“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Monday, September 29, 2008

Click click

Bush couldn't persuade the Republican party to pull the trigger. The bailout is dead - at least for today. If the GOP had pulled the trigger, that would be the end of the party in the Red States. The reps understand this. The Bush bubble has finally become impervious even to the faux reality it has spun for itself.

These fucker, these fuckers, go ahead Nicky. It's gonna be all right. Put an empty chamber in that gun. Shoot Nicky, shoot shoot!


abb1 said...

Roger, I read your response below. You may be right I don't know, but I feel that you're overanalyzing.

People in the Red States resent that the Yankees will benefit most? Fine, but this doesn't sound like such a huge hurdle to overcome. My impression (admittedly superficial) is that these people are quite gullible; they go to church, their church is a cell in Republican grassroots organization, they get the correct interpretation of events and a set of talking points. Anything, literally anything, can be glamorized today, demonized tomorrow, and glamorized again next week.

Why would this bailout be different? I can imagine a whole bunch of nice sounding talking points for a Red-stater.

Well, my weak point here is, of course, the fact that I can't explain why so many Republicans in congress vote against the bailout. So, yeah, you have the empirical evidence on your side, but somehow I don't buy your explanation.

roger said...

Abb1, that is because you think the Red State voters, because they disagree with you, are gullible. A popular story line, a la Thomas Frank's what is wrong with Kansas. I think that is simply wrong. There's a difference between free riding and gullibility. The Red State voters know well that the more over the top rhetoric of the politicians they vote for - for instance, the shrinking of government from big to "small" - is never going to happen. They've had thirty years of experience to understand this. And they also understand that this means the structure they depend on so that they aren't paying for Grandpa and Grandma's meals and rent is going to be defended by the Dems - so why not take advantage of that fact?

It is the classic freerider position - enjoy the benefit of what you publicly put down.

But where's the benefit in the bailout? Actually, that the market sank so much and so fast might turn things around here - if this really starts sinking 401ks, the sentiment on this thing could turn around in a heartbeat. But from the Red State viewpoint, this didn't even have a freerider benefit. In effect, money goes from the pockets of people in Georgia and Mississippi to the pockets of people in New York and Connecticut. You might say, well, that happens anyway, but until last year, it was a two way, with real estate prices shooting up - which makes Red State people happy. Now, real estate prices are going down and money is going to the people who made the most money on the whole thing.

There is nothing, nothing that the Red State voter likes worse than being a sucker.

The gullible, actually, have been those who think the Red Staters were somehow not voting their interest. This liberal myth is, I think, sorta funny. Ocasionally, liberals will wake up and go, wait, isn't that hypocrisy, what Palin did, pocketing the earmarked money for her state while pretending to be against it? It is as if only the pooor poor red staters knew that they were bein' inconsistent.

Showing a lack of knowledge of free riding that - of course - could only bring a pitying smile to a true Snopes.

abb1 said...

Well, OK, again, I admit that I don't know too many people from the South or flyover states, so I'm basically just blowing smoke at this point, so feel free to ignore it.

I do know a bunch of people from NH who vote Rep, but they are gun nuts and (I believe) true libertarians. We have friends, a family that moved to MA from the South, the wife is a church minister, the husband is a flute maker. They told me they would never vote for a Democrat (- so, you moved up here and will now be voting for Ted Kennedy? - no way).

Based on this limited experience I don't believe they realize that they are free-riders. They feel they are the salt of the earth, the real Americans, good, god fearing people; the minorities and other city dwellers are the free-riders. I am convinced they are sincere.

Now, I agree with you that gullibility as the main and only explanation is myopic; there must be an economic component too. My sense of it is that party affiliation has to do with the population density. In a small town or a trailer park one (I imagine) doesn't see many useful federal programs in action; social security and medicare, everything else comes from the state.

Social security and medicare are paid by FICA, the rest of the federal revenue (that is not spent on 'defense') must be perceived as a waste.

In general, people in small towns live in a community, they don't need the government nearly as much as people in the cities do. Imagine the Amish (admittedly an extreme example) - what do they get from the feds or even from the state government? Why, nothing but the headache. I suspect an ordinary small town is not that much different, you have your support system and your safety net right here - your extended family, your neighbors, your church.

Anyway, that's my take, and probably not very original. And it's already almost 1am again, dammit.