personal politics

Politics and Twitter

First of all, Twitter is a terrible medium for a political discourse, but we all seem to do it anyway. I feel very passionately about certain things, which usually end up tainted in some form or another with politics. While I don’t like to make any secret of my political leanings, I also don’t like […]

First of all, Twitter is a terrible medium for a political discourse, but we all seem to do it anyway.

I feel very passionately about certain things, which usually end up tainted in some form or another with politics. While I don’t like to make any secret of my political leanings, I also don’t like to wear them on my sleeve, so when I end up getting into conversations with people on Twitter about things that we are passionate about, I can seem a little shrill. That 140 character/tweet limit can and does seriously change the context and tone of the point that I’m trying to get across.

So when I find myself having a back and forth with Scott Sigler about Joe Traitorman Lieberman and the spirit of bipartisanship, I end up saying this and end up with this dubious award. So while I’m not going to change my mind about Lieberman or bipartisanship, nor will I apologize for what I said, I do think that some explanation is in order.

Joe Lieberman is under threat of censure by the Connecticut Democratic party for his recent actions. Scott believes that to be a wholly undemocratic act as it punishes a public figure for the crime of speaking his mind and standing up for his values. To me, its not that simple. The fact is that Lieberman’s stance is not new, in fact he’s been very consistent with his support for the war. His views are precisely why he was punished by the voters of Connecticut in 2006 when he lost the Democratic primary to Ned Lamont. He than ran as an independent, and re-took his Senate seat with the help of local and the national RNC. He caucused with the Dems, allowing them to hold the Senate majority, but used the threat of caucusing with the Republicans to bully his way to the chair of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs committee. He has made his support of John McCain very publicly known and was rumored to be McCain’s first choice for VP. Lieberman has badmouthed Democratic policies, and the presidential candidates.

The reason why Lieberman hasn’t actually caucused with the Republicans is due to his feelings on domestic policy, which is in fairly serious opposition to those of the Republicans. My (and others’) problem with Lieberman isn’t that he disagrees with the Democrats, or even that he supports McCain over his own party’s candidate (there are several Republican senators who have publicly expressed reservations about a McCain/Palin administration). My problem with Lieberman is that he is actively sabotaging his “own” party, his constituents, and gleefully lies about his own affiliation as he does it. So, if the Democratic party of his home state has had enough of his antics and wants him to either act like a Democrat or get the hell out of the party, that’s fine by me.

For me, the act of joining and participating in a political party means something real. Its not like joining a book club on a whim, its a decision based on how one views the world and is very personal and very profound. People who join or stay in a party because they think it will help them advance are some of the lowest forms of scum (see Rudy 9u11ani). Lieberman is definitely in that category.

As for bipartisanship, right now, that’s a joke, and a bad one at that. Under Bush, bipartisanship is shorthand for rubberstamp everything we give you and do it with a smile. The thing that really gets under my skin is that the Democrats in Congress have been doing just that. They do NOT stand up for what they (say they) believe in, they do NOT fight for what their constituents want them to fight for and they cower before a president who is the most unpopular in history and considered to be the worst in history as if he was the reincarnation of George Washington.

When I say fuck bipartisanship, I’m not being facetious or a hard-headed party activist. I’m saying that the Democrats in Congress need to grow a spine, balls or whatever appendage they need in order for them to stand up and do what they were elected to do. If that means having to fight against the party that dragged us into war, poverty and economic ruin, then is that really too much to ask?

2 replies on “Politics and Twitter”

well – look what’s happened to all the people with any real influence that have spoken up in the past. they’re generally assinated, killed, die, or dissapear mysteriously. there’s something to that – now I can’t clearly delineate why, because I’m not really sure to be honest. I just see a pattern. Hendrix, Lennon, JFK, MLK, it goes on and on and on.

I’m not drawing a specifically intrinsic parallel to our members of the house or senate would meet a similar fate – however I do think that the pressure to speak up is often probably met with a near insurmountable prowess of the overall machine that they’ve all willingly entered into participation and direct engagement with, and perhaps this is an unpublicized limitation to the base human condition, for the exception of an exceptional few. I really couldn’t say – past conjecture and intuitive feeling.

I’d like to see leaders with balls, vision, and the ability to actually carry something out. Leaders that make a difference. But as far as I can tell, unless something very different occurs, and you’d know it if you saw it – the generalities to which you speak against that have always been perpetuated in this country will simply stay the course. There were brave, outspoken men who were in this country’s inner workings – but not for a long time. Andrew Jackson was one of them. Look what happened to him. The first president to undergo assassination attempts. The man fought 13 duels, over the honor of his wife. I can’t possibly imagine bush doing that. Can you ?

On the subject of accurate history portrayal in schools,
this is a book I read in HS – the first edition. I had a teacher that taught me to examine all the details available while thinking critically. The andrew jackson article on wikipedia cites a negative tone in regards to his dealings with the eradication of a central banking system. the source? one of the books on this author’s list. “the american pageant.” interesting huh?

Most of the time when voting in the house and senate happens, they’re not even actually putting in their vote. Have you ever seen the videos where they show people on the floor hitting other peoples buttons when a vote is called ? There’s something to that. A distinct lack of personal accountability at a high level of power. It’s the same thing that’s happening with the banks right now. Do you hear anything about what they’re actually doing with the bailout injections? Neither do I. The automakers are asking for money, oddly enough – most of ford’s factories aren’t even in the united states. When asked what they were going to do with the 25bn requested, they didn’t even have a cohesive answer, all pledging to come back in december once they’d thought it over. They’re not even trying to innovate. Neil young makes some intriguing points about this.

Anyway, this is a very long comment, so I’ll let you chew.

We can immediately agree on one, important aspect: I desperately want to see real leaders take power. I remember being elated when Nancy Pelosi (who’s my representative) stepped into power in the house, promising to curtail Bush’s excess and bring the federal government back under the rule of law. My elation has since abated to the point where I voted for an unqualified lunatic running against Pelosi simply because no amount of nose-holding could hold back the stink of lies and broken promises emanating from her name.

The fact that the Democrats have failed so completely as an opposition party speaks volumes about not only the party leadership which is unabashedly corrupt, but about us, in which I include myself. We as Americans tolerate abuses from our government that caused people to take up arms in our past and all over the world. The reason why the Dems can get away with being fairly far to the right of their constituents is because we let them. There are no consequences for bad governance in this country, or for that matter in California or SF.

Yes, the auto industry wants the same free money that the banks got. Why not? I want a personal federal bailout too! The problem is not that Congress is demanding a plan from Detroit, the problem is they should have been telling Wall Street the same thing. There’s no amount of money that overcome incompetent and malicious management. The fact is that both Wall Street and Detroit are failing because of the American corporate culture that rewards failure. C-level executives can run their companies into the ground, leaving human wreckage all around them, and they get massive bonuses. Our “leaders” are made of the same mold. They are paid by the people they are supposed to keep in check. They allow members of other branches, which they are supposed to check and balance, run amok, in violation of their oaths of office. They allow Bush to shred the Constitution, to legalize blatantly illegal behavior, in the face of massive public opposition with impunity! And why not? Almost all of them got re-elected despite worse approval ratings than Bush.

We are all waiting for a leader to arise. The problem is, *everyone* is waiting. Were you planning on running for Congress in 2010? Think you can get elected? I could run against Pelosi. I’ll try and get teh Intarwebz on my side. I could even get Change Congress behind me. Think I could beat her?

I don’t know, and that’s the problem I see but have to answer to.

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