Your Tax Dollars at Work
Posted in Progressivism by Ken Thomas
Former Democratic MC Jane Harman, now head of the Woodrow Wilson Center, appraises the SOTU. She knows which side her bread is buttered on.
Broken link now fixed, h/t JL.
2:49 PM / January 27, 2012
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The link is broken. But Jane Harman is a Former representative (house intelligence commitee). A fairly informed person, that one would assume would have a great deal of classified knowledge. I don't know how much government money goes to the Woodrow Wilson Center, but one would think this is money well spent.
Consider it an institution that prevents war from simply being waged because it is good for a certain sector of the economy. There really aren't many organizations that scrutinize foreign policy, and help moderate the claims of "danger", and general alarmism.
On the other hand without an arguably neutral organization like the Woodrow Wilson center, the uncallibrated campaign pronouncements about "Iran" by say Newt, would essentially be seen as Ron Paul would have it, as naked government subsidies for the defense industry.
i.e. even drone attacks, and complaints about collateral dammage serve as political pressure to buy the newest and most scientific means of eliminating al-queda without collateral dammage. The means that we employed to take out Kadafi, ensured a new bull market in defense, as the government will move to replentish millions of dollars in weapons inventory.
There is a lot of fussing that can be done around the edges in the aftermath of the Bush and Obama presidencies, but one of the lessons is that in an area in which most folks are clueless, institutions (both public/private and quasi) can more or less figure out a way to butter the bread.
Sure Jane Harman was a democrat, but she certainly is not progressive in the populist sense. If she belongs to a class "progressive" and "conservative" are more or less useless designations(classifications, and thus classes), she belongs to the defense industry class. Highly informed on facts, eloquent, proffesional. So she supports drone strikes, but everything she says is about counter-narrative, and a legal framework and process.
Even granting that Harman knows which side her bread is buttered on, Lockhead and Boeing are more narrowly focused. Harman drums up don't ask don't tell, but she is no Glenn Greenwald (they both work in different sectors?)
Whatever small fraction of the budget goes to the Woodrow Wilson center, is directed towards combating agency/regulatory capture, at least in theory. Also for Obama a main theme of the "Audacity of Hope" was agency capture.
The american people may be conservative, or they may be progressive...but the american people are also lazy(and or otherwise preoccupied). Knowledge has an opportunity cost. You actually have to put a great deal of trust/hope in folks like Jane Harman or other retired generals (sensible expert talking heads).