Saturday, January 15, 2011

Without a Clue and Out-of-Touch...

I'm tired of being lectured to and patronized by politicians. Especially a particular sort that can use such hackneyed phrases as "fighting for working families", "for the average American", "the working man".

Did it ever occur to anyone that the people who can claim such affinity with the "average" person have no idea what it is to be an average person? Particularly if they've been in Washington for any length of time?

I mean, how many "average" people do you know who make asinine statements like this, and then consider themselves serious individuals:

" We have to pass the bill to find out what's in it..."

" I voted for it before I voted against it..."

"I didn't inhale..."

"We are the Change we've been waiting for..."

How many people do you know who can hit the road with a populist message about the dreadful divide between the rich and the so-called poor in America who live on a 30-acre estate with a rambling mansion on it? How many people do you know with a mansion and a multi-million-dollar bank account who can claim commonality and solidarity with the hourly-wage earner? What, exactly, does that sort of millionaire have in common, in terms of lifestyle and material comforts, with the waitress, the cab driver or the janitor?

How many people do you know who can say, like Gov. Rendell of Pennsylvania did recently on The Colbert Show, that the first thing he's going to do when he leaves office is to learn to drive a car, -- because he hasn't driven himself anywhere for the last 25 years? How many people do you know have had someone else perform such a mundane tasks for them for the last quarter century? And had it paid for by the taxpayer, to boot?

How many of us have had the opportunity to do any of the following:

Spend billions, of other people's money, to get elected to office?

Spend trillions, of other people's money, in order to secure a career once elected?

Receive Secret Service protection, chauffeur-driven cars, a private Super Airliner with all the bells and whistles, at someone else's expense?

Travel around the world on "The People's Business" on the People's Dime?

Rub elbows with the richest and most influential people in the world, all of whom are eager to crack open a checkbook, or offer all sorts of gifts and promises, just to bend your ear? And get your vote on something they care about?

Exempt ourselves from a law that everyone else must obey?

Spend our days shuffling papers -- actually, the paper-shuffling gets done by highly-paid"aides" -- engage in yelling matches at your political opponents across the Senate floor, and making multiple appearances on television to spew pablum, in a $5,000 suit?

Our politicians would have you believe that they can do these things, enjoy these privileges, but that somehow it doesn't change them. Congressman Douchebag and Senator Dingleberry are just the same as Joe the Plumber or Steve the Car Wash attendant, always was, always will be. They try to convince you that they have not become some sort of snobbish, insulated Elite that has lost touch with the reality of everyday life; that they still maintain a connection with the Common Man in America, while they go about the business of passing legislation that the Common Man doesn't want, spending money they've appropriated from the Common Man that he can ill afford, and then borrowing even larger sums, leaving the Common Man with the bill.

In what world does borrowing, printing -- or simply inventing out of thin air -- a trillion dollars on behalf of the Average American, while making the Average American pay the massive interest on that debt, sound like a good idea? Does that sound like something the Working Families in your town can do? Would choose to do, if given that choice?

Why is it that when someone in Washington, D.C. feels the urge to spend our cash, it always comes with a sermon? The usual self-serving nonsense about how the expenditure is consistent with "our values", or it's "for the children", or that "we need to do this, as a Country"?

Here's a thought; if you don't think the people in the United States Congress aren't an Elite class, then wrap your head around this; there are fewer people in Congress than there are players in the National Football League.

Five-hundred-and-thirty-five people, to be exact. That's a rather small club, don't you think?How about this one:

Those same 535 people have the ability to affect the lives, positively or negatively, of 300 million others. In fact, if you really want to think about it, those 535 people have the ability to affect the lives of every person on this planet, in some way.

Still don't think that's an Elite club? Let's summarize. Stick this in your pipe and smoke it:

Your life is being affected by the actions of 535 people who got themselves elected with other people's money, so that they may spend other people's money, while they enjoy a lifestyle of private jets, government-subsidized office space, a retinue of servants, international travel, protective details, gaining the favor of the rich and powerful -- so that they can get their money, too. They are writing laws and creating systems which you must obey and pay for, but which they routinely excuse themselves. Some have been at it long enough to have forgotten how to do for themselves: they cannot drive cars, they probably haven't been inside a dry cleaners or supermarket for ages. They probably don't shine their own shoes, make their own meals, or even lick their own stamps. That's what staff is for.

Still not convinced that your average denizen of Sodom-on-the-Potomac is living in another solar system? How about this:

I seem to remember in the 1990's, when Hillary Clinton was trying to deliver band-aids and eyedrops to the world, she used to bandy about the "fact" that 46 million Americans didn't have health insurance. Fast-forward to 2008, and Barack Obama was claiming that 30 million Americans don't have health insurance. How was it that the 16 million people left the ranks of the uninsured between 1992 and 2008, without government intervention? Was that not an indication that the free market was working it's magic, and close to 1 million folks every year were getting insurance all on their own?

(Why hasn't anyone pointed out this disparity in numbers, btw? Oh, right: the Elite are entitled to their own truth, too).

To those of us who don't make our living via politics, of course it does; if you assume Hillary's or Barack's number was essentially correct.The truth is probably that no one, not Hillary Clinton, not Barack Obama, actually knew or knows how many Americans didn't have health insurance. Nor really cares. For all we know, the numbers are entirely fake, generated for political purposes. In any case, it was "evidence" of a "crisis" in American healthcare that required socialized medicine to remedy. So, ObamaCare was rammed down our throats by whatever means could be contrived.

And just last week, Nancy Pelosi tells us -- in defense of ObamaCare -- that 50 million Americans now don't have health insurance (sorry, I cannot produce a source for this; I simply heard it on television, but can't recall where).

In the circles that you, the Average American, move in, if you were to tell your boss that there's a problem that requires a drastic plan of action to correct -- a plan you just happen to have drawn up and handy -- and it was based upon false assumptions, and then, predictably, it fails, what do you think happens to you? In the real world, you get fired; you're walking the unemployment line. In the world of the people who "fight for America" they get to continue on the job so long as they can manage re-election. They get executive positions at Goldman-Sachs when they leave office, or someone pays them a great deal of money to write their memoirs. People who are immune to this simple aspect of real life -- that failure has consequences -- are somehow, just like you? Are able to feel your pain? Are inclined to"fight" for you?

Now, I don't know about you, but if I did things like this I wouldn't be surprised that there's so much "violent rhetoric" surrounding our politics, and if I were a politician I would, rightly, be scared shitless over it; it's the first indication that the jig is up.

Mid-term elections in which my party gets creamed and the other party feels uneasy, even in apparent victory, is simply another conformation that, perhaps, I'd better quit while I'm ahead, and reverse course if at all possible. Perhaps this is an indication that I've been "fighting" the wrong battles.

This idea that your Member of Congress is just "One of Us" who is slavishly serving our interests while jealously protecting his own holds more truth than the illusion of the public paragon of virtue, stout defender of the yeoman masses. It's usefulness as a rhetorical device to the people who have managed to perpetrate this scam is rapidly coming to an end. Now deeds, and not just words, are being noted. Authenticity rather than Style is coming back into vogue in American politics. Proof of intent and result are in demand. The sheltered life of the career patrician legislator, wheeling, dealing and collecting or bestowing favors while creating monstrosities of government bureaucracy lavishly funded by money that doesn't exist, is now on it's way to becoming a thing of the past.

With it's passing, we're about to see an old-line style of politician disappear, too. I hope.

The generation of politicians which came of age in the 1960's and 70's which currently dominates American politics -- the generation of Woodstock, the Welfare State and the Government Program for everything under the Sun -- are slowly being driven out. They lose at the ballot box, they are exposed by ten million folks with access to YouTube and Facebook. The generation which created this crippling debt, this overpowering government, this stifling regulatory climate that threatens to destroy the natural creativity and liberties of the American people, has made themselves rich and comfortable while they did it. But no more; the Inmates now have thepower and ability to run the Asylum.

Those old-style libtard pols will still claim solidarity with the unwashed rubes they call "constituents". Just like they held with "the masses" back in the 1960's. They were posers and phonies back then, and they're only richer posers and phonies now; the generation that "spoke truth to power", and "fought the Establishment" is now the Establishment themselves, and they have committed all of the crimes and excesses that they once accused their political and ideological enemies of, only with far worse consequences.

Imagine: all this damage has been done by, perhaps, a few hundred or maybe thousand people, who belong or once belonged to either house of Congress or the White House. It wasn't the people on Main Street, West Bumfuck, U.S.A. who did this: it was the Elite in Washington, D.C. If Joe Sixpack is guilty of anything, it's of having been conned by pros, and wasting his votes and tax dollars on them. Then again, Joe Sixpack is often a drooling idiot, and the Pros depended upon that fact, and a compliant media, to work their magic.

But those days are over, too. Joe Sixpack may not understand all the finely-tuned, well-oiled bullshit of how it is that NOT spending $1 trillion dollars we don't have, will have to borrow, print or invent with a banker's keystroke, blows either a $700 billion or $450 billion hole in the deficit -- depending on which party you listen to -- but he certainly DOES understand that he'll be on the hook for that $700 or $450 billion, or the 30/46/50 million without insurance, the 10/12/15 million here illegally, and the cost of President Obama --and Her Husband's -- 15 vacations this year.

He might not know shit, but he can look in his wallet and see what's there...or mostly, NOT there.

That's a problem the 535 don't seem to have, because if they did, they might do things differently. Then again, creatures of habit that they are they might have just continued to act stupidly, and just not given a shit. They can afford to buy their office all over again, come next election cycle, or depend on arcane and contradictory Federal Election Law and Campaign Finance Reform (which they wrote for their own protection) to keep any serious contender off the ballot.

After all, doesn't everybody just do that?

The next time I hear a politician, of either party, claim to be One of Us I just might start throwing punches.

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