Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Republicans - All Wrong, All the Time, Pt 5

Peter Dorman at Econospeak offers these thoughts about the current state of Politics:

A big one {element in what's wrong. - JzB}  is the devolution of the Republic Party. It is difficult to find words to express this. I have never, not even when I was a young kid, had any affection for this outfit, but in retrospect I have to admit that, once upon a time, they were conscientious in support of the values of their constituency. In office, they would hire experts (more conservative ones, but not always) to provide reasonably informative reports and forecasts. They often found themselves on the yea-side of important, progressive legislation, such as the wave of environmental and consumer initiatives of the late 1960s and early ‘70s. They were worth arguing with.

I can’t remember how many years it’s been since I paid any attention to the intellectual content (if that’s the right term) of Republican discourse. At least since Gingrich, it's been fools-or-knaves all the way. But our political system is set up to lock in place a two-party governance structure, and if one party goes bonkers, the machinery simply breaks down.

. . . 

Bush, for all his horrors, was not the root problem, and the election of Obama is hardly the solution. If we want to try to turn this thing around by design and not just depend on dumb luck, we need to identify the deeper issues and focus our energies on them.

In comments there, I opined thusly:

I agree that Bush is not the heart of the problem. But he serves as a great symbol. My reaction, when he got put forward as a candidate for President in 1999 was that democracy had failed. Here was an intellectually bankrupt son of privilege, who was an abject failure at everything from the oil biz to sports, but really good at executions.

If this is what a major political party offers us, then the system is broken beyond repair. And the even more odious Sarah Palin looms on the horizon.

The deeper issue is that corporations own both parties, and the political power of real people is nil.

Read Dorman's post -  it's worth it, then tell me what you think.

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