Saturday, April 30, 2011
The difference between the way the democrats treat their activist base and the way the republicans treat theirs is the difference between an activist base that is more or less built from the ground up and a base that is more or less built from the top down.
The republicans power structure built theirs, the most recent and obvious example are the tea parties, but they aren't really the first, from the top down. Where are the tea party protests now that the wealthy aren't busing in the half Gould would have been paying to kill the other half? More or less no where.
For the most part the democrats base has been built from the bottom up. The most obvious examples are unions. Although they have been, from what I can tell, mostly corralled, still they are to a degree outsiders and are not completely directed by the party elite. The general rule is that the democratic base is built from the ground up and therefore must be denigrated by the powers that be or must be domesticated, (which is what has happened to the groups in the veal pen). .
Now this isn't to say that the republican fat cats are always going to get what they think they are going to get. The German conservatives were sure that they could control Hitler, after all.
Friday, April 29, 2011
I've been thinking about that and I have to come down on the side that some of the attacks are racially motivated, some of the attacks simply use race as a vehicle to attack him for other issues, and some are combinations. I really do not see these attacks as any worse than those on Clinton. I really don't. Now when one says that then one has to acknowledge that the attacks on Clinton were about as vile and full of lies as any could be. Obama is accused of being a (kind of) foreigner, since no one can deny that his mother was a good white American girl and a communist anti-American. While Clinton was accused of being a murderer, thief, drug runner, and communist anti-American. Incidently, does anyone really believe that Michelle Obama has been treated worse than Hilary Clinton?
Why the right wing engages in these insane attacks on two presidents who were and are nice conservative republicans is beyond me. It does remind one of the attacks the right waged on Roosevelt while he fought to save capitalism. So while I can see a historical precedent, I still cannot for the life of me understand the minds behind it. Unless these minds simply want to live in a world that has all the same rules that applied to the French aristocrates under Louis XIV.
A follow up thought is that at least Roosevelt was liberal or progressive, where as Clinton and Obama are simply corporate bag men, so it made even less sense in the 90s or now.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
He died on Easter Sunday, the viewing was on Tuesday, his youngest daughter's birthday was Wednesday so they decided to wait until today for the actual funeral. He will be cremated so there was no procession to the cemetery. After the lunch at his wife's church we came home and slept for two hours. We were exhausted.
I think that the reason we were so exhausted was the sheer amount of raw grief that was expressed by so many at the funeral. The intensity was frankly surprising. I did not realize how strongly I would feel, myself.
Larry was sixty-five and he had been sick for several years. However, he rally started to go down hill rapidly just about three months ago. There were the trips to Cleveland for more radiation and chemo and then the very rapid decline which started about three or four weeks ago.
Larry's was the only bicycle shop in town for several decades so anybody who rode seriously, or who had kids who had bikes that needed fixed knew Larry. Also, since Larry was the world's premier procrastinator they would get to see him much more than they had at first expected or for that matter wanted. As one of his friends said today she started to work for him about thirty-five years ago on the restoration of the bike shop and that restoration is still going on today. Three hour lunches were not unusual and if you drove by the shop and saw the sign that said back at 2 you knew that meant 3 and if he wasn't back by 4, that meant that you should come back the next day sometime after 10 when he might be there.
Larry looked like your traditional red neck, but once you started to talk to him you realized that he was a guy who was not easily pigeon holed. He loved blue grass and they played it at the funeral with his brother in law playing a lap dulcimer and another friend playing a banjo, with blue grass recordings playing in the back ground other times. The banjo player told us he wasn't sure he could make it through, but he did.
Larry was a Quaker, but his wife is a more main stream Christian and the service was a combination of the two with people being encouraged to share their memories of Larry. One of the first people was a woman he had hired to work on the restoration at his shop and on the bikes. She was sixteen at the time and had been told that girls were not permitted to take shop in school because. He gave her the keys to his shop and his pick up and tools that were not those one would think of as being, well safe and told her to go to it. One of the last people to share was another girl who has been working at his shop recently, she is African American and does not look at all traditionally feminine in any way, but rather androgynous. When she started working for Larry she had been about to drop out of high school, now in larger part because of Larry's encouragement she is in collage.
I was unable to speak. I have been going to his shop more or less frequently, as I said for almost twenty-five years. When he said he was thinking of closing down last year I told him he couldn't because I would have no where else to hang out. When we first got our St. Bernard we had Larry watch him and the St. loved to go and hang out at the bike shop: "What happens in the bike shop, stays in the bike shop."
I don't know where I'll hang out this summer.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Monday, April 25, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
Sunday, April 3, 2011
In thinking about how people think and operate, I was thinking about folks I work with who simply seem unable to accept when they do something wrong. That is you can point out that this is not right and that this needs to be re-done, but they simply never seem to acknowledge that they may have been the cause of the problem. Not only that, but they seem to continue to keep on doing whatever it was that they did wrong in the first place. You've got to get in their face and confront them in what in the end is for me at least an unpleasant way to get them, not to acknowledge that they made a mistake, but to at least not do it that way again.
Having been brought up to believe that everything was my fault (I'm still not sure that if I would have sent just one more email to the president, perhaps he would have dealt with Health Care Reform in a different way). I've heard people who are this way blame it on a Catholic upbringing, but since mine was Presbyterian, perhaps I can blame it on the Scots.
Which brings me around to Obama and the democratic party generally. The obvious result of their policies and tactics was to more than decimate the party's representatives in Congress (double that at least if you accept the Roman definition) and nearly destroy the state and local parties. Now we know that Obama and the rest have decided that they did nothing wrong, not because of what they said, but because they keep on doing the same things in the same way.
How does that work do you suppose? My first thought when I lose anything no matter how weak the case, is to wonder what I've done wrong. So how does this other mind set work? I have no idea. I don't think that this contradicts what I've been saying for the last couple of days. I would think that a politician would want to maintain power not matter who they thought their bosses really were. I would think that they would want to make sure that they looked like they were doing something right, if only to confuse the rubes.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Friday, April 1, 2011
So at any rate as is made clear in the Greenwald essay there have been groups pushing for "The President is Really King" theory of government for decades at least. It is easiest to do it in matters of foreign policy and war. It will only be a matter of time before it starts happening in matters of domestic policy. That will be because the grid lock will start to be seen as a problem, even by the Villigers. Now there are many ways to fix the gridlock we have in the congress right now (simplist is of course get rid of the filibuster), but that isn't going to happen. We saw that at the beginning of this session. No individual senator wants to lose any of his power. Eventually it will all be taken away and some president's horse will end up voting with the rest of the senators although at least in that case it will be the entire horse.
What I see going on with our more or less elected officials is that those in "power" in the House and Senate (mostly the Senate) have managed, in protecting their personal power to the extent that they have, made themselves look largly ineffectual in their ability to accomplish anything (although obviously not in their ability to prevent anything from being accomplished). Peop;e are already sick and tired of it, it is only a matter of time before the rulers get tired and do something about it.