Monday, December 19, 2011

JEB'S ORWELLIAN (BORROWED) CATCHPHRASE

First, let's address the obvious: yes, Jeb Bush has a Wall Street Journal op-ed because the party has been preparing to slot him into the presidential race if there's no other way to get an electable nominee. But the op-ed was clearly in the pipeline before polls started revealing the implosion of the Newt Gingrich campaign, and the rise of a libertarian anti-Romney who can't win anywhere where GOP voters insist on a foreign policy that emphasizes killing brown people for Jesus (i.e., the vast majority of red states). So Ron Paul will fade right after Gingrich, Romney is all but anointed, and Jeb will soon retreat to the background, hoping to be Mitt's market-oriented secretary of education.

But since the party elders took the trouble to put this op-ed together for Jeb, let's examine it, particularly the opening:

Congressman Paul Ryan recently coined a smart phrase to describe the core concept of economic freedom: "The right to rise."

Think about it. We talk about the right to free speech, the right to bear arms, the right to assembly. The right to rise doesn't seem like something we should have to protect.

But we do. We have to make it easier for people to do the things that allow them to rise. We have to let them compete. We need to let people fight for business.


"The right to rise"? In a sane America, if we wanted to use the phrase "the right to rise" at this moment in history, we'd use it to talk about people who can't rise because they can't sell a house and move to where jobs are because the fat cats won't allow serious levels of mortgage modification to stabilize the housing market; we'd talk about people who can't rise and find work because we refuse to make a serious effort to engage in the sort of Keynesian public-works stimulus that would put money in people's pockets that they would later give to struggling merchants in exchange for food, clothing, and consumer goods; we'd talk about people who can't rise because they've been laid off as teachers or cops as we refuse to raise taxes on the wealthy to pay for needed services; we'd talk about students who will struggle to rise for decades because they bear a crushing burden of student loans and no job prospects.

But Jeb, and Paul Ryan before him, mean nothing of the sort. They mean the right to be capitalists -- a right that every sane person knows is clearly not threatened in America in any way, shape, or form. Ah, but, but ... regulations! Jeb says they're awful!

Increasingly, we have let our elected officials abridge our own economic freedoms through the annual passage of thousands of laws and their associated regulations. We see human tragedy and we demand a regulation to prevent it. We see a criminal fraud and we demand more laws. We see an industry dying and we demand it be saved. Each time, we demand "Do something ... anything."

...Woe to the elected leader who fails to deliver a multipoint plan for economic success, driven by specific government action. "Trust in the dynamism of the market" is not a phrase in today's political lexicon.


Several things are going on here: Jeb warming up to substitute for Mitt, Jeb trying to co-opt Ron Paul's rhetoric, Jeb attempting to lift the albatross of Paul Ryan's bad reputation from around the neck of what must have been a painstakingly crafted slogan from the GOP laboratories.

But this is still horrifying. The phrase essentially describes operating big businesses without effective government oversight as a fundamental human right, like something that would have been fought for in Tahrir Square or on the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

If we as a nation fall for this Orwellian phrase -- now or in the future -- we deserve the decline and fall that will come to us.

(X-posted at Booman Tribune.)

9 comments:

c u n d gulag said...

"If we as a nation fall for this Orwellian phrase -- now or in the future -- we deserve the decline and fall that will come to us."

Dude, where you been?
We're IN the decline and fall phase!
And probably close to the fall than to the decline.

We've fallen for this bullshit for over 40 years.
From "Silent Majority," to "Moral Majority," to today's Luntz-polished turds.

And sure, it all began with Nixon, but was perfected by Ronnie and "The Reagan DEvolution."

They didn't show us the copy of the speech, because it wasn't spelled "M-O-R-N-I-N-G," but "M-O-U-R-N-I-N-G in America!"

And we've been "mourning" that America ever since.

Hell, Even a 24k hypocrite like John Boehner knows it!

proverbialleadballoon said...

the race to the bottom is being cheerled by those who will be crushed under the wheel, along with all of us who are the subject of their two minutes hate. as c u n d gulag notes, _of course_ we'll fall for it, well not 'we' exactly, but all the lizard people, and enough of the people who pay no attention whatsoever and yet hold the right to vote. you, gulag, me, and all the rest of the liberal goldsteins have been pissing in the wind for the last 40 years. because as this post highlights, _words have no meaning anymore_. within the indices of 1984, orwell writes at length about language, specifically how language shapes the ability for thought. when jeb bush can write 'the right to rise' regarding corporations that are already standing on the necks of all of us, in one of the most widely-circulated papers in the country, and not immediately be laughed off the stage, we've already lost. the jig is up. orwell was (is) right. the only thing he didn't 100% nail was that it would be totalitarian capitalism, not communsim, that would do us all in.

Greg said...

I do think most Republicans (Jeb certainly included) really are bought & sold on the magical thinking that results in the kind of radio commercial I heard a couple years back, on Portland's progressive station no less: "Being a millionaire is a choice."

Frankly, I lay some blame at the feet of the self-help movement. Maybe not as much in what people like Tony Robbins and Werner Erhard have created ("You CAN make your life work, and here's how and why!"), as how Republicans and some DINOs have turned that into a justification for Randian capitalist Anything Goes.

The subject's worth a thesis or two at one of our fine "liberal" universities, if we still have those in the future.

Steve M. said...

Frankly, I lay some blame at the feet of the self-help movement.

Frankly, I lay a lot of blame at the feet of the self-help movement. You're absolutely right about the way that's poisoned the discourse.

Greg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Greg said...

I think the gurus of the self-help movement, if they've dropped the ball, is primarily in the area of encouraging "capitalist enterprise" without proper discernment. (Often being militant know-it-alls doesn't help either.) They may fancy themselves as benign altruists, and I wouldn't go so far as to call most of them nihilists, but the fact is they've put too much foolish trust in the Invisible Hand. And that sends an Anything Goes message to those looking for one.

Donald Douglas said...

I hammered you for teh stupid of this post over at my place, and your idiot commentariat here is just icing on the cake. The link is below via Blogger...

c u n d gulag said...

Since my comment was apparently deleted, does that mean that 'The Donald' didn't see my question asking him about how his Sasquatch watch in Jerusalem is going?

Also, too, dear Mr. DouglASS - what link below "via Blogger..."?

c u n d gulag said...

Ooops, sorry, Steve - wrong comment to worry about being deleted from.

And, oooooohhhhh - AmericanNeoCLOWN "hammered you" on his placeQ

A place where other warmongering morons go to exchange recipes for "Grilled Iranians," or "Broiled Iraqi's."

But don't feel too special, Steve.

In Mr. DouglASS's world, the planet is full of nails, and he wields the hammer.
In his hand.
And the only difference between that and his dick, is the hammer is long and hard, and his dick, well, not so much...
Plus, I don't think he steps on his hammer nearly as much.

"Sasquatch Israel!" much recently, Mr. DouglASS?

"Sasquatch Israel."
That will be his epitaph.
LOL!!!
What a dope. What a maroon!!!