Friday, December 13, 2013

Professional Left Podcast #210

"Loyalty to a petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul."

-- Mark Twain

Da' money goes here:


Anonymouse said...

Why would you pick such an idiotic letter to represent people who see "both sides doing it"? To me, it seems like you are just shooting fish in a barrel.

The legitimate argument for both sides doing it revolves around the conception of a single ruling class supported by a mostly hegemonic intellectual class that work as a unit to advance a policy agenda in support of a plutocratic minority. This is an argument from the left.

Under this conception, such varied news outlets as Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, the PBS News Hour and MSNBC all advance the same plutocratic interests. Obviously each network advances these interests in different ways because each network is aimed at a different demographic, each with its own biases and education level.

Similarly, when you look at the policy prescriptions of a Nixon, Reagan, Clinton or Obama you see many continuities. These continuities center around patent protections, global trade, the social safety net, the minimum wage, the military industrial complex, the NSA, whistleblowers, American Empire, Energy, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

It is absolutely true that wacko conservatives get angry about culture war nonsense like a War on Christmas, Benghazi, and a host of other things that you do a great job of cataloging. What Driftglass sees as a huge difference between the parties is just the ruling class hypnotising a huge section of its population in order to marginalize it, thus making America safe for the policies that protect the plutocrats.

Here is a link to Bill Myers and a guest who sees Democrats and Republicans operating as a single unit. According to Moyer's guest, the people in Washington work together regardless of party affiliation to advance their own interests and the interests of their masters. They do this at the expense of ordinary people like you and me.

Watch the video and tell me what is wrong with the analysis:

Ufotofu9 said...

This is an interesting article from the New Yorker that posits that "To find fiction that deals with capitalism, democracy, and the state of our civilization, look for books with that embarrassing Saturn-and-spaceship sticker on the spine [Science Fiction novels]."

It's called "Our Greatest Political Novelists?" I thought you may enjoy it, and maybe even talk about your impressions of the author's thesis.

JN West said...

Hi there driftglass and bluegal,

I'm big fans of the podcast, however I do feel the need too give some background on Miami's Cuban community. I'm half Cuban and grew up there.

Bluegal repeated the conventional wisdom on the embargo. It has persisted for over 50 years in order to court the Cuban vote in Miami and Florida in general. IMO that is the "cover story" used by the Washington political establishment and corporate elite to keep the embargo going.

For starters, the American elite don't care about Americans let alone Cubans. :D The corporate elite want their land seized by the Cuban government back. They could care less about any losses experienced by the average Cuban citizen.

The political elite need Cuba to remain as a communist boogieman to keep Americans in check, just as the Cuban government needs the US to remain a capitalist boogieman to keep Cuban citizens in check. Side bonus Cuba is of course used by the American right wing to paint all liberals and Democrats as soft on communism if they dare suggest any changes to US foreign policy on Cuba. The same has been done in the Cuban community for decades by Cuban hardliners on liberal or moderate Cubans.

Liberal and moderate Cubans in the 1970s and 1980s simply wanted "dialogue" with the Cuban government. And that was seen as controversial and met with accusations of "communist!" by the hardliners and still is to this day.

And yes, liberal and moderate Cubans do exist, but you would never know that listening to either the Cuban-American or US media. That of course is by design. Just as the US media has been taken over by right wing, so too has the Spanish language media in Miami. The take over happened in 1970s, a decade before the US media began to be taken over. I sometimes wonder if the Cuban community was used as test sample, before taking right wing media nation wide.

I come from a long line of Cuban Democrats. My grandparents immigrated with my father from Cuban in the early 1950s. Most Cuban-Americans living in Miami in the 1950s and 1960s were registered Democrats. It wasn't until the right wing took over the Spanish language radio and newspapers that you start to see the community shift toward voting Republican.

However, if you look at the polling data and voting trends of Miami's Cuban community for the past decade or so you will see that its moving in the direction of the Democrats again, lifting the embargo and having talks with the Cuban government.

The are several reasons for this political shift. The most obvious is that the older anti-communist hardliners are dying off. Less obvious is that younger Cubans such as myself are not consumers of Spanish language media. But the main shift is due to the Cubans that came to Miami in recent years & decades rather than the 1960s or earlier.

They actually lived under communism. They don't view the social safety net as a bad thing and know that a social safety net has nothing to do with communism.:) They also have closer ties to relatives still living on the island.

The polling data shows that whether or not you have close ties to Cubans still living on the island determines your view on lifting the embargo or not. According to a poll I read on CNN a few years ago 53% of Miami Cubans wanted the embargo lifted.

I want to add one final reason for the shift in the Cuban community which is not based on data but based upon my own personal experience. Cubans know a thing or two about what a dictatorship looks like. I had the older Cubans in my family and younger Cubans in my social sphere comparing Bush to Castro. :o

JN West said...

Cuban community post continues...

Voting wise, almost 50% of Miami Cubans voted for President Obama. This figure was bantered about after 2012 election. However, Cubans have spread out to many different areas in South and Central Florida. They don't just live in the city of Miami any longer. I don't have any real statistical data, but if you look at the election results from 2000 and on in the Florida counties where Cuban-Americans reside they tend to vote Democratic, locally, and nationally.

Redistricting of course has helped keep Republican Cubans in the House, but even that is changing with the election of the first Cuban Democrat to the House last year.

The election of Senator Marco Rubio state wide was an anomaly. Rubio won with 40% of the vote. That had more to with the Democratic candidate Kendrick Meek and the Independent candidate Charlie Crist cancelling each other out, rather than the power of right wing Cuban voters. Cubans only make up 21% of voters in Florida anyway.

To summarize the Cuban-American population isn't one big right wing stereotype. Its trending toward the Democrats like the rest of the country and trending toward lifting the Cuban embargo, but you would never know that if you listened to the corporate media.

The corporate media continues to ignore the political shift in order to give legitimacy to the Cuban embargo. It should be interesting to see what excuse the American elites use to keep the embargo going if and when the corporate media can't continue to deny the more liberal trend with Cuban voters.

Anonymous said...

Good morning, Mr. Glass.

Don't tell Ms. Kelly, but Adam and the first man and woman...would have been from Africa, and didn't have the pale skin and blond hair that Google Image Search insists they did.

Enjoy your day.

Kevin Holsinger

Kevin Wood said...

Literally cackled with delight while listening to the podcast this week -- you are beautiful when you're angry Driftglass. I must admit I'm baffled as to why your correspondent from falseequivalencistan bothers listening to the podcast, much less writing (and I use the term loosely) to tell you about how wrong you are and how Louis Gohmert and Ted Cruz are just like Al Franken and Elizabeth Warren. I think someone need to explain to him that when comedian Stephen Colbert makes fun of Fox News by posing as a rightwing blowhard, it is not the same thing as Fox News claiming that rightwing blowhards like Hannity or O'Reilly are journalists presenting fair and balanced news.
Usually I hate to see someone of your talent punching down, but sometimes the offensively, aggressively stupid need to be reminded to shut up when the grown-ups are talking.
Keep up the good work.

Annonymouse said...

I keep finding people on the left who just insist that "both sides". These critiques don't sound anything like what I hear from Luke Russert, Peggy Noonan or David Brooks. These critiques go unanswered from the likes of Driftglass except for something about 69,000 feet.

Here is a guy who helped publicized the Downing Street Memo in the US. He worked on impeaching Bush/Cheeney and he says "both sides".

These fish are not in any barrel.