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Dr. Feelgood & The Psycho-babblers

By The Reverend Published: October 7, 2013

Monday morning's "both sides do it" psycho-babble, compliments of Robert Samuelson....

The curse of U.S. politics is that it’s become less about interests and more about ideologies — and ideologies breed moral absolutes, rigid agendas and strong emotions......

I’ve called this “the politics of self-esteem” — and it profoundly alters politics. For starters, it suggests that you don’t just disagree with your adversaries; you also look down on them as morally inferior. It’s harder to compromise when differences involve powerful moral convictions.

That is standard issue Village-Speak. Republicans and Democrats are both to blame for fill-in-the-blank......because both look down on the other as morally inferior. Both parties carry on the way they do only because they are practicing "the politics of self-esteem." In this Village Mother Goose Story, only Professional Journalists, like Samuelson, are capable of rising above these petty political-ego games (because Journalists don't suffer from ego problems?)

Although Robert Samuelson has written countless articles calling for slashing Social Security checks and the safety net, (the GOP platform).....he, alone, isn't blinded by self-righteous, ego stroking, ideology. He is the Lone Ranger of humility, level headedness, and, of course, pure-as-the-wind-driven-snow morality.

Let's review. Democrats passed a stimulus bill to "soften" the economic hit from the Bankster Caper of 2008. The stimulus provided assistance to millions of average Americans trampled underfoot by Wall Street Gamblers who explained that they were "doing the lord's work." Republicans opposed the stimulus.

Democrats passed Dodd-Frank, a timid attempt to rein in out-of-control Banksters who had just wrecked the world economy. Republicans opposed it.

Democrats passed the Affordable Care Act, a hybridized version of the conservative Heritage Foundation's "market-based" approach to universal health insurance. With the ACA, millions of previously uninsured average-income and poor working Americans would have access to healthcare insurance who didn't have access before.
Republicans, all of them, voted against the ACA.

House Republicans passed the Ryan Budget....twice. The Ryan Budget cut and partially privatized Medicare, raised the Medicare eligibility age, cut Medicaid by block-granting funds to the states, slashed food stamps, cut aid to the elderly and to children, and on and on like that. Democrats refused to take up the Ryan Budget in the Senate.

House Republicans voted on 42 separate occasions to repeal, defund, and burn in effigy the Affordable Care Act.

Samuelson's explains why both sides did what they did.....

....the foot soldiers of ideological causes don’t usually enlist for tangible benefits for themselves but for a sense that they’re making the world a better place. Their reward is feeling good about themselves.

See, Democrats didn't pass any of the above legislation because helping average Americans during troubling economic times is simply the right, humane and empathetic thing to do. Don't be foolish. Democrats, according to Samuelson, voted for that stuff so they could feel good about themselves. Republicans voted against all those things because, they too, only wanted to feel good about themselves.

Absent from Samuelson's sly attempt to cover some Republican ass in the current Republican shutdown-leading-to-default humiliation........are the People. And that is not unusual for Village Lone Rangers.

While imperfect, Democratically-passed legislation HELPED Americans who needed help. Real help for real people's lives. Republicans opposed legislation that helped people who needed it.

Which leads us to today's questions....

Is helping those in need.....moral, or immoral?

Should human beings refuse to help those in need because helping human beings is a self-rewarding feelgood?

Depending on how you answer the above...

Is refusing to help people in need....moral or immoral?

Is it acceptable, moral behavior for humans to refuse help to those in need because their political opponents might feel good about themselves if they didn't refuse?

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