Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Our Dumb Dialogue (Pt. II)

No, I definitely did not expect the Drudge/Fox News axis to be humbled by their latest failure, particularly with just one week left to scare Americans into believing that the junior Senator from Illinois is some scary radical who will doom America forever (do I need to link to more footage of what insane/racist things McCain-Palin supporters are saying at those rallies?). Still, their final push is even more hyperbolic than ever. Here was Drudge's huge headline yesterday, a story that is now leading on Fox News, conservative blogs, the NY Post, etc-

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(This is the interview audio the Drudge headline linked to... full audio here.)

This is how far to the right our current leadership has dragged this country... that the extremely modest proposals made by Obama (seriously folks, Obama is Ronald F'ing Reagan and Milton Friedman's dirty love child on economic policy compared to the Republicans of our parent's generation, like Eisenhower, and Nixon and Ford to an extent) are considered radical or far-left, let alone socialist, a word that apparently no longer has any meaning.

If what Obama has proposed-- middle class tax cuts, merely restoring upper income tax %s to the Clinton-era levels, assorted credits for small businesses and tuition, etc-- constitute socialism, then what labels can we assign to John McCain and Sarah Palin given their economic records?

But all of this nonsense isn't about having a substantive debate over economic policy (this and this sum up the media 'seriousness' on these issues). It's about throwing out scary buzzwords and banking on the stupidity of the average voter. It's all they have left. Can any McCain-Palin supporters reading this honestly tell me that their side has been making an honest case for their own policies? If so, I'm all ears.

The Reality-Based Community's Mark Kleiman has a reality check on the heavily-edited audio the right is pushing-
Is this really the best the wingers and their tame press and their adopted candidate* can do in the way of an Obama scandal? Obama would like people who aren't rich to get a fairer shake than they now get. He thinks those changes need to be made by the voters through their elected representatives, not through the courts. He thinks it was a tragedy that the civil rights movement, having accomplished important expansions of formal rights through the courts, then over-relied on the courts, rather than the voters, in moving on to make substantive changes.

In a previous entry, he wrote specifically on the socialism charge that-
The whole "socialist" thing is so wrong on so many levels it's hard to get started.

First, it's obviously, grossly, ludicrously false. Obama does not believe in state ownership of the means of production. He believes in a state that makes capitalism work for everyone. When he thinks about economic policy Obama's first move is toward Alexander Hamilton, who invented what is now called the "mixed economy" before anyone had ever heard of socialism.

Second, McCain doesn't really believe it. First he cites his vote against the Bush tax cuts as evidence that he's a maverick. Then he cites Obama's opposition to extending those cuts as evidence that Obama is a "socialist." Or it's because Obama offers refundable tax credits, when refundable tax credits are at the center of McCain's own health care plan. This stuff doesn't pass the giggle test.

Elsewhere, Andrew Sullivan rolls his eyes-
Go read the original talk that Obama gave on NPR and see if it says anything even faintly similar to the truncated quotes about to be used by McCain... Here's what it's based on: the "tragedy," in Obama's telling, is that the civil rights movement was too court-focused. He was making a case against using courts to implement broad social goals - which is, last time I checked, the conservative position...

...So Obama was arguing that the Constitution protects negative liberties and that the civil rights movement was too court-focused to make any difference in addressing income inequality, as opposed to formal constitutional rights. So it seems to me that this statement is actually a conservative one about the limits of judicial activism.

Is this really all McCain has left?

No! Not true! McCain also has thousands of Republicans across the country engaging in dirty tricks and old-school, Nixon-style ratfucking. And racism. So there, Andrew!

Seriously folks, it's gonna be a long and stupid week. Spend it educating your swing state friends and family.

[PS- Drudge's headlines from last night and today are just... who even knows.]

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