Sunday, July 17, 2011

Days of Swine and Poses

I don’t mean to be unkind, nor do I wish to call people unpleasant names, but “Casting Pearls before Swine,” does seem to me to be a useful metaphor for what is currently happening in what is supposed to be a functioning government. Most economists, Wall Street, Corporate CEO’s, and even people with half a brain are casting pearls of wisdom about the consequences of not raising the debt ceiling, but members of the Tea Party Brigade (most freshmen Congresspersons) are simply not listening, grunting monotonously they will not vote to raise the debt ceiling no matter what (I mean, what does reason and common sense have to do with political decisions). President Obama, too, is casting pearls about a serious, long-term solution to our problems, Republicans are refusing to consider such a proposal, preferring instead to cling to their selfish and gluttonous appetite for making Obama a one-term President.

Many of our current elected House and Senate members, while posing as serious public officials, have no interest in the well-being of the public at large. They prefer to continue to slop-feed their ever-greedy porcine billionaires and corporations more and more goodies from the public trough and refuse to provide even one nickel for the poor or the middle class. Posing as saviors of Medicare and Social Security they actually continue their never-ending attempts to destroy all entitlements. Posing as fiscal conservatives they continue to demand tax breaks for the obscenely wealthy and corporations already so fat with profit even they tend to admit they don’t need any more. The entire gamut of their political philosophy and plans for our future runs merely from A to B (thank you Dorothy Parker): lower taxes, smaller government. As useful public servants they are completely useless.

The real poseurs can be found among the current crop of Republican would-be Presidential candidates. No doubt the worst of these, now that Donald Trump gave it up, is Sarah Palin. I do not believe she has any intention of running, nor do I think she has had such an intention from the very beginning. She is simply a “teaser,” pretending, in order to stay in the limelight and, more importantly, gather in the big bucks from the simpletons who don’t recognize snake-oil when they see it. Of course Newt, The Hypocrite, Gingrich is not far behind. I suppose it is possible that in his twisted egomaniacal mind he believes he is a serious candidate but his attempt is more akin to a mouse trying to mate with an elephant than a serious candidacy. He either knows this or his ego has completely overtaken his superego (if he has one).

Rudy Guliani, too, is little more than a poseur, if, that is, he has any seriousness at all about a possible run. As I recall, the last time he ran he spent millions and managed to get only one serious vote. And given his past association with the disgraced Bernard Kirk he is little more than a fringe Mafia candidate. I doubt that he is entirely stupid so he probably has some other reward in mind rather than the Presidency itself. Perhaps he wants one of the other candidates to offer him some money not to run. As my neighbor says, “Who knows what goes on in the mind of a baboon?”

Rick Santorum and Herman Cain are obvious poseurs as they must know their candidacies have no chance of going anywhere. I guess it makes them feel good and important to pretend to be serious candidates. I regard Ron Paul also as a poseur as he admittedly knows he can never be elected President. Pretending to be serious gives him an opportunity to spread his often bizarre (but sometimes perfectly reasonable) beliefs to a wider public.

Michele Bachmann cannot be put into the poseur class as she has shown herself to be a serious candidate. Her belief she might become the chosen Republican candidate is, I think, not entirely far-fetched, but if she truly believes she might actually become President of the United States I should think her mental capacity might be in doubt. Neither having a law degree nor being a tax collector is any guarantee of sanity. Likewise, if she really shares her husband’s belief that homosexuality can be “cured” through prayer and therapy, her ignorance is so profound as to disqualify her. Of course receiving messages from god is not a very good sign either.

Romney and Huntsman are serious candidates, not merely poseurs. But Romney should drop out now before he spends a lot of money on what is almost certainly a lost cause. Apparently most of the Republican Party for one reason or another is opposed to him, and the Evangelicals think he is little more than a cult member, neither good signs for success. Huntsman shares the problem of being a Mormon but at least does not bear the same animosity from the Party.

Governor Perry, if he succumbs to the desire to enter the race for the nomination, might well be a serious candidate. But as Texas is apparently in even worse economic shape than the U.S. itself he will doubtless face some strong headwinds. Anyway, it seems he is another religious nut-case, calling on prayer to fix our problems and even inviting other Governors to participate in this nonsense.

I find it impossible to believe that any of the above candidates, poseurs or not, can defeat President Obama. But strange things sometimes happen, George W. Bush somehow found his way into the Presidency, and he and his puppet-master, Cheney are still free of jail. Republicans are never going to give up their demented belief that giving more money to corporations and the filthy rich will filter down to the rest of us, nor will they ever govern in the public interest. But with all the major news sources on their side, along with most of the courts and especially the now political Supreme Court, who knows? “The Days of Wine and Roses,” as I feebly remember, came to an end. Let us hope the days of swine and poses will do likewise.

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