Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Disagreeing with Atrios for a Change

Political speech is different, if not always obvious why.

Most people, even his fans, wouldn't be able to pick out Atrios in a crowd.
I can't recall him posting his picture on his blog. So this is a public service.

Atrios of Eschaton -- AKA Duncan Black -- agrees with The Atlantic's Peter Beinart about one of Bill Clinton's remarks last night:
But in between, Clinton said something dreadful: “If you’re a Muslim and you love America and freedom and you hate terror, stay here and help us win and make a future together, we want you.” The problem is in the assumption. American Muslims should be viewed exactly the same way other Americans are. If they commit crimes, then they should be prosecuted, just like other Americans. But they should not have to prove that they “love America and freedom” and “hate terror” to “stay here.” Their value as Americans is inherent, not instrumental. Their role as Americans is not to “help us win” the “war on terror.”.
Atrios is as smart, if a little cynical, a commentator as you'll find on the Internet, and I've never posted any disagreement with him before. (As Atrios might say, "And that's important because why?") Because I want to show why for a hoot.

Bill Clinton is being political here -- and wisely I feel -- because many voters, I'm afraid, are knuckleheads. (Okay, who's cynical?) I remember that one of Clinton's standout lines of his term in office was something like "If you work hard and play by the rules..." followed by "deserve a decent retirement" or "should be able to send your kid to college without going broke" or "deserve not to go bankrupt if you encounter serious health problems." Make sense, right? How could you disagree?

Well, I happen to feel that if you don't work hard but play by the rules, or work hard put don't always play by the rules, or don't especially work hard and only mostly play by the rules, you still don't deserve a number of fates that Americans endure because the wealthy are hording it all at the top.

The average knucklehead deserves a better life than we get here in America. You don't have to be Paul Ryan to deserve healthcare. (Ryan wouldn't give it to you even if you were as good as he is.) This is something the adept politician like Bill Clinton understands. So he sugarcoats a line to get it considered, for it to hit home. It's a small thing to be a bit condescending to Muslims to enforce the point that we should fucking lighten up on them. Just sayin'.

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