The way we squabble here--we're like the kids of addict parents
They feel a responsibility to us, they want to do right by us, they make promises, set goals, inspire hopes, but at the end of the day they're chasing something else, an overwhelming short-term need. At the moment they're chasing that need, everything scales down to the short term, all obligation goes out the window and rationalization is king. Then we come home and stare into an empty refrigerator, or the clean space where the TV used to be, and wonder what the fuck we're supposed to make of this mess.
So what happens after the latest disappointment, broken promise or false hope? New plans, new commitments, new hopes. But for any addict, a plan is fragile, laden with self-imposed obstacles. Yeah, they've got something that goes from A to B to C, but it all falls apart at the slightest setback. They miss the 5:30 down to the mall, and it's not like there are other buses coming at fifteen minute intervals--the plan was the plan, a step was missed, so oh well. Christmas presents aren't going to be there this year. Why not? The bus came early. As if that's the reason.
You can choose to believe that. You can talk up the obstacles to improvement for an addict, as they're real. You can say they're trying, that they're not as bad as some others, that their unique circumstance makes such failures inevitable--you can deny them agency completely. The evidence that they could do no better becomes that they in fact have done no better. You can blame their boss, their neighborhood, their own parents, their friends, anything. You can blame yourself, that you failed to provide them with what they need to be better.
Or you can reject all that. You can call them fucked-up for doing fucked-up things. But the reality is, you need them. They've got the institutional power--shelter, money, transportation, whatever. They are your guardians, with all the responsibility and authority that comes with that. You've got nowhere else to go, no means of acquiring necessities on your own. So call them fucked-up all you want, you still have to live with them for years, even if you eventually get something started on your own. Without them, you aren't getting anything started for the foreseeable future.
Worst yet, that division of opinion can make the kids hate each other. The enablers are going to be pissed off at the ineffectual haters, because they believe the hating makes it harder to live with the addicts, that it makes the addiction worse, makes them harder to live with, meaner, and so on. It also makes it harder to believe in the latest plan, promise, or inspired hope. It makes it harder to forget the last empty fridge or pawned TV set.
What makes it worse in our case is that we willingly became dependents, we invested them with their authority, and we gave up all our political agency to be replaced by a tiny minority of wealth and influence that has our parties hooked through the bag.
That Michelle Bachmann is -way- more fucked up though, so I guess our guys can feel pretty good about themselves. Got anything to eat?
Perhaps the story is of addicted mentally young always looking to self-medicate, and in the haze of staying in the bed during the day, watching their favorite programs on their preprogrammed DVR with the curtains drawn, starts to believe that it's all the parents' fault, and refuse to be held accountable for any of his/her own situation, although they are about to turn 30 years old, and yet fail to understand that without their participation, they cannot lead a normal life.
2. Nah. You can't look at the austerity drive and not see addicts looking to rationalize
Seriously Frenchie--was stimulus right or wrong? Because right now we're all about anti-stimulus, austerity, deficit obsession, entitlement reform. Is it that we wasted everyone's time and money two years ago, or are we too fucked up to admit we were right then, and stimulus would still be right now?
This is a caper, some short-term foolishness for exactly no one's lasting benefit. Something to point to in the next few months as a success for civic responsibility and blame someone else for next year.
4. You need to be lecturing to the folks who need to get out there and
visibly support the actions that we can take that you have listed.
If you think that the President shouting Stimulus in a crowded room, understanding that the only thing that will happen, as it did the last time, is to wound up with folks screaming at each other loudly about what's too much and what's too little, and then when whatever passes, they fail to acknowledge what that stimulus did do, then you are asking for more than folks deserve.
9. But our shit doesn't even make sense. We contradict ourselves constantly
Edited on Mon Sep-05-11 07:39 PM by jpgray
There's no sense, no continuity in mocking the individual mandate as akin to solving homelessness by mandating home purchases, then turning around and pumping that mandate as a signature accomplishment.
We can't even get this shit straight on our opponents. The Republicans are scary irresponsible hostage takers, yeah? But they're also civic-minded esteemed colleagues through whom we will find common ground and reach a bipartisan agreement that is good for the country and we should praise ourselves for reaching out to them, right?
You can't explain these whiplash, short-term fixes, you can only rationalize them. The only evidence that we have to act like this, to dispose then propose, to spend then cut, to vilify then pose for a handshake, is that we act like this.
The addict drags the TV to the pawn shop, Frenchie. The addict needs to own up to that, no matter if the boss is an asshole, the spouse is an unloving nag, and the kids are lazy jerks. Thank fuck the sofa's still here isn't much of a rallying cry.
3. You got it, Frenchie. No matter how dysfunctional, how unreiliable,
no matter how many mixed messages and the constant gaslighting, no matter how inadequate and cowardly the attachment-disordered parent is, it's ALWAYS up to the kid to find his or her own way out of the mess.
Just as it's up to the kid to tell people who blame him for his parent's fuck ups to go screw themselves.
14. But you haven't moved out of the house, neither have I
We don't make the rules, we don't pay the rent, we just expect there are certain obligations and responsibilities to us, and will return those by voting and working for our party. The frustration many have with critics is exactly based on this--they don't have a viable place to go outside the party, or even the party's candidates.
8. We aren't children after a certain age it is not appropriate
Edited on Mon Sep-05-11 07:36 PM by demgrrrll
to believe that one person is going to get it all done for you and to blame that one person when all your hopes wishes and dreams don't come true. As we mature, if we are going to move forward, we realize that whoever parented us did the best they could with the information, awareness and understanding that they had at that particular time, then we move on with what WE are going to do. You do make a great point about the disfunctionality of pinning everything on government as your daddy figure and the consequences for the unevolved. Awareness is everything..
19. I think my point may not have been clear. My point is that
many here have put a great deal of emphasis on what the President has not done much in the way some people continue to complain about what there parents did or did not do when they were growing up. I thought that was what you meant.
10. The child-sibling-parent analogy is totally inappropriate
to a representative democracy.
People squabble here because they have different viewpoints, a rift made wider by the fact that in the Internet age everybody seeks out only that information they are already predisposed to believe in the first place. This person gets all their info from firedoglake; that person reads policy at Ezra Klein's economics blog at WaPo. We're all walking around in our own little universes and creating tribal wars based on allegiances often based on nothing more than very primitive belief systems.
People fight about politics. They've been doing it since the founding of this nation. Only they had to sit around in coffee houses back then. Today, it's a click away, twenty-four seven, and decidedly more chaotic and tribalized.
No, politicians are not our parents, dysfuctional or otherwise. We are not their children. And we are certainly not each others' siblings.
Absent a candidate for a major party that supports your views, what will we do, we big, adorable adults of the political world? I'm all ears. Not vote? Now we're talking like grownups! Hold a sign that everyone ignores? Write on a blog that no one reads?
A banking CEO can, in a few rounds of golf, get his buddies appointed to hold the very reins of national power over his industry. A pharma lobbyist can, in a few meetings, change the entire course of health care reform to benefit himself and his cronies. We, on the other hand, can choose to support or not support a candidate. We can volunteer, work and march to oppose the policies we despise, and yet after decades be even farther from abolishing them than we were at the start.
We did this to ourselves over a very long time, true. But there's no question the average voter has abdicated and renounced much of her political power to other groups and interests.
18. The politicians are not our mommies or daddies. They are our employees.
Unfortunately, we have been convinced that we have only 2 choices. Mommy (presumably the "caring" Democrats) or Daddy (the punishing Republicans) and that if we don't pick either, we'll be thrown out of the house. Our house..not theirs.
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