22 September 2008

What They've Done to My Country, or, 'It's the De-Regulation, Stupid!' ...Rant Beginning in 5, 4, 3, 2...

So, I'm watching this heart wrenching video of the brilliant Leonard Slatkin conducting the BBC Orchestra in Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings", which juxtaposes images of 9-11, and, seeing those buildings coming down... it occurs to me... What's going on right now is financial terrorism. I'm seeing bank buildings crumbling to the ground in my head. I'm seeing what will be the utterly bewildered looks of horror and incomprehension that will be on people's faces when the fall comes. I'm seeing all hope for future plans to make the government work for the people - with healthcare, education... just, evaporate into thin air under a mountain of debt. What better way to stop national healthcare in its tracks? Make it impossible for anyone to even seriously consider it, now that we own the garbage left in the wake of Milton Friedman, Grover Norquist, and their Republican ilk.

CNN has a headline: "GOP takes brunt of blame on economy, poll says"... which should conceivable make me happy, because, despite the Republicans' sudden shedding of their uniforms and attempts to disown this entirely predictable outcome of their de-regulatory ideology, apparently, Americans aren't falling for it. Good. It's the "GOP's" fault!

Really? Who the fuck VOTED for "the GOP"?!? It's not the fault of every voter since Reagan who bought into the lie that government regulation was bad, unnecessary, and possibly even communist?!? The Republicans didn't lie about what they proposed to do. They told the voters what they planned to do and the voters voted for them based on exactly that. And now those same voters want to act like victims. It's "the Republicans' fault"?

No. It's the American people's fault. For not taking their duty to educate themselves in order to participate in our democracy seriously. For letting themselves ignore history and common sense and be bamboozled by criminal swindlers. We were told by Reagan that we could cut taxes and have the biggest, baddest, sexiest military of all time. All at the same time! And we bought it. Cake and eat it too. Yippee! And now we turn around in shock that we're 9-10 trillion dollars in debt. Then we were told that we could get rid of the cops on the regulatory beat. "Get BIG GOVERNMENT off our backs!" Let the "market" rule! And we bought that too. Anyone who tried to convince people otherwise, that this was madness, that all they had to do was read the history of the Great Depression, were called names. "Socialist". "Communist". "Liberal".

And now they complain that we have to bail them out or face ruin? What the FUCK did they think they were voting for all this time?!!?!? They have the AUDACITY to bemoan the "greed" and "corruption" on Wall St. as if they are shocked, SHOCKED that this is its nature. As if this nature was not EXACTLY why we had regulation in the first place! It is literally the equivalent of people being SHOCKED that thugs and criminals mug little old ladies more often after they choose to remove cops from the streets. Whoda thunk people can be mean? Someone once likened regulation to the bars and cages holding in the lions and tigers and bears at the zoo. They do it because they understand the nature of the beast. But we all wanted to pretend that we didn't understand the nature of Wall St. capitalism.

No, I have no sympathy for these Americans pretending to be outraged at this situation. As if they are themselves blameless. As if they didn't send these politicians to Congress and to the Executive branch to do exactly what they did. What victims they are! They were sold a bill of goods, yes. But they were willing participants in their own brainwashing. I don't wanna hear the excuses. Anyone who turned on ten minutes of the Republican mouthpieces on hate radio who couldn't figure out that what they were saying was pure, unadulterated, bullshit doesn't deserve their democracy. Or their money.

Democrats aren't completely blameless. They've been selling out the New Deal for years now in hopes of winning elections, kowtowing to the right, rather than doing the hard work of explaining and defending economic liberalism. I guess all those corporate donations didn't hurt. But make no mistake, the party currently trying desperately to shed its uniforms, like the Iraqi soldiers at the end of the invasion, is the PARTY responsible.

I hope I'm wrong and that everything works itself out. But as I re-watched those buildings coming down on 9-11 I couldn't help but see the metaphorical equivalent in what is currently playing itself out. And the people responsible are just about as evil. I leave you with one of my favorite segments from a book that should be required reading for every American, Thomas Geoghegan's "Which Side Are You On? Trying to Be For Labor When It's Flat on Its Back":

One night in Cambridge a few years ago, I drank scotch with my
college teacher, Samuel Beer, and I asked him what he thought.

He said, "Well, look what people used to say about Reagan and
Thatcher, that history had passed them by, and now they're the
dominant...well, not the dominant, but a major influence."

I said, "Do you think there could be another depression?"

"Could there be? I don't know. Some people think so.... But
one thing we do know, from experience. If there ever is another
depression, people will turn on these business leaders and say,
'You sons of bitches.'"

Well, you sons of bitches. And all of those enabling assholes who voted for the politicians who did your bidding, you can all go to hell. It's just too bad that it's possible you'll take those of us who knew better with you.

And CNN also reports today - as if we didn't know - that Obama could lose as much as 6% of the vote simply because of his race. Hopeless. Our democracy is being destroyed by people too stupid to know their own self interest if it bit them in the ass. Heaven forbid we vote for the black man! Because THAT's what's important! I've always been told I'm supposed to be tolerant of rednecks and racists and idiots. If I'm a true liberal, I'll understand them or accept them or some such shit. But I've always contended that they aren't just ignorant and frustrating. They're dangerous. And now we have proof.

Well...end of rant. And for those who forgot how we got into this mess... here's a re-post of the best and most hilarious - in a terrifying and tragic way, of course - explanation of the sub-prime crisis that started it all...And thanks and h/t to 'OneGoodMove' for posting this since youtube has since removed it.

onegoodmove: Attack Ad

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