Wednesday, September 29, 2010

From the Otherside of the Looking Glass

My father’s favorite song was the old Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler’s "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea." He was particularly fond of Sinatra’s version. I never could stand Sinatra. He always reminded me of a penis rolling down the street on a wave of testosterone without a body. Still in all, the lyric to the first stanza pretty much sums up how I feel about the Democrats these days:

I don't want you
But I hate to lose you
You've got me in between
The devil and the deep blue sea.

The lyrics to the chorus of one of Joe Egan and Gerry Rafferty’s songs are perhaps more timely and succinct:

Clowns to left of me, jokers to the right
Here am I stuck in the middle with you.

Over the last twenty odd months this country has slipped behind the looking glass. Right wing extremists have become respectable and capable of taking over the Republican Party. Liberals have become objects of ridicule, disdain and condemnation by the Democratic Party. The intensity of confusion within the Party leadership is superseded only by the befuddled notion that the Liberal Left can be brow beaten into compliance the way the far Right has brow beaten the Republican Party.

The leadership’s bewilderment stems from the idea that the Left is angry at and withholding its support for 2010 because of what President Obama didn’t do. I believe that the Left is angry about HOW he didn’t do it.

He courted bipartisanship for months with people who had stated their determination to see him fail, indeed who stirred up every vile element in this society against him, at the expense of his legislative agenda. He kicked the Public Option to the curb because a handful of so-called Democratic Senators in districts with a total population smaller than Brooklyn, New York, insisted upon it - even though 61% of the American people supported it. The myopic media won’t tell us this but that is a goodly number of the people who don’t support the Health Care Bill now. He let the Republicans carry the message from the summer of 2009 until recently, while he and his underlings mouthed platitudes like, "Don’t let the perfect become the enemy of the good." Goddess, if I ever hear that again I will kick the TV screen in. The Democratic agenda regarding Gitmo and the war in Afghanistan have simply slipped into the fierce whirlwind that has become our body politic.

This whole muddle reminds me once again of my father. He had the most astounding ideas which he insisted upon – "hot water freezes faster than cold." "Take one pound of pasta, break it in half and you have two pounds of pasta." "Power makes people hurt themselves." One out of three ain’t bad.

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