I have become increasingly disillusioned with all levels of government as I have aged. When I was young, I believed that people in the highest levels of our government were honorable, smart and capable and did what they did out of a sense of duty and patriotism. I bought the myth of the founding fathers as benevolent deities on Earth, of the Constitution as the truth of the question "what is the best way to govern free peoples?" and I ignored the bad and unsavory elements of American History.
Things began to change when I was in high school and watched Ronald Reagan's OBVIOUS mental decline during his second term. My family has been Democratic (large D, party supporters) since they emigrated to America between the wars. FDR was third in line behind Jesus and the Pope in our family history. My grandfather and his brothers (all 6 of them) all served in WWII. My father and his cousins served in Vietnam. But it was Reaganomics and the gutting of the unions in America that started the decline into the current morass. Reagan from 1986 until he left office in 1989 was enfeebled, mentally suffering from dementia and cognitive impairment and it was obvious to anyone looking. But the corruption of his administration was already destroying the country, his administration took what Nixon had done and put it on steroids and proceeded to do pretty much whatever the hell their donor class demanded. That pattern has NEVER even slowed down since the election of Bill Clinton.
Whitewater, Lewinsky, Florida recount, "what do liberals hate America?", Fox News, 9/11 story time, Afghanistan, WMD Iraq lies, Iraq invasion, torture, water boarding, and on and on and on...then Palin was unleashed in a desperate bid to unseat President Obama (who had already been knee-capped and tormented by House bomb throwers and overt racism over birth certificates and the might of the drug industry and medical insurance lobbies). Finally, the culmination of all of this race to the bottom - Trump. The worst elements of all of them - Nixon, Reagan, Shrub, Palin, Beck, Limbaugh - all rolled into a self-unaware man-baby with personality disorders, a tortured relationship with both the truth and reality and no conscience at all.
The horrors of the last decade have been unrelenting. But McConnell and the theft of the seat that Gorsuch now contaminates was the low point up until January 6th, 2021. I cannot even adequately communicate my horror at the continued viability of Trump as a major party candidate for the Presidency...and then it hit me...the real power does not (and NEVER has) resided at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (or even in the Senate) since the Kennedy assassination. It resides in the shadows and pockets of thieves, billionaire vampires who have sucked their very existence out of the nation's bounty and our workers and the poor. The very nature of capitalism unchecked is monopoly and fascism, it is financial Darwinism run amok.
The cure for all of this is currently unattainable. Constitutional amendments are functionally impossible to achieve in the political climate that has oozed into existence. Getting a 2/3rds majority of ANYTHING is impossible - even life and death issues like pandemic prevention and vaccinations have shown that. There is no hope of changing this without a massive awakening from the squishy middle that they MUST stop voting for things as a popularity contest or who they'd like to have a beer with and recognize the peril of the republic that has wrought.
The influence of money and greed is unfortunately a human relic from our savannah-monkey past - the banana scarcity paradigm is ingrained into our monkey brains and forces us to respond like Pavlovian apes (sorry for the forced and somewhat bad analogy!). I am left in the end to wonder what was the greater evil - Citizen's United or Neil Gorsuch? Richard Nixon or Donald Trump? Ronald Reagan or W.? Perhaps it does not matter who or what was worse, just that all led to the same path and like small stones heading down the mountain into an eventual avalanche, it is no one thing that becomes the eventuality, but the combination of them all.
The statements and hyperbole fro.m the moron brigade of Trump water carriers is quasireligious tripe and exceedingly cultish. Its starting to feel like we are heading to an American "Troubles" along with the death, misery and senseless loss it would entail.
I am getting a pit in my stomach that gets worse daily...talk me down, I'm on the ledge lately...
The GOP nonsense about Hunter Biden needs to be torpedoed by EVERY Democrat who should bring up Jordan's own complicity in sexual abuse of wrestlers at Ohio State when he was a coach there.
You wanna be an asshole and go after Hunter Biden in some kind of Kabuki theater manner to try to harm Joe Biden? Fine...but every single hearing should have at least one, if not all Democrats on the committee bringing up Jordan's sordid past in detail and tie the two together so tightly that the farce becomes known as Gym Jordan's Sexual Perversion Defense - a farcical attempt to avoid accountability for his own REAL crimes by smearing other people for imaginary crimes.
Enough is enough. Additional thoughts about Congressional investigations post-Trump:
1) Congressional subpoenas are to be 100% ignored in all cases, no matter how much they have standing.
2) No witnesses or people with real knowledge of ANYTHING should EVER appear before the Kabuki Theater.
3) Gym Jordan can go fuck himself.
4) The rest of the GOP circus can get themselves on tape being extremists, but those tape should IMMEDIATELY be cut into internet ads and targeted to each member's home district every time they speak.
Turn this weapon back on the GOP and learn the lessons of the Trump era - #1 above all? NEVER testify, never tell them anything and stall in courts until 2025, when this nightmare party fully implodes and the country decides how to govern responsibly and still respect opposing opinions and ideas. To get THERE, this GOP must become extinct or toothless to the point of irrelevance. The more they help with their own words and actions, the better.
The GOP once attacked JFK as "weak on communism".
Today's GOP gets weak in the knees FOR Putin, who pines for a return of the USSR.
This switch in alliegence is really jarring to the this former Gen-X kid who remembers the early 1980's and the assumption that any day would be WWIII and nuclear war.
The Day After? Yeah, that fucked me up as a 12-year old worried that I would be vaporized by the USSR's missles...where the fuck is Gen X at now? I know we collectively get tarred with the apathetic brush (always have) but for fuck's sake people...I did not grow up in a vacuum, did I? There must be SOME collective memory of Reagan and the GOP war-mongering and trying to show how much MORE one hated commies than thee next?
I've long been bothered by the prevalence of "We, the people..." without the rest of the Preamble...
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
We the People
See this a lot these days...usually flying on a Gadsen flag or in someone's mangled protest signs. For too many people - including those using the phrase at will - that's the end of the discussion and understanding. Its become a reflex retort, a political jab of sorts. Kind of like "lock her up" or "fake news" or "alternative facts". The meaning and import of the words are totally lost and out of context.
This was NEVER meant to be a cudgle or weapon for one citizen to fling at another in these several states. It was not meant to convey a limited and overly narrow view of the rights and RESPONSIBILITIES of citizenship either. Starting with "We, the people...", the framers knew damn well why those words were chosen and they also fully understood what came next in the Preamble was of MORE IMPORT and lasting significance.
"We, the people" was a direct assault on the divine right of kings and the monarchy that the colonies had rebelled against and won independence from...but that was only the beginning and never meant to be the end.
...of the United States...
This first and most cutting omission is done by the right wing radicals in service to their own selfish intent. This is the people who talk of "the American Redoubt" and believe that something like states changing territory and borders is actually allowed under the Constitution (it is specifically forbidden - Article IV, section 3 and 4). The
"United" States is what gave the fledgling government and confederation an actual NATIONAL identity. The very thing that so many right wing rebels now wish to cling to as symbols only - a flag, a motto, empty words and even emptier rhetoric. It cannot be over-stated - the Peamble to the Constitution only works when read and understood in total - and only then when the first statement is taken as a whole and not bastardized for appropriation. "We, the people of the UNITED STATES..." is who the Constitution is written by, of and for (as Lincoln would later immortalize at Gettsyberg). Its not for SOME of us, or a subset of 'patriots' or a distinct skin tone or set of genitalia. It is all AMERICANS - both the living at the time of issue, and the unborn nation to follow.
...in Order to form a more perfect Union...
This really starts to drive at the import of the Constitution and the words that all citizens of the nation should know by heart and meaning. A "more perfect union" implies and demands change. Change with time, but also change within the original document. The framers KNEW that they could not see into the future, and there is no way that they felt they set down the final words in the Constitution - or there would have never been ammendments, the possibility of a new Constitutional convention enshrined in the document itself, or a Bill of Rights for that matter. The Constitution's true genius is not in its prose or its form or its function, it is in its maleability and changing meaning as time and collected wisdom increase.
...establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility...
We all know one is not available with the other. The George Floyd case was only a recent reminder, but the reality is lived out daily across the nation. We still struggle with this, but the acknowledgement that the struggle is REAL and NECESSARY gets lost in attempts to use media and propaganda to influence and control power for power's sake. All members of congress should be made to recite this Preamble in full before any nonsense prayers or speeches or business of the Congress writ large. They should really understand that the reason most people give a shit at all about Congress is that they expect the government to help them and to work towards these aims diligently and not only to serve party-line votes and politics in general. The number one thing a member of the House or a Senator should think about as they lie down to sleep is 'am I contributing to either of these fundmental aims or not'?
And finally, but definitely NOT least:
...provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity...
The COMMON defence.
The GENERAL welfare.
...ourselves AND our posterity.
These words are crystal clear and should be what they were always meant to be - the very reason we have pride in our nation of immigrants and naturalized citizens, the "why" for any citizen to feel emotions when they see the flag or hear the anthem - and YES - those emotions can and should be both the positives AND the negatives. A flag that means only censored or 'approved' messages is no symbol of liberty - its a dictate from a ruler, a directive of thought and not in the spirit or the meaning of the United States of America - the greatest idea in human history.
Our challenge - to every new citizen born or naturalized - is to make sure that our actions are in service to those intentions: COMMON defence (I find the sloganeering of the Q-people morbidly ironic when they intone "where we go one, we go all" at the same time that they are attempting to pull away from compomise and understandig in favor of irrationality and folly). The GENERAL welfare is what makes being an "American" a value proposition and statement instead of a meaningless label. If there is no benefit to Americans (ALL Americans) in the actions that we put forth, then the ONLY patriotic duty is to keep trying to reform it and live up to the ideal that is "America - the concept, the governing philosophy.
Including posterity in the founding document's opening was an additional and prescient inclusion and call to arms across the centuries. It is Jefferson and the framers reminding us all that though we are a nation now, it was not always so, and it cannot be for long of we do not maintain faith and allegiance to the idea that temporary disappointment and even long-lived abomination cannot break the will to keep trying to get it right.
...do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America...
Power for power's sake is anathema to the Constitution. It is a dagger to the heart of democratic principles and republican governance. It is also the only animating feature of 40-45% of the current voting population and one of the two current political parties in this country. Securing the franchise for all citizens of qualification, and the respect of "one man, one vote", is the only way to stop these current terrorists from achieving their aim - the collapse of representative republics and the rise of authoritarians - who would no doubt seek to have someone like myself killed for even daring to write this screed. Many people on DU would not fare well in a police state I'm afraid...my wife already argues with me that leaving my account in tact and not attempting to "tone it down".
Long live the concept of the United States of America. And may death's cold embrace find the true enemies of freedom with aplomb and alacrity so that this nation, as Lincoln said in a darker day than today, may not perish from the Earth.
The small gesture is appreciated and brings a smile to my face - especially when I get into a funk about the state of the world in general. Focusing on the little things is actually a big help for me and I am thankful for the DU community and the generosity of its members!
Happy Valentine's Day to all!
A customer enters a political party office.
Inquiring Person/Donor: 'Ello, I wish to register a complaint.
GOP party rep: We're closin' for lunch.
Inquiring Person: Never mind that, my lad. I wish to complain about this candidate what I endorsed not half an hour ago from this very boutique.
GOP party rep: Oh yes, the, uh, the Rabid Moron...What's,uh...What's wrong with it?
Inquiring Person: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. 'E's dead, that's what's wrong with it!
GOP party rep: No, no, 'e's uh,...he's resting.
Inquiring Person: Look, matey, I know a dead candidate when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now.
GOP party rep:No no he's not dead, he's, he's restin'! Remarkable candidate, the Rabid Moron, idn'it, ay? Beautiful racism!
Inquiring Person: The racism don't enter into it. It's stone dead.
GOP party rep:Nononono, no, no! 'E's resting!
Inquiring Person: All right then, if he's restin', I'll wake him up! (shouting at the cage) 'Ello, Mister Rabid Moron! I've got a lovely fresh minority for you to hate on if you show...
(GOP party rep hits the cage)
GOP party rep: There, he moved!
Inquiring Person: No, he didn't, that was you hitting the cage!
GOP party rep: I never!!
Inquiring Person:Yes, you did!
GOP party rep: I never, never did anything...
Inquiring Person: (yelling and hitting the cage repeatedly) 'ELLO POLLY!!!!! Testing! Testing! Testing! Testing! This is your nine o'clock alarm call!
(Takes deceased candidate doll out of the cage and thumps its head on the counter. Throws it up in the air and watches it plummet to the floor.)
Inquiring Person: Now that's what I call a dead party.
GOP party rep: No, no.....No, it's stunned!
Inquiring Person: STUNNED?!?
GOP party rep: Yeah! You stunned him, just as he was wakin' up! Rabid Morons stun easily, major.
Inquiring Person: Um...now look...now look, mate, I've definitely 'ad enough of this. That candidate and its entire party is definitely deceased, and when I endorsed it not 'alf an hour ago, you assured me that its total lack of movement was due to it bein' tired and shagged out following a prolonged debate.
GOP party rep: Well, he's...he's, ah...probably pining for the Fords.
Inquiring Person: PININ' for the FORDS?!?!?!? The GERALD FORDS?!?!?!?!? What kind of talk is that?, look, why did he fall flat on his back the moment I got 'im into a debate today?
GOP party rep: The Rabid Moron prefers keepin' on it's back! Remarkable candidate, id'nit, squire? Lovely racism!
Inquiring Person: Look, I took the liberty of examining that candidate when I got it home, and I discovered the only reason that it had been sitting on its sopabox in the first place was that it had been NAILED there.
GOP party rep: Well, o'course it was nailed there! If I hadn't nailed that candidate down, it would have nuzzled up to those bars, bent 'em apart with its beak, and.... VOOM! Feeweeweewee!
Inquiring Person: "VOOM"?!? Mate, this party wouldn't "voom" if you put four million volts through it! It's bleedin' demised!
GOP party rep: No no! It's pining!
Inquiring Person: It's not pinin'! It's passed on! This party is no more! It has ceased to be! It's expired and gone to meet It's maker! It's a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed it to the perch 'e'd be pushing up the daisies! 'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! It's off the twig! It's kicked the bucket, It's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-PARTY!!!
GOP party rep: Well, I'd better replace it, then. (he takes a quick peek behind the counter) Sorry squire, I've had a look 'round the back of the shop, and uh, we're right out of opposition parties.
Inquiring Person: I see. I see, I get the picture.
GOP party rep: (pause) I got a libertarian.
Inquiring Person: Pray, does it use reason?
GOP party rep:No, no ... not really.
This article (WSJ : https://www.wsj.com/articles/mike-pence-constitution-no-right-overturn-2020-election-electors-senate-trump-biden-pressure-11644171148 )
Starts off with this overly broad, nonsensical claim:
The United States desperately needs a Republican Party that is a sane alternative to the ruling Democrats who have lurched to the coercive left.
Lurched to the left?
What laws, programs or reality has lurched anywhere right now? Is the mere mention of Build Back Better enough to warrant this kind of gratuitous, tired attacks?
The part most Democrats would disagree with is that our major issue is not a fictional lurch but an actual stall in the wastelands of centrist fantasy. Politics has morphed (or lurched in the WSJ vernacular) into something far more like a zero-sum game. There is no "middle", no "compromise" - the very act of admitting reality is real is enough to get one drummed out of the GOP and censured...but somehow, the Democrats - who failed to advance Voting Rights legislation OR BBB as a whole - are the problem?
Won't somebody think of the trust fund children????
Just crancky today...must need extra caffeine shot...
I was awoken this morning by my wife saying "I need you to come downstairs right now"...that in and of itself was ominous.
So, I am panicky...last night, my oldest daughter had an ER visit due to slicing her thumb open where it hits the palm and my wife was with her until almost midnight as a result. I immediately started thinking something was wrong with her and began to get light-headed and that sick hollow gut feeling too.
Then my wife tells me - "someone stole your car...".
Out of our driveway, between 12:30 AM and 6:00 AM.
Now, there is more to this...I got really distracted last night and as a result of that, my key fob for the car was left in the cup holder, underneath a rag that I had used to dust off the dash after spilling soda on it while driving. Between an impending overseas trip, my daughter's mishap with her thumb and getting the groceries out of the trunk, I simply forgot to grab the keys.
By the time I realized this after my wife told me about the theft, I just got sick to my stomach. This is such a violation of my sense of security and peace of mind...I mean for god's sake, one freaking bad night turned into an unbelievable nightmare and I just needed to let off steam because I was in a blind rage earlier and nothing good can come of that state of anger I was in.
OK...I need to go try and get calmed down before I give myself a heart attack here...what a crappy morning.
My family is in the midst of a crisis.
We lost mom to COVID-19 and cancer in November. Yesterday, my father travelled from Chicago to St. Louis, he flew in and it was the first time he did anything since mom's passing. Just over an hour ago, I received a frantic phone call from my sister that dad was having symptoms of a stroke.
He is being hospitalized and is alert, but slurred and showing signs of a left side stroke - loss of strength, garbled speech. The h
I am not religious in any way, but I need calming warm thoughts to be able to hold this together right now...
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