A letter to Katha Pollitt of The Nation Magazine
A letter to Katha Pollitt of The Nation Magazine [Note: In February 6, 2012 The Nation Magazine’s Katha Pollitt published: “Ron Paul, Take Two” for her column piece in which she bemoaned with exasperated mysticism: “…Basically, I’m bewildered by progressives who embrace Paul.” This second take on Paul apparently transpired because people like Glenn Greenwald questioned her more recent column “Ron Paul’s Strange Bedfellows”. In this bewail of aftermath she says: “…it makes no sense for progressives pundits who have devoted their lives to defending the welfare state, progressive taxation, labor unions and the federal government’s ability to protect citizens from abuses at the state level to heap praise on Paul, who vigorously opposes all those things as part of his Ayn Randian, anti-government, every-man-is-an-island worldview.”]
March 19, 2012
Dear Katha Politt:
You have a legitimate point in recognizing Paul’s “ideological” conceits go to far; but it is not like staff at the Nation Magazine doesn’t compromise its purported values from time to time (or misrepresent them?) In fact the reason I am writing is to tell you staff at The Nation has compromised so much to the Democratic Party—and especially the Obama White House—you really don’t stand for anything much progressing. If anyone is “bewildered” about who supports who it is us who witness you people continue to back such a “seeming” betrayer as Barack Obama.
Ms. Pollitt you quip: “…It’s as if there has to be a male leader, someone “uncompromising” and “pure” and “principled” to romanticize, and since obviously that can’t be a Democrat (sellouts! Wimps!), the eye of the pundit wanders right.”
Spare us this twisted, tear-tugger crap, as if the important issue were merely a matter of gender and race. It is white men like myself, who voted for Obama (because Dennis Kucinich was effectively marginalized); and meanwhile read on and on and on in your Nation how we “must” vote for Obama and democrats (even though we knew the Democratic Party had become as corrupt as the Republican party—maybe not quite as corrupt—but like Ralph Nader kept insisting—irredeemable corrupt nevertheless to the point of not worth dealing). We went along with the optimistic message of hope and change as we had little choice.
Soon after Obama took over there were statements flowing in The Nation Magazine that President Obama was not exactly living up to constituent expectations (damn near every week in one form or another!!).
Somehow the Democratic party “top-down” managed to continue business as usual with many Wall Street cabinet appointees along with the usual NeoCon-light staffers willing to ignore the idea of closing of Guantanamo and getting us out of Middle East involvements. Supposedly a soccer field should make everything all better? (White House appointees like Emanuel
Raoull??? , now Chicago’s mayor did not make getting out of Gitmo a high-priority. (By the way, where was The Nation reaction to Maj. Brigadier General Karpinski’s allegation that Israelis were involved in torture at Abu Graib? (What exactly were the questions being asked on those supposed disappeared audio recordings). Why has the proposition of closing that base such a political hot potato? And yet it was really about not having public trials so Americans could not learn the truth about how the prisoners were rounded up, how many were innocent, etc.
And who benefits from the expensive American Afghanistan war save the military industrial complex and drug cartels and banking laundering operations from the opium trade that has since boomed?
This is precisely the kind of “shit happens” attitude the current White House has about life on planet earth. So do you really expect all white males will play your “stock” character of the dumb, oppressor, class (which many white, middle class, feminists have been wallowing and whining about for decades all the while thinking white women at least subsumed “several” categories of explanation), and continue be so dense as to not realize you guys at The Nation have compromised far too much in your continual support for the failure and fraud of the Democratic Party?
In case you didn’t get it—Occupy Wall Street was a protest against the Washington/Wall Street status quo—and that means also against the Democratic Party’s real loyalties to the rich and influential.
President Obama, be it his attributable fault or not (as arguably much is not), has still been a perceived sellout. For example, he has “hugely” contributed to the ensuing Police State. The idea you should suggest this merely about race and purity is the utmost of reverse racism. (And it must be flattering to constantly presume many members of the so-called rainbow coalition are socially, morally, and intellectually superior to white males? (Nothing lazy in that kind of analysis from a publication that has continuous “feminine” perspectives on matters but hardly ever if ever “masculine” interpretations on gender issues?)
Granted Mr. Barack seems a good and decent person. But this is not the issue. For example “one” real and looming issue resides in after Obama is gone from the White House. What lieutenants will wield power after him to “capitalize” on the police state advantages this White House has continued to create?
The fact is he has done little to quell executive power and all its rampant corruption. And the idea that you people at The Nation are still behind him as status quo is “truly” alarming.
And granted there are a lot of iniquitous forces, composed of the utmost of squalid deceit and corruption, allied to create false smear-campaigns against President Obama. Still he did adjoin to the “old,” too corrupt, Democratic Party from the top.
And this corrupt force of business as usual is playing to financial “opportunists” and “foreign” powers who are plying us into wars we do not belong. Obama is caught in the system. He is not strong enough to deal with the seething pool of Beltway corruption.
Primarily we need to stop putting Israel’s right-wing issues above our own. For example, look at all the countries we are currently involved in manipulating with civil wars and dubious propaganda and ask how much of this has to do with Israel’s priorities?
This answer is too much.
Most Americans did not care all that much about the internal strife in Egypt while the U.S. and Israel had a deal with Mubarak—but suddenly with dictator Mubarak gone our newspapers were crammed with stories about how much we should care about Egyptian politics and their people? Why?
Or what do you call so-called progressives who refuse to acknowledge the truth about 9-11, like several of The Nation’s writers—who continue to call 9-11 Truthers as conspiracy quacks? Certainly your people could and would know 9-11 was not the work of Osama bin Laden and 19 Muslims? It is not lack your people don’t have thinking skills or ability to do basic logic? You either have a pretty good idea who was behind 9-11, or are being dishonest due to fear of career and institutional suicide, or you are afraid of exploring such theories—as many people are.
Plenty of evidence suggests those behind 9-11 were “rogue” elements both within and outside the government of the U.S. and Israel. But no one wants think one’s own family criminal. Still this is not to say that the U.S. Government or the Israeli Government was behind such iniquity. Yet their were enough “atheist” people in power from such a rogue composition to pull this off.
In another words it is the guilt of assuming one had to either identify whole swathes of people responsible—be they national or ethic—to have quelled inquiry into what a relatively small group of corrupt individuals had created.
Granted, that an outsider can only surmise based on one’s intuition and capacity—but nevertheless it was 9-11 that changed the world. 9-11 allowed our military to go into multiple wars. 9-11 was used to steal billions of dollars from taxpayers and bankrupt this country. 9-11 is one major reason there is so much economic strife today.
Ron Paul is has not been saying who might be behind 9-11 either but he is at least talking about the immense importance of changing our foreign policy.
Quite frankly you are acting as hangers-on. You are primarily Democrats. And no matter how corrupt the democratic war party—you still stick to who butters your bread. So stop playing so damn exemplary and self-righteous.
Yes it seems you are correct in respect Ron Paul has been an ideologue and has Ayn Rand/ laissez faire rigidity within his ideology. (But so-called progressives been rigid and ideological too—and they too seem somewhat blind to their own “self-serving” perspectives?)
Nevertheless any debates between President Obama and Ron Paul would be a “very good” thing for this country and the world—primarily because it would change the debate from when are we going to attack Iran to when are we going to get out of these plurality of foreign engagements.
A lot of people are afraid of Paul—even though they know one person, President or not, cannot single-handedly change the course of events all that much. No one has that much power save an emperor. But many prefer the old lying, dumb-ass, predictable, war-hawk, Israel-deflecting, Republican jack asses, who talks like the average American IQ is about 90.
Be that as it may, still “many” people are catching on to how much deceit there has been in this culture and by the mainstream media.
Our soldiers too know these wars are not righteous or moral; and a debate between these two men would force Obama to explain why he has not altered the Bush Administration’s course (and yes it would tick off some Israelis who have worked overtime in getting us unduly involved in wars with “their” enemies—so be it).
Israelis do “not” pay American taxes.
And yet that is exactly what a big part of the Republican debates have been about—arguing how much support we need to show for Israel versus our own real economic needs.
And another failure by progressive is the little amount of attention they have given to reforming the election process of stealing elections and counting votes. Why?
Nevertheless, because many so-called progressives did “not” make more of an issue about stealing elections via election fraud, Ron Paul’s nomination has been stolen with sophisticated mainstream media deceit and political party deceit. So in a sense the issue of Paul’s Republican candidacy is actually moot.
Unless he decides to run as a third party candidate—which he should do, or we are going to war with Iran. It is only a matter of time.
Currently the mainstream media has it seem as if Obama is “pleading” for Israel to give sanctions more time—when what Obama should be doing is telling people Iran has the “right” to have nuclear technology. This reality has been the psychology despite the very recent change in how “Israel’s” awareness on matters changes? Obama could also be telling Israel to join the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty and open up their facilities to inspection.
It was kind of lowbrow some so-called progressives were eager to render Paul a racist on the slightest hearsay. And yet since when has Sainthood been a prerequisite to be an effective president?
And even if Paul ran against Obama democrats could still win by a landslide if they did a few simple but consistent things.
Frankly all they would need to do to win both houses and the White House is memorize the intellectual content of about three or four books—and incorporate such content into their political philosophy. Those books are:
a). Freefall:… by Stiglitz
b) Crisis Economics: … by Nouriel Roubini
c) The Political Mind:… by George Lakoff.
d) Compounded with a “solid” grounding in ecological realities so economic imperatives do not destroy what is already looking like catastrophe.
One “main” reason people do not trust democrats is because they think democrats have no economic pragmatism. They think democrats are going to throw financial pearls to pigs, and spend and spend and until we are totally bankrupt—which we already are bankrupt. Democratic candidates and legislators need to be “educators” but you teach what you don’t really know.
Bleeding heart liberal concepts of progressives who fight for the welfare state and the unions is the kind of rhetoric that angers fiscal conservatives and middle roaders—because do-gooders never want to turn off the spigot for social programs.
And it does not matter the reality—it is a question of perception. And the perception here in this less than intellectually astute society is one of commie pinkos wanting to spend “other” peoples’ money, while these same beneficiaries have more and more babies and invite more and more immigrants into the system.
Therefore the only viable way for democrats to have any viability is when they “sound” like they understand economics better than Republicans. That is to say—they need to get on the same page with each other and actually learn something.
[Get over being miffed people.]
The first two books mentioned above, Freefall and Crisis Economics require some patience to deal with a good deal of complex conceptual background. So the way the “average” person can deal with this stuff is to get a hold of the “audio” version and listen to it two times first and then read the hard copy. And then listen to the audio book the fourth time. After “four” takes people can pretty much absorb this economic stuff—that is with such a strategy. (But if you give most American the book it will merely collect dust.)
So if democrats were to adapt this strategy of both sounding more business competent and actually “being” more business competent than their republicans counterparts they would kick ass bigger than a super bowl wipeout. And I do know The Nation magazine has been trying to incalcate these authors ideas but it those dumb asses in Washington that have to “hear” and “think”. (But they probably won’t. They are too busy, and too self-absorbed, and quite frankly too corrupted to their status quo of mediocrity.)
So it is not like Obama could not have beat Paul in a “fair” election—it is just that he would have to work harder for it and he would have to learn “better” economic explanations, and “especially” have to change our foreign policy and be willing to tell Israel to “be” their “own” country without all their dysfunctional politics playing out here.
Israelis do not pay American taxes.
We do and we want to see our money go to what is best for our country.