Thursday, August 20, 2009

Punk bands over pundits

by Smitty (h/t Kathryn Jean Lopez)

Oh Peggy. "Pull the Plug on ObamaCare", you say, as gently as possible. You cast Obamacare opposite Hillarycare, as if Congress was first supposed to create a fine mess,
And at the end, in the fall, the beauty part: The president swoops in and saves the day, forcing together an ultimate and more moderate plan that doesn't contain the more controversial elements but does constitute a successful first step toward universal health care.

That's not what happened.

It all got hotter, quicker than the White House expected. The many plans of Congress congealed in the public mind into one plan, and the one plan became a poison pool. The president is now immersed in it.

Saved by the passive voice, the poor wee "wee-weed" President.

The Circle Jerks underscore the President's 'record', with a bladder-load of legislative blather on disc...

Come to think of it, that 'release' does contain some advice that's scatalogical, echoes the president, and is about as useful as anything coming out of the likes of Noonan and Krugman:
"When the s**t hits the fan"
in a sluggish economy
hits the land of the free
standing in unemployment lines
blame the government for hard time

we just get by
however we can
we all gotta duck
when the s**t hits the fan

10 kids in a cadillac
stand in lines for welfare checks
let's all leach off the state
gee! the money's really great!

soup lines
free loaves of bread
5lb blocks of cheese
bags of groceries
social security
has run out on you and me
we do whatever we can
gotta duck when the s**t hits the fan
Here it is on YouTube:

Back to the Noonan, starry-eyed, as with a thousand points of light.
Every big idea that works is marked by simplicity, by clarity. You can understand it when you hear it, and you can explain it to people. Social Security: Retired workers receive a public pension to help them through old age. Medicare: People over 65 can receive taxpayer-funded health care. Welfare: If you have no money and cannot support yourself, we will help as you get back on your feet.
These things are clear. I understand them. You understand them.

You understand that the economics fail, lady? You could as reasonably wish water would flow uphill.
  • The Constitution was never amended to support entitlement concepts at the Federal level.
  • The demographics don't supply the necessary population to feed the beast.
  • The moral hazard of that much cash before Congresses composed of that little integrity was too much.
Get Over It!
And when normal people don't know what the words mean, they don't say to themselves, "I may not understand, but my trusty government surely does, and will treat me and mine with respect." They think, "I can't get what these people are talking about. They must be trying to get one past me. So I'll vote no."
Normal people do understand this much: when things are too complex, money is moving from Wallet A to Wallet B. If you don't understand the mechanism (and I'll bet a pizza that your condescending butt does not, at any useful level of detail) then you are Wallet A. Was that explanation simple enough?
In a more beautiful world, the whole health-care chapter could become, for the president, that helpful thing, the teachable moment. The president the past month has been taught a lot by the American people. It's all there in the polls. He could still step back, rethink, say it didn't work, promise to return with something better.

When presidents make clear, with modesty and even some chagrin, that they have made a mistake but that they've learned a lesson and won't be making it again, the American people tend to respond with sympathy. It is our tradition and our impulse.
Peggy, I understand you're Roman Catholic, so let me tell you directly: this more beautiful world is the Kingdom of Heaven, ushered in by the return of the carpenter. Short of that, just give it up. Modulo individual, random acts of beauty, the world is a circle of jerks.

Article V is the appropriate place to start. If the POTUS and the Congress That Shall Live in Infamy don't start at square one, then I say they should all stand impeached for failure to carry out their oaths.

As for you, Peggy, lose the purple prose and acquire some historical and economic analysis, or continue to seem less useful than a punk rock band.


  1. Peggy is ignoring the fact that this particular president has little modesty and has not ever admitted to making any mistakes.

    Without that, the American people aren't likely to respond with any sympathy.

  2. LOL- great post, Smitty... I remember those guys.

    Johnny Ramone said "Punk-rock leans to the right"

    Well, the punkers sure hated hippies... that's for sure. They weren't all anarchists, anyway

    If you noticed in the 80s... so many of those bands were from San Fran like Black Flag... reactionaries, perhaps?

  3. "As for you, Peggy, lose the purple prose"

    A-freakin-men. God, her columns are all her purple prose style nowadays, and almost completely lacking ins any substance other than the condescension you so aptly referenced.

  4. @ Reaganite Republican:

    Black Flag was an LA/OC band. DKs led the Bay Area scene.

    As for punk politics... for the most part, the early punks were know-nothing nihilists reacting against what they presumed to be the Establishment power structure: reactionary/conservative (racist, sexist, homophobic, et al) white old, old, old men. Who were old. And white. And old.

    There were a few (John Lydon, Johnny Ramone, Joe Escalante) who eventually picked up a newspaper and realized that the world they were so angry with was the world most of their contemporary bands wanted to usher in. (Even Jello Biafra had a brief period of clarity in the late 1970s.)

    But the guys whose views were treated seriously by the even-then liberal media (especially the Beeb) were the fall-in-line lefties like Joe Strummer, "authentic" punks who could be relied upon to support the real power structure while attacking actual liberating forces (e.g., Thatcher; later, Reagan).

    Everyone else who wanted to get favorable press toed the Strummer line -- or disappeared from the scene (only occasionally into the skinhead/oi! movement, though most non-lefty punkers got tarred with the Nazi brush anyway, no matter how quickly and/or how distant they ran from anything remotely fascist).

  5. Damn you Smitty; you beat me to it. Any Fisking of Peggy 'Flower Child' Noonan I would attempt now would be second rate--such is the fine job you have done tearing apart her lava lamp logic, Haight-Ashbury hippie hyperbole, and placid peacenik pablum.

    Quoted from and linked to at:

  6. I'm sorry, Bob. I saw the POTUS was wee-weed up, and poo-poohed on all other bloggers.

  7. Smitty: Yea, me too; I was all prepared to dump on the Pisser-In-Chief, but so many others [like Pundette] already did such a great job, I will merely provide linkage to their wisdom. As for Fisking Peg-O-My-Fart, I've been limbering up for that one for weeks, but, hey, all's fair in blogging and Fisking. Besides, I would have never have thought of the Circle Jerks.

    To ykw: Much of what you contend is correct, however, many of the English punks were old school Laborites who, while misguided when it came to domestic issues, were vehemently opposed to Communism. Even Joe Strummer advocated going after Al Qaeda after 11 September.

  8. punk rock is not for republicans its against them, remember Reagan he was a republican