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The Rick Santilli and Robert Gibbs Idiot Show February 23, 2009

Posted by aetiusromulous in Commentary, news, politics, Uncategorized.
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Clearly, Rick Santilli, the Wall Street commentator who lost it last week has struck a chord in America…or perhaps in the two America’s that are now as visible as a chainsaw gash on the forehead. Screaming about the dire imposition of the state on his person, Santilli made the case for those who feel America is a collection of individuals tied together by nothing more than their shared affection for gain. To that America, the world is truly a two tone affair – right and left, up and down, Americans and everybody else, every man, woman and child for himself.

It is a popular rant when things are going badly. And things are going badly. In other times, the rant remains a game of philosophical chess, played quietly and earnestly in the shadows, left to those invisible to the daily grind of the modern hunter-gatherer. Suddenly, however, it’s no parlour game, and the stakes are up close and personal for all.

Santilli of course, is no ordinary mortal. He is rich, Wall Street, and in possession of a national stage as a member of the media circus. When he speaks, millions hear it regardless of who they are. The rant gains traction because it forces a reaction, this particular rant forcing Americans to take diametrically opposed sides, drawing a line straight down the centre of America, freedom, capitalism, and democracy. Rick Santilli has become the voice for the right side of that line by virtue of his privileged perch live, and  in front of MSNBC’s 24/7 camera’s.

Of course, any rant worth its salt is pointless unless it’s directed at someone. That someone in Santilli’s case is the other America – the one where everybody else lives. That America is represented only by the quiet humming of suburbs, cities, and counties swathed in an every day struggle to keep up. Its voice is muted by the struggle, there being no time for philosophy in the working world.

The unmeasured silent throughout history have had a habit of laying low, history always written by those with the stage to rant and perform. The great “other” only ever enters the arena when they can take it no more and are pushed to the edge, their combined voices entering history as mobs, demonstrators, civil unrest, and revolutions. When Santilli speaks, he rants – when America answers it will roar.

That is the essence of American capitalism, that it is and has always been tempered by the voice of the great multitude, each with a vote that can and does change the game at regular intervals. US democracy and capitalism are intertwined in this way, always tempered by the opposing forces of greed and jealousy. It is a system that has worked for an America that has always been higher, faster, stronger. How it works for low, slow, and panic however, is anybody’s guess.

Whether right or wrong on the philosophy, the misuse of powerful media blow horns for personal rants immediately turns the philosophy to action, and the action may not be what the “ranter” intended. Careful what you wish for…

In the coming knife fight to the death between Wall Street and Democracy, I have five my five bucks on Anarchy.

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Comments»

1. Steve Faber - February 24, 2009

Obviously you aren’t that concerned about paying for the hundreds of thousands of people who either bought a house they couldn’t afford or showed absolutely no fiscal responsible responsibility whatsoever when they thought the housing market would continue to climb unabated and they could walk away with a big windfall. Well, guess what? The gravy train’s run off the tracks.

What about people like me that actually bought small houses we could afford, because we knew we, not our neighbors, would have to pay for them every month. It’s just sick the fools in this country that want every responsible American to subsidize the irresponsible and the greedy that are trying to take us for a ride.

When I signed my mortgage papers, I actually made a budget and plugged in the numbers to see how the payment would fit. If the numbers didn’t work out, the house was too much for me to afford and I looked elsewhere. Sadly, too few people did anything but bet on continuing real estate appreciation…and lost.

The jerks that don’t deserve a whit of assistance are those that used their homes as their own personal cash machines. They pulled out thousands to buy big SUVs, vacations, plasma TVs and other depreciating assets that they had no business buying. Boo hoo.

The people that worked hard, bought a house that was within their means, and got laid off through no fault of their own, maybe they deserve help. The rest….F’ every last one of them, not a dime from me, if I have my way.

aetiusromulous - February 24, 2009

Harsh. But understandable. The issue is much bigger than that however, and it is global in scale. Maybe you have pegged your lazy neigbours, but that does not apply to Europe or Asia, where the rate of foreclosures surpases the United States. And they didn’t have ARM’s or SUV’s. The solution to this mess will be a global one, and fairness won’t matter a lick. I’m not sayin’…I’m just sayin’

2. Das Ram - February 24, 2009

Beautiful prose, but lacking any insight to the rants teeth. The poor, lowly suburbanites that you suggest you speak for are precisely who RS is speaking out for, but you are blind to the fright of government intervention and interference.

Capitalism works when allowed and the playing field is kept free of corrupt referees. The Philosophical differences RS is supposing, cries out for accountability. It is not possible to be able to accurately pull back the curtains on this stage and deem who is deserving the fruits of someone else’s work. The imposition the bailouts are laying on the backs of those who do not need the help is damning to the integrity of all of our lives.

When it comes to any government welfare program (the bailouts and mortgage relief programs are just that and adding to an already burgeoning welfare state), the only assurance we have is that the people who are paying for it will most certainly disagree or disapprove of some factor or factors that caused the needy to become so.

A simple example you will understand is: Imagine if it was imposed upon Israelis that they be taxed at 35% and it be given to Palestinians. Can you imagine the outrage?

As well, most in the United States who have worked hard to achieve their level of success have done so by most likely giving up so many other wants in their lives. They have also done as much as they feel obliged and desired to assist those around them who have asked for assistance and demonstrated the need of that assistance. Imposing charity giving on the condemns Community and Commonality.

Wall Street IS Democracy when unimpeded. You are choosing to turn a blind eye to the barriers of free choice.

aetiusromulous - February 24, 2009

Here is the thing.

From their birth in the 18th century, both capitalism and democracy have always been conjoined twins. There was never a time where each have existed seperatly. They are two parts of the same socioeconomic philosophy. Wall Street has always been tempered by democracy, and vise versa. And what we have here is the end of the road for that. They are victims, if you will, of their success in as much as each gives free rein to every human failing (and virtue I might add), checked only by each other. Once technology was developed to allow this sytem to go global at lightning speed, the entire economic functioning of the single body left the building. Furthermore, democracy for its part has not changed at all in over 200 years…it’s old tech next to economics.

So once the only system anybody alive today knows or understands starts to break down under it’s own weight, there are no solutions. None.

The expectation that we can all cling to our investment accounts and “freedoms” as we did before – as if nothing is fundamentally wrong with the system a priori – is simple idiocy, and in fact, dangerous. There can be no “new” thinking for those who will not see. Santilli and his ilk are thinking from the very narrow slit of their own understanding – which is now irrelevant. Does he really believe that defending a moot point in a country with only 5% of the worlds population, who are suffering much worse than Americans in many cases, will have any positive impact what so ever? He is being irresponsible when he uses his air time to drive a wedge into an issue that is simply distracting and polarizing – at best.

Although I realize Santilli’s rant was about something else, that’s the teeth of the rants effect.

3. Das Ram - February 25, 2009

As well it should be dividing and sticking a dagger in the leaches of the system. It is not nice, but it is necessary.

Again, you are missing the real issue at hand and for future arguments sake, it is well beyond the scope of RS rant.

I am glad you at least realize the interconnection between Democracy and Capitalism. What I have not heard your rebuttal on is the fact that Congress has disallowed freedom of choice, which is why people today are dumbfounded with the economic happenings.

Democracy IS Freedom of Choice and Personal Responsibility for the consequences (good or bad) of your choices. Now, do not take that as the teeth for this argument. That is what every Congressman apparently wants us to believe and focus on. Please, you seem like a rational person, please peel back the layers of onion to reveal the real stench of why the system is – Not at Risk – why it is Not the System you believe it to be.

Keep asking yourself How and Why. The Path is very clear and concise. And it IS entirely coherent, so do not think I am crazy yet!
I look forward to your revelations.

aetiusromulous - February 25, 2009

I have a more global view of things perhaps. What the American congress does or does not do is irrelevant. That’s national politics. I’m speaking more to the DNA of the issue – the check a democratically elected government has on the regulating of macro economics, and the effect adverse or otherwise of those decisions which in turn impact the democratic system. This socioeconomic structure is not unique to America, despite the fact that both were formed, developed, and exported together. It is the breakdown of that DNA that will force Santilli to bend to it – he just can’t see past the zeros in his invesment accounts to notice the issue is much much bigger than his narrow world.

4. Das Ram - February 25, 2009

I believe you are incorrect in your assertion. But, can I also suggest we get past this small tirade from RS? You are certainly worthy of progressive dialect.

We, the USofA, is certainly alone in a path against socialism and fascism. Only the Bahamas was our last brethren who fell to this regime of world mediocrity. If you do not believe this, then you are part of the problem and the USofA will no longer be the Beacon it has been for the past 2 centuries.

Again, I ask you to peel and smell. Please respond within the framework I have presented.

Remember, we are a Republic, not a Democracy, if given the chance. The way the Constitution was set up, it would have left a long list of the “ISM’s” in the gutter where they belong. Congress and liberal ideals have made them so.

I do not believe your argument is looking far enough back and not far enough forward.

Would you please respond with answers to my questions and some imagination as to the real problems within us? Peel the onion and smell the stench.

5. VietnamEraVet - April 20, 2009

Rick Santelli is a perfect example of Republican greed and hypocrisy. I’ve bought and paid for my home without any help but I understand that many other people have bought homes which are now in jeopardy of being lost because of a crippled job market. These people need and deserve a helping hand in the form of refinancing.

Republicans have created this problem by insisting on deregulation thereby allowing bankers to give questionable loans. They then allowed these companies to take out insurance against potential losses. Like allowing someone to gamble at the tables in Las Vegas and insuring them against loss while allowing them to keep their gains. To make it worse, in keeping with their philosophy of deregulation, they fail to regulate the companies that were insuring against the loss! it’s all sold to us under the guise of freedom of choice.

But instead of accepting responsibility for the disaster caused by their slavish adherence to a total free market and their constant insistence that any such regulation constitutes Marxism, socialism and the destruction of freedom, they prefer instead to do what they always do best. They create envy and division among the middle classes leading them to believe that they are being ripped off and that the solution to their economic problems is more of the same unrestricted market economics.
These are the same people who assured us we years ago that by further cutting taxes to the top 1% we would have prosperity. Today they solemnly tell us that by raising the top income tax bracket by 3% we are ushering in Marxism and Socialism. These are the same people who assured us that child labor laws, social security, and Medicare were socialistic programs that would soon lead to the collapse of the American economy.

Republicans talk about freedom of choice but in reality they promote a philosophy of greed and envy and total disdain for the middle class.


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