- Important: All passwords were reset on 06/15/11. Old passwords will no longer work. Click here to retrieve your password.
- Subscribe to Our Free Dewsletter
We are non-commercial, all volunteer and supported by our readers. Please help sustain the Dew by making a donation.
Threatening the Implausible
The “burning of the cities” in the 1960s continues to haunt conservatives. When they’re not concerned with “drowning government,” something’s “burning.” The latest iteration is a screed in the National Review by one Stanley Kurtz who’s trying to convince himself that the heir of the burning cities now has his eye on the suburbs.
Frankly, I don’t intend to even read the whole thing, but the first paragraph of “Burn Down the Suburbs?” seems worth dissecting.
President Obama is not a fan of America’s suburbs.
That’s probably a true statement. Democrats, by and large, are not fans. And, if the statistical data are at all valid, the suburbs are being abandoned by the youth in droves. Spending many hours of every day in cages on wheels that have to be driven by oneself is not attractive to people who grew up being either car-pooled or bussed. So, the cities are filling back up. This is, of course, worrisome because many people living close together are hard to control.
Indeed, he intends to abolish them.
The hubris this sentence implies would be mind-boggling, if we didn’t remember that conservatives routinely take the intent for the act. So, what Obama intends doesn’t really matter because there’s no expectation it will get done. The intention is what’s important, if people are to be frightened, and scaring people is important, ’cause misery loves company.
With suburban voters set to be the swing constituency of the 2012 election, the administration’s plans for this segment of the electorate deserve scrutiny.
Surely, the “swing constituency” is not going to be relocated to the urbs by November! So, the agitation in the run-up to the 2012 election seems sort of strange.
Obama is a longtime supporter of “regionalism,” the idea that the suburbs should be folded into the cities, merging schools, housing, transportation, and above all taxation.
Forgive me if I’m wrong, but aren’t most public school systems already regional to take advantages of economies of scale? Never mind that there’s a big difference between incorporating suburbs into cities and merging service delivery systems. And consolidating tax collection by instituting a financial transaction tax makes a lot of sense. There’s an old saying that “the piper calls the tune,” but that only counts if the fiddler knows how to play. The paymaster has long stopped being determinative of what gets done. Which is why the kerfuffle over Obamacare is so much hot air.
To this end, the president has already put programs in place designed to push the country toward a sweeping social transformation in a possible second term.
This sentence is just plain false. The President of the United States does not design nor put social programs in place. That’s the function of the Congress. It may be a conservative wet dream that the President is a dictator designated by a popular vote, instead of hereditary DNA or a military coup, but the fact is that the executive can only carry out programs the Congress authorizes and funds. Conservatives should look to their representatives on Capitol Hill for a redress of grievances.
The goal: income equalization via a massive redistribution of suburban tax money to the cities.
This sentence merely echoes the “designed to fail” theme that characterizes conservative ruminations. Threatening the impossible works so well because the inevitable failure will be welcome by all.
However, it’s just possible that Kurtz is announcing a new focus in the ongoing saga of segregation. If migrants can’t be separated from “traditional” Americans, and if married people refuse to be segregated by gender or from the interests of single people, who were, are going to be, or don’t want to be married, and brown people can’t be segregated from white people, then maybe urbanites can be segregated from suburbanites. After all, there just absolutely has to be some criterion by which to divide people into groups. Groupists, they need to have a group to which they belong in order to know who they are. What’s strange is that groupists insist that independence and individualism is their goal.
- Image: Composite image created for LikeTheDew.com - base image licensed at soleilc1 / 123RF Stock Photo
Worthy of Comment
Also on the Dew
Last Thursday, just before I took my daily two-mile run/walk hunger struck. A few bites of watermelon did the trick. When I bit into that cold sweet watermelon a flood of summer memories rushed in. I recalled the great tastes of summer and with those memories came warm images of youth in the Georgia countryside. I saw stacks of dark green, striped watermelons, red, ripe tomatoes, and heard the beautiful grinding of a hand-cranked ice cream churn. Recalling the great tastes of summer I thought will make a good column. I created a document and titled it “The Tastes of Summer.” I’m Read on →
My beloved colleagues in Teh Media sure get on my last damn nerve. Most of the time it's just from sloppy work or jumping on whatever bandwagon is rolling by at the time, something along the lines of a pet peeve. Like when my Twitter list of political reporters blows up with some hashtag meme instead of actual reporting. Today it's #Obamacareinthreewords, launched by that icon of credibility, Rep. Darrell Issa. It's the second time around for that one -- Rep. Kevin McCarthy launched it the first time last June. (@WhiteHouse even got in on it, tweeting "It's.The.Law." Republicans responded with "arrogance Read on →
When music publisher John Stark first heard Scott Joplin play his piano, he knew that ragtime was the music of hope for a new America. But Joplin would never be content with popularity and fame. Joplin committed himself to racial justice in the early 1900’s. He was inspired by Booker T. Washington and the Dahomeyan defeat in West Africa. But due to this earnest pursuit, he was ignored by the masses for writing the music of Civil Rights fifty years before America was ready to listen. King of Rags, by Professor Eric Bronson, is a historical fiction account of the quest for r Read on →
Anything characterized by high energy, originality, humor and intelligence is bound to get my attention. I was at an annual fund-raising party for an alternative art center called Nexus in about 1986. Touring the studios I kept being distracted from the visual art by some very interesting Rock 'n Roll. I wasn't the only one. A large segment of the crowd was gathered around the Swimming Pool Qs in the courtyard. Once in their vicinity I was there for as long as they would play. In any field of endeavor certain efforts stand out and the Qs were (are) definitely one Read on →