What a long strange trip it’s been


Seven years ago I was a liberal Democrat and proud of it. Now I am neither a liberal nor a Democrat and ashamed of what I was. Barack Obama bears primary responsibility for the change.

The following two passages make a good “before” and “after” to compare against each other.

Before, I was like this:

Ok, so what would I recommend? Well, the rich are not going to like this but I’m not really interested in how the rich feel about these things. I’m only interested in bringing back prosperity, income security and innovation to the American middle class. It’s not all about them, except they are behaving like greedy dragons sitting on a giant pile of gold. If they’d just get off the stash we wouldn’t have any problems with the rich. I don’t envy their wealth and don’t want to be like them. I just want to be fairly compensated without feeling like I just got a handout that i didn’t deserve.

What I see as the biggest obstacle to income equality is what I call “exploitative profit mining”. That is the idea that Americans can be harvested for various wealth through rents, fees and deregulation. I don’t want to feel like a crop anymore. The number one biggest policy initiative that I would propose is to eliminate the incentives to take advantage of everyday Americans simply because there is no one making sure it doesn’t happen. Than means reregulation. I can already hear the screams and howls from the flaming swamp monsters of the ridiculously rich. We can start at Wall Street. Let’s stop rewarding excessive financialization and risk taking. Maybe this would mean that Wall Street bonuses have to be capped at no more than 15% of income. That’s right, give those guys a straight salary. Maybe this would mean you can’t work an analyst to death at 100 hours a week. Go through every industry and increase the compensation to all stakeholders, not just the shareholders. Hire good managers and stop making CEOs co-owners who have an incentive to increase the values of their options at everyone else’s expense. That’s not socialism. That’s fairness.

Speaking of shareholders, I would like to see an alternative to the 401K. Americans should not be forced to gamble their retirement savings at a global casino. It’s immoral to require non-wealthy Americans to do this. Sorry, I’m not into it. I don’t like risk, especially when I’m going to have to live on that money. Plus, the 401K system undermines industries and innovations that create jobs. We have all seen investments gain in value when jobs are eliminated. The work still has to be done but it’s sent overseas or heaped onto the backs of people who are left after the lay off bloodbath. It’s inefficient and it destroys wealth of the middle class. Again, shareholders are not the only people who count. Bring back defined benefit pensions.

Medicare for all. There I said it. It’s ridiculous that anyone in this country has to be at risk of losing everything they’ve worked for all of their lives because cruelty is the flavor of the day on TV and radio. Let’s stop beating people when they’re down. If there are going to be sacrifices, everyone should have to make them, including the people getting rich on hip joint replacements and hospital beds. If you can’t get Medicare for all, at least impost cost controls and uniform fee schedules. Insurance companies shouldn’t have to negotiate different payments for each course of treatment based on how much profit providers think they can reap. Obamacare is not the wonderful panacea it’s been made out to be and it was never supposed to control costs. Let’s stop lying about it.

For god’s sakes, do something about long term unemployment. We’ve been hanging out here for too long. The jobs numbers are not telling the whole story. There are too many part time positions, too many temp positions and salaries are too low. Plus, ageism is rampant. Those of us who have decades to go before we can retire need to live on something. In the meantime, our lives are on hold. We can’t spend money because we don’t have it. That’s a drag on the economy and it depresses the wages of everyone else. People in the sciences especially need help. There’s a blighted generation that needs to be working. Set up some private-public research labs, pay us a living wage and let’s get on with it already. We’re being wasted out here.

Now I’m more like this:

That the Left has become much more intensively coercive in recent years has not gone unnoticed among conservatives. In Liberal Fascism and elsewhere, Jonah Goldberg has popularized a longstanding view of the left-wing philosophy that in the United States calls itself “liberalism” — though we cannot in good faith call it that — that connects it with the nakedly coercive, antidemocratic, and anti-constitutional tendency of Woodrow Wilson and the progressives of his era, and with the various nasty totalitarian movements that inspired them and were inspired by them in turn. It’s not that we expect Robert Reich to come marching up Fifth Avenue wearing jackboots (the Pride March ain’t what it used to be) but that managerial progressivism is fundamentally corporatist in the sense that Mussolini et al. used the term: It conceives of formal political power and economic production as a single unit to be kept working in harmony, like a well-tuned engine, by such experts as the state recognizes as suited to the task. In theory, these men are to be guided by evidence meeting scientific standards — they are to be the sort of disinterested and dispassionate pragmatists that exist mainly within the narrow confines of Ezra Klein’s cranium.

The problem, as various capital-”F” Fascists and National Socialists and Communist politburos and Vox readers all discovered in their turn, is that even if these dispassionate and disinterested managers existed — and they don’t — bureaucracies do not have the collective cognitive firepower to replace markets, or even to intelligently guide them. From the Soviet five-year plans to Obamacare, all central-planning exercises begin in hubris and end in chaos.

And when the chaos comes, the natural thing to do — the imperative thing — is: find someone to blame. The planners and schemers are intellectually incapable of dealing seriously with the fact that the project that they have set for themselves — substituting their own judgment for that of the billions of better-informed parties in the market and coming up with superior outcomes — is an impossible one. But once you’ve accepted real limits on what planning can do — on what government can do — then you have at some level essentially surrendered to conservatism.

And that means that somebody, somewhere, must be a racist.

The 2008 Obama primary campaign cured me of my Democratic identification. I didn’t simply walk away – I was literally told by some of his supporters that I was no longer welcome in the party where I had made my home for over 20 years. Stripped of my party affiliation, I began to examine the ideology that I associated with the Donkey party. That was easy enough to do because during Obama’s first two years in office they had a hegemony over Congress and the White House.

For the first time in my adult life I got to see unfettered Big Government in action. It wasn’t pretty.

The two biggest pieces of legislation enacted during Obama’s first two years were the Stimulus and Obamacare. With the Stimulus 3/4 of a TRILLION DOLLARS vanished with nary a ripple or a splash. With Obamacare the money losses are just beginning.

It wasn’t partisanship or even ideological arguments that turned me away from liberalism. It was pragmatism.

I looked at the evidence in front of me and reached this conclusion:

Big Government Liberalism (aka The Blue Model) DOES NOT WORK.

Big Government Liberalism is both corrupt and incompetent. It cannot be fixed. Once I realized these truths I was ideologically set adrift. The only anchors I have been able to find are the concepts of limited government and ordered liberty. But it is not Libertarianism in the Ron/Rand Paul sense.

Beyond that I am still struggling to find a way to articulate my new (as yet unnamed) ideology.

"I'm re-hydrating."

“I’m re-hydrating.”


About Myiq2xu™

"If you hit an artery, somebody can bleed out in two minutes."
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46 Responses to What a long strange trip it’s been

  1. Myiq2xu says:

    If I could change one thing in the Constitution I would re-word the commerce clause.

  2. Underwhelmed says:

    If you were still posting those thoughts, Klown, and believing them, I’d never come here. I’m sorry for the pain this transition has caused you, but I’m so glad you’ve seen the rot for what it is. Sadly, there are a lot of people who exploit others and human nature and the system for their own benefit. And a lot of them are Democrats, which is why we’re in this mess.

    Also? Well, well, well …


  3. DeniseVB says:

    I’m a fan of the Fair Tax:

    The FAIRtax Plan is a comprehensive proposal that replaces all federal income and payroll based taxes with an integrated approach including a progressive national retail sales tax, a Prebate to ensure no American pays federal taxes on spending up to the poverty level, dollar for dollar federal revenue replacement, and, through companion legislation, the repeal of the 16th Amendment. – See more at: http://fairtax.org/index#sthash.7Izko0Vs.dpuf

  4. Cynthia Ruccia says:

    myiq2xu, or klown, not sure how you want to be addressed, my journey mirrors yours exactly except that I was a Dem for 40 years. Since I am in Ohio, the land of the swing voter, and not in California where the voters tend to be a bit more homogeneous, one can become very comfortable being an Independent. So I am a proud Independent sitting on my perch observing both parties. Having spent all those years vilifying the Republicans and truly hating them, it has been a bit of an adjustment finally looking at them in a more balanced fashion. And it has been very hard to find much on the Dem side that I like these days. Like you, I am a work in progress. I’ve got a very sensitive BS meter and can smell it from both parties. But I am mostly happy feeling free of both parties. I get to decide what sounds right and what sounds ridiculous. I’m not sure if it will ever be a political philosophy per se, but that’s ok. Got kicked out of the Dems like you and found my true self. Not a bad bargain in the end……

    I’m married 41 years to a European—-and all of his family still live there and so the roots over there go deep. I get the added pleasure of politically sparring with my honey. He’s finally realized that I have not become a Republican and that I can think for myself, thank you very much. But he’s a hard headed Italian who loves discussing politics with gusto. And his POV is really different thanks to a few thousand more years of history to process.

  5. HELENK3 says:

    My first vote was for JFK and I voted democratic until 2007. When I started reading about backtrack and his mentors, I knew we would have a problem. The biggest one for me was bomber billy ayres. I really never understood that the democrats had such contempt for America and her people. I am embarrassed and ashamed that I was a democrat for so many years. I feel like I should apologize to those that I argued the democratic side in politics.
    Backtrack is much worse than I thought he would be as a president. The is the first anti-American president in my lifetime. What were the democrats thinking? The last 6 years has been so ugly, it is like a mask came off and the true face of the democrats has been made public. It is not pretty.
    I am now a proud Independent and will never vote democratic again. They can not be trusted with my country

    • Cynthia Ruccia says:

      Oh HELENK3—-I feel EXACTLY the way you do in every way. I am embarrassed that
      I was a Dem—it was a knee jerk reaction and not at all a thoughtful decision….

  6. Myiq2xu says:

  7. HELENK3 says:

    I hope this works. Judge Napolotano on the smart tv and the consequences

    Watch the latest video at video.foxbusiness.com

  8. 1539days says:

    I think RD was a little more sane in the early days especially when she still identified with Big Pharma and the reality that it takes a lot of money to do things. Now she dreams of this FDR past that never really existed where everyone was supposed to be taken care of cradle to grave. She talks about pensions, that were originally a way for businesses to pay less in wages and put off the day of reckoning, as if it were a giveaway. Then there’s “Medicare for all” which would suck because Medicare denies all kinds of stuff and is geared towards covering medical equipment for the elderly.

    • Somebody says:

      Far be it for me to defend RD, but honestly if Medicare were to cover everyone the coverage would change. Look at other countries that have social insurance. I’m not making a case for or against it, but the fact that current Medicare is geared toward the elderly is really a straw man argument.

      • 1539days says:

        But that means Medicare would have to get bigger, more complicated, and more expensive. Socialized medicine means longer waits, less advanced medicine, rationing and higher death rates. The VA is socialized medicine.

        • Somebody says:

          Of course Medicare would have to get bigger for such a plan, because it would cover everyone. As to whether it would be more expensive, I guess that depends on which study or model you look at…..or which talking head you listen you! Based on the cost overruns of other government programs I’d be suspect, however our current system has profit built in for insurance companies so who knows.

          The VA is in fact socialized medicine, socialized medicine and socialized insurance are two different things. Canada, Australia, and France for instance have socialized insurance. The UK has socialized medicine as does Cuba. Socialized medicine is run by the government, the doctors and nurses work for the government like at our VA. Under socialized insurance everybody has a Medicare card they use instead of BC/BS, Cigna, or Aetna. However, many people in countries with socialized insurance also carry private insurance, just as many seniors in the US on Medicare also carry a private supplemental insurance policy.

          Once again this isn’t to make a case for or against either it’s just factual.

          • Underwhelmed says:

            No, we have socialised *medicine* in Oz, insofar as there is a public health system and a private health system. Everybody receives medical coverage, but the quality of the coverage varies. People who rely completely on the public care system have far less choice and often face huge delays because there are financial limits and finite resources. People who opt for private health *insurance* pay more because they are paying out of their taxes, and then an insurance premium as well, but have access to private hospitals, shorter waiting periods, and more choice. It’s only doable because we’re a small population and even then, there are major problems. I just don’t think it’s doable for the US if you try and manage it at the federal level. It needs to be a state run initiative, so the numbers are more manageable and local needs are factored in. You can’t run health care effectively with a one size fits all approach. The other huge difference here is that health insurance is entirely separate from everything, it’s not employer provided/dependent and it’s completely portable. Your system is beyond insane.

        • 1539days says:

          You’re right. The reality is that we need a fee for services model. Passing the costs to another person doesn’t work. That means getting costs for medicine down. If we did that, insurance could work like insurance. You pay when the costs are reasonable and insurance pays when something really bad and expensive happens.

          • Constance says:

            I think we might get that. Republicans will likely pass laws to make health savings accounts easier. If people pay their own medical costs out of their own account they will check out the cost of everything so costs will go down.

  9. DeniseVB says:

    😀 (Get the kids out of the room, profanity warning in the subtitles)

  10. 49erDweet says:

    OT and just for fun. (Jf it works)

  11. 49erDweet says:

    I thought it would link up, but was wrong……again.

  12. SHV says:

    ” As to whether it would be more expensive…”
    The biggest advantage of Medicare for me is that there is no balance billing and no “network”. My previous “high dollar” medical insurance was killing me with denials of coverage and balance billing.

    • 1539days says:

      Medicare has costs that aren’t as easily seen. For example the supplemental “doc fix” passed every year is the only reason you can still see most doctors since Medicare pays the least of all insurance.

  13. I almost want to yell yes yes yes but I am to lazy to get up.
    Kidding aside 2008 was brutal. Donna Brazille told me I did not matter. Not some obscure poster She emailed me directly. Given the chance I would kick her. She is so rude told me my opinion did not matter they no longer had any use for me. I was crucified for responding directly to this woman. She was a monster that went out of her way to diminish me I responded she called me some names I called Her a birch Somehow that became racist. Huh? I like strong words. BITCH says a lot. I get that it’s rude so I don’t say it around special snowflakes. They collapse when some body hurts their feelings. I have lost track of all the words that hurt. If you call me a f a g g or I do not curl up in a ball and perish. I find the language police far more offensive. You do not speak for me. Ezra, Marty, no no no no no . I am an adult I like salty language I am not completely rude if some one says the c word is unbearably offensive I don’t use it but I am not afraid of letters. I had a black(colored) friend tell me I could not use the n word but he could. I would never use n word because I think it is ugly. Some fat fuck at Harvard does not get to dictate my language. I use bitch all the if I found out it made someone cry I would stop. My mother calls me a son of a bitch almost every day. I think it is funny I am supposed to wilt because Rachel Maddow has her tiny feelings hurt.
    I respect so many posters here if I was told do not use b word I would never use it again. I like having a gutter mouth. Who I be. I can curse like a drunk sailor but also show respect. Be real I have seen women grasp a chest because of the c word. You do not die because of a word. I like raw words they make me think. People get so upset about words but they miss meaning

  14. DeniseVB says:

    LOL ….Movies – Awards Season Leaderboard (if you’re a golf or NASCAR fan you’ll think it’s funny too).


  15. leslie says:

    I’ve been paying bill tonight and so haven’t been here much. I’ve also had the tv on and forgot to turn on “Better Call Saul”. but I’ll do that later. But I just heard a replay of obama at the prayer breakfast and once again noted the hisssssing while he ssssssspeaks. I am telling you. He is evil.

  16. HELENK3 says:

    they are showing The Story of GI Joe on TMC tonight.
    I was thinking of the difference of then and now.
    Ernie Pyle a great newsman
    Brian Williams a lying disgrace

  17. Kathy says:

    Yes, Klown–me too…..your post mirrors the way I feel also. Watched Obamas presser today and I was yelling at the TV. He repeatedly calls Chancellor Merkel ‘Angela’…really. It bothers me–the more I hear dems talk, the more I think ’12 year olds’. He is delusional and that is scary.

  18. votermom says:

    Sorry for the late comment.
    So what you’re saying, Klown, is that Obama fundamentally transformed you politically.
    See, he does keep some of his promises! 😛

  19. John Denney says:

    This French artist just had what should have been a transformative moment. He was beaten by Muslims for refusing to take down his, “Coe*isT” artwork.


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