Clearer Accounting

Is the just concluded 2014 election a mid-term referendum on President Barack Obama’s policies? Or can it be seen as a misdiagnosed post-mortem which resulted in skewed totals from an aging, last-gasp, old and misinformed yet motivated right-leaning electorate further abetted by an otherwise apathetic populace?

Hearing and reading the unsupported scorn against the president, a casual observer might believe he’s led the nation into dire straits rather than from them. By all tangible measures the United States sits in a far superior position than upon his ascension at 12:01 p.m., on January 21st, 2009. Period.

Barack Obama wasn’t on any ballot this year. Since he wasn’t running, he neither won nor lost. However, if you’re an American woman, retiree, student, basically if you work for a living, well, the next two years may test the nation because plenty of our fellow Americans most assuredly voted against their interests.

Especially if you work for vindictive employers. They’re exploiting you. And you’re letting them. That’s your fault, not Obama’s, the government’s, or a bad hair day’s.

If you had a union protecting your interests, maybe, just maybe, those health bennies would’ve been assumed through some contract. But thanks to “rugged individualism” promoted by so-called rogue capitalists and libertarians, who, if either ever needed to exist under the screeds each pushes would be begging for help, collective bargaining is dying out faster than the dinosaurs ever did.

Unless you’re Bruce Lee, individual fingers are fairly useless in a fight. However, ball them into a fist and now you’re talking.

Men in general can be sanguine about women’s full-coverage health. We’re men. Nothing for us to worry about. Women must because men too often intrude upon decisions which should remain exclusive to women.

Anybody carrying any student loans? Between the extortion colleges charge for tuition and the usury banks demand for loans, have you thought about your future? Have you thought about having a future?

Notorious a reputation as “liberal” has acquired in dumb and proud of it circles, who won’t admit that liberalism enfranchised tens of millions of Americans, lifted women from secondary status, improved the health of and lengthened citizens’ lives, as well as provided mechanisms which can maintain decent standards of living once our prime earning years end? Left to, oh, let’s say, conservatism, average Americans would work, eke out crappy lives, know meager pleasures then die.

The last six years have seen Americans freed from the unnecessary war business. Employment resides near pre-Great Recession levels. The stock market flourishes as it never has previously. Obama and a Democratic Congress saved an auto industry their Republican counterparts would gladly have let crumble into bankruptcy. Most importantly, the president and Democratic colleagues finally began fulfilling a century-old dream of national health care.

Somewhere this achievement has Theodore Roosevelt his smiling his tombstone tooth grin.

Indeed, seen soberly, Obama’s initiatives are notable accomplishments. Clear-headed Americans should wonder how much farther the nation may’ve advanced had the disloyal opposition, the Republican Party, refrained from conducting itself in a Fifth Column manner. Difference of opinion invalid in this instance, the elephants obstructed measures merely intended to improve American lives. Elsewhere that’s treason.

In America, we allowed this subterfuge to fester under the guise of “lively debate” and “wide-ranging discussion.” Screw that. Right-wingers poisoned discourse with agitprop and propaganda.

Somewhere Joseph Goebbels is leering happily.

A major party in the world’s most envied democracy actually abased itself and used the gimp’s deviant methods which appealed to the least in the least of us. Who can argue with success? Goebbels’ own party exploited the same kind of low intellect voters and rode onto even more impressive results. In the electoral sense.

The day after all the shouting, the gleeful disloyal opposition augured the insides of the sacrificed American political body. Ignoring facts, worse, ignoring their bête noire sat on no ballot this cycle, they announced Americans had repudiated Obama. Who didn’t see that coming? Here’s the GOP’s translation of “our” message: Obama’s remaining two years should be spent in servility to reactionary Republicans and the rapacious corporate interests owning them.

Perhaps the party that Abraham Lincoln and Dwight Eisenhower would today disavow and disown should study real-world indices.

Unoriginal and false, the parroted Republican message President Obama heard issued from Fox News and other right-wing barking heads. It confirms that too much of the American populace has become so stupid it won’t even trouble getting under cover when it rains. Even cows know enough to try and get out of the rain.

Facile commentators with slight regard of American history went for the lazy comparisons. The Eisenhower and Clinton Administrations’ final two years. Each is lazy because neither president faced the same amount of contention from the party controlling both chambers of Congress. Today’s Republicans have barely kept themselves from sliding into rebellion against the United States.

Traveling back a bit further, Franklin Roosevelt is the only other president after Lincoln who contended with anywhere near the open animosity Obama has. Yet the “traitor to his class,” “the second rate mind with a first-class personality” managed to save the very people whose heads would’ve been lopped off right after his had they their way.

Of course it helped that after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor even those who hated FDR got in line with him. Perhaps if the Japanese kindly repeated a sneak attack now ingrates here might spend less effort obstructing the nation and more towards getting on the same page and moving forward.

Oh. That’s right. This is a new America. Selfishness is the keyword, not sacrifice.

This generation of Americans has zero notion of sacrifice. If the same sort of calamities befell us now as did my during my parents’ own prime time, we wouldn’t make it. Our bleating about minor inconveniences proves that.
We throw tantrums about slow download times. Good portions of those who defeated fascism and kept early communism contained did so while lacking electricity and indoor plumbing. What that earlier generation endured and beat made our comfort and affluence possible. No. We didn’t do this ourselves.

However, we can take credit for razing, not erecting; poisoning, not preserving. We are incapable of duplicating our forbearers’ levels of advancement. Through their travails they gained foresight. We lack their wisdom. We lack the right stuff.

By the way, for those who also slept through American history like almost every Gen X-er and Millennial, out of true existential peril the tax rate was once as high as 90% — and nobody complained! The 1950’s Red Scare era makes our own surveillance society resemble a simple questionnaire. In a non-polar world ours still remains the only essential nation.

When other countries or regions are in trouble whose number is on speed-dial? One of the much vaunted BRIC’s? Brazil’s? Russia’s? India’s? China’s? Maybe on a bathroom wall, not when rubber hits the road.

As far as war, the current Oval Office occupant opposed our post-9/11 excursion into the Levant. Looks like he was right then. Since he was, I’ll go with his assessment and direction in the currently muddled affairs there than follow anyone who was so catastrophically wrong out of the box.

The deficit has been reduced. That’s even after exposing and adding off-the-cuff expenditures on the pad the George W. Bush Administration sort of hid under a convenient pile of papers.

Had Iraq occasioned a war levy or tax rise, had revenues not been foolishly lowered during wartime, our debt wouldn’t have ballooned. We would’ve had an upfront true accounting. But as we all now know, Dubya, Rummy, Cheney, their neo-minions, had a shifty relation with the truth. One that squandered a lot of lives.

Obama, the guy American revanchists blame for rising red ink and a whole host of other imaginary sins has been Mr. Probity. He’s responsible for pushing us back towards the fiscal black.

Returning to war, Iowans saw a uniform and missed the mess filling it. Joni Ernst. My God! Another Republican woman who when looking into her eyes one can see the back of her head! Where do they find them? Fortunately we’ll overcome her too.

Unlike the vast majority of this American public, I don’t reflexively swoon before people wearing or who have worn uniforms. During my childhood into teens, every dominant male figure around counted as a veteran. None of them made any kind of deal out of it because theirs a common experience.

So I look at Joni, who’s now a servant of ours, by the way, no longer a praetorian, and I observe her for what she is. An empty-headed boob Iowans have foolishly elevated partly thanks to past attachment to Uncle Sugar.

America should restore the draft. Selective service made the country fairer. True selective service, not the deferment sieve which spawned John Fogerty’s (Creedence Clearwater Revival) “Fortunate Son.”

When Vietnam the war, should America have mired itself in Southeast Asia or not the argument. Dealing any guilt trip cards remained in the deck. Again, then what modest men brayed about their military service? That would’ve gotten tired quick. Unlike today theirs was a common obligation.

By abolishing the draft we’ve made what was once quite universal unique. In doing so, many of us have mindlessly displaced the most exalted American status. (Think Athens, not Sparta.) Citizen. Not warrior. Nor magnate or celebrity. Certainly not basketball coach.

Just before Election Day, Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski compared hoops strategy with our direction in the Levant. A facile comparison. Blue Devil parents should be grateful he’s only a university employee instead of someone anywhere near making life and death decisions. Otherwise he’d be getting a lot of Americans killed for no good reason. Like Dubya.

Dubya’s daddy issues unnecessarily led the West into Iraq. (If only Poppy had voiced pride in Dubya, or better, told his weakling son he loved him. Just once.) We destabilized all of Mesopotamia. So bad even Xerxes couldn’t have tamed this outbreak. It’s been on the news recently. ISIL is our busted china shop.

But if the West’s prudent and effective air campaign against ISIL so displeases Krzyzewski, a strategy which has thus far cost zero American lives while stunting the attackers, perhaps he will personally take the fight to the savages. Residing in North Carolina, doubtlessly he can easily collect weapons, surplus military gear, grab John McCain and Lindsay Graham, then head on over to the Levant. Just make sure they target the right faction. After all, in that constantly shuffling deck today’s insurgents may be tomorrow’s “freedom fighters.”

In that neighborhood, rabbit season becomes duck season in mid-sentence.

Lastly, let’s all get this straight. Angus King, Maine’s independent junior senator, decided to remain caucusing with the chamber’s Democrats even after the 2014 legislative shift. King’s fidelity is being criticized. No doubt by those who’ve never understood or practiced this virtue.

Rather than jump ship while the jumping’s good, a politician shows loyalty and he’s castigated for it?

My-my. We do live in cynical times.