Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Democracy in Action

"Divided we ever have been, and ever must be"--John Adams


The recent rise in tensions and confrontations as debate heats up over health care reform, is a sign of healthy democracy. It is inevitable that sometimes passions will boil over every now and then. But in a country the size of the US, especially one where each Congressman represents roughly 650,000 people, shouting is going to happen.


Part of what we see on display, however, is a continuation of the underlying tensions that American politics has seen for quite some time. We have two political spectrums in the US. First there is the spectrum that includes all US citizens. In that spectrum, to oversimplify, National Review is about as far to the Right as The New Republic is to the Left.


In addition to that political spectrum, we have the elite political spectrum. In that spectrum, The New Republic is on the center-right. If one tracks the opinions of people who staff our news organizations, our governments (at all levels) and our major corporate bureaucracies, their opinions, particularly on cultural issues, but also on other issues such as immigration and health care regulation, are to the Left of the general mainstream. Particularly among those people who live in New York, Washington, and LA, this is what used to be called the "New Class." In those cities, there tends to be a bit of a bubble because the concentration of members of this group is so high.

Part of the anger aimed at President Bush, and the GOP Congress, I suspect, grew from the tension between the two political spectrums. What is mainstreatm conventional wisdom in Washington is often not mainstream in the US as a whole. The members of the New class tend to see themselves as post-partisan, neutral, well educated people who are simply trying to serve the public. Since they don’t often hear truly dissenting voices, they dismiss protests as irrational. Peter Jennings’ famous comment that in 1994 the voters threw a tantrum in 1994 is the emblematic statement of this attitude. From Jennings’ perspective, the GOP is, by definition, out of the mainstream. The party that captured Congress was, by definition, an extremist movement to Jennings and the other members of his class.

Hence people like Paul Krugman believe that "the driving force behind the town hall mobs is probably the same cultural and racial anxiety that’s behind the “birther” movement." One could also say that the dismissal of those who dissent from liberal conventional wisdom as irrational grows from cultural anxiety--one that grows from the tension between the belief in democracy and the belief in the rule of the New class. Krugman’s mainstream is not really the mainstream.

One further point. The GOP establishment is not so far from the elite mainstream in many ways. That reality led to much of the anger directed at the GOP during the Bush years. Now that the Democrats hold all three houses of the legislature, there is more clarity in this situation.

Discussions - 9 Comments

It's so good to see how President Obama has brought us all together ... a national "Kumbaya" moment.

Everybody sing ...

Comrade you are the eyes and ears of the revolution. Report your neighbor now. If you don’t have a computer there is a hot line setup at 1-800-USA-4KGBhttp://stopthepresses2.blogspot.com/2009/08/white-house-starts-new-hot-line-to.html

I highly recommend reading, or rereading, The Revolt Of The Elites, by Christopher Lasch. Much of our contemporary politics can be best understood from that persepctive, including the fact that we don't have "two parties".

The indignation on the faces of the "public servants" when they were asked legitimate questions is really the key here. They flat out look down their noses at people. The ironic thing is that the clowns on stage are to the point that they are true Orwellian double thinkers. They actually belive in their own lies. This is not a pratisan thing, republicans are getting this too, although, the media is not reporting that as much as to make this appear partisan. Its time to put that awful social control construct away. People need to stop acting like a couple dogs who's masters left them in the car to go into a store staring at eachother barking. If they stopped to think they would realize they have much more in common with eachother than they do their masters. I am just glad to see that the republic is finally showing signs that it aims to go out with a bang and not whimper if it is to be destroyed at all.

Hey Kool-Aid Drinkers: How is that hope n change crap working for ya....

I agree that "elites" are driving the agenda, and I also agree that most of what the elites think was spoon-fed to them by out-of-touch college professors. Instead of rediscovering this over and over and over, WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT IT?

Here' a couple of little known facts,
Arnie Duncan US Secretary of Education Admits that much like the Chicago Public School system that he once headed, more then 50% of Americans sent to Re-education Camps do not graduate.

Americans that do not graduate from Re-education camps are sent to
Siberia (formerly known as Detroit)

90% of Chicago Public School Children Believe That Military BARRACKS used to house Americans in the American Re-education camps are named in honor of President Obama.

Stopthepresses psychics (psycho chics) using advanced crystal ball technology predicts that very shortly the used car market will be flooded with repossessed cars. Thanks to the government's Cash for Clunks program, giving money to people that otherwise could not afford to buy a new car and keep up the car payments. Another home mortgage type fiasco brought to you by the Democratic Party. Remember you hear it from our psychic chics first.

Ah, yes, what we need is more fat, ignorant, racist right-wing pigs bloviating about how Obama is Hitler. Cause you know, when people said Bush was Hitler, they were crazy. But now that fat, disgusting pigs like your redneck pig friends are doing it: "democracy in action"; "elite" "bubbles". Fat pigs.

What is up with this your a racist crap. It is not going to work this time. It's as if the people doing it are nothing but barking dogs who can only utter racist racist while foaming at the mouth.

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