Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Emperor's New Clothes: Republicans Bring Down the Government with Sequester

They are still trying to sell cut-to-grow snake oil; cut spending and cut taxes , and the economy will grow because rich people will be happy and when rich people are happy they hire poor people, and then everyone's happy. 

This is the vacuous talk of politicians trying to placate people with vacation homes, not a sensible solution for people trying to purchase, or simply retain, their first homes.

--Charles M. Blow,  The New York Times Saturday, March 2, 2013.

Mr. Blow looks at the truth and sees it and says it, but people in Kentucky and South Carolina and Arizona and Texas and even California and Pennsylvania can look at the same truth and not see it.

Those willfully blind people elected the Tea Party Republicans in 2010 and returned enough of them in 2012 so these government-is-the-problem-not-the-solution types still have a strangle hold on government.

Our bewigged silk stocking'd sometimes slave owning or slave trading forefathers distrusted government enough to build into ours enough levers to pull to bring this train to a halt whenever a bare minimum of dissenters become unhappy.

Trouble is, in the case of the sequester, even Mad Dog cannot actually see exactly which programs and  which people are getting the rug pulled out from under them. So far, the media has reported on the examples which the media presumes are the most moving and tear jerking, and Mad Dog has to admit,, actually, much as Mad Dog might love extra teaching aides in elementary schools, this does not sound like a critical loss of essential government workers. Mad Dog loves the National Parks, but if they close down, it's not like the power going off in dowtown Manchester and Portsmouth.

The problem for President Obama is the Republicans have said, "Okay, screw you, screw the government, we're going home," and for Mad Dog and his neighbors, life here in New Hampshire hasn't changed. 

Mad Dog's father traveled to Spain when the vicious dictator, Franco, was still in power.  People were sitting around cafes, enjoying the sun, the beaches, looking happy, which disturbed Mad Dog's father because here were people who were under the yoke of tyranny, still enjoying life. Nobody looked depressed, despite an oppressive government. It was as if it didn't matter the scoundrels were in charge. Government did not seem to affect people, at least not visibly, to a tourist.

Here and now, we have government being brought to a grinding halt and life goes on. It is as if the Tea Party anarchists have proven their point: We really don't need government, after all.

Of course, there is another metaphor.  How many times have you had a friend or relative, who was walking around, looking quite healthy, only to keel over dead, or collapse and be dragged off to the hospital and found to be riddled with cancer, beyond hope?

Another image might be more vivid:  You can jump off a cliff and spread your arms and enjoy the sense of flying freely through the air, and feel just fine, exhilarated even,  until you hit the ground.

That's what President Obama is warning us about--we are not going to get acute chest pain, start choking today, but the harm is being done, inside, the unforgiving hard ground is still there, awaiting us. 

It's just a matter of time.

But, as the three stooges might echo that great philosopher: What, me worry?


  1. Oh c'mon Mad Dog -when I look at at the Emperor I see a dude in full regalia-and when I I look at the "haves" I see a group of benevolent benefactors just chomping at the bit to release their bounty of riches on the "have nots" if only those pesky Democrats would just get out of their way. The rich want to make the poor happy, they just need to, as Charles Blow might say, get a little happier first. Makes sense to me. "Forget your troubles and just get happy-you better chase all your cares away..."
    Jeez Mad Dog where's your vision....

  2. Maud,

    I am, I hope, at least educable. Justice Scalia, has, for example, taught me there is no more racism, and no more local bosses who are determined to throw up barriers to voting in front of those who make little money, or are old, or are union members or workingmen who have to work on Tuesday election days.
    So, I am learning from you and the good Justice how the world works.

    Mad Dog

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