Sunday, July 08, 2012

Kelly goes round the bend

In today’s column, Jack Kelly has finally declared his vision of what the world (really just America) actually looks like. If you ask me, Kelly modeled it after what liberals (and to a small extent Democrats) accused George W Bush of, Emperor Dubya the first who supposedly wanted a permanent Republican majority, and (in the weird nightmares of some liberals) to stay in power indefinitely. Actually Dubya ended up kind of like Slick Willie (hey, we should be non-partisan in our insulting nicknames, yeah?), his term ended with a reversal that was more a whimper than a bang. His somewhat hysterical descriptions aside, Barack Obama’s term as Presidency will end either later this year or in four years, and if history is any guide, likely a Republican will take over the White House (if it is in four years it probably won’t be Mitt Romney). And our giant cultural juggernaut with be pushed along by inertia in a continuingly negative direction of income inequality and diminished benefits for the poor and elderly, whether or when our economy recovers.

But to the matter at hand, Jack Kelly’s dog whistle column today. More like a dog foghorn. Before I even address the insanity therin, I want to reference this unrelated column from last someone else, last September. This column is another dog whistle, essentially saying that no attempt should be made to register the poor, since all they do is vote in politicians who get them more benefits. If you buy that, you will buy all of today’s Jack Kelly column.

The thing is, the world is not that black and white. Barack Obama has done some things that appear to be designed to perhaps appeal to or at least assuage the concerns of independents (assuming true conservatives are essentially a lost cause). Some pundits would put the too small stimulus in that category (although part of that is also the fault of Congress), and perhaps the increased program of arrests of medical marijuana shops in California and the war on whistleblowers. Or perhaps there is something more going on with Obama, where he is actually more extreme than even Bush was, on marijuana, whistleblowers and the assassinations Jack Kelly mentions.

Which brings me back to the world not being black and white. There are reasons like the ones listed above to criticize Barack Obama, and more. Obama’s and Obama’s administration‘s connections to Wall Street, and the fact that Wall Street has not suffered much since the meltdown and in fact has prospered (those who merged, and probably even those who were merged) is a great concern. The use of drones to kill terrorists that ends up killing civilians (who if they are male adults are promptly dubbed also terrorists, and if women or children, they simply aren’t acknowledged) is another great concern.

But as I have said there is only one of the concerns I listed that Jack Kelly also lists as a concern. The assassinations are serious, but Kelly’s and apparently all Republicans don’t seem to care about Wall Street, drones, whistle blowers or medical marijuana. Instead Jack Kelly trots out a bunch of in this early paragraph: “King Barack I treats the public treasury as his piggy bank, enforces only the laws he likes and asserts the power, without oversight from Congress or the courts, to kill American citizens suspected of terrorism. His attorney general dodges lawful subpoenas while protecting and promoting vote fraud.”

Kelly claims both the judiciary and the press (except presumably for News Corp and he rest of the right wing noise machine) are in the bag for Democrats. I guess its fortunate that an election is coming up, but I fear what might happen if Obama is re-elected. Jack Kelly might call for the assassination of Barack Obama.

Meanwhile the Republicans are going after different issues than the ones I listed. Some of then, such as debt, are real issues. I personally think the debt is something that we can’t afford to deal with until after we reverse the recession. I think Bill Clinton showed extraordinary wisdom when he suggested that the deficit/debt should be addressed when thinks are good, not in the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression. But then the rest of their issues, that the Obama administration is spending money on unemployment, food stamps and Medicaid because of the massive up-tick in unemployment. And universal health care has not destroyed the governments of all other industrial democracies, or are Republicans saying that Greece, Ireland, China and Russia are dictatorships (well, China and Russia … never mind)? And this business of not obeying the laws of Congress, well, Bush’s attitude toward FISA and signing statements make that issue a lot more complex (except the Republicans I have talked to refuse to acknowledge Bush’s actions).

Are Republican and independents getting good information from their leaders and the right wing noise machine? Admittedly on the other side I wouldn’t know some things if I hadn’t stumbled on to Glenn Greenwald, but there is Charles Ferguson’s “Inside Job” and apparently Ezera Klein is not too bad. But a lot of the media is obsessed with being fair and finding two equal sides for every story, and there is a smaller group that does actually worship Obama (much like conservatives accuse). So the left doesn’t always have the best sources either, but at least they are there for people to find. As far as I know the right has no equivalent, only people like Bill O’Reilly, the late Andrew Breitbart, Matthew Vadum and Jack Kelly.

That’s the state of political debate today, and Jack Kelly’s contribution.

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