Fiction meet real life, real life…oh I see you’ve already met

Seattle ‘superhero’ arrested, accused of assault with pepper spray – The Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/seattle-superhero-arrested-accused-of-assault-with-pepper-spray/2011/10/10/gIQAZyPYaL_story.html

When I start wandering around town in my RPN outfit, feel free to call the authorities.

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Panic of the Plutocrats

And then there’s the campaign of character assassination against Elizabeth Warren, the financial reformer now running for the Senate in Massachusetts. Not long ago a YouTube video of Ms. Warren making an eloquent, down-to-earth case for taxes on the rich went viral. Nothing about what she said was radical — it was no more than a modern riff on Oliver Wendell Holmes’s famous dictum that “Taxes are what we pay for civilized society.”

But listening to the reliable defenders of the wealthy, you’d think that Ms. Warren was the second coming of Leon Trotsky. George Will declared that she has a “collectivist agenda,” that she believes that “individualism is a chimera.” And Rush Limbaugh called her “a parasite who hates her host. Willing to destroy the host while she sucks the life out of it.”

What’s going on here? The answer, surely, is that Wall Street’s Masters of the Universe realize, deep down, how morally indefensible their position is. They’re not John Galt; they’re not even Steve Jobs. They’re people who got rich by peddling complex financial schemes that, far from delivering clear benefits to the American people, helped push us into a crisis whose aftereffects continue to blight the lives of tens of millions of their fellow citizens.

via Panic of the Plutocrats – NYTimes.com.

I got to see some of this with conversations regarding the recent protests over the weekend.  There are some *very strong* attacks going against Warren, and really she did nothing more than explain how a modern society functions.

I’m still waiting to see how many folks Rush hired with his tax cuts.    And no, Dominican hookers don’t count.

Heck, I’ve seen Adam Smith and Reagan quotes dismissed as “socialist propaganda”.   It would seem, as one who rejected it at the outset, that the anti-intellectual bent of  modern conservatism is finally starting to eat itself, as these folks have no idea how to engage this debate on a rational level, and instead retreat to 60”s-era stereotypes and hope that 50 years of cultural propaganda against a word will suffice as a coherent political argument (i.e. We have to do everything the rich say because otherwise *socialism*).

Nice bit of 20th Century Political Recap on where OWS fits

The Wall Street Occupiers and the Democratic Party | LA Progressive http://www.laprogressive.com/progressive-issues/the-wall-street-occupiers-and-the-democratic-party/?utm_source=LAProgressiveNewsletter&utm_campaign=ebc07ce1a0-LAP_News_19_July_2011_Live7_18_2011&utm_medium=email

This is not to say that the Occupiers can have no impact on the Democrats. Nothing good happens in Washington –regardless of how good our president or representatives may be –unless good people join together outside Washington to make it happen. Pressure from the left is critically important.

But the modern Democratic Party is not likely to embrace left-wing populism the way the GOP has embraced –or, more accurately, been forced to embrace –right-wing populism. Just follow the money, and remember history.

This general shift of populism is a curious thing to watch…as it has been for a good long while.