Most of my knowledge of all things political stems from roughly 60 years of personal observations from both sides of the ideological divide and more recently links and opinions posted on Twitter.
First let me offer my acknowledgement that the true meaning of the opinions expressed thereby are often severely impacted by the 140 character per tweet limit imposed by the system. I try not to be that surprised when I myself am misunderstood from time to time. It just goes with the territory and if you’re lucky, you get a chance to explain yourself further before someone you actually agree with tries to rip your head off.
The fact is that Twitter has a ton of shortcomings as a medium for the expression of opinions and ideas in addition to the the 140 character limit which… when you stop to think about it… really isn’t that much of a shortcoming at all. While it frustrates me at times, I realize that to try to do what Twitter does without that limit would result in utter chaos and since Twitter is pretty close to chaotic all the time anyway I welcome any opportunity to get my 140 in edgewise. But anyway, I didn’t sit down here today to talk about Twitter. It is what it is. Moving on…
I make no secret of the utter contempt for the Tea Party and its ignorance based campaign to take over the country and turn it into a twenty first century version of the old confederacy. I’ve been an extremely vocal critic of the “movement” since its inception and will continue to be so every chance I get.
The Republican Party’s willingness to adopt agendas and positions that would a relatively few decades back have been looked upon as treasonous or seditious, ties it so tightly to the Tea Party that there is no practical distinction between the two and the terms GOP and Tea Party can be used interchangeably with no need to try to find one, So again, there is no question that I would ever advocate even a partial surrender to the mud dwelling right wing cretins who dominate the congress through a majority in both houses if you count the Blue Dog Dems in the Senate. Whatever the case, America remains a nation in which the minority can force it’s agenda down the throats of the American public no matter who we send to Washington and that sucks whether you worship the president as some kind of minor deity, as many on Twitter do, or can’t stand him.
So… the natural assumption for most folks I suppose, would be that I’m a Democrat. After all, anyone that loudly critical of Republicans and their policies HAS to be a Democrat, right? Fact is that once I realized I had reached the point of disagreeing with everything the GOP was claiming to stand for and virtually every word that came out of any Republican’s mouth, I kind of got the idea that I might be better off as a Democrat.
That notion lasted about as long as it took to get a good look ( more recently via Twitter which exposes you to the situation first hand) at what constitutes today’s Democratic Party and its own agenda and philosophies. I was simply taking it for granted that the Democrats were there for ALL the people… because this is what I learned from my Roosevelt Democrat war hero dad… while Republicans were only there for the RICH and that was always going to be the basic difference between the two. Sixty years later, that difference has shrunken to about the size of Boner’s ball sack.
I’m the first to agree that President Obama inherited a tremendous load of crap, and also that the main obstacle to getting anything done is the totally and unashamedly dysfunctional GOP Majority in the House of Representatives. hell, that’s the ultimate no brainer and there’s never been any question of that in my mind.
But I also know that he didn’t inherit the huge number of RWs that he surrounded himself with on taking office… people who have been instrumental in the failure of this administration to END the most odious of the policies and situations inherited from the Bush years and in the actual expansion of many of them. Hell, some of them were even carryovers from the Cheney/Bush regime.
He didn’t inherit Rahm Emanuel or Tim Geithner or Larry Summers or any of that bunch of “moderate” Republicans who now masquerade as Democrats and which makes up most of the executive branch today. (Yeah, I know all three of those are gone now. I’ll leave it to you to explain how far “left” their replacements are because I gave up expecting to see any real liberals anywhere in the White House in about 2009).
He may have inherited the revolving door… that actually predates Bush by a lot of decades… whereby execs and lobbyists are constantly placed in oversight positions over the very industries they work and/or lobby for but he’s done his share to keep that door spinning and the list of lobbyists and if people with vested interests hasn’t risen, it hasn’t abated noticeably under his watch either.
It wasn’t Bush’s DOJ that dawdled and obfuscated and failed miserably to indict a single one of the criminals who brought down our entire economic system until the statutes of limitations had run out on most of their crimes while the rest remain firmly under the rug (although there’s no doubt in my mind that’s exactly what would have happened had he remained in office).
And yes, Bush and his cronies may be ultimately responsible for the so called “Patriot Act” that by it’s very name was designed to prey on the ignorance and fears of the most ignorant and fearful among us and which has done more to promote the country’s de-evolution toward just another right wing dictatorship in which neighbors are encouraged to spy on neighbors and big brother spies on everyone, than possibly all the other RW policies put together.
However, the expansion of powers of some of the agencies involved and the increasing boldness with which politicians and bureaucrats at all levels are beginning to denounce any and all dissension… or even just the questioning of authority… as “terrorist acts” or “terrorist threats” and dubbing any organized group attempting to oppose the Corporate takeover of the country as “terrorist organizations” that threaten the “security” of the country, has been happening on his watch with little to no opposition from those who actually make the policies the rest of us get to live with.
There are of course, numerous other examples but the point is that no matter who is in the White House, Wall Street still wins. Wall Street will ALWAYS win for as long as we expect politicians… the cheapest, most easily bought people in our society… to fight that battle for us.
This is nothing new for Democratic administrations either. In fact, since there have only been two Democrats in the White House in the last 33 years… both of whom have embraced polices and actions that in my younger days would have been viewed as radically conservative… you might say it’s become rather par for the course and it’s the willingness of the rank and file Democrats to always “settle” for par that’s going to result in the complete takeover of this country by corporate Fascists.
NAFTA and the repeal of the Glass Steagall Act are two examples of what happens over the long term when Democrats decide to go along to avoid the muss and fuss of having to… you know… play politics. Sure they were Republican proposals but in the end, thanks to much the same kind of crap we see the GOP using today, they were done with virtually no opposition from members of a Democratic administration that indeed actually waxed poetic about the wonderful effects NAFTA was going to have on the economy… the economy being measured in terms of dollars in the pockets of institutional and activist shareholders and CEOs of multinational conglomerates of course… while deliberately ignoring the destruction of America’s working class that it couldn’t help but bring about over the long run.
When asked to point to one accomplishment by this administration that has been of benefit to the people rather than the megabanks and corporations, 99% of those asked are going to point to the Affordable Care Act which somehow managed to squeak through both houses. Admittedly this is one subject I’m personally biased in regard to but because of that it’s also the issue I am most familiar with and will probably always speak to.
As one of those going without adequate health care, peering at the world through a pair of glasses I got back at the turn of the century and gumming soft foods because I go to a 4 minute per visit privatized public health clinic and have no vision or dental care, I’m having trouble buying into that one.
I’m one of those people that ACA zealots would prefer prefer to remain safely out of sight and not to be pointing out the fact that a lot of the money to pay for all that private insurance and the $600 billion a year profit for the insurance companies… came from the elderly and poor, many of whom are… like myself… definitely worse off financially than we were five years ago… and I really don’t feel it’s all that big a step forward if everyone who gains from it has to be offset by someone who had to lose something but that’s what happens when you pass massive programs with no funding… someone has to get it in the shorts, eh?
Right now the big excuse offered up by many “Progressives” for having to kowtow to the GOP/TP is that the Republicans “gerrymandered” districts in order to maintain their majority and therefore get to dictate to everyone else how we’ll be living our lives until they crawl off and die because you’re never going to dislodge the bastards from the public teat.
Geez people, where were the Democrats while all this was going on? You didn’t flipping notice it was happening? Too busy watching the ball game or discussing the latest celeb meltdown or the latest round of gibberish from the Vulgar Pigboy or the Mighty Right Wing Propaganda Squawk Machine to even realize it was going on, much less to take up the cudgels and storm the ramparts to stop it from happening?
Oh yeah, that’s right. Democrats don’t DO cudgels and they don’t STORM ramparts in America anymore. Today’s “liberal” activists are more the angry tweet, sign my petition, “I fart in your general direction” types who don’t like to get their hands dirty or chance breaking a nail or something. Not only are we a tad less spirited in our defense of our way of life than some of our forebears might have been but these days any kind of activism can also gets you designated as a potential terrorist and on all kinds of shit lists and who needs the bother?
Yeah, yeah, you could point out how much worse things would have been under Romney and Ryan from now to Doomsday and you know what? While you can’t prove any “might have been” opinion is right, no matter how many indicators support your argument, you’d very likely BE right, However, the fact that Romney and Ryan lost makes it entirely irrelevant, We have to live and deal with the guys that WON.
The main difference on which to base a choice is between wrong and less wrong to the exclusion of right and as long as you remain willing to accept “shared sacrifice” as a watchword from Democrats and Republicans alike… especially when we peasants the only ones actually sacrificing… then eventually those that have become epitomized by the banks, large energy companies and people like the Kochs are going to win by attrition as we are forced to “bargain” away everything my generation fought and worked for bit by bit because you think you can keep a pack of slobbering hyenas from eating your hand by offering them a finger, which is what many self proclaimed “Progressives” advocate. The sad truth of that is you only have a finite number of fingers and sooner or later you’re gonna run out of ’em, right?
The conclusion I’ve reached is that far too many… not all (and you can decide whether the shoe fits or not because I really don’t care)… Democrats also are as susceptible as Republicans to the noise coming out of Wall Street and Washington on a daily basis for that party ever to represent a viable hope for a return to sanity without the use of pitchforks and torches. Just as it was when the shoe was on the other foot and the GOP owned the White House, if their leader says jump, their only question is “How high Chief?” and the thought that there might not be any viable reason for them to jump in the first place never enters their head. I could be exactly wrong but politics based largely on personality and charisma is not the best way to run a country in my humble little opinion.
So all in all, as long as the only choice is between directly supporting a feudalistic greed based caste society in this country or indirectly doing so through appeasement and abasement of myself to those who do… while I’ll probably always vote the straight Democrat ticket simply because they ARE “less wrong” on most of “my” issues, I think I’m going to remain and Independent from now on so I can voice my opinion on the subject of bending over for the Wall Street GOP and Tea Party and my disdain for anyone who suggests I do so.
I’d rather die knowing I never kissed a rich man’s ass, EVEN in return for his voluntarily taking an infinitesimally smaller piece of the pie this year because I know damned well he’s just going to come around next year demanding something else, but hey, that’s just me.