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Live Chat: Robert Scheer on Republicans’ New Image [UPDATE: Audio and Video added]

Posted on Jul 22, 2010

(Page 3)

11:24 Comment From Donna Fritz
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:24:44 GMT
Comment: Isn’t it useless to discuss any kind of reform until we figure out a way to extricate corporate money from electoral politics and Congress?

11:25 domalliance via twitter
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:25:09 GMT

 RT @ScottWGraves: If Obama spent more time focusing on jobs, he could spend less time worrying about jobless benefits.

11:25 Robert Scheer
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:25:49 GMT

 (To Donna) Look, I’m a realist, I can’t wish away the current system. What I can do is expose its failings and urge people to correct them. That may not be as satisfying as engaging in utopian fantasies, but I think it’s more meaningful. 

11:26 Comment From Mark Bradby
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:26:02 GMT
Comment: After the Great Depression (and WW2) there was pent-up demand and creativity that led to a huge increase in productivity and standard of living—do you see a similar situation now? Do you think this recession will lead into a period of growth? How can the GOP/DFL encourage this to happen?

11:29 Robert Scheer
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:29:12 GMT

 (To Mark) Well, it’s not the same because after WWII, the US emerged as the only developed country that was stronger, rather than much weaker, as a consequence of the war. We were not bombed, our cities and factories not leveled, so we came out of the war without any rivals. What is happening now is quite different. China, for example, has under, oddly enough, the leadership that still calls itself a Communist party, managed a Keynesian response to this economic crisis, which is much bolder and more successful that anything that has been done in this country. We created the crisis, but they have shown a much more effective path to dealing with it, and as a result they are experiencing spectacular growth and we face very intense competition in this world. And not just from China, but from other countries figuring out how to deal with this problem more effectively. 

11:29 Comment From Old Man Turtle
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:29:17 GMT
Comment: Given the rather dire picture you and no few of your regular contributors limn for us, do you still think there’s some relatively painless way to correct the situation, and if not, how much personal pain are you ready to take (in the form of fewer comforts and even some actual hardship) to do so?

11:29 Comment From Carlos Beca
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:29:49 GMT
Comment: I personally believe that the world will not see a growth economy until we move to a non-polluting, sustainable type economy. If we do, it will be the last time. The planet cannot take it and we will collapse.

11:32 Comment From Donna Fritz
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:32:08 GMT
Comment: Yes, but China is doing all of that on the blood and sweat of its hundreds of millions of pseudo-slaves.

11:33 Robert Scheer
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:33:34 GMT

 (To Old Man Turtle) Well I don’t know about this being such a dire situation. After all I’m an old guy, I was born at the height of the Depression in 1936. My father lost his job the day I was born and didn’t get it back for four more years. When I think of dire times, I think those were pretty dire. My parents were garment workers that worked long hours in sweatshops, and we made progress. When I was young, it wasn’t just the South that was segregated, but much of the North and even the military, and the Navy, which wasn’t desegregated till 1947, and I’ve seen great improvement with working people, minorities, certainly women and their rights. So I don’t like people getting so bummed out thinking we have problems we can’t get out of. We’ve had a lot of problems which we’ve solved. They are man-made, it is a mess. My new book, “The Great American Stickup,” details that. This was a Ponzi scheme, a bunch of scoundrels picked our pockets, they created the misery, [it] wasn’t a result of shrinking results, overpopulation, global warming, this crisis was not from any of that. It was Wall Street, Capitol Hill, and these guys got the legal power to refuse—the legal power, from Congress, to be able to basically destroy our economic well-being. 

11:33 Truthdig
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:33:35 GMT

 One more and then we’ll open it up. ...

11:33 Comment From Guest
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:33:39 GMT
Comment: Greetings!

Given that mainstream journalism has become such a non-critical, bought-out enterprise, what is your advice to an aspiring journalist such as myself, one that of course sees the need for critical, thoughtful investigation and opinions, yet cannot enter the larger media in a significant way without watering everything down.

Reading pieces such as what you have just written, and others I find myself digging for, I am always shocked that there seems to be so little meaningful conversation in the media surrounding such important, perhaps dangerous events, and even less outcry.

You have had a tremendous and inspiring career, do you think my efforts are best spent working on what has become the liberal fringe? Or in this day and age, with so much mistrust of the media, do you think such efforts would be best spent elsewhere?

11:33 Comment From Carlos Beca
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:33:49 GMT
Comment: Hi Donna

11:34 Comment From Mike Swanson
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:34:19 GMT
Comment: pseudo-slaves? I’m quite sure the hundreds of millions of Chinese would love to hear themselves called that.

11:35 Comment From Donna Fritz
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:35:38 GMT
Comment: Hi Carlos.

11:37 Robert Scheer
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:37:12 GMT

 (To Guest, the aspiring journalist) No, I think there’s never been a better time than now to be a journalist. Because we’re no longer dependent on a few newspapers and television stations to let us get the word out. Thanks to the Internet, as we’re demonstrating right now, we can reach millions of people if we have an important story to tell and we tell it effectively. Truthdig has been visited more than 40 million times. That’s incredible. The Nation magazine, or Ramparts, very worldly enterprises, were never visited 40 million times in [such a] 5-year time frame. And we know that Chris Hedges, and his columns, are read throughout the world. Now there’s a separate question on how you make a living out of this, but I think the best journalists never started with how do you make a living; sometimes you need a day job—I mean I teach—but journalism is a great place to be because they can’t shut you up anymore. 

11:37 Truthdig
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:37:31 GMT

 Thanks everyone, thanks Bob. We’re opening up comments for real-time chat.

11:37 Comment From Carlos Beca
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:37:37 GMT
Comment: Gee, this is sending the message before I can complete the sentence; I am sorry Donna—I was going to say that I agree with you but they are not pseudo-slaves—they are slaves but the race is to the bottom and companies are more than happy to help the process along.

11:37 Robert Scheer
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:37:55 GMT

 Bye everyone, thanks for everything! 

11:38 Comment From Donna Fritz
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:38:47 GMT
Comment: Thanks, Bob!

11:39 Comment From Carlos Beca
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:39:12 GMT
Comment: Bye Robert, and I would like to ask how the heck you put up with the absurd comments from the right in the radio program?

11:39 Robert Scheer
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:39:14 GMT

 I want to tell people not to be bummed out. It’s not constructive, doesn’t accomplish anything.

11:39 Truthdig
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:39:31 GMT

 Feel free to stick around and chat. We’ll keep the room open for a while.

11:39 Robert Scheer
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:39:32 GMT

 See you next week.

11:39 Comment From Guest
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:39:40 GMT
Comment: Thanks.

11:39 Comment From Carlos Beca
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:39:41 GMT
Comment: The “Left, Right & Center” radio program, I mean.

11:39 Comment From Carlos Beca
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:39:50 GMT
Comment: See you.

11:39 Comment From Old Man Turtle
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:39:51 GMT
Comment: Chris Hedges, for example, sure thinks these are much worse conditions for people and the planet than was that so-called “Great Depression.” Anyhow, you either believe addressing even the “lesser” problems you think are with us today won’t mean people of your status having to suffer much, or you’re unwilling to say how much of it you yourself might have coming.

11:39 Comment From Guin in France
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:39:56 GMT
Comment: Thanks Robert!

11:41 Comment From Mark Bradby
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:41:34 GMT
Comment: Hello guest-

11:41 Comment From Mark Bradby
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:41:46 GMT
Comment: I thought your question was very interesting.

11:41 Comment From Guest
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:41:56 GMT
Comment: Why, thank you!

11:41 Comment From Mark Bradby
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:41:57 GMT
Comment: How can journalists be an impact for the good.

11:42 Comment From Mark Bradby
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:42:11 GMT
Comment: How can you increase prosperity?

11:43 Comment From Donna Fritz
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:43:16 GMT
Comment: Carlos: Well the only reason I call unskilled Chinese factory workers pseudo-slaves instead of slaves is because they get paid, albeit not very much.

11:43 Comment From Guest
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:43:58 GMT
Comment: I think journalism isn’t so much about increasing prosperity, but more of a safety valve ... when those that seek prosperity, let’s say, get out of hand.

11:44 Comment From Donna Fritz
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:44:53 GMT
Comment: The logical end to the free market is slavery.

11:45 Comment From Mike Swanson
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:45:01 GMT
Comment: I’d suggest two things: first, broaden the definition of what one calls news, and second, ignore the 20-minute news cycle. We have to have longer attention spans, and look at things through different eyes.

11:53 Truthdig
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:53:32 GMT

 OK, thanks everyone; we’re closing the chat now.

11:53 Truthdig
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 19:53:39 GMT

 Have a good week!


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By Quinty, July 27, 2010 at 9:59 am Link to this comment

Unfortunately there’s not much which is really new about the Republican Party’s
approach to politics. Go back far enough there was a time when Democrats
played the same game. Which doesn’t make any of it the less infuriating. For it
always appears to work.

So what is the great ploy? Obstruct, say “no,’ and insure a lack of success. Give
the other side nothing to brag about. Even if the solutions they offer are
“common sense,” obvious, and worth trying. And stand by your full faith in
unfettered Capitalism, deregulation, and tax cuts. You will have a base which will
always believe in this orthodoxy. And those who are uncertain (the middle?) may
give your side a try in the upcoming election because things are such a mess.
And you can promise to bring them out of the mess.

That is, unless they look at history. And see the mess was created by these
policies in the first place. But how sharp is the national memory? What you see is
what you see and when you look about things appear pretty bad. And the
Democrats haven’t gotten the country out of it. And we face scary deficits what
with all the “tax and spend.” Blame that. And don’t forget, when you support tax
cuts for the rich, claim all that untaxed money will actually benefit society by
creating jobs. And appeal to the sentiments of those voters who, had they any
money, would just love to hang on to their millions or billions through tax
breaks. Because, after all, a basic American tenet states you have a right to
what you yourself have earned, made, accomplished. That’s the American

No matter, though, if the country goes down. And what if we actually do become
a third world country with a tiny, walled upperclass, and millions of peasants
scrounging daly to make ends meet. Isn’t that the way it should be? The natural
fall out of hard work, persistence, an innate superiority?

Historically our country has moved in this direction a long time. Since the 19th
century. We have had some luck and some breaks. But we need more than luck,
don’t we? I do wish President Obama would become more forceful. And that the
Democrats would be more vociferous when decent legislation fails. Rather than
shrug their shoulders, say that’s politics, on to other things…...

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