Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Too Much Practice At Giving A Damn

Since I now have no more connection to politics than the (D) on my voter registration card I should be be much more relaxed. I'm not. I suppose that's a consequence of too much practice at giving a damn. I shouldn't, really. I live in a nation whose political orientation I don't understand and can't do a damn thing about. If you think I exaggerate consider this.

RM Nixon may be political ancient history but he was by the standards of the time a pretty conservative Republican. You'd be hard put to place the current Democratic accomplishments to the left of RMN. Watergate was not the be-all, end-all of RMN. He was a prick and he was if not paranoid, damn close to it. He also was alright with a health care reform considerably more progressive/liberal than the current version. As for wars...well he had one - that did sort of keep spreading around. One. He kept enemies lists, yes, but he didn't indefinitely detain people and as for his spying on Americans - well shit. It pays to remember that his DOJ did send people to prison for a stupid burglary - not serious stuff like torturing people. There were people well to the right of Dick, and they were generally dismissed as mostly crazy. The left hated him with a burning fire. When Dick is thought of; it's Watergate or maybe China and just barely Vietnam.

The Sainted Ronnie is a figure of myth today, the reality bears no resemblance to the memory. The guy was an actor who was good at repeating his lines, virtually nothing he put his hand to worked out - other than the myth. He raised taxes, including FICA - the most regressive of all. He killed entry level blue collar wages with the amnesty of illegal aliens and opened the doors to today's crisis level problem. He elevated the voodoo economics of trickle down supply side economics to policy level and promoted the idea of government as the problem. All it seems it took was a pretty delivery. It would take too many pages to put reality next to myth and he's a hero.

In today's world things that would have resulted in Republican revolution under RMN or RR are serious Republican politics in the name of National Security. What four years ago done by a fringe lefty would have resulted in cries of traitorous are staples of elected federal Republican officials. A Senate bill that six years ago could as well have been written by the Republican majority is unanimously defied by their minority and called socialism as the left hates it. As we wind down a war in support of the most corrupt functioning government in the world we escalate one in support of one of the most corrupt non-functioning governments in the world and we don't have money to do squat for our nation. Two years after the bankers crashed the world's economy the same pricks are making fortunes doing the same things and regulation is a matter of speculation and the President is very careful not to hurt their feelings.

The stupid ass, DeMint, that is crying about how the Administration doesn't take 'terror' seriously and misquotes the DHS head about the TSA has a hold on the appointment of the head of the TSA...and the media ignores it. Me and my ilk are more likely to get killed at work than if we flew on commercial airliners every day and the whining mewling pissants can't stop - maybe if their lives presented a larger threat than a paper cut... The media that tanked for GWB and McCain now cannot get enough of the Republican opposition and is loath to correct any statement they care to make. John McCain gets almost as much media face time now as loser as he did as a candidate. People who got things mostly right about BushCo are ignored and their pimps get major media slots despite getting almost everything wrong. In the corporate media world mild liberals like Olberman and Maddow are the equivalent of Limbaugh, Beck, and etc. as though there is a comparison. Tabloid mogul Murdoch runs an entire network as an extension of the right Republican fringe and is aped by one media business after the other and taken seriously by a sizable portion of the public.

The very outer reaches of the Republican Party are now its mainstream and the Democrats fall all over themselves trying to become the old Republican establishment - and a meaningless handful notice and complain. People like Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson are the arbiters of Democratic legislation and most of that Party are willing to go along. The Democratic Party, yes the Democrats, are busy passing a purchase mandate of 4-9% of income on the bottom of the effective economic scale and quarreling over a pittance of a tax on everyone above in order to accomplish the biggest corporate give away in goddam history. The thing they're busy mandating on the economic loser worker bees will bankrupt them if they use it. It effectively protects the providers not the insurance purchasers from harm. This is the legislative victory as determined by the Lieberman/Nelson fringe.

This is how far we've progressed from Richard goddam Nixon...

I don't know why I continue to opine for a literal handful of readers and read the one blog that amuses me more than it pisses me off. I have no idea why I give a good goddam and can't seem to break the habit. Compare the stupidity and intransigence of American politics to the competitions I engage in, from drag racing to shooting where the competitors are nearly universally gracious, considerate and helpful and I keep playing at this?

Throwing rocks at the moon makes about as much difference as me paying attention - masochism I suppose...

Is this my swan song? I don't know - it sure should be.


Dusty said...

The media that tanked for GWB and McCain now cannot get enough of the Republican opposition and is loath to correct any statement they care to make. The MSM should really be known as The Corporate Media. It's owned by corporations and they are damn sure gonna cover their own asses first and give us the 'news' second.

This is one damn fine rant Chuck. Thanks, sadly I found myself nodding and nodding..hell, like a crazy bitch on lithium, with every thing you said.

Jack Crow said...

Keep it up, Chuck.

I read you regularly.

Zak Johnson said...

Trying to remember the last liberal who won the Democratic nomination...Michael Dukakis? Other than Kucinich, trying to think of one who even ran in 2008... No one comes to mind. If you count Dukakis as a liberal, that makes it 20+ years since one won the Democratic party nomination.

I think the reasons for this have much to do with the success of the right in selling their program but also much to do with the left including or at least being identified with fringe elements that obscure its economic and social program: nonsense like animal rights, environmental extremism, gun control and, as you point out, support for increasing the rights of illegal immigrants over those of needy native-born working people. Throw in the racial/gender-quotas-in-hiring crowd & those pacifists who aren't merely non-interventionist but who appear to see no difference between legitimate self-defense and neo-colonial adventurism and you end up with the cliche of the pencil-necked tree-huggers protesting border control by doing interpretive dance while dressed up in Woodsy Owl costumes. The only viral image of the left is perhaps anarchists, who merely come across as ignorant street urchins. The predominant popular image of the left is largely that of economic elitism and excessive, self-abnegating charity and pacifism towards foreigners that comes off as anti-American. I don't think this is an overstatement. The left has a virility problem, put more simply, people think we're wusses, and self-hating ones at that. The pro-people, pro-American part of the agenda gets obscured by the noise makers.

Getting back to the 20 years since a leftist won the Democratic nomination, I think the travesties like NAFTA and worse--letting China into the WTO without meeting ANY benchmarks for opening up their markets, improving labor laws, etc.--were heartily supported by majorities of both Republicans and Democrats. Part of this is pure cynicism of our Congressional whores, but part of it is also the sincere belief that globalization increases economic prosperity for all regardless of how imbalanced the "free" trade it's based on really is. The details & results of our trade pacts show this isn't true, as does our current imbalance of trade with many countries. But the free trade is always good fanaticism is still promoted as gospel by the vast majority of American economists. But the last 30 years while American economists have been winning all the Nobel prizes, much of the rest of the world has been quietly growing their industrial output and trade balance at our expense. But you can't have a rational conversation with a free-trade Utopianist any more than you can with any other fanatic.

But do keep writing, Chuck. I for one get my batteries recharged here regularly & you definitely help the left with overcoming our wuss problem.

Kevin said...

I largely agree with Zak and enjoyed reading his parsing of the last three decades of political history. Dukakis was the very first Democrat I'd ever supported. At the time I was a disillusioned & pissed-off Republican hellbent on paybacks for the lies of Bush 41 and Limbaugh. But even so, I actually supported Dukakis on his own merits rather than simply because he was the most viable way of defeating Bush 41. Ah the memories...

Chuck, nice rant. I'm wondering if perhaps you now have a somewhat different perspective on our old arguments viz being a D versus being an I?

Chuck Butcher said...

Heh, Kevin I figured if you read this I'd get a sort of "told you so" and I'd kind of have it coming. My problem is that I can't say shit to people I don't believe and that isn't happening.

ShortWoman said...

Heck, Nixon signed the EPA into law! We could sure use some Nixon conservatives today. I bet they would be easier to reason with than today's "conservatives."

When did I slide this far left? Or did the center move that far right?

Kevin said...

Whether any of us moved to the left or not (I know I sure have), the center has definitely moved to the right. And therein lays the problem.

After I left the GOP I fancied myself a centrist... until an old blogmate of mine convinced me that the "center" is largely an illusion.

Chuck, I'm really not interested in wagging my finger. I think you're going through a version of what I went through 20 years ago and that leaves me with a distinct sense of empathy for the abundantly clear frustration and disillusionment you're feeling. Been there, done that, still do at times.

What I've found is that I both blame the two-party system for America's political disfunction and still find that I have a great deal of common cause with D's while taking care not to conflate what's good for the Democratic Party with what's good for America.

joycemocha said...

Hey Chuck (and Zak too), one of these years we need to sit down over a cup of coffee or tea and have a bit of a chat. The current Democratic party is a testimony to the triumph of those damn Carterite moderates that pushed the DLC, and the Clintonoids put paid to any real hope of progressivism. Yeah, I was around in the Party when all that happened, got told a number of times that there was no reason for the Party to cater to those who thought the way I did because we were all gonna bolt to the Citizen's Party or some such thing as that.

It's been going on for thirty, thirty-five years, about as long as the Ridiculous Religious Right has been doing their thing.

I don't do the Party stuff any more for just that reason, tired of pounding my head against the wall and I've better things to do. But I do enjoy reading your rants (even if I don't get to respond because work is so damned nuts), and this is a bloody fine one.

Chuck Butcher said...

That'll be a hell of a commute for Zak in NH on the right coast.