Four Questions

March 20, 2008

I’m not the first person to ask these questions, nor, I hope, will I be the last.  But if you can answer them, you’re smarter than I am.

Why is it that when the government spends $200 billion to bail out Wall Street investment banks it’s seen as sound economic policy and a strong response to a growing financial crisis, but when it’s suggested that the government spend similar amounts to provide ordinary citizens with affordable health care, the idea is dismissed as “Socialized Medicine”?

Why is it that night after night political pundits criticize Barack Obama for his association with a black minister who, admittedly, said some pretty offensive things, but these same pundits say nothing about John McCain who actively courted, and eventually received, the endorsement of religious bigot John Hagee?

Why is it that any time Obama or Hillary Clinton makes the slightest error, the press immediately begins to question their readiness to be Commander-In-Chief, but John McCain, on three separate occasions, mistakes Sunni for Shia and erroneously states that Iran is working with al Qaeda, and it barely merits a mention in the evening news broadcasts?

Why is it that we still hear people talking about the so-called “liberal bias” of the press?

Today’s music:  Kenny Burrell (Soul Call — Thanks, Jim.)


6 Responses to “Four Questions”

  1. *raises hand* I know, I know, because “ignorance is bliss” and they’re all freakin’ ignorant…

    Well, that’s probably not the real reason, but it’s as good of a reason as I could come up with, and in *some* cases I’m sure it applies.

  2. Mark Wise said

    1) Because the banks run the economy, whereas providing healthcare for some more people is not profitable.

    2) I think Mr. Wright’s comments from the pulpit are quite a bit worse than what I hear from Hagee. This is not even including the stances posted on his “church’s” website.

    3) The press are on a Obama/Clinton kick right now.

    4) Liberals have always been in control of the press. Even in this election, the press was playing softball with the Democratic canidates until they got too obvious with it. When it was starting to get pointed out to them, they suddenly pick up their heat against them. When it goes to the general election, the press will back whoever is the Democratic canidate.

  3. davidbcoe said

    Michele, that seems as good a reason as any. And if ignorance really is bliss, then the American political media is a friggin’ paradise. Thanks for the comment.

    Mark, thank you for your comment, too. I certainly agree with your first point, to the extent that the present Administration and its allies are far more concerned with the profits of big banking than they are with providing affordable health care to people who need it. I’d argue though, that a real investment in overhauling our current health care system, particularly if reforms included insurance coverage for preventive care, would pay huge economic dividends to our society.

    On the second point I disagree strongly. Hagee is a true bigot — his comments about Catholics are incredibly offensive. I won’t defend the things Wright has said, but prejudice is prejudice, hate is hate.

    On the third point, yes, they certainly are. And they fawn over McCain.

    And on number four, couldn’t disagree more. I’ll refer you to my post of February 20th.

  4. Suzane in VT said

    Found this in my inbox this morning. Thought it might fit in with this discussion….

    A little boy goes to his dad and asks, “What is Politics?”

    Dad says, “Well son, let me try to explain it this way: I am the head of the family, so call me The President. Your mother is the administrator of the money, so we call her the Government. We are here to take care of your needs, so we will call you the People. The nanny, we will consider her the Working Class.

    And your baby brother,we will call him the Future Now think about that and see if it makes sense.”

    So the little boy goes off to bed thinking about what Dad has said. Later that night, he hears his baby brother crying, so he gets up to check on him . He finds that the baby has severely soiled his diaper.

    So the little boy goes to his parent’s room and finds his mother asleep. Not wanting to wake her, he goes to the nanny’s room. Finding the door locked, he peeks in the keyhole and sees his father in bed with the nanny.

    He gives up and goes back to bed.

    The next morning, the little boy says to his father, “Dad, I think I understand the concept of politics now.”

    The father says, “Good, son, tell me in your own words what you think politics is all about.” The little boy replies,

    “The President is screwing the Working Class while the Government is sound asleep. The People are being ignored and the future is in deep shit.”

  5. davidbcoe said

    Thanks for the laugh, Suzane. It would be even funnier if it weren’t so true…..

  6. On the subject of one, basically it’s because if the banks tank, then it ripples out to the rest of big business (who contribute to political funding and lobbyists and etc) and that could mean layoffs and etc (and in fact has actually). Though I don’t really think layoffs are the reason that the banks are being backed, at least not just to help people. I think it’s because it’s an election year and McCain will most definitely tank if the economy gets much worse.

    As for healthcare, well, back to big business and politics being too much in bed together. It may benefit our country in the long run, but I don’t think most politicians are interested in the long run–they are interested in their terms of offices and short term gains.

    Oh, and as for the news coverage–Obama and Clinton are much more interesting, and there’s more news in making them sensational than not. McCain is mostly not newsworthy as far as the press goes. He’s locked in the republican nomination, and until a democrat challenger is chosen, he’ll probably be largely ignored.

    I don’t know that the press is particularly liberal or conservative (okay, Fox News is definitely conservative–but then I should say biased because I think conservative and liberal are too often misused and both can be good things to be–I’m a liberal arts professor remember. Not that I don’t think politics motivates too much “news,” but more than that, I think there’s more interest in sensationalism than not.

    I’m rambling.


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