More Turning of the Tide
(Warning: I wrote this while suffering a little heat stroke and a failing connection in Dupont circle, so forgive me if it isn't all that it should be. I'll do follow up if I have time-CD)
Thereâ€™s an interesting book review in the Hill today, which I picked up at the Metro station on the way in from the airport. Iâ€™m not sure who Tim Carney is, but it sounds like heâ€™s well informed about several of the issues that concern us a lot on the blogosphere. What I thought most noteworthy about the review, in addition to developing the urge to buy this book, comes from the reviewerâ€™s tone. I also canâ€™t recall reading anything by Ms. Sheffeld, but at the same time I find her work here to be all-too familiar.
She begins with a suggestion that Mr. Carney is or will be persona non grata once this work gets around, because â€œin a city where government and lobbyists are ubiquitous, he canâ€™t be making many friends...by throwing dirt on the major players in town.â€ Numerous responses to such a suggestion come to my mind, not the least of them having to do with the idea that one can hardly dirty a pen full of shit-grubbing swine, but I suppose thatâ€™s a little extreme.
The book is titled â€œThe Big Rip-off; How Big Business and Big Government Steal Your Money.â€ Hereâ€™s what made me sure I should check it out: Mr. Carney is a â€œformer reporter for Robert Novack,â€ which I assume to mean that he did a lot of the hard work while Novakula did the insider networking dance to help his protÃ©gÃ©â€™s career along, probably taking credit for some of Carneyâ€™s research as his own in the process, but I digress. But if this proves true in a meaningful capacity (I canâ€™t get on the @%#@# free wireless here for some reason, so I canâ€™t look him up just now), the book becomes doubly of worth to me.
Sheffeld notes right away that Carney is unafraid to announce that â€œbig business supports Democrats almost at an equal level with Republicans,â€ according to FEC records. The list that follows that statement seems to me a tad confusing with respect to that point, in that there is a difference between â€œDemocratsâ€ and environmental groups, Enron and Attorneys General working on tobacco industry cases. But I find myself warming to anyone who, according to Sheffield, asserts that big business and government agents and lobbyists are â€œall at fault...work[ing] to bilk taxpayers, bog down market forces, and seize private property.â€ Sounds about right to me, Tim, and I donâ€™t even live here.
Sheffield throws around terms like â€œevil incarnateâ€ and â€œbashesâ€ and â€œradicalâ€ to describe the tone of the book. She also mocks his youth and the use of â€œcultural referencesâ€ (I wonder if he talked about blogs). His writing is â€œrawâ€ and â€œunpolished,â€ and if only â€œtime will tellâ€ if he deserves the questionably valuable â€œmuckrakerâ€ label. She canâ€™t quite deny that because of the scope of his efforts, the book â€œdeserves a review.â€ I wonder if she means that trendy neocons should make it a coffee table selection just to be scandalous at the next couple of fundraisers they throw at home. Oh, the rape and pillage of the American treasury and Constitution, itâ€™s just so funny, ha ha, it is to laugh.
This is probably the wrong way to start a series on DC, but cut me some slack- they shamelessly left out free copies of this rag and I knew there was more to it than is to be found in the free online version. And while I have no doubt of the value of publications like these as we keep track of whoâ€™s saying what about whom, once again Iâ€™m sadly struck by the high school Kool Kidz tone of the writing. If Sheffield is anywhere close to telling the truth, weâ€™re likely looking at the product of a young manâ€™s profound disillusionment with the system, coming to see, as any thinking person does, that concepts like â€œconservative fiscal policyâ€ and â€œfree marketâ€ have little to do with Republican praxis today, nor do they hold much weight in the minds of that partyâ€™s discoursive elite. I suspect Mr. Carney knows exactly which bridges heâ€™s burning by writing this, and either doesnâ€™t care or is celebrating their demise.