For all our freedom, America is a lousy place to be a zealot. Sure, you can talk the talk almost as loud as you wish. You can carry signs, march, demonstrate, blog, tweet, harangue, chant, argue, and pontificate – but in the end, it will be decided by politicians, pollsters and lobbyists.
- Anti-war? 30,000 more troops are going to Afghanistan. We’ll assess the situation on the ground before bringing our troops home and it will take at least 3 years after that.
- A hawk on defense? We are only sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan and we’re getting out in 18 months.
- Health care reform with or without public option? It won’t be a true public option and we’ll spend more because of it, but actually pay for it less. There is something in it for everyone to love and everyone to hate.
- Immigration reform? We’re still building a wall with Mexico. There’s no path to citizenship for people who are here illegally, but we still pay for their emergency health care and now provide alternatives to detaining those who are caught.
- Wall Street regulation? Tough regulation is planned, but it will take another meltdown to get it out of committee.
- Deficit reduction? In this tough economy, we can’t cut spending or raise taxes – or won’t. The deficit doesn’t matter – or it does.
- Unemployment and the economy stupid? We’ll extend the benefits for those who get unemployment; provide some food stamps, but little else for others unemployed or underemployed; give trillions to the banks so they’ll make loans which they won’t; spend hundreds of billions on works projects that are subverted by states to help their budgets; and do nothing to re-capitalize small business.
- Alternative energy and domestic production? We bailed out GM. Wasted billions then abandoned Chrysler. We provided incentives to buy cars that get “at least 22 mpg,” continue to subsidize oil with taxes, but created no new tax or incentive to reduce consumption. We have provided some, but not much, stimulus money for alternative energy, conservation and light rail.
- Equal rights and discrimination? We are still “studying” don’t ask, don’t tell. It is still okay to discriminate based on sexual orientation except where it isn’t. You cannot hire or fire someone because of their race, age or gender, but it is fine to do so if you can make up some other reason. Racial, religious and ethnic profiling is wrong, but okay if it protects us.
I could go on, but let me just ask: is there any issue anyone outside of Washington is happy with?
Mindlessness must be the route to happiness. Things are great as long as you don’t care. Stay away from the news and just watch another survivor or gossip show (or anything on television). Grey is the new black. Grey is the new white. We know the economy is making a comeback because fewer people lost their jobs last week. President Obama accepts the Peace prize the same week he announces escalation of the war.
“A good compromise, a good piece of legislation, is like a good sentence; or a good piece of music. Everybody can recognize it. They say, ‘Huh. It works. It makes sense.’” – Barack Obama
“All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender. For it is all give and no take.” – Mohandas Gandhi
“So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” – Revelation 3:16 (King James)