A lot of people claiming to be veterans got all pissed off last week.
As they rightfully should have been. We all shouldve been óutraged that our federal government was shut down for 16 days.
Sadly, during an unsettling period of shouting and finger pointing, some of these presumably concerned citizens made total jackasses of themselves.
I’m talking about “protestors” who stormed our national parks and monuments, claiming that since these federal lands belonged “to the people” they were dutifully entitled to special access when the rest of us (mere humble civilians) were not.
Hey, I’m as thankful for the veterans as anyone, probably even more so, than most. But there’s a great deal of hypocrisy in who’s doing all the screaming and marching. A generation or two ago, it was the old baffled at the young taking to the streets with banners and chants. Now, it’s the reverse. Young people are asking themselves, “are our elders losing the minds?”
Consider the absured course of events. First, the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party wanted the government shut down. So, they finally got their wish. The government shut down. Then, they went out and protested the shut down. Qoud erat demonstrandum.
If so, what are the costs and consequences of taking military action?
How do these costs and consequences compare with the potential risks of non-intervention?
That’s what I’ll discuss in today’s column.
Progressives tend to speak in muted voices these days. Presumably, one of our own occupies the Oval Office, which draws less criticism. Partisanship instills trust in foreign policy decisions that deserves more intense scrutiny, especially when weighing the prospects of war. This is illogical and dangerous.
Based on his actions, does President Obama really deserve the benefit of our collective doubt more than anyone else? If so, why? What would progressives be saying right now if President Bush was the commander-in-chief rattling the defense establishment’s sabres, calling for an military attack on Syria? I suspect that answer is quite obvious. There would be riots in the streets.
Accordingly, we who tend to be the most suspicious about the reasons for waging war must be entirely consistent in both our evaluation of this President’s judgement and the very real prospect we’re about to engage in what amounts to a third military conflict (following Afghanistan and Iraq) that we can neither afford financially, nor benefit from in any way. As crass as that sounds, let’s not fool ourselves into believing there’s anything to gain by intervening in Syria. Call it what you want — an invasion, a liberation, or an occupation. It’s still going to cost money (and human lives) that we can ill afford to lose.
Maybe the time has finally come to throw in the towel on the Obama Administration.
Our vision for change now has cataracts. Neutered and scandal-ridden, President Obama seems about one more Charlie Sheen meltdown away from lame duckness.
In fact, President Obama isn’t a lame duck. He’s a dead duck. Politically speaking.
This isn’t entirely the President’s fault. The obstructionist traitors known as Republicans haven’t governed or lead so much as they’ve blockaded just about every major piece of legislation that has anything to do with challenging American oligarchy. Republicans would rather see America fail and the country suffer than to see President Obama succeed. At anything.
Moreover, President Obama has received little significant support or guidance from his own party allies, now mostly an ineffectual milquetoast group of Democratic leaders governing as “Republican-Lite.” If there ever was a groundswell movement to steer the country towards a more progressive agenda, it’s now vanished — at least until half the working class is stocking shelves for slave wages at Wal-Mart while paying a quarter of their income in health insurance costs, which is eventually going to happen the way things are going. Then just maybe, we’ll quit buying the lies of unfettered free-market capitalism and nonsense about living in “freedom.”
Of the millions of Americans who watched President Obama’s sequel inauguration yesterday, one group above all others should be cheering the loudest.
And which group is that?
Poor people? No.
The middle class? No.
Try this on for size — rich people. That’s right, the richest of the rich.
The super rich should be doing back flips right now.
Despite all the ridiculous rhetoric from conservatives, the rich have done exceedingly well during these past four years that President Obama has been in office. In fact, the rich are doing better now, financially speaking, than ever before. Rich people are making more money as a percentage of the national economy than even during the best days of former President George W. Bush’s two terms in office.
The report cited in the article above serves as an astonishing indictment of President Obama’s “progressive” image and should be a call for political activism to reverse the ceaseless tide of economic policies which consistently favor big corporations, banks, and the wealthiest Americans at the expense of the great majority.
Aside from President bama and former Gov. Romney, there were several other winners and losers in Tuesday’s election. Many are obvious. Some are not quite so obvious.
Here are some of the biggest winners, listed in no particular order:
Note: This is Part 1. Coming next, Part 2 will list the biggest losers.
1. Civil Rights Activists / Gay Rights Proponents — The prospect of a majority vote in support of gay marriage would have been utterly unthinkable a few years ago. As recently as 2004, ballot measures on civil rights for all not only failed, but were cited as a key reason why former President George Bush mobilized his conservative voting base in some swing states and won re-election. No more. Last Tuesday, three states — including Maine, Maryland, and Washington — voted for ballot initiatives in support of gay marriage. The historical significance of this victory cannot be overstated. It’s the first time that a majority of voters (statewide) elected to support equal rights for gays. And, it didn’t happen in just one state — it happened in three. History will look back upon 2012 as a watershed year for true constitutional protection for all, much like 1964 was the key year for civil rights legislation.