Swedish man terrifies
ex-wife by pushing mice
through her mail slot.
Now that President Obama has decided to go on the attack there can be no further doubt about what the Republicans are trying to do, and it is ugly. They have clung obstinately to their plan to just say no to anything and everything Obama wishes to do. Perhaps if these were things Obama wished to do for himself there might be some justification for this treasonous, or near treasonous behavior on the part of Republicans, but these are things he is trying to do for our country, for us. Plans for universal health care, saving the economy, creating jobs, improving education, rebuilding superstructure, consumer protection, ending don’t ask, don’t tell, and so on. But still, at every attempt he is met with resistance. As Obama has made clear in the past few days, even things Republicans themselves were for, when he agrees and wants to do them, they become opposed. There can be no explanation for this other than that they wish him to fail (and our country with him). One might hope that now that they have been exposed they might decide to become more cooperative, but don’t bet on it. As Obama has also pointed out, they have demonized him to the point where they probably can’t change now without looking ridiculous. They are now trapped by their own greed, lust for power, and stupidity. While Obama recognizes this I’m not so sure the Republican base will pay any attention as they do not appear to think very clearly about anything (if they think at all).
John McCain may be a good case in point. He said previously that if the generals would come out in favor of abolishing don’t ask, don’t tell, he would listen to them. But now that they have done so, he has refused to accept their opinions and threw a petulant fit because they did not ask his permission first. Actually, in McCain’s case, I think there may be more to it than meets the eye. I think he may be going senile. I don’t know how one would explain his terrible lack of judgment in the past couple of years, and his changing positions so erratically if he was the McCain of old. If this is not a case of aging and slipping a bit one would have to conclude he is simply mean-spirited or evil, and I do not like to think that of him (in spite of his attempt to inflict Her Silliness on us because of his egomaniacal drive to become President).
It is still a long time before the 2010 elections. There are many predictions that Republicans will re-take the House of Representative, pick up seats in the Senate, and so on. They believe this will happen because Democrats have just not produced anything of substance (primarily jobs and health care reform). Perhaps they are right, perhaps Republicans will win more seats. But perhaps they won’t. I can understand how people are not happy about the state of our nation, and I can understand how they might wish to take their dissatisfaction out on Democrats, but what I cannot understand is why this would lead them to vote for Republicans. First, much of the problem has been the Republicans, the party of no, who have resisted and blocked any attempt by Obama to bring about meaningful change. In effect they have just ceased participating in governing our nation. Given their record, as well as that of the Democrats, I would understand how someone might prefer to vote for a dead dog or a purple cow, or even Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, but certainly not for a Republican (if not a Democrat). Some say it will be incumbents who are at risk, whether Democrat or Republican. This makes perfect sense to me, throw out most or all of the incumbents, but please, please, do not replace them with more of the same. We’ve been doing a lot of outsourcing in recent years, shipping jobs overseas, seeking competent people elsewhere to do our manufacturing and even our services. I suggest we outsource our Congresspersons and Senators, bring in some talent from India, China, Korea, or even Pipelinestan and let them compete in our elections. Running against incumbents they would doubtless win and then perhaps we might actually see some positive changes.
Another change I think may be long overdue is forced retirement of Congresspersons, Senators, and Supreme Court Justices. If ordinary people have to retire at 65 or 70, or whenever, why should those in charge of government be allowed to continue on into their senility when they become so feeble they can barely stand? If Supreme Court Justices are given positions of such authority for life, I think we need a more precise definition of “life.” If we can’t seem to agree on just when human life begins (at conception, some unknown time later?), perhaps we could decide when for all practical purposes it ends. Does anyone believe that a Senator or judge at 90 years of age is still as sharp and up-to-date as they were at 40 or 50? It’s like the Senator from Alaska who said the internet was a series of tubes, or Senator Byrd having to be wheeled in to cast his vote. Given that people do live longer than they used to, and given that in general they are in better health at ripe old ages, I still think 70 is probably a good time for them to gracefully retire and write their memoirs. I also think we should take our elections more seriously and perhaps even have some prerequisites for those running for public office (but this is for another time).
When the politicians complain that TV turns the proceedings into a circus, it should be made clear that the circus was already there, and that TV has merely demonstrated that not all the performers are well trained.
Edward R. Murrow
On the Island of New Guinea there were said to be more than 700 separate languages.