Monday, January 27, 2020

The Low Point of the 21st Century (so Far)


That’s what it seems like, already. I know the century just shy of 20% of the way through, but I don’t know what a worse level of political discourse would even look like.

And by political discourse, I’m not talking about the garbage that goes on at social media sites or comment sections. I’m talking about the internal function of the government.

The 2000s have already introduced us to “alternative facts,” and general indifference to public figures telling obvious, easily refutable lies and those lies being vigorously adopted by the liar’s cult followers. Which brings us to the reality that we have one side of the Senate who refuses to listen to or even be in the room for the presentation of a legitimate case for the impeachment of the president.

They say there’s nothing new, while they actively prevent the addition of anything new. (That just harks back to the good old days when they complained about how Obamacare wasn’t working, while they actively sabotaged it.) They said the impeachment was too rushed, now they’re setting a land speed record getting it through the Senate.

The thing is, the GOP senators know that the evidence is correct. They know that offering bribes to a foreign country to induce them to interfere with our election is an impeachable offense. They know that if there was exculpatory evidence to be had or witnesses to bolster the president’s case, they’d be brought out.

They know that Trump is a friggin’ idiot and a danger to the country and Constitution.

Yet still, they deny, defer, alibi, excuse, rationalize and squirm.

And I can see why they do. They’re afraid. They know that their political career could well end with a vote to hear evidence or a vote to impeach. And the number one Commandment of the modern politician is “Thou shalt not cause hindrance to getting re-elected.”

They know what their disobedience will bring about.

They’ll have plum committee positions taken away. They’ll suddenly have well-funded primary challengers. The President will tweet mean things about them, causing his minions and the inevitable bot brigade to follow suit. Some of them will issue threats, especially the ammo-sexuals and professional trolls.

It’s not by accident that the only Republican Trump critics are former or soon-to-be-former Congressmen.

It’s so much easier to stay in line and hide behind Mitch. Mitch cannot be shamed. There is no amount of political blowback he won’t happily withstand if doing so cements his power and that of the GOP. Mitch McConnell will withstand a Category 5 PR Shit Storm and the only thing that will make him reverse course is if his corporate benefactors (like the Koch Brother) tell him to.

But the Kochs and Waltons of the world want to see health care continue to erode and Social Security go away, so they keep their puppets in office, right where they’re the most useful. Wall Street can’t wait to get their hands on seniors’ retirement money. If they go bust, so what? They’ll get another government bailout. And the seniors? Not their problem. They should have invested smarter. And because the Trump administration is doing away with the Fiduciary Rule (meaning an investment company must put their client’s interests before their own), they have no obligation to guide them toward safer investments. Isn’t the free market wonderful?

The Democrats running for president should be beating this issue like a drum. This should be right in Warren’s wheelhouse. Republicans want to end Social Security… the fund we’ve all been paying into our entire lives! McConnell’s also mentioned in the past, out loud. Whip that news on some senior citizens. Run that interview with Trump from last week non-stop, talking about cutting “entitlements.” It’s a major chance to peel off some 55-and-over conservatives.

“Isn’t giving up your Social Security too high of a price to pay just to ‘own the Libs?’”

“’Liberal tears’ are not enough to pay for your retirement home.”

Seniors are the most reliable voting block there is. To threaten their retirement income is to invite the wrath.

Go ahead, try to suppress their votes with long lines. They’ll bring chairs. They’ve got all day.


4 comments:

  1. I know the century is just over a tenth of the way through

    Not to nit-pick, but we're 19 years and 28 days into the 21st century, or almost one-fifth of the way through. So that's a bit better vantage point to judge whether we've seen the low point. Still, I'd hate to tempt fate with 81 years to go. People in early 1920 (right after World War I) probably thought they'd seen the worst of the 20th century too.

    Good point about Social Security -- if the message can be gotten out so that the Trumpanzees will hear it. They don't view media outside their own bubble and Fox is not going to start telling them the truth. The Republicans already lied about healthcare in 2018, claiming they were working to preserve what they were actually trying to take away. They'll lie about this, too.

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    1. You know, it was in my head about having gone through the 2010s, with emphasis on the 10s, and I went from there. Math was never my strong suit. I made the appropriate corrections.

      Dems need to bring up Social Security at every opportunity. "Why would you vote for someone vowing to take retirement money out of your pocket?"

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  2. I had an Obama defined “Cadillac plan” without even knowing it. I was pissed I had to pay ten dollars every time I went in for medical stuff. Nothing from my paycheck. Everything covered. 100%. Now? The years immediately following Obamacare? I get $18,000 deducted from my pay a year just for “medical coverage.” $40 just to say “doc, I have the sniffles.” Worst still? 80/20 means I get gouged big bucks more if the sniffles means actual care. ON TOP of all that? Nothing is payed until I pass $5,000 deductible. So fuck you. Seriously. Bugger off. Because you will never attack Obamacare or do anything that admits it screwed people who were content. You will dig for stuff to rationalize protection for your “side.” Because you’re a hack. You’ve chosen a side as if it’s your tribe and you’re a regular acting tribal. Not new, not fresh, not smarter, not even unreligious. You’re unthinking and unreflective. You’re a tribal grunter wrapped in your tribal wear. Fuck you and fuck Obamacare and fuck socialism. Your tribe is just the stinking gypsey criminal nomadic one that nipped at the fringes of the solid, competent ones.

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    1. Sounds like the perfect argument for Single Payer. Aside from all the self-righteous troll-speak.

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