How Did We Let This Happen?
(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)
Two years ago, we were counting the nanoseconds.
Two years ago, we were looking for legal and even extralegal ways to get Bush out of the White House before January 20th and to get Obama in there sooner. The Democrats had widened their congressional majority and were going to lead us to the Promised Land and Mordor was finally plugged up. We couldn't have been any more slap-happier than if we'd found out Paul Wellstone had come back from the dead.
Fast forward to the present day. Sarah Palin's new reality show was a ratings coup in spite of us signing hundreds of thousands of petitions. Like Palin, George W. Bush got a literary agent to get him $7,000,000 for a ghost-written book. First day sales were almost 250,000.
To top things off, we enjoyed the spectacle of seeing George W. Bush, Condi Rice and Dick Cheney in Dallas this week wielding not the pickaxes they ought to be swinging at a rock pile while doing hard labor at an East Texas federal prison chain gang but golden shovels during the groundbreaking ceremony for Dubya's Presidential Lib'ary, a massive half a billion dollar complex for a guy who insulted erudition his whole life.
Meanwhile, the Democrats have to move out of their committee chairman offices like shamed and vilified foreclosed homeowners and Obama just dragged his tail back from a humiliating defeat in Asia in which the 19 other G20 countries basically told him to go fuck himself. "We're going to move into the global economy with or without you," they said.
Fox "News", despite being run by a jiggling partisan pig named Roger Ailes, someone the very sight of whom makes one think of apple sauce and mint jelly, is still atop the ratings heap and Keith Olbermann just came off a humiliating suspension because he committed the unpardonable sin of his few modest campaign contributions making all of MSNBC look partisan.
And even Jon Stewart is sounding a bit sketchy these days with his false moral equivalences.
Frodo fucked up. He lost the ring and Mordor has just blown its top, largely thanks to a brain-starved faction of the voting and non-voting public who thought that bitch-slapping the Democrats and voting in Republican lunatics like Michelle Bachmann, Steve King, Tom Tancredo, Alan West and Rand Paul was somehow better than what the Democrats had given them these past 4 years.
Once again, with feeling: How the fuck did we let this happen? How did something so right turn into complete and utter dog shit?
Well, the Democrats have to assume some blame. Granted, the average American knows their current American Idol contestants' names or the roster of their favorite football team better than that of their elected officials or the President's Cabinet. So, while they should've known this, they should've done a better job enumerating and articulating their successes. Health and banking reform, even in its weakest state, was still reform that wouldn't have even been considered if the Republicans were still in power.
Thanks to Obama, women now have more parity in terms of pay and advancement than they ever would've had under the Republicans. The Obama administration is winding things down in Iraq, are scoring victories over the Taliban and is repairing the foreign relations damage done under eight years of Bush. Tax cuts had been extended to both poor and middle class. The stimulus under Obama created over 2,000,000 jobs.
But when the American public asked in the months leading up to the midterms, "What have you done for us, lately?" the Democrats were as tongue-tied about what they'd done as the Republicans were about what they planned to do apart from extending the Bush tax cuts, repealing what little health care reform the Democrats gave us and blindly opposing whatever Obama wants.
Looking at how the wicked and stupid are succeeding on every front, it reduces to absurdity the old adage we may still try to teach our kids that crime doesn't pay. Not only does crime pay but it's further enriched by brain-dead literary agents and TV producers and pays dividends with stock options and has a kick-ass pension.
Then we build half a billion dollar monuments to that evil.
America, I've never been more ashamed to be one of your citizens as I am now.