Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Trump Trumped?

I think the Republican circus has now gone completely bankrupt. I can’t see how things can get any worse. If the previous dozen or so Republican “debates” have not been enough theatre of the absurd, the supposedly scheduled December 27th “debate,” to be moderated by of all people, Donald Trump, has now reached the lowest level of political silliness ever. Hopefully, to spare them any further humility, it may not even occur. It seems that Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman have already declined to participate, and as of today it appears Mitt Romney has also declined (unless he flip-flops again). So will this “debate” actually occur? Perhaps it will turn out to be a real hit, something like “Springtime for Hitler.” I suppose it could go on, with Bachmann and Santorum versus “Idea Man” Newt Gingrich, but somehow that does not seem promising. The MSM have now carried the concept of “Infotainment” to a level not previously even imagined. But not to worry, Trump has already announced that if the “right” candidate is not chosen he will sacrifice himself for the good of the world and re-enter the competition. This is, dear reader, the end of the line for Republicans, proof positive they have given up any serious attempt to defeat Obama. Not only should they call off this proposed “debate,” they should probably just withdraw from the 2012 election, concede defeat, admit they are too stupid even to compete. On the other hand, perhaps their base will take it seriously, I mean, after all, they did elect George W. Bush, probably one of the most comical choices ever.

I cannot believe that even the current Republican leadership is stupid enough to refuse to pass the Payroll Tax Extension and continuing unemployment benefits. President Obama has cleverly maneuvered them into a corner (with perhaps some help from the Occupy Wall Streeters) where it seems to me they will have little choice but to agree. But with the ideologically insane it is hard to predict.

I can’t explain it, even to myself, but I find myself strangely optimistic for the first time in years. The stock market is up, unemployment is (at least statistically) down, Europe may be getting its Euro in order, the battle lines are now clearly drawn between the haves and the have-nots. If Obama keeps up the current pace and doesn’t agree to some stupid and unnecessary compromise, things may actually pick up for a time. There can never be a long-term solution to our problems of unemployment and the deficit without a complete makeover of our current economic system, the ridiculous myths of trickle- down economics, free market capitalism, free of regulations and hence “government,” the ridiculous ideas that brought us to our current problems. But maybe if we can get our house in somewhat better order we might eventually manage to govern ourselves more intelligently.

Maybe (and a really big maybe it is) we will also give up our militarism and attempt to rule the world and realize that diplomacy rather than constant “war” is more appropriate for the 21st century. We could slash our absurd “national defense” budget by half, withdraw our troops from the hundreds of bases we maintain around the world, use that money to rebuild our infrastructure, work on global warming, begin to truly educate our children, give everyone the health care they need, reduce our deficit, and perhaps even regain our international stature that was destroyed during the Bush/Cheney nightmare years. You see, even I, cynical as I have become, never abandon hope entirely (no matter how silly it may be). After all, what is the alternative?

There is only one optimist. He has been here since man has been on this earth, and that is "man" himself. If we hadn't had such a magnificent optimism to carry us through all these things, we wouldn't be here. We have survived it on our optimism.

Edward Steichen

No comments: