Last week (as with this week) the subject de semaine was "class warfare." The comment which inspired this week's mini-rants contained a simple, repetitive concept: "When [something outrageous pushed by Republicans happens], nobody calls it 'class warfare'. Maybe we should."
Archive of Articles for September, 2011
The Republican presidential field continues to defy the expectations and easy story lines from the political media and the rest of the inside-the-Beltway crowd. Just last week, this was supposed to now be "a two-man race," but in a week's time the story has shifted to almost utter chaos. A new Fox News poll out shows that the easy read of the electorate the media was pushing last week is now completely wrong.
Instead I'd like to talk about the backroom struggling within the Republican Party this week which is a lot more interesting and will likely be a lot more germane to the race -- the question of who goes first (or, more to the point, who goes fifth) in the Republican primary calendar.
The United States Postal Service very quietly changed one of their bedrock rules this week. Up until this point, in America, you had to be dead to be on a stamp. Now, anything goes -- the living will get their chance to be immortalized on an American stamp alongside the dead. This is a very bad idea, and Congress should really step in and put a stop to it as soon as possible.
Well, it's been great fun and all, but we are sorry to inform you that your viable candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination is hereby over.
A satellite is falling out of the sky, but it probably won't hit anybody. Probably. I personally got over this fear by listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival's "It Came Out Of The Sky" (which I heartily recommend, just on general principles).
At some point, television is going to have to start limiting which Republican candidates get invited to the debates. The herd of hopefuls must be thinned. This may happen soon, and tonight may be the last of the mega-debates of the season. One can only hope.
Elizabeth Warren is a polarizing figure. Liberals love her with a fierce passion. Republicans hate her with a fiery passion. What this means is that lots and lots of money from outside the state will be pumped into this race. The reason why Democrats are going to be watching this race closer than any other Senate race next year is easy to see: this may be the only state Democrats have a good chance to pick up a seat from the Republicans. The math isn't good for Democrats this time around in the Senate, and they are in danger of losing control of the chamber next year. Warren may be the sole bright spot in this environment for Democrats.
Today marks the end of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy of not allowing gay servicemembers to openly do their duty in the American military. There are plenty of other columns out there celebrating this fact, so instead of going into details, I'd like to offer an excerpt from a book I recently read. The book is One Nation Under Sex, by Larry Flynt and David Eisenbach, Ph.D. Whatever you may think of Flynt for his other activities, his books are always a good read and always exhaustively researched and annotated. Which is why his telling of this particular story is the best I've yet come across. Gay people have been in the United States military from the very beginning. They've always served, the only change now is that they'll be able to do so without having to hide who they are. Which is why this is such a good lesson to ponder on today of all days.
"Populism" is a word that gets thrown around with abandon by folks masquerading as journalists on television these days. Sarah Palin had the word used to describe her, and later, the entire Tea Party movement was labeled "populist" by the chattering classes. Today, President Obama unveiled a truly populist agenda, by proposing to tax millionaires at the same tax rate that middle-class Americans pay. By doing so, Obama will (hopefully) redefine the term "populism" in the political conversation. Or, to be technical, he will re-redefine the word back to what it originally meant.