Saturday, December 6, 2014

"Pragmatism" VS "Ideology and Ideologues" Examples: 2013

EXAMPLES AND ANALYSIS: 2013 "Pragmatism" VS "Ideology and Ideologues"
In the United States, we always do things in a grand way, so it’s a tribute to American exceptionalism that we have far outperformed China in the field of extremist ideologues. We don’t have some pathetic little foursome, but an unrivaled “Gang of 40.” That’s my name for the 40 hard-line Republican House members who have forced the shutdown of the federal government and are now flirting with a debt default that could spin the world into recession. In their purported effort to save America money, they’re costing us taxpayers billions of dollars. Obviously, there are differences — our Gang of 40 disdain Mao suits — but there is a similar sense in which an entire nation is held hostage by a small group of unrepresentative figures who don’t have much of a clue about economics or about where they’re taking the country. … The second is the way politicians seek leverage by brazenly threatening deliberate harm to the nation unless they get their way. The House Republican hard-liners lost their battle against Obamacare in the democratic process, just as President Obama lost his battle for an assault-weapons ban. But instead of accepting their loss as Obama did, members of the Gang of 40 took hostages. Unless Obamacare is defunded, they’ll cause billions of dollars in damage to the American economy.
-- New York Times pundit Nicholas Kristof, October 10, 2013.

Comment: This is "extremists" and "ideologues" and "hostage-taking" rhetoric.

"There are many members in the Republican caucus who do not believe in government. And bless their hearts, they act upon their beliefs. So day to day, we vote here on issues that eliminate government initiatives for clean air, clean water, food safety, public safety, public education, public transportation, public housing, public health, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security. They don't believe in a public role. And if you don't believe in a public role, then why do you even have to have taxes to pay for it? ... They're anti-government ideologues, and that's what the speaker has to deal with. … It's really sad. Because that's not who the Republican Party is. I tell them, 'Take back your party.' This is a great party. The country needs more than one-party dominance, as much as I believe the Democratic Party is the party for the middle class. ... We need to have a marketplace of ideas."
-- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, January 2, 2013.

Comment: In addition to an example of "ideology" rhetoric, Pelosi's comments demonize Republicans, making it sound as if they don't want any government at all.

I wrote a month ago that his objective in demanding a hike in tax rates was entirely political because the Speaker offered him the same amount of money by eliminating loopholes. So, if he wanted the money, that's all he wanted was to raise revenues, it was handed to him. But he said no, you have to raise rates. Why? Because he knew that would accentuate the fractures, the fissures in the Republican party, it would neutralize the one oppositionist institution, the House of Representatives. That’s exactly what happened, he succeeded in that. The House has been neutered, you saw what happened last night. And if he gets the House out of the way, he can then be dominant in Washington for his entire second term. … I think he’s not ignorant but I think he has … this is a man who is so ideological, he is so committed since the days as a community organizer to undoing the injustices he sees in the country.
-- Political pundit Charles Krauthammer, January 2, 2013.

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