Sunday, March 1, 2009

'It'll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls'

Just 40 days into Barack Obama's presidency and I've already had it with ignorant, loudmouth conservatives and their nonstop blather, obnoxious whining and shameless outrage. Are they going to keep this up for four (eight?) years?

In 2000, conservatives elected George W. Bush to the first of two terms, during which he and his ilk deeply damaged the nation and the planet. Have they no shame? Their guy -- and their policies -- screwed up or made worse everything from the economy to the environment to America's standing in the world. They tilted the tax code to favor the wealthy, allowed corporations to pollute without consequences, stuffed government jobs with unqualified loyalists, hurt people all worldwide by imposing their reactionary morality on social policies, unilaterally seized unprecedented levels of executive power, and even committed war crimes.

As a result of all of this incompetence and criminality, the American people turn away from the Republican Party and elect Democrats in large numbers, including a young, relatively unknown candidate with historic racial make-up and a funny name as president. Barack Obama and his administration are tasked with the unenviable job of fixing the damage wrought over the course of eight years (or, in essence, the 28 years since Reagan took office).

The reaction of conservatives is stunning. I want to bang their heads together to make them stop spouting the endless streams of piffle that assault my ears, as well as the rules of logic. There are some on the right who I read and listen to and admire for their intelligence and honesty -- for example, David Brooks and George F. Will (and even, sometimes, Pat Buchanan). These, however, are few and far between.

To hear House minority leader John Boehner say that Obama's budget raises taxes on every American when, in fact, it raises taxes on those making more than $250,000 -- and the stimulus just cut taxes on 95% of working people -- is completely dishonest. Whether taxes should be raised on the wealthiest Americans is certainly worth discussing and I concede that logical arguments can be made on both sides, but Republicans rarely traffic in logic. Witness Karl Rove this morning on ABC's This Week, or Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's ridiculous comment on volcano monitoring during his televised response to Obama's speech last week. (I went back and reread his remarks. Jindal said, "...$140 million for something called 'volcano monitoring.'" One wonders which of the two words escapes his understanding.)

If Obama's actions with regard to the economy, taxes, health care, education and the environment are "radical," as some in the GOP have been saying, it is only because their party has screwed up everything so badly -- or, to be fair, in some instances, we as a nation have allowed those areas to drift for far too long. The citizenry elected as president a man whose clearest slogan throughout the campaign was one word: "Change." Get ready, America. The times, as Bob Dylan sang, are a-changin'.


JohnW said...

Whew! There's some pretty deafening digital silence after these recent posts Jimbo. What happened to all the self-righteous out there? Didn't the talking points get handed out? Remember, "the mortgage crisis is the fault of loans forced by democrats to people who should never have been given money in the first place." "It's been two months and nothing is any better!" "We never really liked Bush anyways!"

Sorry Jimbo, this is bad news for a blogger...who wants to post only to the roar of crickets.

So in the interest of spicing things's your old man!

Jimbo said...

There's a clear trend that when I opine on the national political scene there are no comments, but anything local draws some response. Certainly I enjoy getting feedback, but I don't consider what is likely to get a reaction when I post. I just blurt out what's on my mind.

Thanks for noticing. And...same to you!

Anonymous said...

I believe that few people fully realize the actual extent of the damage done in the last eight years.This recovery wont happen overnight,and it will probably take Obama's whole first term for us to see light at the end of the tunnel.Can you imagine McCain and Palin in the white house right now?

Anonymous said...

sorry, it's hard to make a clever comment that would only be a nod of agreement.

N.starluna said...

I'm in agreement with Anonymous at 1:06. What will be more interesting, at least to me, is the response of Republican voters, particularly after hearing the CPAC speeches by Limbaugh and Coulter.

I think most of the people who JohnW referred to are busy making asinine comments on the Globe's articles.

But, in the interest of posing some critical comment, I would disagree that David Brooks should be viewed as being in the same class as George Will. Moderately reasonable, yes. Marginally clever, in the same way that articulate teenagers with a wide enough vocabulary can be when they are "ragging" on each other. George Will is actually thoughtful and is internally consistent. Even Pat Buchanan, who is not really very thoughtful, is at least internally consistent. Brooks is an opportunistic hack whose clever discourse masks an almost total lack of substance. The male equivalent of Maureen Dowd, in my opinion.

Jimbo said...

I'm going to have to defend David Brooks here. Maybe you are referring to a specific episode where he was an "opportunistic hack," but I read his columns and watch him on the Newshour and I find him reasonable and intelligent.

Listening to George Will is one of the best reasons to watch the roundtable on This Week with George S. on Sunday mornings. He starts every comment with an obscure reference, such as, "In 1937, James Farley, FDR's postmaster general, said..." He's a bright and, I think, thoughtful guy, and I'd much rather listen to him than the editor of the Nation magazine, Katrina vanden Heuvel, who I agree with substantively, but who can be grating.

Buchanan is willing to, sometimes, go against the status quo (like the occupation of Iraq), and he often makes me laugh.

Anonymous said...


I'm sure you remember the Clinton years. The Republicans did not let up for one minute. Certainly no bipartisanship in those days. Not even Chelsea Clinton was protected from being called a dog. For a grown man to do that to an adolescent girl--inhumane (or even inhuman!). And granted, this was not following a collapse of the country due to their leadership like right now, but still--no shame whatsoever--then or now.

I do have to agree a little more with N.starluna than you when it comes to David Brooks : ) , although I do like him. and yes, it's nice to see George Will's thoughtfulness and integrity despite disagreeing with him 99.9% of the time. I disagree with Buchanan a little less (maybe 98.9!).