Third Party & Independents Archives

I come here to be entertained

Why are we talking about trillions of dollars when we have no ability whatsoever to track it or account for it? How can we influence the movement of trillions of dollars each year, billions of dollars each month? It’s hubris to think we can even comprehend this type of cash flow. It’s hubris to think our elected officials, even with their 3000 assistants each, can fully grasp the movement of that amount of money. Why do we expect them to? Why do we discuss it on WatchBlog? Are we trying to convince each other or are we trying to convince ourselves it will accomplish something?

I come here to be entertained
Posted by: steve miller at February 15, 2011 07:14 AM


I remember once I thought my comments made a difference. I had the privilage of hearing my comments used in debate on the floor of the U.S. Senate. It was, almost verbatem, the discussion I had with others on WatchBlog just days earlier. It was also immaterial, perhaps counter-productive. I saw nothing change in the U.S. Senate.

Back when the internet was expensive and slow, and blogs were a glimmer in your daddy's eye I had the privilage of contributing to the local newspaper's Letter to the Editor column. I sat thru 18 months of meetings of our county government to see three 6 month cycles of our county government at work. I continously requested backup from the people. "Come to the meetings! Find out what they are doing before they do it instead of waiting to read about it after the fact!". One council member actually said "I don't like this idea of telling people about the laws were trying to pass." after I mentioned it on the editor's page. The arrogance and the bullying that went on behind the closed doors of politics was exposed with my pen. The two most prominant county politicians lost their positions in that election cycle. I thought the Letter to the Editor was working for us, but it was immaterial. Perhaps productive in the short term but nothing changed. I felt like a bee bumping on the glass bird hitting the windshield.

I got up and brushed myself off before the street sweeper ran over me. I asked the driver where he was hired from. He told me he was hired by a company in a town over 60 miles away. I wondered why the mayor of our town of 3000 people would pay someone in another city some 60 miles away to sweep our streets! The look on the mayor's face when I asked why we were paying someone to sweep our streets for us was priceless. Our city-owned street sweeper was fixed just like that and is still used by a sister or brother of some city politician to this day. ;) I'm kidding. I don't know. Maybe.

That was one time I felt like I made a difference. I looked my mayor in the eye and I said something. She raised her eyebrows when she realized I was right. That's really the only way you can know if you made a difference. You have to look them in the eye.

When was the last time you looked President Obama in the eye? When was the last time you looked your U.S. Senator in the eye and asked him a question? Did you get a raised eyebrow as a response? Did you know you made a difference when you spoke to your senator?

I found out later our mayor applied for, and received a grant from the state of Indiana to fix our street sweeper. Go Figure!

Posted by Weary Willie at February 18, 2011 8:30 PM
Comments
Comment #318819

Weary, do you believe the Tea Party is having a positive effect on persuading our politicians?

Posted by: 1776 at February 18, 2011 9:54 PM
Comment #318820

yes, I’m sure.


Posted by: Weary Willie at February 18, 2011 10:03 PM
Comment #318822

These are exciting times. We are seeing the American voter discover their voice. For too many years the left has been the voice of America, even though they do not represent the majority. I believe a sleeping giant has been awakened. For all the evil talk of the TP; we see it is here to stay.

Posted by: 1776 at February 18, 2011 10:13 PM
Comment #318824

“I come here to be entertained”
Posted by: steve miller at February 15, 2011 07:14 AM

It doesn’t always work out, however…..;)

And remember W.W., I said that in your (ok, somewhat oblique) defense!!! So…..how, exactly does my comment fit in with your post? I’m baffled.

Posted by: steve miller at February 18, 2011 10:16 PM
Comment #318832

After a year and a half of posting a bi-weekly letter to the editor in my weekly edition local newspaper I realized the majority of people in my county only read the paper for entertainment.

“I can’t wait till Thursday when the paper comes out!”, said the many needing entertainment.

They didn’t care if the owner of the newspaper had to suffer the wrath of his government sponsored clientele.

When the newspaper ran out of money, I ran out of Letter to the Editor!

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 18, 2011 10:47 PM
Comment #318853

Willie,
I was trying to be nice by suggesting that your
post had some entertainment value, if unfortunately devoid of any political or philosophical content.

Singling me out as an example of the populace who uses the various reporting media solely for entertainment value is particularly unfortunate and misguided, as, in the last year I have: Written several letters to the Editor (published), written both my Congressman AND my Senator many times, initiated a complaint against a public official in my town, first by speaking at the Town Council meeting, then by writing a 27 count complaint to the State Ethics Commission, caused a journalist to do a full video story on the matter, which ended with the man losing his job due to corruption.

Sadly, the majority of the “entertainment” to be derived on this site is that of the blustering right wingers, who speak almost wholly from ideology, and cannot stand to hear reasoned arguments against their position without resorting to name-calling or other juvenile “debate” mechanisms.

Just sayin’.

Posted by: steve miller at February 19, 2011 9:14 AM
Comment #318858

It was indeed fortunate I used your words because you are helping to make my point. Did writing to your congressman and Senator accomplish anything or did you receive a form letter in return thanking you for your input?

Also, your experience speaking to the town council and logding your complaint to oust the corrupt man did accomplish something because you could look them in the eye and get results.

We need more focus at the local level. It is at the local level we can make a difference. We could start the crap flowing uphill.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 19, 2011 11:15 AM
Comment #318865

The Tea Party is helping to take away much of the flexibility Republicans would have to compromise and make sensible deals.

In my opinion, the Tea Party’s politics is more a reaction to Bush, than anything else. It’s a mix of the people who felt Bush was too compromising, and the people who fervently backed Bush when Bush and Rove were inflaming everybody’s mood to keep him from losing 2004.

One way or another, the Republicans are fighting the Bush legacy, whether they’re fighting the collapse of Republican credibility, or what they perceived as the compromises of one of the least compromising Right-Wing Presidents in decades. The Tea Party is the Republican Party having chased itself off the edge of the cliff.

And their politics is not sustainable. The Republicans are doing violence, figuratively speaking, to everybody else’s priorities. People may have voted them in on the notion they’d represent change from what the Democrats supposedly were doing, but instead of getting the antidote to Liberal excesses, they’re going to get a rather strong dose of precisely the kind of politics they were wanting to see an end to.

The Republicans still think, after the Political recovery the Democrats have had, that they have a mandate to just run like bulls through the China shop. That, or they don’t care. The old arrogance is back, and I don’t think it’s going to charm people all that well.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 19, 2011 1:10 PM
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