Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hi, I'm Collateral Damage!

I had a half-hour to waste last night, so I decided to watch the dueling speeches from President Obama and House Speaker Boehner outlining their respective positions on continuing the destruction of the nation's economy and reputation.

I believe Mr Obama won on points, but neither man gave me much hope for a satisfactory outcome of the current standoff.

Mr Obama's address was presidential in tone and hit all his talking points. He laid out the history of how we got to the problem we face today, acknowledged the blame of both sides, called for shared sacrifice, mentioned "corporate jet owners and oil companies," and lamented the fact that we live in a time when compromise has become a dirty word. He warned that "We can't allow Americans to become collateral damage to Washington's political warfare." I also liked his lines about "the same partisan three-ring circus here in Washington," and his contention that Americans had voted for "divided, not dysfunctional government."

Mr Boehner also hit all the standard Republican talking points. He referred to taxes as "job-killing," blamed "Washington" for the nation's ills, rather than accepting any specifically Republican shared responsibility, chanted the Republican mantra - "That is just not going to happen," and blamed the President's failure to accept Republican terms for the problem.

Here's one look at where the debt problem as come from ... it's a chart from The Atlantic Monthly, based on data from the Congressional Budget Office and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:

You may also want to read this interesting editorial from The New York Times: How the Deficit Got This Big.

Yes, Dear Readers, you and I have become collateral damage in the childish and irresponsible standoff between our political parties. But take heart! You may lose your job, your health care, and your standard of living, but if you just wait long enough, the effects of tax breaks enjoyed by corporations and the wealthy will eventually trickle down and make things rosy for you.

Less than a week to go before the government default deadline. The damage to our national reputation has already been done. The complete moral and intellectual bankruptcy of our political parties is on display under bright lights. It's government by sound bite instead of sound logic.

That's all I have to say for the moment. I have to get ready to go to work. At least, unlike so many Americans, I still have a job, at least for the next year - I was notified yesterday that my position was not one of the ones cut in the most recent round of reductions to my contract.

We may be regrettable collateral damage to ass clowns like Grover Norquist and our elected reprehensives, but we're Americans who have a right to expect good government. Too bad we're not getting it, and aren't likely to get it any time soon.

To paraphrase a grouchy old Lieutenant Colonel I knew years ago, the only difference between this circus and the Ringling Brothers' circus is that in the Ringling Brothers' circus, all the clowns are smiling.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



Anonymous said...

"It's government by sound bite instead of sound logic."

"...but we're Americans who have a right to expect good government. Too bad we're not getting it, and aren't likely to get it any time soon."

Looking backwards, should we not ask if Americans have ever had good government? I think this country has drifted so far away from what the Framers of the Constitution had in mind that the "two governments" are no longer the same.

We won't get better government until we get a public who are better educated, and given the ass clowns I see around me at my university, that isn't likely to happen in my lifetime. The electorate will continue to re-elect the same group of criminals. The faces may change over time, but to paraphrase Mark Twain, the Congress will continue to be the Nation's only native criminal class.
The most amazing thing is that the Christians and the Republicans have sort of crawled into bed together. Now I've read The Bible, and I cannot believe that Jeshua-ben-Miriam would never have owned a handgun nor voted Republican.

Let's all grab our pitchforks and march on Washington, rake out the sewer the Capitol has become, put term limits in place, and get moving again.


Time to put on my hardhat and go test dirt. And I don't mean I'll be reading The Congressional Record.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

I want to pack up and move to Canada or England...I bet even the Queen wouldn't take us back now.

Chrissy said...

I was hoping you would blog about the speech from last night. I like your summary/thoughts on these speeches. I have to admit...I started to watch...then got all worked up and just turned the channel. Sad. Very sad.

Mike said...

Going back to the PBS series on John Adams you find out that the goverment started off with everyone arguing with each other and have never stopped.

Duckbutt said...

They're all asshats. At least we don't have a divine right monarch based on heredity.