July 24, 2009

Actual Political Solutions to Problems Are Nonviable in the United States

It took a while to crystallize the essential problem, but I think I'm zeroing in. Maybe that's why the airwaves now are filled with Birther conspiracy theories; why the hell not?, I guess you could say. Could we broaden this perspective and challenge the American citizenship of all 535 members of Congress? Would it make any real difference? Also, I'd like us to prove that Scalia and Alito are actually Italian citizens never naturalized as Americans. I'm positing that now as a "theory." That's my right, correct? Where are their "long-form" birth certificates? Okay, suppose they have those. How can I know, for certain, they aren't forged?

I wonder if it's occurred to President Obama that the opposition party, the GOP, has become a cult? It meets all the operational definitions - I recommend a book by a Northern California psychiatrist named Arthur Deikman entitled Them and Us for further explication. By such operational definition, you cannot do business with cults or persuade them of anything contrary to the founding myths and belief systems of the cult. The revelation that there is a kind of Christian boarding house on C Street in Washington where The Family meets, including such wackos as John Ensign of Nevada and Jim DeMint of South Carolina, fits right in (there are a couple of Democrats in residence as well). It is Congress's version of Jim Jones & the People's Temple, nuts elected by nuts in their home states, such as Tom Coburn of Oklahoma who advocates the death penalty for doctors performing abortions, which, as far as I know, is the first instance of a sitting United States Senator advocating execution for a doctor performing a Constitutionally protected medical procedure.

I'm sure it has occurred to Barack Obama, since another feature of the contracting, deliquescing Republican Party is that it's becoming home to frank racists who refuse to accept the idea that a native-born American man of partial African heritage has actually been elected President. Yet he's forced to continue talking to them, maybe for infrapsychic reasons arising from his own innate decency, as if a DeMinted party dominated by wingnuts and religious psychos are "legitimate partners" in solving America's problems.

How is he going to keep that up for another 3-1/2 years? I can't believe it's possible. The lingering viability of the Republican Party, at the national level, meanwhile ensures that no "radical" solutions (meaning: effective solutions) are viable for America's real problems. The shitty legislation wending its way through Congress to solve the healthcare crisis reflects this reality. The assertion of the "Christian" belief that people should die if they have the bad judgment, or ill health, to be priced out of the health market arises from the Wingnut Brigades of the Republican Right (meaning: Republican), with their precious, death-grip adherence to "private enterprise" and to the inalienable rights of large insurance corporations to do what God put them on Earth to do: to grind the people to death with high premiums and random declinations of coverage. Anything else is "Socialist," like, for example, the military-security state which commands $1 trillion in "taxpayer money" (okay, borrowed foreign money or made-up money resulting from the Federal Reserve buying its own IOUs) every fiscal year. But military spending, since it can be used to crush heathen (non-Christian) religions, is also God-ordained, so no problem.

It's pretty scary, actually, and maybe the signal contribution of Barack Obama's presidency (since actual accomplishments are no longer possible in American life) is that he's brought it all into bold relief. How sick it all is, the racism, the intolerance, the bigotry, the idiocy infecting the values of a broad swath of "patriotic Americans." The one thing that disturbs my equanimity about all this, and never allows me to dismiss the radicalized Christian Republicans as a fringe group on the way to oblivion, is that they currently occupy the approximate place which Hitler and the Brownshirts (Sam Brownback hangs out at the Family too, by the way) occupied in the early 1920's in Germany. Marginalized, nonviable, Hitler in jail for inciting a putsch - it looked like no future at all for them. Then the Great Depression, the vacuum of power at the top, and the Death's Head Cult of the Nazis, the only really well-organized political force in the country, assumed control. So someone as vacuous and ridiculous as Sarah Palin can appear irrelevant and powerless while the vestiges of power remain in reasonably sane hands.

And then the worm turns. Things begin to change, the Zeitgeist mutates, and crazy people begin acquiring a legitimacy they would never enjoy in settled times. That's why I'm never certain whether it's a good idea to criticize Barack Obama or not. Granted, it's going to be the next thing to impossible to ameliorate any of our pressing problems in our corrupt, God-deluded country, but at least the guy's sane, reasonable and compassionate, not to mention secular in his approach. Unconsciously, I'm sure that's one of the main reasons I supported him - McCain would have accelerated our descent into a religion-fueled Fascism. We're not going to have Single Payer healthcare in the USA, we're not going to reduce our nutso defense spending, the government agencies ostensibly overseeing the vital agricultural, pharmaceutical and environmental sectors of American life will remain in the hands of hacks with corporate, anti-human agendas - but at least we haven't arrived at Kristallnacht and concentration camps for political dissidents. Not yet anyway.

Obama - Sane We Can Believe In.


  1. John Read3:00 PM

    Interesting that you bring up Weimar Germany. Obama is starting to look like Gustav Stresemann, Chancellor during the nastiest parts of the German financial meltdown. He failed to crack down on the Beerhall Putschers and tried to govern a coalition using a sane, conciliatory approach. He appeared to be weak, and was kicked out of the coalition. He died in 1929 and was not around to witness or oppose the rise of Hitler and the enactment of the Ermächtigungsgesetz of 1933, which, among other things, allowed Hitler to enact unconstitutional laws. Obama should crush the Republican obstructionists with all the powers at his command, or we will see the rise of a new Führer(or Führerin Palin) in 2012. The Republicans have their own writers of an Ermächtigungsgesetz ready to go: Yoo, Cheney, Addington, et al.

  2. hammerud5:33 PM

    The Christian community I have been associated with over the last 40 years simply feels that the country has been weakened as we have moved away from our Judeo-Christian foundations; and are using the political tools that are available to all of us to promote that point of view. I personally believe that the country would be better even for secularists if we maintained a Judeo-Christian foundation. Any culture has to have some basic concept of right and wrong. I also want to mention that I find it interesting that I, as a Christian, see the Intolerance, bigotry, and idiocy you mention coming from the other side of the fence. At a minimum, it is a knife that cuts in both directions.