Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Learned helplessness

Yes, Alberto Gonzales is lying his a$$ off. Yes, Smirky broke the law. Yes, the NSA (and who knows how many other agencies) are spying on us illegally and without warrant or warrants. And yet, I am unable to muster much outrage. Why? Mainly because I've been burnt out by too many promising avenues and reasons for revolt both in and out of our government either failing to materialize or petering out in a sea of equivocation and dissent. It doesn't surprise me in the least that Gonzales wasn't made to swear to tell the truth--everybody in the room knew he was going to be lying. It doesn't surprise me at all that most of the Republicans on the dais, even if they show some sort of independence in their lines of questioning (which isn't happening all that much anyway) are posturing now to show "America" that they really care. I know that when push comes to shove, they will simply roll over or act like bitches in heat when their master Frist tells them to. It has simply happened too many times--in fact, every single time anything has been voted on and passed for the last 11 years+--for me to come anywhere close to thinking "maybe this time . . .".
Why is this happening? Well, for one thing, no one is holding these slimeballs accountable for their actions--because no one is watching. And those of us who are watching remain powerless to effect any kind of change because we aren't in control of anything. We don't have the broadcasting ability, we don't have the newspapers, we don't have but one radio "network", and we don't have one branch of the government to call our own. I can write as many blog entries as humanly possible, and point to as many others as I can, that are trying to spread the message that we are being screwed back to the 1890s, but aside from maybe influencing a pol or two who want to pay attention to us, what has happened? Nothing. Those people who need to hear this stuff either don't care enough to listen or are actively seeking to destroy us. Either way, we don't have an audience of people who are "convinceable". It boggles the mind that there are at least 30% of Americans who still support Smirky and think that he's an "ok guy" who is looking out for them. That's impossible, because Smirky is only looking out for the 30 or so people in his inner circle with every breath he takes into his wretched soul. That he has connived the entire Republican party--and even some useless Democrats--that he is helping them to do anything but destroy the US is simply evidence of their own craven desires, especially if they aren't true believers. I'm pretty sure that Arlen Specter doesn't truly think Bush knows what he's doing, but it just doesn't matter enough to him to act on that belief. He knows that the right wing is ascendant, so regardless of whether he's on board with their platform or not, he recognizes that they are organized and winning. He was supposed to be "pro-choice", wasn't he? So how does he square that circle by voting for Alito? He's a Senator of the United States, right? So why will he participate in the whitewashing of Smirky, Gonzales, and the spooks in intelligence as they subvert the entire Constitution? Does he really want Smirky to be our dictator? Does he really think that's not what is going on? (I'm not even going to bother with Hatch, Kyl, or the rest, because they are obviously mere lapdogs of the ruling junta).
We are in the death throes of our democratic way of life--and don't let anyone tell you that democracy equals capitalism, because it doesn't. Anytime someone tries to tell you that a free market is the same thing as free speech, call bullshit on it. And that's what most of Smirky's gameplan has been about, from day one. He is not a Christian, for God's sake--how can he be and have so little regard for human life? He's just a greedy little pig, snuffling his way to the magic gold rings of power, money, and ego boosting. His business cronies are using him to gut the Constitution for their benefit, all the while claiming a mantle of patriotism, as if those two weren't mutually exclusive. Can anyone seriously look at or listen to Dick Cheney or Karl Rove and not believe that they are completely soulless? Can anyone really listen to anything Smirky says--and then watch his subsequent actions--without realizing that he's clearly either a) the stupidest man ever to hold that office, or b) a sociopathic pathological liar?
But what does it get me to know all this? Sooner or later, due to decades of deregulation and tax code changes, all wealth in this country will be concentrated in the hands of a few white Republican men, who will control the reins of everything we eat, see, or do, in addition to all the regulatory bodies needed to maintain that control. Or has that already happened? We don't have many people in view who are willing or able to challenge the ruling class, and hey, as long as I can go to Wal-Mart to buy pencils for a nickel less than I can anywhere else, who cares that I make half of what I made before the plant closed down?
Wake the fuck up, people! All politicians are not the same--it does matter who's in charge. Corruption does matter, and it's only the Republicans who are corrupt. How can it be otherwise since they are the ones in control? No one is stupid enough to pay off a politician that can't do anything, and the Dems are not only out of power, they are almost out of spine. After the disgrace of the Alito vote, I have little faith that this combination of Dems is of much use to the country, and by 2008 (since by all accounts, not enough will change in 2006) it will probably be too late to arrest our decline.
The problem is that the public has no independent mode of mass communication left to it, and the political "game" is becoming more and more rigged against us regaining one. Without a means of communication, truths will die unheard and unnoticed, especially amidst the sea of propaganda that now dominates the airwaves and the print media. The last thing left is the vote, and if the electronic voting machines are actually getting "fixed" to reach a particular result, we don't even have that.
I wish this were all hyperbole, but it really isn't. Every day I see or hear something more depressing regarding our media and the state of our union. The more I see the headlines on CNN, in the Times (NY or LA) or the Post, or hear on NPR, not match up with what I know is happening based on my own observations, the more I realize that even these last beacons of supposed objectivity are failing us. The more I tune into CSPAN to check out what the Dems on the Hill are up to, the more I realize that the rhetoric isn't helping. A rousing, blistering, but most of all, truthful questioning--even from Joe Biden--on Gonzales gives only a momentary frisson of pleasure, immediately undercut and blown away by Sessions's pandering statements like, "I'd like to join in congratulating you on this office. And you are uniquely qualified and capable of handling this docile committee which you've inherited." I mean, what's the point of saying something like that?
It's no fun living through the demise of a culture of freedom like our country has enjoyed--even with all of its faults--for this long. Knowing that there are people in this country that have not a single iota of caring for others makes me both angry and despairing, because those are the people who need the kind of help a liberal society offers. Unfortunately, they have seemingly no reason to think so, because there are plenty of idiots out there willing to tell them that they're ok in their racist, bigoted (or maybe even just selfish) ways.


Blogger sporksforall said...

Ok, this doesn't make any of it better, but how great was it that Jimmy Carter, Joseph Lowery, et. al. took Coretta's funeral as a time to bash W. in his face? Jimmy is the man. Oh, and did you see the bit where Helen Thomas invoked Nixon's shenanigans to McClelland, who looked like a fool trying to defend W? As quoted in Salon's "Broadsheet," "Jessica at Feministing is also big on not observing the niceties, and sums up the exchange this way: 'Helen Thomas Rocks My Fucking World.'"

3:31 PM  
Blogger bryduck said...

Jimmy is the man. I wish he had been the man in 1980, but boy, was he clusterfu*%ed back then. Helen Thomas is also awesome; is she the last journalist left in the White House pool?

4:08 PM  
Blogger Slangred said...

*sigh* indeed. Can we move to Canada now?

10:20 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home