If you’ve read my work with any degree of regularity, it’s no state secret that I’ve been fairly hard on the Democrats in the last few years – and with damned good reason, Jack! Let’s be honest; they are light years – and beyond – from being the party of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. But for all of their many faults, I think most of them mean well. (and by “most” I mean a bare majority). They’re impotent cowards – befuddled and pathetic. But let’s give the silly bastards credit where credit is due: At least their hearts are in the right place. And once in a blue moon they are able to overcome their innate incompetence and deliver to the American people some tangible and meaningful legislation. That appears to be what might happen in the next couple of days. They seem to be on the cusp of delivering financial reform legislation. All they need to do is bring over two Republican senators to their side and it’s a done deal. Which brings me to the “party of Abraham Lincoln”.
The Republicans are no longer a political party. What we have here is an organized criminal organization. At this moment they (along with one thoroughly corrupt Democrat – Ben Nelson) are in the process of preventing a debate on the senate floor regarding pending legislation that would regulate (or re-regulate) the financial industry. When Wall Street was deregulated during the reigns of Reagan, Clinton and the two Georges, cooler heads stood up and tried to warn us that it would only lead to the economic mess that we find ourselves in today. While a small handful of people made a hell of a lot of money in the interim, a hell of a lot of the American people suffered terribly. The GOP is perfectly content to let this unspeakable situation continue. They don’t represent us; they represent the people who have spent the last thirty years looting our economic infrastructure. If that ain’t criminal, I don’t know what is. If it walks like a freaking duck….
After today it will be impossible for the Republicans to continue to justify their opposition to financial regulatory reform. As I write these words a long overdue hearing is underway in Washington, DC. The top executives of Goldman Sachs are about to be humiliated in front of a nationwide television audience. When the sun goes down this evening, Mitch McConnel, John Boehner and company are going to have one hell of a difficult time if they continue to defend what is morally indefensible. This is going to be really interesting.
As Jimmy Paige once wrote – or was it Robert Plant? – “It makes me wonder”. I wonder what defect it is in the psychological makeup of a group of human beings that would have them putting the health and well being of millions of other human beings behind the private profit of a very few. Most of these lawmakers who live in the pockets of the Plutocracy call themselves “Christians”. Have they ever made a serious study of the books? You know! – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John? — those guys! How do they justify their actions? How do they sleep at night? We’re talkin’ major hypocrisy here! That’s what makes them so much fun to watch! I always get a certain twisted delight in watching their fake piety. Imagine Wendy O. Williams being cast as Bernadette of Lourdes; or Marilyn Manson as Mahatma Gandhi. It’s kind of the same thing.
Sooner or later our right wing friends, within the Congress and without, are going to be forced to admit that the era of anything goes deregulation was a really stupid idea. You can only sit calmly in a burning house, ignoring the flames all about you, for just so long. Sooner or later you’ll be forced to flee for your life. After making your escape, if you still refuse to acknowledge that the house is indeed on fire, you’re beyond the point where you can make rational decisions on your own. You’ve entered Librium Country, hombre!
The legislation being put forward by the Democrats is nothing to get ecstatic about. True to form, what they have offered is such a cowardly watered-down version of what is really needed that it is hardly worth more than a halfhearted thumbs up. Essentially what they have come up with is a band-aid for a blood bath. I think it is revealing that even in this moderate and mushy form, the bill is too much for the Republicans to stomach. They want their “clients” to be given license to plunder our national treasure. You don’t agree with that? Then please explain to me what else could possibly be the motivation behind their opposition. It makes no sense otherwise. None.
In recent weeks Republican members of the House and Senate – John Boehner and Mitch McConnel in particular – have been meeting privately with the big wigs from Goldman Sachs (among others) in order to kill any reform legislation. When McConnell tells us that the purpose of those meetings was to improve the proposed legislation (Let’s get real shall we?) that doesn’t even come close to passing the the giggle test. I was born very early in the morning, but it wasn’t this morning. These people no longer even make any pretense as to who they’re really working for – and it isn’t us. We might as well stop kidding ourselves.
By day’s end, the “party of Lincoln” (TEE! HEE! HEE!) will have found themselves teetering on the edge of a very unenviable precipice. Every poll shows that over sixty percent of the people want serious financial regulation reinstated into the economic marketplace. It is going to be amusing (to say the least) watching the verbal calisthenics performed by the right wing in the next week or so. I can see it now: Boehner is on the floor of the House of Representatives, weeping tears of rage and despair, decrying the very idea that the “socialist agenda of this radical president and his cohorts in un-Americanism, have trampled our sacred flag and the United States Constitution in one fell swoop!” Oh, this is going to get ugly. Very ugly indeed….
Which reminds me – would someone please explain to me what the hell “one fell swoop” means anyway? Are “two fell swoops” even possible? Or how ’bout “two/thirds of a fell swoop”? I’m sorry but these are profound questions beyond my philosophical grasp.
It’s highly unlikely that any serious reform is going to be put forward until the Republican presence on Capital Hill has been significantly diluted if not eradicated. I do not believe that it is a given that they are going to gain major ground come Election Day. In fact there is every reason to believe that they will only continue to self-destruct between now and then. They can’t win without the section of the electorate who describe themselves as “moderate”. The moderates are taking a good look at the train wreck that is the modern GOP and by all accounts they’re becoming more and more disgusted by what they see. Any party whose most visible spokespersons are certifiably bat-shit-crazy reactionaries like Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin is going to have serious “issues” to be sure. They are now cheerfully marching toward the edge of the cliff. GERONIMO!
Keep your eye on this story! Watching these Republicans attempt to justify the continuation of the policies that have led to our economic ruin will be amusing to say the least. This ought to be a scream!
I received a copy of this extraordinary book courtesy of its author, Edward J. Blum. It tells the story of the years following the end of the Civil War, and how a golden opportunity to bring about a new era of racial brother and sisterhood in this country was thwarted primarily by the American Protestant Church – by so-called “Christians” – in their efforts to convert the American ideal into a White Nationalist cause. Below is a link to where you can order it on Amazon.com. It is essential reading in order to understand how we got to where we are today – and, I believe, where we might go from here.
Mr. Blum has also written a biography of W.E.B. Du Bois which, although I have yet to read it (I will! I will!) has received excellent reviews.
“God wept; but that mattered little to an unbelieving age;
what mattered most was that the world wept
and still is weeping and is blind with tears and blood
-W.E.B. Du Bois