[W]hen Reagan ranted about welfare queens driving Cadillacs, he was inventing a fake problem — but his rant resonated with angry white voters, who understood perfectly well who Reagan was targeting. But Americans on disability as moochers? That isn’t, as far as I can tell, an especially nonwhite group — and it’s a group that is surely as likely to elicit sympathy as disdain. There’s just no way it can serve the kind of political purpose the old welfare-kicking rhetoric used to perform.
The same goes, more broadly, for the whole [nation of takers nonsense from the Right]. First of all, a lot of the “taking” involves Social Security and Medicare. And even the growth in means-tested programs is largely accounted for by the Earned Income Tax Credit — which requires and rewards work — and the expansion of Medicaid/CHIP to cover more children. Again, not the greatest of political targets.
The point, I think, is that right-wing intellectuals and politicians live in a bubble in which denunciations of those bums on disability and those greedy children getting free health care are greeted with shouts of approval — but now have to deal with a country where the same remarks come across as greedy and heartless (because they are).
And I don’t think this is a problem that can be solved with a slight change in the rhetoric.
No, you can’t deny women their basic rights and pretend it’s about your “religious freedom.” If you don’t like birth control, don’t use it. Religious freedom doesn’t mean you can force others to live by your own beliefs.
President Barack Obama
- then On the last day of 2011, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act which, amongst other things, allowed for the indefinite detention of US citizens suspected of terrorism.
- now Obama signed a policy directive today that exempts US citizens from that provision in the…
For neither the first time nor the last time, Washington is trying to wield power over the Internet in a manner that many Americans believe lacks the consent of the governed, let alone the consent of the networked. After Wednesday’s protests, SOPA is effectively dead and PIPA is in critical condition. But that doesn’t mean the revolution has succeeded.
The computer coding pros — and the millions who depend on their products — have said “no” to legal code they hate. But killing a bad bill is only the first step. The next and more vital step is political innovation. Without a major upgrade, this political system will keep on producing legal code that is Internet-incompatible.