Friday, November 30, 2012

Custer,  Bluster,  and diminished luster

As the old saying goes, "Denial is a river in Egypt", and the Republicans  are still somewhere between the Gaza Strip and Benghazi in their river of deep denial.
      They would have you believe that Mitt Romney lost because he was not a  good enough snake oil salesmen. It apparently does not matter to them that the snake oil he was selling was more like cyanide for the middle class than castor oil, which is always good for what ails you. The voters refused to drink the Kool Aid.
    In the end, as it turns out, the American people were just not as stupid as the Republicans thought. They couldn't be bought. They couldn't be bamboozled, and they would not let their votes be suppressed. They showed up when it really mattered, and it did matter. Elections always matter. They also have consequences.
     We have seen the great wealth of this country be disproportionately husbanded by those at the top of the scale in ways that are reminiscent of the old Robber baron days. One joke making the rounds is that the CEO of Hostess twinkies calls a final meeting with the union boss and one representative worker. There are a dozen Twinkies  on the table. The CEO walks off with 11 of the twinkies and says to the employee, " You'd better watch out for that union guy, or he'll eat most of your twinkie".
     There are the greedy pizza barons who live in multi million dollar mega mansions, but are threatening to lay off their employees if they have to invest 12 cents per pizza of their profit in employee health care. There are the coal barons who are laying off their miners because they didn't work hard enough to produce , not coal, but votes, for the one percenter agenda.
     It is reminiscent of the slaveholder mentality which caused us to take up arms against one another to defend the right of some men to enslave others in pursuit of profit. Has our civil war never really ended? What's wrong with this picture? Who is painting our political landscape?
     The answer is not surprising. It is the small cadre of omnipotent oligarchs who place their greed above the good of the planet and their fellow human beings. They have tried to buy their way into the think tanks and the universities to manipulate the national agenda, and to deny anything or anyone who stands in the way of their unbridled self aggrandizement and hubristic hegemony. They have sprinkled the fairy dust of social issues among the great unwashed to insure that people vote against their own economic issues. They have tried to manipulate the numbers of those who vote, so that their agenda is vouchsafed for their undemocratic plutocratic dominance.
     They have failed to achieve success on the national level, but they have achieved some degree of success in manipulating the Congress and many state legislatures to champion their causes. They have done so by rigging the bidding process and drawing the lines of The Congressional and state legislative districts in such a way as to insure their success. They have further undermined democracy by opening up the flood gates of political bribery, ala Citizens "Un-United". They are acting like the Joker in a Batman movie sequel, and there seems to be no stopping point. It is a far flung and semi successful conspiratorial effort to bend the will of the majority to advance their cause, and the real joke is that they have done so while invoking the concept of liberty and justice for all. That is the ultimate irony, and the joke is on us.
     Give me you tired, your poor, your weary, your befuddled masses, and we shall manipulate them to our advantage, and crush any hopes they might have to climb the socioeconomic ladder. Their philosophy is ' I've got mine the hell with you, and if you try to climb up into this boat on that rope ladder, I'll Step on your fingers". The other side's philosophy is more like " I've got mine, how can I help you get yours"!
     The American people are not stupid.  They have made their choice. It is now up to the losers to show some grace and some common sense, and to remember that there are still many more things that bind us together than divide us. The American dream still beckons for us all. Clearly, we need to trim the budget, and pay down the deficit as well. The solvency solution is broader than just raising taxes on the well to do. But, If the Custer-like last stand of a defeated Republican agenda really is to hold out against tax hikes for the top two per cent of the country, the moral bankruptcy of that position will end up bankrupting us all. Lord have mercy. We deserve better than that.