Sunday, February 21, 2010

American Nō Theatre

"Whatever it is, I'm against it!"

Recently I've become aware of, which features videochats of sharp people from different walks of like just talkin' about stuff.

Here's a segment of a long conversation between Robert Wright (author of The Moral Animal: Why We Are, the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology, Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny, and The Evolution of God) and Washington Post writer Joel Achenbach (author of Why Things Are & Why Things Aren't, and The Grand Idea: George Washington's Potomac and the Race to the West) discussing what they call "the Audacity of Nope" and an "againstness epidemic."

The topic is the reaction and resistance to Obama's healthcare reform process, characterized as "Obamacare" and Socialized Medicine even though it was hardly radical in nature and didn't even present a single-payer system in the end (although I wish it did). In their view, there is no longer any tolerance for the ugliness associated with the deal-making and "sausage-making" of government. Instead of allowing for things to get done, the system now only allows us to mobilize against what we don't want.

Are they just Obama supporters carping and complaining, or are they onto something? Does this Senate supermajority system, which allows a tyranny of the minority, mean perpetual gridlock and hopelessly broken government?

Senator Quincy Adams Wagstaff explains...

The original from Horsefeathers (1932)


Liam said...

The GOP cynicism is amazing. It was most evident on the jobs bill, when several Republicans who voted against cloture turned around and voted for the final bill. That's a "yes" for obstruction and also a "yes" for anything in the bill that they can claim for their states.

I'm extremely disgusted with politics right now. The Democrats are pathetically spineless and fairly corrupt, but the Republicans are on the far side of repulsive. Meanwhile Fox News and right-wing radio keep pumping up an active and vocal conservative populism that is loud, full of hateful bile, thoroughly misinformed, and irredeemably racist. A pox on the lot of them.

Jeff said...


I hear you. How did you like them turning immediately on Scott Brown after voting for the jobs bill? "Benedict Brown" they're calling him now.

I haven't caught much of the news yet on today's health care summit meeting, but I did hear that right off the bat one of the Republicans was looking for a promise from the Democrats that they wouldn't try to force legislation through using the reconciliation process. What nerve. So much they make of Obama's call to find common ground on the details. Once again, it's all about the process. This, after they've used 80 filibusters to block virtually everything Obama has tried to do.

You're right, of course. All of these guys seem to be bought and paid for. Money has totally corrupted the process, and the latest Supreme Court decision is likely to make it worse.

Joe said...

B-I-N-G-O! You certainly hit the nail on the head Jeff. We talked specifically about where this would go (or more accurately, where this would not go) this summer. Coming from this industry myself I can tell you that they just ain't gonna let that happen.

But for me, the real take-away here goes deeper: Its another reaffirmation of how things really work, what's going on behind the scenes,whose running the show...

Jeff said...

Thanks for the comment, Joe.

I wish we could have spent more time on that last Summer. It was a great conversation. Yeah, big pharma, big insurance, and Lord knows who else.