Democratic Underground

The Churchill Syndrome
January 12, 2002
by Walker

"Wealth has never yet sacrificed itself on the alter of patriotism." - Bob LaFollette

Strange things are afoot. Tom Daschle and Dick Gephardt are obviously smelling blood. This is worth noting. On the one hand the self-righteous right has been moving heaven and media to blame the entire terrorist crisis on Clinton. Of course, this is no surprise. Through both of Clinton's terms and beyond, the family values bunch has been trying to blame him for everything but the Crucifixion. The anti-Christ theorists in the movement are probably trying to do that too. What is surprising is the way the Dems are behaving. They have been patriotic, supportive and, well, bipartisan. One would think that, with a Republican President whom the American people are all but worshipping, the Democrats would be faunching and quivering, and looking for places to hide. Instead, the leaders seem to be sitting back buffing their nails and grinning like Cheshire cats. What is going on?

Actually, I think Daschle and Gephardt are adopting a pragmatically schizophrenic strategy with regard to the ever-popular Bush Two. They have drawn a line in the sand. On one side of the line they place the war president to whom they have pledged love, honor and obedience. This is smart. Realistically speaking, what else can they do? Despite a few egregious lapses ("It's a Crusade") and an Attorney General who is inclined to wipe himself with the Bill of Rights, most people think George has been doing a terrific job. I never thought I'd say this but he's been a class act with the war.

But, here at home it's been bidness as usual. So, on the other side of the line Tom and Dick place the domestic President. Their domestic President will be the best President money can buy who they will illuminate as the evil Mr. Hyde president bent upon no good for nice people or anyone else who earns less than 200K a year. This just might work, possibly because it's true. Arguably the domestic President really doesn't give a rat's ass about anybody who is in a substandard tax bracket or is unable to make significant contributions to the causes of those who are.

Personally, I'm banking on The Churchill Syndrome to kick in with regard to domestic George. The Churchill Syndrome teaches that: C'est la guerre is not the same as C'est la Vie. After World War II the British concluded that while winning the war was one thing, the pleasures of jobs and food on the table were quite another. They turned conservative, war-winning old Winnie out to write his memoirs.

After the attacks, every cliché monger in the media (which is most of them) rediscovered the phrase: "America is slow to anger, but when roused… blah blah blah, etc." What America is actually slow to is rational, intelligent behavior after real or imagined crisis hysteria. Usually this is a glacial, painful return to sanity such as the end of the Viet Nam war. Only occasionally is it a cathartic, cleansing revelation such as the Army McCarthy hearings. The real point is that, throughout its history America has always seemed to eventually get back to its senses. Blessedly, America has always shown a remarkable homeostatic ability to return to a sane equilibrium after periods of gibbering fear and anger.

I think sooner than later Americans will wake up to the fact that we are being had. We will come to realize, for example, that the idiotic tax cut and the house "economic stimulation" package are nothing but cheap scams that are sleazy enough to gag a ponzi grifter. In the meantime, Bush II's patrons are doing their thing to advance this coming enlightenment by providing us with embarrassingly clumsy negative examples which painfully demonstrate that all the hands in our pockets do not necessarily belong to us or the ones we love. Thanks to the stupidity of these arrogant butt prodders it is becoming increasingly obvious that some of those hands belong to individuals and organizations one would probably not choose to have in such close grabbing proximity to one's genitalia.

There is a growing list of such scary grabbers. Need I even mention Enron? And really, how many more giant, fumbling cutpurses are going to get away with what Boeing pulled: They lay off 15,000 American workers. They get a multi-million dollar sweetheart defense contract from Congress which is supposed to provide some economic stimulation for the country. They happily pick up the check and open outsourcing talks with Mitsubishi and Kawasaki.

Right now it's a case of Blinded by Love. Patriotism is more glorious and self righteously feel-good and fun than economic self-interest; but, on the long haul, how do you think our priorities will shake out when it dawns on the 90% majority of American yay-sayers that their beloved and heroic leaders here back home have deflowered and sheared them bleeding close like a bunch of drug addled, retarded sheep?

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