It's Not Fair

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Obama and most Democrats say we should do what they've always said we should do: have a "balanced" approach that has a combination of tax increases and spending cuts. Now, in fact, they actually propose increasing spending, but somehow this equates, in the media, to the Democrats "compromising" without regard to what their "base" wants.

But when the Republicans say we should do what they've always said we should do -- cut spending and don't raise taxes -- somehow they are afraid to offend their "base" so they refuse to "compromise."

It's pretty stupid stuff. What really gets me is how the media loves to say this is evidence that Washington is "broken," as if the fact of massive debt increases under Bush, and then far worse under Obama, are not evidence enough. If the Republicans completely capitulated and gave Obama what he is asking for -- tax increases and debt increases without any spending cuts -- the media would surely talk about how this was a "success" for democracy, an example of how Washington "can still work," even though it has set us on an accelerated course toward bankruptcy. Boehner and other Republicans would be lauded for their sensible compromise.

But if the Democrats gave in and we got "cut, cap, and balance," it would be, in the media, a massive failure, a complete and total surrender by Democrats, the end of the party as we know it, because how can it even exist if it won't stand up for its basic principles?

We see this passive-aggressive mentality in the recent flareup between Reps. Wasserman Schultz and West: the former -- the chair of the DNC -- gave a campaign speech on the floor of the House designed to hurt West with his constituents. She didn't use his name, and she didn't come out and say "he wants to kill old people," but she wanted to present people with the dishonest implication that West was sacrificing the health of the elderly for handouts to corporations. West responded, in a privare e-mail, with some nasty invective directly toward her.

The media, of course, thinks what West did was far worse. But I can't see it. What he said was more direct, but in substance, wasn't any worse than what she said. And at least he said it privately, instead of on the floor of the House (which violated House rules). And completely ignored is that while what Wasserman Schultz said about West was almost entirely untrue, what he said about her was almost entirely true.

We have this irrational style-over-substance, passive-aggressive, mentality, where if I call someone a liar, that's somehow worse than the lie I am referring to. So a process if "broken" if we cannot "compromise," but if we have a "compromise" that leads to bankruptcy, we have a process that is "working."

This sort of nonthink is no more evident than in the media's treatment of "fairness." On Meet the Press this morning, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin eloquently made the case for how great politicians of the past had a wonderful sense of fairness, which she essentially defined as being a moderate. But I defy her, or anyone else, to objectively explain to me how "cut, cap, and balance" is unfair to anyone. It's the beginning of the ultimate in fairness. We'd also need to have a flat-rate income or consumption tax, and continued cuts in the federal government, before we could be fair, but to me the entire federal policy of the moderates -- which is mostly leftwing-lite, including massive taxes on the middle class and wealthy, and massive expenditures to give things to people who "need" them -- is grossly unfair (not to mention unconstitutional).

Fairness means treating people equally, by the same standards. Fairness is the rule of law, where we don't let men change the rules to be whatever they wish after the fact. Fairness is, essentially, libertarianism/conservatism, where the government doesn't tell people how to live or what to do, let alone take what people have in order to bring about some desired social outcome.

You might think that it's a good thing to take from the rich to give to the poor, but it's not fair: it is, essentially, stealing, which is the opposite of fairness. When I give to charity, I don't do it because it's "fair," it's because I want to help people who need the help. I don't have this irrational self-loathing causing me to think that what I have isn't fair to other people. Of course it's fair: I didn't violate any laws or anyone's rights or do anything unreasonable to get what I have. So how is it not fair that I have it, that justifies anyone saying it is "fair" to take it to give it to someone else?

What bothers me isn't that someone has a different (and completely illogical) view of "fairness," or "compromise," or "broken": it's that the media almost entirely accepts these views as objective truth, when, if anything, there's a serious dearth of rational arguments backing up those views in the first place.

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on July 24, 2011 7:58 AM.

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