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To Seem Rather Than To Be

In politics, perception is reality. That is a widely held truism in the political realm. While catching up on some of the reading I missed last week, I found Betsy Newmark's latest Examiner column on the topic of fakery in politics, including some excellent examples of how much damage can be done when politicians are more concerned with seeming, rather than being.

They posture and preen to score political points but ultimately accomplish nothing.

For example, whenever gas prices climb, you'll see politicians work up a righteous anger and vow to prosecute those evil price-gouging oil companies getting rich off the suffering of the driving public. It's a sure bet that they will commission a study, just as they did after the price increases following Hurricane Katrina. And like that study, and all the other dozens of investigations that preceded it, they'll find no illegal market manipulation or price gouging, only natural reactions to market forces.

Politicians know that they'll get this same result every time, but both parties eagerly call for such investigations anyway. Faced with constituents upset about high gas prices, our elected representatives are desperate to be seen as doing something to alleviate the pain at the pump. Only those who know something about economics or recent history will recognize a price-gouging investigation for the play-acting it is.

She goes on to give other examples including one in which such fakery endangers our national security. Read it all.

This is cross-posted at Wizbang Politics.

Comments (21)

The Republican party is tur... (Below threshold)

The Republican party is turning into a bunch of whining crybabies. Newmark tearfully states:

The Republicans want the illusion of confronting the media over damaging leaks but can't even bring themselves to name which media they're condemning. So, the resolution became just a political ploy rather than a specific denunciation of the media at fault.

That's because the media isn't at fault -- the media nailed the administration, and the party leaders know it. All of the accompanying bluster from the right-wing blogosphere is nothing more crybabies trying to blame someone else for their own problems.

It would have been very easy for the administration to address the critics concerns over the international banking database for example, and prevent the issue from getting to the point where whistleblowers seek out the press, but the republicans are too damn arrogant, and to damn concerned with the polls, to listen to critics.

That's fine - that's your choice - now having made that choice take your lumps in the press like adults and get on with fixing the problems critics have with the administration's practices, or choose to ignore criticisms and concerns, and take your lumps again when the whistle gets blown again.

If the Republicans are going to be this pig-headed for the two years Bush has remaining in the White House I have no doubt that Americans will die needlessly as a result. North Korea aiming at Hawaii is only the most recent example, there will no doubt be more blunders.

This "posing" and "posturing" by the administration is spotted so easily, as the NK situation clearly illustrates. The fakery of the Republicans is putting this country at risk. The answer lies with you -- the conservative constituency, who appear at this point to be very good at playing the crybaby victim, and seem little interested in actually moving this country forward. Let's push for a ban on gay marriages instead.

Stop being whiners solely concerned with the public opinion polls and get to work at fixing these problems, or quit your crying if you choose not to.

I notice old pucker-pus is ... (Below threshold)

I notice old pucker-pus is trying to be "first" lately to spew his bilge. I have to scroll down to read some real comments.

Unfortunately, the problem with both parties today, as Betsy points out, is pandering to the lowest common denominator rather than taking a stand on the issues. The Republicans don't seem to want to lead, and if the Democrats did, the public as a majority would punt them into oblivion because they don't want what they are peddling.

It's time to pressure the 'leadership' to face real issues and LEAD, rather than playing politics with such garbage, trying to look like they are doing something. What we have now is a proof of the old adage, You have to stand for something, or you will fall for anything.

Yes, it's Flea, er Lee, aga... (Below threshold)

Yes, it's Flea, er Lee, again.

Anyway, I have to say the North Carolinians will know something about Lori's title.

Esse Quam Videri: To be rather than to seem.

The N.C. state motto. God's country.

Thanks, Wave_man, for your ... (Below threshold)

Thanks, Wave_man, for your comments. I get so frustrated, too, with both the Democrats and Republicans for just what you said: "pandering to the lowest common denominator." They seem to think we're too dumb to understand the real issues--or maybe they're afraid we WILL understand them!

Glad to see that the messag... (Below threshold)

Glad to see that the message is getting through to you guys.

Newmark is flat-out wrong. The solution isn't figuring out how to nail the press -- the solution lies instead in fixing the problems the press can use to nail you.

It'll take a bottom-up approach but the administration, congress and the party leadership has showed a willingness to listen to you, their vocal constituency. A recent example of this is on the Border Security issue.

So the power is in your hands. This country -- as scary as this is to liberals like me -- is in the hands of you the conservative constituency. Form thoughtful, rational plans for securing the border, reducing the deficit, effectively fighting the war on terror, and exiting Iraq and redeploying for the real world enemies we face, and you will hold onto Congress in '06, and the White House in '08.

Whining and throwing rocks at the New York Times is not the answer.

the answer is in making "Th... (Below threshold)

the answer is in making "The Press" accountable.

This government has not only a RIGHT, it has an OBLIGATION to hold the "The Press' acountable for the consequences of their actions...including pointing out when they are SHILLING for one Party of the other. As it happens the Dimocrat Party has THESE shills all lined up: CNN, MSNBC,ABC,CBS,NBC,NYtimes,LATimes,NewsWeak,Time

That leaves FoxNews and the WallStreetJournal.

One example is the "Global Warming" thing. The Dimocrat shill lineup above begins EACH & EVERY story regarding ANY unusual weather pattern with some variation of: "We know mankind is causing catastrophic global warming...could THIS (whatever they're reporting on) be a result?"

And when they are actually "reporting" on the topic of Global Warming itself, the question isn't WHETHER this is a fact (it is assumed to be), it is whether it is too late for alGore to save us!

The "shill media" has completely blown past the question of WHETHER the globe is actually warming...and WHETHER mankind is responsible if it IS. To them, alGore having made a movie about it has settled the entire issue...and they refuse to re-visit it.

Just one example...though a prime one.

The deficit continues to be... (Below threshold)

The deficit continues to be reduced quicker than projected due to Bush tax cuts. Wealthy and business are paying much more.

Even flea could possibly understand this, except for his BDS interfering.

The House of Rep. Republicans, not Demos., are the ones making progress on enforcing the borders and immigration.

So, better take your news from reliable sources. Certainly not from those who, like Lee, would expose secrets to our enemies.

Did you know that just over... (Below threshold)

Did you know that just over the past 11 quarters, dating back to the June 2003 Bush tax cuts, America has increased the size of its entire economy by 20 percent? In less than three years, the U.S. economic pie has expanded by $2.2 trillion, an output add-on that is roughly the same size as the total Chinese economy, and much larger than the total economic size of nations like India, Mexico, Ireland and Belgium

Did you know ... (Below threshold)

Did you know that just over the past 11 quarters, dating back to the June 2003 Bush tax cuts, [snip]

Mitchell, did you know that plagiarism is wrong?

If you are going to steal Kudlow's words, at least give him credit.

What about the point of th... (Below threshold)

What about the point of the post--the great results Bush has got with the tax cuts. Couldn't do that, could you?

Had to change the subject to a non-issue like "plagiarism." I'm not using it for commercial gain, dumbass. It's fair use. Understand the law a little in this area.


If you choose to quote othe... (Below threshold)

If you choose to quote others words as your own, Mitchell, in order to attempt to extend some sort of argument or point, at least credit them.

And no, I'm not taking the bait and going off-topic with you ref tax cuts just because you can't think of anything to say on this topic. There are other posts on that subject - go practice your plagiarism there. Why don't you just go out and steal someone's words that are on-topic, and hope you don't get caught again, airhead.


At least you didn't steal the signature. That one is distinctly yours.

"To Seem Rather Than To... (Below threshold)

"To Seem Rather Than To Be"


Democrats screaming and yelling is a complete fraud and fake outrage. Democrats are nothing but frauds, IT'S REALITY AND THE MAJORITY IN THIS COUNTRY SEE IT PLANE AS DAY. Since there is no morals and no honor in 90% of the Media , they and the democrat party are virtually one in the same. Until the Media is disinfected they will continue to get away with their perpetual fraud and there will alway be those few on the RIGHT side for one reason or another must play along with lame left's political games.

How can in this day and age intelligent people allow this perpetual fraud aka the Democrat Party distort and define our Political System?

There is a reason why we have become the greatest , most powerful civilized country on the planet.It's called the "American Way". Just like the Liberal Left in Hollywood have made it clear that they out to destroy the American Way so too have the Democrat Party.Take one individual from the Govt. of every Country on this Planet and there you have the Democrat Party trying to come off as if they have the best interests of this Country at heart.
I just curious about all these liberals. What's stopping them from being such liberals in some other Country? They should go practice their Religion in some other Country that think just like them. It would fun to watch them spin their wheels and going nowhere.

Hey crybaby Lee,telling ... (Below threshold)

Hey crybaby Lee,telling the truth and the facts is not plagiarism retard. Liberals would like to make a crime to speak the truth while they lie without impunity.= Definition of a bed wetter.

What compels you to be a dirty lying peice of shit? Do you enjoy it ? Are you a conscienceless piece of trash of the misery loves company variety?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Lee, you are the king of th... (Below threshold)

Lee, you are the king of the thread hijack. You even did it in this thread. So, you're a hypocrite. What's new. You're a lib.

And yes, you are a retard. Oh, right, attribute that to RobLACa. It fits.

By the way, the point of th... (Below threshold)

By the way, the point of the thread was the noise the libs. make while obscuring the truth. That's precisely what I wrote about.

Can't even follow the thread, Pee.

Yes, you are a twit.

I heard on one of the round... (Below threshold)

I heard on one of the round table discussions today they the United States is now in deadly peril because of the division created in the country by the left wing hate. (Hate that is the result of losing a few elections) China and Russia along with every other country in the world that would like to "own" the United States (property, not the people) are watching with a wishful knowing eye. Any country that wants to attack the U.S. now knows they will only have to fight half the population. The other half (democrats) will fold up and surrender with nothing more than a whine. It's history that a nation divided cannot stand. The left wing cowards will sacrifice the lives of their entire family to satisfy their wounded ego's. It will happen, it's now set up and is just a matter of time.

Scrapiron...the Founders, i... (Below threshold)

Scrapiron...the Founders, in their wisdom, crafted the 2nd Amendment. The Left wing crowd doesn't like that Amendment much...wheareas the Right wing crowd embraces it. Do the math.

Regarding Betsy Newmark's p... (Below threshold)
Mike G in Corvallis:

Regarding Betsy Newmark's point, there's an old adage:

"Whenever a problem appears, a politician will appear to solve it."

Yawn....so the politicians ... (Below threshold)

Yawn....so the politicians on both sides engage in sanctimonious hand-wringing and faux outrage over these issues, round up the usual suspects, pat each other on the back for a job well done, and then belly up to the corporate trough for another round of swill. They don't represent us or our interests. Our system of government is sorely in need of repair and both sides are to blame.

As long as people are more interested in calling someone "a dirty lying piece of shit" because they have a different point of view, this type of government will flourish. The vicious partisan climate here and everwhere else is just what those in govenment want. It allows them to continue with business as usual. Wake up!

Whenever a problem appea... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Whenever a problem appears, a politician will appear to solve
A perfect example is In the latest People interview with ..you guessed it our eternal child/man optimist. Bush. "Do you think Gore is right on global warming?
"I think we have a problem on global warming. I think there is a debate about whether it's caused by mankind or whether it's caused naturally, but it's a worthy debate. It's a debate, actually, that I'm in the process of solving by advancing new technologies, burning coal cleanly in electric plants, or promoting hydrogen-powered automobiles, or advancing ethanol as an alternative to gasoline." .The whole point is that global warming is practically unsolvable, or irreversible for a good many years particularly if Bush as the most important world leader fails to recognise that anthropogenic global warming exists now and takes the painful steps to reduce carbon emissions (as soon as yesterday if possible.) It is difficult to surround a problem, such as Iraq or global warming when your sanguine boyish mind-set i.e. "I really do feel young" and the bubble you live in, doesn't allow you to face it properly.

groucho wrote: ... (Below threshold)

groucho wrote:

"Our system of government is sorely in need of repair and both sides are to blame.

As long as people are more interested in calling someone "a dirty lying piece of shit" because they have a different point of view, this type of government will flourish. The vicious partisan climate here and everwhere else is just what those in govenment want"

That's funny cause the majority that make such claims are almost entirely democrats or Rhinos.


The only thing that democrats can do is continue their perpetual fraud because that "IS" what the democrat party "IS", a shameless pathetic fraud.Please tell us all those plans you had in 2004. You claim that the people have the right to know? Well i want to know when I can view the entire reord of John Fraud Kerry, the 100 pages of the Barrett Report that were sealed the same way Hilary Rodham had many document regarding the real JFK some 30 years ago. Democrats are exactly what they called "actors" in biblical times "HYPOCRITES".
Democrats love to claim that we need to work together to clean up the stench in Washington when they are the only ones passing gas and stinking up the place.






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