Train Wreck

The forces of ignorance, greed, and stupidity, long bubbling just below the surface of American politics, finally erupted this month in a viscous flume of bullshit so dense that it coated everything it touched. The stench will likely linger for years. I speak, of course, of the great budget debate of 2011.

For years, the American political dialogue has been littered with shabby cranks, kooks, know-nothings, and scam artists, shouting over one another on radio talk shows, in letters-to-the-editor, at the end of the bar, and now on internet blogs, each “opinion” more witless than the last, in a cacophonous dim of utter nonsense. The difference now is that the same kooks and know-nothings, admittedly with better haircuts and nicer suits,  have wormed their way into our government.

Much has been written and said in the past several days about “hostage taking” and “ransom”, about how President Obama “capitulated” to the teabaggers in Washington, about spineless Democrats and greed-mongering Republicans, and while mostly accurate, it misses the big picture: We the people put these shitheads in office. They are, whether we’d like to admit it or not, a reflection of us and it’s not a pretty image. Just when did the crazy uncle pry himself away from the primordial ooze, climb the basement stairs, and find himself in a position of power? When we voted for him, or worse yet, when we were too busy to vote for the other guy.

Our national dialogue has been reduced to imbicilic sloganeering, about returning to the gold standard, about “socialism” and “liberty”, about the free marketplace and the founding fathers, about international cabals and conspiracies and “elites” and things that go bump in the night, all annotated with misspelled words crayon-scrawled on a placard. And that placard is clutched in the hands of a man standing in front of a court house screaming his demand to remove Washington from the dollar bill and replace him with a picture of Jesus.

That the tea party is being manipulated by corporate interest is beside the point. That most of us were too busy amusing ourselves and did nothing to stop it before it was too late is the point.

The reality of American society is not our “exceptionalism”, it’s our ignorance, our laziness, and our obliviousness. We all saw this train wreck coming, and while some welcomed it in the name of some moronic ideology, the rest of us merely averted our eyes and hustled quickly from the accident scene for fear of being called as a witness. Shame on us for letting this happen.


7 thoughts on “Train Wreck”

  1. The problem with Americans is we have to be put through it before we believe it will actually happen to us. It is and has been happening to us for years..only still we never believe it. We still argue in favor of what is ruining the country even when proof that it is ruining the country is shoved in our faces. That we have to be reminded that cutting government programs during downturns and lack of oversight brought us the great depressionis insane. That there is an argument to the facts is ridiculous. Why does the republican position continue to become more and more ridiculous?

    My friends and I play this game where we say the most ridiculously right wing thing we can think of…something that is today extreme and I swear to the flying spaghetti monster, by tomorrow it will be the very position taken by the right. My jaw drops all the time at this.

    It’s no longer to political ideologies in constant battle. It is now the battle between the reasonable and the absolutely insane.

  2. I guess this great land of ours has devolved to the point where there are too many problems to fix enough of them to sustain the life we all used to love, and die for so I’m just going to stop listening to Coast To Coast and pluck my head in the sand, some nice white sand beach with a good beer and beautiful native girls and whittle the nice soft woods I find on the beach.

    Who cares enough to tackle these issues?

  3. My own personal drinking game, best played alone because you’ll be good for nothing: Put on CNN, Faux News, or MSNBC or anywhere pols are discussing the deficit. Then take a shot of booze (I recommend Vodka of the Gods, $12.00/1.75 Ltr @ Trader Joes) every time you hear the words or phrases “kick the can down the road”, “on the backs of our children and grandchildren”, “adult in the room”, “job-creators”, or “we don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem”.

  4. Long time comming, Stacy Our only reward for this stupidity is more stupidity. Talk about the expolding heads of any left leaning thought that fills the air with every conversation. The talking points Tea Baggers emit never an intellegent reasoned thought. Their handlers have no problem implanting shit in their vacume filled (brains?) ie,last nights Bill Mahr show, which, in my mind was the best of his season. The bat shit reaction to the lowering of our credit rating is almost funny if it weren’t so tragic, should we be shocked?