Friday, November 05, 2010

Confused (and not amused)

Yes, Democrats lost big time in the election, but Republicans only gained control of the House of Representatives, not the Senate or the White House. There still are three equal branches of government, aren’t there? McConnell and Boehner seem to think Republicans are now in charge of everything. “We’re going to do away with Obamacre,” We’re going to shrink government and return fiscal responsibility,” “We’re going to extend the Bush tax cuts for everyone,” and so on. It is far more likely the case they will not be able to do any of these things (unless, of course, Obama keeps caving in on everything and helps them). Probably the only vow they will keep is McConnell’s plan to destroy Obama and make him a one-term President.

If it weren’t so serious it might, in fact, be amusing. Here is Mitch McConnell claiming to speak for “the American People,” when he has no more right to do so than the King of Saudi Arabia. Boehner, too, speaks for “the American People.” Where did these two get the idea they could speak for the American people? McConnell says, apparently in all seriousness, “the American People have sent a message to the Democrats that they should work with us.” I don’t believe that was the message at all. The message was to all politicians, quit your bipartisan bickering and actually do something.” As far as McConnell’s claim, “Democrats should work with us” goes, it seems to me quite the opposite message was implied. The Democrats have not been the party of “no,” have not held up everything for purely partisan reasons, and have reached out repeatedly to Republicans who have consistently refused to compromise or do anything at all other than obstruct, obstruct, obstruct. The message logically (not that logic has anything to do with our politics) ought to be for Republicans to stop what they are doing and cooperate with Democrats. But McConnell has stated and repeated emphatically the major goal will be the single-minded attempt to bring about failure for Obama and the Democrats. How’s that for cooperation, for promise of better days to come?

With people like Rand Paul now in office, Boehner as leader of the House, and Mitch McConnell in charge I would not be surprised to learn in a fairly short time that we will look back fondly for the relative calm of gridlock. Being spared the horrors of Angle and O’Donnell will not be enough to keep the rest of the loonies from causing chaos, even anarchy might be more desirable if they start issuing subpoenas and investigating Obama’s dog for un-American activities. Some are even speaking of impeachment, a truly ironic twist as Obama refused to even consider any accountability for the previous administration and the admitted war criminals in our midst. Republicans may well throw down a smoke screen of investigations for imaginary wrongdoings, thus allowing the banks, insurance, energy, and pharmaceutical corporations to continue looting the citizenry.

Obama (and the U.S. itself) is caught up in the most profound and dangerous “Catch-22” imaginable. We are in big trouble, with massive national debt, crippling unemployment, bankruptcies, foreclosures, runaway health care costs, failing infrastructure, deteriorating educational opportunities, global warming, all problems of immense, even life-threatening importance, and we can’t do anything about it. There is no doubt that greedy free-market capitalism, privatization, de-regulation, globalization, and militarism are at the heart of our problems. But in order to solve the problems created by this dysfunctional system it is necessary to control aspects of them, to regulate, monitor, and correct the abuses, but any attempt to regulate anything brings about the immediate and insane charge of socialism, or even a more basic fear of government of any kind. In the contemporary culture of the United States nothing is to be allowed to interfere with the naked pursuit of profit, not fair play, not reason, not common sense, certainly not human welfare, and, most unfortunate and dangerous of all, not even the threat of national, even global destruction. No human society can exist for long without controls of some kind, our controls come from the cultures we create for ourselves, they are not instinctive, they can fail.

Not speaking for the American people, but only for myself, we are a species of greedy, short-sighted morons, unwilling and apparently unable to manage our own affairs, determined to ruin things for all.

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