A new voice – to me at least

John Avlon. Apparently a well known columnist and author. Saw him on CSpan this a.m. What a refreshing guy. His beat seems to be wingnuttia – on both sides (acknowledging that this year it tilts mostly one way).

From his Amazon page for the book “Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America”:

The book compares current merchants of political paranoia with past fear-mongers and finds that divisive demagogues have sold this snake oil before. But the two parties’ increased polarization and the echo-chamber of the internet are helping the fringe blur with the base, making the Wingnuts more powerful than ever before. (There are three faces on the book jacket: Palin, Beck and Olbermann.)   

This morning he was mourning the loss of the middle, the dangers of moderation and what it means for all of us.

interestingly, Avlon was an intern for Bill Clinton (with Monica!) and a speech writer for Gulianni (as mayor). Interesting guy.

19 responses to “A new voice – to me at least

  1. The middle has long been over. We should move to the age of “just get mine.”

    That pains me to say. But face it, the good guys lost. Just posted on a Facebook thread concerning the why and what of voting. “Voting..oh yeah. I voted a straight “After Party” ticket. It’s the politics of “calm and scents” and exclusivity.”

    Another book about the who and why of crass and crazy American politics and players is as topical, useless, and beneficial as bedbugs.

    If Thomas Frank, Kevin Philips, Molly Ivans, or Richard Hofstadter, or Walter Lippmann, H L Mencken: if William F. Buckley can’t clue the public to the danger of political posers…think this guy can?

    Check your threads. You have serious folks, seriously defending the leadership and political acumen of Sarah Palin.

    The oligarchy has won. The great Democratic experiment is over. And I’ve purchased my last hardcover book on American politics.

    But thanks for the suggestion.



    • Oh I know. But remember that the list of people you proffered were of an earlier generationn- no matter how spot on Molly was she was probably 35 years older than this guy. I think I’m mostly glad to hear his kind of talk from a young insider. After all, Phillips nad Molly were serious best selling authors and they affected the discourse. But there hasn’t been a new crop out there making non partisan sense.

      Now, on the other hand, I will agree that the oligarchy has won. Today. And maybe tomorrow I’ll think we can still push back. Then the day after . . .

      Yeah – my conservative commenters appear to believe that corporate power is a GOOD thing. The propaganda machine has managed to make them beleive that all free enterprise is the same – my grocery store and BP on a moral plane iwth each other.


  2. Ms. Holland,

    To compare Keith Olbermann to anyone, by way of putting his picture with other humans, is an insult to the rest of humanity.


  3. You guys enjoy your political flirt…

    I misread this thread. Is “no site” Scott a sock puppet, or hiding behind the Ms. Holland’s skirt. Mr. Scott responds as caricature. ” An insult to the rest of humanity.”

    You guys have a good time.



    • I’m too old to flirt! But I’ve never yet kicked anyone off this site; I try to keep my own tone civil and to encourage the same. Maybe Alan is actually ‘fliritng’ with the idea of doing the same.


  4. As I lost faith in George W. Bush, I found some of Olbermann’s anger at casual stomping on rights supposedly for security, spot on. Now I find him very hackish. Is it just me?


  5. Doug,

    I believe you insulted me. No site, no sock puppet. I just believe KO makes dishonest arguments. That is why he never has anyone on that does not 110% agree with everything that comes out of his mouth. It’s hard to think of anyone in media that I disrespect more than him. If you wish to defend him, go ahead.


    • Alan – you’re whacking at phantoms again – no one here is defending Olbermann. You are trying to get into a fight about him, but he’s not the subject.


  6. Ms. Holland,

    Then to get back to my point. How can KO be the left wing equivalent to Beck and Palin?

    I believe the theory of a moderate middle is fantasy. If there is a middle, it is apathy until it gets mad at whoever is in power. Right now it is royally perturbed at the Left that has ruled Congress for four years. The so called ‘middle’ is not in love with my party. And it sure doesn’t have the heart to form a Moderate Middle of The Road Party.

    The Left keeps rationalizing it’s coming loses as the public being fooled by the imagined foreign money coming in. Quite hypocritical, remembering how Candidate Obama chose not to use the AVS system to screen donors that McCain used. No one knows how much foreign money bought the White House for Obama.

    The mid term massacre in 3 days will be nothing more than a rejection of the Left.


    • The ‘midterm massacre in three days’ as you call it is business as usual. More passionate htan usual, but both Reagan and Clinton lost Congress in their first term midterms.


  7. To be nerdish, technically I don’t think Reagan lost congress in his first term. The first term, Reagan had brought in the first Republican senate since the 1950’s, and that lasted until 1987 in his second term.

    The house was in Democratic hands all through the Reagan term.

    However, I think you may be correct in practical terms because the first 2 years in the Reagan term had a enough Republicans to form a conservative coalition with southern Democrats, such a Phil Graham who later became a Republican. In the 1982 midterm, the Republican minority became much smaller and the conservative coalition was broken or at least weakened. So in practical terms, I think the lady is right.


  8. Moe,

    Just so you know, I’ve tried to follow the steps you provided on making a Blog roll with your blog among others on it. I’ve failed as far as I can tell.

    You don’t see a blog roll on my modest little blog do you?? I sure don’t.


  9. I’m not seeing a blogroll at your place. I think I left something off last time! And that is you have to add the WIDGET for BLOGROLL to appear on your site. Unless there’s a WIDGET there, the BLOGROLL won’t appear. (Do you know how to do the widgets?)

    Then, to add sites to the blogroll:
    Add New
    Once there, type in the NAME of the blog (whatever works), then paste in the URL where it says WEB ADDRESS . (Skip the third one)(https://maureenholland.wordpress.com).
    Then scroll down and click the box BLOGROLL (it just stis there all by itself.
    Go to the right hand side and click ADD LINK.


  10. I’ll try the widget thing tonight.

    Sorry about the FL governor race


  11. I have a blogroll! However, I want to narrow down the blogs included and bring in some non-worpress ones. Then have broken down into categories.


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