No Argument

Sam Seder is about all that's left, as it were, of liberal talk radio (and it's not really radio.) He's nowhere near as glib or agile as Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck, and the only time I look at his stuff is when I get an email about it. Even then, unless the title is interesting, which it often isn't, I don't click it up.

I did listen to the above, though, and I found it remarkable. Other than the introduction, I have no info about the interviewee, nor had I ever heard of him. But what's noteworthy is how the man completely avoided the opportunity to specify anything at all. For all I know, he thought he was answering brilliantly and specifically. But, given lots of opportunity, he said not a damn thing. And Sam Seder didn't even ask him about the hard one for a "tough choice" conservative, namely military spending.

It's illustrative. Like Romney (and now, many others), he disavowed the Ryan budget like the secretary of the Impossible Mission team, right at the outset, but declined to come up with something more palatable. And I thought the direct question about the deficit was interesting, too, since his only answer seemed to be about perception.

This guy had no answers. I don't, either, but I know what they must include, to make any sense at all: cuts in social spending that won't hurt those most in need (placing limits on eligibility for Medicare and Social Security based on wealth); cuts in military spending (surely it'd be okay to close a few more bases, including overseas; maybe finally admit that missile defense shields neither work nor prevent the more likely sort of attack; do that dastardly thing Obama suggested to Medvedev, cutting back on nuclear warheads, maybe just to levels enough to wipe out humanity ten times over; reduce the number of troops while retaining the ability to recall and/or draft if we ever stumble into another stupid ground war). And, mathematically, it has to include increasing revenue: eliminating the social security cap, returning taxes to closer to Clinton-era boom times ( hardly anyone, even on the left, agrees with returning to those when god strode the earth in the human form of Ronald Reagan.)

Barack Obama has made proposals that include every one of those elements. And Rs, to whom tax hikes and defense cuts are totally off the table, have painted every one as tantamount to treason. (If I'm wrong, it's only in the use of the word tantamount.)

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