Electoral Upset Or Economic Suicide

COUNTDOWN….We’re two weeks and two days from one of two things: We’re about to observe the biggest electoral upset since 1948 (“DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN”) or we’re about to commit economic suicide. Take your pick.

Ya wanna believe. Ya gotta believe!

All year long I’ve been telling anyone who was willing to listen to my tirades that the so-called Tea Party was going to explode in the face of the Republican party like a hand grenade lobbed into your dining room by your friendly, next-door neighbor. Surely, I thought, the moderate voters will take one good look at the reactionary mess that is the present-day GOP and they’ll flock to vote for the Democrats out of sheer terror. In only one region of the country, however, does this phenomenon appear to be playing out. The bat shit extremism of Carl Paladino in New York and Christine O’Donnell in Delaware have rendered their candidacies dead in the water. There’s a damned good reason why I live in the northeast, folks.

But in the rest of the country, the “real” America, the Tea Party candidates seem to have their respective elections locked up. I haven’t given up hope. As the great and deceptively wise Yogi Berra once philosophized, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” Sage wisdom indeed. We still have sixteen days and – as the old adage tells us – that’s a lifetime in politics, baby! We also have a fact on our side that by now is a part of the natural order of things:

The sun will rise in the east
The moon will set in the west
The right wing will behave like jerks

It really is as simple as that. The cockeyed optimist inside of me assures me that between now and then they will have gone so far over the top, the voters will flee like frightened children to the left – just like they did when they sent Franklin D. Roosevelt to the White House in 1932. But there is that nasty side of my personality that sees things as they really are – not as I would like them to be. My inner realist is telling me,

“What the hell is the matter with you, Degan??? Are you so naive that you would even entertain the silly notion that a country which twice – HAPPILY! – elected a moronic yahoo like George W. Bush is going to fare any better during this election cycle? Get a freakin’ grip, Buster!”

Alas, this is probably the reality of the situation – a reality so unsettling that I am having a difficult time coming to grips with it. Only a mass, intellectual earthquake between now and Election Day will cause the American people to wake up to the harsh truth. Much of the blame for what is about to happen to this once-great nation may be properly laid at the front door of the Democratic party. As Theodore Roosevelt once declared in a slightly different context, they have “all the backbone of a chocolate eclair!” Indeed. This is no longer the party of TR’s distant cousin Franklin. It’s not even close. The fact that Harry Reid is neck and neck with a half-witted buffoon like Sharon Angle is instructive on so many levels – all of them too depressing to even contemplate.

It’s Mourning in America
I guess this is as good a time as any to do the old Get Out The Vote pitch, huh? As I stated a couple of weeks ago (“The Base’s Hissy Fit”, 29 September) staying home and sulking on the second of November is not the smart thing to do. Yes, I know! The Obama administration has not necessarily been a progressive’s dream boat. They have been timid and tepid in too many areas where bold and decisive action was required. Since the day after he was inaugurated I’ve been saying that his biggest mistake was in thinking he could work with the extremist clowns who have hijacked the Republican party. He can’t. By this stage in the game this fact must be abundantly clear to him. He should stop the facade of trying to make nice with these people and steamroll the hideous bastards if he has to – while he still has a majority. As someone once said, “Politics ain’t bean bag” – whatever the hell that means.

It’s a given that the nastiest midterm campaign in living memory is only going to get nastier in the two weeks left to it. The grim choice before us is the choice between two political parties – one thoroughly corrupted; the other the picture of incompetence and timidity. I realize that our options aren’t many. I would only ask you to think of it as choosing between brain cancer and athlete’s foot. While the latter may be annoying at best – and curable – the former is a literal death sentence. How’s that for an analogy?

tom deganAnd you tell me over and over again
You don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction
–Barry McGuire

So sit back and try to enjoy the ride as America spirals into the abyss. What other choice do we have than make the best of a tragic situation? The United States of America is screwed. It’s best days are behind it. And the American people are too stupid to even vaguely comprehend the gravity of their situation. Whaddaya say we take these lemons and make us some lemonade?

Tom Degan


  1. Clara says

    You speak for a lot of people, couldn’t agree with you more on the healthcare bill…yes, the ones who profit and continue to profit are the healthcare insurance companies…BUT, the right-wing and Tea Party-ers scream “socialist!” whenever the Dems try to do anything too directly…and people still have a wild-eyed fear of that word…sigh. Whatever happened to the idea …of the people, for the people, and by the people…?? And, yes, the middle class is forced into supporting the top and the bottom economic sector. Again, if the government tries to do anything that involves direct help, it’s “socialism and communism- AAAHH, RUN!!”” all over again. I am preaching to the choir on this, I’m sure, but we have to really get a realistic view of how other countries tax and run health programs all over the world, we are in this horrible bubble that keeps us afraid and angry…not to mention ignorant of what could be!

  2. Annette says

    It’s not just that Obama isn’t progressive enough, the issue is that many Democrats think he’s completely betrayed us. While the right wing screams about socialized healthcare, moderate Democrats are realizing that we’d be better off with socialism, rather than the wealth redistribution scheme ObamaCare pushes on us. Obama and the Democrats who gave us this healthcare boondoggle are making the middle class pay not just for the poor, but for the rich to get richer off the poor. Instead of Universal Health Care, we got Universal Health INSURANCE. Working and middle class Americans now have to pay at least 30% more than what it would have cost to “help the poor” because we have to pay for their insurance instead of for their actual health care. Thanks to Obama, it’s wealth redistribution from the middle class to the rich, just as Bush I and II did, albeit with a different vehicle.

    The same pattern of cheating the middle class happened with the bank bailouts. Instead of helping American homeowners with underwater houses and mortgages that need loan modifications, the federal government decided to bail out Wall Street instead of Main Street.

    The government could have simply bought distressed mortgages and rescued the real estate market like it did with the HOLC program during the Great Depression. Instead, the feds worsened the situation by handing billions to the banks so they could afford to foreclose on American homeowners. In fact, the bailouts even encourage the banks to foreclose. The greater the financial loss a bank shows on it’s balance sheet, the more money they can get from the feds. Why would banks give loan modifications and show less of a loss when the federal government is paying them to foreclose and declare a greater loss? Thanks to Obama and our Democrats in Congress, more Americans are losing their greatest single investment: their home. Sure, Obama didn’t cause the economic crisis, Bush did. But Obama made it worse, and for Democrats who voted for him, the sting of betrayer is keen.

    It’s not just the betrayal of the middle class and wealth redistribution to the super rich. It’s the process that’s being used to cheat us. Mr. “Transparent Government” Obama and our illustrious Democrats in Congress snuck the Heath Care and the Bailout calamities through Congress with shockingly little time to read and analyze the bills. Candidate Obama assured us the public would have a minimum of five days to review any bill before Congress voted on it; President Obama and the Dem Party gave us five hours to try to read these enormous bills before rushing them through. It’s not like they were written last minute. They took months to write and were likely written by the recipient industries before Obama was even elected. But they were kept secret until just before Congress voted on them, probably because if the public knew it was being screwed, we would have staged protests and demanded they make changes that benefit those of us who have to pay for the mess they’ve created. Why would our Democrats have to sneak through bills unless they were intending to cheat us and didn’t want us to have any say about them until it was too late to stop them. After the bills were rushed through Congress, we realized that we’d been taken for a ride, ripped off by the man we HOPED would give us Change We Can Believe In.

    That’s why Democrats who voted for Obama don’t want to vote for Democrats this year. Because we’ve realized that we got duped in the same way George Bush’s followers got duped by the Republicans. Both sides steal from the middle class to give to the rich. The only difference between the Democratic thefts and the Republican thefts is that Bush filled the coffers of war profiteers and oil barons, while our great President Obama is siphoning off our middle class wealth to give to the banks and insurance companies, and, oh yeah, to war profiteers as well.

    If Obama wants to be more than a one term wonder, then he’d better do something to save the middle class. Because from the looks of his work so far, he’s much more interested in creating massive wealth redistribution from the middle class to the rich, and forcing most of the middle class into poverty while the super rich become rich beyond their wildest dreams. Obama is helping created the kind of class system you see in Mexico, India and other nations that have very few super rich “Masters of the Universe” riding on the backs of the millions of poor people desperately trying to survive while working for a pittance. There are estimates that over 20% of our adult population is currently not working, which means if unemployment is at 9%, then there’s another 11% who don’t even have unemployment as a resource. Our middle class is being systematically destroyed, and Obama’s work is a key component of that destruction. Vote for Democrats again this fall? It won’t just be the Dem base that sits out the vote. It’ll also be the long term Democrats who had faith in our Party and who really did expect Obama to deliver Change We Can Believe In. Those are the ones Obama has driven away.

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