By Jon Keller, WBZBy Jon Keller


BOSTON (CBS) – I’ve always wondered – how do partisans manage to maintain such a high state of righteous indignation all the time without popping a gasket?

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Right now, the front people for both parties are mad as heck and not gonna take it anymore over the apparently egregious economic sins of the other side.

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Just for laughs, let’s take a closer look at what has sent each side into rhetorical orbit.

The right-wing grievance machine is going full tilt over a comment by President Obama echoing earlier remarks by Elizabeth Warren, in which he explains why he wants wealthy taxpayers to “pay a little bit more… If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.” And the president concludes that “we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people… You’re not on your own, we’re in this together.”

This is being taken in some quarters as an insult to businesspeople, and if you already believed that somehow this president hates capitalism and wants to punish all capitalists, that spin fits your preconceived notion.

But I don’t buy that.

Mr. Obama, the man who bailed out the banks and the faltering automakers, seems to like capital and industry just fine. He’s trying – however haltingly – to put a positive spin on his appeal for more revenue by appealing to an American tradition of community that dates back to the earliest settlers and is in no way inconsistent with profit taking.

Meanwhile, on the left, it’s fantasy time with the latest crusade against outsourcing and the alleged conspiracy of the rich to sell America out.

Wasn’t it Bill Clinton and Al Gore who were so adamant about passing NAFTA to help guide us into the new global economy that has made outsourcing so common? They understood that our old economic model had to be replaced with one that kept us competitive while acknowledging we’re not the world’s only economic power anymore, and that while the transition would be painful for some, in the long run it was the only way to go.

What we have in our politics right now is a failure of both sides to communicate when it comes to the economy. Because both sides are talking trash, and neither side is listening.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

Jon Keller

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