Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Lou Dobbs Is A Moron

The following Lou Dobbs column defies accurate description because the modifier "irrelevant" is simply too small, weak and impotent to do it justice. Even preceding it with the adverb "utterly" would be a woefully inadequate effort ("woefully" is better, but still way off).

Sentiments like this are part of that grand American tradition of potemkin intellectualism, whose practitioners (like Ross Perot back in the 90s) have no idea how to solve our problems, and so don a phony everyman posture, stick a stalk of wheat folksily between their lips, and make some vacuous pronouncement like, "Well, it seems to me we oughta throw all the bums out! Yessir, every last one of 'em, and return some common sense back to governin'."

Guess what Lou? As long as there's TV, the middle class won't rise up off the couch, let alone rise up against their lobbyist oppressors. And those "wedge issues" wielded so skillfully by Republicans and Democrats alike (please...) really matter to people (notice he leaves abortion off the list--I guess that might indicate that it's a "real" issue to him).

I agree that all the lobbyists should be shot and both parties should be squeezed until they're squeaky clean, but enough already of this ridiculous fantasy whereby the glorious middle class can accomplish this by sheer will.

And all this, just to sell a crappy book.

Dobbs: Middle class needs to fight back now

POSTED: 11:35 a.m. EDT, October 11, 2006

Editor's note: Lou Dobbs' commentary appears every Wednesday on

NEW YORK (CNN) -- I don't know about you, but I can't take seriously anyone who takes either the Republican Party or Democratic Party seriously -- in part because neither party takes you and me seriously; in part because both are bought and paid for by corporate America and special interests. And neither party gives a damn about the middle class.

Our country's middle class is not just collateral damage in what has become all-out class warfare. Political, business and academic elites are waging an outright war on working men and women and their families, and there is no chance the American middle class will survive this assault if the dominant forces unleashed over the past five years continue unchecked.

They've accomplished this through large campaign contributions, armies of lobbyists that have swamped Washington, and control of political and economic think tanks and media. Lobbyists, in fact, are the arms dealers in the war on the middle class, brokering money, influence and information between their clients our elected officials.

Yet in my entire career, I've literally never heard anyone in Congress argue that lobbyists are bad for America. In 1968 there were only 63 lobbyists in Washington. Today, there are more than 34,000, and lobbyists now outnumber our elected representatives and their staffs by a 2-to-1 margin.

According to the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity, from 1998 through 2004, lobbyists spent nearly $12 billion to not only influence legislation, but in many cases to write the language of the laws and regulations.

Individual firms, corporations and national organizations spent a record $2.14 billion on lobbying members of Congress and 220 other federal agencies in 2004, according to PoliticalMoneyLine. That's nearly $6 million a day spent to influence our leaders. We really do have the best government money can buy.

But as I discuss in my new book, "War on the Middle Class," what if we all resolved that we would not permit either the Republicans or Democrats to waste their time and ours with wedge issues? Both parties love to excite their bases by focusing on wedge issues like gay marriage, the pledge of allegiance, school prayer, judicial appointments, gun control, stem cell research and welfare reform.

Each of these wedge issues is important in varying degrees to large numbers of us, but none of them rises to the level of urgency or the requirement of immediate change in public policy.
These issues are raised by both political parties to distract and divert public attention from the profound issues -- like educating our youth, economic inequality and the war against radical Islamic terrorists -- that affect our daily lives and the American way of life. Imagine the consternation in Washington if both parties had to contend with a national electorate whose political affiliation had dramatically changed within a matter of weeks or months.

In both Republican and Democratic administrations, Congress has passed and sustained billions of dollars in royalty payments and subsidies to big oil companies; pushed through a corporate-written, consumer-crippling bankruptcy law; embraced the death of the estate tax; approved every free trade deal brought to a vote; and supported illegal immigration for the sake of cheap labor.

The party strategists and savants are telling us that fewer Americans will turn out to the polls than ever before, disgusted by a disgraced former congressman. But we don't have to wait for the midterm elections to begin to engage in our new political life.

There's something all of us could do that would have an immediate impact and send a powerful message to both corporation-dominated political parties and to our elected officials in Washington. Our so-called representatives in both parties have been working against the interests of the middle class for so long that they take our votes for granted, or they take advantage of the fact that a sizable number of us don't vote at all.

So what if a majority of us decided once and for all to walk into our town and city halls all over the country and change our party affiliation from Republican or Democrat to independent? What if that sizable number of us who don't vote at all decided to register as independents? For the first time in decades, working middle-class Americans might just get the attention of our elected officials in Washington.

Our middle class has suffered in silence for far too long, and it cannot afford to suffer or be silent much longer. Hardworking Americans have not spoken out about their increasingly marginalized role in this society, and as a consequence they've all but lost their voice.

Without that strong, clear and vibrant voice, all the major decisions about America and our future will be made by the elites of government, big business and the dominant special interests. Those elites treasure your silence, as it enables them to claim America's future for their own.
I sincerely hope that we will find the resolve to face these challenges to our way of life, and we do so soon. George Bernard Shaw said, "It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid."
I'm stupid enough to be absolutely sincere in the hope that middle-class America will awake soon and take action.


Blogger sexyretard said...

Is the middle class likely to truly revolt? Alas, no, but they CAN be compelled to purchase Lou Dobbs' latest book!

Am I unreasonable in my negative Pavlovian knee-jerk reaction to anyone decrying corporate dominance from a bully pulpit provided by CNN?

6:39 PM  
Blogger Germanicu$ said...

Tardo, haven't you heard? They're changing the name to MCCNN: The Middle Class Cable News Network. And from now on all their newscasters will wear denim overalls, a plaid shirt, and a straw hat.

Perhaps J.R. "Lou" Dobbs is just trying to curry favor with the widest (book-buying) audience possible, by claiming that "both parties" engage in wedge politics; alas, his short list of wedge issues is famously wielded only by the Grand Old Party. I'd like to hear how he (or anyone) thinks the Democrats "excite their base" with any of these issues.

But my petty score-keeping obscures the larger, more asinine point that Dobbs makes: let's all be independents! "Imagine the consternation," says Dobbs, evoking John Lennon, "if both parties had to contend with a national electorate whose political affiliation had dramatically changed within a matter of weeks or months." Uh... yeah, consternation. That's what we need to do: make lawmakers and their lobbyist masters all consternated. That'll fix the system good.

In the Woodward book STATE OF DENIAL, he notes that all sorts of high ups in the Bush Admin keep asking, where's the Thomas Jefferson of Iraq? With wheat firmly clenched between my teeth, I say: where's the TJ of America? As Jeff correctly onserves, there will be no "popular revolt"; but real change could come from an extraordinarily inspired leader. Such a leader should, upon assuming the presidency, declare both political parties illegal, and convene a new Constitutional Convention.

All this reminds me: since we Illinoisians all seem to agree that Blago and Topinky both suck eggs, what are the chances the Green Party guy, Rich Whitney, will gain traction and pull off a Jesse Ventura by November? I say slim; the Serbian lobby is just too strong, and I mean that literally. Blago's a lock.

12:31 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

"Blago's a lock."

Sadly, yes, which is why I'm voting for Jackie Treehorn.

1:13 PM  
Blogger George W. Bush said...

Anyone witness John Stewart's interview w/ Lou Dobbs on The Daily Show last night?

1:27 PM  
Blogger sexyretard said...

I think this Whitney fellow from Carbondale has a real chance. If enough people can be shown that Blagojevich and Topinkna are identical (and identically bad), and that the only way to defeat them electorally is to vote for the Green, I say he can pull it off.

We should give this guy a few bucks to show 30 second clips of the debate, after which there should be a banner for the Green.

Maybe his catch-line should be: "I've had enough with being asked what she was thinking."

3:50 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

"I've had enough with being asked what she was thinking."


3:58 PM  
Blogger Germanicu$ said...

"Anyone witness John Stewart's interview w/ Lou Dobbs on The Daily Show last night?"

I keep forgetting, that's the reason I MUST get real cable. I have "free cable," meaning all I get to see are preachers, crappy reruns, and C-SPAN. The Daily Show alone is worth the $39/month.

I love how The Daily Show is now a standard stop for anyone plugging a new book, especially a political one.


3:59 PM  
Blogger sexyretard said...

I just heard on the radio that Whitney was polling at 9%. Of course, this is coming from the media that the "Oak Park Center for Truth and Justice" has warned me about.....

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you guys might be entertained by this debate challenge to Lou Dobbs...

3:10 PM  

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