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Thread: Political sign spotted in Framingham: "Defeat Incumbents"

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  1. #1
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    Default Political sign spotted in Framingham: "Defeat Incumbents"

    Over the span of several weeks, I've seen a handful of "Defeat Incumbents" signs in Framingham, each one saddening me just a bit more than the last.

    I heard an interview on NPR this afternoon (with author Jonathan Franzen, I think). He was asked about a 2008 quote of his regarding the energy of President of Obama's campaign compared with the gridlock we're actually seeing. He responded with the fear that the United States has become ungovernable.

    "Defeat Incumbents" strikes me as an echo of that condition. It's a vote for nothing instead of something. Political parties (some more effectively than others) appear to favor the path of obstruction rather than giving the opposition a victory, even if that victory promises to improve out collective lot. As a result, government gets nothing done (out of respect for our teachers, and librarians, and police officers, and firefighters, and soldiers among many others, please spare us the "and we're better off for it" response).

    I for one would rather put some thought behind the votes I make--"Defeat Incumbents" allows no such thought. And in a related vein, I'm wholly against the un-American notion of restricting my voting choice. I'm speaking, of course, of term limits, which do exactly that.

  2. #2
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    I had the exact same reaction to the "Defeat Incumbents" signs I've seen.

  3. #3
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    I saw a political cartoon that I liked in today's Boston Globe. In tracking it down, I came across cartoonist Tom Toles' blog entries on the Washington Post web site, and found him to be both eloquent and concise (in addition to his artistic talents). I'll add him to my regular online reading list, others including the self-deprecating and tongue-in-cheek self-aggrandizing cancer research fund-raiser and cyclist Fat Cyclist, the cynical and scathingly observant Bike Snob NYC, and the sensible-left-leaning salon.com and slate.com.

    Here's a recent bit from Toles relevant to this thread (emphasis added):

    Thought crimes
    There never is any reason to raise taxes, ever, we are told. It is always a good time to cut taxes, we are told. This is not thinking. This is a badly programmed robot. Sometimes you will hear a discussion of what is the optimum tax level to yield the highest revenue but burden the economy the least, but you won't hear that conversation in the United States because it's against the law here, according to the conservative Supreme Court's narrow reading of the Constitution.

    Here's another conversation you won't hear. At what point does the share of U.S. income that is taken in by the richest 1 percent actually start to undermine the economy? This discussion is also illegal here, but I'm taking my chances. That share has DOUBLED in the last thirty years and is now close to a FIFTH of the whole pie! Less share for YOU, if you struggled in math. Is this bad? Would 50 percent be bad? 95 percent?

    But they INVEST that money in productive enterprises that benefit us all. But DO they? Mightn't there be a point where there is more money in this storied "investor class" than they can use productively? Why, you might end up with destructive investment BUBBLES! Like, oh, a HOUSING bubble, instead of more exports. Wild conjecture, I know, but just theoretically possible. Or maybe they would spend their time working on elaborate ultra high-speed stock trading that takes wealth out of the market that comes from...where? I don't know, and as long as the conservative media complex is misidentified as liberal media, we never will. --Tom Toles
    Last edited by Jeff Dieffenbach; 09-13-2010 at 07:50 AM. Reason: Added indenting to make the Toles quote more clearly identifiable

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