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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Maureen Dowd, "Beware a Beautiful Calm": A Wrinkleless Dowd Rages Against Ryan

Intent upon proving to us that Paul Ryan is a "bad" person, Maureen Dowd, in her latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Beware a Beautiful Calm" (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/opinion/sunday/dowd-beware-a-beautiful-calm.html), quotes Tom Morello, a guitarist for Rage Against the Machine:

"'He [Paul Ryan] is the embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades,' Morello writes, adding: 'I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta 'rage' in him: A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment. Basically, the only thing he’s not raging against is the privileged elite he’s groveling in front of for campaign contributions.'"

Well, I've never heard of Morello or Rage Against the Machine. (I don't know the meaning of a "metal rap band," and Dowd does not mention that Morello admits to having worked as an "exotic dancer," see: http://www.spinner.com/2009/11/03/tom-morello/.) Be that as it may, note what Andy Kroll reports in an August 13th Mother Jones article entitled "Obama Has Attended, On Average, One Fundraiser Every 60 Hours While Running for Reelection" (http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/08/obama-200-fundraisers-romney-record):

"This weekend, President Obama attended the 200th fundraiser of his reelection campaign. By the end of Sunday, the president had reached 203 fundraisers since officially launching his re-election bid in April 2011. That's more fundraisers than any presidential candidate in history.

. . . .

The fundraising has paid off handsomely. Obama and affiliated Democratic groups have raised more than $600 million since April 2011, and the president is on track to beat his record haul of $748 million for the 2008 election."

Only Romney and Ryan are "groveling" for campaign contributions? Yeah, right. And all this while I thought Obama had a country to manage.

Dowd devotes much of the remainder of her opinion piece to Catholic bishops, priest and nuns who are concerned over the effect of Ryan's proposed budget cuts on the poor, before concluding:

"Beyond the even-keeled Ryan mien lurks full-tilt virulence. A moderate demeanor is not a sign of a moderate view of the world."

Nowhere, however, does Dowd acknowledge that the US is running ruinous trillion dollar annual budget deficits with no end in sight, that Obama is offering no credible solution to the problem, and that fiscal insolvency is just around the corner.

Unlike Ryan, I am pro-choice and favor gay marriage. On the other hand, there is no denying that the US is facing a full-fledged economic crisis, which could potentially threaten all services to rich and poor alike. Discussion of this catastrophe in the making is necessary, and we are fortunate that Ryan is bringing the matter to a head.

Both parties should be discussing an immediate end to America's involvement in Afghanistan, which was disastrously escalated by Obama. Regrettably, neither Democrats nor Republicans have the courage to address the matter, as American soldiers continue to die in this meaningless conflict.

And the first principle of Romney's 5-point plan for remedying the econony, i.e. aggressively promote domestic energy production, is correct. I have been a persistent advocate of developing American oil shale, which I believe can result in hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the US, balance the trade deficit, help reduce America's mountain of debt, and free the US from dependence upon oil imported from tyrannical foreign regimes. I also believe that this can be done in a responsible manner with minimal damage to the environment.

As pertains to energy and much like Joe Nocera (see: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/07/opinion/nocera-the-poisoned-politics-of-keystone-xl.html), I would not have hesitated to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline project. However, Obama, the Procrastinator-in-Chief, could not risk annoying environmentalists, and as a result Canada's synthetic crude oil and diluted bitumen are flowing instead to China, costing the US energy and new places of employment.

Dowd would have us know that Ryan is "way out there" and that Ryan's apparent "reassuring reasonableness" is the "the beautiful calm" of hysterical people. Dowd adds, "the closer you look, the uglier it gets."

In fact, Dowd completely misses the point: the closer you look at the American economy, the uglier it gets, and like it or not, the US is going to have to swallow some strong medicine or face disaster affecting all of its citizens.

2 comments:

  1. Yup, no asperity or acrimony behind Dowd's wrinkle-free face. So does she, or doesn't she inject Botox?

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  2. Wow, it's like reading a physicalist.

    ReplyDelete