And Now, Some Throwback Political Dudgeon

Yes, I changed the theme again. I wanted some red.

I used to have a Blogger blog devoted solely to politics, Revolutionary Nonsense. It’s been five years since I wrote anything there, but when the primary campaign produces its inevitable disappointment, I occasionally meander over there to see if anything from the time when I pretended I was an amateur pundit holds up.

Here is one such, from the summer of 2011, when the first glimmer of the total decadence of our political class came clear to me: Thieves, Liars, Whores, Swine and Gilded Fools: A Four-Letter Dissertation on Politics.

No, I have no animus for the Rangles and Byrds of the world of politics. Thieves are thieves, and eventually they end up robbing themselves. I reserve my true hate for the ones who claim not to hunger for graft or power but for a Square Deal for all Americans, the ones who claim that it is time to put politics aside and do the People’s Will. Proggies have been shilling that line for a century, and it’s the biggest pile of dinosaur shit there is.

The People don’t have One Will; that Rousseauist fantasy builds nothing but guillotines. The People are a multiverse of conflicting dreams, desires, and ideology. They have no Main Line from which silken-voiced princes with first-rate temperaments can eternally suckle. 40% of them hate Democrats, 40% hate Republicans, and the rest would rather everyone just play nice. You cannot claim a Mandate to do whatever the hell you please on the basis of winning 51% of such an electorate. It is a house built on quicksand.

The People’s Will is a fantasy, and I hope that Obama knows it. Bill Clinton did. That man was as gifted a liar as politics has seen in a while, but he was a better whore. And whores know that it doesn’t matter what the john wants if you get extra for the service. So if the john wanted to hear that The Era of Big Government was Over, then Billi would make that sound pretty coming out of his mouth. He knew the tricks; he knew the game; the People (or 60% of them) loved him.

Here’s another: I am the Wrecking-Ball Right

It is the knowledge of this ignored benefit, this silent payback, that animates what Reich calls the Wrecking Ball Right, the awareness that the bureaucrats, the lobbyists, and the politicians are the true Ruling Class of this country. And like any ruling class, they will self-aggrandize, to the ruin of the nation unless checked.

The time for that checking has come. We are in debt for trillions upon trillions of dollars to pay for our Ruling Class’ follies. They have turned our heavy industry into scrap-heaps, our cities into wastelands. A drive through any part of Baltimore City shows the marks of the kind of “strong, effective government” that Reich wants to save. A city with one of the best harbors and shipyards on the Atlantic coast is home to block-upon-block of empty, collapsing rowhouses, which only the desperate and the criminal use. Only the names of the politicians on campaign posters above the streets change.

Robert Reich’s social model of government as the counterweight to the wealthy is yesterday’s panacaea to society’s ills, snake-oil and laudanum peddled by confidence men weeping crocodile tears. We’ve had a Department of Education for over forty years, and American schools fell behind almost every industrialized nation. We’ve had a Department of Housing and Urban Development for over fifty years, and every middle-class family who could afford to bought houses in the suburbs. We’ve had a Department of Health and Human Services for the same time, and not a soul has anything good to say about our health care system

It would be bad form to link only to my own stuff, so here’s an almost-throwback post on The Other McCain. I say “almost-throwback” because it’s not a dissertation on the folly of Third-Wave feminism, but an old-fashioned fire-and-brimstone rant against the great Conservative-Boob-in-Good-Standing, David Brooks.

Oh, there’s a reason I always walked out a room whenever David Brooks walked in. Restraining my Jacksonian populist urges requires conscious effort sometimes, and it’s best not to risk an assault charge.

Look what he’s made me do here. I’ve endorsed Trump for pure spite. The worst thing David Brooks can imagine is Donald Trump winning the Republican nomination, but what would be worse for Brooks — what he cannot even imagine — is for Donald Trump to be elected president.

Let us rekindle our Jacksonian spirit, America. Let us ignore the advice of David Brooks and ask ourselves, “What would Old Hickory do?”

If Trump ends up becoming our 45th President, this is how he’s going to do it – you may detest the man, but he’s the enemy of everyone who’s the enemy of you.

David Brooks Starts to Sound Like Jeff Goldstein

[Insert Mayan Calendar Joke Here]

The Romney campaign doesn’t seem to know how to respond. For centuries, business leaders have been inept when writers, intellectuals and politicians attacked capitalism, and, so far, the Romney campaign is continuing that streak.

One thing is for sure. As Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute has said again and again, it’s not enough to say that capitalism will make you money. You can’t fight what is essentially a moral critique with economics.

Romney is going to have to define a vision of modern capitalism. He’s going to have to separate his vision from the scandals and excesses we’ve seen over the last few years. He needs to define the kind of capitalist he is and why the country needs his virtues.

Let’s face it, he’s not a heroic entrepreneur. He’s an efficiency expert. It has been the business of his life to take companies that were mediocre and sclerotic and try to make them efficient and dynamic. It has been his job to be the corporate version of a personal trainer: take people who are puffy and self-indulgent and whip them into shape.

That’s his selling point: rigor and productivity. If he can build a capitalist vision around that, he’ll thrive. If not, he’s a punching bag.

Throw in a bit about defining your terms and that could be any Protein Wisdom post. Which is to say, any post that Jeff tosses off when rather torqued about the philosophical pre-surrender he sees in the Romney campaign, as opposed to something earnestly and seriously written, such as this heavy swipe at the errors of Scalia’s textualism.