Wednesday, October 09, 2013

By Cleverly Failing to Mention


That the Sequester was designed to be a doomsday weapon which no one in their right minds would trigger and that our current polycrisis is entirely the fault of Ross Douthat's Republican Party, Ross Douthat has managed to poop out an 800-word New York Times contractual obligation column in which the Sequester was actually an excellent compromise, and that our current polycrisis is entirely the fault of Both Sides, both of whom should now look to the Sequester as a template for working out another excellent compromise:
The reality, though, is that sequestration really was a genuine, almost old-fashioned sort of compromise — one that bit deeply into a lot of Republican interests and constituencies, and left the liberal ringwall around entitlements unbreached...

I don’t think recognizing this fact would solve the current impasse (ha!), but at the very least it would be a useful for both sides to see 2011 as a model (however limited and flawed) for how actual compromise can work...
Yes, Young Master Douthat does, in fact, get paid large amounts of non-Sequestered American dollars to rub this piffle out once a week in America's Newspaper of record.

Because thanks to his position of unearned privilege, Young Mater Douthat is completely insulated from ever suffering any of the pain he so casually suggests be inflicted on others in the name of one Republican "compromise" after another.

In the science fiction classic "Childhood's End", the Overlords arrived on Earth with one solution for such debilitating empathy deficiencies:
...
"You may kill one another if you wish," the message had gone, "and that is a matter between you and your own laws. But if you slay, except for food or in self-defense, the beasts that share your world with you—then you may be answerable to me."

No one knew how comprehensive this ban was supposed to be, or what Karellen would do to enforce it. They had not long to wait.

The Plaza de Toros was full when the matadors and their attendants began their processional entry. Everything seemed normal; the brilliant sunlight blazed harshly on the traditional costumes, the great crowd greeted its favorites as it had a hundred times before. Yet here and there faces were turned anxiously towards the sky, to the aloof silver shape fifty kilometers above Madrid.

Then the picadors had taken up their places and the bull had come snorting out into the arena. The skinny horses, nostrils wide with terror, had wheeled in the sunlight and their riders forced them to meet their enemy. The first lance flashed—made contact—and at that moment came a sound that had never been heard on earth before.

It was the sound of ten thousand people screaming with the pain of the same wound—ten thousand people who, when they had recovered from the shock, found themselves completely unharmed. But that was the end of that bullfight, and indeed of all bullfighting.
Which is one reason I really like classic science fiction. 

2 comments:

D. said...

Damn, I need to reread that.

Too bad those aliens aren't real.

Pamela Merritt said...

There are reasons they are classics.

And the reasons they were alternately disparaged as children's toys and belittled for their supposed lack of literary merit.

Some of us read them anyway.