Thinking Like a Genius - For a Bit

An Ordinary Gentlemen Is Far from Ordinary.

I found another person who is right on the internet. Again, defined as agreeing with me.

League of Ordinary GentlemenTod Kelly is a non-front-pager at The League of Ordinary Gentleman, an eclectic blog to say the least. I actually can't say anything more, because that's all I know about it. Kelly's post looked great right away, as the title, Michael Lofgren, The GOP “Cult,” and the Same Old Same Old, broadcasts that it is not more of the same old "Lofgren - good, GOP - bad" meme. Let's go right to the money quote:
And even in it’s current wacky and self-destructive spin cycle, the GOP isn’t really telling people that government will cost less and get off our backs. It’s telling certain people that they will pay less and have less interference, along with promises that others will be handed the bill and undergo more scrutiny. The “let’s abolish medicare and social security” lines only get rolled out for the appropriate audiences, and are packed up and discarded soon after.

Lofgren’s story about the GOP makes good copy, and reading it allows those of us who dislike the GOP a fine moment of self-satisfaction – but it’s no more true than the bag of goods the GOP is trying to sell you.
Right on, brother! Power to the bloggers! And there's more like that, echoing what I wrote very closely. (Part One, Two, Three, Four, and yes, Five.) Unfortunately, the next day he goes weak in the knees, Look, the thing about the GOP is…:
When I got up the next morning the comment thread made it obvious that I had done an extremely poor job of communicating what I was trying to say. (Worse was going back in the morning and rereading my actual post; the degree with which I sounded like an old man telling Lofgren to get off my lawn was truly cringe-worthy.)
What's wrong with an old man telling people to get off his lawn? I worked really hard on it! I mean "he" worked hard on .... Continuing directly:
So I’m going to try again, in longer and more measured form to explain why even though I think that Lofgren’s observations about the GOP are dead on, I think his (and most other people’s) subsequent conclusions about where the GOP is, where it’s going, and what that means for the country miss the mark.
That's great! "Facts - good, conclusions - bad" is what I think! Maybe he can salvage this:
People here well know that I think that most of our allegiance to political parties has more to do with hard-wired tribalism than the rational matching-of-values story that we tell ourselves; considering the additional career challenges, lost friendships and effigy burning Lofgren is sure to face because of his decision I find that I am instinctively liking and rooting for him.

Where I disagree with Lofgren, Erik, and frankly most other people I know is this whole idea that the GOP today is apocalyptic, scary, or really even anything new and different. And while I think that the party is far worse than its counterpart today, I think this is largely due to its current circumstances and don’t think it worse than its counterpart has been in the past.
Other than the career challenges part (more on that later, yes, in another post!), that's all good. Other good snippets:
  • The Tea Party Has Made the GOP Into a Brand New Thing: this is shouted so often by pundits on the Right and the Left that it has become Common Wisdom without being actually true.
  • Until I see some proof otherwise, I am assuming the new Tea Party Upstarts in Congress are the same folks as before, with a new storyline and mailers featuring them wearing three corner hats.
  • This kind of populist “I Don’t Want Entitlements Except When I Want Them” sentiment doesn’t strike me as anything New, Radical, Scary or Revolutionary. It strikes me as being life in a democracy as it ever was, only with more cameras pointing at it.
  • We all have a tendency to look at what is happening today and give it a level of import that it just won’t have in even a year or two.
And some real stinkers:
  • It was a startlingly common belief on the Left in those days that Reagan actually wanted to start a nuclear war to either end mankind, leave the Earth for a small elite, or kill all communist men, women and children.
  • But the main reason I don’ think the GOP or the Right will do anything too radical is that despite our incessant whining otherwise things are pretty damn good right now, historically speaking.
  • We are in the middle of a pretty bad recession, but despite that we are still remarkably successful; a devastating recession in America today just doesn’t mean what it has historically here or elsewhere. Which isn’t to say that there aren’t those suffering because of our economic woes, but on whole we are still pretty vibrant.
  • How vibrant? Here is a debate we’ve been having this year with the First Lady at the forefront: How to deal with the fact that the nations poorer classes are suffering long-term health problems in part because they are eating foods that have way too many calories. Think about that.
I will - you're an a-hole! Kelly has lots of good points and some good arguments, but that doesn't balance out just that last quote. What part of "suffering long-term health problems" do you not understand? He ends with: "I am hoping that whether or not anyone agrees, this posting will at least be clearer about what I was trying to say." Yup, that's pretty clear, and I agree with you a whole lot less now. Back to the haystack.

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