Friday, July 31, 2009

Nullification redux

Someone could just save these folks a lot of time and just tell these people that you can't do this:
Texas, meanwhile, has one of the nation's highest rates of uninsured residents -- roughly one in four Texans go without coverage. Its Republican governor, Rick Perry, recently said he's "willing and ready" to block reform from taking shape in his state, calling it "encroachment." What's more, Republican lawmakers in Arizona have approved a ballot measure that would, if approved, allow the state to override a federal health care law that includes individual or employer mandates.
Yeah, we're back to John C. Calhoun here. What is becoming more and more clear to me is the extent to which the hard right in this country is simply uncomfortable with democracy. For them, since the 1950s it's been the barbarians are at the gates, we need to do whatever we can, blah blah blah. This is why the right celebrates criminals like Gordon Liddy and Oliver North, seeing them as bold crusaders for America instead of stupid, venal, corrupt men. But fetishizing breaking the law like Jack Bauer necessarily breeds a contempt of the law in general, which is ironic for a "law and order" party. This has led, unsurprisingly, to a contempt of the liberal democratic institutions that have sustained America for so long (but that are, admittedly, in need of some tweaking). They don't think that they should have to abide by anything the other side does when they lose. But even criticizing Bush during wartime was giving comfort to the enemy, of course. And the use of the filibuster--as nondemocratic as it is--is part and parcel of this. I always found those lists of the times Bush said he wished he was a dictator kinda annoying when posted by liberal bloggers, but I think the point is coming into greater and greater relief. Until they recover some sense of liberality (in the little-l sense) they cannot be trusted with any power at all.

I guess this isn't a hugely original insight, merely another outgrowth of the right's voluminous authoritarianism. Authoritarianism without authority. If you're a jet, you're a jet all the way, you know?

The Man, The Myth, The Bio

East Bay, California, United States
Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.