Something that was available but not well known
Posted by aogTuesday, 09 March 2010 at 21:51 TrackBack Ping URL
here were promises of transparency and of a new kind of collaborative politics where establishment figures listened to ordinary Americans. We were going to see net spending cuts, tax cuts for nearly all Americans, an end to earmarks, legislation posted online for the public to review before it is signed into law, and a line-by-line review of the federal budget to remove wasteful programs.

These weren’t the tea-party platforms I heard discussed in Nashville last weekend. They were the campaign promises of Barack Obama in 2008.

Mr. Obama made those promises because the ideas they represented were popular with average Americans. So popular, it turns out, that average Americans are organizing themselves in pursuit of the kind of good government Mr. Obama promised, but has not delivered. And that, in a nutshell, was the feel of the National Tea Party Convention. The political elites have failed, and citizens are stepping in to pick up the slack.
The dirty little secret of the 2008 election is that Obama won by running on what is now essentially the TEA party platform.

Ranger

Comments — Formatting by Textile
Barry Meislin Wednesday, 10 March 2010 at 07:51

Actually, I was under the impression that he promised the American people they could eat whatever they wanted whenever they wanted in whatever quantity they wanted and not get fat.

Sounded really good at the time, I guess.

And now they want their money back.

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 10 March 2010 at 09:22

You forgot “and save money while doing it”.

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Thursday, 11 March 2010 at 02:25

National Journal and Cato have been on something similar for a year.

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Thursday, 11 March 2010 at 02:34

[A] line-by-line review of the federal budget to remove wasteful programs.

Struck down June 25, 1998, by a 6-3 decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in the case Clinton v. City of New York. So that one was DOA. Which doesn’t contradict your headline, I guess, but it should have been “well known.”

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Friday, 12 March 2010 at 05:22

For David Cohen: As a progressive, Obama hews to the tradition of Woodrow Wilson - By George F. Will; Thursday, March 11, 2010

For erp: ACORN gives up Ohio business license - Organization won’t be cropping up in Ohio as “WALNUT” or “CHESTNUT” either - By JULIE CARR SMYTH, Associated Press:

The community organizing group ACORN has agreed to give up its Ohio business license and not return under another name, as it has in other states, under a settlement struck with a libertarian center that sued it.

erp Friday, 12 March 2010 at 08:12

Rough, and we believe them and AP why?

cjm Saturday, 13 March 2010 at 02:49

we consider “rough” sane because?

rough: pull up! pull up!! BOOOOOMMMMM!!!!

insane ****

erp Saturday, 13 March 2010 at 08:37

cjm, play nice.

David Cohen Saturday, 13 March 2010 at 11:54

I’m no fan of Obama’s presidency, but he’s done nothing to justify comparing him to Wilson, our only evil president.

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Tuesday, 16 March 2010 at 12:30

Nailed it!!

March 12, 2010 | Getting Obama Right | By DAVID BROOKS

Who is Barack Obama?

If you ask a conservative Republican, you are likely to hear that Obama is a skilled politician who campaigned as a centrist but is governing as a big-government liberal. He plays by ruthless, Chicago politics rules. He is arrogant toward foes, condescending toward allies and runs a partisan political machine.

If you ask a liberal Democrat, you are likely to hear that Obama is an inspiring but overly intellectual leader who has trouble making up his mind and fighting for his positions. He has not defined a clear mission. He has allowed the Republicans to dominate debate. He is too quick to compromise and too cerebral to push things through.

You’ll notice first that these two viewpoints are diametrically opposed. You’ll, observe, second, that they are entirely predictable. Political partisans always imagine the other side is ruthlessly effective and that the public would be with them if only their side had better messaging. And finally, you’ll notice that both views distort reality. They tell you more about the information cocoons that partisans live in these days than about Obama himself. […]

We live in a country in which many people live in information cocoons in which they only talk to members of their own party and read blogs of their own sect. They come away with perceptions fundamentally at odds with reality, fundamentally misunderstanding the man in the Oval Office.

Copyright 2010 The New York Times Company

Maybe both the far-right and -left are correct about Obama, at least as Brooks depicts their positions. “Skilled politician who campaigned as a centrist but is governing as a big-government liberal; is arrogant, condescending and partisan” doesn’t preclude “a leader who has trouble making up his mind and who has not defined a clear mission.”

People are foolish: Money can’t buy you happiness, economists find By Andy Bloxham

Inhabitants of wealthy countries tend to grow more miserable as their economy grows richer, according to research.

Economists Curtis Eaton and Mukesh Eswaran found that […] the bulk of the population, who were unable to afford the latest status symbols, were left unhappier by their inability to keep up.

As countries become wealthier, more value is attached to objects which are not strictly necessary for comfortable living, the researchers claim. People are then drawn into keeping up with the Joneses which results in less happiness for those who cannot afford the newest “must-have” items even if their wealth has increased. […] In their research, published in the Economic Journal, they said: “These goods represent a ‘zero-sum game’ for society: they satisfy the owners, making them appear wealthy, but everyone else is left feeling worse off.” …

Isn’t this supposed to be one of the things learned in kindergarten, or at least during high school?

Life ain’t fair, but if you’ve got three hots & a cot, plus your health, then it’s all good?

More prosaically, of course “the bulk of the population [are] unable to afford the latest status symbols.” If anyone could get them, then what kind of status would that symbolize? It’s why poseurs in the U.S. like to sneer at Wal~Mart shoppers.

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Wednesday, 17 March 2010 at 08:20

This is a very interesting, objective, well-written report on the Tea Party Convention in Nashville, in early February:

The New York Review of Books | Volume 57, Number 5 | March 25, 2010 | At the Tea Party | By Jonathan Raban

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 17 March 2010 at 16:10

You’re citing David Brooks? He’s even loopier than Noonan, especially on the subject of Barak Obama

That first encounter is still vivid in Brooks’s mind. “I remember distinctly an image of—we were sitting on his couches, and I was looking at his pant leg and his perfectly creased pant,” Brooks says, “and I’m thinking, a) he’s going to be president and b) he’ll be a very good president.”

Yeah, that’s the kind of guy I look to for political insight. We can look at your cite for that, as the two portraits cited are hardly “diametric opposites”. They’re not even that inconsistent. You see this yourself

Maybe both the far-right and -left are correct about Obama, at least as Brooks depicts their positions.

By implication, you agree Brooks doesn’t know what he’s going on about, yet you cite him as a source? Bizarre.

Inhabitants of wealthy countries tend to grow more miserable as their economy grows richer, according to research.

I think that’s a correlate of them becoming less conservative and religious, as we know those two things correlate positively with personal happiness.

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Thursday, 18 March 2010 at 10:07

By implication, you agree Brooks doesn’t know what he’s going on about, yet you cite him as a source? Bizarre.

Describing the world and analyzing the world are both valuable skills. That a person fails at one, doesn’t mean that they aren’t good at the other.

Out of the above excerpt, only these points could be quibbled with:

You’ll notice first that these two viewpoints are diametrically opposed.

They come away with perceptions fundamentally at odds with reality, fundamentally misunderstanding the man in the Oval Office.

Every other sentence is an absolutely-correct description of reality.

I posted it because I was amused at how dead-on it was in depicting what I see when cruising the internets - it’s almost parody.

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