Time for an end to the "conservative revolution" - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-13-2007, 05:29 AM Thread Starter
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Time for an end to the "conservative revolution"

I found this article insightful to the nth degree, an incredibly accurate commentary on the state of American society, with much food for thought, for all:



Nah Nah Nah Nah, Goodbye
The people who pontificate for pay need to rise to the level of their audience. That will turn out to be a stretch for many of them.

By Anna Quindlen
Newsweek

March 19, 2007 issue - This is not a column about Ann Coulter. Otherwise it would be irrelevant. When the conservative lounge act used an anti-gay slur to refer to John Edwards while speaking to a Republican gathering, she catapulted herself momentarily back into the public eye. That, of course, is what she was after. As Warren Beatty once said of Madonna, she doesn't want to live off-camera, much less talk. If it takes a bit of desperate bigotry to make the cameras whir—well, desperate times demand desperate measures.

"Desperate" is the key word here. The national snarkfest is on its way out, and good riddance. Like doo-wop when the Beatles showed up, an era is grinding to a close. The landscape of American discourse has grown lousy with agents provocateurs whose careers are built around delivering verbal depth charges, not information. The form is now officially past its sell-by date.

The public has outgrown it.

This is an election that really matters. NBC News recently reported that 73 percent of Americans say they are following it closely, an astounding figure in a country in which it's a big deal if more than half the electorate votes. Everywhere there's talk that this may be the most momentous race in our lifetime, that it's clear that the country is teetering on the cusp of something, good, bad or cataclysmic.

The war that is a fruitless quagmire. The government that can't even provide adequate services to returning soldiers. The stock market that seems to be on a vertiginous ride. The housing bubble ready to blow away middle-class families.

An educational system that often seems not to educate. A criminal-justice system that is a swamp for the victim and the accused. A health-care system that leaves sick people running up chemo on their high-interest credit cards. And a future built on a monstrous deficit that could sink Social Security and any other meaningful entitlement program for coming generations.

This is an election that belies all the old cynical constructs with which journalists found themselves so comfortable for so long. The one about how no one good runs anymore? Gone. On the Democratic side of the aisle, it sometimes seems that everyone good is running. If half the candidates in the field pulled out now—any half of them—there would still be plenty of possibilities with smarts, experience and credibility. The number of serious Republican contenders is far smaller, but at least the party is no longer completely paralyzed by the usual litmus tests: abortion, gay rights, gun control. Why, Mitt Romney alone has been on both sides of almost every one of those issues!

See, I'm falling into the trap myself. Political reporting and commentary has become a burlesque show, with sober analysis losing the field to the snappy comeback. Stephen Colbert has made a brilliant TV career out of simply pretending to be a true believer, which has become an idea so laughable that he gets lots of laughs. But what happens when the real true believers surface again, Americans who suspect their families are on the edge of a volcano and who hope, despite everything, that maybe someone can run the country well enough to pull everyone back from the edge? They need more than ripostes. Sure, there's still room for satire in dissecting the body politic. But when satire morphs into mockery, and mockery morphs into savagery and suddenly it's all savagery, all the time—well, does any of that really advance the debate?

If, as many suspect, this is either a moment for the United States to prevail or to implode, a radio program, a column or a TV talk show really matters. It's a valuable piece of public real estate that should be earned every day, by engaging rather than interrupting, by reasoning rather than rabble-rousing. Maybe even by doing the really unthinkable in the civic auditorium and trying to move the conversation in fruitful directions. In the constant search for the new and the counterintuitive, one answer might be to get ahead of the curve with solutions instead of bringing up the rear with opprobrium, to be the ringmaster rather than the guy with the broom and the pan following the elephants.

Someone once told me that the media are always fighting the last war. Personal attacks and cynical put-downs are so last-time-around. Maybe idealism is the new black. Were there commentators during World War II content to mock the way Hitler styled his mustache, or the idea of Franklin Roosevelt's running (ha, ha—get it? Running?) for a fourth term? If so, they've been forgotten.

These times are, in some fashion, as significant and serious as those, and the way in which voters are attending to this election and the issues makes that clear. This election is not a joke; this moment deserves more than playground-bully punditry. The people who pontificate for pay need to rise to the level of their audience. That will certainly be a stretch for many of them. But it's better than being remembered decades from now as a person who wasted time doing the tired old nah-nah as the republic crashed and burned.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-13-2007, 06:09 AM
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I'll be damned, a liberal commentator wants to put an end to her opponents! That is incredibly daring and insightful.

Even better idea: Let's put an end to whatever political party thinks that higher taxation and government spending are the twined answer to any perceived problem.

B
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-13-2007, 06:13 AM Thread Starter
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That's about as likely as you growing another dick.

You make her point - you see the right wing clown act as "opposition". She is right, the entire thing that began with Limbaugh and Gingrich in 1992 has grown tiresome, it is not "oppostion", it is stupidity.
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-13-2007, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by FeelTheLove
That's about as likely as you growing another dick.

You make her point - you see the right wing clown act as "opposition". She is right, the entire thing that began with Limbaugh and Gingrich in 1992 has grown tiresome, it is not "oppostion", it is stupidity.
Oh, you don't see your political opponents as opposition?

I get it: Bush is not your opposition. Rather, you are partners with him in Democracy! George Orwell loves you, Mr Love.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-13-2007, 06:21 AM Thread Starter
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I don't see your goddess Ann Coulter as "opposition". She is, as the author states, a lounge act, a schtick comedian who has grown tiresome. Same thing with Hannity and O'reilly, who as she states "would rather interrupt than engage". The country is growing up. People aren't afraid of "queers" anymore. People don't want the religious nanny state the right thinks should be ruling this country. People are tired of these incredibly pressing issues being lost in some moron shouting "faggot". We are coming to the end of an era.

The article has little if any to say of Mr. Bush. He is so "over".
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-13-2007, 06:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FeelTheLove
I don't see your goddess Ann Coulter as "opposition". She is, as the author states, a lounge act, a schtick comedian who has grown tiresome. Same thing with Hannity and O'reilly, who as she states "would rather interrupt than engage". The country is growing up. People aren't afraid of "queers" anymore. People don't want the religious nanny state the right thinks should be ruling this country. People are tired of these incredibly pressing issues being lost in some moron shouting "faggot". We are coming to the end of an era.

The article has little if any to say of Mr. Bush. He is so "over".
What, you don't see Nazis and Fascists as the enemy? Those are terms of endearment in FTL World?

B
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-13-2007, 06:39 AM Thread Starter
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I think a legimate discussion of Nazism and fascism creeping into the American democracy is beyond what you can handle. Face up to reality.
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-13-2007, 06:42 AM
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I think a legimate discussion of Nazism and fascism creeping into the American democracy is beyond what you can handle. Face up to reality.
What has happened, FTL, has the Democrat Party given new orders to calm the insane rhetoric?

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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-13-2007, 08:35 AM
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The Little Red Hen - modern version

Once upon a time, on a farm in Indiana, there was a little red hen who scratched about the barnyard until she uncovered quite a few grains of wheat.

She called all of her neighbors together and said, "If we plant this wheat, we shall have bread to eat. Who will help me plant it?"

"Not I," said the cow.
"Not I," said the duck.
"Not I," said the pig.
"Not I," said the goose.

"Then I will do it by myself," said the little red hen. And so she did. The wheat grew very tall and ripened into golden grain.

"Who will help me reap my wheat?" asked the little red hen.

"Not I," said the duck.
"Out of my classification," said the pig.
"I'd lose my seniority," said the cow.
"I 'd lose my unemployment compensation," said the goose.

"Then I will do it by myself," said the little red hen, and so she did.

At last it came time to bake the bread. "Who will help me bake the bread?" asked the little red hen.

"That would be overtime for me," said the cow. "I'd lose my welfare benefits," said the duck. "I'm a dropout and never learned how," said the pig. "If I'm to be the only helper, that's discrimination," said the goose.

"Then I will do it by myself," said the little red hen. She baked five loaves and held them up for all of her neighbors to see. They wanted some and, in fact, demanded a share. But the little red hen said, "No, I shall eat all five loaves."

"Excess profits!" cried the cow. "Capitalist leech!" screamed the duck. "I demand equal rights!" yelled the goose.
The pig just grunted in disdain.

And they all painted "Unfair!!" picket signs and marched around and around the little red hen, shouting obscenities.

Then a government agent came, he said to the little red hen, "You must not be so greedy."

"But I earned the bread," said the little red hen.

"Exactly," said the agent. "That is what makes our free enterprise system so wonderful. Anyone in the barnyard can earn as much as he wants. But under our modern government regulations, the productive workers must divide the fruits of their labor with those who are lazy and idle."

And they all lived happily ever after, including the little red hen, who smiled and clucked, "I am grateful, for now I truly understand."

But her neighbors became quite disappointed in her. She never again baked bread because she joined the "party" and got her bread free.
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-13-2007, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Botnst
I'll be damned, a liberal commentator wants to put an end to her opponents! That is incredibly daring and insightful.

Even better idea: Let's put an end to whatever political party thinks that higher taxation and government spending are the twined answer to any perceived problem.

B
The author said nothing of what you apparently got out of the article - which seems to be just "more of the same" or maybe it inspired you to start cheering again for "more of the same." Hard to tell.

What I got from the article is a view that America is finally maturing in a manner much like the turn from McDonald's and Burger King's supersized meals of unhealthy greases and fats, just this time it is the input for their minds they are becoming more descriminating about. I welcome that, but, it seems once again Bot, you are cheerleading for a diet of mental activity decelerators and aptitude retardants served by your Party's media outlets. Kind of a "stay the course" approach to political thinking and debate. Jim
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