Friday, April 15, 2011

Class Warfare, Again? How Uncouth!

Digby quotes Carol Costello on CNN:
Carol Costello: If you listen to our politicians this week, you might think America is at war. Not in Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya, but right here at home in a kind of class warfare. [Excerpts of speeches by Obama, Orrin Hatch.]

From Republican Paul Ryan, Mr Obama's speech was the same old partisan politics:

Ryan: [video] "When the Commander in Chief sort of brings himself down to the level of the partisan mosh pit, it makes it more difficult to bring that kind of leadership."

Costello: groan It's deja vu all over again. Helloooo! 2008 anyone??? Will we see Joe the Plumber and President Obama calling Wall Street executives "fat cats" again?

At his inauguration Mr Obama urged both parties to rise above partisan politics. Now, says independent political analyst Jon Avlon, Mr Obama's speech opened him up to accusations of class warfare on the campaign trail going into 2012!

Wall Street vs main Street. As long as politicians keep reinforcing it, we will never get out of that partisan mosh pit.

So, talkback question today: Is class warfare the right political fight?
As always, read Digby for more.

But note the framing: Costello argues that we have a choice about waging class warfare or not.

In reality class warfare goes on all the time, although it is only visible in one direction: As long as the top one percent are winning it is not called class warfare, but life.

And what would it mean in Castello's view not to wage this particular war? That nobody should point out how the budget deprives the poor of what they desperately need to survive but gives the rich more take-home pay?

I don't want to wage "class wars", in the sense of the connotations we are expected to swallow here: communism vs. capitalism and so on. But the facts are facts:

Costello refuses to see that the Ryan budget is balanced on the backs of the poor while giving the wealthy more money for vacation trips. Few of us would argue that there isn't something unbalanced about this.

Indeed, I believe that most of the wealthy would agree with me. Extra money simply means much more when you have hardly any than when you have loads.