…in the media, these days, seems to be the idea that “the GOP is racist”, since Donald Trump, who has certainly brought out more than his fair share of the angry and the ignorant (sort of the flipside of Bernie Sanders, who, let’s not forget, is pimping xenophobic socialism himself) and who will be out of the race in a couple of months, is being closely tailed, and in the aggregate outnumbered, by two Latinos, a woman, and an African-American, all vying for the chance to take a shot at one of the three geriatric honkies on the Democrat side.
Which, in turn, is the sum, total, entire reason the media is obsessing over “racism”.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emailed me something I’ve been saying myself:
Trump reminds me of Jesse Ventura. He says what the crowd wants to hear so they’ll vote for him and does it really well; plus, he’s running against a legacy putz in Jeb and a bitterly hated crone in Hillary just as Jesse ran against legacy Skip and hated Turncoat Coleman. But once Trump gets in office, will he have trouble getting his ideas into action, as Jesse did?
“I want to bomb ISIS.” Okay, but how? I’m guessing that means ask the White House secretarial staff to call the Joint Chiefs to schedule a task force meeting with group commanders who will prepare a battle order . . . might also want to mention it to the countries who own the airspace you’ll be flying through, which means somebody at the State Department . . . possibly the Russians, too . . . and do we alert the Press or not and who handles those questions . . . ooh, that whole War Powers thing might require notification of Congressional leaders, somebody ought to call whoever we need to call about that . . . .
In a new Republican Administration, the campaign staff would know the policies, know the Establishment crowd, know the insiders, know who to appoint to run the bureaucracy, know who to call to get things done.
Jesse ended up filling offices with Democrats hastily rebranded as Independents, because Jesse had no list of party faithful to appoint. Who will Trump end up with?
That’s not enough of a concern to make me vote for the putz or the crone, but it does make me wonder if throwing out the present rascals will result in any better rascals getting in?
Trump has the same problem Ron Paul had; talk is not only cheap, it’s easy. Anyone can do it.
Actually getting it done when and if you get elected? That’s the hard part.
And I suspect neither Ventura nor Trump ever expected they’d have to deliver on their bluster.
The American Left is like a college girl with pathological daddy issues.
You can warn ’em and warn ’em, but they’ll still end up leaving the party with that a*****e you tried to warn them about:
And they’ll inevitably marry the most disgusting person in their social circle …
…because I don’t know why. They’re girls with terrible daddy issues. How the hell would I know.
And even after they get divorced from the disgusting guy, their judgment is never, ever quite right.
This is a tweet from Dan Kimmel, DFL candidate for the Minnesota House in District 56A.
What does Dennis Prager say? It takes an elite education to be this misguided?
I’m mostly putting it online to make sure it’s out there for the whooooole world to see.
Non-Update Update: Kimmel withdrew from the race, after a burst of national attention to his tweet that caused even MNDFL chair Ken Martin to condemn the statement.
Here’s the deal; most DFLers, much as we disagree with them, can see the evil in what’s happening in ISIS territory.
But among the multiculturalists, there is a very strong current of moral equivalence, of unwillingness to “judge” other cultures by Western norms. I’m not quite going to say “Dan Kimmel was just the one that got caught” – but if you talk with enough of the multi-culti crowd long enough, you know it’s not exactly wrong, either.
The big problem, of course, was that Kimmel apparently isn’t very well-educated about ISIS. He – and pretty much everyone, really – should read, absorb and retain this article, for starters.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
During the two years that Hillary and Bernie were in the Senate together, they voted the same 93% of the time.
You know, if you’re going to vote like the Most Liberal Senator, you can’t really claim to be a Moderate, Centrist, Independent.
Check the media standards guide; only conservatives can be “extreme”.
All the usual stipulations apply; it’s a year before the election, and the polling so far pits one candidate with with near-universal name recognition against a bunch of unknowns who just represent ideals (and one celebrity). The unknowns have no negatives; most voters barely know their names.
With all the caveats out-of-the-way? The latest KSTP poll – which has tended in recent cycles to be the better poll of Minnesota’s preferences – shows Hillary losing to pretty much any GOP nominee
Which has to be a smack upside the head for an “inevitable” candidate.
The GOP candidates will get negavies – especially once the Democrat noise machine starts sounding off.
Still – not what I expected at this stage of the election.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
Listening to NARN, you quoted someone saying an adult writing a book should know that no students at West Point have scholarships, they have commissions, and failure to clearly say this makes one unqualified for President. Similarly, an adult writing a book about his life should know where he was born – Africa or America – and failure to clearly state the truth he later chooses, disqualifies him for president. Unless, of course, it’s a form of simplification for explanation, or dramatic license, or hyperbole, or…
Carson could simply, a la Obama, say it was a “composite” of several schools, military and civilian…
For years, I’ve been listening to my various liberal friends grunt and shriek in horror as various school boards around the country adopt policies that call for their various school districts to recognize, in one curricular form or another, the existence of creationism.
To which I’ve responded with two questions:
“First – if someone who’s refinishing your driveway, or checking out your groceries, or working on the app that you use to calculate your heart rate, is a young earth creationist [because the type of liberals who always huff and puff about creationism tend to own fitbits, naturally, believe everyone who isn’t like them is in the service class], what difference does it make to you?”
The answer, generally, is something with pretensions to altruism with overtones of intellectual thuggery; “we want everyone in our society to start with the same basis of actual knowledge,” or some such.
Which leads to my second question: “So – let’s say that you go to the hospital with a life-threatening aneurysm in your brain. And as you’re getting ready for surgery to stent a weak spot in a cranial artery to prevent it blowing like a water balloon, killing you in less time than it takes me to say this, you find out that your brain surgeon – a person who spent four years in a hypercompetitive hard-science-based pre-med program vying for a seat in a medical school, and then four more in a medical program designed to weed out the non-hackers, and not only surviving the cut but doing it brilliantly enough to get accepted to post-doctorate training and residency as a brain surgeon, and then years of experience operating on peoples’ brains – is a creationist? Do you get up off the operating table, loudly proclaim “you, madame, have no respect for science!” and walk away, looking for a non-creationism brain surgeon?”
There was a time when it was a hypothetical question. Ben Carson, the media is jumping up and down to remind us, is an old-earth creationist (who abjures ruling out a very old earth). And – as the Clinton’s praetorian guard is reminding us these days, he believes a few other oddball things.
Now, Carson isn’t my guy at this point, although he’d be a better President than anyone on the Democrat ticket.
But let’s acknowledge a few things; he’s a very smart guy. Literally, a brain surgeon. To quote a less brilliant candidate, “that’s f****ng huge!” But he believes in creationism, and that pyramids were used as granaries.
But I have a quesiton: is that any wackier than believing you can offer free college tuition without blowing up the deficit and distorting the higher education market out of recognition? Or in believing that storing classified emails in a bathroom and telling the American people that the Benghazi attack was caused by an anti-Muslim video were good ideas?
A longtime correspondent of this blog writes:
I note that the MSM is promoting “Latino group offers $5K for calling Trump a racist on ‘SNL’”
By a Norman Mailer I’m referring to a description of his contact with feminist protesters from this article in Salon:
“For example, back when I was in college at Berkeley, I attended a lecture by then bad-boy, self-advertised anti-feminist, self-proclaimed macho-man, world-famous novelist and essayist Norman Mailer. I should mention that he had been preceded a week before by Gloria Steinem. The stage was set. As soon as Mailer took the podium there was a smattering of shouts, signs flashed up, a protest began. He looked over the crowd and held his hands up, and said, “OK, OK. I get it.” Things quieted down a bit. Mailer continued, “So everyone who thinks I’m an asshole, hiss.” Of course the room was soon filled with violent hisses. When they stopped Mailer smirked and said, “Obedient little bitches.””
My hope would be that Trump would come out for the opening monologue and ask everyone in the audience to join together and call him a racist, he could even hold up a cue card with the exact words, then he could hold up another cue card with the contact information for Deport Racism PAC and assure the audience that each one of them is eligible for/guaranteed a $5,000.00 reward. I figure Studio 8H has about 200 seats in it so at $5k a head that could cost the Deport Racism PAC $1.2million. Its a safe bet they would renege on the offer giving Trump & the GOP in general a lot of counter attack ammunition.
Whatever you can say about Trump – he’s not my guy – he’s one I could actually see bringing this kind of thing to the campaign.
Off-year election results around the country were a mixed bag.
And by “mixed”, I mean generally good for conservative Republicans nationwide, and six of one, half a dozen of the other in Minnesota.
Tinkering With Leviathan: Saint Paul’s elections yesterday, were a victory for DFL zealots over DFL extremists.
The City Council gained two councilors who ran on an agenda critical of Mayor Chris Coleman. This can, in some ways, be read as a very mild moderate win – Jane Prince, who ran unopposed in Ward 7, and Rebecca Noeker (who is currently leading by a razor-thin margin as the “Instant Runoff” counting slogs on and on in Ward 2) ran in opposition to Mayor Coleman’s profligate subsidies of favored businesses via “Tax Increment Financing”, as well as his botched plan to install parking meters on Grand Avenue to try to chisel revenue out of shoppers in Saint Paul’s only successful mid-market retail district.
But I wouldn’t count on much change from the Council on the larger issues that are sandbagging Saint Paul; the stifling regulatory environment, the obeisance to the Met Council’s lust for 19th-century transit, and the crime problems that are percolating along University and out on the East Side.
Meet the New Boss, Same As The Old Boss: The Saint Paul School Board election, as predicted, installed the four
union-backed wholly union-owned candidates over the four formerly union-owned candidates. Whatever residue of independence from the Teachers Union that might have existed in the Saint Paul public schools will be hunted down and buried in concrete shortly.
While changing Superintendent Silva’s intensely unpopular disciplinary policies may be one of the upshots of yesterday’s elections, look for the fiscal profligacy and unaccountability to accelerate.
The election will be a great boon to charter schools – if Saint Paul parents are smart.
Schools Dazed: The referenda in the various school districts around the east metro went about 50-50; the pattern seemed to be, broadly, that voters approved the bond levies for maintenance and repairs, but voted down the big additions to infrastructure and programming.
Which may show – who knows? – that voters are still manipulable by demands “for the children”, but they have their limits.
The Gathering Storm?: Around the country, the news was less ambiguous. A Republican not only won the Kentucky governor’s race. but so did his black Tea Party Republican Lieutenant Governor. In VIrginia, Michael Bloomberg, hoping in his ghoulish way to capitalize on the deaths of a couple of TV reporters, pumped a ton of money and a lot of agenda into a couple of key races, with control of the Virginia state senate on the line. It flopped; just as in Colorado a couple of years ago, only in the most addlepated coastal hothouses can gun control get any popular traction.
In Houston, a referendum on gay rights got swept away in a vote that would be hard to see as anything but a backlash against the creeping fascism of the Social Justice Warriors and their waves of lawsuits and coercion against supporters of traditional marriage. And even in San Francisco, the sanctuary-city-promoting sheriff got sent packing.
It’s a year ’til the next election. Look for “progressives” with deep pockets to spend a ton of money to try to iron out the wrinkles in the narrative.
There’s a school bonding referendum on the ballot this Tuesday; the district wants $250 million, on top of the huge bond they got two years ago, on top of all their state money.
There are campaigns, both against the bill and, naturally, for it.
Over the weekend, the Washington County Watchdog facebook page tripped upon a couple of giggly north-Suburban bobbleheads chuckling about stealing “Vote No” campaign signs – or, in one case, having her kids do it.
The Watchdog confirmed that one of the women is affiliated with/employed by the “Vote Yes” campaign.
The Watchdog has confirmed that Nicole _____, the self-proclaimed sign thief in Forest Lake was in fact a part of the…
I’m not going to post the womens’ full names; they incriminated themselves plenty over on their various Facebook pages.
Now, stealing campaign signs is a crime that should be investigated – no, actually investigated – by the Forest Lake cops and the Washington County attorney’s office; campaign signs ain’t cheap. It’s also a suppression of other’s freedom of speech. And since one of the principals in the story is involved with the “Hand Over The Money, Peasants!” campaign, I see no reason this shouldn’t be a matter for state elections officials.
But I have another question.
Double Standards: I interviewed Andrew Mayer-Bruestle and Sue Richardson, from a similar “Vote No” campaign in Woodbury. They report that the “Vote Yes” crowd, which is seeking a half billion dollars from the people and businesses of South WashCo – sicced WCCO on them for making “misleading statements” in their campaign literature. And WCCO leapt into action, going all Mike Wallace on some of the “Vote No” supporters, with ambush interviews and grave (and erroneous) reporting that gave off that agenda-driven stench; I’m gonna guess one of the suburban grandees involved in the Vote Yes campaign has a friend, or spouse, on the WCCO staff. Just a hunch.
So WCCO and the Pioneer Press scrambled a Defcon Five Media Deployment over a piece of campaign literature in Woodbury.
So, WCCO – any interest in a story about a group of suburban hockey moms, including a member of a competing campaign, conspiring and acting to steal money, stifle free speech, and violate election laws? Y’know – actual crimes?
What say, Star Tribune? Lori Sturdevant must surely be getting the victorian vapours about this bit of incivility, no?
MPR? I mean, you have a big, well-staffed newsroom full of news eagles ready to swoop upon public malfeasance. Imagine that someone had brought you first-hand evidence that people – bigots! – were kyping pro-“marriage equality” signs; does not warrant similar scrutiny?
And that other newspaper in the east metro, whatever it was?
For that matter – Forest Lake has a newspaper, right?
Update: According to the WashDog, some of the signs were replaced, and some were returned. While the WashDog doesn’t go into details, we presume they were returned by those who stole them; hopefully they didn’t fob that job of on their kids, the way one joked about doing with the actual theft.
Everyone keep your eyes peeled; there will be a lot more of this coming up in the next year.
Finally: the evening’s host, CNBC
What the conservative pundocracy says: The performance of the CNBC panel – the smirky, mugging Carl Quintanilla, the smug and snarky Becky “Not Very” Quick, and Mike “Where Have You Gone, Candy Crowley?” Harwood, with an appearance by Jim Cramer (who sounded like he’d just lost a UFC match) was a laughingstock – even when mentioned in the same breath as CNN’s loathsome performance four years ago.
What I say: The conservative pundocracy was too kind. I got the impression that the media has settled onto a “strategy” of turning debates (well, the GOP ones, anyway) into political reality shows. Part of me expected Flavor Flav or Khlamidia Khardashian to show up to ask a question . It was clearly a goldmine for CNN last month – to me, it looked like CNBC wanted to make their panel the stars of the debate. Here’s hoping that the rumors of the backfire on CNN aren’t exaggerated.
Verdict: News flash: anyone who expects anything from the MSM but sniping and hackery is deluded. And you can tell Reince Preibus I said so.
 Khlamidia is one of the sisters – right?
Up next: Mike Huckabee.
What the conservative pundocracy says: He did well.
What I say: I didn’t see it. Granted, I missed half the debate – but my signal impression of Huckabee was his resounding rejection of…means testing.
I get it – he’s a “Southern” conservative; socially conservative, but not especially afraid of big government or spending.
It was just an odd moment at a debate for the support of a party that’s getting more hawkish on budgets and spending.
Verdict: Back to talk radio, Mike.
Up next: John Kasich.
What the conservative pundocracy says: Kasich kept himself in the running with a strong, if cranky, performance. Others point to his fairly bald-faced, McCainish up-sucking to the media.
What I say: My short list, two months ago, was Walker, Jindal, Kasich. With Walker gone and Jindal mired in the undercard and barely running a campaign, it looks like Kasich is the last man standing. He gave a strong showing last night. But am I the only one who saw his cranky demeanor and though about Jeff Dunham’s puppet-character “Walter”?
Verdict: Let’s hope he can morph into something other than the campaign’s resident senior scold.
Next up: Marco Rubio.
What the conservative pundocracy says: Rubio came back from what could have been a very tough night, and did it with style.
What I say: His take-down of the moderators’ harping on the Orlando Sun-Sentinel’s loathsome hatchet-job editoral call for his resignation (for missing about half as many votes as President Obama or Secretary of State Kerry, both of whom the Orlando SS endorsed) was sharp-eyed and surgical; his turn back to his actual policy – against the moderators’ wishes, natch – was smooth and authoritative.
Verdict: I’ve been trying to figure out who’d replace Scott Walker on my short list. Rubio might be it.
Up next: Ben Carson.
What the conservative pundocracy says: He held steady.
What I say: While I respect virtually everything Carson stands for (he’s pretty hopeless on the Second Amendment), I’m always amazed when I see him at debates; quiet, unprepossessing, like an amiable professor who dropped into a WWE match.
Verdict: He did well. Not much more to say.
Up next: Rand Paul
What the conservative pundocracy says: He’s a dead issue, and should start focusing on holding his Senate seat forthwith.
What I say: I’ve been a Rand Paul fan for a long time now. But I sensed that his support was similar to his father’s in Minnesota during the last convention season; a mile deep and twenty feet wide. Not to say he’s done poorly in any debate – he’s stated his case just fine. But at no point has he gotten anyone to say “he’s the man” who wasn’t saying it two years ago.
Verdict: I think the party needs Rand Paul in the race for the same reasons it needs Christie. I’m just not sure how much longer he can justify it.
Next on the agenda: Donald Trump.
What the conservative pundocracy says: He did well, repairing some previous gaffes and not harming himself – at a time when some polls show him slipping and needing to not screw up.
What I say: Major points for fixing his Mexican gaffe from the Reagan Center debate by noting that the President of Mexico was a smarter, better executive than Barack Obama -which would seem to be the truth. I think he made fewer mistakes than in the second debate.
Verdict: He didn’t hurt himself, and left himself in a good position to try to duke it out for Carson and Rubio for the lead.
Up next: Chris Christie.
What the conservative pundocracy says: Solid performance – but not enough to vault him onto the short list.
What I say: By all rights, Christie shouldn’t have gotten this far. He’s not the darling of the establishment, and conservatives fear him because he’s a “northeast” conservative; strong on business and security, adequate on entitlement and fiscal policy (and hampered by both a Democrat power stranglehold and a fairly inept New Jersey GOP), weak on civil liberties. Heck – I go back and forth on Christie.
Verdict: I think the party needs him on the short list, just to keep the short-listers on their toes.
Up next: Jeb Bush.
What the conservative pundocracy says: He’s toast.
What I say: After last night – especially his woefully ill-timed attack against Rubio – I’d be hard-pressed to disagree.
Verdict: If he’s the standard-bearer for “the Establishment”, then Karl Rove’s gonna need to get to work fast.
Up next: Carly Fiorina.
What the conservative pundocracy says: She does well in debates, but is having a hard time keeping excitement going – and last night’s performance was good enough for no more than holding steady.
What I say: Every time I see Carly Fiorina talk, I get more impressed. Trump and Carson are sucking all of the “anti-establishment” air out of the room – and it’s a shame, because I think Fiorina has the best potential as a chief executive among the three “antis” on the list (along with Trump and Carson).
Verdict: The debate didn’t give her a huge boost, but in a just world she’ll remain a contender.
As i noted earlier, I only watched perhaps 90 minutes of last night’s cage match.
I’m going to give my impressions anyway – one candidate at a time. I’m going to start with Ted Cruz.
What the conservative pundocracy says: It was the performance he needed to stay on the short list.
What I say: And how. His jeremiad against the media was a watershed, both within the debate and (I can dream), within the party; it’s restarted the discussion about getting the GOP out of the major-media “debate” / reality show racket. If he serves no other purposes in this campaign, last night’s contribution could turn out to be a fantastic thing.
…of last night’s CNBC GOP debate?
“Even Brian Williams is saying he wasn’t there”
— Mark Okern (from Facebook)
I watched the first half of yesterday’s GOP debate, before I had to go do some family stuff.
There had been some hope that CNBC – an ostensible financial network – would ask some substantial questions about financial policy. And there were a few, sort of, in a way.
But “are you an evil comic book villain?”
John Harwood came across as a Liberal snidely whiplash. Becky Quick…wasn’t very. Carl Quintanilla sounded like he was hosting a cable access production of Jimmy’s First Debate. And Jim Cramer? I don’t know if he was on cold medicine or had taken a couple of shots to the head before he went on the air, but good lord, that performance will be taught in broadcast schools for decades to come as an example of how not to sound when reading off a teleprompter.
It’s entirely possible (except for Harwood) that they were just trying to come across as tough, hard-nosed “journalists” – an effect that lasts precisely until the phrase “evil comic book villain” came up.
But the hour I spent was worth it, if only for this; Ted Cruz’ jeremiad against the media was one for the ages:
“But he should have answered Quintanilla’s substantive question!” Er, did you catch the question? “Does your opposition to a “moderate” budget deal mean you’re unqualified?”
UPDATE: As I put this morning’s piece together in my head last night, I thought – as I often do when matters of discerning bias in others come up – “Am I right, or is this just confirmation bias?”
Well, it’s not just me; Roger Simon torched the moderators pretty ruthlessly:
The big story — the A-story — on Wednesday night — the actual full blown case of seppuku — was CNBC. The network will never seem the same. Their moderators — Becky Quick, John Harwood, and Carl Quintanilla — were so obviously biased you would have thought it was a parody, if you hadn’t known it was real, a kind of black comic nightmare out of a leftwing theatre of the absurd.
I thought that very thing as I was sitting at O’Gara’s watching the show last night; “this is like an SNL sketch”.
And there was this bit, that I didn’t catch last night; as part of the moderators’ attempt to gut-shoot Rubio, the non-Trump front-runner, John Harwood doubled down on a lie he’d already apologized for:
But more than that, the debate revealed something I had thought about before, but never seen so clearly — how bias can affect the brain, almost make it dysfunctional. I assume John Howard is an intelligent man. He writes for the New York Times. (Make of that what you will, but I did write for that newspaper myself once upon a time, so mind your manners.) Nevertheless, Harwood did something extraordinary. He lied about Rubio’s tax plan in the exact same way not once but twice — once at the debate and once about two weeks before the debate. What made it extraordinary was that Harwood had apologized for that same lie the first time on Twitter on October 14 and then lied again Wednesday night as if he didn’t remember his own apology and correction. (The Federalist has the full story with the tweet – Surprise! John Harwood Lied About Rubio’s Tax Plan…)
Simon continues – pervasive bias acts as a form of cognitive disorder, blotting out right and wrong in extreme cases.
It’ll never get in the DSMVI, but we all know it’s there.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
Ads for used exercise equipment generally say things like “never used it” or “just gathering dust.” Not a compelling reason for me to buy.
Better ad copy would say “Lost enough weight to meet my goal, don’t need it anymore.”
Same applies to candidates for President. “Never held a real job but eager to run the entire economy” doesn’t move me to donate to you, but rather to hide my wallet.
“FREE BEER” used to be a joke so you’d listen to the real message. Now, it’s Bernie’s entire campaign slogan. No wonder he’s winning.
Well, winning among people who are inclined to vote for Bernie Sanders.
Which, unfortunately, given the devolution of our society, is a hell of a lot of people.
SCENE: The handheld camera walks to the door of the basement headquarters of “MinnesotaLiberalAlliance.Blogspot.com”. A crudely hand-lettered sign on the door reads “Wingnuts NOT ALOUD”.
The camera steps down the stairs into the hidden lair where the magic happens. Around a table, eyes glued to TV in an entertainment center along the wall, are MinnesotaLiberalAlliance.Blogspot.com’s writing staff; Aaron Roston, Gutterball Gary, Cat Scat, Leaky The Beagle, Betty Rae Torstengaardsen and Avery Librelle. At the head of the table, slouching in a folding chair, nervously running his hand through his hair, is Edmund DuChey, wearing a name-tag that identifies himself as the “Publisher” and “Senior Managing Executive Editor” of MinnesotaLiberalAlliance.Blogspot.com.
The assembled group is watching as the closing credits roll on the Democrat debate. Starting with DuChey, the group breaks into wan applause.
GUTTERBALL GARY: YEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! (Nobody bats an eye)
LEAKY THE BEAGLE: (Speaking in an absurd phony German accent) Very intereshtink.
CAT SCAT: And every word was entirely true! I Googled it!
AARON ROSTON: Stupid wingnuts won’t know what hit them.
BETTY RAE TORSTENGAARDSEN: You know what I liked about Bernie Sanders? The positions he was talking about were almost identical to the positions of Nelson Rockefeller…
DUCHEY: (hissing, making “puke” symbol with his finger) He was a Republican
TORSTENGAARDSEN: Right – the point is, the Democratic party of today is right about where the Republican party was in 1968.
ROSTON: Right. And not that different from President Johnson.
DUCHEY: Peace be unto him.
LIBRELLE: And that was a time when the US was at its political and economic peak.
SCAT: Let me Google that…yes. It says so right here on “SmirkingChimp.com!” It’s a fact!
DUCHEY: I just wanna tell the stupid ignorant wingnuts to suck on that: when the US government was at its most progressive, we were at our economic and political peak.
BEAGLE: Very intereschtink.
(A brief burst of static and feedback erupts. A VOICE FROM ABOVE breaks in)
VOICE FROM ABOVE: Oh, that’s just stupid, people. Use your brains. In 1968, the US was the world’s only significant economy. Japan and Germany were just barely recovered from World War II. South Korea was trailing North Korea, economically. Singapore was a poverty-stricken third-world hellhole. Russia and China were gangster playgrounds that could barely feed their own people – indeed, China was still suffering famines. India was just descending into the nadir of its experience with socialism, and there was speculation that half of its people would starve to death by 1980. And we were able to import whatever oil that we didn’t produce, at incredibly favorable rates from impoverished countries that were happy for the business.
In 1968, the US was one of two military superpowers – but it was the only economic superpower. The entire world was its market. So the likes of LBJ and Nelson Rockefeller could feel free to write post-dated checks for fripperies like bottomless entitlement programs and count on the Growth Fairy to let future generations pay for them – because it’d worked just fine for…the previous 20 years or so.
We were like someone who’d just won the lottery, and was spending like there was no tomorrow.
ROSTON: Who is that?
SCAT: Let me google that…
TORSTENGAARDSEN: It’s a voice from above…
SCAT: Hah! Johnson wasn’t president until 1972! It says so on Crooks and Liars.com!
VOICE: In the seventies, Germany and Japan’s economies became competitive with ours, and OPEC and Iran sent tremors through our economy by jiggling the oil market on us. In the 1980s, South Korea and Singapore became significant players. In the 1990s, India threw off the worst excesses of socialism, and China pragmatically moved into state cartel capitalism, and suddenly they were legitimate competitors, too.
In other words, the US is no longer an economic hegemon. Extremely powerful, yes – but not dominant in the way we were in 1968. Which means we actually have to compete, and be smart.
So it’s fair and accurate to say that the US was at its political and economic peak in 1968 in spite of the likes of Rockefeller and LBJ, not because of them. And that our position of extreme economic dominance made their variety of entitlement-based government sustainable, for a while, provided that we retained absolute economic supremacy over the entire world.
ROSTON: This is freaky.
BEAGLE: Yezz, it izzz
GUTTERBALL: IT’S A SIGN!
TORSTENGAARDSEN: What the…
(Camera cuts to exterior shot. Mitch BERG, holding a bullhorn up to a window casing, looks into the camera lens, as he stands up to walk away)
BERG: What? I don’t get to have a little fun, too?
(BERG walks away to a waiting car, as the scene in the basement descends into panicky pandemonium)