Wednesday, January 21, 2009

After Eight Disastrous Years, Hope!

by Len Hart

What was that collective rushing of air I just heard? I think it was a universal, global sigh of relief! Ding, Dong! The wicked douche bag may not be dead but he is at least out of the White House where I would hope the fumigators have done their jobs and the 'exterminators' have dusted for bugs.

We are in desperate need and deserving of comic relief having just escaped the guillotine. There may, indeed, be kneeslappers among those who have managed to extract their heads from a noose. Here is a soupcon of some of the most recent writers of sardonic, ironic gallows humor.
Finally. Mercifully. Astonishingly. Incredibly. The insane adventure in national suicide known as the Bush administration is at last coming to an end.

This was a ride that beggars belief. Even after McCarthy and Nixon and Reagan and Gingrich, nothing prepared us for the last eight years, and I for one have difficulty finding the words that could begin to do justice to describing this historical folly of epic proportions.


If this child in the body of a man were named Putin or Castro or Kim, Americans would get it. If they were observing the country from the perspective of Zimbabwe, instead of the other way around, then they would get it. They can understand the notion of some foreign thug who means to do harm to our country. They get the idea, in other places, of a domestic thug who seeks to plunder his own country. They just can't imagine it happening here. And, therefore, they don't see that it just has.

--The Bushies Stole Us Blind ... So, How'd You Like Your Beer?, AlterNet
What is most scary is that this had very nearly happened before and --even now --few make the connection. Before Bush pre-empted him in the the areas of idiocy, 'trickle down' giveaways to a tiny elite, bluster, primitive simian chest beating, or mangled grammar, there was Ronald Reagan, who was, in his time, the very worst President in US history. Reagan has been outclassed by a brand of stupidity, cruelty, psychosis and utter 'disconnectedness' that GOPPERS of his day could only dream about. It was Reagan who took class warfare to absurd heights. It was left to the the arch fiend Bush to push everyone but the very, very rich off the summit and into the dark abyss.
The show at the Lincoln Memorial contained other moments signaling that the cultural civil war that began with the civil rights crusade, the movement against the Vietnam War, and the rise of hippie-dom was done—at least for now—and that the libs had won. Toward the end of the HBO-aired event, Bruce Springsteen, once a greaser-rocker, brought out folk music hero and activist Pete Seeger, once derided by conservatives as a commie, and Seeger led the crowd in “This Land Is Your Land.” This song is the liberal national anthem, written by Woody Guthrie in 1940 as a populist-minded response to Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America,” which was too rah-rah for Guthrie’s liking. (Beyoncé then hit the stage and belted out “God Bless America.”)

--Obama's Inauguration Marks the End of America's Culture Wars
It may prove impossible to win a 'cultural war' against the axis of Reagan/Bush I/Bush II. This triumvirate of elitism pushed the envelope to the breaking point over the course of a mere 30 years --a significant amount of time in the history of a young nation. Some now approaching middle age have no other memories of this nation but those of an increasingly tiny elite, championed by the likes of Reagan/Bush, subverting the principles of our founding, transfering wealth upward, impoverishing everyone else, creating the worst 'recessions' [in fact depressions] since that of Herbert Hoover who urged poor people to sell oranges from a pushcart. Even Marie Antoinette did better. She encouraged the poor to eat cake when they could no longer afford bread.
Let's be clear what we're talking about here. It's not just torture and illegal wiretapping, whose perpetrators claim, however implausibly, that they were patriots acting to defend the nation's security. The fact is that the Bush administration's abuses extended from environmental policy to voting rights. And most of the abuses involved using the power of government to reward political friends and punish political enemies.

--Forgive and Forget the Crimes of the Bushies? I Don't Think So
Obama offered much to liberals, progressives, in other words, anyone appalled by the politics of fear, elitism, lies and empire. The question is: how substantially is Obama prepared to build upon the wave of goodwill that he now enjoys from that hard core cadre who ---from the 'git go' --found in Bush a threat to every principle that made America the nation our founders envisioned and articulated in a 'goddamned piece of paper'!
That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land — a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America — they will be met.

--Barack Obama, Inaugural Address
I want to know --does Obama understand that the Bush/GOP America he described is NOT the result of incompetence? It is the deliberate result of GOP intention and design. The GOP, in Texas, has deliberately subverted public education. The result: Texas has become the perfect example. Texas leads the nation in the number of students failing to graduate high school, As a result, Texas leads the nation in the number of people incarcerated for serious crimes. It is no coincidence that, at the same time, Texas pioneered the 'corporatization' of the criminal justice and prison system. Only an idiot could not make the connection. GOP policies 'leave only poor children behind', increase crime and thus incarceration rates and it is done in order to enrich the GOP 'base' of robber barons, liars, elitists, fascists and useful idiots who sold their souls.

In the meantime, I wish Obama well. He has as much to undo as do.
What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them— that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account — to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day — because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

--President Barack Obama, Inaugural Address

Compare and contrast.

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