Blog Archives

What if we’re not the Good Guys we think we are?

One thing that comes out of elections is the creation of positive images by candidates, developed by their campaign staff. The reason for this is we often know very little about the candidate’s previous life  and real opinions and find it easier to depend on definitive quotes rather than actual knowledge.

A quote from Mitt:

And the American people are the greatest people in the world. What makes America the greatest nation in the world is the heart of the American people: hardworking, innovative, risk-taking, God- loving, family-oriented American people.

So who are the American people that Mitt talks about? Perhaps these quotes make it more (or less) clear:

“This is not who we are.”
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the US massacre of 16 Afghan villagers.

“This is not who we are.”
— General John Allen, commander of forces in Afghanistan, on Koran burning

“This is not who we are.”
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta on troops posing with enemy body parts

“This is not who we are.”
— Secretary of State Clinton, also on troops posing with enemy body parts

Spying by the New York Police on Muslims in Newark, NJ, which the Newark Police Chief was alerted to, is “not who we are”
— Newark Mayor Cory Booker

“I can tell you something all of you know already – that using pepper spray on peaceful protesters runs counter to our values. It does not reflect well on this university and it absolutely is not who we are.”
UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, who ordered campus police to use force to clear peaceful student occupiers from the campus, leading to pepper spraying of students

“You can’t say, well, we developed trade and the economic relations first and the disregard of human rights. That’s not who we are. We are the United States of America.”
— Sasha Gong, director of the China branch of Voice of America


Mitt’s “hardworking, innovative, risk-taking, God- loving, family-oriented American people” are a concept… but does he really think they are a reality?

In other words, who does Mitt think we are and how will he twist that around to get votes? No one really believes we are perfect and moral… if they did, they never would listen to Mitt (or Newt, or even Barack.)

Someday it may be possible to have a government that is trusted to tell the truth. Meanwhile, we are not the good guys we think we are.

Quote of the Day – Is Libya the Women’s War?

“Silly, sexist me. Yesterday, I associated military action against Libya with testosterone. As the New York Times reports today, the pressure for action came Hillary Clinton, UN Ambassador Susan Rice and the NSC human rights expert Samantha Power–with the macho boys over at the Pentagon opposed. This may be a first in American history, a welcome one I might add–although I remain extremely skeptical about military action and heartened that the President seems intent on letting other countries take the lead.”

Joe Klein

So who’s in charge?

A look at the impact on history that tomorrow will have…

I’m watching two historians, Douglas Brinkley and Richard Norton Smith, being interviewed on C-Span’s Q&A by Brian Lamb. They are doing a general overview on how our world has changed over the last six decades or so… from WWII through various Presidential Administrations up to and including Obama. Their discussion on how the country has gone from different parties and groups that could get along, all of whom put the country first ahead of party position, eventually turning into radically polluted politics and a malignant society of opposites that refuse to come together.

The election which will, more or less, conclude tomorrow, will emphasize the split between Tea Party supporters reestablishing white control of an increasingly mixed country and Obama Democrats, working to solve problems without bringing everyone together, from both the left and the right, to participate. Smith wonders what would happen if the whole country could be “redistricted”, not by politicians, but by a computer or judges, then everything could change for the better… and districts could compete or even work together to solve problems.  It’s one of several ideas both Smith and Brinkley keep proposing, but obviously they are both frustrated with the political world as it is today.

Brinkley expresses the idea that Obama could run in 2012 with Hillary Clinton as VP and Joe Biden as Secretary of State (the job he’s always wanted) and they could come up against Sarah Palin running for President after other Republicans destroy each other in primaries. And, in that situation, they would wipe out what things the Republicans achieve in the 2010 election. Smith, however, predicts that Palin will never run for President. Predictions are very easy to make, moderately easy to justify, and far enough away to be unimportant now.

Whatever happens at the election tomorrow, it will make a new point in our history and the historians here seem to know this and find it a “healthy” situation.