Tuesday, January 19, 2010



Scott Brown, senator-elect from Massachusetts in a 1982 Cosmopolitan Magazine Centerfold

I've spent the better part of the week out of my mind for the first time since George Bush's sorry presidency despondent over the fact Martha Coakley's astounding loss of Senator Edward Kennedy's senate seat. Ms. Coakley's loss is due, we are told to her to her sheer incompetence. But I just heard from a politically astute friend of mine from Boston who said one of the reasons she faltered so badly in the election was that her campaign had run out of money. When she went to the Democratic party for money, she was turned down. Her numbers were too good

While Scott Brown, her rival and winner of the seat reached out to independent voters and Tea Baggers and other lunatic fringe to snatch the prize, thereby squandering a hard-fought Democratic lead in the Senate. In all likelihood, we've just handed ourselves the defeat of yet another national health care bill. Massachusetts voters with their short memories, are either too ignorant or too stupid to realize that our current economic woes, double-digit unemployment, staggering debt, record home foreclosures, and an endless war in the Middle East can be laid directly at the door of George Bush. Yet Republicans have managed to successfully place the blame squarely on shoulders of Barak Obama. There is fault on every side. Obama should stop being bi-partisan. The Republicans are obscene obstructionists who don't care about the greater good of the country. Instead of a handshake, our president should bitch slap the entire country into reality, placing the blame for this squarely where it belongs--with Republicans and rouse the population with his brilliant oratory skills to demand change. Where is the plan to put Americans back to work repairing our infrastructure, or rebuilding our energy futures, which would also put people back to work? Where is our health care bill which would also help fix our broken economy? All three plans have been killed by Republicans. Even if Congress had the balls to shove the plan they have put in place now, what would we be getting. There's no transparency and Congress has been busy with backroom deals that will probably render the plan useless to most. President Obama has wasted too much time allowing Congress to create this bill rather than writing his own and just as he's wasted time reigning in the banks and Wall Street from the excesses that put us in this mess.

Americans have the shortest memories. They don't bother to find out the real truth even when it is staring in their faces. They are susceptible to lies which they are fed by the media. They are far more interested in celebrity culture than they are in reality. It's a lot more interesting to them to focus purely on celebrity foibles such as Tiger Woods. They simply cannot rouse themselves to demand health care, jobs and an end to gridlock in Washington. Meanwhile Congress simply puts ideology in front of every consideration and ignoring the fact that they are being paid to do the bidding of the voters, and not the special interests. The system is hopelessly broken.

The media, owned by powerful corporations, has been effectively muzzled. They are having their own survival problems which has cut back on coverage and the same players are chasing down the same limited number of stories, ignoring others that are considered hopelessly complicated or not sexy enough to cover.

Hillary Clinton made the mistake of assuming she was a shoo-in to be the Democratic candidate for presidency. Martha Coakley has now made the same mistake. Candidates would do well not to take anything for granted.

I hope my long-suffering friends who groan about my political rants will continue to indulge me. I care deeply about these things. Some of my friends tell me I'm over-reacting. Some think I shouldn't give up on America. But I've seen little to be optimistic about in our modern age. And it's not a function of my aging. It's a sense that we've lost touch with what's important for everyone and not just a privileged few. We've been encouraged to indulge in our own personal tribalism--us vs. them, ethnic, religious or sexual differences. And we've added a layer of politicalization, liberal vs. conservative. It's a recipe for disaster because nothing gets done. Worse, I'm afraid most people are too political stupid (forget ignorant) and can be persuaded to change their opinions on issues depending on who is talking to them at any given moment. When Obama was running for President, a national health care bill was one of the reasons he's got elected. So what happened in a year? The Republicans had a field day demonizing health care while Democrats dithered over abortion, coverage for undocumented immigrants and the public option (which the media declared to be dead one day and a priority the next).

In the meantime, here's an old photo of Scott Brown. Now you tell me why this guy got elected?One friend described his win as the same as Obama's. People are sick of old and they will take a chance on something completely different. Obama showed on the stump what he was made of.

Meanwhile it's about 50 degrees here and the sun has decided to make an appearance. Out of nowhere has come a tribe of Robins who attacked the red berries on my holly tree in the back yard. I watched fascinated as they plucked the berries one-after-the-other. They're having field day out there right now. Thanks god nature has the ability to calm me down. No matter what is going on "out there," I can look into my back yard and forget about how strange and dumb the world truly is.

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