Monday, May 13, 2013

Oh, the Agony of It All!

The self-righteousness, piteous wailing, conspiracy theorizing, and gnashing of teeth being put forth by certain teabagger conservatives in the media and the blogosphere has reached epic proportions.  This agony - of the Obama Presidency - is apparently unbearable to them.

Let me state from the outset that I'm no longer much of supporter of the current President, who has reneged on most of his promises to change the political landscape.  Whatever might have motivated his spineless inability to overturn many of the bad decisions made by his predecessor, the result has been a "business, as usual" administration.  The banking/corporate one-percenters continue to escape prosecution (for the most part) for their crimes and to enrich themselves on the backs of the American workers and middle class.  American constitutional liberties still are being eroded in the name of security.  American warfighters continue to die (and kill) in foreign interventions that can't possibly be ended by a battlefield victory (or loss).  The stock market prospers but the real economy continues to stagger toward potential collapse.  Many serious issues remain unresolved and mostly unconsidered in the political arena - violent crime, a disastrous "war" on drugs, climate change, genetic engineering controversies, intrusion of religion into public institutions, Guantanamo Bay, a crumbling infrastructure, etc.  Rather, we're spinning our wheels fighting about meaningless, partisan nonsense.  No, this has not become the best of all possible times.  Or even changed much.

The right-wing extremists continue to howl about the national debt, as they conveniently ignore the reality that their conservative GOP administrations have been the biggest contributors to that debt since WWII.  Their contributions to the deficit have come mainly through jingoist foreign policies that have embroiled us in pointless, unwinnable wars on foreign soil.  The mantra of "raise taxes and spend" Democrats is a mainstay of the conservative liturgy, whereas it seems the evidence favors a "cut taxes (for political gain) and spend" policy for the Republicans, which is a marvelous way to drive up the deficit.  The tax cuts have a trivial impact on the incomes of most Americans and haven't proven to be effective in stimulating the economy, despite the promises.  What this policy shows is the modern GOP wraps itself in patriotism by supporting the very military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned of, even as they run up the deficit.  If the Democrats truly were "tax and spend" then at least they would be honest about having the public support the favorite government programs of the Democrats (social welfare) through taxation.  The GOP drives up the deficit through spending on their favorite government programs (the military and corporate welfare) while cutting taxes (thereby increasing the deficit rapidly), and somehow claims the right to call themselves fiscally responsible!  A masterful job of propaganda "spin", but not very good for the nation.

Apart from the continuing crazed howls of "birthers" and those claiming the President is secretly a muslim, there is now the "He's coming to take away our guns, so we should barricade ourselves in our homes and fight it out with the police!" crowd of intransigent gun advocates.  Some of them see themselves as valiant soldiers, readying themselves to fight a treasonous civil war against the very same military most of them have been so eager to arm with modern weaponry of almost unimaginable firepower.  In their eyes, they're comparable to the patriotic militias of the Revolutionary War (who, by the way, were notorious for skedaddling as soon as the first shots were fired!).  Would you really not surrender your guns until they're taken from your cold, dead hands?  Really?

Yes, it's so painful for these teabaggers to go on through the remaining years of agony left to us by the existing President and his administration, some are willing to go to war against the elected government!  Curiously, the voters inexplicably seem unable to discern that the conservatives they're voting for are the very same folks responsible for so much that makes them unhappy at a personal level.  The GOP has admitted freely they want the President to fail as President.  So much so, they're willing to vote against the will of the majority of voters time and again.  They always claim that it's the riders and amendments that prevent them from voting for what the public deems appropriate legislation - but there are ways to overcome that.  No, this is a systematic policy of opposing most anything the President proposes, so that the administration can't succeed in accomplishing anything.  This isn't a conspiracy theory - it's fact to which the GOP politicians have admitted!  Yet conservatives complain the President has accomplished little or nothing during his time in office!  I don't believe the existing no-compromise policies of the GOP have any precedent in American history.  Perhaps a stronger leader than the existing President somehow could work miracles despite an uncompromising opposition, but it would have to be someone with so much 'clout' he could force things through by strongarm tactics (of the LBJ sort).

I have my doubts the current administration will be viewed very kindly by history, primarily because it's done little or nothing substantial to alter the miserable policies of the administration that preceded it.  Where was all the weeping and teeth-gnashing about the national debt by the teabaggers when the GOP held the Presidency and ran up huge deficits?  Where were all the conservatives complaining about the erosion of American freedoms under the excuse of a bogus "war on terrorism"?  When liberals complained about GWB and Crime, Inc., the conservatives accused them of not being loyal to the nation by failing to support the President - so how is their whining about the current President and their lack of support anything other than a failure to be loyal to the nation?  Just how well has the conservative keystone of "trickle down" economics via giving the "job creators" a tax-sheltered free hand worked for the middle class? As my friend RJ Evans says, "The hypocrisy always reveals the lies!"

Look, liberals survived 8 years of GWB and Crime, Inc., the teabaggers will survive 8 years of Obama.  The issue is ... what comes after?  More of the same from our two major political parties?  More divisive, inflammatory rhetoric, full of lies, smokescreens, hypocrisy, and misrepresentation?  More partisanship, scandals, finger-pointing, and business as usual?  Voters have a chance to make a substantial change, despite the overwhelming dominance of lobbyists, PACs, corporate influence, and the like.  We can insist on real choice in the coming elections, rather than the miserable "lesser of two evils" vote, or the irresponsible "Why bother?" non-vote.  We can make ourselves heard by routing out the incumbents!  All of them!  That simply couldn't be ignored!