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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/20/09

The Growing Anger In the Heartland

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Message David Sirota
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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.

Published on OurFuture.org (http://www.ourfuture.org)1825 K Street, NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20006
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[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6rBiGj2kbE
[2] click here
[3] http://www.openleft.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=10989
[4] click here


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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, MSNBC, CNBC and NPR. His writing, which draws on his (more...)

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