Could America's Public Life Become More Ridiculous?
Perhaps you've seen Hopey-Changey's message to Minnesota voters on June 1, the same day the Bureau of Labor Statistics came out with the worst jobs report in over a year. Watch it now if you haven't seen it.
Obama's promising each voters$3000 dollars so they can, if they so desire, buy a thingamajig has been widely derided as a cheap election trick. (Why not $5000? Or $7000?) But I want to follow-up on Obama's remarks today. I want to know where my $3000 is. Are we going to get our cash? What if I really do need a thingamajig, which as everybody knows, is an essential (if pricey) household item? Is there some possibility that the O-Man can follow-up on his sweeping promise?
To answer these questions I will quote Salon columnist and Master of Bullshit Andrew Leonard. These quotes are from Obama's blame game problem. Always remember that Leonard is a serious person in every sense in which I am not.
This being the silly season of American politics, we can’t discuss what government might do to address the issue [of a bad economy], because that’s moot: Government won’t do anything. Indeed, one of the worries weighing on the economy is that if Congress continues to do what it does best — nothing — government spending will get slashed and taxes will jump simultaneously at the end of this year. A roaring economy would have a tough time swallowing that kind of uncushioned blow; today’s economy would go straight from the sick bay to the mortuary.
Well! It doesn't sound like I'm going to get my 3,000 dollars. It doesn't sound like I'm going to be able to buy a thingamajig. This is very, very disappointing news, but I must confess, I was a tad suspicious when I heard our President make that promise to the good citizens of Minnesota, and by extension, to the rest of us. That promise sounded a little fishy to me. And here's Andrew Leonard, an authoritative figure if there ever was one, telling me my concerns were well-founded. And apparently there is even more bad news.
So the only thing left to spar over is whom to blame, or if you want to get even more meta, we can dig deeper into the weeds and criticize the quality of the current blame game.
Paul Krugman does both. He blames the Republicans for the current state of the economy and blames the Obama administration for not blaming Republicans enough for their obstructionism. This is an attractive line of argument, not least because it is not wrong...
Oh, my! I thought the lousy state of our economy had more to do with deleterious historical trends like this one—
But I digress. Let's get back to the main point.
Of course, the more time Obama spends blaming Republicans for the current state of the economy, the more he reminds voters
a) that the economy sucks and
b) of his own inability to overcome GOP obstructionism.
It’s a no-win situation, and it invites unappetizing scrutiny of Obama’s record: For example, Obama allowed himself to get sucked into a fight over who could cut the deficit faster when that was the exact wrong strategy, both politically and economically; he failed to pick a major fight with Republicans over getting the right people appointed to the Federal Reserve early enough in his first term; and his efforts to address the foreclosure crisis have been almost comically incompetent.
Any sustained campaign of throwing mud at Republicans over blocking Obama’s agenda just reminds us of how bad Obama has been at pursuing his own agenda.
Thus any scrutiny of Obama's record is unappetizing because it reminds us of how bad he's been ("at pursuing his own agenda"—that's another shot at the GOP.) Yet paradoxically, the Republicans are solely to blame for the fact that our economy sucks! Will wonders never cease?
Bad is bad in my book. Sucks sucks. You can't argue, as Obama must, that yeah, sure, I suck, but I don't suck nearly as much as those other guys suck. With our happy American world going down the toilet, that lame bullshit just won't cut it. Wasn't it Shakespeare who penned these great lines in Romeo And Juliet?
What's in a name? That which we call a turd
by any other name would smell as stinky
I suppose that Obama's argument will be that he would give us the 3,000 dollars if only he could, but those dastardly Republicans won't let him. There's simply no dealing with those stingy assholes!
Is that supposed to make us feel better as we get flushed down the toilet? Apparently so.
Could America's public life become more ridiculous? I think not.
So my hopes for the three thousand smackeroos have been dashed. There's no chance at all I'll be able to get that thingamajig now.
I haven't played George Carlin in a quite some time. The time is right. The time is now.