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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Help me

The coverage and time is being consumed by the healthcare back and forth, and despite all the ink being spilled, there's next to nothing being said.

Republicans are against healthcare, and although they say so with a ridiculous and evolving collection of over the top language, they're not really saying anything at all. The only story is in the language they use.

The Democrats, largely, aren't saying anything relevant. The leadership is being careful not to go on the record because anything could change, and the few members speaking are so far outside the circle that what they're saying is valueless in determining where this thing is going.

So, you've got the press covering alot of people saying things that don't really have any impact. It's taking up all the space, and there's not much else getting around it.

Probably the most interesting narrative in the larger story is the way the GOP and the press have turned GOP's minority opposition into the dominant storyline.

Look at the top headlines from the top three narrative driving publications. (NYTimes) States’ Rights Is Rallying Cry of Resistance for Lawmakers, (NYTimes) G.O.P. Leader Finds Weapon in Unity, (WaPo) GOP blasts Democrats' tactic for health-care bill, (Politico) GOP casts Pelosi as health care villain.


  • Well it keeps people's minds off the main story...the US/Israel 'rift'.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:12 AM  

  • I don't think that's the main story except to a segment of those who are concerned.

    Healthcare, or the politics of healthcare is the top story. Billions involved directly. tens of billions indirectly in how the 2010 elections come out. Power....

    Healthcare is a story, just not the parts they're covering.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 10:41 AM  

  • So you don't see a connection between passing the healthcare bill and how Israelis feel about Obama?


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:18 PM  

  • We are obviously in an Alice-in-Wonderland period of the "American Experiment." We are, as this blog title so accurately observes, at the crest fo the empire.

    We are witnessing a generational deolution after 200+ years of social and material advancement. American's are dumber, fatter, less healthy, less innovative, and far more impotent in the face of real challenges. My children's generation will live shorter lives and realize a lower standard of living in real dollars.

    I believe we'll continue on this path of social/cultural/politic devolution as long as the privilege class can make money off of it, and a majority of American remain ignorant enough to be so easily manipulated.

    One of our political parties is motivated by the belief that fellow American with whom they disagree are "anti-American" and "the enemy" in a very real and actionable way. My guess is 50 - 75 years.

    By Blogger -epm, at 6:32 PM  

  • A somewhat semantic point, burt it's my contention that the actual crest was sometime in the early to mid 60's. What we're now seeing is the actual decline. (And let me emphasize that that is a relative decline.)

    And you seem to have an assumption that the rich are just making money off it, and not engineering this transformation. They're the ones shipping out manufacturing (mid wage) jobs and then cutting the social provisions that largely led to the broad economic success.

    The Reagan revolution has led to them controlling more and more of the economy.

    They're not just profiting off gridlock. They're engineering it.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 9:27 PM  

  • Sorry, a bit of a vague rant, but I think you get the point.

    The party that is destroying the middle class and closing the possibilities for social mobility is the same party that is advocating policies that benefit the very rich.

    And that party is funded and controlled by the very rich.

    This is a loose plan. an end goal.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 9:29 PM  

  • I guess my perspective is colored by the fact that I was just a very young child in the 60's. My memories of the 60's and 70's were one's of a positive America that could do anything. But you're right, I suppose, the parent of today's self-defeating low-middle class were laid in the politics of the 60's and 70's... I would say with the Nixon administration which, in the end, raised the bar (or lowered) for what American's would accept as the baseline for acceptable political practices in the name of partisan politics or the notion of King President.

    It was Reagan, I think, the ushered in the age of truthiness, moving the Nationalist Christianists to the main stage, and the dumbing down of a generation. The age of employees as "resources" and the general dehumanization of workers as burdens to bear on a spreadsheet and nothing more.

    Nearly every corporation, and far, far too many politicians, now see the Government as a beast on a leash to be used to enrich themselves, and keep the ignorant massis more ignorant. It's worked.

    And don't get me started with news journalism, cable TV and news-as-profit. Empty-headed fools wrapped and fake gravitas.The obliteration of the line between educating the public and selling the public.

    Where ever the tipping point was, we are on a demonstrable decline as a nation and a culture. And it won't turn around until enough people grow up and demand better. This won't happen in my children's lifetime, I believe.

    It almost happened with Obama. He was a great leader of his campaign and brought the light of Hope (and expectation) to the White House. And then he stopped being a leader and became a kindergarten teacher trying to make all the congresscritters play nice. Big mistake. It merely legitimized extremism as something to be tolerated and negotiated with.

    I'm done. :)

    By Blogger -epm, at 7:35 AM  

  • After a cup of coffee, I realize that I'm little different than the religious end-of-timers who interpret every prophecy and anecdotal news report as being directly aimed at themselves and their time.

    America certainly has gone through convolutions of regressions before. It's just that even in those times, future generations always ended up better than the preceding generation. This is no longer the case and I think it president setting as a self-induced tragedy.

    By Blogger -epm, at 10:44 AM  

  • Quick recap of why the 60's. Went from loaner nation to debtor nation. Went from oil exporter to oil importer. Began modern capital and shift in corporate structure that led to manufacturing collapse. Emergence of finance as a major driver of economy. rather than manufacturing.

    Cultural: Kennedy assassination/disillusionment of a generation. The cultural divisions from Vietnam and civil rights which have never healed and led to the divisions and tone of today.

    Empire: Vietnam marked the bridge too far in the application of power. Our failure punctured the image of invincibility. It told small nations that if they were willing to resist enough, we would quit and they would win.

    Plus, the 60's was also the first wave of military overexpansion for the cold war which began burdening the country with military debt.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 10:48 PM  

  • Mike,

    Excellent, excellent "recap." I can't tell you how much I appreciate your fact-based, largely non-emotional presentation of history, both recent and long. I am stuck in a wrapper of emotion. I'm not proud of it, but at least I realize it.

    I know you don't usually address posts more than a couple of days old, but I hope you at least read this.

    Thanks again for sticking with this blog .


    By Blogger -epm, at 10:26 AM  

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