Saturday, September 6, 2008


TRUE STORY: When I was in graduate school there was a protest march hand-held sign that sat on the landing in the old building that served as the Economics Dept HQ. It said, simply: 'No More Bullsh*t! The sign was found to be useful for just about any protest that was launched. Leave it to economists to find a sign with endless use and flexibility- a real productivity enhancer.

It's the political season. It's time for for folks to look us in the eye and lie to our face.

It's time for analysts to slant and reinterpret the most benign comments to make them look slanted and vicious.

It's time for partisans to to interpret for 'us numbskulls' things that we ourselves would not know from simple observation. Take this excerpt from Friday's Paul Krugman opinion piece below:

Excerpt from Friday NYT column by Paul Krugman

'On Tuesday, He Who Must Not Be Named — Mitt Romney mentioned him just once, Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin not at all — gave a video address to the Republican National Convention. John McCain, promised President Bush, would stand up to the “angry left.” That’s no doubt true. But don’t be fooled either by Mr. McCain’s long-ago reputation as a maverick or by Ms. Palin’s appealing persona: the Republican Party, now more than ever, is firmly in the hands of the angry right, which has always been much bigger, much more influential and much angrier than its counterpart on the other side.'

Understand that I am no Democrat nor a Republican. But I bristle at Krugman's characterization of the 'right' as 'bigger much more influential and much angrier that its counterpart on the other side.'

What a fantasy land he lives in.

You may hate conservatives and the religious right and have strong feelings over abortion rights but that is no license to lie and foster unprincipled exaggeration on readers of the NYT. Who was demonstrating, picketing and who ultimately got gassed for its aggressive behavior at who's convention? Republicans let Democratic conventions come and go. But Democrats treat Republican conventions like an infestation of rats suitable for any kind of treatment. They are rats after all and nothing short of extermination is too good for them.

--OOps there goes that electioneering hyperbole again - out of control... See how easy it is? and its Fun. But it's WRONG.

Look, each side has its loonies. I'm not in defense of one or the other but Krugman, an economist I once admired, has gone over the deep end replacing any notion of what's right with his own hateful opinion directed always to smear the right since he is a Democrat and a self-appointed crusader to oppose extremism on the Republican side.

As an academic he probably sees some matter-antimatter balancing in this but he has only succeeded in watering down his own opinion. He's got Matta whats-amatta? Why are you so cranky, Paul?

It is enrirley possible that the Right is better organized and funded than the Left. Republicans tend to be wealthier and that helps to get organized. Also the religious right is very well organized largely through various church groups. I can give him some ground on the argument for organization but not on anger.

Still the case is not clear. Leftists spawned the Black Panthers and SDS. The far right has seen extremists attack abortion clinics and attack users of those facilities on occasion. Why try to make one side's crimes worse than your own?

But this is the election of not being enough or being too much. Barack is not black enough and McCain is not young enough. Palin is not old enough and her state is not big and important enough for her experience 'to count'. The Obama-Biden teams has not managed enough. Well I say enough is enough.

Wish list...

I'd like to see an election where side stuck to its own knitting telling us what they would do if elected instead of misrepresenting the opinion and credentials of their opponent.

Wouldn't that be refreshing?

Perhaps a debate format with penalties would work. Each side would get 'x' minutes to talk. Any time one side talked about the other party/candidate/policies it would transfer one minute of talk time to to the opposition. Candidates would be able to talk about what THEY would do only.

It's worth a try.

And I'd ban political analysis after the debate or only allow one partisan from each party to talk ONLY OF his/her own slate's performance.

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