Dear President Obama,
Thursday, February 5, 2009
I got your email asking me to "help to spread the word and build support" for the stimulus package, and my sincerest apologies for the delayed response. I'm really trying to help out--I promise!
OK. That's a lie. Truth be told, I'm not doing much to help. Nothing at all, in fact. But that's because I'm ambivalent--it's hard to get truly excited about something that has so many questionable ins, outs, and whathaveyous. And yes, my thinking about this case has been very uptight, but did you really think your op-ed in the WaPo was going to help?:
By now, it's clear to everyone that we have inherited an economic crisis as deep and dire as any since the days of the Great Depression. Millions of jobs that Americans relied on just a year ago are gone; millions more of the nest eggs families worked so hard to build have vanished. People everywhere are worried about what tomorrow will bring.I understand what you're getting at here, and to some extent, I agree with you. But going for the hard sell on "swift, bold" action in order to prevent a looming "crisis"? Isn't that a little pre-Iraq War retro for you? Will Colin Powell soon be showing up at the UN sporting a vial of Federal Reserve ashes?
What Americans expect from Washington is action that matches the urgency they feel in their daily lives -- action that's swift, bold and wise enough for us to climb out of this crisis....
OK. That's not entirely fair. Your op-ed wasn't that bad. Still. Don't make me count the number of "urgent"s in there, because it won't be pretty.
Granted, we do have major economic problems. And depending on a person's current economic situation, it probably is a personal crisis already or soon will be. However, you really aren't helping me help you by relying on this obtuse rhetoric. Remember the scalpel instead of the hatchet? I want my scalpel back. Don't just argue against neanderthals like Rush Limbaugh, but argue with people like Paul Krugman who know a little something. Don't just tell me; show me. Specifically.
Look, I suspect this op-ed wasn't even really directed at me since I'm already wishy-washy enough on the stimulus package to give my reluctant approval should Gallup or Rasmussen see fit to ask. Nonetheless, I want to help. I really, really do. But if supporters like me can't force themselves to push this issue, I don't see much hope in you bringing the dittoheads around instead. I'm already almost nearly practically on your side. I just need a little tug--not a cudgel to the noggin. And at this point, cudgels are much more likely to knock me backward.
To quote CJ Cregg of The West Wing:
You get my support the same way I get yours: when I agree with what you're saying or when I don't care about what you're saying. This time I disagree.Kind of. So make me agree. Please! Or at least don't make it harder for me to agree by treating me like an idiot.
Like you, I respond to hope. Not fear. I rally behind the notion of a gleaming tomorrow and not just a less-tarnished present. But mostly, I'm a fact-lover, not a push-over. In God we trust--all others bring data (and I don't even trust God). Sorry.
Otherwise, I hope you're digging your new digs and sorry they had to come with such a crappy job! But you'll learn quickly and do great at it, I'm confident.
PS I'm really pissed at you right now for making me mildly empathetic with a point made by Michelle Malkin. But I'll get over it.
PPS Great prayer breakfast speech. I never thought I would like one of those things, but you soon banished my predetermined disdain. Well done!
PPPS Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about! I'm duly humbled.
Nothing New byslag at 9:16 AM
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
The Church of Pugilism was thoroughly uninspiring this Sunday. I showed up, sure, but honestly, my heart wasn't in it. And I was moving sloooooooowly. The languid pace of my punches strikingly discordant with the rapid thump thump of the music around me. "Dragging ass", I believe, is the technical term for my behavior. Nonetheless, I went through the motions all the way to the end, at which point, I ruminated on the limits of my capacity for discipline. Sadly, while I can force myself to do something I'm not inspired to do, I can't yet force myself to get inspired by doing it. If that makes any sense at all.
Here's some meaningful trivia for the road:
- Ezra Klein waxes pragmatically about real change.
- Can we get more rail up in this stimulus bill? I think we can; I think we can.
- John Cole's voracious rants are veracious. Rant, John, rant!
Nothing New byslag at 6:15 AM
A Meta Post: Blog Amnesty, Twitter Evangelizing, and 6 More Weeks of Blogging about Nothing
Monday, February 2, 2009
First an announcement: Blog Amnesty Day is coming! Blog Amnesty Day is coming!
That's right, no matter what Punxsutawney Phil does, he cannot stop the inevitable. The day in which bloggers link, and link, and link some more in an effort to make the internets singular is tomorrow, and there will be much rejoicing. In fact, the rejoicing has already started over at Jon Swift's. Not to mention at Skippy's. And BlueGal rocks the intertubes with this swank video:
As always, if you want to be included in our Some of Something blogroll (and you're not a spammer or a creep), please leave a link to your blog in the comments section here, and we'll put you up/on/in...
In the meantime, here are some blogs that have captured my interest lately:
- Ned Resnikoff recently posted a LOL that actually made me LOL. A rarity!
- And if you're interested in the biblio-political, I strongly recommend Library Juice.
- For plumbing the depths of the social and psychological, The Situationist is where it's at. Whenever I need a stereotype debunked, I go there first.
- Duncan's Brain enjoys politics and bicycles (not necessarily in that order).
- Meaningful Distraction anyone?
- And in case you didn't know, the future is Green.
Second, a concern: It seems that Twitter has become lousy with neocons. Now, I'm all for freedom of speech and of assembly, so I would never begrudge neocons their right to infest any medium that will have them. But since I've seen, first-hand, the devastating effects of their ownership of talk radio and cable news, I'm wary of yielding them further ground in which they can sow the seeds of misinformation. So, if you aren't on Twitter, please consider using it as a means of catapulting the propaganda. And if you are on it already, please search #topprog to find liberals/progressives to follow. If you want to follow Some of Nothing twits, you can do so here.
Disclaimer: Although neocons don't seem to comprehend the limits of the platform, as Matt Yglesias notes, Twitter is not a place for in-depth political discussion. Nonetheless, it is a place to find new resources for information. That's why it's important. Read Write Web has more. And Robert Scoble has Twitter rules.
Finally, a public service announcement: While Some of Nothing blogging has been sporadic of late, it's not going away. It's still an integral (though non-remunerative) part of the Some of Nothing empire. So, carry on.
Nothing New byslag at 10:24 AM