We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Stumbling over a sense of entitlement, at WaPo. It begins:
Tom Daschle still doesn't get it.
John Thain never did.
Barack Obama gets it sometimes, Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner not so much.
Corporate executives think they get it but aren't even close.
College presidents, governors and union leaders, for the most part, don't have a clue.
"It" is an understanding of how fundamentally the political and economic environment has been transformed with the bursting of the bubble economy and how that has jeopardized basic assumptions and expectations and the way we do what we do.
Tom Daschle's problem wasn't that he didn't pay his taxes. It was that he -- along with those who vetted his nomination as health and human services secretary and many of his colleagues in the Senate -- found it perfectly ordinary and acceptable that he would be able to cash in on his time in the Senate by earning more than $5 million over two years as a law-firm rainmaker, equity fundraiser, corporate director and luncheon speaker, all the while being driven around town in a chauffeured town car. Not exactly Cincinnatus returning to the plow.
For the American public, Daschle became the latest symbol of everything that is wrong with Washington -- the influence-peddling and corner-cutting and sacrifice of the public good to private interest. Now that this system has let them down, and left them poorer and anxious about the future, people are angry about it and no longer willing to accept the corruption of the public process and the whole notion of public service.
The irony, of course, is that Barack Obama understood all this and tapped into Americans' frustration as the central message of his "change" campaign. But even he, with only four years in Washington, failed to see the depth of the problem or anticipate the ferocity of the backlash.
re Lawrence Auster: Many Neocons are descendants of early 20th century immigrants, like my family. That might have something to do with why they don't share the same degree of concern Auster has for the condition of the "distinct American culture." I suspect that most of them grew up in American homes that were, culturally, quite different from Auster's.
A fundamental principle of Management 101 is this: a leader can expect no better behavior from those he leads than he is prepared to exhibit himself. Allowing a tax cheat to head the IRS. for example, is a recipe for disaster. It is absolutely demoralizing to have the head of the IRS be a scofflaw. Watch how fashionable it becomes to find creative ways to avoid paying taxes.
And who--in good conscience--can go after those who fail to pay tax? Why the hell does the average citizen have to pay tax when the very head of the IRS does not have to? There's no justifiable reason to go after people who cheat on their taxes--none.
Any attempt to enforce this law will be laughable in the eyes of the public.