Sunday, June 10, 2012

Duncan Black
Not gonna link to it, but Joe Klein has a piece in Time where he met a bunch of pissed off (mostly) aging Vets and has decided that if only there was mandatory national service for people younger than Joe Klein then we would return to those great days in this country when we had Teh Consensus which was when we all agreed and it was all the awesome because consensus.
"Army of Mercenaries"
"divide between soldiers and civilians"

Atrios is an asshole and not very smart. He's good when things can be seen as simple binaries -the Austerians are more committed to preserving their own gains than they are to preserving the system- but like DeLong he's pathologically opposed to ambiguity. Google says the first time I called him a "know-nothing" was 2005. I'd thought it was earlier.

And since I'm back to this, his need to see things in absolutes means his views on Palestine are absolutely perverse. "David Duke, president of Americans in Support of Palestinian Freedom..." etc.

He also links to this truly pathetic whine. [I misread him. He's not agreeing with it.]
Imagine, if you will, the domino effect that would ensue if liberals and moderates simply tuned out the demagogues. Yes, they would still be able to manipulate their legions into endorsing cruel and self-defeating policies. But their voices would be sealed within the echo chamber of extremism and sealed off from the majority of Americans who honestly just want our common problems solved. They would be marginalized in the same way as activists who rant about racial purity or anarchy.

Rush Limbaugh would be a radio host catering to a few million angry commuters, not the alpha male of conservatism. Fox News would be a popular fringe network, not the reliable conduit by which paranoid hogwash infects our mainstream media.

In this world, it would be much harder to mislead people because media outlets would shift their resources to covering the content of proposed legislation, the exploding role of corporate influence in our affairs of state and the scientifically confirmed predicaments we face as a species.

Liberals and moderates would no longer be able to mollify themselves by watching Jon Stewart mock conservative wack jobs. They would be forced to consider their own values and the sort of actions necessary to reify those values in the world. They might even consider breaching our artificially inflated partisan divide.

This last measure, I realize, hasn’t worked for President Obama. ...
Amazing that he can't see that Stewart has done what he can't, and that Stewart's mockery has in fact been productive: affirming what conservatives deny. Not to give Stewart too much credit as a thinker or performer, but to Anglo-American schoolmarmish liberals, Dario Fo and Nanni Moretti cannot be taken seriously, for the same reason actually existing Sweden cannot be taken as seriously as an academic's model.
To argue against that, however, see this (Atrios again). A pity he can't articulate the relation. [still true] I've always called him an avatar of change unable to describe it.

Serendipity: Nanni Moretti's brother, and a perfect converse and description of the divisions among and within the members of the "thinking class."

More for Bertram, who reminds me of a more sophisticated version of DB.