In my on going rage that is driving from me the faith I have long held in this country, I am now going to address a subject that is rather vague to describe. So I'll put it in these terms. I am tired of failure. Now, brace yourself because this one is going to go all over the place. Because when I say failure, I mean that I believe that the government is failing me. Personally. I take offense at what has happened and what is going on. But also the people as a whole are failing me and themselves. I'll explain further. This one is going to be tough to write because, discussing it with my wife, I cannot seem to prevent myself from getting worked up and angry by the time I'm half way through. But here goes.
I can just simply go through the list of failures in our current government and indeed the politically active in this country. I'll start on the right, because I'm good with pissing off the right. When I talk of the right, I don't just mean republicans or libertarians in congress. I'm talking about all politically active on the right, whether on a forum or email campaigns or actually working for a candidate. And while these views may not encompass ALL of those on the right, they encompass a large enough part that I feel comfortable characterizing the right in this way. I have extensive contact with them both on this forum, in daily life, and in my own family. I grew up with this mindset.
For six long years, the republican party, and the right, enjoyed a majority in both the house and the senate, with a republican president. Six years of getting what ever you wanted. There was no compromise. There was only the brutality of ramming through what ever you thought was good. During this time, the republican senate threatened to get rid of the filibuster rules in the Senate, because the democrats had filibustered nearly 60 times in one year. Since that six year period, they have gone on to double that amount of filibuster every single year they have been in the minority. It appears that the filibuster is only "abused" when it is used by democrats.
For six years, we saw regulations stripped away. We saw a majority that pushed through imprudent tax cuts focused on the wealthy, an unprecedented two wars at once, and a medicare part D plan that was not paid for. We saw reckless spending like never before. Never in our history had this nation CUT taxes during war time. With the power the right weilded, they created an office of faith based initiatives, an office purely dedicated to giving money to religious groups! We saw the right back and promote a president as he gain and took more power into the executive branch that ever before, including current president Obama.
I experienced the rights assault on free speech nearly every day, as my views on the war were called unpatriotic. I watched as the left was silenced routinely by the right calling them traitors, unpatriotic, and anti-american for disagreeing with two wars that we were lied to about. I felt the anguish of being told I don't support the troops because I thought they should be brought home. I was embarassed for this country as a republican president supported by the right, garnered the anger of most nations in the world by our arrogant and foolish actions. A cowboy in the white house. Only to the right would such a thing be looked on in a good fashion.
We watched regulation after regulation fall, as we paved the way for a massive financial fail. But then, things changed. The economy tanked, and the republicans lost power. Then, they lost the presidency. So what next?
The answer was to completely pretend like they weren't even there for the last 8 years. They filibusterd double the amount they cried about previously. Suddenly, they were conservative. Suddenly, lots of people were conservative! Really? Why then was your mouth shut tight when it was your party and your group doing the spending? Did they think we were mad? Insane? Did they think we wouldn't remember all they had done to get us in this mess? And so for two years I have watched this nonsense as one after the other republicans turn conservative claim they are for small government. The same people who called me unpatriotic and unamerican suddenly tried to act like they disagreed with Bush. Really? You were silent before and now you expect me to believe you are angry at "both parties"? Bullshit! And YOu know its bullshit too! It would be better than you spit at me behind my back than to look me in the eye and lie like this. I remember how many on the right supported Bush. Now, its hard to find a single one who supported Bush. Everyone on the right now suddenly "always believed we were spending to much"! The right double the deficit over and over and nothing was said, Now you want us to believe you are so concerned about our childrens future and always were? We aren't stupid or forgetful!
But enough about what we already know. On to the left. Did you think you were getting out of this? You aren't! But for this, I need to separate the people from the politicians. Why? Because while the right largely walks in lockstep, and the people believe and do as they are told, the sins of the left are not the same. The left is of larger diversity and thus is not so prone to being sheep. Even still, the words coming out of the mouths of the right are nearly identical from the ones coming out of the politicians and talk show hosts mouths. Even still they believe ridiculous email chains, to a massively greater extent than the left.
For the left, politics was about change and hope. After watching the decimation of this country at the hands of Bush, we trust those on the left to make things right. But that isn't what happened, is it? Nearly two years after Barack Obama stood on the podium to the chants of "yes we can", almost nothing has changed. Nothing.
We are still in two wars. The president still fights to keep things private when it comes to their legal manuevering. And the courts are still split on the issue. We still have two massive detention centers that are basically black holes. We still hold people indefinitely without bail or court hearing of any time, and without any official charges. We still support and engage in extraordinary rendition. We are still in two wars. New looser FISA regulations allow americans to be taped. The bill was approved by Candidate Obama. Almost nothing of the power that Bush took has been reigned in by Obama.
On a legislative front, I couldn't be more disappointed. Democrats lacked the cajones to pass REAL health care legislation. Compromising to get republican votes is only acceptable if it gets that vote. Most of the compromises were for republicans who never intended on working with them to make the bill better. A bill they knew would pass, but worked to make it suck instead of make it better. Most of the republican amendments were approved to get votes. And most of those amendments are pointed out as bad. Health care lobby money flowed freely, and many democrats grew fat on it, right next to their republican colleagues getting the same money. And together they worked to destroy the bill. Together they managed to rid the bill of all but a few good protections. No single payer, no public option, no hard premium caps, no regulations on raising rates. The health care companies essentially won.
But there was another chance in the wall street reform bill. It has some FABULOUS amendments for this bill. Yet, again, wall street money flowed, and most of those great amendments were killed. Derivative reform? Watered down after the money whore Blanche Lincoln won her primary. Almost everything else has been stripped out. Something that should have been an easy vote, even for republicans, ended up not getting enough support. 30 democrats, but only 10 republicans, voted to audit the Federal Reserve. What ended up passing was a one time audit. So much for the so called conservatives, and the so called conservadems. Conservative, on both sides of the aisle, stands for "sell out to the banks". And as I will state later, the Fed truly needed to be audited. The bill was nearly salvaged with the consumer protection agency that gets created. Unfortunately, they have exempted the highest bidders. Car dealers will not be subject to the consumer protection rules. As if we all don't know that used car dealers are the sleaziest of the slime. Unbelievable.
While people like to get upset at TARP, that really is a small morsel. The real crime is that the Fed has given out over 4.6 Trillion dollars to the banks. Only the 700B TARP was approved by congress. An audit would be nice. To bad it had bipartisan opposition. The banks get 4.6 Trillion dollars, and they use it to get richer. All the while the conservative democrats and republicans convince the rest of the democrats that a stimulus package for the people is just to much to spend. Every job bill and unemployment extension, including the one that just failed in the senate, don't equal HALF of what the banks got if you combined them all! Yet, were is the protests over the Fed? Used up, thats where. Used up on protesting to much spending to give unemployment money in a recession. To much money to help the states meet the budget. The banks have the fools of this country so easily distracted that they are protesting against the good of the PEOPLE! We would rather sit back and ignorantly believe that somehow giving unemployment to people is ruinging the country. People are now put at the bottom of the pile when it comes to priority. PEOPLE! More of my tax money has gone to banks, yet the right and conservative left draw the line at helping states and helping the unemployed? Its more bullshit!
And all the while the people on the left have become a justification machine. And I'm guilty of it too! But we are in large part forced to because the criticism from the right is so pathetically wrong! If they would get it right and stop believing nonsense and lies then we could focus on what was actually wrong! But still, where are the protests? Where are the anti-war people? It has been three months since I saw anyone at our weekly war protest. Three months. No one cares any more, democrats are in charge after all. None of the Bush abuses went away! We just stopped caring about them! Writing letters? All find and good by they don't give a flying f**k about our letters and we all know it! We have managed to quell our own outrage over things that really matter! We on the left cheered on the health care bill while amongst ourselves talking about what we didn't like about it. What we should have done is protested, not with those idiots in the tea party, but our own protests, against the very real problems with this bill! We should have protested when Obama sent more troops to Afghanistan. We should have protested when Obama put DRONES on the freakin Mexican border! And when far right wing morons say he hasn't tried to secure the border, slap them in the mouth and ask them how many freakin military drones any republican put on the border! I want a secure border, but not in a manner that causes death and destruction and fear! Freakin military drones!!!!
We have failed as a country. We have failed as a people. Our government has failed. And yes, it is both parties. And yes, it is the people too. But all for different reasons. I'm losing faith in this countries ability to handle anything in an age of naive acceptance of email chains. I'm losing faith in a country that only cares about the big problems when it is the party they hate doing it. We cannot continue like this. It will be the death of us all. Contineous war, endless recessions, and ridiculous lawmakers are what we face.
Two more examples of what is wrong. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of corporations, giving them the same rights as an individual. How atrocious is that. Amidst the anger at this, the congress wrote up a new law they are trying to pass. The "DICLOSE ACT" which will force all groups to list who donates to them and all companies that choose to support a candidate must put it forward so all can see. Yet, One group after another seems to be exempt. Companies under 1 million people are exempt. The NRA is exempt. And a number of other broad exceptions, have been written in to ensure that our corporations are not really resticted at all.
In the middle of the largest eco-disaster in our history, the criticism couldn't be more obscene. The right using a disaster to its benefit by first saying government didn't respond fast enough, then saying it responded too much. Circulating emails that are pure lies, that now have senators who should know better, repeating them. When senators are repeating email chains, I lose hope quickly. When senators apologize for forcing a foreign company to pay people who they have harmed, I lose hope quickly. And yet, the President has angered people because hasn't miraculously found a plan that the experts have apparently missed, that will fix the leak in the gulf. How is any of this helping the situation at all?
The government and many of the people have been sucked into a war of propaganda by both sides that has made true change irrelevant and unlikely. I used to laugh at the South Park Addage that voting was like choosing between a sh*t sandwich and a giant douche. I have come to realize that it really is just that. And "voting them all out" is irrelevant as well. The power and money have corrupted them all and will do so to the next generation. There is no stopping it. Debt will swallow us whole eventually. But most people are not smart enough to see that not spending right now will cause greater debt in the future. And I have no hope that it will get better. People will eventually tire of democrats, and vote in republicans. Who will then do what they do best. Say they are conservatives, the continue to ruin the economy. Then the democrats will take over and do what they do best. Bring all kinds of great ideas to the table, the water them down into obscurity.
This is our future, our country, that we have allowed to slip away from us. And the problem and the blame lies with us. The people. We allowed things to get out of hand. We allow ourselves to believe then never follow through. We allow ourselves to be convinced by propaganda and email chains. I am losing faith in a country that seems to have lost all sense of reason.