Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Projection - Who Is Really the Lemming?
Projection, in psychological terms, is defined as: "a defense mechanism that involves taking our own unacceptable qualities and feelings and ascribing them to others".
In that vein, in my debates with conservatives, the name I'm most often called is lemming (second is kool-aid drinker). Supposedly, lemmings are hamster-like creatures who periodically follow their leader off of cliffs, falling to their deaths. In fact, Lemmings aren't suicidal. This, like so many ideas Republicans cling to, is a myth.
But, speaking of political lemmings, who are the lemmings here? Who has been ready to follow their political leaders off of fiscal cliffs, over and over again? It's not Democrats and liberals like me. It's conservatives. Who has yelled "right on" as their representatives have wasted $60 million to vote over and over again in the totally hopeless mission of repealing Obamacare. (Which brings to mind another definition: "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result"). Who has spent their (relatively limited) work time in Washington holding hearings to try to gin up scandals that all dwindle into nothingness?
My conservative friends tell me they are outraged about the way things are going in Washington. Their precious tax money shouldn't go to paying for slutty girls to get obtain birth control....or incidentally, to feeding the children of those slutty girls (boys having, obviously, no part in the conception of children). But where do they get off thinking they're special in that way? Do they believe my precious tax money hasn't gone to lots of things I didn't agree with? The Iraq War, for one.
It's called democracy. The people vote and by their votes, collectively, we live with the consequences. If they vote for George Bush, we go to war. If they vote for Barack Obama, we get healthcare. No one political party or political faction gets their way all the time.
They don't get to throw themselves on the floor and hold their breath until they turn blue because they lost. But this is what the Republicans are doing, except with a lot more serious consequences than holding their breath. They appear to be willing to risk America's entire economy.
What they've already done is bad enough, forcing us to live under the uncertainty of crisis management ever since Obama became president - fiscal cliffs, sequesters, debt ceilings and now, shutdown, perhaps with default on our debts right around the corner. They've already slowed the progress we would have made had they cooperated, even a little.
In the last year and a half, Patty Murray, the head of the Democrat's budget committee, has asked the House Republican to have a conference on reconciling the budget 18 times. The Republicans refused 18 times.
After the government actually shut down, videos showed the Republicans laughing and high-fiving one another. They tweeted about how they were "giddy" from the experience, how "excited" they were, how "fun" it was to shutter the government. Michelle Bachman tweeted how happy she was because the Republicans "finally got what they wanted". This is actually something Republicans have been talking about and planning for since Obama was elected.
And then, with the most breathtaking dishonesty, they go on television, trying desperately to wipe the grins off their faces, as they lament about how "it's all Obama's fault". They certainly never wanted this to happen.
And when Fox screams about how awful the shutdown is (although they call it a "slim down"), what is it that they are incensed about? Why it is closing the national parks. Not WIC, the program for Women, Infants and Children, who may go hungry without it. Not paychecks for furloughed workers who desperately need them. Not closed Veteran's Center. No, they are outraged because they wanted to go see Herman the Sturgeon and now they can't.
The Chinese actually meant it as a curse when they said, "may you live in interesting times" and we are living under that curse right now. Normally, if you're dealing with rational people, you can see an end game. What is it that they want and how far are they willing to go to get it? But with this new breed of conservatives, the shutdown (and perhaps default) seems to be end game. I have no clue what it is that they want and I'm not sure they do either except to throw a gigantic tantrum and burn the entire government to the ground. And where is their end? No one knows that either because we're trying to delve into the minds of people who have a completely different, and destructive, agenda than any government representatives I have ever seen in my lifetime.
They have that whole "we must destroy the village to save it" mentality going. Will they be happy with anything short of being surrounded by rubble that used to be our government?
I don't know but here is what I think: they've got a away with murder for almost 5 years now. Their own party has been held captive by them and seems not to have the balls to wrest control back from them. The Democrats have been held hostage by them as well because they are unwilling to sink to depths to which the conservatives are joyful to go. But, it's time to put an end to it. As a sometimes liberal, sometimes moderate, mostly Democrat, I want my party and my president to stand firm. No negotiations. No kissing their ass. No trying to talk sense into people who have no sense. If going down with the ship means taking them down with us, then anchors aweigh, Boys.