Sunday, March 01, 2009

Cold War Waltz: It's Over

During a discussion with a longtime political writer some time ago, he made a crack about a veteran politician, a man who was then in some hot water. “He believes in words, not ideas,” said the scribe.

It was a bulls-eye.

The politician we were talking about was a man whose only real cause all along had been the gaining and wielding of power. The persuasive words this man used to strike various poses during his long career were frequently borrowed from sincere causes. Opportunists like him have never been in short supply, whether one stays in the mainstream or strays toward the outer fringes of two-party politics.

If such operators prove popular enough to get elected and turn out to be good managers, if they can make the gears of government work to serve the commonweal, most folks will settle for that. Competency will go a long way toward glossing over insincerity.

However, when an elected executive proves to have been a prevaricator who cashed in on the gullibility of trusting voters, AND a terrible manager of the store who leaves the shelves and cash register empty, well, that’s a recipe for revolt.

President George W. Bush was just such a chief executive.

With each day that dawns more revolting evidence of the Bush administration’s malfeasance and neglect appears. Just how terrible his administration's response was in dealing with the three great tests it faced -- 9/11, Katrina and the Economic Meltdown -- is hard to put into a few words, so I won't try.

If times get worse "revolt" may start sounding like the scary word it has been in other times in history. Hopefully, the economy will turn around before it comes to that.

Still, there are particular people who are happy with how the federal government responded in those three crises. They own the companies that profited from war-related and disaster-related federal contracts, they are the bailed out banking executives, et al, who just cut themselves more bonus checks.

The rest of us are in the process of sucking up the price of twisted policies that made a few wealthy people much wealthier at the expense of making the whole world, gone-to-hell-in-a-hand-basket, a more dangerous place.

Now some of the sorest losers who voted for George W. Bush both times, then held their noses and voted for John McCain, are hoping President Barack Obama will fail. While they still defend Bush's utterly bankrupt policies with warmed-over talking points, they mock Obama’s calming words about hope.

People who danced the Cold War Waltz while Emperor Bush fiddled, pissing away the precious resources he inherited from his predecessors in the White House, are trying to call the tune today. There's gall for you.

The bluster wing of the Republican Party wants us to keep arguing over whether creationism ought to be taught in public schools, as if it could be an alternate science. It wants us to worry about creeping European socialism, instead of working to lower the costs of heath care. It wants...

Well, to quote Roy Orbison, “It’s Over.” People with no jobs who are about to be evicted don't want to hear an encore of the Cold War Waltz. Nor does a family watching the expenses associated with the slow death of one of its members eat up all it has in the way of financial resources.

The word the obstructionists of the GOP need to remember the meaning of is “credibility.”

Like, when you have no credibility, maybe you can still fool about 25 percent of the fools ... all the time. But you can’t win many elections that way. Not any more.

Bottom line: It's way over.


Mim said...

Right! Not anymore.

William said...

If you thought things were bad under Vice-President Bush, just wait and see how you feel about the "Messiah", Obaaaaaama! Take the "iah" off, and that's what we'll have!