How Did We Wind Up Here?

28 Aug

If you’re a regular reader here (and I actually think there are a couple) you know that one of my pet bitches about America today is the sorry state of political discussion and political rhetoric that political extremists have drug this country down to.  I make no bones about it.  It sucks and it doesn’t make a pinch of monkey crap who’s doing it to who.  And don’t take me for a hypocrite for saying so.  True,I take my jabs at the other guys right along with everyone else because it’s really the only way you can play the game and manage to stay in it.  I think Romney is the worst presidential candidate in decades if not centuries  and I won’t hesitate to say so, the difference being that I can give you chapter and verse reasons for thinking that while all his supporters can say… in trying to convince people that he’s not only qualified for the job but the best man for it… is that “He’s not Barack Obama”.

I watched this present state of affairs begin to unfold way back in the Reagan days when the administration’s two stock answers every time they got caught shoveling bullshit at the American people was either to ridicule and demonize those calling them out or to play the “I don’t recall” card,. a ploy that perhaps reached it’s zenith during George W. Bush’s administration and which played a huge part in keeping Alberto Gonzalez’s smarmy little ass out of jail.

The nineties brought us new faces in the political arena, people like Newt Gingrich, perhaps one of the slimiest reptiles ever to tread upon the political stage who led the battle to demonize Bill Clinton over his private life while he himself was cheating on his second wife.  We went through four years of pure hell in this country while the right did everything in its power to keep Clinton from accomplishing anything and when it didn’t work we went through four MORE years as Clinton made one concession after another concessions that we still are reaping the consequences of today.

But nothing that happened in the past can even hold a candle to the shit storm of invective, innuendo, ill informed bullshit and outright lies that erupted in November, 2008, when Barack Hussein Obama was elected 44th president of the United States.  When the Majority Leader of the US Senate looks the American people right in the eye and tells them that from this point on his ONLY agenda… and one would assume those of his Republican colleagues…  is to make damned sure that Obama doesn’t get a second term, when indeed he hasn’t even started his FIRST term, tells you all you need to know about why they try to claim that  nothing has gotten done since Mr. Obama took office.

A lot of the persons who pass for conservatives these days love to cut and paste funny little cartoons and “I hate Obama” references, I often think mainly because it gets them attention from the others like them but at the end of the day they know they have made no contribution whatever to any kind of informed political discourse and that those who infallibly “like” those kind of posts are simply the choir that doesn’t need preaching to and that people who take their discussion a little more seriously.  They also do it because it relives them of any requirement to do any kind of research to determine whether or not what’s being said in those cutesy poo little slogans is true or not.  They deem it “funny” so they post it for others who share that sense of humor and it doesn’t matter if it’s true or not,

Think of Rush Limbaugh who actually  once had a vast audience for his radio show but who, in order to keep it going, had to come on every day and be even more outrageous and hateful than he was the day before.  As is always going to be the case in situations like that he eventually “jumped the shark” completely and today all he has left is wholly meaningless and often totally disconnected hate and invective, tons of which are just lame rehashes of talking points he was using when Clinton was president.  In other words, not only a total shit sandwich but a stale shit sandwich, which of course is eaten up by those diehard ditto heads that are all he has left.

I must admit to having dabbled in the practice myself.  A few months ago I had let myself get particularly offended by one of those “All Liberals Are ( Insert favorite Rank Insult Here) goodies posted by an ex son-in-law  and which are the epitome of political humor among the 40 something types these days.     I was informed that it was only humor and that I was overreacting and it had nothing to do with me, yadayada followed by more of the same.

So I decided I was going to try it myself and see what satisfaction there could possibly be in it.  While I had long made my feelings about the arrested development of certain kinds of people know on these pages, I had never done so on Facebook, preferring to keep politics out of my only form of communications with my family but as the posts got nastier, that got harder.

To make a long story (that I’ve already told before) short, it was fun to post an anti-Republican shot and watch it be followed immediately by a barrage of anti-Obama slogans and and jingoistic patriotic homilies.  You could tell that much it was counter battery fire and that the people doing the firing had nothing else to bring to the war.  I knew that it was meaningless and that there were a lot better ways I could have been spending my time but it was the only way I was allowed in the game.

At least it was fun until I got to the part about racism possibly motivating a lot of the downright offensive anti-Obama gibberish permeating my Facebook home page these days.  Now, out of the four of my kids that were involved in it daily, I have three who basically won’t speak to me at all (one of whose kids won’t speak to me either), and one who will answer if spoken to.  One of them even slapped me upside the head over the “hate” and “negativity” she found on this very blog never once equating what I was saying about Republicans and conservatives with what they were saying about Democrats and liberals.  I suspect I’m not the only one… I imagine it happens to any “old fogey” who dares to stand up and say, Hey, you guys know this is all just a humongous sack of childish bullshit, right?”.

Anyway… in the words of Blake Zeff at Buzzfeed:

Barack Obama was a first-term United States senator back in 2008, a few years removed from the State Senate. Now he’s an incumbent president of the United States who’s led the nation for nearly four years. And yet — or, perhaps, as a result — the climate for invective and attacks on his core competency is more hospitable now.

Racial coding was alive and well in the 2008 campaign — in ways Ta-Nehisi Coates’ excellent new essay in the Atlanticlays out — but criticisms of Obama’s readiness and core competence were nonetheless scrutinized and mediated to a degree. This time around, when it comes to direct attacks on Obama’s intelligence and capability, the sidelines have gotten further apart.

All of which raises the questions: When did the rules change? And why?

Why indeed? Why did we go from being a nation of reasonably intelligent adults to a howling pack of foot stamping, tantrum throwing juvenile delinquents just because the “{other guy” got more votes than “your guy” did and why is the only agenda for the opposition party to make sure that the other guy only has one term?  How the hell does that serve the interests of the people, more than half of whom actually CHOSE the “other guy”

When did we become a nation of hateful, spiteful little children that believe their side should rule even if they’re in the minority and no matter who wins elections?  It makes a mockery of the entire system when they can’t get over the fact that more people wanted the “other guy” than wanted “their guy” and that there are limits to “loyal opposition” that they have overstepped by miles during the last four years.

Check out the link  especially the mini tutorial on the Overton Window.  If nothing else it provides the emos, of which I used to be one, an explanation of why President Obama has done some of the seemingly inexplicable things he did during his first term.  Maybe you won’t be so anxious to make that total meaningless gesture of staying home on Election Day.


Posted by on August 28, 2012 in Uncategorized


3 responses to “How Did We Wind Up Here?

  1. keeperofthefire

    August 28, 2012 at 16:34

    please,lets stop this nonsense of just demonising just one political party !!! first of all the polititions have NEVER been in charge of this piece of crap country,the corporations/wallstreet banks/foriegn banks have always run this country&the entire world,that said people it’s way over due for all of us to find the courage to stand up to these evil,corrupt non humans destroying the world!!take your money out of their corrupt ponzi banks,stop payiny en mass all their taxs&buying their expensive /yes you can live without it crap,grow your own food,drive less while walking/riding bikes more,and don’t vote in their rigged elections!!!!!

    • Tom Bales

      August 29, 2012 at 09:38

      Pretty sure if you go back through my rants and posts on this and other blogs, you’ll find me saying many of the things you just said about not buying their crap products or indulging in their bread and circuses and rest assured, I’ve put them into practice wherever possible. Hell I don’t even have cable or broadcast TV in my house.

      As for this being a piece of crap country, that’s where you and I part ways. In fact, I’m not even sure where you’re coming from with that one but it’s not a place I want to go. It may bot be a perfect country these days but we can change that if we get off our asses and go for it and sitting on our asses and ranting about our country being a piece of crap is definitly not going for it and does not alter the fact that it’s the Republican party who has voted in lockstep to deny every advance this country has tried to make since the election of its first black president and who is going into pearl clutching swoons and childish, scremaing tantrums on a daily basis. You do it your way on your blog, I’ll do it my way on mine.

      • keeperofthefire

        August 29, 2012 at 18:54

        this 70yr old hippi/back to the lander/activist have spent my whole life fighting,yes,our lying,evil,corrupt,murderous,out of control “piece of crap” government/capitilist/ponzi sceem horror inflicted on the entire planet!!!my native boils over at “white man speaks with forked toubgue”assholes who have run the constitution down&murdered millions upon millions of innocent humans from day one of this”piece of crap country,and have done so because the majority of the citizens let the evil ones spew their insaanity on the world&here in america BY THEIR INACTIONS &NOT STANDING UP TO THEIR INSANE<HEARTLESS GOVERNMENT!!!!!!!!!! oh,by the way i drove big rigs for 45 yrs ,coast to coast,and 99%of amer4ican i met were good people,who for whatever reasons,didn't have a clue what their gov. was up to!!! ho ka hey/it is a good time to live!


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