What a surprise. We're heading nowhere faster than a speeding bullet. We gnaw on decaying bones while fresh meat hangs in front of us, going bad. They do not just hold differing opinions, they are handmaidens of the devil, dragging us either towards some Nazi, socialist, new world order…or deeper into the new American aristocracy where wealth and personal success are the sole measures of a person's worth.
Wanda Sykes skewers Rush "I Am The Walrus" Limbaugh and the conservative media orgasms in hysteria and outrage. (Someone should tell pundits and pols that the very word "outrage" has, through serious scientific research, been shown to have the opposite effect as the one intended.) Their sexual thrill was only slightly less intense when the Prez stupidly asked for Dijon mustard at a hamburger joint. Puleeze. Who puts mustard on hamburgers? The guy must really be a Muslim.
Dick "Duck" Cheney decides that ol' Rush is a better banner carrier for the Republican Party than Colin Powell. After all, Rush has accomplished so much more. And has a lot more money. And smokes expensive cigars. And Cheney. Lord, love a duck, he's morphing into Mephostopoles right before our eyes.
Not to be outdone, the left is dancing around a May pole singing, "The Elephants Are the Party of No" to no particular tune at all, and the Democratic leadership in Congress's version of collegiality is to wave a piece of legislation in the face of Republicans minutes before asking for their support.
Barack "I Am He Who Has Come" Obama could charm the ears off Dumbo, but where's the backbone, the tough decisions, the determination to wrestle the financial octopus that still controls our fate into submission? When does he throw down the gloves to someone…anyone…to demonstrate there's some there there? May's Atlantic Monthly has an article, "The Quiet Coup," that'll chill your bones. It's how the financial community has D.C. in a death grip.
On a happier note, if you've been doing your uppers regularly, the health care industry – at least those who profit from it most luxuriously, march to the White House and offer a proposal so modest that Jonathan Swift would have missed the satire. Maybe, under the right conditions, if the stars align and no one gets sick for the next ten years, we'll be able to save 1.5% a year in health care costs. Maybe. And the White House June Taylor Dancers put on a flower display in the pool that leaves one breathless. (For those of you under 50, you'll have to take my word on that one.)
No one's willing to sacrifice. No one's willing to give an inch. We're as polarized as the battery that powers the Energizer Bunny…and equally as obnoxious. The administration offers budget cuts that border on the minuscule, but every affected Democratic member is up in arms. "He gotta have that helicopter…why, without it, not only will he probably crash land in a foreign country, we'll lose 800 jobs."
Yes, if your district loses the helicopter, it'll cost jobs & maybe even cost votes. But what the hell are you in Washington for — to create an impenetrable shield that protects your seat for life or to serve the interests of your district AND the country? (Sorry, a stupid question if ever asked.) Ah screw it. Agree to take the pain if it's spread fairly, but fair does not mean everyone but you — and you know who you are…assuming you read this, which is a helluva assumption.
In a recent New York Times Magazine interview, the president admitted that not every initiative is going to work, but that the administration cannot allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good. Exactly right, which is why people of good faith (if there are any) from across the political spectrums should be talking and wrestling with various approaches, reaching consensus, or even agreeing to disagree.
But there's little of that.
And now we learn that social security, Medicare, and Medicaid are going to reach Doomsday earlier than predicted. What a surprise. Does anyone think the American people will tolerate any bold initiatives to fix those programs? How can the government act when we, the people, care only about ourselves and our families. We're Americans, and we take care of our own…and fuck the rest of you.
Oh, we may stumble out of our domestic financial mess. But how are we to recapture the value system that has been our moral compass?
The torture issue is the perfect symbol of our fall from grace. Even Fox anchor Shepard Smith understands the problem. On FoxNews.com's online show, Smith burst out, "We are America!" he shouted, slamming his hand on the table. "I don't give a rat's ass if it helps. We are AMERICA! We do not fucking torture!!" The video is incredible. Fox News…not MSNBC.
Once Humpty Dumpty has put the King's Horses together again, the journey will have just begun. And I fear I see no support among the American people — which means no leadership in Washington — for the kind of sacrifices, the level of rational discussion and debate, and the willingness to leave ideology behind and embrace the notion that we are America…and our strength is in our ability to disagree with respect and understanding…and admit when we are wrong.
And that's the truth…
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