Bernadette Nutall and Other Profiteers of Inferiority Must Go

Categories: Schutze

SHZ_GetOffMyLawn_TitleImageV2.jpg
Heed what just happened in the battle over next year's school budget for Dallas. Black elected leaders on the school board voted for segregation and failure. It's time for everybody -- I mean everybody -- to rethink the role of black elected leadership in this city.

Of course the traditionally segregated region of the city south of downtown has a right and need to elect the leaders it chooses to public office. But right now the biggest proponent and agent of continued segregation and continued failure in that part of the city is that part of the city.

A few hours ago in a wee-hours battle over next year's budget, school trustee Bernadette Nutall, who has fought bitterly against academic school reform efforts where they may threaten jobs of politically wired black school principals, argued against and then voted against a major program of special support for struggling schools in her own district.

Eric has that story for you already. So happens I have been working on a column for the paper next week touching on it. But we need to pause and look at this again slowly and carefully.

arnold.jpg
We already ran a photo of Bernadette Nutall today, so we're filling space here with an entirely random picture of Benedict Arnold.
Nutall, who represents high schools that send thousands of young people straight to prison unable to read or write and without a prayer for decent life, voted (unsuccessfully) against a program that will pour $20 million in special resources into Lincoln, Madison and Pinkston high schools -- schools that for years have been able to produce only single-digit percentages of graduating classes capable of going on to real colleges and universities according to state standards.

See also:
- Mike Miles versus The World
- Bernadette Nutall: Miles "Experiment[ing] With Our Children" By Pouring Resources into South Dallas Schools

Most of the money she voted against will be free to the district, from outside sources. Only $8.8 million of it will come from the Dallas Independent School District. The program is based on the highly successful, nationally touted Harlem Children's Zone. Nutall decried the program here as "experimenting with our children."

Oh, it's way more than that. The Children's Zone concept is an experiment with the entire culture in which those children grow up, meaning the politics and economy all around them. It burrows into every aspect of life and society in an effort to create a protective, nurturing, shielded zone.

Why would elected black leaders resist a thing like that? White people in Dallas, who tend to be even less smart about racial issues than black people, don't see it, but the elected leadership of southern Dallas is a remnant of the old ghetto over-class of segregation days. Because the civil rights movement never shook this town very hard, that leadership class, dominated by separatist clergy, still holds sway.

These are people who profit from inferiority, because they profit from separation. Let me give you an example. Real estate. On the editorial page of the daily newspaper today is an editorial castigating the city over the way it disposes of tax delinquent property in poor black neighborhoods. I'm going to assume it's well-intended.

What the editorial does not see -- what I hear about all the time -- is efforts by black elected and community leaders to manipulate the property condemnation process, along with code enforcement and police action, in order to deliver property into the hands of politically wired persons and groups.

If you get a bunch of serious do-gooders out onto MLK Boulevard around Madison High School, for example, backed up by cash and solid political support at City Hall, and they start trying to create genuine child-safe zones, they're going to crash straight into all of the protected poker houses, crack houses, eminent domain scams and other mechanisms from which the traditional ghetto ballas have always profited. (Balla is a Yiddish word for big shot, player, dude.)

Think about this. Nutall has been ambushing school district staff around the city, threatening them with consequences if they don't agree to sabotage the school reform effort in her own district. Her entire thrust, along with black school board trustee Lew Blackburn, has been to protect the jobs of principals in failing schools. This morning she argued and then voted against a $20 million program aimed at saving the lives of kids in her own district.

Under a false flag of communal self-determination, she and her mentor, County Commissioner John Wiley Price, have consistently fought against precisely the kind of economic and social progress their community needs so desperately. They are smart enough to know that real progress will put them out of business.

Nutall and Price are ghetto ballas. They need the ghetto to survive, as opposed to a true and equal black community, which will thrive and hold strong in conditions of success and upward mobility. But a black ghetto only survives in conditions of inferiority contained and enforced by racial separation. Something like the Children's Zone, bringing in themes and strategies of black success, many of them from successful black people, is a death threat to the ghetto ballas.

I'm not talking to white racists here. I gave up on that a long time ago. I am talking to white people of all political persuasions who believe that the entire city sinks or swims together. I am talking to tons of upwardly mobile black people in this region who know what it takes. I am talking to everybody and anybody who regards children as sacred charges.

The real enemies of these children are not white. They are black. They hold legitimate political office. To do anything for these children, we are all going to have to suck it up, overcome a half-century of post-Civil Rights Movement political heebie-jeebies, and learn to ride roughshod over the elected ghetto ballas.

This is not the time for Lady Bountiful. More like Lady Rambo, who is white, black or biracial, maybe a successful single mother who put herself through community college like Wendy Davis, has a few bucks to bang together and is not in the mood for any more bullshit from the likes of Bernadette Nutall.

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66 comments
Allin
Allin

Thank you for ignoring the diversion topics of gospel vs. ideas, liberal vs. conservative, Socialism, etc., and focusing upon the critical issues raised by Jim's piece, essentially, when will the S. Dallas community address the self enriching politicians who are feeding off the future of their children?  Neither DISD, nor any other school district in the U.S., can afford to leave any child behind.  NO DISTRICT in the United States can afford to continue doing the same things and expecting different results. We cannot stand still, we must progress... (www.mdpi.com/2076-3387/2/1/1/pdf) China has more gifted and talented students than there are people in the U.S., and they are in the process of attempting to create a genius breeding program that will appreciably boost the IQ of their population over the course of the next several generations (http://www.vice.com/read/chinas-taking-over-the-world-with-a-massive-genetic-engineering-program; http://www.ibtimes.com/chinese-scientists-may-soon-be-able-genetically-engineer-smarter-children-1137797).  Our competition is global, not local, and the tide is turning quickly.  We must focus upon educating every child to his/her highest potential!  We must also understand that not every child wants to go to college, and that there is honor and value in doing all legal jobs well.  The most important thing that we can do is to encourage the student who aspires to the blue collar job as well as nurture the gifted and talented student to create the inventions that will develop the industries that support the blue collar jobs.  This should be our focus.  If it is not, we fail our future generations and those past generations that sacrificed so much for us. 

Allin
Allin

Thank you for getting back to the point that Jim was making and for ignoring the diversion topics of gospel versus ideas, left vs. right, conservative vs. liberal...  We cannot afford to continue these parochial arguments. The true issue is as presented in Jim's piece, essentially, what is the S. Dallas community going to do to raise itself out of a situation where politicians are more focused upon self enrichment than their constituents.  There are more gifted and talented students in China than there are people in the U.S.  DISD cannot afford to leave any child behind, and it cannot continue to do the same things and expect different results, while China continues to focus on breeding a genius race.  (http://www.vice.com/read/chinas-taking-over-the-world-with-a-massive-genetic-engineering-program; http://io9.com/is-china-selectively-breeding-a-new-generation-of-geniu-455634018; http://www.ibtimes.com/chinese-scientists-may-soon-be-able-genetically-engineer-smarter-children-1137797). We are already behind in several subjects when it comes to science, math, etc., and our competition is not local, it's global.  The tide is already shifting and we have got to focus upon our children and helping them reach their highest potential.  We also need to understand that there is value and honor in doing any legal job well.  So, we ought not look our noses down at the child that wants to be a blue collar worker and not go to college.  However, we need to make sure that we nurture, and not ignore, the gifted and talented student who wants to create the inventions that will spur the development of new industries and the need for blue collar jobs. 

trudat
trudat

It is possible to establish a hypothetical case whereby such a proposed program could be deemed a liability as opposed to an asset.  I can understand Nutalls' insistence on more input into the process before the program is activated.  Just because she  objects to the program as it was proposed does not necessarily mean that she has sold out in any particular way.  Much of the blanket criticism of her and those who elected her is to be expected in a city like Dallas where truth in politics is a rare commodity. 

Obummer
Obummer

Yo bout time; rarely iz da queshun asked: what’s iz our chil'ns learning?

quoquerella
quoquerella

Hold the phone, Schutze. For one thing, Nutall has gotten wise to how edu-things work when "Midas" Miles touches them- people run screaming, and success is not the outcome (see Colorado.) He flees town to climb to the next rung on his imaginary ladder to Washington DC.

For another, Nutall's motives and realizations aside, there are areas of extreme need throughout the district! Miles is incompetent in attempting to run a district of this size, so he's trying to break off a manageable bite. 

And OH Lookie Loo, that slice just happens to be at the end of the Mayor's pretty new bridge.

Miles needs to go. Shame on Rawlings, Todd Williams, and all the others who brought him to town. Shame on Arne Duncan. Shame on Lew Blackburn's consulting firm and shame on the BOT (minus Carla Ranger) who let it all happen.

Yes, there are ridiculous racial issues in this city and within DISD, but that is NOT the primary narrative here! 

Please, sir, if you cannot grasp the true profiteers of inferiority within DISD, I would ask you to get off its lawn.

EastDallasP1
EastDallasP1

I think it would be a fasxinating social experiment if we divided divided disd into four autonomous yet equally funded quadrants. Staer at the corner of Akard and Main. Evet public school north of there is an autonomous sub district. Same with east, west, and south. Again, equal pieces of the financial pie for each.

It would be an amazing social experiment. My guess is in qp years south dallas would look like Hamsterdam from The Wire, the other three would thribe.

dallasdrilling.wordpress.com
dallasdrilling.wordpress.com

Ya gotta wonder if Mike Rawlings has pleaded with Davis, Atkins, Caraway, Hill, and JWP to find some sort of way to make this work by having one of them talk to Bernadette. Or, am I to assume that the four of them got together and told Mike to STFU if he wants to go another term as mayor? Ya gotta wonder.

EastDallasDad
EastDallasDad

Let's not forget that Educate Dallas and Dallas Kids First gave Nutall $25,000 and $5,000 respectively. 

Americano
Americano

Poverty Pimps rule the South.

animas
animas

Yes, but there are similar hierarchical food chains in every community and profession.  $5 million dollar a year hospital CEOs make money on killer neurosurgeons (doing $75,000 per procedure low back operations that fail 50% of the time), legislators of both parties become lobbyists or have "inside deals".  Every city and county govt has its JWPs and Nutalls.  Nobody wants their cozy little nest disturbed.  That's why your columns are so valuable to the rest of us.  Thank you.

ChrisDangerShow
ChrisDangerShow

Why do people keep electing idiots like Bernadette The Nutter? Like JWP, shes a bigot whom would rather keep her constituency in the dark and not afford them the right to a quality life. When is So. Dallas going to rise up and toss her sorry gold-bricking ass out of office?? 

Americano
Americano

According to the Gospel of the Left, Jim is now a racist.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@dallasdrilling.wordpress.com 

The old white business leadership, typified if not exclusively represented by the Citizens Council, doesn't give a shit what happens to black or brown kids and has its deal with the old black leadership (not the Latinos). The black leaders get theirs -- the school system as a patronage machine. The white boys get theirs -- the construction contracts. The kids are in the toilet, and everybody's greased up and happy. The business leaders backing Miles are not of the old guard ilk. For one thing, they do give a shit what happens to the kids and sort of like (feel challenged by) the problem-solving aspect. The old guard, black and white, says, "What's the problem?" 

James080
James080 topcommenter

@EastDallasDad  

Dallas Kids First gave Nutall their highest rating and endorsement. Amazing....

wcvemail
wcvemail

@Americano Poverty Pimps has the alliteration, but Profiteers of Inferiority has a wider reach and more gentility. Poverty Pimps is/are team Profiteers in throw-back jersies.

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

@animas DISD has to be unique with the combination of hundreds of millions in the pot, almost total voter disinterest and so-called political consultants handing out measly amounts of cash to buy the votes of the few people that go to the polls.  Part of the problem is also that politicians have nowhere to go.  Where does a high achiever go after toiling in the vineyards at DISD?  Senator for Life Royce West, Congresswoman for Life Johnson, soon to be Congressman for Life Vecsey, Commissioner for Life or Jail Price have completely blocked off the next rungs.  Why would anyone with any desire for politics want that job?  As we found in a recent election where almost everyone ran unopposed, no one else did.

Guesty
Guesty

@animas True, but there are incentives to succeed elsewhere that don't appear to be present in the DISD.

Take your hospital CEO.  Even if you assume he is a monster hell-bent on profits over patients (he probably is), he still has to worry about:  (1) malpractice; (2) health insurance carriers taking the hospital out of plan; (3) developing a bad reputation among patients and referring physicians; and (4) getting in trouble with the feds for medicare fraud.  Is that enough incentive to always do the right thing?  No.  But is it enough incentive to to avoid the worst outcomes.  Probably.

What seems to have happened with the DISD is that there is no incentive for certain board members to avoid bad outcomes.  Arguably, certain people benefit from the existence of a permanent underclass.  Most of the people who care enough to notice have already left the DISD and have no skin in the game.     

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@ChrisDangerShow 

It's an Evangelical Christian thing.  They don't really feel they need to understand the issues or get involved.  They'd rather just have their spiritual and political leaders decide for them.

It's like when the Catholics found out their leaders were raping their children.  Rather than understand the situation, they just took it on faith that the leaders were doing God's work.

Surprise surprise - people who look to a zombie for spiritual guidance are easily misled in other ways, as well.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@ChrisDangerShow Because their preachers tell them to.  And the preachers tell them to vote for whoever has the fattest brown envelope.

dallasdrilling.wordpress.com
dallasdrilling.wordpress.com

@ChrisDangerShow I found with the Vonciel Hill win this past election that old school blacks who go to church vote for old school blacks who campaign in church. As I mentioned to Schutze previously, we are going to either wait for the old school to die off, and/or get their better educated kids to vote. Bottom line, nothing changes.

wilme2
wilme2

@ChrisDangerShow She represents my part of East Dallas.  And I voted for the angry kid instead of her.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

Amerikano, Jim is becoming the white Django.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@Americano

and you have somehow anointed yourself to determine what "the left" thinks and says? what, do you have some sort of golden sceptre that you whack yourself on the head with?

tell us o wise man, where did you locate this "Gospel" and what does it say about those who, such as Jim above, don't fall victim to looking at every person based on the color of their skin?

what, you don't have the capacity to do that?

figures....

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@Americano Your statement brings to light a very important lesson the conservative right needs to learn, if it wants to survive politically.  The Left, or liberal, progressive side of American politics doesn't have a 'gospel'.  Gospel is difficult to change, people give their lives protecting gospel, no matter how futile, no matter how much at odds that gospel might be with common sense.  The left has ideas.  Ideas aren't cast in stone, they can be changed to reflect newly acquired knowledge or new social sensibilities.  Ideas can flow with changing events, merging with other ideas and becoming a powerful force.  Gospel can't really do that.  Like the stone it is cast in, it can only resist change as long as possible, until the constant flow of progressive ideas weathers it away.  If the Conservative side of American society wants to survive, it had better get some ideas and start shedding some of their 'gospel'.

I say all this as a mostly conservative, mostly libertarian voter.

dallasdrilling.wordpress.com
dallasdrilling.wordpress.com

@JimSX I'm going to go out on a limb and put Mike in the category of the "new" guard of the DCC but glancing over the membership list, it's the "old" guard that still out weighs any newbies and that includes those of Mike's peers/age group but coming from old Dallas money. Since Mike has Yankee written all over him (as much as they try not to go there) they most likely only keep him on a "need to know basis"of what to do and say. Assuming that the new guard continues the legacy of what Daddy wanted, it may take another 50 years for the old guard way of thinking and their investments to die off.

Americano
Americano

@mavdog  

I call it reading.  Check it out, you might learn something.

Rix1
Rix1

@RTGolden1 @Americano The left clings to old ideas, even when they never worked or have become unsustainable. I have not seen any new ideas from "progressives".

You can make this a left/right thing, I guess, but the programs Jim is talking about is true reform that has a track record. And, he is talking about the resistance to those ideas, which, seems to me, comes from the left. I notice JWP and Nutall run as Democrats.

Americano
Americano

@RTGolden1

I wish that were true, but try using a racist or homophobic slur in public.  Try criticizing the President.  They won't just disagree or shun you, they will go after your job, your family, they will try to destroy you.  They act "as if" it is a Gospel, because liberalism is their religion.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@Americano

wow, thanks for that post, couldn't have illustrated my point about the difference between the act of reading and actually understanding what you are reading any bettter!

Americano
Americano

@mavdog  

You spoke for me.  You don't know me but presume to know my level of understanding.  Based on what you'd read.  ironic, isn't it?

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@Americano

oh no, you're the one with the annoited sceptre, I don't presume to speak for anyone but myself. I'll leave the gross inaccurate generalization bit to you as you have shown yourself to be very adept at it.

your posts tell me about your lack of understanding. just look at you rant about "racist and homophobic" above...

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@Americano

the problem is easy to see, you confuse "reading" with understanding.

you may invest time in the former but you lack the latter.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@Rix1 @RTGolden1 @Americano I think you might have misunderstood me.  I wasn't referring at all to the subject of Jim's article, but to the content of Americano's quip.  Democrat/Republican in Dallas County, from my observations, is a useless distinction.  There are only those who have money and power, and those who are subject to the whims of those with money and power.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@Rix1

DISD elections are non-partisan, there isn't any party affilations.

The attempt to interject left/right is misguided, it isn't at all about political ideology.

As Jim points out, it is about self enrichment, about fiefdoms and Price and Nutall protecting these areas they currently control. There are many on both the left and the right who are trying to stop the madness.

gregmarcydagama
gregmarcydagama

@holmantx @RTGolden1 @Americano  Can you prove that a society with both individual and collective instincts  and practices cannot be a success? Most of the historical failures were due to corrupt governments being bought off by the rich; just like now. No, 'collectivism' as you call it - just as easily could be called socially responsible communitarianism - is no boogeyman when the individual does not pervert the democracy with bribes. That's what we have today. ~ / ~ OM

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@Americano @RTGolden1 You can use all the racist and homophobic terms you want, as long as they are directed towards black or gay conservatives.  Read the comments about GayPatriot sometime, or look at the twitter feeds regarding Clarence Thomas last week.

observist
observist topcommenter

@Americano@observist@mavdog@Rumpunch1 

By most accounts, we have 11m illegal aliens in the US, which is about 3% of the population.  If every single one of them used healthcare at the average rate and paid nothing for any of it, it would account for only half of the discrepancy between the US and the next-most-expensive country.  In practice, immigrants use health care at about half the rate of native-born Americans. 

 http://www.migrationpolicy.org/news/2013_06_13.php

Also, most other OECD countries have large immigrant populations (UK, Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, etc.) and cover their healthcare, so the cost comparison is already apples-to-apples.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_foreign-born_population_in_2005
 

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2012/10/health-costs-how-the-us-compares-with-other-countries.html

observist
observist topcommenter

@Americano @mavdog  Repeating an unsubstantiated assertion multiple times does not substantiate it.

Which of Obamas policies are socialist and which are failing?

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@Americano 

ah, a confession that you can't support your remarks. you have nothing but a big bag of crap that has an awful, putrid stench. I'm not surprised.

you have been exposed.

Americano
Americano

@mavdog

We are waaay off topic and you need to go light the candles on your Obama alter.  No amount of facts will change your mind, and it's not my job to try.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@Americano

"the facts"????

you reguritate nothing but manufactured bullshit, with not one single item in support, and you have the gall to claim them as FACTS?

you wouldn't know a "fact" if it walked up, introduced itself, and smacked you in the face.

your claims on Obama show that you actually do not understand the meaning of the word "socialist" or "socialism". go figure.

here is a fact: There is not one single program that Obama has put forth that is socialist. Not one, including the ACA.

if you can come up with an Obama program that is socialist, do it. otherwise if you ever make the claim that "Obama is a Socialist" you show yourself to be a deceitful liar.

Americano
Americano

@RTGolden1 @holmantx

THAT I agree with.  Maybe we should have a set of rules that the government has to follow to ensure personal liberty?  Like a Constitution.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@holmantx @RTGolden1 @Americano I don't advance strict liberalism nor do I advance strict conservatism.  I try to get people to use common sense.  I know you've read my comments before holman, and you know I will always take the side of individual rights over state or federal decree.

That being said, Far Right conservatives are just as damaging to the Republic, and just as opposed to the political principles which underpin the constitution as far left liberals are. Any extreme ideology will eventually lead to despotism, if left unchecked.

Americano
Americano

@mavdog

Obama is a Socialist.  He grew up with Socialists, he was educated by Socialists, he governs like a Socialist.  The facts are that his policies are failing.  

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@holmantx 

the "Liberalism" that Disraeli was referencing is not social liberalism as you would associate the term today, but classical liberalism (smaller government, less regulation of industry) of the 19th century that is more like conservative political philosophy of today.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@Americano 

wow. saying you just don't get it, don't understand, is an understatement...

the point is not to defend socialism, and I certainly didn't; the point you failed to grasp is Rumpunch is suggesting for one to make a rational criticism of the President one should not use "biased sound bites", i.e. like accusing Obama of implementing "socialism" or that his policies are "socialist".

you claim to follow Rumpunch's suggestion, and you then proceed to use a "biased sound bite" immediately after.

whoosh, it went right over your head.

Americano
Americano

@observist @mavdog @Rumpunch1 

Socialism has failed everywhere.  The larger the country, the faster it fails.  Even in Sweden, the model for Socialists over the last 20 years, it's failing.  Republican plan for healthcare?  Tort reform, secure the borders, reduce regulations are a few.  Government makes healthcare so expensive by forcing companies to adhere to the most stringent regulations on the planet and by forcing Hospitals and Doctors to treat people with no way to pay.  Without those, and the millions of illegal aliens, we could all afford healthcare.

observist
observist topcommenter

@Americano @mavdog @Rumpunch1  

 "in a country with 300 million people"  That's a silly constraint that only allows comparisons to China and India. 

 Your failure is not suggesting socialism fails, your failure asserting that Obama's policies are socialist.

And before you say "Obamacare!!", our healthcare system was the least efficient in the industrialized world before Obamacare.  It's a step towards a healthcare model that is successful in most of the industrialized world, in contrast to the conservative and/or Republican plan to improve healthcare, which is.... what?

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@RTGolden1 @Americano

My objection to Liberalism is this—that it is the introduction into the practical business of life of the highest kind—namely, politics—of philosophical ideas instead of political principles. - Benjamin Disraeli (1804–81), English statesman, author. Speech, 5 June 1848, to House of Commons, London, on the expulsion of the British ambassador from Madrid.

For instance, the abandonment of Tenth Amendment in order to extend the power of the General Welfare Clause de facto knocks the rudder off the ship.  Any wind will twirl us now.

Call it what you like, but the philosophical ideas of Collectivism are usurping the Individual, traditionally protected by political principles which underpin the Constitution.

This will destroy the Republic.  It has been the demise of every republic and democracy since the fall of the Athenian Republic over 2000 years ago.

Transferring wealth and income to those who sit in idleness.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@Americano @Rumpunch1

"I do that, because I think his policies aren't working. Socialism Always Fails."

reading and not understanding. contradicting yourself. total failure on your part.

Americano
Americano

@Rumpunch1  

Thanks for the tip.  I do that, because I think his policies aren't working.  Socialism Always Fails.  Usually the response is Racism.  But that was a well thought out, well articulated suggestion.

Rumpunch1
Rumpunch1

@Americano @RTGolden1 You might try criticizing the President without making racial slurs.  Its called intelligent debate.  This includes calling him a Muslim, Communist, or using his full name to make people thing of Saddam. 

Try using phrases such as "I do not agree with the President's policy on ______________" or "I do not think that the President is following the constitution on ___________."  Criticize the policies and actions rather than making biased based sound bytes.

Michelle_B
Michelle_B

@Americano @RTGolden1 A lot of liberals criticize the president. More importantly, don't use racial slurs. If the right wing doesn't mind the public use of racial slurs that isn't a sign that the left is more dogmatic, it's a sign that the right is more bigoted.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@Americano @RTGolden1 Sure, there are exceptions to the norm.  The 'standard' of both the left and right ends of the political spectrum are, and will always be, extreme, as long as we have a two-party system.  However, the standard of the citizenry always has been, is and probably always will be, more in the middle, a blending of the left and right.  The more vocal, irritating and idiotic elements of the left, through increased media exposure, become 'the left'.  The loud, moronic and often garishly garbed elements of the right, by the same medium, become 'the right'.  Meanwhile, most of us could care less where the President was born (at this point, is it even relevant, he's been in office for over 4 years, drop it.) or what Paula Deen might have said 30 years ago.  We have more important things to worry about than race, gender and religion.  We have employment, mortgages, kids in school (to at least appear to be trying to stay on Jim's point here), receding hairlines and chickweed in the lawn.  Notice how, with the abortion banning texas lege up to their usual antics, the SC kicking DOMA in the nuts, and Paula Deen admitting to using racial slurs in the past, hardly any column inches, radio spots or televised news segments have touched on employment, education, the economy or organic weed killing for the last two weeks.  Even the lawn whisperer has disappeared off our radio stations.  Politicians: 3 ; Citizens:  0.

The two observer stories in today's UP will probably be the only thoughtful treatment of this particular subject you'll likely see.

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