Saturday, February 6, 2010

Yes we can - No you can't

What a difference a year makes.  I've gone from hope to total disillusionment and it appears I am not alone. This rapid change of mood raises the question: "Are we just a bunch of ungrateful, uninformed, wishy washy and hyper-reactive dingbats? ", or perhaps we are displaying a new trait politicians ought to learn to consider in the age of the internet?

Let's look at two recent instances where voters suddenly revolted against the "great leader" they had trusted.

First we have  George W. and his Rasputin, Dick Chaney.  Here is a quick review of the relevant events:

  1. 9/11 creates an abnormally uncritical citizenry catalyzed by patriotism, and fear,  

  2. the Bush, Chaney, Woolfowitz, etc. gang figure they don't need to disclose their private agenda of redesigning the Middle East. In pursuit of it, fabricate tales of weapons of mass destruction to start a war

  3. the US goes to war on two fronts with a majority of support justified by fabricated information and fears 

  4. with war in progress the great leader gets re-elected 

  5. eventually analysts, former generals, etc. unveil the lies used to tee up the strategy and the internet distributes them to all able to read

  6. after 4 years of burning billions by the month, the economy goes into a tailspin 

  7. the voters, suddenly recognize they were lied to and paying a huge price for it and give victory to an untested newcomer that promises "change", the only thing that all want regardless of political orientation - CHANGE

  8. and change we get with the highest expectations.  Probably an non-republican could have been elected.  I for one admit being so offended by the lies and so smitten by the prospect of change that I abandoned my past "Reagan conservativism" and the fact that the alternative to "yes we can" was an Alaskan-diva whose key qualifications included "mayor of a town of 6000" did not help.

Now let's look at why, suddenly, "yes we can" does not resonate any more with the hopeful change-minded electorate.  Consider this to figure why and how a "tea party" would start:

  1. with the economy in collapse "Mr. hope" bails out the banks.  Perhaps needed to avert further trouble, but why not a single bureaucrat or banker lost his job in the process?  The problem is not that some bankers make millions, is that some are paid millions with our money - "Mr. hope" wonders why the fuss? Duh. 

  2. GM, whose brilliant management consistently lost (stock) value to its shareholders for 45 years straight, must be saved from bankruptcy, its executives must be paid (or exit with) millions of our subsidy money - such great talent must be retained, no? 

  3. Meanwhile small business owners fail by the thousands and banks who are given billions to lend, with no conditions to actually do so, continue to lend nothing. 

  4. "Mr. Change" campaigned on a promise to "change" medical services to control rising costs, rein in insurers' practices of coverage exclusions, increase insurance competition with a government plan  and insurance sales across state lines. 

  5. After near a year of debate and horse trading the grand proposal offers:

    1. no expansion of Medicare as an alternate  to private insurers,

    2. no cross states insurance sales to increase competition, 

    3. any limits on pre-existing conditions will take years to be enacted

    4. senators from too many states to count have been "bought" with cash subsidies, exclusion from participation in the plan they vote for, etc.

    5. unions have been cut similar deals

  6. where does the tax paying citizen figure in this barrel of pork? So much for CHANGE and the audacity of hope.

  7. disillusionment sets in but we are saved at the last minute by sheer luck in Massachusetts

  8. Again the voters have revolted against arrogance, stupidity, lies and having their common sense insulted

The two scenarios above show that one party is no more decent than the other.

The Supreme Court meanwhile asserts that corporations are "citizens" with the right to free speech and are free, if not to a vote at the polls, to at least to vote their pocket book.  The latter of course is worse to the democracy as it entails influence without responsibility or accountability.  The citizenry's common sense could only be insulted more if the wise Justices permitted corporations "as individuals" to marry and have children - now that is a new legal frontier.

Faced with pork and lies and insult to common sense, is it any surprise that a sentiment develops among the sheep that perhaps, just perhaps, "we deserve some respect?  We, the living, ought to stand up and say 'I count and you work for me' ".

Some fantasize nonsense like "going Galt", the more realistic develop a Tea Party frame of mind, perhaps it is finally time for a new party.