WE’RE NOT ALL CRAZY; IT JUST LOOKS THAT WAY!
ONLY THE TEA PARTY FOLKS AND THE REPUBLICANS IN THE U.S. CONGRESS
I wanted to post a note to my foreign readers to reassure all of you that “No, America hasn’t gone round the bend” or not all Americans are as crazy as Jason Chaffetz (R-OH) who conducted the recent “Planned Parenthood Lynching of CEO Cecile Richards” congressional hearing or the even more recent “Let’s Drag Out the Four Dead Americans From Benghazi One More Time To Ensure That Hillary Clinton Won’t Become President” Select Benghazi Hearing orchestrated by Trey Gowdy (R-SC) even though it surely must appear that way to anyone living outside the United States of America and watches cable TV.
|TEA PARTY RALLY|
But a bit of back story might help to put the entire cirque-de-idiocy in context. It’s only been during the past year – maybe year-and-a-half – that the thirty year reign of “cutting taxes creates jobs,” “small government is better, no government is best” and the "Free Market Is Self Regulating" conservative bullshit that we’ve been saddled since the election of Ronald Regan in 1980 (through Republican and Democratic administrations alike, by the way) that a significant segment of the American public has finally, at long last, better-late-than-never, good God folks you haven’t had enough of this crap yet?, realized that they have been sold a bill of goods so toxic and lethal masquerading as public policy as to have led to the destruction of America’s working and middle classes while at the same time enriching mightily our wealthy folks and big corporations.
|OCCUPY WALL STREET RALLY|
Me? Well I’m smart. At least based on my SAT scores ages ago when I placed in the 99th percentile on English Comprehension (it was no surprise) and a shocking 92nd percentile in Math which I still believe must have been some computational mistake. But as smart as I believe I am, it took me over twenty years to realize why it was that the vast unwashed plebian hordes of Americans kept voting into office folks who were solidly aligned with the interests of the Big Corporations and the Yachting Class and not them. Then I stumbled upon Naomi Klein’s “Disaster Capitalism” and I finally got it. Understood why it was that since 1980 we had traipsed down this path of conservative economic and social policies that led to the destruction of America’s once vibrant working and middle classes all the while being told, “just wait, unlimited prosperity is just around the corner.” (NOTE: Naomi Klein is a Canadian so she is automatically suspect in the conservative world.)
So what you are witnessing today, to those of you who follow this stuff, is an uprising of Americans who’ve had enough of the Tea Party’s claim that they are trying to install “the will of the people” when, if fact, they and their views have never enjoyed more than one-quarter support of the American populace as a whole. So why, you might ask, have they been able to set America’s public policy agenda with the help of the uber-radical House of Representatives' Freedom Caucus (those folks who brought you the Select Hearings on Benghazi and the Planned Parenthood hearings recently) have so fucked up our normal processes of governance (John Boehner’s resignation from the Speaker of the House position, for example) because they do not compromise, give no quarter, take no prisoners on their campaign to transform America into a Fascist paradise. The ever-magnanimous largess of the ultra-conservative and ultra-rich Koch Brothers’ and their billions of dollars keeps the radical right wingers at the forefront of our national political discussions.
The answer? Never forget that Ronald Reagan’s chief staff advisors emerged from the world of Public Relations. They were able to transform this Twenty Mule Team Borax shill, Grade B Actor into a credible candidate for the Governor of California and they were just as successful in winning for Reagan the Presidency of the United States. Well, conservatives took note, created a web of conservative think tanks, conservative media outlets and a well oiled network of conservative pundits, right wing non-profit organizations and had the benefit of well-heeled corporate entities and rich CEO’s who were more than willing to support the conservative de-regulation, tax cuts and government is bad, unions are destroying America themes championed by Reagan and his PR crew.
Democrats? It was genetically impossible for Democrats to organize effectively in order to counter the conservative tsunami that engulfed America for the next three decades. You’ve heard the phrase “herding cats” to illustrate the difficulty in organizing a group of disparate forces? In fact, herding cats would be a piece of cake compared to the difficulties in herding Democrats. Organizing Democrats into a consistent theme is much more akin to roping in quarks or molecular strings into some sort of recognizable pattern than herding cats into some recognizable order. This, in fact, is the secret strength of the Democratic Party – its diverse base consists of folks who would square off in a gunfight against each other over public policy in a flash, but rise up together when the very basis of the American promise is under attack. And this is precisely what you are seeing in the American political scene right now. It’s messy. It’s confusing. It’s like balancing on a precipice not knowing whether or not one will survive the looming drop over the cliff.
That’s where American politics is today. But it’s heartening that our young folks seem to be energized in fighting the reactionary forces of the Tea Party, the Koch Brothers and the Freedom Caucus in Congress. And for that I am eternally grateful. So when you see on ITV or Al-Jazeera or CNN International the stupidity so evident in the Trey Gowdy Benghazi hearings, or the public lynching of Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards, note the pushback. This forceful pushback is a new phenomenon and one that I welcome with open arms. I would posit that it’s two decades too late, but, hey, better late than never.
Just a few years ago, our media would not have pre-determined that the House of Representative’s Select Benghazi Hearings were a sham designed only to hurt Hillary Clinton’s chances of becoming President. But this time they did. Same with the one-sided public lynching of Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards – the “other side,” the creators of the videos that led to the hearing, were never called to testify. But our lameass media seems to have finally figured out that there aren’t two sides to very argument at least not two rational sides. Sure, the Tea Baggers may still believe that Obama is a secret Muslim but at long, long last the media is no longer covering this “other side” in some perverted fair, balanced and objective reportage.
But what’s also changed is that the public has also begun to speak up loudly and clearly against the right wing nonsense, bigotry, hatred and idiocy that passes for positions, policies, politics and governance these days. And this is the most important part of the tectonic shift that’s slowly rippling through the American landscape. It’s not strong enough yet to overcome the Tea Party/Freedom Caucus stranglehold on our public agenda but that once-iron clad grip is beginning to loosen. Too bad that unlike Canada and most European countries, we don’t have a parliamentary system of government of we could throw the bums out just the way those decent Canadian citizens threw Stephen Harper to the curb and voted in that cute JustinTrudeau in one truly awesome exercise of democracy.
Have a Good Day and Keep Watching! Hopefully "The times they are a changin'" And for the better.