Function Disjunction

November 30, 2007

“It is not the function of the government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error.”

 — Justice Robert H. Jackson, U. S. Supreme Court


John Edwards for President

October 13, 2007

As should be clear to all of you by now, I’m supporting John Edwards for president. I’ve started a series at MyDD discussing the differences between him and the other candidates. Here’s Part I and II. And this is taken from my formal and oh-so-serious statement of support:

Why Edwards? Because he rejects neoliberalism. Because he preaches enlightened populism. Because he’s running to the left. Because he would fight the amorality of the Market with the morality of progressivism. Because he opposes the Global War on Terror. Because he’s getting better and bolder. Because he’s capable of outrage. Because he’s proud to be a progressive. Because he would win.

But one reason rises above all others: the stated and demonstrated rationale of his campaign is to fight inequality. The monstrous power held by the few at the expense of the many causes unnecessary hardship and agony. It hurts, it maims, it kills. It threatens what Thomas Frank calls the Middle Class Republic. It threatens our democracy and our freedom. And because power corrupts, because economic insecurity breeds fear and fear breeds militarism, because corporations have a vested interest in war and place profits above all else, the disproportionate power of the few threatens humankind.

Call it what you will–our class war, our bleeding wound, our dirty open secret–it’s the problem of our time, and John Edwards has chosen to spend his political life addressing it.

And if everyone from Hillary Clinton to Mike Huckabee now talks about our class divisions, it’s in part because Edwards began to do so at the national level in 2003, when it was a deeply unfashionable thing to do. It was on the advice of no consultant, at the suggestion of no poll that Edwards took it on himself in 2003 to speak out against inequality. His policy prescriptions have evolved in the last four years but the wound targeted by those prescriptions has stayed the same.

John Edwards is this century’s most prominent progressive populist, the candidate most likely to give more power to more people. This alone makes him worthy of the presidency.

Tired of Democrats…?

September 23, 2007

 I think I’m voting the Federalist line in the next election: 

 “If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.  Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.  War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.  The loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or imagined, from abroad.”  — James Madison

But Enough About You

September 19, 2007

Here’s a post on my book by a blogger who says she probably won’t read it.

And this post of mine at MyDD was emailed around by the Edwards campaign and prompted this response from its target.


September 9, 2007

No Yolk.

NO YOKE. Sherwin contemplates a presidential toss-off.

Read the rest of this entry »

Pete’s Prescient Punditry

September 3, 2007

Check out the date on this amazing piece. It’s January 2001, as Bush began his presidency, before 9-11, before the nightmare. You can claim Hamill is engaging in some ten-cent pscyhoanalysis, but from where I sit, it looks dead-on, emphasis on dead. I’d like to know what Hamill thinks a Rudy presidency would be.

So we should be prepared for armed melodrama. Bush is not a worldly man. His father was head of the CIA, ambassador to China, and president of the United States. The son stayed home. During the Vietnam War, he hurried into the Texas National Guard, defending the skies over Houston. He has visited only two foreign countries, one of them Mexico (the other seems to have slipped his mind). He was the first presidential candidate in memory who needed briefings about geography.

But he knows where Iraq is, and is completely aware of what his father failed to do in that country: remove Saddam Hussein. A son in rivalry with a father can be a very dangerous man. To show “leadership”, the new President Bush might defy the European allies of the United States, and risk another oil crisis, by seizing on some slight -–real or imagined – to finish off Saddam Hussein. He would thus force his father to admire him and get a boost in the public opinion polls.

Tell me that didn’t give you a chill.

Some Beckett

August 30, 2007

(Not Josh)

“….I can’t go on, you must go on, I’ll go on, you must say words, as long as there are any, until they find me, until they say me, strange pain, strange sin, you must go on, perhaps it’s done already, perhaps they have said me already, perhaps they have carried me to the threshold of my story, before the door that opens on my story, that would surprise me, if it opens, it will be I, it will be the silence, where I am, I don’t know, I’ll never know, in the silence you don’t know, you must go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on.”

From the Unnammeable