04.29.11

It’s too late to get along

Posted in Extremism, Made in China, Rock 'n' Roll at 8:58 am by George Smith

Here’s an ABC News clip from a New Hampshire town hall meeting in which the Republican, a Tea Party man by the name of Frank Guinta, gets a mildly hard time from his constituents. I say mild because by the standards of rudeness and disruption, its gentle. Guinta, after all, isn’t even close to being bottled.

Guinta — who looks every bit the overstuffed buffoon who doesn’t even know all the particulars of the legislation he’s defending — can’t take it. He calls for peace after an old white coot stands up, delivers a very brief rant about the president, and is decisively booed.

At that point another man begins to speak (it comes near the end of the segment):

Guinta: If we could refrain from booing…

Man: No!

You’ve asked the people that we cooperate and we all be nice. But you were swept into office by people who really weren’t nice and you didn’t
lift a finger to say, “Hey, let’s chill.” And these people were carrying guns. So it’s a little late for you to condescend …”

And here one sees in action the almost total failure of the president and the Democratic Party. So incapable of framing any powerful arguments. or just afraid to do so, against the prevailing stories leading up to 2010, their political base became dispirited, didn’t get out, and the extremists were put in office. And now there’s palpable regret.

As a resident of California, I can view it with a little detachment if only because the GOP is dead meat in the state. And it’s not that way becaus of anything the opposition did but because Republicans basically convinced almost the entire Latino population that it was a mortal enemy. And that was a fairly accurate judgment.

So let’s not get along. Not now, not soon.

If the President would choose to argue as pointedly as the man in the seats at the Guinta town hall, things could change. But he won’t. And because of that, 2012 will be a repeat of 2010.

Obama will probably win re-election because the opposition will nominate a radical fool. But the rest of the party will get drubbed for not standing for anything or quietly trying to inch the football to the right.


From Krugman, this made me laugh twice:

Lately the inflationistas have seized on rising oil prices as evidence in their favor, even though — as Mr. Bernanke himself pointed out — these prices have nothing to do with Fed policy. The way oil prices are coloring the discussion led the economist Tim Duy to suggest, sarcastically, that basic Fed policy is now to do nothing about unemployment “because some people in the Middle East are seeking democracy.”

But I’d put it differently. I’d say that the Fed’s policy is to do nothing about unemployment because Ron Paul is now the chairman of the House subcommittee on monetary policy.

First, for the obvious line. Second, for the elliptical reference to crazy Ron Paul’s goldbuggism.


This morning’s post is a little too bleak for a Friday, even by my low standards.

So I give you an old DD instrument inspired by the Get Smart villain known as the Claw.

From the web, the Claw, is described:

The Claw … was an evil villain of Asian ancestry — a distant cousin to Bond’s “Dr. No.” The Claw was so called because one of his hands was missing, a la Captain Hook. In its place, as I recall, was a powerful shoehorn-shaped magnet. (There you go — two strikes already, both disability and ethnic stereotyping.) The Claw spoke English with a heavy accent, which was a good part of the joke. Picture Smart holding him off at gunpoint. Smart would turn to his sidekick, the lovely Agent 99 (Barbara Feldon), and say with a squinted brow, something like: “Well, 99, I see it’s our old nemesis, the Craw.”

Before 99 could respond, the villain would break in, growling: “No, not da Craw — da Craw!”

This doesn’t get at all of it, which in its ethnic stereotyping for the sake of humor is now taboo.

Anyway, the Claw story line also features Harry Hoo, a Chinese detective who worked with Maxwell Smart. Hoo is just another absurd take on Charlie Chan, and in my tune, you can hear the character — played by someone named Joey Forman, saying in a bad accent, “We meet again Mr. Craw!”

Followed by the Claw: “So it is you, Hoo!”

Here’s the tune, now a couple years old — The Amazing Harry Hoo!

Fairly machine-like, as befits the subject.

If the intro sounds familiar, it’s me imitating a sitar riff from The Beatles’ “Love You To.” Key gear: the Roger Linn Adrenalinn III.

Give it a listen! It still makes me smile. Need a video, maybe.

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