Monday, December 3, 2012

No Guts, No Glory


No Guts, No Glory

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off the cliff we go!

I feel exactly the same as I did the two times in my life that I voted to go on strike. I was so tired of being pushed around, I was ready to walk out and let the chips fall where they might. On both of those occasions, I was overruled by the majority of more fearful employees. On both occasions, the result was that labor got royally screwed by management. If the president and the Democrats back down from the Republicans this time, the middle class will get royally screwed....again.

It's not as if this current situation isn't a tired re-run of the same old bad movie we've been forced to sit through already. It's not as if we believe that this time it will, magically, have a happy ending.

We've watched the Republicans dominate through obstructionism for the last four years. We watched them kowtow to Grover Norquist. We watched them suck up to the greedy corporate interests while throwing the middle class under the bus. We've watched them stand in front of cameras and microphones and declare that white is black and black is white. We've watched them perfect the ploy of political blackmail via the filibuster. We watched them piss and moan about the president's unwillingness to compromise when we knew it was flatly the other way around. They even told us their agenda, right out loud. It wasn't a secret...their first priority was ensuring that Barack Obama was a one-term president. They went all out to do that - both in Congress and on the campaign trail - at the expense of the country's best interests.

For the first time ever, raising the debt ceiling became an issue although Congress had routinely upped it numerous times before under presidents, Republican and Democrat. "Czars" became an issue, as if naming a czar to oversee an issue was something Obama invented. He didn't....Ronald Reagan did. Executive privilege became an issue, executive orders became an issue...even the president's freakin' vacations became an issue....like no other president had ever claimed executive privilege, signed an executive order or gone on vacation before!

After eight years of spending money like crazed jackpot lottery winners, the Republicans were suddenly hysterical about deficits. It was if they woke up from a coma as soon as Obama took office and wanted something doneimmediately, although their own purchases they'd run up on America's credit card were still racking up on-going charges - two wars, huge tax cuts, Medicare Part D. For the first time, in their four-year-long fit of venal pique, they allowed our credit rating to be downgraded. They've tried to make something out of nothing with their endless hearings about Fast and Furious. All the cabinet members they've treated with utter contempt and destroy have been African-Americans - Eric Holder, Shirley Sherrod, Susan Rice. Imagine that. Streams of crocodile tears flood down their cheeks at the allegation that they are racists - even as their racism jumps out and socks you in the gut, add in there, homophobia and misogyny for good measure. Oh, and they don't like working people and poor people very well either.

Who does that leave? The same groups the Republicans will always go to the mat for - the rich and corporations. They'll let interest rates on Pell grants go up, leaving students in the lurch, while fighting tooth and nail not to regulate the same bankers who practically broke us (talk about your fiscal cliffs). They'll let payroll tax cuts expire while charging to the front lines for oil company rebates. They'll move heaven and earth to protect lower tax rates for the top 2 percent while sticking a shiv in old people who depend on Medicare and social security. Down with Equal Pay for Equal Work, Violence Against Women, Planned Parenthood, Head Start, free lunches and food stamps and up with rescinding the Death Tax, zero taxes on dividend income, rebates for taking jobs overseas!

Well, you know what? We had a campaign. They got to present their side and we got to present ours. The American people voted and we won. That means we're in charge. You got that Obama and Democrats? It's time to go balls to the wall for our principles. If that means going over the cliff, then hold your breath and jump!