Sunday, January 25, 2009

How Narratives Are Built

They are built on the corpses of individuals who make terrible, awful, and inexplicable quotes like this: (Big HT to DADvocate.)

I am concerned, as I'm sure many of you are, that these jobs not simply go to high skilled people who are already professions or to white male construction workers. I have nothing against white male construction workers. I'm just saying that there are a lot of other people who have needs as well. And therefore, in my remarks I have suggested to you, and I'm certainly happy to talk about it more, ways in which the money can be -- criteria can be set so that they money does go to others: the long term unemployed, minorities, women, people who are not necessarily construction workers or high-skilled professionals.
Are you f**king kidding me? On January 7th, even before the inaguration, this statement was made, and the Rush Limbaughs, the Ann Coulters and the right-wing blogosphere has a number of their running narratives verified on tape by one of Obama's economic advisers. This is the conservative equivalent of Phill Gramm calling America a "nation of whiners" to help out John McCain. It are on video and transcript, and talk radio and blogs. I'm surprised no one has come up with LOLWhiteConstructionWorkers blog "ICanHasContratz.com," with pictures of the Hoover Dam, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Statue of Liberty emblazoned with the phrase CANNOT HAZ!1!1! LULZ

Two words for Reich? Epic. Fail.

I don't think I've heard a more concise way to kneecap yourself, your policies, your party, or your new President. Let's count just how many narratives this one transcript verifies on tape:

- Liberals like big government;
- Liberals pay for big government with higher taxes;
- Liberals always ask for more money to spend;
- Liberals hate white people;
- Liberals hate working white people;
- Liberals hate skilled people;
- Liberals do not want big government money & programs to employ skilled people;
- Liberals would rather social engineer than civil engineer;
- Liberals don't consider minority or women workers "skilled;"
- Liberals think the only way minorities or women can get jobs is if the government gives them the jobs.

Are there any I missed? Oh, yeah, the biggie: THE MEDIA DIDN'T SAY A THANG ABOUT THIS!!! This is what happens when you keep Part-of-the-Problem-Liberals like Reich around your administration. Git him gone. Yesterday.

If Sarah "Media Hates Me" Palin defeats the incumbent Obama in 2012, send your thank you notes to Robert Reich. If you thought Joe the Plumber was bad, just wait till you see Jack the Contractor-Denied-A-Job-Because-of-His-Race.

Now that I'm done venting, I feel compelled to explain what Dumble & Fumble meant to say when he farted with his face instead of spoke intelligently about policy in an overly politicized environment:

- We plan to look at effectiveness and efficiency in bidding out contracts;
- We plan to patronize established contracting companies with a proven track record of success, as well as new contracting companies to handle the additional work-load;
- We plan to grow our skilled labor force with rapid trade skills training programs that have been successfully implemented on the Gulf Coast;
- We plan to avoid problems that have plauged construction and infrastructure projects in the past, including "Brother-In-Law-Contracts" and patronage systems that unfairly enrich a few well connected firms and waste taxpayer dollars and return little infrastructure improvement per investment;
- We plan to patronize only those contractors who can prove that all their employees are legal workers and abide by laws governing pay scales and workers compensation;
- We plan to vet our contractors and make sure their bids represent actual figures, and that all projects are completed within the letter of the law;
- We plan to adhere to a just and well-explained rubric of quality control;
- We plan to streamline the bidding process and compile an easily searchable online database, accessible to the public, to ensure that these contracts are awarded justifiably and transparently.

There, I came up with all that in just a few minutes. That's the kind of thing I'd rather hear about all the new economic plans, because that's what we have to have. That would be change. What Reich has instead provided is not change we need or believe in, but the same-old, same-old. And until his ass is gone, gone, gone, we're going to have to own, own, own what he said. And the resultant backlash that comes with it.


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3 comments:

patsbrother said...

Wait: are you saying the media didn't report on a story that is innately disfavorable to Democrats?

The real big story is that you noticed.

DADvocate said...

With you 100%. Obviously.

People work hard to develop marketable, useful skills. Reward them. Skin color shouldn't be a factor. There's usually a good reason someone is long term unemployed, and it has more to do with them than with society.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

BRO: the reason it wasn't reported in the media has far more to do with 1) how boring that session probably was, 2) that Reich says stuff like this so much, it doesn't surprise anyone or 3) the reporters in the room were the wonky types who wouldn't know a political hot potato if you shoved it up their ass. If I was a betting man, I'd pick door number 3.

If you think all the newsies in the room huddled into a corner and said "this may be damaging to Democrats, let's NOT report it...," you don't know many newsies. Have fun the first time you talk to the press.

Besides, Fox News still has Bill O'Reilly who would have snuck this thing Mainstream quicker than you can say "F it, we'll do it LIVE!!1!!"

DADV: I am constantly baffled as to how folks will screw up a simple thing by making it more complex. If they start the projects, the jobs will come - to whites, blacks, skilled, unskilled, out of work a whiles, never unemployeds, yellows, browns, womens, mens, polka-dotted, plaid or what have you. All they'd have to do is oversight to make sure there weren't corrupt bids, no laws were broken and that only legal workers were getting paid. There is more than enough work to go around.

And that's the rub - the projects should be the focus. Fix some bridges, dam some rivers, pave some roads, hang some wire, clean up a superfund site, filter some water, lay some tracks, renovate some schools, restore some coasts, teach some new skills & hire a lot of people to do this important work. That sounds like 11 wins in a row to me. I can't think of any Americans who might disagree with any of those things.

On the other hand, talk about not hiring white people, not hiring skilled people and introducing quotas for long-term unemployed people bring up all kinds of divisions and cracks in our society that we didn't need to bring up, and cast everything into suspicion.