Poll: Bush still blamed for economy

Again, this is a riff off of an article in Politico.  Supposedly, 

“Thirty-one percent of the 2,344 adults surveyed said Bush deserves the most blame for a rough economy, leading the second-place Wall Street by 6 percentage points.” 

George Bush must have been some powerful man to cause the entire freaking world economy to tank.  I can see if it was just America’s economy that tanked.  That would make sense to blame Bush. He was at the helm.  But you need evidence of a cause and effect, dear idiots.  George W. Bush did not force banks to lend to people who were not qualified for mortgages under traditional accounting practices. That would be the Democrats who did that.  The Republicans tried to change the status quo at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; the Democrats stopped them. 

Long before Bush came into office, the Dems led by Clinton and Treasury Secretary Robt. Rubin lead the charge to repeal Glass-Steagall.  That lead to the “too big to fail” banks that just had to be bailed out.  I can see blaming Bush for bailing out Wall Street, that was almost criminal, using taxpayer money to ensure that Wall Street Bankers got bailed out while we the little guys got screwed.  But Obama has not come in and done anything different,  he  has kept doing the same thing, so I don’t see how you can blame Bush and not Obama. 

For those in the know, the economic melt-down was caused by a perfect storm.  Glass-Steagall was repealed, allowing banks to become too big to fail.  Liberal policies encouraged banks to lend to people who could not pay.  Democrat lackeys at Fannie and Freddie put profits and bonuses ahead of sound business practice.  Lack of oversight allowed the packaging of toxic loans to be sold world-wide.   Personally, anybody stupid enough to blame GWB for the world-wide crash that occurred should be automatically disqualified from voting.  And maybe even from breathing. There is blame enough to go around.

36 responses to “Poll: Bush still blamed for economy

  1. Lipton T. Bagg

    Yawn. Nothing to see here. Business as usual. Move along, you sheep…..

  2. Baaaaaah.

  3. Lipton T. Bagg

    John, you do that with considerable aplomb. Should we be concerned? (j/k)

  4. Ya gotta watch those folks from VA where the men are men and the sheep are scared.😉 Bwaahaaahaaa

  5. MrG, I’ve already posted two articles on the strange goings on down there in South Carolina…

    https://maaadddog.wordpress.com/2010/01/13/goat-born-with-a-human-face-redux/

    it has a link to the previous article…

  6. What…you been spying on me?😮

  7. So…we take the blame off Bush, and push it back one administration: so we can conveniently blame the liberals and Democrats ? That works as historical revisonism for partisan ends: it doesn’t work as honest history.

    I’d consider both deserve some of the blame. But think: where did the fad for economic “de-regulation,” that both inherited, become governmental practice ? Maybe that’s where the problems originated, don’t you think ? Republicans and conservatives deserve MORE blame only in that they are the ones who (to get elected) want to claim the “Reagan legacy”…which the economic mess largely is.

    That Bush was “standing on the shoulders of giants” is too laudatory a metaphor, on both ends. Maybe he’s the nonentity sweeping up behind the circus-parade ?

    Best, Steve

  8. Deregulation did not cause the mess. No regulations that were ever in place would have prevented the economic meltdown, so it is not fair to say that deregulation caused it. It sounds nice as a platitude: Repubs are for deregulation, and we did not have (ever) regulations in place to stop the meltdown, so it must be Pubs fault. The logical gap is that something the Pubs favor(deregulation in general) did not cause the meltdown.

    Now, it would be fair to argue that Pubs general attitude of favoring dereg is bad, as evidenced by the fact that perhaps more regulation would have prevented the meltdown. But it isn’t fair to say that dereg caused the meltdown (because deregulation means getting rid of regulations that previously existed, and no regs ever existed that would have prevented the meltdown. The Clinton-era repeal of Glass-Steagall Act would have perhaps lessoned the meltdown, but it would not have prevented it).

    Further, contrary to what many say, it was not the lack of government involvement that was the cause of the meltdown, it was TOO MUCH government involvement that created the housing bubble. The two primary causes of the housing bubble–which caused the economic mess when it popped–was the Fed keeping rates too low (which caused house prices to increase, as many could afford houses beyond their means due to low interests), FANNIE and FREDDIE lowering their lending standards (allowing lenders to loan to people who were bad risks, knowing that F & F would purchase the loans, and that the USA would guarantee them); and (mostly) the Clinton Admin and Democrats forcing lenders to loan to people who were bad risks.

    Here are three previous posts about this general topic, which help elucidate my thoughts. [Thanks for participating Steve.]

    https://maaadddog.wordpress.com/2009/02/01/just-for-lowell-an-article-written-in-two-thousand/

    https://maaadddog.wordpress.com/2009/05/08/fannie-mae-loses-billions-wants-u-s-to-bail-it-out-with-billions-more/

    https://maaadddog.wordpress.com/2008/12/22/white-house-fights-back-about-freakin-time/

  9. Hi, JDJD:

    Poppin’ in again.

    You make excellent points (both above, and in the previous posts you linked); illustrating your original conclusion that “there is blame enough to go around.” In that I’d agree.

    The “Clinton-era repeal of Glass-Steagall Act” is a good example. Republicans sponsored Gramm-Leach; a Republican Congress passed it with bipartisan support; and a Democratic President signed it.

    Cause for blame both directions there. Glass-Steagall had done a fair job of helping maintain the economy on a mostly-even keel. Maybe it wouldn’t have completely averted our recent problem: but Gramm-Leach’ removal of its provisions against consolidating “financial services” manifestly contributed to it. I’d characterize Gramm-Leach as deregulation in the above regard.

    But more than just the economy, and more than any specific legislation, “deregulation” was the guiding philosophy of Reaganism. It’s a fundamentally-negative philosophy of government (“government is the problem”), and a bad fit for the positive purposes of American government outlined in the preamble to the Constitution.

    That mandate for American government is broad enough to allow lots of discussion of specifics how best to (for example) “promote the general welfare.” Deregulation has a place there. Human government always tends to misuse or abuse power: so there are always instances where deregulation is warranted as a means of checking the illegitimate exercise of power.

    As a primary operative principle, however, “deregulation” is code for “government not doing its job.” The end-result isn’t that Americans are more free from governmental interference: rather that we are more prey to those who were “deregulated.”

    Best, Steve

  10. It depends upon whose ox is being gored. If it’s my ox, and the government isn’t protecting me, I’m pissed at “deregulation.” If it’s me trying to run a company and earn a profit and the government interferes and doesn’t let me do what needs to be done, I’m pissed at too much regulation.

    The devil is in the details. All I’m saying is that you can’t peg the financial crisis on Pubs because Reagan used the word “deregulation” (with good reason).

  11. Hi, JD:

    No problem with him…or anybody else…using the word. And deregulation itself has legitimate uses. The machinery of governance can always be streamlined, in some part, to operate better. The idea it will run best when disassembled is manifestly absurd.

    What I think has been incredibly harmful is the operative idea that “deregulation”…the abdication of responsible governance…is a principle for keeping America strong. That idea was at work in financial regards, certainly, and we’ve seen some of its results. But it was manifested in other ways that did, and continue to do, the country great harm: energy policy, food-inspection safety, agriculture.

    I’d add the removal of the FCC’s Broadcast Fairness rule. We’re the ultimate arbiters of our government’s conduct: making good decisions requires we get good information. Nothing’s more destructive of the ability to make good decisions than unchecked assault on people’s minds with lying ideas and attitudes. Totalitarian regimes did that with government organs of disinformation. Removal of the Broadcast Fairness rule privatized disinformation on American airwaves, and gave it a profit motive. I can’t think of anything that’s contributed more to the current poisonous public climate that weakens this country.

    A “deregulated” military sounds as oxymoronic as anti-governmental government. But that’s essentially what we had with Oliver North. A mid-level military officer who makes and implements national foreign-policy decisions, contrary to law enacted by the people’s elected legislators, is breaking his oath to uphold the Constitution. Of more lasting harm, he’s subverting civilian control of the military, a core principle that is a strength of American government.

    In the Reagan teaching that government is the “problem,” operating in disregard of government is laudable “problem-solving.” If government is the “enemy” (an idea Reagan doctrine easily morphed into), lawlessness like Ollie’s can be considered “heroic.” I’d disagree. Those who undermine the foundational strengths of our system: renegade military officer, disinformational “commentator,” or a President who declines to do his job: are the problems, and creatures of “deregulation,” all.

    Best, Steve

    • Steve, I can’t agree about the Fairness Doctrine, if I’m reading you correctly. The Govt can’t regulate the truth. Removing it did not “privitize disinformation.” All it did was allow “the other side” to get their digs in. Now, which of the two sides was “disinformation” and which side owned the truth? That is the million dollar question on every issue.

      Now, it can be argued that talk radio has become much more conservative since the abolishion of the Fairness Doctrine. However, T.V., newspapers and magazines are still by and large ultra-liberal, so it is a wash, in my opinion. Sure, if ALL people had was the radio, the Fairness Doctrine might be necessary. But tell me, if you can, any issue where both sides, or all sides, do not have a fair chance to get their side out? Especially with the advent of the internet, the Fairness Doctrine is an anachronism that is utterly useless in modern society. I personally cannot believe that conservatives put up with it in the past.

      Ollie wasn’t “making policy.” He was doing the bidding of President Reagan, with “plausible deniability.” That’s one big beef I have with Reagan. Instead of having the balls to say, “Congress, you are wrong. You Democrats are undercutting our allies again, just like you did after we left ‘Nam. I’m not going to allow it. Here’s what I am gonna do…” he just let Ollie go back door, and the rest is history. I think that the Boland Amendment was an unconstitutional amendment. But Reagan, instead of fighting it, went around behind it and broke it. [Easy for me to criticize him, I was a twenty something year old kid back then, and he was “The Gipper.]

  12. Hi, JD:

    The Fairness Doctrine was rather the opposite of “government regulating the truth” (or media doing so): it was a mechanism to ensure that opinions contrary to “official” ones would be aired. That’s a step toward truth being heard, not suppressed.

    That “conservatives” had to “put up with it” implies the Fairness Doctrine somehow victimized that faction. Nothing could be further from the truth. It guaranteed a conservative who thought the media was one-sidedly “liberal” the right to have his counter viewpoint heard. If you buy the view of history (including current history) that media “are…by and large ultra-liberal,” the Fairness Doctrine benefitted conservatives more than anyone else.

    But truthfully, I don’t recall the “liberal media” argument becaming a conservative shibboleth until the Nixon administration…if you consider Nixon a “conservative” (or of any particular ideology: one of his own advisors famously observed that “Nixon’s not really a Republican: Nixon’s a Nixonian.” ). Either way, that seems to be when it became a conservative article of faith that “the media” are overwhelmingly liberal, and enemies (or as Nixon himself put it on a White House tape, “Make no mistake: they are out to get us.”)

    I understand why Nixon thought so: thieves, liars and criminals have a bias against being exposed. It’s less understandable why Reagan, a great manipulator of media, found it advantageous to ride the media-bashing horse…and bequeath it to future “conservatives.” In any case, it’s getting rather long in the tooth after 40 years.

    Agreed, the internet gives every possible viewpoint a chance to be heard today. (It wasn’t a factor in the early 80s, however, when the Fairness Doctrine was eliminated.) That being so, Nixonian outrage at the “liberal” media’s unfairness lacks reality. The attendant “persecuted minority” self-image that seems to be an article of “conservative” faith is more self-serving pose than fact. Does it make sense that views and attitudes that are dinned in Americans’ ears 24/7 by Beck, Limbaugh, and a few million bloggers and websites are being unfairly “suppressed” ? I don’t buy it.

    But I’d agree with you that Ollie wasn’t operating on his own hook. It never came to a test of legal PROOF that Reagan personally authorized the scheme; but his administration’s operative idea that its purposes were superior to law certainly originated with Reagan. After all, “government is the enemy:” and what is more central to governance than the rule of law ?

    Considering one’s personal purposes higher than the laws that govern society is classic psychopathology. As a principle of government, it’s the operative idea of tyrants and autocrats: and made documents like the Magna Carta and Declaration of Independence necessary.

    That’s what’s maddening about (currently so-called) “conservatism.” It majors in trivialities (personalities and attitude), priding itself on thus defending against tyranny: which it’s blind to in personalities and attitudes it considers “conservative.”

    By and large, I think the kind of hysteria that “conservatives” seem prone to (that signing an international climate treaty will mean the end of U.S. sovereignty, for one recent example) is completely asinine. The form of government the founders gave us has proved itself pretty strong: strong enough that fear of imposed tyranny (that “they” are going to take our rights away: a staple of “conservative” doctrine) seems mostly silly to me.

    Strong enough too that the only viable way tyranny could get a foothold in our political system is if a majority of the people CHOSE it. That was the founder’s greatest fear…why they created a republic rather than a democracy…and I’d agree. I worry much less that “they” are going to impose tyranny than that “we” are going to choose it.

    The combination of Nixonian attitude with the popularity of Reaganite ideas of government…buttressed by “conservative” commentators’ assault on listeners’ ability to make good choices…pretty much sums up current “conservatism.” If that isn’t the founders’ worst nightmare, it must come close.

    Best, Steve

  13. Hi, Steve. Lot to chew on there. First thing that jumps out at me is that there is NO question that the MSM is liberal. Something like 90% of them are self-professed Democrats, or more to the left. That is the same thing you will find with professors on most campuses.

    Imho, what Clinton did, and now what Obama is doing, is as bad or worse than what Nixon did. Nixon learned about a crime his minions did without his authority and covered it up. Clinton himself committed crimes, such as subborning perjury and perjury, abuse of power to cover up his crimes. Now, Obama has fired a special investigator who was getting too close to one of his political donator’s crimes (Kevin Johnson, Mayor of Sacramento), and his minions illegally tried to bribe a guy with a political appointment in order to get him not to run in opposition to one of their favored candidates. Illegal as hell. The press just looks the other way. I’m not condoning Nixon, but anybody who does not believe that there are two sets of standards–one for Republicans and another for Democrats–is a fool .

    I do not agree with you about what you said about the only way that our country can have tyranny imposed on us is if we choose it. Or, to be more precise, I fear that we are close to having a majority who would not care and who would allow it. Some poll recently showed that only 60% opposed socialism, for instance. Once we get past the tipping point, which does not have to be even 50% for the left to impose their will on us, as evidenced by the ObamaCare fiasco, then it is too late. A majority opposed ObamaCare, but it is the law now nevertheless.

    Some just don’t care. Some really want socialism. And not enough are standing up and opposing those in the minority who want to impose their will on us.

    Sure, we have many great patriots who will stand up and oppose tyranny. But once the tryrannical govt is imposed legally, many law and order types will argue, “oh, you can’t oppose the govt illegally, you can’t fight and commit acts of terror–that’s treason.” Those who do fight will be ostracized, made criminal and suppressed.

    I fear greatly for this country. I’ve seen how far and how fast it has gone down hill. I’m not paranoid. I’m too old to give a shit for myself. I fear for my children and grandchildren after I’m gone. And I’m too old to take much shit off the government. I don’t care any more about me. If they want some of me, the fear for my life that I used to have won’t stop me now. That’s a dangerous man, one whom the government can no longer put fear into.

    Am I advocating violence? No. Not yet. But I have a breaking point, and these yo yos keep pushing me closer and closer to it. I do not rule out the use of force. If that scares the government, good. I want them afraid.

  14. The worst nightmare for our founding fathers has been the slow and inexorable creep of communism-socialism into the halls of power of our government. It’s been happening for over a hundred years since the Fabians, a society started by none other than George Bernard Shaw, decided they could bring a socialist utopia to the world, not with violent revolution like the communists, but by slowly infiltrating our financial and educational systems. In that way they could begin the indoctrination of our youth to their ideology of a socialistic society.

    Just another case of an “elite” few thinking they can make decisions for the majority of mankind. The funny thing is, while everyone else is suffering under the rules of their socialist utopia where everyone is “equal”, a few are “more equal” than others.

    Study communism in the USSR. The politburo, the few, the leading class had the vacation homes, were able to travel ” freely”, had special stores where only they could purchase luxury items , while the common man had to stand in line for hours to get such sundry items like toilet paper or bread.

    Reagan had a good idea when he decided to break the stranglehold of communism in Russia by declaring an economic war on them. The USSR finally ran out of money trying to keep up with us militarily.

    The “fairness doctrine”….well, it seems like Americans spoke up about that. Air America and other talk radio shows of their ilk couldn’t cut the mustard as shown by the listening public’s disdain of their material. All the “fairness doctrine” would do is allow shows like Air America to receive federal subsidies, ie. tax dollars, to keep their failing business afloat.

    The “conservative” talk radio shows are profitable because people listen to them and the advertisers know this. Money is what makes the world go ’round and liberal talk radio just couldn’t cut it in the real world. No listeners means no advertising dollars which in turn means no liberal talk radio, except for Public radio which receives subsidies from the fed as well as donations from people like you.😉

    • Hi, MR:

      “The worst nightmare for our founding fathers has been… communism-socialism…”

      Somewhat of an anachronism there, I’d say.

      Best, Steve

  15. There is no question the MSM is slanted strongly left. There is also no question that the influence of talk radio is slanted right. To me, that makes a wash.

    This is of course why the left attacks Limbaugh so – because of their rote jealousy of not having that dominant presence within the radio airwaves. If Al Franken and Air America (what a farce that name was) has taken off commercially this would not be an issue. But because Liberalism can’t get corporate sponsorship, it is combated by hateful rhetoric from the left.

    Of c ourse, sponsors didn’t buy Air America because they we not about business, they were about Socialist governmental control. Chew on that for a bit…

    -LTB

    • Hi, LTB:

      Good to meet you. Don’t believe we’ve talked before, so I’ll mention again my assessment of Rush.

      I don’t hate Rush because he’s a “conservative”…he’s not. What he IS speaks louder than what he claims to be.

      He’s a propagandist. It’s a bad idea to get one’s “truth” from a propagandist: so I don’t, and hate him for misleading people who do. (As above, misleading “the people” to make bad decisions by feeding them disinformation is how our form of government is subverted.)

      His business (literally) is to be obnoxious, outrageous, and a liar. The best way to handle such people is to starve them of the attention they live on.

      His personality and tactics are those of a schoolyard bully. Same applies in current national debate as in 3rd grade: bullies are despicable, and you stay away from them.

      That’s basic commonsense. I’d like to see my fellow citizens use commonsense towards Rush.

      Best, Steve

  16. Steve:

    Thanks for the greetings. And we will have to agree to disagree regarding Rush because the assessment you deliver is short-sighted and filled with fallacy.

    So let’s dismiss this first – I am NOT a so-called “ditto-head”. I do not follow anyone’s blathering (unless it’s Ms. T. Bagg in which case I follow lock-step. A man does have his limits… -LTB) and divert attention when and if my “BS sensor goes off. I have tagged Rush badly when his personal affairs (addiction, divorces, social foibles) have called for it – specifically when evaluation of his own circumstances set a double standard in his evaluation of other with similar plights.

    Regarding your assertion of Rush as a propagandist: Let’s define the term first for easy reference:

    “ Propaganda is neutrally defined as a systematic form of purposeful persuasion that attempts to influence the emotions, attitudes, opinions, and actions of specified target audiences for ideological, political or commercial purposes through the controlled transmission of one-sided messages (which may or may not be factual) via mass and direct media channels. ”

    — Richard Alan Nelson, A Chronology and Glossary of Propaganda in the United States

    Rush is an entertainer. He does not purport to be anything but. However, one could make the argument that based on the definition above, Rush IS a propagandist for his own causes. He is obviously not a propagandist for the sitting government. I do however dismiss your assertion that being such is a bad thing. Rush is also not a BULLY. I’ve shaken the man’s hand (hell once cruised with him during “Rush to Excellence in the 1990s) and there’s nothing bully about him UNTIL you the topic turns to Liberalism, Progressivism or these days Socio-Fsacism. Liberals see him as a bully Steve because he so soundly defeats their beliefs, based in lies and disinformation.

    Unlike a sitting government using propaganda to mislead or deceive its populous (as Mr. Obama and his Socio-Fascist followers are doing) – there is nothing wrong with an individual taking to public media to express his ideas. In fact, the Bill Of Rights protects the ability to do so – ever heard of the 1st Amendment? Or is the 1st Amendment only applicable to Liberal topics?

    Steve, you selectively use “propagandist” as a slur of sorts – a thinly veiled jab which evokes substantially negative feelings. So let me include a list of other “propagandist” – following your assertion and usage of the word. These are from ONE link site produced by the google search “progressive media”. After the first 3 sites (marked with * all sites are from the URL:

    http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com

    * moveon.org
    * ACORN and it’s community agents
    * mediamatters.com

    The Progressive Media Project
    Huffington Post
    Democracy Now
    AirAmeria (RIP)
    The Progressive Magazine
    New Left Review
    Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)
    *(note: Yeah, right…)

    Now let me add some you MIGHT not be aware of – these courtesy of media links available with a simple google search for “Progressive Media”:

    Aljazerra
    Socialist Worker Online
    Noam Chomsky
    William Blum

    So Steve, you want to label Rush a Propagandist for LOVING America, and protecting the Constitution, yet willing to support progressive propagandists who work tireless for FASCISM, COMMUNISM, SOCIALISM, ANARCHY and the socio-economic destruction of the United States?

    Sorry Steve, the way I see it – if that’s the case you are batting for the wrong team. And it’s no wonder you see Rush as a bully.

    -LTB

  17. Steve:

    Hi, MR:

    “The worst nightmare for our founding fathers has been… communism-socialism…”

    Somewhat of an anachronism there, I’d say.

    Steve: Here’s some better ones (keeping in mind an anachronism can be chronologically and/or historical incorrect):

    – President Obama has committed to making his administration the most open and transparent in history…

    – Just like your new government, WhiteHouse.gov and the rest of the Administration’s online programs will put citizens first.

    – The President’s executive orders and proclamations will be published for everyone to review, and that’s just the beginning of our efforts to provide a window for all Americans into the business of the government.

    Just saying…

    -LTB

  18. Steve, I’m going out on a limb here and guessing that you have never really LISTENED to him. So many people get their impression of him from what others say. It’s as if they don’t have to watch “Gone With The Wind” because a friend told them what it was about, and they read a review in the NYT.

    Rush has more insight into political events than any person out there on the left or the right. You may not always agree, but you get plenty of insights. Most people out there just mindlessly report news. He analyzes it, and predicts what will happen. If you want to be informed, entertained, and as an added benefit to learn something new every day, I highly reccommend him. I only catch him when I am driving somewhere 12-3 pm but I never fail to tune in when I am doing so. And you can’t just listen 1-2x. Listen several times. You will find he is nothing like they say he is…

    And I don’t buy this actions speak louder than words crap. Teddy Kennedy was a cowardly murderer, a drunk, and a serial cheater. He was lionized by the left. I’m sick and tired of the right tearing down their leaders because they aren’t perfect. No crap? Nobody is perfect. I’d rather have a spokesperson who is correct on the issues and is a cross-dressing tranny with a bad foot fetish than a saint who is wrong on the issues.

    • Hi, JD:

      I had to listen to Rush for several years: business-partner listened to nothing else all day.
      It’s was ‘WAY more than was necessary. One bite of a cow-pie is usually sufficient.

      What you call his “analyzing” news I’d call “spinning” news: injecting one’s own views into news (thereby compromising its truthfulness) with the intent of getting the audience to the adapt those views as their own operative attitudes. And I’d call that propaganda by any definition.

      It highlights one of “conservatism’s” huge blind-spots: outrage at perceived bias in the “liberal” media (which has an operative standard of factuality, protocols for ensuring factuality, and public accountability on those scores), and embrace of “commentators” who have none of those.

      It’s not a First Amendment issue (contrary LTB): it’s not a “conservative” issue (Rush isn’t): it’s a matter of discernment (or lack of it) of any who need a diet of cow-flop.

      Best, Steve

  19. Communism-socialism is an anachronism? They are just opposite sides of the same coin. Communists believe in violent overthrow of governments and socialists believe in non-violent overthrow of governments, but they both have the same beliefs as far as governance.

    Here’s a quote from George Bernard Shaw in his ” Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism”;

    ” I also made it clear that Socialism means equality olf income or nothing, and that under Socialism you would not be allowed to be poor. You would be forcibly fed, clothed, lodged, taught, and employed whether you liked it or not. If it were discovered that you had not the character and industry enough to be worth all this trouble, you might possibly be executed in a kindly manner; but whilst you were permitted to live you would have to live well.”

    Or this that GBS wrote in 1901, in his ” Who I am, What I Think.”

    ” Marx’s Capital is not a treatise on Socialism; it is a jeremiad against the bourgeoisie…it was supposed to be written for the working class; but the working man respects the bourgeoisie and wants to be a bourgeoisie; Marx never got hold of him for a moment. It was the revolting sons of the bourgeoisie itself, like myself, that painted the flag Red. The middle and upper classes are the revolutionary element in society; the proletariat is the conservative element.”

    Sidney Webb, a co-founder of the socialist Fabian Society with GBS invented the method future rulers would use to change the world. He called it the “doctrine of the inevitability of gradualness.” That means the slow, piecemeal changes in existing concepts of law, morality, government, economics, and education. Each change is so gradual that the masses never awaken in time to stop the “inevitable.”

    In other words, what’s happened and been happening in our country has been going on since the turn of the 20th century. The way our kids are taught in schools with the revisionist history our teachers foist upon our kids. The way news is reported these days. Reporters or journalists used to report the news with the five “W’s”, the who, what, when, where, and why. Editorializing or opinion pieces were done by the editors, not by reporters. Now days, we get “interpretive” reporting where the journalist who writes a story, puts his opinion or biases into the story instead of just reporting the facts. In “interpretive” reporting, sometimes some of the facts are left out. You can see how morality is effected with all the opinions from liberal circuit judges on such things as the Pledge of Allegiance”, banning kids from praying while at school, banning prayers at sporting events, teaching our kids “sex education” at school instead of letting that be the pervue of the parents. We have a homosexual in charge of our national education system that thinks kids as young as 5 and 6 yrs old should be taught about homosexuality.

    Economics, we have all these “Kenysian Economists” who know that his brand of economics has never worked, but still try to force their views on every body else.

    Government, we have all these closet socialists, most in bureaucratic, non elected positions making national policy. Obama’s healthcare bill wasn’t written by congressmen or senators…it was written by bureaucrats. It was purposefully made as confusing as possible so as to be unreadable by the general public or even by congressmen as was seen when John Dingle said he didn’t have time or enough lawyers to read the bill, but he still voted yes on it.

    No, I don’t think communism-socialism is an anachronism at all.

  20. I’m gonna have to go with MrG on this one. But Steve, you know I love you man.

  21. Lipton T. Bagg

    I believe the anachronism Steve was referring to was the reversal of tense within that sentence. But I could be wrong.

    In any case, we got a nicely written MrG post out of it – I’d say that’s an anachronism sacrificed for a worthy cause.

    -LTB

  22. I could be wrong, but I love BOTH Steve and MrG.

  23. Mr.G said; “The worst nightmare for our founding fathers has been the slow and inexorable creep of communism-socialism into the halls of power of our government. ”

    What I should have said was… The worst nightmare for our founding fathers would have been for them to “wake up” and see the slow and inexorable creep…yada yada yada.

    Sorry for the “misconstruction” of my beginning sentence in the previous post, but you get my drift.

    Also I would be remiss if I didn’t give credit to the author and book where I found those little gems from George Shaw and Sidney Webb. They came from John A. Stormer’s ” None Dare Call it Treason”, published in 1964. I highly recommend anyone who hasn’t read it, to read it and think about what it says about our government and education system as well as our various forms of press and media. The book also goes into how our churches were infiltrated as well.

    • Hi, Mr:

      What I find anachronistic is that what you react to is a specific kind of nineteenth-century socialism (Marxist communism) and the twentieth-century ways in which it was implemented. Neither would have been anything the “founding fathers” would have known about, of course: which I think your restatement helps clarify.

      I’m just not convinced that “socialism” is an unmitigated evil, as you seem to feel. The idea of a “commonwealth” (which several states still proclaim themselves, as JD can attest in Virginia) certainly is broadly socialist (as the name suggests). It’s an idea that is neither evil in itself, nor unAmerican.

      Likewise the Constitution’s purpose to “…promote the general Welfare…” of American citizens. Realistically, any government SHOULD operate toward doing good towards its people: except the most outright autocracies. It’s a socialist principle (in the strict sense)…and their knee-jerk fear anything they perceive as “socialism” ill-equips “conservatives” for any discussion of government doing good for it’s people (“government is the problem”).

      The “conservative” p.c. that socialism is absolutely evil lacks discernment. It also SELF-marginalizes “conservatism” as a serious political philosophy.

      I’d also mention about “None Dare Call It Treason:” I read it at the time, as a Goldwater conservative, and it seemed fear-mongering unreality, purporting to be conservatism.
      In that regard, you’ve reminded me that modern “conservatism” has roots even before Reagan.

      Best, Steve

  24. Hello, gentlemen:

    Thanks for your kind regards, JD: much appreciated, and fully reciprocated

    As you said, a lot to chew on. I’ll try to stick to main points.

    Journalism’s job is to report fact as accurately as possible. Everyone has some bias: bias compromises truthfulness, so journalism’s operative standard is to eliminate bias to the greatest possible extent. (It shares that standard with other professions where truthfulness is critical, such as jurisprudence and science.)

    There’s no possibility human bias can be eliminated, in those professions or anywhere else. That fact doesn’t make the standard inoperative. Indeed, “conservative” criticism of media presupposes that standard.

    That standard isn’t the only check against untruthful bias. Journalism’s mandate is the reporting of fact: observable reality limits falsification of fact. You can’t report a blizzard when it isn’t snowing: anyone can look out the window and see you’re lying.

    Journalists have their job, consumers have theirs. The power is in consumers’ hands (including in the market sense LTB proposes). We check journalists on their bias, we call them on it when they report what’s untrue: our responsibility is to be discerning. Knowing we will not passively ingest news helps keeps them honest.

    “Conservatives’ “ p.c. outrage (you realize “conservatism” has its p.c., right ?) at “media bias” producing “socialist” automatons is nonsense. It’s a false view of human psychology that people are passive matrices to be stamped with programmatic thinking. Yes, some people do become mindless tools…but only by choosing to abdicate their discernment, responsibility, and commonsense. (Same principle as previous post: that it’s less a danger tyranny will be imposed on Americans, than that we’ll choose it.)

    That’s where journalism’s function is critical, especially for a society like ours in which “the people” have some part in the national decision-making. Good results come from making good decisions; good decisions can only be made on the basis of good (i.e., truthful) information. Journalism’s job is to report the truth. (Not surprisingly, one of depotism’s first acts is to make journalism, law, and science operate by its political “realities” instead of truth.)

    But you’re right that there is deliberately-biased media. Organs of News Corp (Clear Channel Communications, Fox News, etc., totaling more than a thousand international media outlets) openly avow their purpose is to “correct the balance” of “liberal” bias by giving news a “conservative” slant. News Corp’s “conservative” slant currently reaches 96% of American homes.

    The effect of that “slant” was documented in a study a few years ago. In a checklist of facts, viewers of Fox News were 6 times (as I recall) more likely than listeners of N.P.R. to believe that weapons of mass destruction were discovered after we invaded Iraq.

    That was THE selling-point for the war. What people believe about it (from the “news” they’ve ingested) directly affects their decision-making. Who is more likely to have a realistic view of the war’s causes ? Who has a more realistic assessment of the politicians who got us into the war ? Who’s more likely to vote those politicians out of office ? Who’s more likely to make decisions that are good for the country…assuming you concur in the principle that being led by war-mongering liars is bad for the country ?

    “Conservatism” can’t have it both ways. If removing bias is the principle of honest journalism, injecting “conservative” bias is DIShonest journalism. Or, if injecting “conservative” bias is not dishonest, every political faction’s spin on truth is honest journalism…and “conservatives” have no grounds to bitch about anyone else’s spin.

    It’s about working from principles. If media bias is a bad thing, “conservative” media bias is a bad thing. If disinformation poisons people’s ability to make good decisions, “conservative” disinformation poisons people’s ability to make good decisions. If biased disinformation results in bad decisions that harm the country, “conservatively-” biased disinformation results in bad decisions that harm the country.

    Gentlemen, your perception of media, reality, and danger (the same perceotion News Corp comes from) is self-serving attitude and pose, rather than reality. Worse, that perception embodies a tyranny-friendly mindset: that a political “official line,” rather than truth, is good for the country.

    Coupled with “conservatism’s” lack of actual political principles (hating Obama is no basis on which a nation can be governed), and embrace of ANTI-governance (Reagan’s “government is the problem,” benign neglect, states rights), what purports to be “conservatism” is the last place anyone should look for real answers for the country’s problems.

    Less central, but worth pointing out: knee-jerk political factionalism (“programmatic thinking”) is boring. A worldview that reality is all politics, all the time; moreover, politics on MY faction’s terms; is equal parts delusion and arrogance. That worldview makes boring people: you always know what they will talk about, and what they will say about it.

    “Conservatives’ ” knee-jerk reaction (based on such a worldview) is invariably that those who reject “conservatism” must be “liberals.” Another misperception of reality. More often, I think it’s rejection of a “political philosophy” with no viable principles of governance: and/or plain boredom.

    Hope that’s blunt without being offensive. It’s how “conservatism” looks from the outside. If you consider there’s merit in any of those views, they might be points where “conservatism” could do better.

    Best, Steve

  25. Steve:

    I’d also mention about “None Dare Call It Treason:” I read it at the time, as a Goldwater conservative, and it seemed fear-mongering unreality, purporting to be conservatism.

    Perhaps you should read it again and study how some of this administration’s policies mirror some of the policies initiated by FDR’s administration with advice from his closest advisers who were self-avowed communists and socialists.

    Alger Hiss, who was FDR’s closest adviser, helped to draw up the charter for the UN at the Yalta conference with FDR, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin where they “divied up” Europe. That was in 1945. In 1948, Alger Hiss was drummed out of government service because he was a self-avowed communist. Several others were also drummed out of the state department as well. But they didn’t stay unemployed long. They were immediately employed with the Council on Foreign Relations, where they continued to make policies that our government followed during the years after World War Two.

    Conservatism had a resurgence in the late 60’s through the early 90’s, maybe because all the old guard were dying off and the new guard weren’t quite in position to affect governmental policy decisions. Looks like the new guard has finaly made it to the big leagues.

    Steve;

    “Conservatives’ “ p.c. outrage (you realize “conservatism” has its p.c., right ?) at “media bias” producing “socialist” automatons is nonsense. It’s a false view of human psychology that people are passive matrices to be stamped with programmatic thinking. Yes, some people do become mindless tools…but only by choosing to abdicate their discernment, responsibility, and commonsense. (Same principle as previous post: that it’s less a danger tyranny will be imposed on Americans, than that we’ll choose it.)

    The last sentence in this paragraph, the one in parenthesis, says it all. That has been the communist-socialist blueprint since George Bernard Shaw and Sidney Webb co-founded the socialist Fabian Society in 1883.

    You realize that only the “elites” are in favor of the policies put into effect by the current and past GWB administrations. You know, those “elites” who’ve never had a “real” job or run a business, who don’t really know what it’s like in the “real world”.

    You made a good presentation, but you won’t change my position. I’m sure I won’t be able to persuade you to change yours.

    Mr. G

  26. Hi, Mr:

    It’s a fact communists wormed their way into our government in the ’30s and ’40s. It’s a fact there are liberals in our current government.

    Those earlier communists were serving Stalinism: a long-discredited, and defunct evil (as is the Soviet Communism it came from). But Stalinism was not the same as communism, which is not identical with socialism, which is not exactly liberalism.

    The two points of historic fact may appear equivalent from “conservatism’s” skewed perspective (“everybody not with us is a ‘liberal’ “). But self-referential criteria are dead-ends: no one else buys them. A straight line can be drawn between any two points, even skewed points: I’m unconvinced doing so is proof of a real connection.

    “Conservatism” draws such a line, and makes that perceived connection “proof” of an overarching, continuing conspiracy. It looks like pure solipsism to me. I’ll keep an open mind: even bad logic may accidentally stumble onto truth: but I’m extremely skeptical.

    What is certain, however, is that conspiracy-mindedness makes people prey to fear, and subject to manipulators….for whom it’s a prime tool.

    It happened before our eyes in the ’80. As “the communist conspiracy” became less of a credible bugaboo, Reaganist rhetoric seamlessly replaced it with “the liberal conspiracy”…still a central perception among “conservatives.”

    Making people incapable of discernment and making them fearful are tools of manipulation. “Conservatism” makes people incapable of discernment, and fearful. I consider those two points ARE connected.

    Just what does “conservatism” have to offer ? It’s not a rhetorical question. Why do you, Mr…or JD, or LTB, or any person of (otherwise) good intelligence and commonsense…identify with it ?

    Absent the self-serving posturing and false dichotomies that “conservatism” typically adduces in its partisan justification (“liberals are evil,” “Obama’s a crypto-tyrant,” etc.), I’d welcome some enlightenment. What do “conservatives” consider recommends their viewpoint ?

    Best, Steve

  27. You’re right Steve, Stalinism is a little different from communism in that it was a perverted form of communism. Communist society wasn’t meant to be run by an autocratic entity. It was meant to be run by a plurality of individuals just like it was before the fall of the Soviet Union.

    What I’ve been talking about in these many posts is the Fabian view of communism, which they tried to disguise by calling it socialism. Whereas communists believed in the violent overthrow of governments, the Fabians believed in the slow and tedious approach. I just don’t think they thought it would take as long as it did. The Fabian’s method has always been to infiltrate the education system, churches and political system with like minded people. People like Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson and the Reverend Wright, Obama’s preacher, are just a few of the people caught up in the “social justice” theology perpetuated by agents of the Fabians.

    We have people accrediting teachers who believe that education IS politics and they think they need to make sure their views are what is taught in our schools. These teachers and educators have rewritten our history books, done away with subjects or consolidated them to the point where the subject matter is so watered down as to be unrecognizable.

    In the political spectrum, the Fabianists mostly didn’t try for political office, but joined government service and worked themselves up through the ranks until they reached the pinnacle of power. As I’m sure you know, policy isn’t really made by elected officials, but is formulated by buearocrats, then given to the folks in congress for debate and ultimately into law.

    I can’t speak for JD or LTB, but to me conservatism means less government not more and more government; it means adhering to the constitution as it was written, not thinking of it as a “living document”. It means using fiscal restraint, not introducing entitlement after entitlement with no possible way to pay for them. Conservatism means being selfreliant in your communities and own home life, not expecting the government to take care of your every whim and desire.

    Something is very wrong with our society when you have people who are here illegally who think our government “owes” them a living, a car, and a home. I’ve worked my ass off to have what I have and I’ll be damned if some entitlement sucking sob is going to cause me to lose the little I have because they want it.

  28. Hi, Mr:

    Thanks for the good (and quick !) post of the “pro” side of “conservatism.” Will be musing on those points for a while.

    That Christian teaching of “social justice” is Fabian socialism, however, is squarely in my field. THAT is such a hellish lie I won’t leave it for later.

    Social justice is absolutely CORE biblical Christianity and Judaism. If I wasn’t already sure of that, I was after a prominent “conservative” commentator…who knows nothing of Christianity or the Bible…told his listeners to run away from any church teaching “social justice.” I double-checked my understanding against scripture: the “commentator” is a damned (in the theological sense) liar, falsifying scripture’s teaching and normative Christianity.

    Presuming to be arbiter of Christian truth and scripture, “conservatives’ ” arrogance usurps God’s prerogative, and comes under His harshest judgement…rightly so. I for one would fear to be among their number: and would NOT pray God deal with them mercifully.

    If you’re a Christian, Mr, I’d beseech you to separate yourself from the company of these satanic liars and deceivers.

    Best, Steve

  29. Steve,

    I probably didn’t make my case vis a vis the church teaching social justice very well. There are two schools of thought on this.On the one hand, you have the social justice taught to and expounded on by Jesus’ disciples which is right and I agree with it. “Love thy neighbor as thyself” and “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, ect.

    On the other hand, you have these preachers such as the Rev. Wright preaching hatred of our country and the Rev. Jessie Jackson who uses blackmail and extortion to hold up big corporations to push his agenda. The Rev. Al Sharpton is a race pimp who, right now, is stabbing the folks he’s purportedly supposed to be helping in the back by protesting for the illegal immigrants.( Unemployment among Blacks is reported as high as 50% while among Mexicans, legal and illegal, it’s under 15%). These three supposedly men of God and others of their ilk, are not preaching the kind of social justice I was brought up to believe in. They believe that people who have worked their tails off should give until it hurts. Their kind of social justice isn’t taught anywhere in the bible that I’ve read. Remember Jesus said; “The poor shall give no less than the rich and the rich shall give no more than the poor”. I’m sure Jesus was talking about the tithe to the church which is a percentage of wealth or earnings. Surely you can see how wrong it is for these “preachers” to be expounding taking from people who’ve worked and saved to give to people who think it’s alright to sit on their keisters and just collect an entitlement check.

    Thanks for your consideration, Mike

  30. Hi, Mike:

    Thanks for your post. I was worried you were ‘way out there, like the prominent “conservative” commentator who promotes a counter-gospel and a counter-biblical idea of Christianity. We all know where THAT stuff comes from. So your post reassured me where you’re coming from, and thanks for that.

    I’m not sure how much actual preaching is going on that “people who’ve worked and saved…give to people who think it’s alright to sit on their keisters.” Obviously that’s sub-Christian. The apostle Paul had to deal with people in his own time who were twisting his teaching that way: he had to lay down the principle that those who wouldn’t work, didn’t eat.

    John Smith eventually had to make that the principle at Jamestown early in its history. But note: the problem at Jamestown was that the RICH thought everyone else should support them. Isn’t that what we’ve had recently, with tax-payers propping up billion-dollar corporations ? Doesn’t it seem that “blackmail and extortion” are the “business rules” the corporations use toward us, much moreso than any lazy poor use to victimize corporations ?

    Don’t get me wrong: poor vs. rich, from either direction, is divisiveness. The principle is that what promotes Americans’ UNITY is good for the country…and divisiveness is destructive. Politicians who use divisiveness…citizens vs. illegals, “conservatives” vs. “liberals,” blacks vs. whites, rich vs. poor…show they’re willing to sacrifice America’s best interests to serve their personal ambition.

    Divisiveness for political purposes is also going on in the Church: but the stakes are even greater there. If Jesse Jackson promotes factionalism by the poor, under the guise of Christianity, he’s doing Satan’s work. If Jerry Falwell promotes factionalism by “Christian conservatives,” under the guise of Christianity, he’s doing Satan’s work. By definition, principle applies equally, to everyone.

    Which is where I’d come back to your earlier post about the “pro” side of conservatism. If “conservatism” is to be taken seriously as a political philosophy, it must have some principles toward governing. Your statement of “conservatism” is a probably a good one, fairly summing up what most who follow that faction find good in it.

    As “conservatism” relates to governance, however, you mention primarily negatives: what government should NOT do. (Probably indicating you’re talking Reaganism…”government is the problem”…more than actual conservatism.)

    I don’t think (so-called) “conservatism” is invalid on those grounds: what government should NOT do is an extremely important part of poltical philosophy.

    By itself, however, it’s less than an operative political philosophy. By itself, “conservatism” is merely ANTI-governance: and that’s not a principle that government can be based on. (The Confederacy faced that problem: if your government is based on the principle of secession, how can you say that no one can secede from YOUR government ?)

    There are things government SHOULD do. I’d be curious to hear what “conservatism” says about those.

    Best, Steve

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