September 19, 2009

Wearing Glass Shoes

Yesterday, while partaking of my pre-studio morning ritual of tea and my perusal of the New York Times, out of the corner of my eyes I could see the op ed columns. "Don’t go there today Janet," I told myself, fearing that there might be something there that would pop out and bite me. Call it my post traumatic Maureen Dowd stress syndrome. (The lady actually gave me nightmares) But my curiosity getting the better of me, I elected to read the op ed piece "No, It’s Not about Race" by David Brooks.
It was an interesting, insightful piece and I mention it here as worth a gander for anyone who would like an antidote to the op ed pieces "Boy, oh Boy" and "Rapping Joe’s Knuckles." Although I believe that the Peaceable Kingdom tenor may be overly sanguine, it was a refreshing perspective on the current conflicts in the country being played out in Capital Hill as seen through the prism of American history. In his op-ed piece, David Brooks introduces us to the dichotomy of Hamiltonian and Jeffersonian politics, with the Hamiltonian representing an educated urban elite (read Pro-Obama) and the Jeffersonian representing rural populist (read anti-Obama). While it is an oversimplification, it is an actual political analysis in the tradition of leaving the "self" out of the interest and remaining true to one’s own voice. (by contrast so many sentences in the Maureen Dowd op ed pieces were prefaced by "Clyburn says..." that one had to wonder whose op ed piece it actually was - hers or James Clyburns’?)
In his article, David Brooks characterizes the populist camp as being rude, ill-mannered and over the top. While I can concur with that I would have to say then, that the populist camp is not isolated to people with anti-Obama agendas but rather stratifies both sides of the political table. Indeed, during the campaign last year one of my Democrat friends sent me a pro-Obama article in the so-called progressive media that was literally laced with gutter profanity (I wrote an article about this earlier called "Pig Lips and Potty Mouths). I agree that we have a problem, but I’m not sure that it is a problem of an urban educated elite versus a populist rural one because each side has its share of highly educated, semi-educated and the uneducated. I’m afraid we would have to add to that a heavy dose of the uniformed as well because people are too concerned about the economic crisis and too pressed for time to sift out fact from fiction in the sea of information on the net and in other news venues.
With regard to Capitol Hill? I would submit that we voted for change we can believe in and got change that we can’t handle - with Republicans being the most monumental of frightened sore losers and Democrats wielding power unwisely for lack of practice.
In any case, with the screech level of opinion editorial writing in the New York Times turned down several volumes, they are back, in my estimation, from the brink of irresponsibility to plain old garden variety bias. Thank you.

No comments: