Today’s Quote

April 1, 2008

Kathy G. on Slate’s ever vacuous blogger, Mickey Kaus:

It is outrageously disingenuous to pretend that the huge increases in inequality that we have witnessed are merely the result of impersonal forces over which we have little control — or, in Kaus’ terms, “problematic trends we all need to confront.”

Dude — you may have forgotten, but you and your friends at The New Republic spend the 1980s bashing unions and economic regulations, and relentlessly pimping for free trade, unregulated markets, less progressivity in our tax system, and the crippling of the welfare state. Just what did you think would happen? It was utterly predictable that those policies would usher in the era of grotesque inequality we’re experiencing today. Inequality is a very much feature of those policies, not a bug. Shifting power away from poor and working folks and toward corporations and the rich — that was the whole goddamn point!

The sex columnist Dan Savage has written about a certain genre of letter he frequently receives, which he calls HTHs, or “How’d That Happen?!” letters. They’re written by people who painstakingly explain that somehow, due to circumstances beyond their control, they find themselves partaking of some bizarre sexual kink. Like carnal relations with the family pet, for example. Or the guy who signs his letter “Mr. 200% Straight” asking, in essence, “How did his cock end up in my mouth?”

The bad faith that many people like Mickey Kaus display, when confronted with the consequences of political policies they have long supported, never fail to amaze me. Their writings are amount to a political version of Savage’s “How’d That Happen?!” letters. Like the “How’d That Happen?!” folks, they are deeply dishonest with themselves. What I’d say to the “How’d That Happen?!” people, and the Mickey Kauses of the world, is simple: act like an adult, and own your desire. What has occurred is exactly what you signed up for, and at some level you must know it, too.

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One Response to “Today’s Quote”

  1. Fade Says:

    Great stuff. I was watching CNBC when the Morning Squawk asshat was listening raptly to someone who was pleading for Congress to take a longer view at fixing the subprime mess- the asshat said: “You’re a Republican. Democrats want to help people, Republicans want to help Markets.” The essence of this nugget of wisdom being that Repubs have been taking a longer view the whole time. What a load of shit. The Repubs “fixed” the markets alright, fixed them like a loaded set of dice. There is nothing so shortsighted as the Mickey Kaus’ and the Republicans who cannot acknowledge that the de-regulation they all championed is at the heart of this mess – and the Democrats are the ones constantly looking past the present in order to correct the problems they foresee down the road.


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