The Barbershop has re-located

The proprietor has moved the shop to ChicagoNow, a Chicago Tribune site that showcases some of the best bloggers in the Chicago area. You can logo on to the Barbershop home page here. The ChicagoNow home page is here.

You'll still be able to post comments with the same ease as in this location. The proprietor also will keep this web site alive if you wish to review old posts.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Leftwing Circus Comes to Town

By Dennis Byrne

The YearlyKos presidential forum here in Chicago did such a wonderful job of spotlighting the extreme elements of the Democratic Party that conservatives should hope that they make it a monthly, even weekly, event.

Consider: It really takes something to make Hilary Clinton look good, but the leftwing bloggers who partake of the poisonous rhetoric that flows on the Daily Kos web site pulled it off. Of course, making Clinton look good isn't saying much when you're sharing the debating stage with the other Democratic candidates, there to kowtow to their base.

When Clinton spoke the truth at the forum about lobbying practices in Washington, the crowd roundly booed her. Asked about taking campaign money from lobbyists, she pointed out that lobbyists "represent real Americans. They actually do. They represent nurses, they represent, you know, social workers. They represent--yes they represent corporations that employ a lot of people."

See, right there she stepped in it, not just on the lobbying thing, but acknowledging what the lefties don't want to hear: Corporations, for all their faults, do something good; they give people jobs.

Read more at RealClearPolitics


Bruce Gruber said...

It is challenging to try to separate wheat from chaff in the political universe which has devolved since media consolidation and advertising/entertainment/propaganda/focus group psychology became the political technique of choice for training the masses. I have re-read your piece on the Kos event several times and I am most uncertain of how you got to where you are.

The warmth of the attributions you offer to personalize the achievements of corporations frightens me, almost as much as the Supreme's enthusiasm for BIG money as the underlying foundation of "free" speech. A corporation, in my humble opinion, never "gives" anything to anyone ... especially jobs. The opportunity for financial security and compensation 'benefits' associated with collectivized, vertically consolidated employment has become increasingly scarce as acquisitions, layoffs and divestiture of "less profitable" components within the corporate environment have replaced products and services as America's defining measure of "success".

Advancement for individual employees, as well as the 'recognized' successful CEO's, has become a surfer's dream of sliding along and under the crest of the wave - desperately avoiding the falling curl and maximizing superficial appearances while laterally hunting a new opportunity elsewhere before reality (WorldCom, ENRON, Financial Corp. of America. Global Crossing, LTD, etc) exposes the manipulation and corruption - or gross immorality or incompetence - of their managers. The private and 'inside' security services and mercenaries required to 'protect' these managers from employees and the public speaks volumes about the "something good" you suggest they represent. Perhaps we should look forward to leveling the playing field by treating 'corporate' bankruptcy the same as personal bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005.

Additionally, your collectivization of 'Lobbyists" lacks intellectual honesty - or understanding. I cannot, with certainty, fathom which. To combine social policy advocates petitioning government regarding legislative and program priorities with industry and financial parsers negotiating avoidance of regulation, responsibility or transparency is stupid or dishonest. Characterization of an abortion "industry .. twisting arms" is, at best, disingenuous. A labor 'movement' now estimated to represent only 5-8% of the American workforce does 'contribute' dues (under strictly and studiously investigated bargaining agreements) to its representative spokesmen. Hardly the same 'rights' for employee-workers whose potential compensation is reduced by the hundreds of millions of dollars siphoned into lobbying against the very interests of the public AND those employees as 'tax deductible' corporate expenses with NO election or influence by the indirect providers of the resources expended against their interest. FBI investigation of union activities seems much more enthusiastic and timely than other Executive Department efforts to curb influence and fraud in the foggy atmosphere between government and the 'private' sector. AARP, despite its corporate mentality of peddling insurance for United Healthcare for whatever income is derived hardly compares to the SBC/AT&T creation of pseudo-citizen organizations to produce the pretense of voter input in the legislative process to control broadband access to the internet. AARP's membership base can hardly be equated with the cash contributions of OIL, Tobacco, corporate farming and the pharmaceutical industry in the 'influencing' of OUR representatives.

Your 'talking points' reference to Bush hating offers better insight to your motivations. It mirrors the original propaganda that proposed that every President before Bush II had been 'granted' the tools and flexibility to influence enemies (like Saddam) and that those who questioned the competence or honesty of the request for authority were "weak" on protecting America, traitors to our national interests or politically partisan in questioning the underlying goals and focus on Iraq. Truth is the victim now and then. It would be sad if your biased misinformation was the result of limited intellectual capacity. However, I would find your opinions traitorous to the principles on which most Americans perceive their country - if you are consciously aware of your motivations for constructing the opinions you express.
"I hope the use of force will not become necessary. Yet, confronting the threat (sic) posed by Iraq is necessary, by whatever means that requires. Either the Iraqi regime will give up its weapons of mass destruction, or, for the sake of peace, the United States will lead a global coalition to disarm that regime. If any doubt our nation's resolve, our determination, they would be unwise to test it.

The Iraqi regime is a serious and growing threat to peace. On the commands of a dictator, the regime is armed with biological and chemical weapons, possesses ballistic missiles, promotes international terror and seeks nuclear weapons. The same dictator has a history of mass murder, striking other nations without warning; of intense hatred for America; and of contempt for the demands of the civilized world."

Bruce Gruber

lake county democrat said...

Of course, there are tons more issues than accepting money from lobbyists which a conservative could agree with. Why is there a $$$ floor before bundled contributions are disclosed? Why is it that individual contributors are disclosed for all to see their political beliefs, but lobbyists can stay in the shadows? Why is it improper to take money from foreign citizens, but not a U.S. subsidiary of a foreign nation?
And nothing is stopping the "real Americans" who serve in management for corporations speak out on their behalf and make the corporate case. I don't have a big problem with corporate contributions -- when citizens pay attention (like they did with immigration reform -- a prime example of corporate special intersts willing to damn the public interest to increase wealth of the wealthiest) they will trump corporate interests.

As for Hillary, sometimes I wonder if she pays people on the right to keep making snide remarks about her -- I think half of her support comes from people who are either sympathetic or just want to stick it to the smug.

dwoody said...

Please don’t give this a second thought if you find it offensive. It’s really not meant to be. I’m just a person. Possibly someone you describe in your column as a …democrat.

What I saw today among the KOS panelist (c-span) looked a lot like the Alltell commercial. You know the one. Where the four “nerds” are threatening to pinch. This is a response after reading your column The Leftwing Circus Comes to Town.

Yes, both Democrats and Republicans get “well” off lobbyist. Yes, companies pay workers’ salaries. But to trust companies whose only motives are the almighty dollar to make “fair” decisions regarding the public/workers etc. Why that would be like expecting objectivity from an editorial writer.

If there was a enough cash in it, I’m sure Cheney would be happy to sponsor a “bald eagle forking contest” If what you saw was depressing, well it was to anybody. Now, it looks like the “lefties” are just beginning to emulate the neo-cons.

Result, now everybody looks stoopid.

Stephen Schade said...

Mr. Byrne:

Talking to lefties is certainly not like talking to children. Being open-minded, at least they are willing to consider all sides of an issue before making a decision. It is the side that resists change that they most often reject. That side, comprised of conservatives like you, conveniently ignores facts in order to make their point.