Life imitates Art: A Noteworthy Pragmatist


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What next - Jack Bauer on torture?

What next - a discussion of torture policy based on the actions of Jack Bauer?

If you want to understand the real world, put aside the works of pop fiction. As a good starting point, I suggest a biography of Dwight Eisenhower - my candidate for Greatest American of the 20th Century, and a pragmatist supreme.


I liked the part of the movie where Bush struts out in the flight suit and says Yippe Ka-Ya MF to Sadaam Hussein. That as so cool. Oh wait, it wasn't a movie because if it were we could just fix everything that was broken in post.




Well, we know that Bush was

Well, we know that Bush was not pragmatic. In fact, I would say Gingrich was pragmatic. He held to conservative principles at least on the fiscal issues. Bush and the right went with ideology. Namely, neoconism, corporate fascism, laissez-faire, trickle down and ignorance of all other problems, militarism, and religionism. 

There was nothing pragmatic about Medicare part D and on Social Security that would have cost some 2 trillion dollars more in transition. There was nothing pragmatic about Iraq with the amount of soldiers we should have had, the cost of the war, and the strategy in going after Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan-all lost by going to Iraq.

After 8 years of this nonsense, 8 years after Gingrich left office with a surplus, this is where we are today. The tax cuts was borrowed money feeding a fake economy. And on top of that, we borrowed more for a war in Iraq-a country that did not attack us, and gave up on those that did. 

We are where we are. Congratulations after 8 years of a mess.

No republican was going to win the election after Bush. McCain or anyone else could not have won after 8 years of silliness, a president in the 28% range, quagmire, deficits and debt, and loss of middle class jobs.

Bush wasn't a pragmatist on national defense...

But he was a pragmatist on domestic policy. How else did we wind up with yet another entitlement program we cannot sustain?

Remember that?


 I don't think Bush was

 I don't think Bush was pragmatic about anything. It was ideology all the way with him no matter what the damage was done. 

The only domestic agenda Bush believed in was his trickle down theory and "stay the course."

When people screamed about Medicare, Bush spent the money. He was willing to spend the money to have social security his way, one way, and the only way, even though there are some 4 ways to go with social security.

So in short, Bush used ideology to its fullest. When he got into trouble, he spent money. 

Now being pragmatic, you would need commissions like the base closing commissions to solve problems. You need to take these spending programs away from congress and into an independent council and they can come up with the various suggestions and give it back to congress to work on. However, politicians do not like this.

How is it being pragmatic by saying "stay the course?"

How is it being pragmatic with supply side economics?

How is it being pragmatic when year after year we heard "free trade is good?" As we lost jobs.

How is it being pragmatic when Bush said at the Olympics that "America has no problems?"


Looking at the dictionary, pragmatic means: Dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way based on practical rather than theoretical considerations. 

Again, I see nothing that Bush dealt with pragmatically.


Capitalism and democracy itself was built on negotiation.  If no one should trust one who tries to be pragmatic, as you suggest; how do we get anywhere??  i guess i should just shoot my neighbor because he waters his lawn too much...wait, maybe that's a little drastic..maybe i should try and be a little more pragmatic, like calmly voice my concerns, point out some things he may not have thought of, etc, etc..

Only two sides can exist in your Die Hard induced rant, fortunately , people are pragmatic.  That's the only reason we all coexist peacefully..



Sure, negotiations are a critically important part of all human relations, but one must recognize when negotiations will bear no fruit. I used the scene from Die Hard precisely for that reason. Under normal circumstances, when two parties enter into negotiations, they come to the table by mutual consent with the hope of working things out to mutual advantage.

What we so often see these days, and it is my criticism of the so-called 'pragmatists', is that they come to the table in order to share the limelight, but not to achieve anything positive for the side they claim to represent. This is because they frequently fail to understand the nature of the negotiations into which they've entered, and do not realize that they will gain nothing from the exercise, except perhaps to speed up their own defeat, like Harry Ellis in Die Hard.

The Democrats offer nothing except another whack over the head and another reach into our wallets. Those who offer to them the illusion of 'negotiation' are merely doing their own side a dis-service. As an example, the current Healthcare reform bills being 'negotiated' in Congress are all destructive to me, personally. I cannot see how I would derive a single benefit from any of them.  They intend to inflict these plans as a matter of law upon the whole of the populace, a great number of which share my relative position. The Democrats have the power to impose this with or without their consent.  Why would I choose to allow them the cover of having participated in negotiations? Why would I want it to appear as anything but what it had been: A dictatorial power-grab and colossal wealth redistribution.

What would I gain? What could be the point? If I were to enter into negotiations, and get them to reduce by half the amount of the fines they intend to impose on those who do not buy healthcare insurance, what have I done? I haven't changed the basic formula involved, inasmuch as Washington will still be controlling another portion of our lives via coercion. I won't have stopped the whole monstrosity. I'll merely have associated myself with the final product.

One must ask oneself: Why do the Democrats so badly want Republican participation on this bill(or bills)? It surely isn't because they wish to share in any political windfall they expect as a result. No, it's precisely because they want the appearance of a moral sanction for what they do, so that later, when voters are angry, they can say: "But the republicans voted for it too! They helped us craft this bipartisan legislation."

Do you want proof? Just ask George Bush how he was treated in the aftermath of TARP by Nancy Pelosi. She actually claimed that "George Bush made us do it."

No, it's high time we recognize when our efforts can bear no fruit, and simply reject out of hand any attempt to steal our liberty. No negotiation is possible where one has a gun to their head and the armed party fully intends to pull the trigger irrespective of the negotiations.

Thanks for reading!


me me me me

Are you a psychopath? In your first post you illustrate you don't understand the boundary between fantasy and reality; in this comment you demonstrate solipsism and complete lack of empathy (obviously you don't give two hoots for the guy next door who the current system will drive into premature death, ill health, and or bankruptcy). You are starting tick off the boxes....