with the moderate left. There is a point where capitalism all to easily morphs from financial freedom to financial oppression, from good to evil.

    Is it fair or moral when this nation experiences a near second Great Depression and the wealthy have already recouped their losses, even increased their wealth while the working class is still losing ground due to lost jobs, stagnant wages and higher living costs? Are not multi-national corporations directly responsible for this gross imbalance?

    I believe multi-national corporations would get by just fine if they were willing to settle for a little less profit for the sake of giving a shit about people, both the people who work for them and the people who buy their products and services. If it weren't for those people the multi-national corporations wouldn't even exist.

  •  You have been representing yourself (5+ / 0-)

    as a Progressive for some time, and now you admit you are a Centrist?

    *throws hands up in air...

    "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

    by mahakali overdrive on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 08:17:20 AM PDT

    •  who doesn't (5+ / 0-)

      like affirmative action.

      Look at all the progressively progressive super activists who police the purity of this site jumping all over him for it.

      Poor guy.

      •  It's regrettable that someone held up (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vcmvo2, OIL GUY, AnonObamaAid

        as some sort of "purity hero of the DFH Progressive masses" should come out and say, "Shucky darn guys, I'm real, real radical because, like, I'm a big Centrist!"

        As a Democratic Socialist, it's offensive to have the Left so wilfully misrepresent themselves. One easy thing that would absolutely improve the political discourse is greater honesty about political positioning, period.

        Particularly for "Progressive-pundits-who-are-Centrists."

        Don't lie to me.

        You know?

        "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

        by mahakali overdrive on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 08:38:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe you people ought to start ......... (6+ / 0-)

      ...... understanding that the  "purity troll" label is nothing more than a figment of someone's  imagination and has no basis in reality.

      Nobody is pure.  We all have ideas from all over the spectrum.  

      I'm mostly so far left, I'm about to fall off into Sweden. And yet on immigration, my views would make your hair curl.  

      So much for being a "purity troll".  ;)

      Btw, thank you for pointing out the absolute bankruptcy and stupidity of the "purity" label.  

      It's funny how things work out sometimes.  ;)

      •  You assume that the poster is no just (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ThAnswr

        another bad faith poster here.

        This is one of the issues. There are A LOT of people who post arguments in bad faith. They know when they are making the arguments that they are full of shit.

        There is a quote from Big Tent Democrat (a Centrist) that I want to start using with the bad faith actors and our need to deal with them as if they are really debating us.

        His statement comes up in the context of all the comments that selectively find the president to have no power when its about accountability, but having power  when its about trying to take credit for passing some sort of policy:

        "Transformation: Obama Goes From "Impotent" To FDR In A Flash

        ...Jonathan Bernstein must think Rachel Maddow, DemfromCt and the Economic Times are "betraying a deep lack of understanding of how the United States government works."

        Actually, what the New Beltway demonstrated yet again was a lack of good faith in this discussion. ..

        http://www.talkleft.com/...

        For the most part, this is a stale debate meaning precisely nothing intellectually, politically or in terms of policy. At one point I thought it had some ramifications regarding whether there would be Netroots issue activism and whether the New Beltway would be perceived as the Netroots. In the end it had none. There is no Netroots activism and the New Beltway is just the latest version of Democratic Party media advocates.

        •  Well ......... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mahakali overdrive

          You assume that the poster is no just another bad faith poster here.

          Your assumption about my assumption is incorrect.  

          My response was in response to the surprise that a liberal can hold centrist positions on some issues.  

          Which was the perfect lead in to take a few shots a the "purity troll" pontificators.  

          When opportunity knocks ....... ;)

          This is one of the issues. There are A LOT of people who post arguments in bad faith. They know when they are making the arguments that they are full of shit.

          Quite honestly, I take people at their word when it comes to opinions on the internet.  To do anything else would make "hmmm, I wonder what they mean" a full time job.  And I'm semi-retired.  

          There is a quote from Big Tent Democrat (a Centrist) that I want to start using with the bad faith actors and our need to deal with them as if they are really debating us.

          I read it over at Talk-Left.  Frankly, the timing of the "about-face" does gives one pause.  However, I consider Rachel Maddow just another pop culture talking head who's got airtime to fill.  

          His statement comes up in the context of all the comments that selectively find the president to have no power when its about accountability, but having power  when its about trying to take credit for passing some sort of policy:

          It sounded to me like a strawman was being set up.  But that's me.  

             "Transformation: Obama Goes From "Impotent" To FDR In A Flash

          No joke.  The transformation was phenomenal.  As to the timing, who cares.  See above for why.  

             ...Jonathan Bernstein must think Rachel Maddow, DemfromCt and the Economic Times are "betraying a deep lack of understanding of how the United States government works."

          Again, I'll debate opinions, beliefs, which cantelope the fly will land on, etc.  

          What I will not debate is the latest opinions of various radio/television talking heads.  Again, who cares.  We waste far too much time worrying about what "Glen said" or what "Keith said" or what "Rachel said".  They get paid to express opinions not report on the news.  

           Actually, what the New Beltway demonstrated yet again was a lack of good faith in this discussion. ..

          http://www.talkleft.com/...

          The real debate is whether or not the Beltway has any faith.

          For the most part, this is a stale debate meaning precisely nothing intellectually, politically or in terms of policy.

          Of course, it's a stale debate.  It's a debate about the opinion of a pop culture talking head and not about policy.  

          At one point I thought it had some ramifications regarding whether there would be Netroots issue activism and whether the New Beltway would be perceived as the Netroots. In the end it had none.

          It had no ramifications because it had no meaning.  It was just an opinion backed up by cherry-picked facts.  A equally good case could be made that Obama is the new Herbert Hoover.  Ultimately, it is meaningless as perception over policy is what will win out.  

          There is no Netroots activism

          There's Netroots activism but it's the same activism there's always been.  It's found in the communities and the local precents.  

          and the New Beltway is just the latest version of Democratic Party media advocates.

          Exactly.  The talking heads aren't reporting the news.  They aren't impartial.  They're there to promote a specific policy depending on which "wing of the bird" they fall on.  

          We make a great mistake in believing that the blogs-sphere is anything more than a freewheeling, round table discussion.  We don't make policy, but we all have opinions.  

          •  About 3/4 of that is dead on the money (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ThAnswr

            The rest isn't my cup of tea, but your attention to the overemphasis on, and bias of, media punditry, as well as your recognition of the netroots in relation to the grassroots is quite good. Some of your positions diverge from my own, but the way that you've refocused some of the issues at hand here is nicely stated.

            "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

            by mahakali overdrive on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 01:45:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  except people's opinion change (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ThAnswr

            and I have observed it. On monday depending on what a favored politicians say sthey supported, and on tues depending on what a favored politicians says they don't. This is the issue that is being discussed with the post. that the arguments are not a round table discussion. The bad faith is that people don't mean what they say and they demonstrate it above in the description BTD discusses.

            •  Is it "bad faith"? (0+ / 0-)

              Or just opinions that aren't set in stone?  Or human nature?  

              The Bushies did the same thing with Bush when it came to power and accountability.  

              OTOH, he was this strong bold leader.  OTOH, he was a victim of bad intell, bad staff, etc.  

              I think people mean very much what they say and don't realize they're holding two diametrically opposed opinions in their head about the same person and at the same time.  

              But, I consider that part of the blogging game.  This is a roundtable discussion and not a discussion of policymakers.  

              •  its bad faith (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ThAnswr

                When someone sets a rule that they then change to suit the politician, it's not an argument that they mean.

                on some level, bad faith doesn't depend on why they are doing it. If they set up conditionals, that would be preferable to what Big Tent Dem is describing.

                And sorry, there is no way someone can argue, as I have seen, on Monday that the president supported the public option and then on tues argue (with the same people recommending it) that the president never supported the public option.

                The same peo can not say that the president should cross the political aisles to reach out to REpubliecans, but then argue that anyone else doing it is wrong to reach out for progressive causes when they find commonality with conservatives on an issue

                The same people can not argue that if Bush does it , its wrong,a nd if Obama does its okay.

                THat's bad faith.

                It doesn't matter what they think thehy are doing. They aren't being intellectually honest in the discussion, and no one can have a real conversation with an intellectually honest person. Especially one that does not admit it.

                As Meteor Blades wrote on an issue that isn't particularly of importance to me- unnamed sources in DC: You can not argue that you are against unnamed sources when you don't like what unnamed sources says, and then for unnamed sources when it supports what you want to believe. Its dishonest, and there's really no way around it.

                •  What you're describing isn't "bad faith". (0+ / 0-)

                  It's hypocrisy.  And I'm with you there.  :)

                  I think the single greatest reason why I no longer support Obama is because I get this sense of "moral fluidity" about him.  What does he stand for?  What is he not willing to bargain away?  

                  I get the feeling anything and everything is on the table.  

                  I also think I'm not the only who feels that way.  Obama is not connecting with the public.  The public is still holding Obama at arm's length.  That's what's being reflected in the polls.  

                  Even his triumphs fail to give him a sustained bounce.  Obama is not connecting with the public.  

                  •  its bad faith because they (0+ / 0-)

                    know they aren't arguing in good faith regarding when they initially make the arguments they are making.  The behavior at the time- normally nastiness, name calling, hijacking of diaries, etc gives it away. Its not just one thing that leads me to my conclusion- its the totality of the behavior. BTD's exampel for instances is one where they know based on their own backgrond thats that they are saying is not true.

                    •  We'll have to agree to disagree. :) (0+ / 0-)

                      For the most part, I agree with what you're saying.  I just don't agree that it's "bad faith".  I think it's just plain old-fashioned hypocrisy and hero worship.  

                      For me, for someone to cross into "bad faith" means they have to make a conscious decision to do so.  

                      In my opinion, many are on auto-pilot and left the decision making a long time ago.  

              •  Oh, and the example BTD (0+ / 0-)

                gives is of the weak president when its about accountablity and strong president when its about accolades. Sorry, you can't do that and claim honesty in a debate. Its just not honest, and not somethng that the listener can then trust you on. Its not confusion thats driving the conversation.

                Its unpaid hackey, which your argument suggests you don't admit is part of the posters who are posting here. To accept your argument, means that for example as Jon Stewart once said you couldn't call bad faith actors on bad faith. So if X is lying and Y is telling the truth- we are all a part of the round table, but that isn't a useful discussion to anyone except the liar  since truth is equated as equal in such a frame to lying.

                The reason why saying he has power if its an accolade, but none of its accountability is so intellectually dishonest, and as a result a product of bad faith, is that there aren't any real opinions that define the debate or standards beyond protecting the president at all cost. So any discussion you think you are having isnt the real conversation. You may be have a conversation but to be quite franke- its one sided. their goal is to derail your conversation rather han promote it.

                Here's a list that I always like to link to regarding derailing arguments:

                http://www.derailingfordummies.com/

                It comes up in the context of race, but it has applicability to here. Pretending that everyone is truly trying to debate issues here is not a good idea. No more than believing the GOp is. We are annymous. You have no idea what motivates people other than what their arguments or framing issues in ways that favor politicians would imply.

                What I am describing is how we determine intent in the law for example. You look at a set of behavior,a nd you extrapolote from there. to do otherwise is to say we can never or should never determine intent. that can not be wht you mean or else you would say the same, for example, of  what the known GOP operative says.

    •  So in other words, the diarist who considers (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2, OIL GUY

      himself a legend in his own mind is just another hypocrite? Bummer.

      Solitude is painful when one is young, but delightful when one is more mature...Einstein

      by tazz on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 09:59:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And about that Hard Left (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vcmvo2, Patricia Bruner, sherijr

    If you can't find it, that's not because it doesn't exist. I have friends of every "hard Left" extreme political stripe -- from every flavor of Communist (Trotskyite to Maoist, not so many Leninists) to Socialist and Anarchist, Anarcho-Socialist, Anarcho-Syndaclist, etc...

    Many are living alternative lifestyles.

    Just because you don't know where to find them, but you have no trouble finding wingnuts, doesn't mean there is no true far Left and far Right.

    There most certainly is.

    And Washington is NOT more Right than the South, or other parts of the Country. That comment is patently absurd.

    You speak from a small bubble, no offense, and it's not helping your argument.

    "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

    by mahakali overdrive on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 08:30:46 AM PDT

    •  If we don't know them, they aren't in politics (0+ / 0-)

      and if they aren't in politics, they are not leftist in any meaningful sense of the world since the term itself has as its premise - politics and political systems.

      •  Define "politics" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vcmvo2

        Although I concur, most aren't political personages save a few local types; mayors and city council and that sort of thing. Fair that there is more far Right representation at higher political levels and equal (or more) non-political representation in the political eschalons of the populace (at least here in the CA Bay Area).

        But regardless, it's silly to say that DC is to the Right of "the rest of the Country." Also, by that, Cenk means the politicians vs. the populace, which is the same type of binary that I then was setting forth.

        "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

        by mahakali overdrive on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 10:10:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  His statement is factually accurate (0+ / 0-)

          The polling data, which you can find if you ever care to Goolge the subject (I don't feel like doing it right now), is pretty conclusive. The DC political class is to the right and moving further right of the general public on issue after issue. Pragmatism, moderations, etc, are all terms constructed on DC's political class elite rather than having any relationship to what voters actually think on issues. This is difficult to suss out because of the binary nature of the two party system that forces people to chose between lesser of two evils on any given election (i.e. voting for Brown in MA not because you are a conservative, but because you are only being given two choices- both of which would lead to similar economic outcomes that are set forth as the range of choices you have on the national economic menu of choices). Again, his thesis is actually nothing anyone can really dispute. Its just we conflate so many things here that people often don't realize they are really talking about DC. Not the American electorate. The American electorate is often irrelevant to the conversation of what DC believes and does. Then they use the fact that they have rigged the system as proof that see the voters wanted us rather than proof that the voters have rigged choices.

          As for your friends, my main point is not bout local or federal, but instead whether they are in politics. I've met people who say they are leftist, but aren't in politics. to which I say, you aren't leftist.

          •  "In politics" (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            vcmvo2

            Again... meaning... what?

            Is "Cenk Ugyer" in politics?

            I'm already bored of your answer, no offense (it's probably that part where you called me "in bad faith" as usual).

            So we're done. Bye.

            You are a self-proclaimed Centrist as per this site besides. I can see why you might not be bothered if someone long represented themselves AS a Progressive only to one day say, "Well, actually..."

            Good day to you.

            "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

            by mahakali overdrive on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 10:20:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Polling data defines objectively what is center (0+ / 0-)

              Just like participating in the democratic processes of a country defines what is politics.

              I am not self proclaimed. I am pegging it against the positions of the American public.  I am not defining politics. Politics is already defined.

              You seem incapable of objectivity so I can imagine why that's confusing.

              The over the top ending about saying good day to you is cute. It reminds me of Fez from that 70s show. We both know like Fez you aren't going anywhere. SO why say it? I know- its because I have done you wrong by pointing out to you that definitions are not whatever you want to make them. that centrism and determining where dc is versus the public isn't something that one can just make up on the fly. Its determined by actually - you know - knowing what the public thinks. How dare I!

  •  70% of Campaign Contributions are Corporate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, CornSyrupAwareness

    Seventy percent of campaign contributions come from corporations.

    I generally agree with you. Do you have a citation for that statistic you asserted?

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 08:33:18 AM PDT

  •  Obama to the Left of Reagan (5+ / 0-)

    Reagan sold arms to terrorists, negotiated with the evil empire, raised taxes eleven times, ran from Lebanon. Are you absolutely sure that Obama is to the left of Reagan?

    I don't see how Reagan's selling arms to terrorists makes him "left" at all: that seems to be a completely rightwing policy.

    Reagan negotiated with the Soviet Union, our #1 enemy. But Obama negotiates with our enemies, too. Meanwhile Obama, like Reagan, negotiates within the context of escalating our wars with those enemies. Reagan, though, increased war and military spending across the board, without an actual shooting war - except the one in Nicaragua that he created. Obama is winding down (too slowly, but substantially) the Iraq War he inherited. Obama is absolutely surely to the left of Reagan on war. Which is damning with faint praise, but still to the left.

    On taxes, Reagan raised taxes over and again, while Obama has continued to cut taxes. But Reagan's tax raises were on those not rich, or not his campaign donors, or corporations. Obama has raised taxes on the rich while cutting taxes overall. Obama is absolutely surely to the left of Reagan on taxes.

    Reagan ran from Lebanon, Obama is escalating Afghanistan. But running from Lebanon wasn't "left", it was a distinctive act of rightwing cowardice and hypocrisy. Escalating in Afghanistan is not necessarily "rightwing", as even the left needs to fight a war to win it. Though if Obama continues to lose the Afghanistan War, especially now that he's shaken up his Bush generals there (but swapping in a different Bush general), he's not to the left of anyone except McCain. And again, Obama is winding down Iraq (though too slowly). So while I'm not absolutely sure that Obama is "to the left" of Reagan on Afghanistan vs Lebanon, I'm still pretty sure.

    So I suppose overall I'm not quite "absolutely sure" Obama is to the left of Reagan, at least on that handful of policies you picked to make your argument. But since your examples demonstrate how "right" vs "left" is not at all "absolute", it's a trick question.

    I'm pretty sure Obama is to the left of Reagan on those issues overall. And I'm absolutely sure he's to the left of Reagan on all the issues overall. Not far enough to the left, maybe not far enough that Obama isn't also to the right in the overall spectrum.

    But I'm sure enough. I'd vote for Obama over Reagan, even if on the oversimplification of who's further "left" that is a trick answer.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 08:46:36 AM PDT

  •  A great diary, well-written, Thank You. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough. - Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by number six on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 08:47:25 AM PDT

  •  Why? Money. (0+ / 0-)

    I don't think it's politics.  I think it's money.  

    That's why the White House and Congress will thumb their noses at the public and public opinion.  

    The rewards for thumbing their noses are so great, they'll risk it.  

  •  right-left-center (0+ / 0-)

    What an amazingly honest article! Would that we could have this discussion in an open public and fully disclosed forum. It is time to insist on honest debate, not bumper sticker slogans from all candidates. But, once in office they must be required to stay on topic and continue this same debate.
    How about on the front page of each newspaper and the lead on each TV "news" program?

  •  Cenk's support for the Persian Gulf War (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jiffypop, BigAlinWashSt

    means that he supported an unnecessary war that Bush could have avoided but didn't.  

    don't forget who was wardefense secretary at the time.  

    maybe Cenk was too taken by the embedded media's cool graphics and all the generals on teevee telling us how cool our superior weapons systems were.

    anyway, it's a douchebag comment.

    •  i love how warmongers justified any action (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dave925, aliasalias, Tam in CA

      against Saddam by saying that he gassed his own people.

      Really?  What about American politicians who allow millions of their own countrymen to die without health insurance?  Who fight the public option?  Who side with big corporations time and again?  Who support thugs and strongmen and other dictators as long as it serves business' interest?  More people have been killed as a result of America's invasion and occupation of Iraq since 2003 than Saddam killed in his 40 years of power.  

      If you add the number of civilian casualties from the first gulf war and our equally destructive economic sanctions, it's clear that America has killed millions and millions of Iraqis, far more than ever killed by Saddam.

      Who is worse?

    •  The way I see it is (0+ / 0-)

      Cenk is just planning his future....looking for that primetime pundit gig to assure a secure future.

  •  Maybe Washington is so far right ... (0+ / 0-)

    because they are scared of all those Black people they encounter in the capital.

    In addition, of course, to largely being in the pockets of their corporate funders.

  •  why the "purists" failed (0+ / 0-)

    This diary explains clearly why the purists on this blog (and I think Cenk was one of them) failed on things like the Public Option in the HCR bill. It really makes zero sense to scream for a non-liberal administration for not enacting liberal legislation. This is why those who were called "Obamabots" wanted to get the bill passed and were willing to work incrementally to improve it later. Obama and his administration are not liberals and never have pretended to be liberal. It will be the same on issue after issue from banking reform to the war.

    This diary also explains why all the anti-Obama crying here in the meta diaries that pollute this blog are fruitless and inane. If one realizes upfront that we're not dealing with a progressive administration then one can roll up their sleeves and begin to work in the real world as it is instead of projecting our liberal ideals on a non-liberal President and Congress.

    •  The public option was supported by 60-70 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wamsutta

      percent of the public.

      What DC did has nothing to do with where the center of the voting public is.

      I don't expect this to get through to you. The comment is for anyone who happens to read your comment and not know you are full of shit.

    •  Roll up our sleeves... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wamsutta

      ... and accept the status quo, then?

      Why would I want to do that? If I have to plunge my hands into bullshit, I'd rather my arms be covered.

      Regards,
      Corporate Dog

      -----
      We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

      by Corporate Dog on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 11:16:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  From The Horses Mouth (0+ / 0-)

      Expecting a President to follow through on a major campaign promise= CRAAAAAAAZY

      This is what chump Change looks like.

      by Wamsutta on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 04:11:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I stopped watching the Sunday morning pundit (0+ / 0-)

    talk shows b/c all are obviously are influenced heavily by the right.  Even when those on the left appear, like Katrina van den Heuvel, she is outnumbered by conservatives.  That and the hosts have a tendency to let the conservatives get in the last word.

    The panel discussions following a lead interview  also includes a stacked deck of right wing cards.  

    The Sunday morning talk pattern is glaringly obvious and pathetic.  And a waste of my non-existent time.

    The only exception to the above may be CNN's Fareed Zakaria.  I've only watched a couple of his shows so far and I have not yet seen the same pattern as above.

    As far as I am concerned, this excellent diary should come as no surprise to anyone even remotely on the left.

    •  I was actually shocked yesterday (0+ / 0-)

      I was flipping channels, not intending to stop there, but I saw Katrina on Fareed Zakaria and listened to a bit of the conversation as it was wrapping up. First time in ages I've seen a liberal-dominated roundtable panel. Ross Douthat, who's not even that far right, looked like he was under siege by Katrina van den Heuvel, Arianna Huffington and Eliot Spitzer. It was all very cordial, no screaming or anything, but it was so rare to see the liberal side dominate a panel discussion like that. It doesn't even happen often on MSNBC, since the hosts who use that format seem to go out of their way, like Noah, to select two of each kind.

      •  This was a "liberal" (0+ / 0-)

        side echoing essentially right-wing talking points. There was nothing "liberal" about this panel. Huffington is no liberal, and she was propping up Sarah Palin. You need to go back and listen to the video. They were bashing Obama's handling of the oil spill, yet not one of these "liberals" mentioned Jindal, or Harbour or that activist Judge in New Orleans.

  •  Feast for thought (0+ / 0-)

    I'm the Left that Rahm's mother warned him about

    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 09:49:03 AM PDT

  •  Tipped & recc'd for schooling me on DC (0+ / 0-)

    I've never been to Washington and only know what goes on there through media reports, both mainstream and otherwise. Thank you for educating me on the basics of DC's everyday power structure. What I read in the MSM never sheds light on things like this.

  •  I wish I could recommend this 100 times (0+ / 0-)

    especially the part about the military industrial complex. There is no way you can back to fiscal health without radically cutting the military budget to something more in line with like Western democracies.

    We don't inherit the world from the past. We borrow it from the future.

    by minorityusa on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 10:00:50 AM PDT

  •  You'd be considered a 'librul' in TX. (nt) (0+ / 0-)
  •  Mike Lee: Taxpayers ought to bail out BP (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pete Rock, whaddaya

    Do conservatives want taxpayers rather than BP to pay for the clean up of the oil spill in the Gulf?

    Meet Mike Lee, Republican nominee for U.S. Senate here in Utah:

    SL TRIBUNE: Currently there’s a cap on liabilities that BP is expected to pay $75 million dollars. There’s legislation that Bill Nelson sponsored to increase that liability to $10 billion dollars. The oil companies say that will put them out of business. Is that something you would be supportive of, increasing that cap on liability for environmental damage?

    MIKE LEE: No.

    SL TRIBUNE: Why is that?

    LEE: This company is reliant, the entire industry, is reliant on the insurance its provided by law. Now had that cap not been in place, we would be facing a completely different question. But you have a set of settled expectations that you give to a business when it decides to make an investment in this. Our country benefits from this type of activity and allows us to produce more oil and allows more of our petro dollars to remain in the United States. We’ve relied on that, and to take that away I think would be a mistake.

    SL TRIBUNE: Does that leave taxpayers on the hook for part of the damage?

    LEE: Well yea probably does. And the government can look at that and say look, we put this damages cap in place, so we understood what that meant.

    SL TRIBUNE: Isn’t that equivalent to a bailout?

    •  Mike Lee believes in pure profit. (0+ / 0-)

      "Pure" profit means a BP, or his friends who are bankrolling his campaign can keep ALL the dollars they declare as profit. No nasty EPA or courts should touch any of the billions that are due for disaster cleanup.

      Now what will he do about the underground pollution from shale shock drilling? In Utah?  Spreading from contamination of the aquifers?

      Yeah I thought so. Not a thing.  Profit trumps your civil rights, the farmers' and ranchers' rights, and your rights to breath clean air and drink clean
      water.

      He is as conservative a jackass as the Republicans could find.  Why would an clown like him spend 20 times the value of a job's salary   (his campaign donations) to get elected?

      Because like all of them he plans on doing well for his favored contributors so he can milk it when he retires or goes back to work for them as a common shill.  That is not a "donation" but an investment in their common future!

      EE Cummings definition of a politician: Mike Lee as the perfect example.

      "A politician is an arse everybody has sat upon except a man".

      cast away illusions, prepare for struggle

      by Pete Rock on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 12:41:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I used to be middle conservative, too (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bruh1, whaddaya

    When corporations were supposed to earn money instead of stealing it or getting bailed out

    When people looked up to hard work, excellence and education

    When conservative meant, you know, to conserve things...

    www.tapestryofbronze.com and www.haikudiary.com

    by chloris creator on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 10:05:10 AM PDT

  •  Visusal version of this diary (5+ / 0-)

    3205975764_b00b82d61d_o

    Click pic to see the diary from whence it came.

    The best way to save the planet is to keep laughing!

    by LaughingPlanet on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 10:15:44 AM PDT

  •  When "analysts" like Chuck Todd get to decide (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux

    what is and is not the "most" important issue of the day/week/month/presidency, as opposed to reporting the issues and letting the voters decide which is most important, it's no wonder that Washington sets its own perception of just where on the political spectrum the nation should be.
     

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 10:21:28 AM PDT

  •  You are for balancing the budget now? (0+ / 0-)

    You are part of the problem.

  •  Washington sin't more Right or Central it is pure (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Val

    corporate money and bullshit talk supported by bogus elections.

  •  The Disease of Moderation (0+ / 0-)

    in an immoderate world. Described.

    Is John trying to say that "left" wing nuts are hijacking America? Is his book worth reading? He doesn't seem to get what Cenk is saying and what is so clear to many: the insidiously corrupt nature of this "Corporation Nation". (To be fair I should say it's more about the people who control and benefit from the large and powerful corporations than the corporations themselves.)

    By the way, the top marginal individual tax rates under Hoover in 1932 was 63%, under Eisenhower and Kennedy from 1954 to 1963 was 91% (!), and under Bush and Obama in 2003 till 2010 is now a mere 35% (while prosecuting two wars!).

    History of progressivity in federal income tax

    This is just one indicator of how far the country has shifted to the "right", or in fact toward "the corporatist and the financial elitist, right".

  •  The actual working class residents of DC... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fizziks

    ...are far to the left of the K Street-Uncle Sam axis. Since DC's main industry is government, it appears that the federal proletariat has more damned sense than our so-called leaders.

    "Don't believe everything you think."

    by BobboSphere on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 11:45:41 AM PDT

  •  Very well written (0+ / 0-)

    I used to be a big Cenk fan... but felt like you lost the magic there for a while. This article was much more like it. Thanks C. I am absolutely sure Obama is to the left of Reagan. The status quo is thirty years fatter and more entrenched than it was when Reagan ruled. If Reagan were around now in the office I doubt he'd be pushing back at all against the forces of the monied interests.

    Elect more and better democrats
    Foaming at the mouth rage is the only form of communication.

    by CornSyrupAwareness on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 11:48:23 AM PDT

  •  You're talking about the carpet baggers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fizziks

    Even with its thousands of residents who earn their livelihoods by working for the GOP, military, conservative-leaning think tanks, and so on, the DC metro area is one of the most liberal-leaning regions of the country.  If your sense of the political center is based upon how people live in the Bay Area of California, Portland, Oregon, or Cambridge, Mass, okay, we're a bit to the right of that.  But c'mon, it's a cliche that most conservatives who move to DC get ruined in two years (ie. have their social politics undone by the city's amiable cosmopolitanism, which then gets replaced by outright hypocrisy, since these people have to keep their jobs and earn a living).

    What deserves censure is the new elitism, which seems to have filled the Democratic party with cautious opportunists who don't know how to lead.  DC has plenty of these people, to be sure, even more than its fare share, but they come from elsewhere.

     

  •  Consider the "banaility of evil" for corporations (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pete Rock

    It does not have be a singular directed evil purpose but rather a collective series of actions over time the create the current memes that allow a  banality of evil

    Banality of evil is a phrase coined by Hannah Arendt and incorporated in the title of her 1963 work Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil.[1] It describes the thesis that the great evils in history generally, and the Holocaust in particular, were not executed by fanatics or sociopaths but rather by ordinary people who accepted the premises of their state and therefore participated with the view that their actions were normal.

    Beyond that, within many of these corporations, the executive management ranks are filled with sociopaths.  Sociopathy often results in unempathetic acts that most people would deem evil, so extending this to these new citizens, corporations, is not unreasonable.

    Obama needs to channel TR+FDR: Walk Softly, Carry a Big Stick and Welcome Their Hatred. He has Walk Softly down pat. Time to get on with the rest...

    by FightTheFuture on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 12:06:50 PM PDT

  •  You nailed it. (0+ / 0-)

    Because that's where power and the establishment reside.

    From the beginning of the President's term, I've always tried to warn people that the very very powerful conservative block has not got anywhere just because we elected an Washington outsider.

    They are still there in all their regalia and trying as hard as they can to push back on any initiatives coming from congress or the WH.

    I'm surprised we've been able to extend our power as we have been able to.  It's not close to the extent of theirs, but we're holding our own.

    I don't think the conservative-powers-that-be have read the memo about change.  They think it's a slogan.  Thier "business as usual" model tends to put in place "business as usual" practices.  And I don't think they are equipped to grasp the magnitude of growing democratic super majority coming.  And if they do dare go there, they are scared.

  •  yeah ur right..they are not printing enough $ (0+ / 0-)
  •  I assume you are using "Washington" as metonymy (0+ / 0-)

    for the power brokers of the federal government.

    The population of the Washington metropolitan area as a whole is one of the most liberal in the country.

  •  A Progressive MOVEMENT (0+ / 0-)

    Is what is needed.  You can blog until your fingers are blue, but that is ALL it is going to get you.

    Without a PUBLICLY VISIBLE progressive movement, you are wasting your time.

    Don't TALK to me about electing more Democrats.  I know that's the "purpose" of this site, but that's how I feel.  We gave the Democrats EVERYTHING they could possibly have asked for, and we were torpedoed left AND right but various members of that caucus, up and down the food chain.

    The main person I feel sorry for is Nancy Pelosi.  She worked her BUTT off, and was equally torpedoed by both the Senate and the WH.  She, more than anyone knows what this country needs.  She more than anyone knows what the party needs.  Others have other agendas.

    The ONLY way to move this country to the left is with a bonafide MOVEMENT.

    Don't talk to me about tea or coffee.

    Don't talk to me about blogging.

    Don't talk to me about sending money.

    You wanna talk to me?  See me in town halls or public demonstrations.

    Fed up???

    So am I.

    What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

    by equern on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 12:40:55 PM PDT

  •  A major problem--and one that I haven't seen (0+ / 0-)

    given much attention to here--is messaging. This post from December 2009 gives the best answer to why the country has shifted to the right on most major issues.

    The problem here is that, for whatever reason, the left has never learned how to use the media, create an effective message, and frame the issue on their terms. The right has spent decades convincing the "Establishment" that, on most public policy issues, conservative assumptions are correct. Even many liberal academics and "policy experts" accept many of these conservative assumptions on various issues even if they may not be correct or even wrong.

    The right has "policy experts" who can go on TV at the drop of a hat to speak their well-rehearsed talking points on issues. Organizations like the Heritage Foundation print out "studies" every week and have staff available 24/7 to provide their "viewpoints" on issues. There are direct-mail firms and PR companies who create well-designed ads on various issues to convince Americans to support them. And that's before you even consider their TV and media apparatus, including Fox News and talk radio.

    Washington is more "right-wing than the country" because the left lacks an effective messaging, PR, and lobbying infrastructure to change the consensus and various viewpoints. And until that happens--until liberals and progressives learn how the messaging, PR, media game--they will continue to be sold out, watch legislation watered down, end up disappointed, and, as that post from December 2009 said, "look like fools in the process".

  •  Suggestion for Mr. Uyghur: (0+ / 0-)

    Why are Liberals and Progressives so ineffectual?
    Sorry to complain, but it's partly because they don't start their diaries with the K.I.S.S. #1 Point.

    Diary Title..."Why Washington is More Right-Wing than the Rest of the Country".....

    Buried in the body of the diary is the key point:

    Why is Washington more right-wing than the rest of the nation? Because that's where power and the establishment reside. Power is by nature conservative -- it wants to protect its current privileged position. That's not nefarious, it's natural. But not acknowledging that is silly. The establishment loves the status quo, because that's what got them their current position. Why would they want to change that?

    I'd love it if you then cited statistics about how many lobbyists, how much money it takes to win a Congressional seat, etc.

    Also, what do you mean by "Right-Wing"? Power wants to conserve power, agreed. But doesn't really care about God, guns, gays, and other right wing social issues?

    Why is it that right-wing bastards always stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity, while liberals fall out among themselves?

        Yevgeny Yevtushenko (b. 1933), Russian poet. Quoted in: Observer (London, 15 Dec. 1991).

    There is nothing more agreeable in life than to make peace with the Establishment—and nothing more corrupting.

     A. J. P. Taylor (1906–90), British historian. "William Cobbett," in New Statesman (29 Aug. 1953).

    The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations is licensed from Columbia University Press. Copyright © 1993, 1995, 1997, 1998 by Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

    Media Reform Action Link http://stopbigmedia.com/

    by LNK on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 01:45:31 PM PDT

  •  Washington is more right wing because... (0+ / 0-)

    the majority of the media is conservative.I cannot watch a single Washington based talk show unless there is a conservative on it and most of the time a conservative host.Even PBS with McLaughlin.

    •  No! The media is liberal! (0+ / 0-)

      Because despite that whenever you turn on the TV you see lots of conservatives and no liberals, the media is liberal because the media itself always says so.  And reasonable conformist centrist moderates believe them and repeat this.  Therefore it must be so because no one will ever say that reasonable conformist centrist moderates are wrong.  

      So there.  ;)

      The only place where Republicans are anywhere close to responsible is in the dictionary.

      by DemDachshund on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 03:31:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Avlon won't admit he's wrong (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux

    He's making too much money off of promoting the false equivalency between the left and right.

    "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." -Noam Chomsky

    by Joshua Lyman on Mon Jun 28, 2010 at 03:14:46 PM PDT

  •  Hard Left (0+ / 0-)

    .. well there are some on this site that emphatically suggest we should renounce capitalism entirely.  I'd call them "hard left".

  •  Great diary! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    I want to focus in on two particularly clarifying passages:

    Why is Washington more right-wing than the rest of the nation? Because that's where power and the establishment reside. Power is by nature conservative -- it wants to protect its current privileged position.

    Being against corporate control of our democracy shouldn't be a liberal position. It should be a universal position. It's not that multi-national corporations are evil, it's just that they're amoral. They are unconcerned with American taxpayers or citizens; they are concerned only with profits. That is what they have to be by law. It's absurd to argue otherwise.

    These statements should be self-evident, but how many Americans actually know, understand, or accept these truths?

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