Adventus

"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Turning on the light in the kitchen



David Stockman is against it. 

The U.S. Bishops of Paul Ryan's church are against it.

Denny Rehberg of Montana and David McKinley of West Virginia are against it. 

Mitt Romney was for it, before he was against it.

John Sununu's only hope was to lie shamelessly about it.

Rick Scott and Rick Perry don't want to have anything to do with it.

Which is one more reason why John Boehner knows he can't sell this sh*t sandwich across the country:

But the specifics — tweaks to Medicare and Medicaid —do not seem to figure prominently into Boehner’s 12-minute speeches. Vaulting those issues onto the 2012 stage is risky for House Republicans, who have long bet that this year’s election would center on the President Barack Obama’s stewardship of a sagging economy . D.C. Republicans are extremely wary of talking about the Ryan budget in many districts, knowing that it polls dismally with moderates.
So, why did they pass it? On the Romney-esque grounds that revealing it now will cost votes in November, Donald Trump is against it).

Even Paul Ryan is now against it.

Yet it passed the House overwhelmingly just four months ago, and only five Republicans voted against it. 

Which makes you wonder:  why don't they like it now?  And who are they truly representing in D.C.?

Addendum:

Per a "GOP operative:"

 The good news is that this ticket now has a vision. The bad news is that vision is basically just a chart of numbers used to justify policies that are extremely unpopular.

It's also the budget approved by the House GOP.  What part of "representative democracy" do they not understand?  Seriously.

Rick makes the point, in comments, that this was eminently foreseeable.  I think he's exactly right, and the only saving grace right now is the cockroaches scattering because the lights are on, and cockroaches "are extremely unpopular."

How long the lights stay on, however, is another matter.  And then Plato's observations become even more trenchant.....

2 Comments:

Blogger rick allen said...

Old news: from today’s “reading” of the Republic, from Book VIII:

οὐκοῦν ὡς μεταβαίνει πρῶτον ἐκ τῆς τιμαρχίας εἰς τὴν ὀλιγαρχίαν, ῥητέον;
Ought I not to begin by describing how the change from timocracy to oligarchy arises?

ναί.

Yes.

καὶ μήν, ἦν δ᾽ ἐγώ, καὶ τυφλῷ γε δῆλον ὡς μεταβαίνει.

Well, I said, no eyes are required in order to see how the one passes into the other.

πῶς;

How?

τὸ ταμιεῖον, ἦν δ᾽ ἐγώ, ἐκεῖνο ἑκάστῳ χρυσίου πληρούμενον ἀπόλλυσι τὴν τοιαύτην πολιτείαν. πρῶτον μὲν γὰρ δαπάνας αὑτοῖς ἐξευρίσκουσιν, καὶ τοὺς νόμους ἐπὶ τοῦτο παράγουσιν, ἀπειθοῦντες αὐτοί τε καὶ γυναῖκες αὐτῶν.

The accumulation of gold in the treasury of private individuals is ruin the of timocracy; they invent illegal modes of expenditure; for what do they or their wives care about the law?

εἰκός, ἔφη.

Yes, indeed.

ἔπειτά γε οἶμαι ἄλλος ἄλλον ὁρῶν καὶ εἰς ζῆλον ἰὼν τὸ πλῆθος τοιοῦτον αὑτῶν ἀπηργάσαντο.

And then one, seeing another grow rich, seeks to rival him, and thus the great mass of the citizens become lovers of money.

εἰκός.

Likely enough.

τοὐντεῦθεν τοίνυν, εἶπον, προϊόντες εἰς τὸ πρόσθεν τοῦ χρηματίζεσθαι, ὅσῳ ἂν τοῦτο τιμιώτερον ἡγῶνται, τοσούτῳ ἀρετὴν ἀτιμοτέραν. ἢ οὐχ οὕτω πλούτου ἀρετὴ διέστηκεν, ὥσπερ ἐν πλάστιγγι ζυγοῦ κειμένου ἑκατέρου, ἀεὶ τοὐναντίον ῥέποντε;

And so they grow richer and richer, and the more they think of making a fortune the less they think of virtue; for when riches and virtue are placed together in the scales of the balance, the one always rises as the other falls.

καὶ μάλ᾽, ἔφη.

True.

τιμωμένου δὴ πλούτου ἐν πόλει καὶ τῶν πλουσίων ἀτιμοτέρα ἀρετή τε καὶ οἱ ἀγαθοί.

And in proportion as riches and rich men are honoured in the State, virtue and the virtuous are dishonoured.

δῆλον.

Clearly.

ἀσκεῖται δὴ τὸ ἀεὶ τιμώμενον, ἀμελεῖται δὲ τὸ ἀτιμαζόμενον.

And what is honoured is cultivated, and that which has no honour is neglected.

οὕτω.

That is obvious.

ἀντὶ δὴ φιλονίκων καὶ φιλοτίμων ἀνδρῶν φιλοχρηματισταὶ καὶ φιλοχρήματοι τελευτῶντες ἐγένοντο, καὶ τὸν μὲν πλούσιον ἐπαινοῦσίν τε καὶ θαυμάζουσι καὶ εἰς τὰς ἀρχὰς ἄγουσι, τὸν δὲ πένητα ἀτιμάζουσι.

And so at last, instead of loving contention and glory, men become lovers of trade and money; they honour and look up to the rich man, and make a ruler of him, and dishonour the poor man.

πάνυ γε.

They do so.

10:38 AM  
Blogger Rmj said...

Rick--

The only difference here is, they no longer want to make a virtue of it.

The House passed this budget. Ryan is lionized inside D.C. for it.

Suddenly he's on the national stage, and everyone seems to have learned to hate what they loved before, right down to Ryan's well-documented (from his own mouth, on videotape) love for the ideas of Ayn Rand.

To that extent, democracy works; because they all seem to understand Ryan's plan doesn't work for the majority of the voters.

Of course, they'll go back to openly looking up to the rich man, come January. When no one is paying attention, again.

11:08 AM  

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