Sunday, September 19, 2010

What's Wrong with Kansas ? Start with Kay.

Kay at balloon juice illustrates why the USA is so messed up. She is angry that the food safety bill is blocked in the senate and decides that to blame "the senate" and the food industry. I think she posted after reading the first paragraph of an article the New York Times which went on to explain that the bill is being blocked by Thomas Coburn MD (R-Okla). But who cares about individuals ? Why there is plenty of blame to share. So long as people are angry at the Senate what point is there deciding which particular senators are to blame. It's not like people can only affect the senate by voting for individual senators or anything.

Quite frankly I am appalled that when the Grey Lady is willing to name names that a blogger decides not to bother.

I think part of the problem is assuming that, while the rubes need information, we cool kids know all the facts. That is, I suspect that Kay assumed that readers from Oklahoma would click the link and read the article and find the useful information. Another issue is that I'm sure that Kay, like many bloggers, considers much of the USA to be foreign territory. I'd guess she assumed that no Okies read Balloon Juice, so it doesn't matter if the problem was caused by voters in Oklahoma.

One of the terrible problems with the traditional media is that they communicate to each other and either assume that their readers and viewers are well informed or just don't care about people who aren't political junkies. I'm sincerely shocked and very angry to find the same thing is true of a blogger at a high traffic blog.

My full rant follows.

I think that this post is irresponsible. It does no good to blame "the Senate." We will have a Senate whether we want one or not. In this case it is very easy to identify the one person who is to blame Senator Dr Coburn R-Okla.

I had a sense that I knew that and googled. Google sent me to the linked article which clearly explains that the blame is not shared by the whole senate as you assert.

I am quite angry about this post. I think it illustrates what is wrong with the US polity. It is easy to blame "the senate" or to be just a bit more broad "politicians" or "jerks in Washington." However, suck broad blame does not guide any useful response. People vote for individual politicians. If they know who to blame with first name last name and a medical degree which is being disgraced by a medical doctor who doesn't care that he is causing human deaths, they can do something about it (not in 2010 but in 2012).

Sloppy lazy people like you who won't even bother to read to the end of the article are consumed by anger *and* confusion. People who are as lazy and sloppy as you are going to vote for Republicans because they are angry that the Senate doesn't function because of Republicans.

Always spreading the blame, even when one person is clearly responsible is a way to paralyze the Democratic process. With this post you demonstrate that you are a threat to properly functioning democracy.

I hope I have made it clear that I expect better from Balloon Juice

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