October 9, 2013

"Reich is a proven fabulist... But we're interested in the supposed moral of the parable of Reich's Disgusted Imaginary Friend..."

Writes James Taranto, after Robert Reich claims to have an "old friend who has been active in politics for more than 30 years" who says he's "giving up," because he "can't stomach what's going on in Washington anymore."

Disgusted Imaginary Friend has "better things to do with my life."

What are your imaginary friends — human and mollusk — saying about the mess in Washington?

47 comments:

Rocketeer said...

Betamax 300, she's calling youuuuu....

Rocketeer said...

Sory I gave you that inadvertent demotion. Multiply by 10.

Broomhandle said...

Ummm, y'all are my imaginary friends.

YoungHegelian said...

Federal money is like Astro-Glide --- Both are social lubricants. And while I can't speak to our strategic stores of Astro-glide, we are running short of federal money. The only ways to fix this problem --- cut programs or raise taxes --- both inflict societal pain & are politically unpalatable.

Expect American politics to get much nastier in the next decade or so.

David said...

Fabulist?

Can't anyone just say "liar" anymore?

chuck said...

My imaginary friends never bring up politics, they have more immediate concerns.

Kirk Parker said...

David,

English, for better or worse, likes lots and lots of vocabulary. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow.


And as far as Imaginary People...

hawkeyedjb said...

My imaginary friends bring Scotch and women to my fabulous parties.

John Stodder said...

My imaginary friend says Republicans are comforting themselves by saying that the reason Obama got no questions yesterday about Obamacare is because of media bias.

The truth is, Republicans have driven the extremely shaky launch of Obamacare off the front pages, and it makes sense that no reporters would thus ask about it, since it is a secondary story.

Sigivald said...

My imaginary friend thinks it's no different now than it was decades ago.

And is thus still disgusted, almost certainly for opposite reasons of Reich's.

LarsPorsena said...

His old friend is Lois Lerner.

EDH said...

To sum up, Reich is a job-destroying bearded clam.

hawkeyedjb said...

"The truth is, Republicans have driven the extremely shaky launch of Obamacare off the front pages, and it makes sense that no reporters would thus ask about it, since it is a secondary story."

Yeah, why would anybody ask a question about that?

Let's see, there were questions about Citizens United, a trade deal in Asia, military operations in Africa. All much more important than botching the rollout of your signature program. Much bigger.

hawkeyedjb said...

The pets in the press were told they wouldn't get treats if they asked about Obamacare. So they didn't.

surfed said...

I asked my students - blank looks returned at my query. Mollusks?

gbarto said...

I've always been skeptical, but the latest revelation that the House can't see what's in the IRS-White House e-mails they subpoenaed because they contain confidential taxpayer information takes the cake.

tmitsss said...

Imaginary friend moved to Canada

Rocketeer said...

The truth is, Republicans have driven the extremely shaky launch of Obamacare off the front pages, and it makes sense that no reporters would thus ask about it, since it is a secondary story.

No matter how many times you may try to push that nonsense, it will not stop being nonsense. The fact that a non-trivial portion of the elctorate wants to see Obamacare repealed is the very reason we have this shutdown; therefore, as it is the central reason for it, a non-ridiculous press would make the rollout failures a central part of questioning pertaining to the shutdown itself.

The Godfather said...

I'll let my imaginary friend speak for himself:







Thanks, Murph.

tmitsss said...

Imaginary friend moved to Canada

Rocketeer said...

I'm sorry John Stodder, I think I may have missed your sarcasm. If that's the case, stupid me. If not, well, the stupid you stands.

commoncents said...

Fox News continues to dominate the Cable News Rankings...

http://commoncts.blogspot.com/2013/10/cable-tv-rankings.html

St. George said...

Back in the 1980s when Japan could do no wrong and people wanted us to emulate the Japanese economic model, Reich was one of those people. He wrote scholarly articles and books urging the U.S. to create a National Industrial Policy (NIP) in which some central federal-planning entity would direct the U.S. economy not unlike Japan's Ministry of Industry and Trade and Ignatz or something (MITI).

Here is the sort of stuff. Reich wanted the U.S. to do...

"National and regional economic "development banks," similar to Herbert Hoover's Reconstruction Finance Corporation, which would use subsidies and federal loan guarantees to slow the contraction of declining industries and to speed the development of emerging industries.

"Tripartite councils" at the national, regional, and firm levels, which would be composed of representatives from management, labor, and government and would seek consensus on how capital investment should be allocated.

"Industrial (or economic) democracy," in which representatives of workers and the communities surrounding plants or offices would be given a greater say in the investment, disinvestment, and reinvestment decisions of firms."

Reich stopped talking this nonsense around 1987 when Japan went into a recession from which it has yet to recover.

Seeing Red said...

Reich admired the Japanese way of doing things in the 70s/80s so he came up with something that was NIP for short?

NIP?


ROFLMAO!

FWBuff said...

As a special supplement for the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, my hometown newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram) reissued its front pages from Friday-Sunday, Nov. 22-24, 1963. The supplement came with today's paper. There on page 2 of the Friday, 11/22/63 edition was a story about how Congress was scrambling to finalize a bill to raise the nation's debt ceiling and present it to President Kennedy before the end of November. But for one major difference, the article could have been written today -- Republicans accusing Democrats of out-of-control spending on social programs, Dems accusing the GOP of irresponsibly using the country's credit rating as part of a political ploy, a quote about "saddling our grandchildren" with huge debts, etc., etc. The difference? The debt ceiling was being raised from $315 Billion to $330 Billion.

St. George said...

In the 3rd volume of Robert Caro's LBJ biography, he recounts in excruciating detail LBJ's kowtowing to Virginia Sen. Harry Byrd, the Finance Committee chair. Byrd wouldn't let a tax cut bill get out of committee until LBJ found a way to keep spending under $100 billion. Basically, Byrd made LBJ lick his boots. Thems wuz the days.

jacksonjay said...

My imaginary buddy says he is sick to death of that sanctimonious prayin, Senate Chaplain. He needs to get a radio DJ job and leave the self-righteousness to the Senators!

David said...

In Washington all of your friends are in your imagination.

Except your dog.

Michael K said...

I haven't had an imaginary friend since I was 5. I have pretty much given up on politics since last November. I think that was the last chance to stop the runaway train. Fortunately, I'm old enough that I won't have to live through what is coming. I don't know if Peron or Hitler is a better analogy.

Steven said...

My Imaginary Competent Obama is saying:

"This is ridiculous. If your Obama were a competent manager, he'd have known the IT end would have lots of hiccups, implemented in just three years, like I did. So he'd have done what I did; cut a deal with the Republicans where I accepted the one-year delay in implementation in exchange for bundling the debt ceiling raise with the continuing resolution. The result is that I got the government financing all handled, bonus points for seeming reasonably willing to compromise, and avoided the bad publicity of the system not working.

"Seriously, what the hell is wrong with your Obama that he turned win-win into lose-lose? Hell, right now he could say that the difficulties of the launch have convinced him to accept the deal I took. Yes, it means giving Ted Cruz a 'win'. I think that the more extreme the Republicans get, the more Democrats will win elections; a Cruz win is a good thing, because it means more Democrats in office after the next election."

Xmas said...

Steven,

But your Obama doesn't understand. Bush was soooooo bad for 8 years that Republicans shouldn't even be close to winning. Our Obama's whole Presidential plan is based on the idea that he can do whatever I feel like doing because "Bush!"

Our Obama also doesn't understand that the anti-Bush feelings that resulted in Democrats winning the House and Senate back also resulted in a conservative/libertarian backlash against free-spending RINOs. The Republicans that remain need to do more than mouth the right phrases about abortion and God while log-rolling spending bills that bring pork dollars back to their districts.

wildswan said...

My imaginary friend said: "Ohmigod, the Tea Party was right, America is being detroited, Oh I am so sorry I've been indifferent to the suppression of those good decent Tea Party people, how could I have been like that when I am a liberal. I'm going out to tear down the Jefferson Memorial barrycade."
Sadly I never saw him again. I guess he met Reich's imaginary friend and was was glitched.

Lucien said...

To quote Even Cowgirls Get the Blues: "As a child I was an imaginary playmate."

Lucien said...

To quote Even Cowgirls Get the Blues: "As a child I was an imaginary playmate."

ddh said...

An imaginary politician quits politics--the horror!

By the way, my imaginary friend is a pooka, and he says to have another. Cheers!

virgil xenophon said...

My imaginary playmate lived at the bottom of my grandparents cistern and was named "Goggleflare." He was waaaaay smarter than Obama and his minions..

B said...

"Fabulist?

Can't anyone just say "liar" anymore?"

There is a difference in approach, though maybe not in intent.

A liar simply tells a lie.

A fabulist fabricates a background story in order to support an imaginary point or trend or something that in their opinion SHOULD be true and so on (or lie if you will) that has no other provenance but the fable told in support. This is what Reich seems to have done. He could have just said that he thinks that long time politicos are turning away in disgust at the republicans doing...etc. Instead he concocted a fable to give his claim provenance.

There is a regular commenter on Althouse who is an inveterate fabulist. It is easy enough to call bullshit but seldom if ever worth the effort as the bullshit is usually immediately obvious to the casual observer.

Illuninati said...

Reich may be a fabulist but that is not always a bad thing. Sometimes he tells interesting stories like when he pretended to be an honest politician and made the following statements:

"And by the way, we are going to have to--if you're very old, we're not going to give you all that technology and all those drugs for the last couple of years of your life to keep you maybe going for another couple of months. It's too expensive, so we're going to let you die. [applause]"

""Also, I'm going to use the bargaining leverage of the federal government in terms of Medicare, Medicaid--we already have a lot of bargaining leverage--to force drug companies and insurance companies and medical suppliers to reduce their costs. But that means less innovation, and that means less new products and less new drugs on the market, which means you are probably not going to live that much longer than your parents. [applause] Thank you."
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704107204574473331382043514.html

Sometimes people reveal much more about themselves and their beliefs when they are fabulating.


William said...

People are so quick to disparage or dismiss the views of the little people.

Stephen Reynolds said...

It would be a great benefit to the country if people disgusted by this action actually did stay out of politics. Look in the mirror on your way out.

Jane said...

No imaginary friends, but my imaginary readers are pretty bored with my blog, since the whole thing is so painful to watch (Obama's petulant "my way or the highway" insistence combined with the GOP's lack of a coherent plan) that's it's really killed my big blogging ambitions.

So far as I can tell, the Democrats would be perfectly content to pass CR after CR, debt limit hike after debt limit hike; they have no interest in passing an actual budget because the terms of the CRs are pretty favorable to them. And that's as far as I get. "Cynicism" isn't the right word; "sad" is.

avwh said...

"The debt ceiling was being raised from $315 Billion to $330 Billion."

Fast forward 50 years, and the Obama Administration has blown through IN LESS THAN A WEEK in every year of his first term what was being debated in Congress: an increase in the ceiling that was supposed to cover the deficit for at least a year or two, I presume.

My, how times change. Even if the debate and disagreement is nearly the same.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

"Straight Talk Express" was McCain's thing?

Bigot.

Nuff said.

'm Right?

NotquiteunBuckley said...

How about "Queer Talk Byway" in 2016?

Byway Sinatra.

Solid Democratic all the way.

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Matthew Sablan said...

Everyone has better things to do than politics. It is why we get the sorts of people we get in politics.

Clyde said...

You've got nothin' to lose, you don't lose when you lose imaginary friends...