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    • What Would Chinese Democracy Look Like?
      A few months ago I read a couple of books by the Singaporean intellectual Kishore Mahbubani. In “Has China Already Won he discusses Taiwan. The one exceptional trigger for a war involving China is Taiwan. Most of the time, the Chinese leaders have a lot of policy flexibility. There are no strong domestic lobbies to worry about. But the one issue where the Ch […]
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Flyover Country


Our houses are protected by the good Lord and a gun
And you might meet ’em both if you show up here not welcome son
Our necks are burnt, our roads are dirt and our trucks ain’t clean
The dogs run lose, we smoke, we chew and fry everything
Out here, way out here

We won’t take a dime if we ain’t earned it
When it comes to weight brother we pull our own
If it’s our backwoods way of livin’ you’re concerned with
You can leave us alone
We’re about John Wayne, Johnny Cash and John Deere
Way out here

We got a fightin’ side a mile wide but we pray for peace
‘Cause it’s mostly us that end up servin’ overseas
If it was up to me I’d love to see this country run
Like it used to be, oughta be, just like it’s done
Out here, way out here


Among the many things that set our so-called elites apart from “the great unwashed” is that rednecks feel absolutely no shame about their humble origins.

These American proletarians ain’t too proud to ask advice, but they don’t want nobody telling them what to do. Some of them may not know what the word “hubris” means, but they understand the concept of overweening pride. They call it being “too big for your britches.”

Pretty much all of them have been to a big city at least once or twice. They watch television, wear shoes and know how to read. Hardly any of them are married to their cousins.

Even when they go off to fancy ivy-covered colleges and universities to get edjamucated they don’t start “puttin’ on airs” and thinking they’re better than other people. They might have a post-grad degree and make lots of money but they still drink beer, call a violin a fiddle and eat BBQ with their bare hands.

They vote, too.

When Barack Obama talks about his (allegedly but not really) impoverished childhood, he does it to say “Look how far I’ve come, aren’t I wonderful?

When Bill Clinton talks about his childhood he’s saying “I haven’t forgotten where I came from.

That’s one big difference between the Man from Hope and the guy selling Hopenchange®.


How the Nouveau Riche Live: A Rambling, Angry Post by a Bitter Holdout

angry

For the past week, the media has been awash in stories about the incoming POTUS’ expensive tastes. We know he likes waffles, argugula, and $100 a pound ham, and that he shops at Whole Foods Markets, but that’s not the half of it. His obscenely expensive Inauguration celebration is going to cost about $170-$180 million.

What is Obama spending all that money on? According to ABC News,

The actual swearing-in ceremony will cost $1.24 million, according to Carole Florman, spokeswoman for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.

It’s the security, parties and countless Porta-a-Potty rentals that really run up the bill.

The federal government estimates that it will spend roughly $49 million on the inaugural weekend. Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland have requested another $75 million from the federal government to help pay for their share of police, fire and medical services.

And then there is the party bill.

“We have a budget of roughly $45 million, maybe a little bit more,” said Linda Douglass, spokeswoman for the inaugural committee.

Some of the biggest expenses were a Bruce Springsteen concert (cost unknown) and $700,000 to keep the Smithsonian open late, God only knows why. And who is going to pay for all this extravagant partying? With the U.S. in an economic crisis that may turn out to be worse than the Great Depression, Obama has seen fit not only to spend stunning amounts of money on a party for himself, but also to collect that money from wealthy donors, most of whom contributed $50,000 each. Continue reading

Are you telling me I’ve turned into a damned, dirty ape? *

We talked about the descent of Chris Bower last night in our open thread but, it’s a trend that goes beyond poor Chris (Donna Brazile kicked us all to the curb on election night on national TV). The Bower’s post defies parody — in fact to assure yourself that it isn’t self-parody — you might find yourself reading the whole thing. Excerpt follows:

So, unless Obama somewhat surprisingly does not become the next President of the United States, the Democratic Party will experience its first changing of the guard since the late 1980’s. What differences will be in store? Here are the three major changes I expect:

Cultural Shift: Out with Bubbas, up with Creatives: There should be a major cultural shift in the party, where the southern Dems and Liebercrat elite will be largely replaced by rising creative class types. Obama has all the markers of a creative class background, from his community organizing, to his Unitarianism [sic], to being an academic, to living in Hyde Park to shopping at Whole Foods and drinking PBR. These will be the type of people running the Democratic Party now, and it will be a big cultural shift from the white working class focus of earlier decades. Given the demographics of the blogosphere, in all likelihood, this is a socioeconomic and cultural demographic into which you fit. Culturally, the Democratic Party will feel pretty normal to netroots types. It will consistently send out cultural signals designed to appeal primarily to the creative class instead of rich donors and the white working class.

I dreamt about this damn post all night; stewing and steaming and muttering. I want to be a lady but, I find myself thinking in streams of expletives. Thankfully Anglachel came to the rescue. Her post, Revolution of the Saints, puts The Movement into historical perspective. Then it moves on to compare the two candidates and their vision of the role of the Democratic Party:

Hillary, in stark contrast, is ministerial in her approach. This is a job, it is the most demanding job in the world, and here are her credentials and body of work to demonstrate that she is the most competent and capable to fulfill the needs of the position. Minister in this sense would be both political and religious – someone who tends to the needs and concerns of the beloved community. It’s hands on, sleeves rolled up, get dirty helping raise the barn or negotiate that treaty. Power is present and necessary, wielded for the sake of others, which requires her to explain in as much detail as you want to hear exactly how she will use the authority granted to her. It is straight up attention to material interests.

What I see rising from the other side is clearly of two kinds. Half of Obama’s support is simply racial identity voting. The other half is from the faction of the party that is significantly insulated from the stark world of need and want. There is a love of the other-worldly where the beauty of the idea and the ideal matters more than the base. The political “base” is seen as base – low, uncouth, adulterated, impure, unworthy. They are not among the saved and the saints. I honestly cannot remember a previous time when so many people in the party were reviled for doing nothing except vote for a conventional candidate. These are not Naderites or Wallace supporters. They are middle-of-the-road solid Democrats who voted Kerry, Gore, Clinton, Clinton, Dukakis, Mondale, Carter, Carter, and so on down the line. The contempt of the saints for the fallen has always been there, but is emerging without a filter or much in the way of self-consciousness this time. The code we learned to speak in our liberal arts colleges falls to the wayside, and I read claims of being rid of the old evil “white working class” (What of us who are not that thing? What of those of us who are?) in a final conflict to end all conflicts and there will be a purified party to which will flock millions of new, young, untainted followers, ready to be led into the land of Goshen.

Chris Bowers and Donna Brazile have made it clear: A vote for Obama is a vote against the poor. A vote for Obama is a vote against workers. A vote for Obama is a vote against good government. A vote for Obama is a vote against the future of the Democratic Party.
* Title stolen from a comment by Lori at Anglachel’s Journal