Thursday, October 7, 2010

Losing heart...

*sigh*

I’ve really been losing heart lately.

The Phelps piece was totally draining for me to write, because it really is a lose-lose scenario. I still feel like crap for having to come down on the side of shitstain like Phelps, and feel even worse that my feelings haven’t really changed much since writing it. Sometimes I find that when writing something and laying out my argument that my feelings on the matter change during that process. That the arguments that sounded fine and dandy in my head, sound absurd once I put them down on paper, (so to speak.) And the Phelps piece could easily fall into that category, bar the fact that I still feel the same way. (And still feel completely and utterly awful about it.)

But beyond any one issue, there’s been a growing sense of helplessness in my mind lately. Some of it comes from the continuing erosion of public support for the Democrats, and how they will now likely lose control of at least the House if not the Senate. Part of it comes from the fact that they DESERVE TO, having abandoned their voting base, accomplished very little, and failed to really sell what they did, after having made concession after concession to the Right, all in a vein effort to win their support – which they never would. And perhaps the worst part of it all is that the general perception (according to narrative being played out in the media) is that they’re losing because they tried to be too Liberal. This narrative has been carried by the Beltway Press since the Carter days, and while there has NEVER been much actual evidence to support it, there is far less now than there has ever been.

The REALITY is that the Republicans have actively tried to sabotage everything Obama and the Democrats have tried to do, even as this has caused people to lose their homes, lose their unemployment benefits, and forestalled the country’s economic recovery until such time as it would be politically advantageous for them. And for all their treasonous, anti-America scumbagery, PEOPLE ARE REWARDING THEM.

What a joke. Obama’s too liberal – even though no part of the liberal agenda has come to pass – and it’s his fault the country’s in this mess – even though it started under Bush, and has been on a steady path to recovery, despite every effort made by the Republicans to prevent this.

The public is being actively misinformed. And they have no fucking clue. None at all.

And it’s not like I haven’t been aware of this for years. It’s not like my frustration with utter stupidity possessed by the average American is anything new. But while I’ve been both a skeptic and cynic my whole life, I guess for one brief moment, between the time the Democrats took back the House in '06 and Obama won the Presidency in '08, I thought things might change. For one brief period of time, I let myself BELIEVE. I had FAITH. But I guess I also seriously underestimated just how stupid this country is, and how easy it would be for the uber-rich and the RW Media (which is ALL of the media!) to simply GIVE power back to the Right. I really didn’t think people would forget how badly the Republicans fucked everything up quite this quickly, especially as the Democrtas have made some progress FIXING almost everything.  IOW - the COURSE is basically right, we just not going fats enough, thanks to the Repulicans, so people want the Republican's to set the course. 

It's makes no damned sense at all.

And not only are the Republicans are running against a recovery that they fought against, and incumbantcy that has been slowly but surely cleaning up their messes for the past four years, reversing the downward death spiral that we were in when the Dem’s came to power in 2006 and that we in the absolute depths of when Obama was elected in 2008… And yet not only are they winning, but the candidates they are winning with candidates who are like everything that was wrong with the ones that lost in 2006, SQUARED! I swear… the next time I hear one of these god-damned tea-baggers saying that we need to cut spending to create jobs, or cut taxes to fix the deficit, I am going to punch them square in the face! (And while they’re on the ground, as I continue kick the shit out of them, maybe I’ll take the time to educate them about how progressive taxation systems or macroeconomics work.) Reagan & Bush’41 CREATED the fiscal problem, Clinton fixed it, Bush’43 brought it right back, and these people want to go BACK to those morons, even as the economy recovers under Obama!

It's utterly insane.

I’d say they deserve what they get, but the problem is that the rest of us DON’T.

Anyway, thanks. Thanks for listening to me piss and moan. I really needed that. I want to leave you with something I came across the other night from a webcomic I’ve started reading recently called “Venus Envy.” (Which is really, really GOOD, BTW! Strong, complex characters, good plot with clever twists, funny as hell at times, dark and tragic at others. Definitely a future Silver Star recipient, although probably not this month.) This is a rather old piece, and it's not a piece from the actual storyline, but rather an expression of the author's frustration with the results of the 2004 election that perfectly echoes not only how I too felt at the time, but how I have increasingly come to feel in over the past two years, and particular in the past few months. I couldn’t say it any better, and don’t really want to try (again) so here it is:


You’re beautiful, Erin. 

And BTW, I love her follow-up reply, to the emails basically telling her to STFU and ‘get on with the story.’ All I can say is, "Wow. Damned strait! You go, girl!"

11 comments:

  1. Don't feel bad about the Phelps thing. I'm not familiar with the details of that particular case, but if it's as you say, you didn't come down on his side at all--you came down on the side of free speech. That's a side on which everyone should always come down. Phelps is entirely irrelevant to the principle involved, and it shouldn't cause you such remorse. The correct counter to Phelps' garbage isn't a restriction of speech--it's using your own free speech to express exactly what you think of him. You seem to have covered that pretty well, so there's no cause for despair or shame. You did the right thing, there, and can hold your head high.

    The piece of advice I've offered more than any other to people concerned with public affairs is "Don't ever place your faith in politicians." Never. Do it, and they'll break you every time. Not sometimes. Not most of the time. EVERY time. Understand how the system works, and don't let yourself get taken in by the manufactured soap version of public affairs with which we're always presented.

    Prior to his election, I could see all the potential in the world in the Obama, and thought he could--and even may--do a great deal of good. I could see how things were actually going to go by the time he began assembling his administration, though (and filled up my own little blog with plenty of ranting against it). I don't think he had the vaguest idea of what he could have been. In the future, entire books will be written about the extraordinary opportunity he and the Democrats had and UTTERLY squandered. His administration is a joke that doesn't deserve to continue past this term. Morally, it didn't even deserve to begin, after his cabinet choices.

    And therein lies the problem Americans face in a one-party state (which is what the U.S. is). There's really no alternative, when it comes to expressing one's dissatisfaction. It isn't that people are stupid--it's that they don't have a real choice. It's awful to see them turn to the horror show that has become the Republican party, but that has happened only because of the way the Democrats have behaved.

    If Obama had actually adopted a strong liberal agenda, as those who elected him hoped would happen, he'd be a rock-star now. He took the mushy moderate route, and spent two years giving away the farm in an effort to get along with a party that only wanted to destroy him. And now, after doing nothing but shitting on his base over and over again, he comes out wagging his finger at them because--surprise, surprise--they don't feel like voting for someone who behaves that way. He won't fight the Republicans over anything, but he'll sure pick a fight with his own supporters. That just makes people even less interested in doing anything to support him or his party.

    That said, it's also a significant fact--and one you don't realize, because you're already trashing people for a vote that haven't even yet made--that Republican strength, this year, has been grossly overstated. They're getting a big boost because of spending on their behalf by outside groups. A flood of very Big Money unleashed by our wonderful Supreme Court's ruling on corporate participation in politics, is going to Republicans over Democrats by a margin of something like 7-to-1, while the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is turning big bucks provided by foreign corporations into something like 8,000 attack ads against Democratic candidates across the country. Even with all of that, though, they're still behind in most of the key races that will decide the new majority in both houses. The Republicans have a big advantage among voters only when looking at self-identified "likely voters," which doesn't correctly express actual public sentiment. The reason Repubs have this advantage is the Democrats have turned everyone off. Republicans' best hope--as usual--is for low voter turnout.

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  2. A year ago I'd have argued with you. (I think I DID, in fact. LOL) But you sir, are absolutely correct. So I concede on all points. And I KNOW you find very little satifaction in being right about it. (Isn't it amazing how we're always right about things we'd never be more happy to be wrong about?)

    As for the potential outcome? Yeah, I hear you. But what's really getting to me is that is only the beginning of the damage as far as that son-of-a-bitch Roberts Court goes, and that God-Damned Citizens United Case.

    (NOTE: For anyone who I just confused: You will find fewer stronger defenders of free speech than me - for INDIVIDUALS. But I don't believe in granting Corporations the same rights as Citizens, I laid out my argument for that a while back, let me know if you're interested and can't find it.)

    And yeah, I realize that their strength as well as their prospects are overstated, but the news ain't GOOD no matter how you look at it. I've found Election-Projection (Gold Star #14) to be a pretty good predicter in the last couple of elections and if the trends don't start changing soon, the House will fall and the two to three independants will remain as the tie-brekaers.

    (NOTE: E-P is a strongly Conservative blog, and while I disagree with almost everything he posts, I've found his polling research and aggregating methods to be extremly in-depth, accurate and helpful.)

    And while I will no longer argue that the Democrats will likely do any GOOD, I have no doubt that the Republicans will do MUCH HARM. My apologies to the commenter (who's handle eludes me at the moment), but they put it perfectly [PP'd]:

    Given a choice between disappointment and disgust, I'll take disappointment every single time.

    And so will I. But as much as I think we still need them to win I just can't carry water for them anymore. I think you're right about that BOOK too. If things don't change in the next 2-6 years, maybe you and I should write it. (Keep in touch. LOL)

    Thanks for you comment. When you and I both agree wholeheatedly on something, I can pretty much rest assured we've got it right.

    (Not that there's any satifaction in that, in this case.)

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  3. @classic - I couldn't agree more with your first, second and fourth paragraphs - and mostly agree with your concluding paragraph.

    In my opinion, Pres. Obama does deserve a second term. Of course I say that because as a conservative I'd rather see a centrist in the oval office than some flaming liberal. Perhaps some of his Cabinet appointments were ill-advised, and after doing my own research into Van Jones, I'm very disappointed that Obama let him go - but that is all 'coulda, shoulda, woulda' thinking that points out the acuity of hindsight. Pres. Obama HAS squandered valuable political capital on some issues that I would deem secondary, and failed to expend enough on some issues that I would deem primary to his base - But I'm willing to give him enough rope, so to speak - whether he uses it to hang himself or climb the mountain is his choice.

    Had Obama done a 'bait-and-switch' and taken a hard left after campaigning like a moderate he would have lost the possibility of gaining my vote (and I suspect the votes of other disgruntled Repubs) for a second term. His margin of victory over McCain proves (to me at least) that he was elected by more than the Dem base, but if some of the more fanatical members of that base feel shat upon perhaps they should start their own 'Tea-Party.'

    Which brings me back around to my point of agreement with your fourth paragraph. Teahadists and Tree-Huggers SHOULD have viable parties. Greens, Labor, and perhaps Business parties should compete, to a greater or lessor extent, on a state and national level. This could only serve to encourage thoughtful discourse and needed compromise, and would greatly weaken the threat of 'bloc-lock' that we see with the current system.

    @Eddie - Take heart! Although I'm just now getting around to commenting, I read the Phelps piece when you posted it.

    I found it wrenching to read - requiring me to re-examine my principles and commitment to them. I really can't think of a higher complement to pay...

    When the WBC started this crap I joined the Patriot Guard Riders, countering Phelps' detestable behavior with respect and honor for my fallen brothers. Although none of the missions I've ridden have been forced to tolerate these loathsome slime, I stand ready to sing, wave my flag, and rev my engine (well, not that THAT does much good - I ride a Goldwing, and can't compete with the Harleys for sound) to drown out and obscure any protesters. If you haven't heard of the PGR, I encourage you to look them up - there are ways to fight the Phelps' of the world - you don't even have to have a motorcycle!

    Before I sign off - please, please PLEASE find a way to post my email RE: Cooler heads - if you don't I fear classic will skewer me without understanding where I'm coming from. You could also at least acknowledge that you read my comment on 'Go team, go!'

    okiepoli

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  4. @Okie -

    Ok, first things fucking last. :)

    Somehow I missed your comment in "Go Team Go." So... sorry, but to be honest I HADN'T read it. I've read it NOW, and replied there. Suffice to say? Yeah I hear you. And I'm sure after reading THIS, you realize that I have no answer at all for your "What should I do?" question. I wsih I knew. Shit, I wish there WAS an answer. The Republicans, as they are, a bunch of fiends, and yet the Democrats, as THEY are, are completely fucking useless. I can certainly vote for disappointment over disgust, but I'm finding it harder and harder to maintain my enthusiasm for it.

    Cool deal with PGR. I've hard that Hell's Angels have done the same kind of thing - acted as kind of an honor guard, getting in between Phelps' crew and the families. I'm not saying the two groups are the SAME, mind you... (and I'm not sure that motorcycle engines are much of an improvement over Funny-Mentalists when either one still manages to drown out the funeral... LOL. What a fucked-up country we live in, huh?) But I think that's pretty cool of you.

    Also, the email... RIGHT! I'll put up a post right away. Totally forgot about that. Sorry!

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  5. LOL - the 'Rush quote' email from Aug. - what a hoot! Actually the email that I thought might spare me from classic's razor-sharp pen was the one from Sep. 25th, where I explain some of the values that I consider to be 'principled' and conservative.

    Fortunately for me it seems that classic didn't take offense where none was intended.

    Perhaps you'd care to address Sep. 25th's email sometime?

    okiepoli

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  6. Whoops. OK... couple of problems.

    First off: I hadn't read that one until just now, because when I got i, I sent it right to the trash. The subect line wasstill the automated "IMHO: New Comment on [some post]" or some such thing. When I get those, five or six at a time, typically from comments left here, I usually highligh the whole lot, and they go right in the trash and then I go and check out the comment ON THE BLOG. (And typically reply within a day or two.)

    So... if you're sending me an actual email, make sure you change the subject line, or I'll proabbly miss it. (Like I did in this case, which is why I never replied or posted it.) My inbox in filled with emails like that, merely notifying me that there's a comment here. So I guarantee I'll miss it.

    Now... I didn't EMPTY the trash, so I was able to find it and finally READ IT. Very interesting stuff. I'd LOVE to post it.

    Only problem?

    When I highlighted it and pressed "move to inbox?" It disappeared and never went there. So I don't have it anymore. (Not my fault! I swear! I was VERY CAREUFL not to hit 'delete!')

    But there was some good stuff there, so if you still have it, please re-send it - WITH A NEW SUBJECT LINE - and I'll definitely post it in a thread and add my reply. If you no longer have it, I apologize, but I'm going to plead "technical malfunction."

    And sorry about the confusion.

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  7. The huge problems with the Citizens United decision took no time at all to manifest themselves. If, as the majority ruled, government may no "discriminate" against speech because of its source (a corporate "person"), foreign corporations, even those controlled by foreign governments, have the same rights as actual persons who are American citizens. Contrary to the assertions of that decisions' proponents, established law against foreign contributions in U.S. campaigns was all washed away by that decision--there's simply no grounds for maintaining such laws, if one accepts the "logic" of the ruling.

    The Chamber of Commerce has publicly stated it intends to spend $75 million against liberal and Democratic candidates. That's a larger sum than any other outside group, and their sources are entirely undisclosed. Their "general fund," which is paying for all of this, solicits and receives huge piles of money from foreign corporations (no one knows how huge), but not even the funding they receive from domestic corporations is required to be disclosed, which is, in and of itself, inherently corrupt.

    I already have a rough draft of that book--it's my blog. I sort of wish I'd blogged about the 2008 campaign, but I do have a lot of old posts from other places that cover it. I do posts, from time to time, titled "The Tragedy of the Obama," which seem closest to the point of wasted opportunity.

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  8. I'll be sure to pick up a copy. ;)

    And with a title like THAT, you're sure to sell quite a few to some Conservatives who will have NO IDEA what they about to buy. LOL

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  9. That's true, and I could use the old cliche, "maybe they'd learn something from it." But I don't think they would. I suspect my prose would prove impenetrable to most who cast their lot with the far right, even in the parts where I'm just cursing a lot.

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  10. this was a great read, I went to share it via Facebook and it told me that it had been flagged as Spammy/offensive just for a btw

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  11. @Bard,

    Thanks.

    BTW... You're the second commenter that's told me that (about facebook.) Mabye "the man" is just trying to keep me down? JK. LOL.

    I still need to look into that. I know the language can get a little course, but I don't think it's CATEGORICALLY too offensive for ANY of it to post there.

    IDK.

    Thanks for your comment, though!

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