Thursday, September 03, 2009

Glenn Beck is Clinically Insane

So I decided to warn the White House.

Dear Mr. President:

For a painful hour, I have been watching Glenn Beck on Fox News. He has been questioning your selection of Van Jones to be the Green Job spear man, and he has been asking his audience to call the White House switchboard to "demand answers" on Van Jones's past and his past statements.

I have tried to call, and got a busy line for the entire hour, so I have decided to write to you: not to censor your choice of Van Jones, as Glenn Beck would hope; rather, to express my full support of your choice.

I also have a humble request: Please do not dignify Glenn Beck with the response he demanded. You and your aides are busy trying to fix health care, the economy, and the mess left by your predecessor. You do not have time to dignify the unfounded accusations of a man who is so obviously off the deep end as Glenn Beck is, nor the lies he continues to spread on his TV show.

Feel free to give my email to Press Secy. Gibbs. I'd be thrilled if he used my wording on Glenn Beck's insanity in a press conference. :-)



John Stockwell said...

Dear Sir Fab,

It is easy (too easy) to attack Republicans and their bulldogs in the media. The real problem that the Obama administration has is that Obama is a Democrat, with a Democrat Congress.

When one party controls both the Congress and the Whitehouse, the opposition party becomes "the enemy" and will naturally be intransigent. The ruling party then tends to fracture along lines defined by differing agendas within the party. A combination of complacency by the executive branch and an attempt to cater to a range of these agendas, leads to ineffective decisions, and the decisions that are reached tend to maintaining the status quo. In an attempt to salvage the situation the executive branch will tend to impulsively initiate extreme and costly policies.

The administrations that the American electorate liked the best----Kennedy in the first two years, Nixon before Watergate, Reagan, and Clinton in the second term, were all administrations with a different party in the Whitehouse than the one controling the Congress. The administrations that were ineffective or detrimental (LBJ, Carter, Clintion in the first term, G W Bush) were all administrations with the same party in the Whitehouse as controling Congress.

Compare with Obama's administration today.

Sirfab said...

Thanks for your comment, John.

If Democrats fail to accomplish meaningful and positive health care reform, well, they will only have themselves to blame. They control the White House and both branches of Congress, and--at least in theory--up to the death of Sen. Kennedy, they had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

Speaking to the rest of your comment, it seems to me that the presidents that "the American electorate liked the best" are guilty of some of the most detrimental policies for the American people. Nixon, for instance, was guilty of bringing us the first imperial presidency of the post-WWII era (a concept then expanded upon, with dire consequnces, by Dick Cheney and his hand puppet, George W. Bush). Yes, Nixon's presidency unraveled in the second term, but he was already scheming in the first.

Reagan introduced (with the complicity of too many Democrats in Congress) or laid the groundwork for many of the policies that contributed to the downward spiral of the American middle-class in the last thirty years, and--personally--I regard him as THE worst American president in my lifetime. I recommend "Tear Down This Myth" by Will Bunch for a good reality-based look at the Reagan iconography.

In fact, the problem is that, seemingly, Americans are inept at distinguishing between the image of a president and the policies that were enacted during his presidency. A good example is LBJ. Except for the Vietnam fiasco, which he was guilty of to a large degree, he brought the American people the "Great Society," which has changed America for the better for generations to come. And Jimmy Carter was certainly ineffectual. One might say he was not charismatic. But think about the world we might live in today if the American elector had been smarter and rewarded Carter for promoting a policy of energy independence, instead of rewarding camera-friendly, B-movie actor Ronald Reagan for the perceived failures of Carter.

On Clinton, I am baffled. He spent the second term doing nothing but defending himself against impeachment. He signed the Budget Reconciliation Act in August 1993, without a single Republican vote, and also passed the Family and Medical Leave Act soon after being elected. If people did not like his administration and its policies, how come he won re-election? Carter did not, so your argument makes sense for Carter, but not for Clinton, I am afraid.

If it is true that people like better presidents that have to work with opposing rule in Congress, a big if, I suspect it is because people are loathe to moving away from the status quo, much like frogs that are being slowly boiled to death. And why shouldn't they, when opponents of any reform, no matter how small, are so vocal and organized that they would have you believe that raising the minimum wage by a mere $2 would kill millions of small businesses? The debate should be on a living wage, not on a minimum wage. That is how the debate on health care went from containing costs and universal coverage to death panels and small businesses being destroyed.

In the end, I really don't trust the American people (people in general, actually) to know what is best for them in the long run. Little as I trust our elected representatives, I know we are much better off with a representative democracy than with direct democracy, if what we are witnessing these days is any proof of the wisdom of the people.

To be continued after your next comment :-)

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