For months and months now, each new day has prompted me to ask, "what fresh hell is this?"
The news has been so unremittingly depressing that it's been difficult to single out any one piece of it for the shredding and/or belittling it deserves, let alone to do it in writing. Nevertheless, out of the miasma has come the conclusion that I've been horribly wrong about one thing in particular. For years now, I've been saying that the Repugs want to take us back to the days of the the Gilded Age. Wrong. We're already there in some important ways.
First, there's almost no doubt left that we have a government that is working almost exclusively for the very wealthy, both corporate and individual. Poll after poll shows that, regardless of how people self-identify politically or ideologically, when it comes to issues that are important to them and their families, they want the things that Congress and the Executive have absolutely no interest in pursuing, and yet, the Beltway crowd seems to get what it wants.
Second, as the most recent flapdoodle over Paul Ryan's infantile exercise in budget-making has evinced, the punditry, the media and the fever swamp that is Washington, D.C., are mostly enthralled with servicing the rich. "Courageous,"
Third, there's a weird obsession with the markets that wasn't a part of the zeitgeist forty or fifty years ago. Tune in to NPR in the early `70s and you'd be lucky to hear a stock market report but once a week, on a Friday evening newscast summing up the week, and, if one bothered, on Louis Rukeyser's Wall Street program on Friday nights. Now, the updates come almost hourly, even though 80% of the country has nothing invested in the markets, or, at best, a few bucks in a 401(k) mutual fund.
Fourth, there's some perverse notion afoot in the nation that we all have to work for "the economy's best interest," even though the economy largely benefits the wealthy these days--as every estimate of income distribution makes very, very clear:
Fifth, the very, very rich are whining, non-stop
, that they aren't sufficiently appreciated whilst they suck money out of the real economy and put it in their pockets. Lloyd Blankfein says he's "doing God's work," while millions of people can't find work, are being thrown out of their homes and are also being expected to foot the bill for keeping firms like his afloat after they've engineered global-scale fuck-ups. Temerity is too tame a word to describe what's going on in the banking world right now.
Sixth, even when a pussy like Dick Durbin dares say of the Senate, "the banks run this place," no one takes him seriously but a reporter for a goddamned music magazine
, Rolling Stone
. It's not Mark Hanna passing out thousand-dollar bills on the floor of the Senate as it was in 1898, it's even worse--it's lobbyists promising campaign cash and future-compensation nirvana to do the will of corporations.
On top of that, we have a black President who thinks Ronald Reagan (who began his national political ambitions in Philadelphia, Mississippi, the site of some of the worst racial violence in the country's recent history) is a pretty neat guy
, and that all that Laffer Curve bullshit and trickle-down economics is Shinola. Why else would he put a CEO that eliminated
twenty percent of his company's domestic jobs in ten years
on a Presidential commission on job creation?
Seventh, there are yahoos at the state level that want to do away with child labor laws
Everything gained by ordinary workers in the last eighty years is under attack by a bunch of meth-snorting vigilantes working for big business, and their rallying cry is "freedom." Freedom for whom, exactly? The very, very wealthy, that's who, to do the fuck as they please with the environment, the economy and the country, and the powers that be are completely complicit in the effort. That's not 2011. That's 1893.
Our country is being run by a bunch of skeevy fucks with money, and the Repugs and the Tea Partiers
, while the worst of the bunch, are not the only skeevy fucks doing the fatcats' bidding. That honor is wholly bipartisan
Might as well change the name of the country to Fuckwits United, because that's what we've become.