Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Anatomy of Contrived Metrics

posted by John Blanco @ 7:25 PM


One of the highlights of the ineptness of the Bush Administration was their determination to frame debates in ways where every situation meant we needed right-wing policy.

Here's a quick example: The Iraq War. When the death count was skyrocketing, it was "proof" we had to stay there to fight those horrible terrorists who were destroying the nation. But, when the death count declined, it was "proof" things were working, so don't mess with a good thing by pulling troops.

Both statements contradict each other. It didn't matter. The point of the game was to win, not to make sense, and it certainly worked for a while. But, we aren't playing a game. So the public turned on them and now, well, Republicans have been wiped.

Obama in.

However, the game isn't changing. In the pre-cursor to the election, the Republicans had so little to go on that they started using the argument that Obama was "too good." We saw the Celebrity ads, calls that he isn't the Messiah, and so on. The argument became, wow, everyone thinks he's so good, so he must be bad.

Even a pair of liberal, city-livin', tree-hugging, and gay friends of mine opposed him. (They'll say they didn't vote for McCain, but it's a lost vote for Obama in a swing state in Colorado.)

Now, the culmination of this lie of an argument takes form. Obama is no messiah. So, when the DOW doesn't skyrocket upon his taking office, he's now being deemed a "failure." Yes, he's being deemed this by idiots who are playing a political game, but that's what we're talking about, the game. Mere weeks into his term, one Republican congressperson is calling for Tim Geithner to resign. Why? The AIG bonuses! Let's ignore the fact that AIG, or whomever, is free to abuse the national trust in any number of ways within the confines of the bailout agreement. Where was Connie Mack during the 7 years of no-bod contracts for Bush's War? Exactly. Nowhere. And let's ignore that Mr. Mack of Florida wouldn't be happy with any of Obama's appointments. The key is to see if these things get remedied. It's not perfect foresight that guides America, but correcting the problem is key.

Obama stepped up big time and now the AIG CEO is voluntarily requesting bonus returns. See? Democracy in action! Not inaction.

Geithner's big problem, though, is that he's a Democrat. And the Republicans repeated refrain of "Obama's Budget" rings as ludicrously as the party itself.

The point of all this is that the Republicans have lost their way because they have no message. They haven't given a Democrat any credit for anything since Bill Clinton Jimmy Carter FDR well I don't know who.

If the Republicans can ever win some power back, they have to gain the trust of the American people. Unfortunately, they think the American people are their base. Well, their base is shrinking every day and their message is so tailored at their batshit-crazy base, it's a complete turnoff to every Independent and Democrat.

Then again, don't confuse me for anyone who feels bad. The country's in a turnaround and we don't them fucking it up anymore. :-)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The bonuses were actually part of the AIG contracts BEFORE the Dems approved the bailout. If they had put a more discerning eye on every line item, perhaps this could have been prevented. Now it's a catch-up clusterfuck that they're trying to fix... by pointing their fingers at everyone but themselves. Neither side has done a good job lately of protecting the American tax payer, and this mess is a perfect example of what happens when government starts getting involved in commerce.

8:44 PM  
Blogger John Blanco said...

I think that's an unfair comment.

There seems to be this meme on the right that the Dems didn't do their job because they didn't "catch every detail." Like, somehow, every possible course of abuse should have been seen in advance and cut short. That's ridiculous and is just poitical postering.

As you can see, the right is actually trying to protect the bonuses. And, in actuality, the bonuses are only outrageous is their symbolism, not their cost.

Quite the contrary to your comment, it's not a "clusterfuck". 9/11 was a clusterfuck. Iraq is a clusterfuck. The economy is a clusterfuck. The bonuses are just an issue. Let's not exaggerate.

I also think it's ridiculous government's role in commerce considering that if there was no involvement, AIG would have collapsed and we'd be in a real shithole right now.

Maybe we should just take the Bush tact and LET it collapse so the American people can see what failure is and be justifiably terrified before we act, huh?

7:11 AM  

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