I’m back at the Copper Cafe. I decided that it was finally time to leave the dog at home, in the yard, alone. To make sure she doesn’t go crazy. I figure that going to Redstone at least gives me the ability to get back quickly if she escapes and someone calls the number on the tag.

I’m here less than half an hour and apparently the Christian-Marxist-Greens are holding their meeting and I’m already getting distracted. This is the second time in a row our paths have converged. To no great surprise, at least a couple of them are college professors. One used to live in Colosse and another in Soundview. They’re discussing the merits of democracy. One of them is trying to reconcile Marxism and democracy. Another is arguing that real democracy doesn’t include votes but rather is a state of consciousness and therefore a nation that looks after its own is more democratic than is a country like the United States wherein we vote but the government is unresponsive to our needs due to the corporate interests.

Next door is a really interesting house. Well, kind of a row-house that was converted from a restaurant or cafe of some sort. It has a really neat patio. Until you look in the windows (or notice the absolute lack of signage) it looks to all the world like a the competing cafe it probably once was. On the other side of the Copper Cafe is an actually residence that’s split into what was split into what must be two pretty small abodes.

The Copper Cafe has no air conditioning, which in the current weather is quite pleasant. This was not the case a couple months ago.

Category: Downtown

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2 Responses to Dispatches from the Copper Cafe

  1. web says:

    Ideally, a government responsive to the needs and feelings of its people is a truer democracy than one in which elected leaders bull ahead on their own unpopular agendas.

    In our own example, this is no truer than the highly-likely instance we are about to see: a lame-duck Congress controlled by the President’s party rushing legislation through before losing power to the other side, as the result of a previously-taken vote that cannot help but be seen as a popular referendum on their party’s performance and agenda.

    This is why I find it so humorous and disconcerting that politicians who change their stance to fit the polls are often derided by one party or the other (the opposite party always stating, of course, that their position is a “principled stand”). Especially on a presidential level, Presidents of either party who bull on ahead despite their policies being wrongheaded by the standards of the populace have generally caused the country no end of grief.

  2. trumwill says:

    I am skeptical that we’re going to see a whole lot of lame-duck action. Any new laws passed have to get through the Senate and a likely filibuster. The Democrats may have nearly 60 seats, but a portion of those are going to be scared as hell because they’re going to be up for election in a couple of years. That said, if I am wrong, that will indeed be worthy of condemnation.

    Passing unpopular bills (absent lame-duck status), on the other hand, is murkier terrain. I think that there is a natural tension between politicians doing what they see as right and what is polling well. If a politician runs on a platform of X, Y, and Z and the first two are popular and the third is not, should he vote against Z? On the one hand, the public is against it. On the other hand, Z was a part of the package when he ran. Do we elect politicians to simply reflect our views or do we elect them to exhibit judgment? It’s an open question, in my view.

    It gets murkier when it is an unforeseen issue that was not campaigned on one way or the other. Or it was campaigned on as an abstract issue and the bill is less popular in actuality than it was in theory during campaign season. On the one hand, it’s unpopular. On the other hand, they elected you knowing that you were in favor of reforming this, expanding that, or cutting the other thing.

    The good thing about indirect democracy is that it allows some degree of latitude. They can vote however they want, but they are subject to reprisals in the voting booth the next time around. The bad thing about indirect democracy is that the voters don’t have to like you at all. They merely need to like you more than the next guy. So if the next guy is particularly unpopular, you can get away with a lot. With two unpopular parties, that kind of puts us into a bind.

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