Tag: Liberalism in the United States

McGovern v. DWS

George McGovern died yesterday. He was 90. While McGovern was the most liberal candidate ever to be nominated for President, he was a principled one, who actually believed what he said. His speech against the Vietnam War (this was back when Congress actually debated whether we would have wars or not) is as shocking 32 years later as it was then.

The interesting thing … and the reason I’m writing about him … is that McGovern, later in life, moved in a direction I would call “liberaltarian”. Nick Gillespie:

Having sunk most of his savings into the venture, it went belly up, he said, partly because of a bad economy but also due to “federal, state and local rules that were all passed with the objective of helping employees, protecting the environment, raising tax dollars for schools, protecting our customers from fire hazards, etc.”

Lamenting his lack of business experience while he was a legislator and presidential contender, McGovern concluded that “ ‘one-size-fits-all’ rules for business ignored the reality of the marketplace.”

As he explained, “setting thresholds for regulatory guidelines at artificial levels — for example, 50 employees or more, $500,000 in sales — takes no account of other realities, such as profit margins, labor intensive vs. capital intensive businesses, and local market economics.”

In 2008, also in the Wall Street Journal, he attacked what he called “economic paternalism” from right-wing and left-wing politicians who were seeking to ban subprime loans and the pay- day lending business. Such laws don’t actually help people of limited means, he stressed, even as they reduce everyone’s ability to deal with their finances. He also took aim at “health-care paternalism” that made it impossible for consumers to shop across state lines for insurance and stuck them with unwanted or unaffordable gold-plated plans. “I’ve come to realize,” he wrote, “that protecting freedom of choice in our everyday lives is essential to maintaining a healthy civil society.”

As Radley Balko says, “libertarianism happens to people.” In the end, the most liberal Presidential candidate in history wound up to the right of half the crowd currently in Washington.

As I said, he was too liberal for me, even in the end. But you can contrast his principled liberalism to someone completely unprincipled, like say, Debbie Wasserman Schultz:

That Obama has a “kill list” has been known since January, 2010, and has been widely reported and discussed in every major American newspaper since April 2010. A major controversy over chronic White House leaks often featured complaints about this article (New York Times, 5 June 2012: “Senators to Open Inquiry Into ‘Kill List’ and Iran Security Leaks”). The Attorney General, Eric Holder, gave a major speech defending it.

But Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic Congresswoman from Florida and the Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, does not know about any of this. She has never heard of any of it. She has managed to remain completely ignorant about the fact that President Obama has asserted and exercised the power to secretly place human beings, including US citizens, on his “kill list” and then order the CIA to extinguish their lives.

Just marvel at this stunning, completely inexcusable two-minute display of wholesale ignorance by this elected official and DNC chair. Here she is after the second presidential debate being asked by Luke Rudkowski of We Are Change about the “kill list” and whether Romney should be trusted with this power. She doesn’t defend the “kill list”. She doesn’t criticize it. She makes clear that she has never heard of it and then contemptuously treats Rudkowski like he is some sort of frivolous joke for thinking that it is real:

To be fair, I’d ignore Rudkowski too. He looks and sounds like a crank. If I hadn’t already blogged about the kill list, I would have thought he was a raging nutter. Moreover, I suspect DWS is not so much ignorant as she is an unthinking partisan hack who simply has no interest in criticism of her party. But I can’t imagine George McGovern having a kill list. Or pretending one didn’t exist.

So we have a Democratic Party that is frequently to the left of and far less principled than … George “Amnesty, Abortion and Acid” McGovern. What does that tell you about the state of politics?

AOL-Huffington merger doomed as I had predicted.

Looks like my prediction that the purchase of Huffington Post by AOL for $315 million was going to kill both companies, a while back on this site, is bearing fruit. As I noted then, AOL was the kiss of death, and Huffington Post was a bunch of lefty loons with no real experience. Anyway, this thing is going south faster than Obama and the democrats are pushing America off the cliff, and the most essential reason is #1:

AOL bought Huffington Post for $315 million earlier this year. So far, according to a reader, the intergration is going very badly: Twelve reasons why the AOL – Huffington Post merger is going down in flames. The tragedy here is that not only will the deal ruin AOL, but it will also ruin the Huffington Post.

It is the Peter Principle on a grand scale. None of AOL’s senior editors (Huffington, Roy Sekoff, and Nico Pitney) have ever managed more than a few people. Now they have hundreds and lack the experience to manage a team this big. Behind the scenes, long time Huffposters say that Jai Singh’s departure has eliminated the key adult in the room. Now they need to grow HuffPost and save AOL – not possible.

The place is run by people with no real experience for the job they are in. Kind of like the country is being run right now. The novice in the WH and his merry band of followers that with a few exceptions have never held a job in the real world have no clue what they are doing. Neither does the leadership of the mighty AOL-Huffington Post mega corp. Even worse, it seems decisions are not being made on sound business principles, choices made to benefit the company as a hole, but what to me clearly look like insane reasons and some kind of twisted ideological lines and motive. Seriously, can you believe stuff like this?

Unclear lines of authority. Editors are turning down sponsorships – refusing to allow McDonald’s or K-Mart sponsor AOL’s fashion week coverage.

It’s not like the KKK or Hitler are asking for ad time here people. Why refuse good paying customers, huh?

Or even more interesting are revelations like these:

Dissension in edit. The editorial team is miserable and views Arianna as unpredictable and her leadership unsteady. Several editors are racing to close book deals to be write the “Devil Wear’s Prada” of the digital age. Others are aggressively pitching unflattering profiles to New York Magazine, Vanity Fair, and the LA Times. The lack of maturity and loyalty among editors is stunning – even those close to her are extremely negative behind her back – which is surprising because she has done a great job taking care of her people.

Imperial over-reach. AOL will eliminate Popeater and Parentdish this month and roll them into the Huffington Post. Arianna’s people are plotting to eliminate all non huffingtonpost.com websites and redirect all traffic to the huffingtonpost.com. No one thinks consolidating to huffingtonpost.com is a good idea from a consumer or an advertiser perspective, but no one will stop Arianna.

Neither the Indians nor the chiefs have a clue what they are doing, but both are doing things that hurt the future viability of the company, and then due to lack of maturity and for insane personal and ideological reasons. Good luck fixing those. And expect a lot more of this:

Fear and paranoia. Large parts of the org recognize the strategy is bad for the business but everyone is afraid to speak out. Arianna is rumored to have created an enemies list across the company and has directed her loyalists to collect dossiers on other managers across the company and report back on conversations. Her list includes several key business, sales, technology, and marketing executives she wants to eliminate and replace with her people. Anyone who disagrees, even if backed by data and clear rationale’s – goes on the enemies list. Facts don’t matter.

This sounds like leftists are in charge for sure. Facts, logic, and business principles – none of those matters a bit. There are enemy’s lists targeting sales, technology, marketing, which are being used to push personal agendas, and people live in fear of doing the right thing. Even more interesting is how this is impacting the front end:

Traffic is down. The integration is likely destroying the huffington post. The sales demands and content over-reach are destroying huffpost’s focus while the org is trapped trying to save AOL when the huffpost team should be focused on building huffpost. Traffic on huffpost is up – but only due to the redirects from aol sites…. Net net, aol plus huff post traffic is in decline and the situation is not improving.

Heh, can’t say I am surprised at the news that this venture seems doomed to failure: I expected that based on observation of previous such attempts and on what’s going on right now. We are seeing the same play out, at a macro level, in the way that things are turning out for our country and its economy since the lefties took over. Stories like this are not an accident when the people in charge of running things are only good at campaigning, but have no clue how to run things. People are figuring out they are being had.

Hang on AOL-Huffington Post, cause the country might beat you to the bankruptcy line the way things are going with the Campaigner-in-Chief and the democrats refusing to deal with the disaster they have created. Nah, I was only joking. I actually am rooting for the whole AOL-Huffington Post thing to go south. I thought the whole thing was about as insane as the whole Air America project from the start, and I hope it ends the same way. Let the good times roll!