Triumph of the Willy Nilly


It’s nice to see aconcise, easy-to-understand explanation of just how, well, plain wrong Governor Palin is on a particular issue, in this case what the term “preconditions” means in a diplomatic sense (via.) And I’m sure anyone with an adult’s level of understanding could identify a number of instances where Governor Palin and Senator McCain are, at best, being rather disengenuous…or lying through their goddamned teeth, if you prefer.

Last night I was bored enough to tune intoHardball — I wanted to catch a video clip that had been flagged by several progressive blogs re: Nancy Pfotenhauer on another one of Palin’s dead-wrong assertions, the role of the VP as defined in the Constitution. Tweety is Tweety, still, it’s another example front and center of how removed Candidate Palin is from understanding the constructs of the office she seeks–and, I fear, how removed at least some segments of the public are from a basic understanding of United States civics, if not the basics of civil society.

Given this, it’s maybe not all that difficult to understand how viciously and how thoroughly Team Bush was able to subvert the Constitution–some cheered them on, some condemned them thoroughly, but large numbers were blithely ignorant and/or apathetic.

This same sort of ignorance or apathy is evident in the labeling of a progressive income tax (and really, in the whole scheme of things, not all THAT progressive) as socialism. For that matter, a lack of understanding of the role of government in distributing — or redistributing — wealth is, for some, astonishingly misunderstood. In a different segment of Hardball, Matthews was speaking with someone whom I assume was a regular contributor, a radio talk show host, I think. This person didn’t seem to get the fact that radio talk show hosts DON’T generate wealth, but are the receipients of redistributed wealth, with a bit more than a nominal assist from…government. And they’re not the only ones who’ve benefited from a government that’s played quite the active role in “promoting the general welfare.”

Offhand, I can think of a number of things goverment has done to facilitate the generation or distribution of wealth, and I’m sure there are plenty more. From virtually the moment of its founding, government funded internal improvements, especially canals; later, railroads capitalized themselves via a VERY generous land subsidy, later still, individuals benefitted from the Homestead Act…the government continues to subsidize homeownership through the mortgage interest tax deduction, then you’ve got various grants, contracts, and lord knows what…with the idea being to move money around, i.e., generate growth and wealth.

Yet, segments of the public seem to be blind to this. As they are to things like “civil society,” “rule of law,” and so on…to the point where John McCain can define someone as the most qualified Vice-Presidential candidate in recent history, but a candidate who doesn’t comprehend the basics of the position…or the basics of diplomatic terminology.

Sadly, this candidate nonetheless is a reflection of a significant segment of the general public. Ouch.

3 thoughts on “Triumph of the Willy Nilly

  1. …or lying through their goddamned teeth, if you prefer.
    I do. I do.
    The hallmark of the Bush II Republican era is ignorance, faith and wanton pillaging writ large and proud. Who needs to know anything about governance (especially all the quaint details and nuances of American government, like the Constitution and law and such) when the objective is to impose a narrow economic doctrine to enrich yourself and the base at the expense of the poor and middle class (and frankly the portion of the base without the good taste to be in the upper 1%)? With Heysoos and his dad on your side what’s really to know?

  2. When Palin (or someone else) says that the new VP would be able to exert control over the Senate, or whatever, what I’d like to see is the interviewer ask her HOW that is going to be done: Just what is the mechanism by which this new authority would be exercised? When you show up on Jan 21st in the Senate chamber, and Harry Reid tells you to go f@ck yourself, what exactly is it that you are going to DO about it?
    The answer would be fascinating.

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