Thursday, June 25, 2009

With or Without You (Congress)?

One of my professors (who just so happens is Iranian-born) said: "Americans live with the illusion of democracy. The pretense of choice. We choose between two (or three) people. That's choice?"

I was doing some dishes yesterday and thinking about the sad state of things given that we sent our leaders a pretty strong mandate last November.

I am not sure what the rest of you voted for, but I voted for these things ( short list to be sure):

1. To close Guantanamo Bay.

2. To give those inmates fair trials under US law.

3. Health care reform.

4. Education reform.

5. Ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

6. Getting American manufacturing back on track.

7. Working toward peace in the Middle East and ending bigotry against all peoples.

8. Gay Marriage and gay rights in every sense of that term.

9. Lower taxes for the working and lower classes.

10. Better environmental policies that at least *attempt* to minimize the damage that global climate change is having and will continue to have for centuries (any f*ckwad who wants an argument about that, I'm the lass that'll oblige you. My husband [a physicist] works on ice core samples from Antarctica with a group at Berkeley. Climate change is not a hoax or some political ploy to get you scared into recycling and using less carbon fuel).

So, as I pondered how slowly things change, if at all, a thought occurred to me: Why should the "powers that be" give the people *anything* they want?


What would happen if they did?

It would put them out of business and make their roles as wedge-drivers obsolete.

They would actually have to get real jobs and get in the trenches with the rest of us.

And the media?

What would they have left to do?



Once they are in their ivory towers up on the hill, within the beltway, they live in a bubble that mutes all the cries of suffering and anguish and anger of their countrymen and fellow citizens of the world.

I suppose I am going through a phase of disillusionment. I don't expect our President to fix everything instantly. I did expect him to be different. To hold himself to higher standards and maintain his integrity.

Our country is having an identity crisis. Are we the moral compass of the world? (See any number of family-men-politicians who have gotten caught diddling someone other than their wife. The answer: Ummm, no.) Are we peace-makers or bullies? Do we care about our fellow countrypeople and want everyone to have a shot at a decent life beyond the worries of health care and shelter and food and a decent education? Do we give two shits about what is happening to our climate and the burden our actions are placing on generations across the world?

Why should things change?

Because its about the f*ck time things changed.

If our politicians won't wake up, Americans must recommit to making things change, with or without them. Even if we have to drag them kicking and screaming like children.

The time for the tug-o-war is over.


Riot Kitty June 25, 2009 at 3:44 PM  

I voted for all of that but one guy can only do so much at one time - I don't think anyone anticipated the economic fiasco. I just wake up with relief every day that we are not in a Bush-Cheney-Satan (haha) administration.

Chris June 25, 2009 at 8:17 PM  

I am glad that Obama is the guy in charge, but I'm with you on every point. If he could do it himself it might be different, but he has to deal with so many people with different views and ideologies...pretty frustrating at this point......

ZIRGAR June 25, 2009 at 10:33 PM  

Amen. We voted for change, which means we voted for Obama and for Democratic ideals, and all the other side wants to do is stop any of that change, so while Obama has a hand in what happens, his fellow Democrats need to grow some balls and fucking start kicking some ass on the Hill and get some shit done or else. Fuck bipartisanship, and by that I specifically mean FUCK THE REPUBLICANS, if it means some much needed and corrective changes aren't going to happen due to kissing their ass out of some misguided sense of noblesse oblige on the part of the Democrats toward those god damned obstructionist fuckholes. If we the people really cared what the fuck those neocon fascist assholes thought about anything they'd be running things in DC now, not the Dems. It's time for a scorched earth political policy while it can still be done. Makes friends later after things have cooled down.

LeftLeaningLady June 25, 2009 at 11:02 PM  

I am with you 100% on every point, except for #7. I am all for ending bigotry against ALL people but it never occurred to me that Obama could bring peace to the middle east. All have tried and all have failed. I would like it if he tried, but only after the other #s are taken care of.

We all have crises of faith and that seems to be what you are having. You voted for things that have not yet happened, so did I. But what else could we have done? We, who believe in equality, in America, in fairness? Vote for McCain/Palin?

You took the only choice you had and you work on this blog to help others less fortunate than you. Give yourself a break and remember that President Obama has 3 1/2 more years to correct the wrongs that we have been dealt.

LeftLeaningLady June 25, 2009 at 11:03 PM  

Plus, you are making me feel guilty about my obssession with dead people. :-)

Cosa Nostradamus June 25, 2009 at 11:24 PM  

I think that our Lords & Masters are still living, mentally, in an era when Washington DC was a long train-ride or two, or an even longer horse-ride away from their constituents. Back when the Senators were picked by the State Legislatures, and the House was picked by local pol's. They lived in a time-warp, an insulated bubble, safe from any contact with actual voters.

All they had to do was act busy and raise money for the next campaign. They could kill two birds with one stone by accepting legislative bills already written by the industries concerned, and a stack of dollar bills in payment for getting those other bills enacted into law. A closed system, in other words: The permanent government, with politicians and lobbyists who hear and see no one except each other, between elections.

What they haven't adapted to is 24/7/52 news, augmented by bloggers, and a resultingly better-informed public who are all wired together by cell phones, text messages, emails and tweets everywhere they go, all the time. Technologically, it is now possible for us all to participate in every decision, like some giant Athenian Assembly, Roman Forum or New England town meeting. But the politicians and their paymasters have not adapted to the new reality.

The Republicans are getting a taste of it, since last November. Spin hard as they can, they can't keep up with unfiltered reality leaking from all the seams in DC. All of us peasants know what's going on now. Even many self-identified conservatives are coming out in favor of "liberal" causes like universal single-payer national healthcare, and repeal of DADT. But Mr. Change himself can't seem to recognize this new reality.

I think it's up to all of us to just keep driving this home to them: They work for us. We elected them to do certain jobs. We want them done, now. If they are not done, we will hire somebody else in 2010 & 2012. Period.

Let them try to catch up to that. They have less than 18 months.

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