Big Secrets

by Susan McWilliams on August 14, 2009 · 32 comments <span>Print this article</span> Print this article

in Culture, High & Low

 Obama As Hitler

Claremont, CA. Yesterday I was walking past the post office in my latte-liberal, bohemian-bourgeois town, when I saw a picture of President Obama made up to look like Hitler. Two relatively sane-looking people were standing at a table covered in many copies of the aforementioned picture, and one of them was talking in loud – but seemingly sane – tones about how the President might really be a Nazi. 

I wouldn’t say that my life flashed before my eyes, but I did think of a bunch of things all at once. I thought of Joseph Goebbels’ last speech, in which he described Nazi Germany as a “land of loyalty,” and then how two weeks later he and his wife murdered all six of their children. I thought of my high-school debate coach, who taught me that the cheapest – and tackiest – shot you can take in an argument is comparing your opponent to Hitler. And then I thought about some of the television I’ve been catching up on this summer.

For a couple of years now, both critics and audiences have been falling all over Michael C. Hall and Jon Hamm – and for good reason. The former, who plays Dexter Morgan on Showtime’s Dexter, and the latter, who plays Don Draper in AMC’s Mad Men, are both really talented actors working it in tough roles. Dexter Morgan is a guy who spends his days working at the Miami Police Department and his evenings with his family, giving him a kind of ordinary routine except for the fact that he has to schedule in time for his side hobby of murdering people. Don Draper is a successful advertising executive on the Madison Avenue of mid-century, with a wife and kids … and a ton of mistresses and a past that nobody really knows about. Oh, and his name isn’t really Don Draper.

These characters are men with secrets, men with so many secrets that I would call them Men Of Secrets, men made by all they don’t reveal. They don’t have incidental secrets like most of us have – like the I-pee-in-the-shower kind of secrets that Glamour magazine is fond of revealing – which we keep from other people but probably don’t say much about who we are besides the fact that we are human. Dexter Morgan and Don Draper have secrets that are constitutive, secrets that are bigger and more definitive than anything they reveal to other people. These are men who you only understand, if you understand that they are not in any way who they say they are.

That Americans have been drawn to such characters in the last couple of years should signal us, I think, to what is probably a growing level of fear and distrust in our culture. Americans seem increasingly preoccupied with the notion that what we see isn’t really what is. This is an understandable fear in a society which is so large, so mediated, so impersonal, and so technological.

At the end of the second season of Friends, which aired over a decade ago, Chandler tells the rest of the group that he’s met the perfect woman … on the Internet. After everyone gasps, since no one of them has done anything like that before, Phoebe asks Chandler how he knows that the person he’s talking to is really someone near his age, or someone who is single, or someone who is really a woman. Chandler freaks out. He hadn’t even considered that his late-night chatting buddy might be lying about those things!

Today, about 13 years later, Chandler’s shock seems quaint. Of course not all people looking for dates on the Internet are who they say they are. Of course you should be more wary about your interactions. You could be dealing with a Donald Draper, or a Dexter Morgan! Most of us have been humiliated at least once by the kinds of communication this technology allows, or know someone who has been humiliated: sending money to that needy Nigerian prince, having a private e-mail forwarded around the office, learning that the guy who is a prince online is a frog in person.  Our relentless exposure to the technologies of the “information revolution” has schooled us in the art of casual distrust.

Given the kinds of (technological, mediated, globalized) communications that increasingly dominate American life, a certain amount of fear and distrust in the culture is understandable. And to a certain degree, it’s not awful: in most human endeavors, a certain amount of skepticism is probably a healthy thing.

But too much skepticism – the kind that renders you incapable of trusting almost anyone, the kind that makes you hold onto your doubts and fears even in the face of contravening facts (since you believe the “facts” are probably manipulated) – is debilitating. It’s debilitating to you as an individual, since to think that way is to be anxious and angry all the time, to feel rageful and powerless and even paranoid. It’s also debilitating to social functioning, which requires at least some amount of social trust.

But there’s lots of that debilitating fear and distrust around, and lots of it gets directed at the President. He’s an easy target: a singular figure with lots of power, who most people fantasize has even more power than he actually does. And his real-life story – that he grew up in part on a foreign continent, that he is biracial, that he spends all his time with the kind of geeky people who know what derivatives are – means that the President embodies the massive global and technological and social transformations of the last half-century that have helped provoke so much fear and distrust in people in the first place.

I find it fascinating that people are accusing President Obama of hiding exactly the same secrets that Don Draper and Dexter Morgan hide. They say that, like Don Draper, he was not really born where he says he was born, and his background is not what he says it is. They say that, like Dexter Morgan, he wants to kill large numbers of people out of some messianic or misguided desire for efficiency.

The fantasies are powerful, and in a certain way they are intoxicating. They may even be, in a perverse way, kind of comforting. It is almost comforting to believe that in this day and age someone could live a life that is so substantially a lie – since the truth is that, with all of our personal “data” stored and mined and traded around by corporations, with our e-mails recorded by employers, with security cameras recording us at almost every business we enter and private DNA testers out for hire – there is very little room for any of us to do the equivalent of head west on a wagon train and start a new life. Part of the American Dream has always involved the idea of having the potential here to “start over” or “reinvent yourself,” but substantial reinventions of identity are not nearly as easy as they used to be. (It is telling, for instance, that the biggest lie Don Draper tells about himself – that he is Don Draper – can only be sustained because he lives in an age prior to DNA testing.)

It is probably the case that, as long as our privacies continue to shrink in these everyday ways, Americans will grow increasingly obsessed with the possibility of privacy: not only shouting about how much we have a “right to privacy” and that kind of thing, but also fantasizing about privacy. And keeping secrets – other people’s, or your own – may be privacy’s most emblematic act.

This brings me back to the Post Office, and to our Commander-in-Chief tarted up to look genocidal. It’s easy to attribute this kind of display of paranoia, as many people have, to particular ideological pundits or to racists or to those same dudes who brought us the swiftboat stuff. But those are all only part of the story, the vehicles of the moment for the sweeping, if disturbing, undercurrents of our time. For my own partisan reasons I’d love to see some of those particular elements thrown under the bridge, but the Left has its paranoid elements, too – all that speculation about Trig Palin’s parentage, anyone? – and I think the real challenge is to think about what might be done to confront the increasing fear and loathing in our States.

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar rex August 14, 2009 at 9:10 pm

Susan, I enjoyed your post. I have been seeing the Obama/Hitler stuff for a while now, for good or ill it now seems to outnumber the Obama/monkey images.

As happens chance, I ended up looking at a bunch of stuff from 1999 WTO protests in Seattle this afternoon. I could not help but think how “black blocs” would be treated 10 years later? I fear DHS would have mowed them down making Teineman Square look like a garden party.

Is it “Fear and Loathing” or hate. Hmmm – Hunter S. Thompson showed fear and loathing could be suppressed, at least for a decade or two, with Wild Turkey and what ever you could eat, smoke, or shoot. I was going to say that hate should be the proper term, but on second thought we are at least a decade into this, perhaps fear and loathing is more accurate. Fear is definitely a part of the equation.

avatar Bruce Smith August 15, 2009 at 3:28 am

What lies behind the growing rage and distrust in America? How about so called “Libertarians” who blame everything on the existence of government but praise the idea that the market always knows best. How about they are really stooges for the elite capitalists who tell you that the government caused the Sub-Prime Recession despite the market always knowing best! How about the antidote of going back to the Founding Fathers idea that “true Liberty” requires that we impose tolerable limits upon ourselves and that requires working together to reform government when it gets corrupted by elite capitalism?

avatar James Matthew Wilson August 15, 2009 at 7:51 am

Bruce, I’d more or less agree; hence a rather sharp rebuke I made to someone on Mark Mitchell’s “Borders” essay. It’s not the libertarians per se of course; it is the deep-seated Enlightenment conception of the monadic individual. If your anthropology tells you that you are not only distinct from but separate from and other than your community, your family, your government — indeed from anything that can be called “outside” of you, including nature — then you will find enemies everywhere. With such a self-conception, the world is divisible into the self and the other and such a simple binary is interpretable only in terms of the self’s power and the power of everything else; Enlightenment anthropology, in other words, leads us to live the story of oppression and liberation continuously. It is a dumb story; I pray, if someone finds themselves re-telling it, that they stop and think harder about the nature of reality.

avatar Matt Huggins August 15, 2009 at 8:32 am

There is truth in this post, but not the whole truth. An aside like “but the Left has its paranoid elements, too” betrays an intellectual dishonesty. It is the left’s actions during the Bush administration that normalized comparisons of the POTUS (and any other political opponent) to Hitler. It is daft to treat this as some sort of novel phenomenon.

It is a commonplace to conflate libertarianism with corporatism. It is also typical to begin addressing the relative merits of one school of thought or another based upon outcomes. Libertarians begins with a principle, that of freedom. That said, markets (that is, the aggregation of individuals acting freely with respect to their things and labor) have an uncanny way of creating wealth, promoting innovation and calibrating supply and demand. You’ll find few libertarians who would consider the markets of this country to be operating freely.

I believe a review of libertarian thinking of any depth will reveal it to be immensely conducive to the kind of local determination celebrated with some frequency in this blog.

avatar Bob Cheeks August 15, 2009 at 8:44 am

James, great stuff! Please do a blog on this theme! This is why I keep current with my subscription to FPR.
Is it possible you are a closet Voegelinian? Here’s my latest review for the Voegelin View:
http://www.voegelinview.com/book-reviews/
It’s a seminal study of Dr. Stefan Rossbach on gnosticism that is just wonderful.
I do hope to comment on Dr. Sue’s blog but first I must go to the woods to seek Divine guidance in the matter. I do appreciate the ‘great command’ and delight in the loving God element but it’s the ‘fellow man’ thing that gives problems which indicates I (me, moi) have a problem, a flaw that needs to be addressed (Arben, are you reading this?.
And so, it’s off to yonder woods to engage in an inquiry of the truth of reality that will include, of course, the obligatory anamentic experience that has always proved so platonically fruitful in the effort to recover the tension of existence. And, as I tramp the dew stained field I remember T.S. Eliot’s lines:
And what there is to conquer
By strength and submission, has already been discovered
Once or twice, or several times, by men whom one cannot hope
To emulate-but there is no competition-
There is only the fight to recover what has been lost
And found and lost again and again; and now, under conditions
That seem unpropitious

avatar TRB August 15, 2009 at 9:12 am

What makes the Obama-is-Hitler invective so schocking … schocking! … is that the eight years preceding Obama’s taking office were so notable for their civility. For the most recent former President to have been compared to Adolph Hitler or to a monkey — for example, a chimpanzee — would have been unthinkable … just unthinkable! It would likewise have been unthinkable for anyone to have alleged that the most recent former President or anyone in his administration was involved in any sort of conspiracy — especially where foreign affairs were concerned. So, given all of that, it is entirely understandable to me that the media and the punditocracy have now so suddenly and abruptly taken such extensive note of what has been a sudden and abrupt swerve, since Obama took office, into paranoid and hateful invective in the public discourse. To connect things to James’s post about Border’s bookstore — can anyone here imagine going to either a Border’s bookstore or a Barnes and Noble bookstore in the eight years prior to this one and finding any sort of material on display disseminating any sort of paranoid and hateful invective against the most recent former president? I, for one, certainly can’t.

avatar Bruce Smith August 15, 2009 at 10:45 am

James. I think what you argue about Enlightenment Individualism is the same argument Phillip Blond makes about Enlightenment Liberalism, the philosophy if you like of the Founding Fathers via John Locke and others. Whilst I see the reasoning behind the argument I don’t actually think thoughtful Liberalism is like that. L.T. Hobhouse, the English political theorist, recognizes that Liberty is all about Control. He tells us in his “Liberalism” that in order for us to peacefully exercise rights we have to impose tolerable limits upon ourselves in order that one person’s right doesn’t become another person’s abuse. We do that he tells us through government by democratically working together to determine tolerable laws and giving government the authority to enforce those laws. Tolerable limits thus become responsibilities and society attempts to maintain equilibrium through a mixture of rights and responsibilities. In a way I guess its human society creating the Golden Rule and recognizing that for a society to have true moral stature it requires just one moral: a sense of fairness. This is the True End of History not Fukuyama’s winning the Cold war.

Going back to markets the Libertarians will constantly tell you that “competitive markets are the most morally just way for allocating a society’s resources”. This is a distortion of Adam Smith’s view. Smith wrote “The Theory of Moral Sentiments.” before he wrote “The Wealth of Nations.” Accordingly, a correct interpretation of Adam Smith would be that “competitively fair markets are the most morally just way for allocating a society’s resources”. Hobhouse has already told us that to have fairness we need to impose limits upon ourselves. For me it almost seems to be the case that what America needs to arrest its decline is a new political party called the Liberty Party whose activists view themselves as Liberationists and see one of their main roles as liberating society from the inadequately defined mantra that “the market is always right”. This would help put an end to the current form of global “free” trade where the terms are anything but “free” but run on grossly “illiberal” manipulations of currency, subsidies, repression, etc, and will lead ultimately to America’s de-industrialization.

avatar James Matthew Wilson August 15, 2009 at 11:05 am

Bruce, the distinction you make I would make between procedural and substantive liberalism, and I believe that this distinction ultimately gives way before the totalizing logic of liberalism. Hence, this essay: http://www.firstprinciplesjournal.com/articles.aspx?article=1261

avatar D.W. Sabin August 15, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Smith, your reductive rant at “Libertarianism” may hit the target in some respects but there is a certain strand of libertarianism that holds respect for the fellow man front and center. It seeks a modus that does not require the sordid offices of the relativistic State to either license, encourage or enforce human conduct.

That we are living within a generation of simpletons who could not self rule a third graders birthday party is no reason to totally rebuke this kind of respectful individualism. Perhaps you mistook libertarianism for its current manifestation: Corporate Sponsered Libertinism.

Any of the current political “brands” are suspect these days, caricatures, happy-faced counterfeits for a people who live only to believe what they hear at the moment because they are continually assaulted with a fire hose of idiocy, day in day out and generally, as affable historicides, they are not armed with the perspective nor skepticism required to overcome the rising tide of Holy Bullshit that is sloshing around some halcyon “middle” utopia of a people who have deflated the definition of utopia just a tad.

avatar Bruce Smith August 15, 2009 at 2:43 pm

James. Because of my working class background I am always suspicious of philosophies like Paleo-conservatism and Libertarianism that attack the role of the central state. I tend to view its supporters as stooges of the rich because who else takes higher than average chunks of money off the rich to provision Public Goods than the state? Who else but the central state could effectively put the screws on the tax dodging rich who secrete their money abroad?:-

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090815/ap_on_bi_ge/us_tax_haven_crackdown

Who else but the central state is going to effectively challenge the illiberal terms of global trade in an age of globalisation? Whilst I may agree substantially with Phillip Blond about the negative effects of central state managerial welfarism and want the devolution of capital to bolster individuals making their own welfare provision, I am mindful that the market is not stable and predictable because it is constantly subject to evolutionary forces that require adaption. The existence of a state sponsored safety net of large scale pooled insurance helps soften the adaptive transition for those not in a position to do so. Where would people have been in this recession with Bush and McCain’s social security net invested in the stock market? I’m really a horse’s for courses kind of guy, intensely community orientated for decision making but aware of wider realities and strategic necessities. Limits need to be imposed wherever appropriate local or central. As John Medaille said in a previous post on FPR he was not aware that the doctrine of subsidarity meant every decision had to be taken at local level.

avatar Bob Cheeks August 16, 2009 at 7:20 am

Dr. McWilliams,

Thanks for the essay. I do appreciate the heart felt comments of a true Democrat (leftist, socialist, or whatever). We, of course, have Arben to fall back on but sometimes he can surprise you and come out sounding rather moderate and sometimes (Lord, forgive me!) conservative.
One point I’d like to make about what I refer to as the American Uprising (the so-called “town hall meetings” regarding the Congressional Health Care Plan) is that the folks taking part (what the Left calls “the mob”) appear to be representative of a significant majority of Americans who don’t normally participate in any political action other than voting or perhaps attending a city council or township meeting on the rare occasion.
If I’m correct about the make up of these people, and I may not be, than we are potentially in the beginning stages of a major shift in the political/philosophical structure of the American polity. This overwhelmingly large group of people, and I think we might see them as the Wal-martized, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take any more” crowd, have finally been propelled into action (or at least a very small percentage of them has).
Now, I can’t go into the reasons why they’re mad (the reasons are legion, historical, and lengthy) but the political reality is that in the next election this group (assuming it stays focused, and it may not) is going to throw out the statist/socialist Dems. The question is, are they going to replace them with conservative Reps, neocon Reps, or independents?
Obama knows he has a short window of opportunity and that’s why he’s released his brown-shirted Core cadres and his Union thugs. It is, of course, a mistake and the reaction to Obama’s maladroit actions may very well result in violence. The blood will be on his hands.
I think the thing to understand is that Obama is working assiduously to empower the central regime. These people, this “mob,” is standing for the old republican principles of freedom and liberty.
Count me among the “mob” Susan, and you are invited to join me at the barricades.

avatar Bruce Smith August 16, 2009 at 7:50 am

How about the American people are given the chance to participate in the same tax payer funded healthcare scheme the hypocrite Republican congress and senate representatives get? How about the notion in this society that what is sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander? How about those who profess religious belief getting behind this idea?

avatar Anon August 16, 2009 at 1:47 pm

Rick Perlstein’s 8/14 WaPo column regarding the long history of right-wing craziness–FDR and Truman as “twenty years of treason,” the civil rights movement as hatched by the Soviet Union, Kennedy built a prison camp in Alaska for political dissidents–would suggest, at a minimum, that there is no need to look to changes in the possibility of privacy, or technology, to explain the sort craziness currently seen. Similarly, it would seem to argue against *growing* fear and distrust.

avatar Cecelia August 17, 2009 at 12:12 am

It is wishful thinking to beieve that the protestors showing up at town hall meetings represent a third party movement – since it appears these folks are being bussed in – going from one meeting to the next. Grass roots movements do not usually require bussing folks in from other states.

avatar Bob Cheeks August 17, 2009 at 8:24 am

Cecelia, you’re breakin’ my heart….!

avatar JD Salyer August 17, 2009 at 12:00 pm

It’s fairly well-acknowledged — at least on the Left — that Islamic fundamentalist jihadism is at least partly fed and provoked by the collective sense of humiliation and outrage caused by inept, brutish, and irresponsible U.S. foreign policy.

Naturally I agree with this assessment.

I invite the Left, who are so concerned about trying to understand the Muslim world, to extend the same effort towards “redecks” and “hicks” and such.

A great many small-town conservative Christians, to take one example, feel as if academia and the media/entertainment class regard their heritage and beliefs with contempt, and is actively seeking to impress opposite values upon their children. “We’ll get you through your children,” Allen Ginsburg is said to have gloated.

To threaten a people in such a fashion is to invite the deepest existential backlash.

Just as idiots like Bush provoke backlash from the Muslim world, so do fashionably-Left Hollywood celebrities and professors provoke backlash from “Red State America”. (I will gloss over Mr. Obama’s own “Bibles and guns” remark, which hardly indicates any respect for the people he presumes to rule.) Pompous frauds like Susan Sontag are the best friends the GOP and the neoconservatives could have ever asked for.

How would the Muslim world have reacted to an art exhibition carrying an exhibit labeled, “Piss Mohammed”? I suspect there would have been a greater reaction than just a lot of yelling at town hall meetings and concoting stupid and tacky signs.

avatar JD Salyer August 17, 2009 at 12:11 pm

The much-celebrated Sontag particularly came to mind in terms of her claim that “The white race is the cancer of human history.”

I assume the pertinence is obvious.

Sontag went on to become president of the PEN American center, I believe, and her career suffered no repercussions whatsoever.

avatar James Matthew Wilson August 17, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Amen, JD.

avatar D.W. Sabin August 17, 2009 at 1:36 pm

Mr. Smith,
Your description of the State as a checking agent against a so called Predatory Wealth Class is near fully contradicted by the ongoing actions of the current American Government. The nation is plunged monstrously and ever-further into debt in order to bail out the private banking systems whose shareholders were asleep at the wheel , lulled into inattention by a combination of Private and Government miscalculation. Sure, this might be done under the rubric of avoiding economic catastrophe (as though trillions of debt in a declining industrial capacity is not a catastrophe itself) for the so called “little guy” but then we will no doubt watch inflation work its charms on the little guy over a protracted period.

In concept, the State may be considered a counterbalance against abuses on the part of big business but you should disabuse yourself of any notion that this American Government will do anything to assist the “little guy” over the objection of entrenched interests because this notion has been gutted for decades now. Government has never been the champion of the little guy and the more it has asserted this, the greater the little guy has suffered.

Instead of rebuking libertarian philosophy, you might better serve yourself by rebuking political hypocrisy across the board. Sure, there are libertarians who betray their so called principles but they are far from alone. Democrats are supposed to be the party of labor and civil rights. They clearly are not……nor is the Republican party the party of fiscal prudence, prudent foreign policy and business . All of the various categories are flummoxed and corrupted beyond redemption where it matters: in practice.

Capitalist Corporate Economics has its books-cooking category of “External Costs”. These are the costs covered by everyone and so no one. Political Theatre also has a similar thing we might call “External Consequence”. The reason Irony dogs the scene to such a degree is because Irony is one of the richest veins of theatre. Factionalism and political ideology have been with us forever but this era has made them hyper-real and put them in a little electronic box that seems to broadcast reality but also smears the dividing line between reality and fiction. One can almost follow a rule of opposites now and simply know that whatever might be said, the opposite is generally closer to the truth. With so much inchoate doubt afoot, it is not surprising that some form of strident grassroots opposition might be aborning. The age-old problem for presumptuous government has been losing control of the theatre and it would not surprise me in the least if we are about to watch as this decades-building controlled theatre cascades into chaos. All the portents are gliding smoothly into place for an epic dislocation. Too many people are finally tiring of the charade.

avatar Bruce Smith August 17, 2009 at 2:53 pm

To believe that the state is always by nature corrupt is as unworkable as believing in a populous society the limiting by law is not required.

avatar Bob Cheeks August 17, 2009 at 3:15 pm

D.W.,

Dude, I was waiting for the ‘smackdown!’
What’s goin’ on, are you off your meds, feelin’ poorly, not gettin’ your rest?
This isn’t the D.W. I knew. Damn, you were polite!!!!!!!
Look, it’s like this, the hubristic Mr. Medaille sees himself as one of the new elite, once Distributism rises to the top following the ‘great collapse’ and his epigonic lackey sees himself as his….well, epigonic lackey, or am I being redundant?
I’ll save you a firing port at the barricades.

avatar D.W. Sabin August 18, 2009 at 3:56 pm

Cheeks,
Being a member of the permanent opposition, the act of being polite is a requirement. Actually, because it is so rarely practiced these days, I find it an excellent redoubt of the renegade.

Smith,
Government is frequently corrupt because man is frequently corrupt. That said, I do not believe that the “State is always by nature corrupt”. Government sometimes does things brilliantly, like say, call for adjournment. My primary harangue is that we possess , already…. a perfectly serviceable form of government based upon a fine Constitution with a productive Separation of Powers and that near every dysfunction these days can be laid at the doorstep of fiddling with the Separation of Powers (including muddying States Rights) , ignoring the Constitution and in general, abandoning fiscal probity while thinking men not corrupt and therefore their government potentially pure. Ho Ho Ho. Checks and balances are this government’s chief virtue and we are doing our level best to write bad checks on uncollected balance.

In short, I aint categorically anti-government, I’m just sick of this one..an edifice that would be comical if not so destructive. We would be far better served by an approach that encouraged strong libertarians, strong Democrats and Strong Republicans in a productive dialogue within the wonderfully discursive political potential of our system of government. Right now there is a virtual orgy of extolling the weakness of everyone, all around and this sews weakness like weeds. Weak Democrats beget weak Republicans …. Weak Republicans beget weak Democrats and Weak Libertarians, well, they seem to enjoy a permanent sinecure in that fountain of weakness and so we find ourselves right where Ben Franklin was afraid we might arrive: The American Eagle as Carrion Eater and the Republic a fond memory.

avatar Bob Cheeks August 18, 2009 at 5:00 pm

Brilliant, Dude, but I fear it’ll be lost on you know who! Glad to see you back in form:”Government sometimes does things brilliantly, like say, call for adjournment.” Oh, yeah, that’ the D.W. we’ve come to love!
And, BTW, the “State” considering the libido dominandi can’t help but be corrupt!

avatar Bruce Smith August 19, 2009 at 4:46 am

A constitutional solution of Libertarians who don’t believe in the mechanism of government, Republicans who believe in the right to manipulate others so they can consume more than others, Democrats who are not sure whether to believe in this right, social dysfunction statistics worse than any other developed country, a majority of the population believing consumption has no bearing on nature, a high carbon consumption time-bomb ticking away. Who fiddles while Rome burns? Hooray for the red, white and blue?

avatar Bob Cheeks August 19, 2009 at 5:39 am

D.W., He’s backkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk!

avatar D.W. Sabin August 19, 2009 at 3:50 pm

Smith….what are we missing here? It is not that Libertarians have no faith in a government machinery, they just don’t think the machine in Dubuque should be run by some apparatchik in Foggy Bottom being whispered sweet nothings in his ear by some shark-skinned Swell on K Street and furthermore, they do not take it as holy writ that a potato can be skinned any faster by a Ronco multi-bladed electronic dancing knife wonder-cutter than a good old fashioned potato peeler rendered with sure hand.

It is a matter of matching the tool to the task at hand and the principle problem with the government of the last couple of decades is they want to transfer the checking account off-shore and commit suicide while pointing the gun at everyone else.

Look, your beloved Democrats were granted the Administration of George W. Bush for two whole terms and even with this epic seminar in the silliest yet oddly most law-breaking government of all time offered up on a silver platter, your treasured and most purely non-manipulative party still cannot manage to run a government smoothly even with the fourth estate singing lusty hymnals to sainted donkeys. Would that they could manipulate something …even in private.

Your problems are not with the toothlessly fearsome Libertarians my friend, they are with the Retahded Siamese Twins known as the Republicrats/Demolicans.

avatar Bruce Smith August 19, 2009 at 4:18 pm

Mr Sabin. I am completely happy with your last sentence. Amen.

avatar D.W. Sabin August 20, 2009 at 2:18 pm

Wait just a minute here Smith, I disagree with what I said.

avatar Corey August 24, 2009 at 11:05 am

“How about the American people are given the chance to participate in the same tax payer funded healthcare scheme the hypocrite Republican congress and senate representatives get? How about the notion in this society that what is sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander? How about those who profess religious belief getting behind this idea?”

Bruce- I find it odd you blame this on Republicans, since it was Republicans who supported an amendment to HR 3200 that would have made everyone eligible for the Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan (the FEHBP being the employer-sponsored health insurance benefit plan for all federal employees, including Members of Congress). But Bruce, can you guess why the Democrats voted this amendment, which was offerred (and then subsequently voted against) by their own Rep. Anthony Weiner, down? Yes, yes, it’s because the FEHBP is a conglomeration of PRIVATE PLANS. Chairman Waxman, himself, noted that he would have to oppose the amendment because it would preclude the creation of a government run insurance plan.

Since, after all, “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” I should think you would agree that those Members of Congress who support the creation of a government-run insurance plan would also consent to enrolling in such a plan, in lieu of the private insurance they currently pay for. But, once again, Democrats have voted such an amendment down, and refuse to support a resolution offerred that would express the sense of Congress that such a thing occur.

avatar Corey August 24, 2009 at 11:18 am

Just in the way of information for you Susan, et al., the people who came up with the “Obama/Hitler” signs are not conservatives, Republicans, or creatures of the right. Rather, they are followers of fringe Democrat Lyndonn Larouche. http://www.larouchepac.com/health

avatar Bruce Smith August 24, 2009 at 1:24 pm

Corey. You must tell the GOP to make this offer more explicit. Here is their Health Care Platform :-

https://www.gop.com/2008Platform/HealthCare.htm

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