Wednesday, November 7, 2012
*Ahem!* Liberals, We Suck!
Okay, my fellow centrists, left-of-center centrists, progressives and liberals, the time for gloating and celebrating the victory is over. We suck.
Yes, we do. We got lucky, nothing more. We dodged a bullet, but only because our assailant can't aim.
We let the Tea Party form up and rally, unchallenged. Maybe we were too busy mimicking ostriches with our heads buried in the sands of disbelief, but we should have spanked those spoiled crybabies the moment they started wailing over their lost candy. But, apparently, we don't believe in spanking.
We failed to rally behind a second stimulus after the health care reform law passed. Maybe we thought (as I did) that the new reforms would act as a new stimulus. The truth is, in some areas of the economy, it did, but not universally. A second stimulus was needed, and we flubbed it.
We forgot about Gitmo. We could have created hundreds of jobs in Missouri and Oklahoma by bringing detainees to the U.S., revitalizing unused prisons, and showing the world that even suspected terrorists (let me emphasize that: suspected terrorists!) are innocent until proven guilty. But no, we had to insist that the same death penalty we handed out to Timothy McVeigh wasn't good enough for towel-heads. We would rather fuck the due process of law. We would rather not have to face the potential embarrassment of having punished the few innocents whom we thew in among the guilty herd.
In the short time our representatives actually held a super-majority, after Al Franken was finally sworn in and before Ted Kennedy died six weeks later, we got a bunch of things done. But outside of that, we let super-minority Republicans kick us around for nearly two solid years! All they had to do was whisper the word, "filibuster" and everyone in the Senate would dive for cover like mice hearing a hooting owl! We should have stood up to them! We should have let them filibuster, and fail! We could have strong-armed at least a few Republicans in the House to act cooperatively afterward, but we let them act like brats instead. All we needed was a little bit of a spine to get anything done, anything at all, but between 59 Senators and 255 Congressmen, they hadn't a single vertebrae. And us? Their constituents? We let them act less like legislators and more like inattentive babysitters! Oh, yes, they were jellyfish, but we were asleep at the wheel!
Our president was, and is, a man of high nobility, a bridge-builder rather than a warrior, a tactician rather than a combatant. He wanted to unite a divided playing field rather than deal with the reality of an irreconcilably partisan one. Nothing wrong with that. He values his integrity - a quality most men don't have if they even want to be president in the first place. But that's why those under him had to accept two-party reality. Had Nanci Pelosi been more willing to twist arms, or Harry Reid more willing to stand up to bullies... but no. Everybody had to be so congenial towards the unforgivably vicious.
We caved on letting tax cuts for the upper 2% expire. Of all the budget-saving, deficit-cutting, economy-rescuing things we missed out on, this one was the biggest. It's a drop in the bucket for the wealthy, it never effected "small business" (as defined as your local mom & pop shop), but we let it slip away. We let the sandwich get snatched away from the starving man!
And then, the biggest mistake of all. We let the midterm elections of 2010 slide on by, never going to the polls, never getting up off our asses, thus throwing away our hard-won majority in Congress to a highly pissed-off minority of Tea-Party assholes, convinced that they should protect the rich in the vain hope that they'll get there someday, determined to scorch the earth rather than let their last chance at overturning Roe v. Wade slip away.
Just like that, the four years we had to rebuild was cut down to two. And it was our own, goddamned fault!
If that weren't bad enough, for two solid years the Republicans made their highest priority the destruction of our economy so that Obama could be defeated. And no one called them out on it! (Except, perhaps, Bill Maher and myself.) Not while it was happening, and not during the 2012 presidential election campaign! What the fuck!
Fortunately, the Tea Party and conservative talk radio was its own worst enemy. We lucked out.
Romney was perfectly designed to fail. The darling of the conservative media, he was the originator of the very same healthcare reform at the state level, a one-victory politician who flubbed the tough questions, and a member of the very same vulture capitalism that everyone demonized after the collapse of 2008. But he'd already locked in the big donors. By the time Republicans realized their mistake, the nomination process had already gotten to states which allowed Democrats to cross over their vote to prevent Rick Santorum from winning. They were stuck with the worst possible candidate.
Then, we lucked out in the other candidates. Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, Linda McMahon, Tom Smith, John Koster... again and again they stuck their feet right into their mouths with inane comments about women and rape, denial of contraception, or outright abortion. How many times do politicians have to get spanked on this issue?
We lucked out with Bill Clinton. Who knows where this nation would be if he hadn't stepped up to the microphone and reminded us that the Democrats have the right economic idea after all?
We lucked out with having someone on the inside willing to put his (or her) ass on the line by videotaping Mitt at one of his high-priced fundraisers, where he let his guard down and let people know what he really thought of the American electorate. That was beyond merely lucky!
And finally, we lucked out when FEMA became a central campaign issue. No, I'm not going to take the absurd position that Hurricane Sandy was a good thing. Nor am I going to say that the storm somehow won Obama the election. Obama was leading polls in swing states before Sandy, and he was leading them in swing states after Sandy. The hurricane was not the factor. No, the real factor was the fact that Mitt just had to open up his big, fat mouth and advocate the cutting of funding to FEMA. All the hurricane did was highlight that fact. Had Mitt not shot off his mouth that way, the storm would have had little or no impact one way or the other. Oh, it reminded us about global warming, but most on the East Coast already accept that. (It's primarily the Midwest jet-stream states that harbor the climate-change deniers.) So the perfect storm was not Hurricane Sandy, it was Hurricane Romney.
I'm like that assistant coach who, after the big championship victory, sits down with the team, goes over the video, and points out how the game really should have been lost. Yeah, you guys will sit on the bench and smirk at my doom-and-gloom attitude about how the victory was achieved, knowing that the trophy still sits on the shelf for all time. But I'm serious, damn it! We should have lost this one! And while it's good the other side was too crazy to win this time, we simply cannot count on the other side's incompetence to safeguard our nation for tomorrow! Sooner or later, they'll wise up, and use tactics that actually work!
Let's bring our "A-game" next time!