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The Growing Anger In the Heartland

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Created 02/19/2009 - 6:14pm

A few months ago [1], I appeared on Fox News and was told by "anchor" (hereby "cartoon character") Greg Jarrett that "historians agree" that the New Deal exacerbated the Great Depression. It was a statement so factually inaccurate [2] that it approached insanity.

Now, the cartoon character makes an even bigger ass out of himself in a debate with Virg Bernero, the mayor of Lansing, Michigan. I encourage you to watch it:

Bernero, representing the boiling anger that's roiling the country, makes a point that needs to be hammered over and over and over again--like he does--over the din of Fox News cartoon characters. How can anyone with a straight face demand blue-collar workers take huge pay and benefit cuts at a time those workers' tax dollars are subsidizing bonuses on Wall Street?

Part of the answer is that we live in a country whose ruling class is deeply insane. Hardly a day goes by when you don't see sociopathy packaged as Serious Opinion [3]. Today's installment, in fact, makes my point about Wall Street. Check out the statement [4] of bailed-out Chase CEO John Dimon. Deriding homeowners who are getting foreclosed on, he said:

    "We should teach the American people, you're supposed to meet your obligations, not run from them."

Right, so we should blame problems on autoworkers for negotiating decent benefits and homeowners getting foreclosed on, while bailed-out CEOs who didn't meet their own expectations lecture us that "we should teach the American people you're supposed to meet your obligations." And you can bet media cartoon characters will be right there to promote this kind of paradigm as Serious Opinion.

What's new, though, is the anger. Bernero's passion exemplifies a level of rage out in the country that isn't being fully appreciated in Washington, D.C., as evidenced by everything from the continued no-strings-attached bailouts to the criticism of the most basic "Buy America" laws. The anger out here is real and it is breaking through the Beltway din. It is only going to get worse if genuine change doesn't happen in short order.

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[2] click here
[4] click here


David Sirota is a full-time political journalist, best-selling author and
nationally syndicated newspaper columnist living in Denver, Colorado. He blogs for Working Assets and the Denver Post's PoliticsWest website. He is a Senior Editor at In These Times magazine, which in 2006 received the Utne Independent Press Award for political coverage. His 2006 book, Hostile Takeover, was a New York Times bestseller, and is now out in paperback. He has been a guest on, among others, CNN, (more...)

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  "We should teach the American people, ... by William Whitten on Friday, Feb 20, 2009 at 8:16:46 PM
I hear that the elite monsters tried to make robot... by Theresa Paulfranz on Friday, Feb 20, 2009 at 9:38:41 PM by William Whitten on Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 1:05:37 AM
It's quite a lot of fun watching America implo... by John Haigh on Friday, Feb 20, 2009 at 9:50:11 PM
[please forgive the long post] There are millions ... by Jennifer Hathaway on Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 12:17:21 AM
Americans are now coming to understand the ignoran... by Simple Truth on Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 10:38:11 AM
Good post jennifer.  Yes, exactly,  if i... by jersey girl on Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 6:48:14 PM
...peep the "comments" on your link:&nbs... by waldopaper on Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 at 7:05:56 PM
Good post jennifer.  Yes, exactly,  if i... by jersey girl on Sunday, Feb 22, 2009 at 4:16:44 AM
I'm not sure if I believe there is any unusual... by Perry Logan on Sunday, Feb 22, 2009 at 6:10:04 AM
Are you kidding me Perry?  Do you really thin... by jersey girl on Sunday, Feb 22, 2009 at 9:17:11 AM
Check out the newest wrecking ball on the Obama de... by William Whitten on Sunday, Feb 22, 2009 at 1:31:15 PM
Can you stand anymore of this? Iceland?!! &nb... by jersey girl on Sunday, Feb 22, 2009 at 5:30:05 PM
"The center will not hold".....The poem,... by William Whitten on Sunday, Feb 22, 2009 at 7:05:44 PM