Archives for posts with tag: Dubya

John Lennon, as he so frequently did, nailed it to a tree in this lyric. And while he may not have agreed with this writer on political matters, this line effectively points out one underlying premise of Centrism: the renunciation of extremism, and the violence that extremism requires to achieve its ends.

People often demonize Centrism as “ill-defined” or “meaning nothing”. This is no more true of Centrism than  is of Liberalism or Conservatism. The plain and simple truth of all political “isms” is this: none of them are monolithic, and all of them have as many variants as they have adherents. Put another way, Dennis Kucinich and Abbie Hoffman have both been described as “extreme Left” or “Liberal”, but they aren’t going to agree on everything. Bush The Dumber and Dick Cheney didn’t agree on everything either. The Cranky One  almost never agrees with the DLC Dimbulbs with whom he is automatically associated when he describes himself as a Centrist.  Labels are useful tools, but like any tool need to be used properly: when misused or overused, they create more harm than good.

Your humble correspondent  describes his political philosophy as follows: antidisestablishmentarianism, maximum personal freedom, keeping his nose out of other people’s private lives, and contributing to the overall good of our society. Except for the first point, he figures most Americans are on board with those concepts to a certain degree. So let’s look at that first point (the one Mr. Lennon so perfectly captured).

Antidisestablishmentarianists, of course, come in various shapes, sizes and degrees: some are ossified individuals who reflexively cling to the status quo, regardless of whether or not it works. Others (like this cranky writer) see it as an incrementalist approach to change. One thing to remember: Martin Luther, often depicted as a revolutionary, was in fact an antidisestablishmentarianist: that is why he proposed a reformation, rather than a revolution. So it goes in politics.

Revolutions kill people. They destroy lives and the works created by those lives. They burn away the good along with the bad. And rebuilding from a revolution is far harder and  more costly (in all respects) than implementing a plan for gradual, consensus-driven change.

Yes, sometimes thick-headed jackasses make revolutions necessary: King George, for example. But had he pulled his head out of his extremist, orthodoxy-addicted, ideological, narrow-minded, blinkered arse, the revolution need not have happened at all.

And that, friends, is why your Radical Centrist, contrarian, curmudgeonly correspondent keeps braying away from his position on the Political Compass (bang on the center of the L/R axis, and far away from the Authoritarian pole on that axis. See the link below to chart yourself.). He brays, hollers, and throws bricks upside the heads of the extremist community at every opportunity, hoping to get his point across. (“Maybe being nice would be a better approach”, you might say, and that’s a fair point. But he’s tried it and failed, so he’s going the blunt route these days.)

Far too many extremists are willing to “break eggs to make an omelet”. Those “eggs” are human beings with lives and loved ones. The idea that anyone could see the inevitable destruction of the lives and loves of their fellow Americans simply as a “cost of doing business”  is truly vomit-inducing. Particularly coming from the political Left, who are allegedly devoted to the betterment of mankind.

Anyone who advocates revolution when their people and country  are not in imminent danger of being killed en masse is a sociopathic mother***er who views his fellow Americans as disposable resources to be destroyed in the pursuit of his or her ideological Utopia.

And people like that are worth fighting. This Radical Centrist stands firmly for Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Revolutionaries do not. If they did, they would not advocate measures that would strip us of all three.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

Mr. Blunt and Cranky 

Whatever else one might say about President Obama, he does a great job at Crisis Management. Witness his performance during Hurricane Sandy: in stark contrast to Bush-The-Dumber eating cake and pretending to play guitar during the Katrina debacle, Obama hauled his ass back to D.C. to do his job as Commander-In-Chief. And even people who hate his guts (like Chris Christie) are praising Obama’s performance in dealing with this enormous disaster.

Contrast this with Mitt Romney’s Shrub-Like responses to surprises and crises during the campaign to date: shoot-from-the-lip quips, sound bites, lies, zingers, promises to defund FEMA, and insults to individuals and groups in America and overseas.  We all saw how well that worked during the Reign Of The Bushies, didn’t we?

Vote for the grownup with the proven record of performance under pressure. That’s Obama.

Mr. B & C (not liking this attempt at positive posting very much)

Mister Blunt and Cranky has been mulling over the Presidents he has dealt with in his adult life, and what made some of them better or worse than others.  He has come to the conclusion that the best Prexies were the ones who understood what it meant to be an average American, and the worst were the ones that did not.

Starting with the first one he ever voted for: Gerald Ford.  The child of a broken, working-class home, he had a simple but demanding job  as Nixon’s replacement – calm the country down after Tricky’s constitutional crime spree, and did that job well.

Jimmy Carter: Born into affluence and comfort, he was a brilliant intellect who never really connected with voters. After leaving the White House, he showed how much more he was capable of, but while in office, his record was mixed.

Ronald Reagan: came from modest means and showed an amazing ability to connect with voters. Pity he drank so much Supply-Side Kool-Aid, but one cannot deny that he sussed what it was like to be an average schmoe.

Bush The Smarter: Born into wealth and privilege, he stepped out of that comfort zone for a while to be a war hero (yes, he really was), and then stepped back into the bubble. A good man but a mediocre president.

Billy Bob Clinton: A trailer trash horndog but a bona-fide genius. If he could have kept it in his trousers, he would have been an excellent President. Still, he did a good job of stabilizing the economy, cutting the deficit , moving people off the dole and into the workforce. Bubba understood life on the margins and in the under-and-middle classes.

Bush The Dumber: Exemplified all that is wrong with being born in the bubble of privilege and never venturing out of it. Tried everything his daddy succeeded at, and either fumbled through it or failed miserably. Wrecked the economy, enabled terrorist attacks, trashed our freedoms, and turned the United States into a bankrupt pariah state.

Barack Obama: Child of a broken home, barely above the poverty line at times and shuttled around the globe willy-nilly by a platoon of relatives. Devoted (or dumb) enough to run for President during a national crisis. Well-intentioned and able to understand the plight of the lower and middle classes. Has done a good job of triage and trauma care on a nation that was left bleeding and broke by the previous idiot.

Here’s the conclusion: the more humble your childhood origins, the better President you will make. Remember that as you choose between the lower-middle-class mixed-race kid and the snotty rich brat this November.

Mr. B & C