Saturday, April 28, 2012

Invoices for a Better America

Whoever came up with the idea of mashing up an Obama speech with a Romney speech is just mean.  Seriously, my ten year old daughter didn't even know who Romney was, yet she got a guilty laugh out of it with me.

And the reason it's funny is because it's true: Romney really is a boring guy with boring stories to tell, and he's still so wrapped up in defending who he is that he can't get around to telling us why we'd want to vote for him.  Sure, sure, you made a lot of money.  But how does that translate into the presidency and what's in it for us?
    And seriously, this speech was just pathetic, because the whole thing is pure defense, and a boring one at that.  The man is clearly obsessed with the fact that Bain Capital is an albatross around his neck, so he's busy telling exceedingly boring stories about how he made the world a better place by helping lower the cost of office supplies across the country.  Like, woo, nothing says Rock Star like selling office supplies at a discount.

I mean, invoices.  The man's talking about business people checking their invoices and seeing how much they're overspending.  And what's truly pathetic about all this is that this story would be boring if Romney was the genius who realized there was money to make from selling paper in volume and went about handling the day-to-day tasks of running a business.

But no, his story involves someone else coming up with the idea and running the business, and Romney was merely a guy who helped finance the deal.  And that's an important distinction, for as much as business experience might translate into political abilities, it's because you actually ran the business.  It's Edison who gets the credit for inventing things, not the guy who gave Edison some of the money; and we're not talking about Edison.  We're talking about one of the several people who gave us low priced office supplies.

So we've got Obama still wowing audiences with speeches about how they can make their lives better by re-electing him, while Romney's still trying to explain why his resume isn't as negative as it sounds.  Seriously, one of these candidates doesn't know how it's done.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Occupy Movement Fight for Irrelevance Continues

At Think Progress, I read this story about what the Occupy Movement should be doing in 2012.  And their answer: Pretty much nothing.  Just like they've done with everything else.  Basically, they shouldn't try to help Obama or get involved with any political party.  Instead, they should "build power first" and THEN actually try to get something done. 

Here are some money quotes from the article:
“I don’t see any opportunity inside electoral politics this year,” long-time activist and former Ralph Nader spokesperson Kevin Zeese remarked.  
“There’s always this emphasis on winning,” Occupy Wall Street’s Ian Williams said. “But do we want to win or do we want to transform the world?”
“The Democrats are a graveyard for progressive movements,” labor organizer Mark Dudzic said. “To think that you can somehow transform that party into something that it’s not designed to do is a fools errand,” he said, dismissing the Tea Party’s approach to remaking the GOP.

“[Do] not get involved in the Obama campaign this year,” Zeese made it clear. Follow Martin Luther King’s advice, Zeese, suggested — “never endorse a candidate.” “He didn’t want to be master or servent of either party. … And that’s, I think, where Occupy should be.”
Wow, big surprise.  A Nader spokesman doesn't think we should help someone who is a political rival to Nader.  Or are we supposed to pretend as if Nader isn't a political player who has interests that might not necessarily coincide with our own? 

And let's remember: The problem with the Tea Party's approach to remaking the GOP isn't that the GOP isn't responsive to these changes, but exactly the opposite: They are TOO responsive and are making themselves unelectable and destroying the party in the process.  And that's exactly the sort of thing Nader is after as well.  He'd rather be right than win, and prefers symbolic victories over real ones.  Unfortunately, symbolism never got anyone good health insurance or food on the table.

As much as they are loath to admit it, pragmatism beats idealism when it comes to getting shit done, every time.

Transcending Reality

The rest of this is from a post I made at Facebook, in regards to the quote above about choosing to win versus transforming the world.

What?? This has been a big problem with the Occupy Movement all along: Because they refuse to believe that real change within our system is possible, they reside in a fantasy world in which they can transcend politics in accordance with no known rule of human behavior. As if politics is some evil thing that can be defeated, rather than the means humans use to cope with the fact that we can't all be dictators.

The quote above is like someone arguing that they can do better than winning the Superbowl if they stand outside the stadium and demand that the rules of football make it easier for people like them to win. Sure, sure, politics is hard work, but at the end of the day, you HAVE to win political battles or you're just wanking off.

Plus, reading this comes off as more of the same bullshit whereby they insist that they don't need a plan because their movement transcends plans. When the reality is more simple: They can't agree to a plan because there IS no obvious plan they can agree upon, which is why we use politics in the first place to determine what we should do.

I mean, that's the whole purpose of democracy: We can't all agree on what we should do. Yet these people have decided to skip the whole process of deciding what they should do, as well as pretending as if we don't even need leaders; not because that makes sense, but because that's the hard work they're avoiding in the first place.

It's easy to be self-righteous and condemn inequality and injustice. Figuring out the solution is the hard part, and persuading other people to follow your solution is even harder. And that's what politics are for.