what do I make of this crazy video?
January 23, 2009 4:13 PM   Subscribe

Why is this video clip from two years ago now a flogging horse for the far right? Where can I find Reich's entire speech and what does he have to do with the Obama administration?

Okay, maybe that's three questions, but this video is bugging me. I'm fairly sure that Reich is not advocating some sort of "no whitey need apply" that the subtitling seems to suggest, but I'd love to see the full record of what was said and understand why this has suddenly become yet another flogging horse and figure out a way to respond to an increasingly reactionary friend who is convinced that the world is going to end now that Obama has been elected. Sadly, I think that my original impulse to not even bother to engage is the right one, but I'd rather deflect than just wave it off.
posted by canine epigram to Law & Government (8 answers total)
Read it on his blog
posted by milkrate at 4:22 PM on January 23, 2009

It was from two weeks ago.
posted by codswallop at 4:39 PM on January 23, 2009

what does he have to do with the Obama administration?

He's one of his official economic advisors.
posted by cloudsandstars at 4:57 PM on January 23, 2009

Ack. Weeks, not years.
posted by canine epigram at 6:44 PM on January 23, 2009

It's really the affirmative action debate all over again. This fellow says we should make an effort to give jobs more to minorities because (presumably) they would normally be disadvantaged or need the help more. To many Republicans, that sounds like "RACE WAR! RACE WAR!" It's not really a debate about the facts...it's just a matter of opinion. I happen to think that it's good for the government to make an effort to reverse prejudices and try to disproportionately help those who need help more, but some people see that as unwelcome and unfair governmental meddling with the "natural" social and financial order. And if, as you say, it has become a Republican flogging horse (I haven't personally heard of it until now), I'm sure the scare effect has been amplified because he now has the ear of the most powerful person in the country.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 7:42 PM on January 23, 2009

The misunderstanding -- to the extent that this isn't just political theatre -- is that Reich is not talking about diversifying construction jobs. He's saying that there are other people who are hurting besides construction workers.

It's like how last fall people were questioning why bankers were getting bailed out and not any other types of companies.

It's probably a poor choice of words for someone who's spent a lot of time out of government but is now connected with the current administration.
posted by dhartung at 12:04 AM on January 24, 2009

Reich's response to the nonsense
posted by milkrate at 11:52 PM on January 24, 2009

I have to say, I watched the video, disregarded the type overlays as noise, and did not like what he or Charlie Rangel were saying. Reich was explicit in his statement of "white male contruction workers." Rangel wants to be able to put the money where ever he wants with no oversight.
I would love to see the whole conference (or whatever they were at) so I could see it from beginning to end and not have to see what is obviously the most inflammatory segment of the video.
posted by a3matrix at 7:33 AM on January 27, 2009

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