Sunday, October 23, 2005

Corrupt, Incompetent, 'Off Center'

"In a May survey published by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, 65 percent of respondents said they favor providing health insurance to all Americans, even if it means raising taxes, and 86 percent said they favor raising the minimum wage. Seventy-seven percent said they believe the country "should do whatever it takes to protect the environment." A September Gallup Poll finds that 59 percent consider the Iraq War a mistake and 63 percent agree that U.S. forces should be partially or completely withdrawn. Nevertheless, extremist right-wingers, including a few apparent criminals, enjoy a stranglehold on our political system and media discourse. And so the majority views of the American people are treated with contempt by pundits and politicians alike. To give just a minor example, New York Times columnist David Brooks — the writer who best understands the dynamics of the contemporary Democratic Party, according to the smart boys at ABC's The Note — began a recent screed with the proclamation: "After a while, you get sick of the DeLays of the right and the Deans of the left." Note the implied equivalence between the corrupt and extreme Tom DeLay — who regularly compares the Environmental Protection Agency to the Nazis — and Howard Dean, a balanced-budget fiscal conservative and ally of the NRA whose "radical" position on Iraq now puts him to the right of most Americans."-from the commentary by Eric Alterman in The Nation, via CBS News.

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