This just in:

But seriously, now...

Who ever gave a wet fart what the public wanted?


About anything?

Who cares what "a majority of Americans" want? That would be mob rule---don't you know?

Can't have that!

Unless, of course, by "a majority of Americans," you mean this nation's "best informed and most engaged citizens".

Two hundred is a crowd!


  1. Compromise is the highest goal, Obama tells us. The highest of the high, indicating political savvy, wisdom, fairness, and that noblest of all things - taking one in the gut. Yes, that is the noblest thing you can do. Take one in the solar plexus and still smile. Look your opponent in the eye and slap him on the back. Give him what he wants. Because the last thing you want to be told is that you're an "extremist," "loony left," unwilling to take the destructive policies of your Republican opponents seriously. The sacred center! The sacred center, that's where you want to be, even if it's way over on the other side of the line. And you're giving them what they want before they even ask for it.

  2. Or is it - political malpractice?

  3. Well, yes, it may depend on whom you ask, I suppose :-)

  4. A savvy politician cannot observe faith, nor should he when the causes that made him promise have been eliminated. Nor does a modern congressman ever lack legitimate causes to color his failure to observe faith. But it is necessary to know well how to be a great pretender and dissembler; and men are so simple and so obedient to present necessities that he who deceives will always find someone who will let himself be deceived.

    So let a prince win and maintain his State: the means will always be judged honorable, and will be praised by everyone. For the vulgar are taken in by the appearance and the outcome of a thing, and in the world there is no one but the vulgar.

  5. Certain prince of present times, whom it is not well to name, never preaches anything but peace and loyalty, and is the greatest enemy of both.

  6. It is a truism: politicians of all stripes have always tried to present themselves as centrists, and men of the people. That's what one's got to do if one wants to play ball in a modern republic. They also have to cater to powerful interests (ay, there's the rub). That's what one 's got to do, if one wants to play in the big leagues. The so-called centrists typically seek to convince the little people that their opinion matters. They’ll claim they have weighted all arguments of an issue and incorporated what's reasonable from either side of the political spectrum.

    That kind of posturing doesn't always work, of course. Or not for long, in any case (something about the difficulty of fooling all of the people all of the time). The man of the people performance is not always convincing, nor is the honest broker act always credible---especially in such instances when it eventually comes out that such or such so-called open-minded "centrist" politician had his or her mind made up from day one and backroom deals were sealed behind closed doors before any genuine credible public debate (or its pretense) had even begun.

    Obama is in that no different. (Prophetic words from Miles Mogulescu, here, dated March 2010.)

    Former Press Secretary Robert Gibbs's dishonest caricature of the “professional left” in disparaging terms very similar to those used by the GOP (“they will be satisfied when we have Canadian healthcare and we’ve eliminated the Pentagon”), or his dismissal of those who complained that Obama was catering to K Street on issues such as healthcare reform (“they wouldn’t be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president”), is the epitome of this kind of duplicity.

    So are some of Obama recurrent rhetorical tropes (aka the “false choice” maneuver, in which the president would distance himself from straw men of the left and right to better sell himself as a post-partisan figure):

    "I reject the tired old debate that says we have to choose between two extremes: government-run health care with higher taxes - or insurance companies without rules denying people coverage. That's a false choice."

    "We need not choose between a chaotic and unforgiving capitalism and an oppressive government-run economy. That is a false choice that will not serve our people or any people."

    Set up two unacceptable extremes that no one is seriously advocating and position yourself as the champion of the reasonable middle ground between these unidentified straw men.

    The strategy is not new.

    Republicans do it all the time. Most politicians do. But what a hypocrisy to find this under this president's banner.

  7. Paul Krugman takes on the notion of "the sacred center" and the bizarre twisted meaning the concept seems to have taken these days [Link]:

    Sorry to be cynical, but right now “bipartisan” is usually code for assembling some conservative Democrats and ultraconservative Republicans — all of them with close ties to the wealthy, and many who are wealthy themselves — and having them proclaim that low taxes on high incomes and drastic cuts in social insurance are the only possible solution.