Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Armed With 15% Of The Facts And A Howitzer

The Morning Joe Rebuttal for September 8th, 2010


1) How embarrassing is Tim Kaine? Audacity is defined as making that quip “I don’t pretend anyone remembers a DNC chairmen 3 minutes after they’re gone”. Ummm, I think every registered Democrat remembers the last DNC chairman, that guy who WON elections. Howard Dean.

But rather than just lament the critical velocity in reverse that the above misquidedness represents, it’s more important to point out the sheer lack of lucidity when Kaine speaks. It is all rosy if you ask Mr. Kaine. Often you hear people say this would all be a little easier if someone in government was simply speaking like adults or business men (not their publicists).

That is the opposite of the effect given off when Kaine describes how strong the Health Care Reform polls. That is just wishful thinking and amateurish projection of that wishful thinking. Health Care polls as poorly as possible because the part people need is 40 months away, and all we can think about as we wait those 40 months is the sheer capitulation that occurred defanging the needed reform. When HCR gets in place will we then find out it actually has been outflanked by defensive maneuvers by the insurers who’ve had the 40 months to get back to status quo?

The bottom line on our current DNC chairman is that he is the doctor whose bedside manner is so bad that he just lies. He tells the cancer victim that recovery is imminent so that he doesn’t have to do the tough work of telling them to write their will. Kaine is selling lottery tickets with his prediction that the Democrats will come back. All of the ‘he has to do that rationale’ is actually the strategy of the other side. This side gets its backbone by saying the truth, which is not centrist doctrine. The Kucinich's and Weiners of the world don’t go down making false promises that a nonexistent turnaround is just around the corner. They appeal to passion, and in Tim Kaine representation of the role of the DNC chairman today, could you spot that passion in any lucid form? No, it just seemed like a door to door Xerox salesman who would say anything.

While I’m throwing darts at that guy, I want to point out that there was a publicity stunt in February where it was leaked that Kaine would finally fulfill his potential as DNC Chair because Virginia inaugurated a new governor and Kaine would no longer have to split his time. His focus in the six months since has made things worse as he has been free to make more half pronouncements in a day than previously possible.

2) Now, its actually good news that Joe Scarborough can’t actually stop talking about the positive economic effects of extending tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. That opposing the extension is “mindless”. You can already see the retort on the Daily Show. Joe Scarborough would walk into this ambush like a basic training flunkee.

You can pick from about 87 3 minute rants all with the same message, jump to Mika endorsing with a “you’ve been saying that all along”, and then play 25 guests on the Morning Joe show that have lined up to say in a deep as available science that the economic foundation of Joe Scarboroughs argument is 100% fallacy.

One would say on an ROI basis with limited available funds, tax cuts to the rich are in last place, another would say it’s not 2% small business its less than that, a third small business growth we seek primarily offshoots from manufacturing growth, not singular business. At the end of 25, none of which would need to be Paul Krugman or Robert Reich mind you, it would be obvious that Joe Scarborough stands in distant opposition to genuine economic consensus, and makes you wonder about his motivation in doing so.

I fully realize that this rationale has zero effect on Joe or John Boehner’s complete rejection of letting the tax cuts expire, but I think there is also a growing consensus of people forced into a better understanding of economics by tough times asking why those leaders pursue this path? It seems dishonest with great costs to America associated to those dishonest claims.

The more middle America hears a false argument, the more a baseline realization that we're being duped sets in. We used to talk about how in polls Americans embarrassingly told pollsters they thought Iraq was behind the 9/11 attacks. It’s safe to say that the awfulness of that national misunderstanding has corrected itself through repeating with great frequency just how embarrassingly wrong it was.

Similarly, Americans on the right, in the Tea Party or towards the middle right of America, will look with a degree of humiliation at where they were duped into making the comparatively poor investment of repealing a tax on the top 2% of America instead of directly investing in new jobs for their constituencies. You aren’t in that 2%. Supply side economics is the economics of waiting for crumbs, and you don’t have time to wait. Direct investments in your constituencies revive economies at a 2 to 1 rate compared to tax repeals for the rich, because the rich have the option to NOT spend the money, which they exercise at least HALF the time.

Why do John Boehner and Joe Scarborough make the trickle down case at every opportunity in defiance of any logic except the artificial one they simply concoct on the spot? It can only be one of two reasons: they are in the 2% or they are paid to protect the interest of the 2%.

3) As suspicious as I am about Maria Bartiromo, it was happy to see her on the show trying to find common ground with Arianna Huffington. But before that Willie Geist did a connect the jobs duty by asking Maria to weigh in on the small business negative impact of the tax cut for the rich debate. She of course ducked the question, instead going with the fact that if you want to talk negligible, talk about the amount of money the government gets via the top 2% returning to a 29.9% federal rate. It’s insignificant, its $36 billion dollars. Does that seem insignificant to you? Or did she just put some words together and hope nobody would check?

But yes, Arianna and Maria found middle ground. It’s as if Maria had a bit of an awakening working on her book where she was forced to analyze the role of market touts in explaining away the criminal behavior that’s taken control of Wall Street. Well, I obviously took it too far, but let’s see if over time Maria starts to look for an exit from fallacy island.

That’s all for today, see you tomorrow.

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