Sunday, November 27, 2011

A dysfunctional system goes Super… And fails.

From 2011-11 (Nov)

On Howard Kurtz’s Reliable Sources this morning, Kurtz was asking if the media was over-hyping and over-blowing the consequences of the “Super Committee's” failure to come up with a debt reduction plan.

He asks if all these “terrible things” that may happen as a result of this failure are “just media hype?”

In these teasers for the segment, it seemed to me that he was missing the real punch line here, but after a weak panel discussion on the topic, he did get to the point I feel needs to be made.

The real story here is how the failure of the “Super Committee,” which was set up to actually succeed without a lot of the procedural chains that bind the rest of Congress, brings into sharp relief the fact that, in Kurtz’s words, “nobody seems to be able to get anything done in Washington.”

He points out how this failure “highlight[s] the utter dysfunction of Washington.”

To me, this is the real story here.  Of course Congress will find a way to avert the “disaster” of across the board budget cuts, of course tax codes will remain ridiculously full of loop holes for the richest individuals and corporations…  Of course the traditional and non-traditional media will make a lot of noise about small political maneuvers that distract everyone from the real issues and problems facing our country and binding our system…

Nothing much will change.  Few real problems will be solved (or even mentioned), problems manufactured for use as political weapons will be howled about…

And nothing much will change.

This is the story that is not being covered. 

I saw this quote earlier, from Andrew Sullivan, explaining the Occupation and Tea Party movements… 

"The theme that connects them all is disenfranchisement, the sense that the world is shifting deeply and inexorably beyond our ability to control it through our democratic institutions. You can call this many things, but a “democratic deficit” gets to the nub of it. Democracy means rule by the people—however rough-edged, however blunted by representative government, however imperfect. But everywhere, the people feel as if someone else is now ruling them—and see no way to regain control."

The system has become nearly impossible to change.  The far right’s reaction is to just break it.  The left wallows in ineptitude.  The center rolls its eyes and simmers in a weak broth of futility.

For awhile, I’ve been thinking that if I ever took a sign to an Occupation event, it would be this:

The Status-Quo is

working for someone.

Is it working for you?

What is the solution?  Well, there are no big universal fixes.  But this is the conversation that we need to be having.

Finally, I loved this quote from Kurtz this morning: “miillions and millions unemployed and that is becoming an old story and that does bother me.”

Exactly.  It should bother everyone.

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