Monday, May 7, 2012
Now It Begins...
(Needles and pinza??? WTF is pinza, and how can I get some?)
Listening, as I just did, to President Obama's kickoff campaign speech, I'm happy to report he hit all the notes that I think needed hitting. (I imagine he got it all from reading this blog.) Because it really is about the starkest choice there could be, and it's no secret (aside from the names of and amounts donated by the billionaires behind the barrage of ads that'll be coming down the pike.) In black and white, Republicans have adopted the phony Ryan budget and their Rominee has signed on with the eagerness of Takeru Kobayashi in front of a plate of hotdogs.
It's clear and undeniable: in the name of not only maintaining but lowering further the already historically low tax rates (okay, they want to raise them on the poorest), they're happy to cut spending on the very things that America needs to sustain itself. So secure they are in their ability to keep their flock in line that they're no longer trying to hide it: we will cut funds for education, housing, for infrastructure, research, for Medicaid, for food stamps, for Planned Parenthood (saving, like, a nickel), for environmental protection; and we will revert to the free-for-all unregulated Wall Street that failed to do anything but make itself rich while driving the country into near-default. And, while pretending voodoo economics will add up this time around, we'll spend even more on defense; because the defense industry helps us buy elections. In the service of which, Rominee has already reassembled all of the disastrous neocon warmongers from the Bush administration to be his advisers!
Has Obama been perfect? Have his programs worked as well as we'd hoped? Far from it. Have Democrats in Congress been disorganized, message-bereft, and as un-unified as Rs have been unified? Does the Pope live in the woods? But have the Rs, from day one, tried to block or water down everything Obama proposed, with the hope -- against the interests of the country for the love of which they claim solitary ownership -- of seeing it fail so they could then (as they're doing) trumpet the failures as Obama's? Did beaks evolve in the Galapagos?
Y'know, I have a reader who lives in New Jersey. A nice lady from all I can tell, honest, sincere, who followed me here from Surgeonsblog where I gave her a little help. We couldn't disagree more, it seems, on matters political and religious. (I really have no desire to change anyone's views on religion, by the way, other than to get them to realize where it belongs, and doesn't, in the order of things political.) When I write stuff like this, I think of her. I think how wonderful it would be -- because I think she's a good person -- if it would make her stop and consider, just for a moment, whether the priorities of her chosen political party have become impossibly skewed toward the advancement of the already-wealthy at the expense of everyone else. (Surveying the swimming pool and golf course of the home at which he was fundraising recently, Rominee said Republicans want everyone to live like this. Or, at least, want everyone to believe that by following the Ryan plan, they might. While ignoring the impossibility, the lie (after all, he wants teachers, cops, firefighters, construction workers, machinists, to make less money) and the irony: sounds like high-rent communism, doesn't it? Among Rominee's lies, it might be the biggest of them all.)
In a democracy, especially one as diverse as ours, you can't get everything you want. You have to compromise, you have to accept that there are others who think differently and who have a point, whose ideas belong on the table along with yours. If there are some people on welfare who shouldn't be; if Medicare spending is too high; if nothing's perfect -- are these things enough to make you choose to vote for a man who'd gut vital domestic spending in order to maintain low tax rates on people of his surpassing wealth, and in order to increase defense spending? Or do you not consider education vital? Or environmental protection? Or women's health? Or help for the needy? Do you actually believe the budget numbers they're pushing, contrary to virtually every legitimate analysis to which they've been subjected? That, magically, it'll suddenly work for the first time in our history? Shall you excuse your choice by buying the constant lies that Barack Obama is a Muslim, a terrorist, a socialist, an America-hater, that he's made things worse, all evidence to the contrary?
If all of my ranting into the wind, my stupid belief that it does some good (at least to my own mental health, which is questionable) led to that one person -- that one single person in New Jersey -- stopping for a minute and asking herself those questions, I might think it's been worth it.