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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Real Horror of This Past November 6

The Republicans are horrified, or they profess to be.   They just can't understand how they were denied yet another shot at wrecking the U.S. economy, reviving Jim Crow days, and herding all the Latinos back to Mexico, and now they are as busy as can be, looking for those responsible for their rejection.  They are looking everywhere except where they should be directing their dumbfounded gaze-- in a mirror.

--Except that that wouldn't help them either, because their mirrors are not silvered in the usual way, and instead the Regressicans tolerate having around only things that are fashioned to assure them of how necessary they are.

And regardless, the real horror of those elections is not in any way the fact that they lost.   Instead it's that they got as many votes as they did. The real horror and a very poor reflection on the U.S. as a whole is that the margin of Obama's victory was as close as the three or four million edge that he had in the popular vote, in a country of over 300 million, and his 106-vote edge in the electoral college.   The real horror is that the Republican Party is still taken that seriously by so many or by anyone at all, since during the campaign they didn't take one stand that wasn't egregiously, totally, manifestly and in every other way ill-considered, indecent, immoral, and just out and out wrong.  No, not one!

To amplify that point, here I could continue in thousands of different directions, though any one of those should be all that's needed at any one time, such as in a diary.   That small number is probably all that is behind most votes cast anyway.

For now, as we would at the outset of the first game in a World Series, let's look at the lineup that the Republicans used this year.   It was pretty paltry, I would say, not even worthy of being a contender in a kiddy league.   Having long since given dismissal notices to all the reasonable, feasible, halfway distinguished figures in their midst, left over from before the Tea Party boarding of the boat, the Repubs were left without any heavy hitters, as could easily be seen in the prospects that they tried out during their primaries.

 I mean the "Crazy Eight," or Seven, or however many there were at any one time, that consisted almost entirely of moral cripples, such as the pompous and abusive reject from yesteryear named Newt Gingrich, the walking, talking, padded shoulders dummy named Rick Perry, the odious Rich Santorum, the shrill and certifiably insane Michele Bachmann, and the repulsive carnival clown Herman Cain.  Ron Paul might have been a faint possibility, but he had shown some colors that just weren’t right, in his infamous newsletters of too short a while ago.  Have I left anyone out?   Oh yes,  The Romney guy, and now more is known about him than anyone would ever want to know.   And that left Jon Huntsman as their only prospect with anything near a Presidential air.  But because he had been Obama's ambassador to China, and because he was not toxic and nauseating like the other Republican contenders, he was roundly dismissed by the mean-spirited conservative audience whose votes they sought and by his presumed colleagues themselves.

And because that kind of caustican is therefore the only kind that is looked upon favorably by today's Repubs, to continue my baseball analogy, it's hard to see how there can be any better players anywhere on their farm teams that the Repubs can bring up for the next Presidential go-round, when they will be facing the by then well-rested and well-tested Mrs. Clinton, a woman with more smarts (and more experience already on the White House level) than any 10 candidates bound together with a Republican label.

This year in the lead-off spot the Repubs had for their Presidential contender a man who could have been seen as matching up with the evil-tempered, bigoted Ty Cobb of yore, famed for spraying more than his share of singles and doubles and in which he was greatly helped by his rep for using his spikes on anyone at hand while running the bases.  But in today's times, with all the fences having been pulled back considerably by any number of persistent problems, the Repubs are going to need someone more suited for the cleanup spot -- a far-sighted longball hitter -- and the carefully thinking and clear-eyed political Ted Williamses and Henry Aarons are just nowhere to be seen on today's or 2016's Republican rosters.  The attitudes of a party that would countenance seeing rape as being an "act of God" are a big turnoff to that kind of player.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Big Republican Shell Game of the Last Half-Century

In a post in Hullabaloo, dated 14 Nov 2012, Dante Atkins outlined what he called "the Grand Lie."  It could also be called  the "Big Republican Strategy," though my favorite would be "the Great Republican Shell Game of the Last Half-Century."   Atkins related his summary purely to the national deficit, but I think it sums up with unusual succinctness, clarity, and accuracy the scam that the Republicans have managed to pull off  over and over again, ever since the Civil Rights laws were enacted and the Republicans began concurrently using the "Southern Strategy."

         Atkins saw the oft-repeated cycle as taking place in four stages in which the Repubs (in his words):

        1) Claim that jobs and economic growth depend on tax cuts, especially on the wealthy. Claim that any cuts will pay for themselves. Both of these are lies. . . .

        2) When revenues dwindle and deficits explode as they have under every Republican President since Nixon, blame "welfare" (a lie) and "spending" (another lie.)

        3) Let Democrats be the ones to take responsible measures to bring deficits back under control by sacrificing their own programs. . . .

        4) When good economic times and minor tax boosts bring both the economy back to health and the deficit back in line, tell people that the government has too much money, and that they should "get more of their money back." This is an intentional strategy to drive up the deficit, forcing more cuts later.

          I had been thinking along the same lines about matters in general, and I would've put it in a way that is  slightly different, because of a couple of added filips.

         I would've said that the Democrats bring on the good and charitable times, but then the Repubs use the only big idea that they ever have, tax cuts and more tax cuts, plus barely concealed attacks on those who are not likely to vote for them, to convince enough stupid,  greedy, and hate-ridden voters to put them in power.   Once in power the Repubs then run down the Government's bank account to almost nothing, by diverting as much as they can of the national treasury into the pockets of the monied class and by indulging in unnecessary wars and other adventures, while enacting laws and following policies designed to punish those who don't see things their way.
       That pushes the public into bringing back Democrats to pump the economy back up while setting aright  the many historical wrongs favored by the Repubs.   The Repubs then pull the wool over American eyes yet again, usually by playing their always dependable trump card, racism,  and  that whole process of Republican wrack and ruin and Democratic reconstruction unfolds all over again.   And it has stood the Repubs in good stead since the 1960's, notwithstanding the truism that whatever is good for them is invariably bad for the U.S. as a whole and for the planet.

Today we are in the middle of the latest Democratic rebuilding process, after the messes left behind by the most recent Repub President, GWBush.   Ordinarly the Repubs might've been more content to wait till there was more in the government coffers for them to loot, but then they let the spectacle of that "nigra in the White House" get the best of them.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Voting Democratic, With Love

A couple of notes, from the recent elections, in the Piedmont of Virginia:  

In this heavily rural area, the county where I live is, on the electoral map, almost always a lone little island of blue in a sea of Republican red, and that is interesting, since the population here is predominantly "white" by much the same large margins as in all the surrounding counties.   My theory is that this is because I, a transplant from always Democratic D.C., am here.   But there is also the fact that a lot of the so-called "white" folk here still fondly remember FDR and the New Deal days, as well as other government assistance, since economic conditions here have never been the best.  (And in 1969 Hurricane Camille hit this county with special ferocity, taking over 100 lives).  Furthermore,  this county has been unusually tolerant to the influx of a number of "come-heres" from other states -- hippies, back-to-the-landers, refugees from blighted New Jersey decades before Sandy, and others of that sort of the progressive inclination -- as contrasted to the "been heres."

A Democratic official who worked in the campaign office where my wife manned the phones, etc., also worked in an adjoining county which also had an Obama office, and to my surprise that county also went Democratic.   I had lumped that place in with all the adjoining red counties, especially because one of the state prisons is there.  But this director said that when they heard that there was such an office, so-called "black" people kept trooping in there bringing the campaign workers all kinds of food and helping in other ways.  They wanted to do all they could for the man they fondly called their "boy."   Most were quite elderly, which means that they, like me, had a lot of things to remember, and so my county this time had company amongst the blue, and that also included the much larger and more affluent county just to the north of here and that is home to the University of Virginia and various other intellectual industries.

(If you want to know, I try hard to avoid using those stark and stupid terms, "black" and "white," when applied to people.   I believe in the precise use of language, and in all my years I have never seen anyone the color of the inside of a stovepipe or of the newly fallen snow.   Even worse, those terms imply that the two groups are exact opposites, when actually nothing could be farther from the truth.   Having had the unusual privilege of having lived one half of my life in an almost completely "black" world and now the other half in a largely "white" one, I think I can say without any fear of refutation that man for man and woman for woman, the two groups are identical in all the ways that matter most, and that applies especially to a measurement much more important than the often cited intelligence quotients: their slob IQ's.

A second note: A lady friend of ours volunteered to drive to the polls anyone who needed a lift.   By election day, however, almost everyone on the somewhat long list that she was given had already gotten some transportation, save for an 85-year old "black" lady who was confined at home.

Our friend helped this lady get into the voting building and then to the voting table, for marking the paper ballots.   The elderly lady told our friend that, in addition to her other infirmities, she also couldn't see too good, and she asked to be shown where she could be sure of marking the name of her "boy."

When that was done, the old lady was not yet through.   She pointed her finger emphatically at the rest of the ballot and said, "Okay, honey.   Now show me the people that are going to help my boy."

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

A Day Like No Other!

Well, here it is at last, finally -- A DAY LIKE NO OTHER! -- in my lifetime, and I was around during the Great Depression and Pearl Harbor, as well as during thousands of other indignities imposed on the human spirit.

I am writing this early in the morning of Tuesday, November 6, of the year 2012, and it is incredible that in just a few more hours many millions of people throughout these United States of Ours will learn -- ALL AT THE SAME MOMENT!, thanks to the wonders of modern communication -- whether their intense labors of the past couple of years in a political cause all went for naught, or whether their efforts prevailed.   And a great deal more millions who stood by or sat pat and watched while their votes were so urgently being sought, will learn how what they took to be just a big horse race came out.

In just hours all Americans, along with the rest of the world -- which is holding its breath, and with good reason -- will learn how things will go with the United States, especially in the next four years but also for much longer.   Will the American voters choose to let the Republicans resume their drive to push the country deeper into the religio-fascism favored by past administrations and Congresses put into place by their party and that has already been painfully sloshing around the soles and heels of the country's feet for a good little while?   Or will the country gain a four-year respite and hopefully even a start of a reversal of that push, by choosing Democrats all the way down the line, or at least most of the way, headed by allowing B. Obama to serve a second term?

Or, on the third hand, will the results today end up temporarily hung up on the shenanigans of that same rogue party, the Republicans, to steal what they know they can't get legitimately, simply because their stands on every single issue are born solely out of ignorance and evil intentions instead of out of the charitable and sensible points of view held by the Democrats?  If so, the true results, centered around just a few states or just one, with the main possibility being Ohio but also including other so-called "swing" states like Florida and Virginia, may not be known for several weeks, which will give the Republicans time to wheel up the many conservative judges so as to render the kind of verdicts that resulted in the so-called "winner" 12 years ago, and we know how that all came out.   Not good.   Not good at all.   In fact disastrous for all except for racists, rapists, war criminals,  and those big money holders of the insidious and impenetrable side bets with names like "credit default swaps," whose implications are still not well understood by the great majority of people today.

But perhaps there have been enough people of good will and a sense of decency among Americans of all hues to go for Obama regardless of his several, hard to understand miscues every once in a while, and to vote for him in such numbers as to avoid all such skullduggery.   My wife, who has worked hard knocking on people's doors and doing all that kind of stuff, thinks there is no doubt whatsoever that that will happen, and I can't see how there can be any other choice, short of a scene dominated by insanity and criminality.

One thing is certain.  Not in my lifetime of over eight decades has so much been at stake on a single election day.