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Don’t Look Back

1 March 2009

Yesterday at a Saturday morning men’s group I attend, a conservative member of the group a year younger than myself began to wax poetically about how nice it would be to return to the simplicity of the time of our youth.  I always wonder about the thoughtfulness of those who go there.  Either they grew up in a much more wealthy family than mine, or they just don’t remember what it was really like in the 1950s and 1960s.  I guess what’s really going on is that for a child, life is always more simple than for the adults in any age.

nostalgia

I reminded him of a few realities: wringer washing machines, no dishwashers, no air conditioning and smaller, simpler homes than any of us seem willing to live in these days.  When relating the conversation to Mrs. Jack, she reminded me of the sweltering days experienced by those of us in The South before air conditioning.  It also brought to mind, for me, that my immediate family–my parents and my brothers and I–were the only ones in the family with indoor plumbing for much of my childhood.  My memories of outhouses at relatives’ homes do not exactly conjure up memories of “Happy Days” for me.

Last November, knowing exactly what Barack Obama intended to do if elected, the MAJORITY of the American voters put their trust in his vision and rejected that of the Republicans under the leadership of John McCain.

So at the end of the political week we had the C-PAC pack gather in Washington to mourn the good old days when Republicans ran everything.  For most of us, it seems like only yesterday, but listening to the likes of Rove and Limbaugh, you would think it was some faraway golden age barely to be remembered.  They vowed to “take our country back.”  Poor guys, I know it’s been a very tough five-and-a half weeks for them.  WEEKS! The doom-and-gloom crowd practically wept into their microphones over the harm already perpetrated on the nation by the evil Barack Obama.  Then accused the said evil Obama of utilizing fear as a tactic to push his socialist/communist agenda on an unsuspecting American populace.  Very scary! These folks need to get a grip.

The greatest lament from the right seems to be the very notion that the President plans to let the “Let’s-help-the-struggling-rich tax cuts” of the Bush Administration expire at the end of next year.  According to the darlings of the extreme right, such a move will wreck the economy by denying these pillars of the Republic the opportunity to spend lavish amounts of money which will “trickle down” to the undeserving poor and middle class.

louboutin-christian-03 Come on.  BE REAL! If that upper five percent (5%) of the population, along with big businesses, had actually passed along their tax savings to their fellow Americans in the first place, we wouldn’t be in the big mess we’re in today.  Instead the beleaguered upper five percent bought bigger mansions, more jewelry, more yachts, more foreign luxury automobiles, and don’t forget French and Italian designer clothing and shoes to adorn their godlike selves.  Please see my post:  “HOW AM I GOING TO AFFORD NEW SHOES IF OBAMA IS ELECTED?”

And don’t forget that the corporations they ran used a Bush Administration tax break to ship as many jobs as possible overseas – or over rivers in the case of Mexico.  Then, to add insult to injury, the wizards of capitalism cleared out the banks and investment firms taking mega-bonuses, also enjoyed at the low-tax rates gifted to them by Republican George W. Bush & Company.  I can hardly wait until they are in charge again!  It will be sooooooooo much better than the horrible last five-and-a-half weeks.

Cong. Eric Cantor (R-VA)

Cong. Cantor (R-VA)

So today we were treated by This Week with George Stephanopoulos to the fake-smiling face of Representative Eric Cantor (R-VA), who declared that he was more than interested in working with President Obama on a bipartisan basis.  When questioned on his lack of doing so thus far, he launched into this pitiful story about how he had “offered” the President his idea of what to do, but it didn’t make it into the budget that the evil Nancy Pelosi wrote.  “Oh, my, how can I be bipartisan when those evil Democrats won’t listen to a word I say?”

But Stephanopoulos was prepared.  “President Obama pointed out that several of the ideas you submitted were put into the budget,” he pointed out.  Cantor didn’t have much to say to that one, leaving the listener to feel that the only way Mr. Cantor and the Republicans in Congress are willing to be bipartisan is if they are allowed to have complete control over the government like in the good old days.

As if that weren’t enough drivel coming from the sour-grape wing of the Republican Party, Karl Rove joined the roundtable discussion that followed.  “Revisionist Rove” is the title I bestowed upon him after this morning’s performance.  He proceeded to lecture Katrina van den Heuvel, Stan Greenberg, and all of us stupid Americans saying that the people of the US were not told by candidate Obama that he was going to raise the taxes on the top five percent of wage earners and big business.  Greenberg set the record straight by pointing out that none other than Joe the Plumber himself let the voters know every day that Obama was going to do that.  But let’s be real for a minute.  Barack Obama made that clear in every stump speech, not to mention in his celebrity-launching impromptu conversation with Joe the Plumber.  Let’s face it, The Old Spin Doctor is IN.

Karl Rove

Karl Rove

As the media continues to stir the boiling cauldron that is the budget process of our government under Republican and Democratic presidents, a lot of trash talk is going on about the size of the outlays, the national debt, and of course the new buzzword of evildoing, “earmarks.”  While the Republicans rush to find Jesus in penitent fiscal conservatism, they wish to paint a picture of a political party that has long stood for and worked hard to establish and maintain a small, inexpensive government that even Libertarians would be proud of.  They proclaim that “The Age of Big Government has returned.”

My question is: when did it ever leave?  All of my 60 years of life, the US has been a big-government government.  The difference was never in the actual size of government; it just shifted and changed between a big military-spending government under Republicans to a big social-spending government under Democrats.  The thrust of government my whole life has either been warfare or assisting the citizens in keeping their heads above water.  I, for one, refuse to apologize for the latter.  I’m a veteran, so don’t give me a bunch of  bullshit on my support for the military:  been there, done that, have the T-shirt!

As for earmarks, what a tempest in a teapot John McCain stirred up in the last presidential campaign.  I know that President Obama has taken a stand against them as well, but I’m going to speak out for them because they often make sense.  Of course, sometimes they make no sense at all and can seem to go to frivolous causes, but let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water.

Got water?

Got water?

Earmarks – a term that is somewhat ambiguous to most of us – are simply a method by which your elected representative to Washington makes sure that your city, area or state, get their fair share of the Federal pie for needed projects in your area.  It may be a public transportation system.  It may be a water treatment plant to replace the one that doesn’t deliver safe drinking water to your tap.  It may be a hydro-electric dam to keep the lights burning in your house.  I am as interested in responsibility in government as the next person, so there should be a thorough search made of proposed earmarks to root out those that don’t add something meaningful to the lives and/or livelihoods of the people.

But unfortunately, in typical fashion, the Republicans have demonized something by spitting it from their lips like a watermelon seed at every opportunity.  And, of course, they don’t want to give the Democrats in Congress any credit for cutting the number of earmarks in half over what the Republicans themselves put through when in charge of Congress.  Can you say, “Bridge to nowhere”?

Spin!  Spin!  Spin!  Rapunzel herself was unable to spin so much straw into gold.  Our job as voting citizens in a democracy is to cut through the spin that we are inundated with every single day and get to the truth that lies at the bottom.  Today’s truth is simple.  After spending this nation into a hole both governmentally and economically, Republicans lack the credibility necessary to be believed.  Their stubborn adherence to a governmental model that proved to be unworkable and unproductive only adds to their credibility problem.

bush-sucks-life-out-of-america

Conservative/ Republican agenda?

Last November, knowing exactly what Barack Obama intended to do if elected, the MAJORITY of the American voters put their trust in his vision and rejected that of the Republicans under the leadership of John McCain. We voted for a Federal healthcare plan, for a tax break for the lowest 95% of us meaning a return to former levels for the upper five percent, FOR an end to the war in Iraq, and for a program to ease the unemployment caused by the outsourcing policies supported by the Republicans.

WE voted against more tax breaks for the rich, against the idea that 43-plus million Americans without access to healthcare was okay, and against tax breaks for American corporations to outsource our jobs to cheap labor markets overseas.  In other words, we voted against and rejected the conservative/Republican agenda that for eight years had drained the lifeblood out of our people.  So let Limbaugh, Rove, Cantor, Jindal, et al, yak it up.  The American people are not buying it.  Opinion poll after opinion poll shows that the American people support and trust Barack Obama’s plans for the future by a greater margin than his election victory.

All the Republicans are talking about these days is a return to the good old days – their good old days.  The rest of us are moving on toward the future.  See ya!

KEEP FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. 1 March 2009 7:37 pm

    Great Blog post. I am going to bookmark and read more often. I love the Blog template if you need any assistance customizing it let me know!

  2. 1 March 2009 8:26 pm

    Jack,

    I give you points for staying cool calm and collected. My brain matter has already exploded all over my keyboard and monitor. I have declared WAR on Flush Limbo & Co. These inexcusable hacks must be thwarted at every turn.

    Let’s keep fighting the fight…

  3. Catherine permalink
    1 March 2009 8:43 pm

    What an awesome post. Really good Jack.

    On another topic, do you have an email on your blog that i could use or could you email me. Willpen thought you wouldn’t mind. I wanted to ask you a question. Please email me if you don’t mind.

  4. morelightthanheat permalink
    1 March 2009 10:57 pm

    Ah, yes, the good old days. There’s a person in my family who glorifies the 18th century as the good old days — a conservative among conservatives. I’ve reminded this person of such things as ease of travel, easy access to information, technology, medical advances that have extended life expectancy and reduced infant mortality, etc., etc., etc. As for me, while I think we’re losing sight of the sense of community in many ways, the isolation and sheer workload that life two centuries or more ago represent holds no romanticized lure for me. Please don’t ask me to give up my ability to travel or the conveniences that give me time for pleasurable pursuits.

  5. Mike permalink
    2 March 2009 2:37 pm

    Just passing by.Btw, you website have great content!

    ______________________________
    Don’t pay for your electricity any longer…
    Instead, the power company will pay YOU!

  6. 3 March 2009 8:20 am

    I agree, however, I have done some research and found the Top Ten Earmarks for Progressive Liberal Lefties. Check it:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/warren-holstein/top-ten-earmarks-for-prog_b_170829.html

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