Monday, August 1, 2011
Children, Crazies and Cowards
Today while various members of Congress go scurrying about like rabid squirrels trying to whip up votes for the debt ceiling compromise, I am more than a little apprehensive about what these weird brothers and sisters are about to do to this country.
A trillion or more dollars in cuts, with more to come, is not the prescription that economists of any political bent recommend for a struggling economy. In 1937 President Roosevelt was advised to make spending cuts as America recovered from the Great Depression. In mid-1937 the economy declined sharply. During a thirteen month period through much of 1938 the unemployment rate jumped from 14.3% to 19.0%. Today in addition to these penny-pinching cuts, there is no revenue engendering mechanism either in terms of tax reform or job creation to help reduce the deficit – if that is what they are really trying to achieve.
Between the infantile and moronic mantra of the Right, cut spending/no new taxes, and the impotent, faint hearted and posturing leadership of the Left, the majesty of Liberal values is sliding down the toilet. These are values such as: a belief in social and economic justice; a belief in the social safety net; a belief that all people have a right to a living wage, a home, food, health care and education.
I realize that Liberals are out of fashion - so out of fashion in fact that many of us hide behind the alias, Progressive which I don't use myself. Out of fashion or no, we still have a right to our cherished philosophy and a right to expect a president who ran on that philosophy to respect, if not cherish, it as well.
In my estimation, President Obama is not a Liberal, not a Democrat. He is, as Ezra Klein said, a moderate Republican. He has been telling the Left to sit down and shut the fuck up for three years. All the while moving farther and farther Right. As if snuggling up to John Boehner would make the 86 clinically insane tea baggers in the Republican House like him. Call me out of fashion, out of date, out of touch. Call me stupid – nobody has ever dared but hey, give it a shot – the excuses for this president are wearing thin. The idea that anyone who is losing or has lost faith in him is somehow betraying a Liberalism he does not appear to share is worn-out. People keep saying that we will have a Republican president if he doesn’t win. We have a Republican president now. It is just a matter of degree.