Monday, November 26, 2012

Keepin' It Real

The story of one conservative's political awakening. Thanks to Beth Kujawski who originally posted the article on Facebook.


Beth said...

My pleasure. Thanks for the nod.

S.W. Anderson said...

Bartlett's piece has a strong "Perils of Pasuline" quality to it. In some places it's downright comical. For example . . .

"I was shocked beyond belief when it turned out that Bush really wanted a massive, budget-busting new entitlement program after all, apparently to buy himself re-election in 2004."

Earth to Bartlett: Psst. The prescription drug bill was a minor frill, where Bush getting himself re-elected in 2004 was concerned. The big deal main event was ALL THOSE HUMUNGOUS TAX CUTS THAT SENT THE DEFICIT INTO THE STRATOSPHERE. And you claim Bush was stupid and clueless? Give me a break.

Hold on, there's more.

"In 2004 I got to know the journalist Ron Suskind, whose book The Price of Loyalty I had praised in a column. He and I shared an interest in trying to figure out what made Bush tick. Neither of us ever figured it out."

OK. But then Bartlett writes:

" . . . My growing alienation from the right created problems for me and my employer. I was read the riot act and told to lay off Bush because my criticism was threatening contributions from right-wing millionaires in Dallas, many of whom were close personal friends of his."

Hellooo, Bruce — if it was a snake it would bite you!

What comes through to me here is the picture of a guy who's just enough in touch with reality to have burned his bridges with the radical right, and who now needs an audience to buy his books and read his op eds and articles. Since the radical right won't, he sorta, kinda would like for Democrats and liberals to take up his slack. And yet, he continues to refer to liberals and Democrats as enemies. And he suggests Republicans pit African Americans and Latinos against one another for right-wing political gain — a perfect example of the politics of divisiveness and exploitation, with nothing to offer either group from the right but different pols to vote for.

Sorry, Bruce, but for all your attempts to impress with how intellectually honest you claim to be — recognizing Keynes was right about how to recover from a conservative Republican-caused economic implosion is like recognizing ice melts in a warm room, after all — you seem to be just another selfish, self-serving movement conservative who drew attention to yourself in ways that backfired, causing you to be kicked out of the lucrative right-wing noise machine.

David Black wrote Blinded By the Right. Bartlett's page turner might better be titled, Damned Right Wing Double Vision Keeps Kicking In and Out On Me.

free0352 said...

I developed an increasingly uneasy feeling about its direction. Its tax policy was incoherent

Agreed, Bush's tax cuts should have been balanced with spending cuts. Yes he should have cut those taxes, but cut spending as well.

an expansion of Medicare to pay for prescription drugs for seniors was under discussion. I thought this was a dreadful

Agreed. He should have cut medicare, not expanded it.

It’s worth remembering that Paul Ryan, among other so-called fiscal hawks, voted for this irresponsible, unfunded expansion of government

Oh I do indeed remember, and its a sad day when a big spender like Ryan is known as a "fiscal hawk." Thats how big our government has become.

such as all the Republican pork-barrel projects that Bush refused to veto

Agreed, it was disgusting.

I had not realized how closed the right-wing mind had become.

I don't care where the Republican's minds are, so long as they are focused on cutting taxes and slashing spending more so. I'd like to see the Federal Government operate on less than a trillion a year. I'd like to see a balanced budget amendment and a requirement that budgets be approved five years in advance.

My growing alienation from the right ... I know the feeling.

Recall that Bush’s proposal for immigration reform was soundly rejected by his own party.

I too was perplexed. It was the only sound policy of his second term besides smashing Fallujah to the ground.

The best way to get Republicans to read a book about reaching out for the black vote, I thought, was to detail the Democratic Party’s long history of maltreatment of blacks. After all, the party was based in the South for 100 years after the war, and all of the ugly racism we associate with that region was enacted and enforced by Democratic politicians.

Wow, I'm starting to think me and this guy think exactly alike.

It was basically a Thomas Kuhnian view of economic theory.

Oh wait... maybe not.

I came to the annoying conclusion that Keynes had been 100 percent right in the 1930s

Okay, definitely not.

I finished the book just as the economy was collapsing in the fall of 2008

How ironic that it was keynsianism that lead to that collapse. No wonder we've seen such economic failure, Bush and Obama are both fanatical Keynesians.

And no, being a Keynesian doesn't mean you're from Kenya Beth.

I think I had a very clear understanding of the economic crisis from day one.

I on the other hand, do NOT think so.

For the record, no one has been more correct in his analysis and prescriptions for the economy’s problems than Paul Krugman.

Oh my god really? Now this dude has fallen into idiocy. A guy who said the following is the problem, not the solution.

To fight this recession the Fed needs more than a snapback; it needs soaring household spending to offset moribund business investment. And to do that, as Paul McCulley of Pimco put it, Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble.

- Paul Krugman, NY Times, 2 August 2002.

Krugman worked for fucking Enron for Chrissakes. Nuff said. It was following the advice of hack economists like Krugman that got us into this mess. The "hatred of him on the right" is totally justified. The man is the worst thing to happen to US economics theory ever... in our history.

So in the end, Bruce follows a grand old tradition of the Grand Old Party... he draws all the wrong conclusions and follows the same old Keynesian playbook that got us into this economic crisis.

ALa said...

I am wondering if you (or Beth for that matter) actually read the article? I know it's what you long to hear...a Conservative renouncing his evil ways...but aside from the fact that his problems with Bush and McCain was when they weren't Conservative enough (yes, confusing much like a thesis in one of his multiple failed books), but this article drips of nothing but sour grapes...

jim marquis said...

I did read it, Ala. It seemed to me the guy felt like both Dubya and McCain forgot what true conservatism was really about.

I used to be much more of a moderate myself before the idiot from Texas got into office. It's hard to measure how much damage he caused in your party.