Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Unreasonable people vote

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  • Samuel Scott,

    I feel let down by Ms Tucker. I have defended her stomping drumming style to many a paradiddling drum snob and this is how she repays me?!

    Rand Paul = the love child of Ayn Rand and Ru Paul.


    ....Yes thats right tweet friends, I just repeated my own joke. So what?! Shut up.

    South Wellington • Since Feb 2008 • 304 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    It really is hard to fathom how different the political discourse is over here. I had a conversation with a group of fellow students which ended up with some of them defending the idea that it was okay to let the children of people on welfare starve by cutting off their parents' welfare because, well, their parents should work harder and get jobs and it's not anyone else's fault, really, is it? It's just a consequence.

    The longer I'm in this country the more I get the impression that it's built, in a large degree, on the idea of just not caring about people who aren't you, or your immediate circle. It's bloody terrifying.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew G,

    Yes, I too have held Mo Tucker up as one of the drumming greats. Maybe she still is but I doubt I'll be able to think of her as the cool drummer any longer. Shame.

    Napier • Since Mar 2007 • 47 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    It really is hard to fathom how different the political discourse is over here.

    As in, increasingly out of step with even the centre-right orthodoxy in other Western countries.

    The Obama administration took a series of extremely orthodox steps to address the economic and financial crisis it inherited. No one likes huge fiscal deficits, but without the stimulus spending, it's entirely likely that the US could have really gone down the hole.

    The Tea Party philosophy of mindless anti-establishmentism obviously has considerable appeal to an angry public, but it has nothing to offer the real world. Which is a bit scary.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    The longer I'm in this country the more I get the impression that it's built, in a large degree, on the idea of just not caring about people who aren't you, or your immediate circle. It's bloody terrifying.

    Hang in there Lucy. It's a big place and while you do end up in surreal conversations where it's hard to believe you are on the same planet let alone belong to the same species, there are also places full of reasonable decent friendly people who can actually think. And who actually care about their fellow humans.

    You just need to accept that the loonies seems to clump together and move on to a different (better) group.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3425 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    By the same token, America's liberal left believes he has shirked his mandate and lacked the courage to enact real change (at times the likes of AmericaBlog have pressed this belief to the extent of screaming stupidity). Both sides seem to have an unreasonable idea of what the president can and should do.

    That's probably a bit of an exaggeration. Yes, there are the "Obama is worse than Bush!" types out there, particularly on Firedoglake, some quarters of DailyKos, etc but for the most part liberals have been pretty understanding of what Obama has been faced with (see Balloon Juice, Ta Nehisi Coates, Talking Points Memo, Pandagon, etc)

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 862 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    No one likes huge fiscal deficits, but without the stimulus spending, it's entirely likely that the US could have really gone down the hole.

    As far as I'm aware, there has never been a time in recorded history where cutting taxes and government spending fixed a major recession, whereas there are plenty of examples of stimulus spending doing so. The fact that there's an entire political movement based on the idea that the government were foolish, if not criminal, for trying to fix the recession with a method that has never been proven to work - it's just nuts.

    But possible, of course, because "American news media" and "real world" form an only-just-overlapping Venn diagram.

    You just need to accept that the loonies seems to clump together and move on to a different (better) group.

    This was a large-ish subsection of the students *in my department*. Difficult to move on from. We do actually agree politically on a lot of other things; it's just welfare that seems to be the big sticking point. That's what was scary. These aren't the loonies. I haven't met any real loonies yet.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I couldn't get motivated by the rally to restore sanity.

    It felt to me in an attempt to attack the insane political wings in the states, it's ended up encouraging no political thought, rather than sane political thought. I watched Jon Stewart's 12 minute speech to see what he said and have never been so disappointed in him.

    It was the political rally that didn't provide political solutions but made everyone feel good about how fucked up their political system is.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6207 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    this is an interesting analysis by Jonathan Raban in the Guardian. His take is that the American public have largely failed to grasp what the Obama administration have achieved so far, which is actually quite considerable - and that it is essentially Obama's fault for not articulating it clearly enough to them as he probably over-rates their ability to think like grown-ups.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2008 • 662 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    Did I mention he's fucking crazy? Crazier than his dad? And that he's going to enter the US Senate this week?

    America has high unemployment and low growth, independents want a change. They don't much care if its left or right wing.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Apropos of exactly this, I was reading this Atlantic story the other day,
    link on yahoo
    Usually for stories on this, it canvases several reasons for the American people's gap between perception and reality, rather than arguing for the gap being the symptom of a particular cause.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 902 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    Loudon is apparently a Tea Party groupie and mates with fellow Auckland conspiracy theorist Barbara Faithfull. Is he still an ACT Party member?

    Craig Y

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Loudon is apparently a Tea Party groupie and mates with fellow Auckland conspiracy theorist Barbara Faithfull. Is he still an ACT Party member?

    As far as I know, yes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Apropos of exactly this, I was reading this Atlantic story the other day,
    link on yahoo

    Gah. Read the comments under it and just weep. People don't want reality getting in the way of their anger.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Gah. Read the comments under it

    I would rather remain in happy oblivion, having been running the "Shut Up" Safari extension, based on the Shut Up css file which blocks comments (but not those of Public Address).

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 902 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Moe Tucker, is now a Tea Partier with giant sack of grievances, not all of which seem particularly reasonable

    Heroin fucks you up.

    Alternatively:

    Propertarianism. Just say no.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4467 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    this is an interesting analysis by Jonathan Raban in the Guardian. His take is that the American public have largely failed to grasp what the Obama administration have achieved so far, which is actually quite considerable - and that it is essentially Obama's fault for not articulating it clearly enough to them as he probably over-rates their ability to think like grown-ups.

    The ghastly thing is that as horribly condescending as that sounds, Carol's paraphrase is on the money. I also really love how its "essentially" Obama's fault, when I wouldn't vote for the shape-changing alien jellyfish who've decided it's a jolly wheeze to be the Democratic Congressional leadership. Lyndon Johnson may have been a sociopathic rat-bastard, but at least he managed to advance a legislative agenda.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12040 posts Report Reply

  • Petra,

    People don't want reality getting in the way of their anger.

    I watched a pop-science documentary quite some time ago about how powerful and addictive anger is. It's effect on the body is like a drug, with regular 'users' hooked on the adrenalin rush like crack hos.

    Fox News and talk radio figured it out first, and years ago became the crack pipe of the angry Right. They realized early on that there's no money in real journalism any more but they could get rich feeding our insatiable need...

    When was the last time you saw a guest on a cable station advocate a nuanced, pluralistic position and acknowledge the partial truth of opinions of the other side? My friends who used to appear frequently on these programs now say they can't get on the air unless they promise to be rabidly partisan.

    Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/larry-gellman/feeding-the-beast--our-ad_b_476852.html


    Wish I could find a link to the doco, but I can't remember it's name. and generic searches don't reveal much. Though pages relating to anger management and "rageaholism" touch on the addictive nature of rage/anger.

    It's bloody shameful that it's so exploited by media pundits. They scream patriotism, but they're ripping apart the very heart of their nation. Sick.

    Rotorua • Since Mar 2007 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    made everyone feel good about how fucked up their political system is

    I think that's the main weakness of his 'plague on both your houses' schtick, because it is abundantly clear that one house is much, much worse than the other.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3661 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    I didn't entirely agree with Raban's analysis, but it is, as always for him, well argued. He made quite an effort to get in among the Tea Party and fathom their mysterious ways.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2008 • 662 posts Report Reply

  • Jan Farr,

    It really is hard to fathom how different the political discourse is over here.

    It seems to me that it's different in many ways. Their parties don't seem to have an active grass roots that form distinct party policies. They seem to operate more on a lobby system 'I am your senator and, to you who lobbied hardest and most expensively, I will remove the tax on fairy dust.' Or am I being unfair?

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 394 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    the "enthusiasm gap" will not close enough to prevent the Democrats losing their majority in the House of Representatives.

    OK, this might sound insanely counter-intuitive but would it be such a bad thing if the GOP had (slim) majorities in House and Senate. You know, a position where the GOP's mindless obstruction (and policy black hole) would actually matter.

    Don't think it would Obama's stock any harm if he had to stand up and say "this is fucking insane, and I'm going to keep vetoing idiotic legislation like this until the GOP stop doing crack in the cloak rooms."

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12040 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Heroin fucks you up.

    Front page stuff sending a pretty clear message to the kids

    Or perhaps the stereotypes about drummers are bang on.

    how powerful and addictive anger is. It's effect on the body is like a drug, with regular 'users' hooked on the adrenalin rush like crack hos...They scream patriotism, but they're ripping apart the very heart of their nation. Sick.

    Thanks for posting that Petra. Relevant.

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Petra,

    It seems to me that it's different in many ways. Their parties don't seem to have an active grass roots that form distinct party policies. They seem to operate more on a lobby system 'I am your senator and, to you who lobbied hardest and most expensively, I will remove the tax on fairy dust.' Or am I being unfair?

    Sounds about right to me. But they also add, "and we'll get Rush, Hannity, Coulter, Malkin, Beck et al, on board with the right rage to sell it to the public.

    Rotorua • Since Mar 2007 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn,

    "this is fucking insane, and I'm going to keep vetoing idiotic legislation like this until the GOP stop doing crack in the cloak rooms."

    Oh, please Craig, please, send him exactly this wording and ask him to use it.

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

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