Since I have a brief moment before the new year, I will present my favorite albums of 2011 in descending order.
10.) Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi ~ Rome 9.) Foster the People ~ Torches 8.) Florence & The Machine ~ Ceremonials 7.) Cake ~ Showroom of Compassion 6.) Fountains of Wayne ~ Sky Full of Holes 5.) My Morning Jacket ~ Circuital 4.) Adele ~ 21 3.) The Decemberists ~ The King is Dead 2.) Ivy ~ Distant Lights
First Michael Barone ties together a number of ideas to formulate an idea that is overall pretty basic but is often ignored.
They want public policies that enable them to earn success, and they resent policies that channel money to the politically well positioned or to those who have not made decisions and taken actions necessary for earned success. They want to be empowered, not patronized.
(Walter Russell) Mead makes an even stronger point when he writes that "for large numbers of voters, the professional classes who staff the bureaucracies, foundations and policy institutes in and around government are themselves a special interest." One, he adds, that acts "only to protect their turf and fatten their purses."
The Tea Party's rise and success has been linked to both of these points, but especially the second one. Government has become a massive special interest and for those on the outside-looking-in resentment has been growing for some time. Continually throughout US history the people have rebelled from what they deemed an unnatural growth (and abuse) of power consolidated in one group's hands i.e. slave holders, Gilded Age capitalists, urban political machines. In all three cases, the federal government was strengthened to destroy (slave holders) or reduce (capitalists, political bosses) these power grabs. Now, the very monster they created to protect the republic is now seen by a growing minority to be the threat to the republic.
If there is one person who needs to be read it's Walter Russell Mead. His last few blog posts have been awesome, especially
Robert Samuelson continues to be a great voice in our Republic's present skirmishes. The linked piece may be a tad pessimistic on a glorious day for our nation, but he really is presenting a reality that many of our citizens are ignoring. Along with William Russel Mead he is in a smooth groove.
I particularly loved the bit about the reactionaries versus radicals. I think this is becoming truer and truer.