Contempt for the People

I didn't like it, then, when the Bush-Cheney administration was doing it.

And I don't like it, now, when the Obama administration does it.

Transactional Analysis calls it a Crossed Transaction:

A Crossed transaction is one in which the ego-state being responded to is not the ego-states that was addressing the respondent.

While usually not intentional (i.e. non-conscious), this state of things however can be deliberate where politics is concerned—and oftentimes carefully cultivated (the father figure still remains to this day a proven potent political archetype).

Happens all the time.

Especially in a system, where the relationship between a wealthy political elite and ordinary citizens is not unlike that between nobles and commoners.

Low levels of education and literacy and a debilitated media (subservient to the aforementioned elite) mean that many people are not fully informed about what matters to them. Their deliberate isolation from social, economical and ecological realities means that many do not even think of politics, other than the unexamined commonplace and misleading talking points of the day being served to them by the media (aka disinformation). There is a common feeling that the average person cannot affect the politics of the country, so there is no reason to try (other than once every few years—those who still have faith in the system—during election time).

As for those who try...

Except, that, as it turns out, the Republican caucus really does have nothing to do with it, does it, Mr. President?

Just as the Republican Caucus really had nothing to do either with the "no public option" backroom deal you made with the for-profit hospital lobby in Summer 2009 (I know what you did last Summer).

In a perfect modern representative democracy, of course, the ideal line of communication between the people and their political representatives would be the mature and rational "Adult-Adult" relationship:

Talking at the same level as the other person acts to create trust.

Don't hold your breath, though—it's not going to happen.

There is nothing that politicians fear most than an educated and informed population.

In politics, people are not to be "informed," they are to be "handled" (this is Machiavellianism-101, for you).

"Controlling-Parent" politicians invites their constituents into a Child state where they may conform with their demands. The Adaptive "naughty child" and rebel, of course, is, a natural byproduct of that kind of dynamic. The Adaptive Child reacts to the world around them, either changing themselves to fit in or rebelling against the forces they feel. But "naughty children" have always been so easy to marginalize—especially with the help of the compliant media. They can be manipulated and their anger and frustration channeled and redirected (e.g. Tea Party movement), or they can be ridiculed and dismissed as irrelevant (e.g. President Obama's most favored method in handling dissent from his progressive base).


  1. What she says:

    "The public, regardless of party, overwhelmingly opposes cuts to Social Security and Medicare. But elected officials of both parties are hell-bent on conspiring to bring the programs to an end. They seem to have come to grips with a fact that the public has not: their tenure in office depends on carrying out the wishes of oligarchical elites.

    There is only one thing you can reasonably conclude as you watch the political theater that is transpiring: what the voting public thinks really isn’t all that important. And to the extent that it does matter, it can easily be channeled by those with sufficient money to pay the tab.

    — Jane Hamsher, The breaking Point

  2. And what he says:

    "American wage earners have been played for fools and now are becoming the victims of a swindle -- by President Obama, by Congress, by our political class, by the media, by Washington's policy intellectuals who all have observed omerta about these goings-on. That is a harsh judgment -- one that conforms to our sad reality, though.

    So debt roulette not only plays fast and loose with the solvency of the United States; it also has coerced the country into silent acquiescence in the rollback of the greatest accomplishment of the 20th century.

    — Michael Brenner, Debt Roulette

  3. And what he says:

    "It’s getting harder and harder to trust Mr. Obama’s motives in the budget fight, given the way his economic rhetoric has veered to the right. In fact, if all you did was listen to his speeches, you might conclude that he basically shares the G.O.P.’s diagnosis of what ails our economy and what should be done to fix it. And maybe that’s not a false impression; maybe it’s the simple truth.
    Watching Mr. Obama and listening to his recent statements, it’s hard not to get the impression that he is now turning for advice to people who really believe that the deficit, not unemployment, is the top issue facing America right now, and who also believe that the great bulk of deficit reduction should come from spending cuts. It’s worth noting that even Republicans weren’t suggesting cuts to Social Security; this is something Mr. Obama and those he listens to apparently want for its own sake.

    —Paul Krugman, What Obama Wants