Obama and the Fat Man: Clinging to Disaster

I am disappointed in President Obama for dignifying Rush Limbaugh with any notice at all.  Look where it’s got us: the right-wingnuts are probably going to nominate the Fat Man for sainthood any day now.  (To those who cheer the Fat Man, I have only one question: what has he done for you lately?  Or ever?  Think harder than you ever have in your life, because you will have to in order to come up with a plausible answer.)

The official notice freed the Fat Man from having to even try to make any kind of sense, not that he ever tried very hard to begin with.  Come to think of it, he never tried at all.  But now his factual fractures have deified him in the minds of those who hysterically hate that guy in the White House, to whom they refer with what is known as the “N word.”  No doubt the notice has also injected the Fat Man’s countless imitators with delusions of grandeur, meaning only that there is more of his brand of bloated blather to come, and when it does, it will be louder than ever before.

Now don’t go off on me, saying how mean us left wingers are.  I’ve already made it clear that I’m not left-wing.  I’m an immoderate moderate; my new goal is for there to be something in this blog to piss every extremist off.  If you are left-wing or right-wing, I want to make it clear that people like me are your worst nightmare because you have no convenient tag for us. 

My point here is that extremism does not work, and it’s what got us where we are today.  So unfluff your feathers and read on:

In both cases — Obama and the Fat Man — we are seeing the cause and cost of clinging to failed policies.  Those policies have already led us to disaster.  What more do you want?

That is to say that I’m disappointed in Obama for regurgitating some of Bush’s failed policies.  “Stimulus” is one.  I got about $1,000.00 worth of “stimulus” checks during the Bush administration.  All of the money went to pay bills.  That’s probably what will happen with any “stimulus” money I get from the Obama “stimulus” package.

Fact is, everyday living has become too expensive, and the paychecks of the majority of us have not kept pace.  In fact, many of our paychecks have been exported, in smaller pieces, to other parts of the world.  That does not work.

Clinging to the past does not work.  Neither does recreating the past.  Nor does blaming Obama for Bush’s failed policies (as of now he is only guilty of repeating some of them), which some right-wingnuts have been doing since before Obama took office.  On the other hand, people like Nancy Pelosi have taken all this as carte blanche to become more giddily liberal than ever.  This is another fragment of the past that has never worked, and for the same reasons: it is unrealistic and unproductive.

Trying to frighten people into clinging to the past only works in the short run.  We are now at the point where for many, after 8 years of George W. Bush, fear is no longer working.  They’ve learned to shrug at manufactured fear just as they quickly learned to shrug at the color-coded “terror alerts.”  Trying to deflect attention from this fact by claiming that Obama is the one trying to scare people is only singing to the choir.  I believe it’s called “projection.”  Whatever it is, it’s a waste of time and it does not work, at least not indefinitely.

Hopefully that point will reach everyone before long.  But I worry that before some Fat Man fanatics realize it, they’ll have to suffer a tragedy that they cannot blame on the guy they call “N”, not that they won’t continue to try.

Among the causes of possible tragedies big enough to penetrate thick skulls are many, many things that did not begin in November of 2008, or even in January of 2009.  For example:

COBRA never worked.  Putting a reduced-rate COBRA in place won’t work, either.  COBRA needs to be scrapped.  The only thing that ever made sense about COBRA was its name, because indeed, it bites.

Employer-based health insurance does not work in a “global” economy — especially not one that is failing. 

Our healthcare system does not work in a “global” economy.  It makes U.S.-based workers uncompetitive.

Mass immigration, legal or not, does not work in a “global” economy.  Part of this is because of the cost of taking care of those who take “the jobs Americans don’t want,” (remember who said that?  It wasn’t Obama), and part of that is the cost of healthcare, especially for those who are not paid well.

Mass layoffs do not work.

Housing as a quick-windfall investment tool does not work.

“Trickle down” does not work.  We’ve been trying it since around 1980, which is plenty long enough to prove that it does not work.  Time to move on.

“Trickle up” does not work, either.  That’s part of what got us where we are.

The war in Iraq does not work.  If anyone was looking for economic salvation in a “wartime economy,” that ecomony was apparently dead a long time ago.

Looking for the jobs of the past to return, does not work. 

Saying “yes we can” doesn’t work if we can’t do anything.

Saying “no we can’t” is what got us into this mess to start with.

Declaring any truly new idea to be dead before it is even tried does not work.

Worshipping every word a puffy overpaid pundit pisses does not work, either.

Which brings me back to the Fat Man and his ilk: Right-wing radio does not work, and dignifying it with official notice doesn’t work, either.  It only feeds egos that clearly need no feeding — look at the Fat Man’s “this was my first national address” blather if you need evidence.  The Fat Man is living his own Hollywood script, and apparently believing it as well.  The scary part is, so are several million of his faithful.

The fact is that right-wing radio offers us no help and no ideas.  It is merely about bullying, fearmongering, and name-calling.  It has been effective on a large minority of heads that are empty enough to be filled with this kind of drivel, but brainwashing never works very well on more than about a tenth of any population.  (On the other hand, giving the Fat Man real responsibility for what he says might expose him as a windbag to a few of the less-brainwashed, which is probably what Obama was hoping for.  Unfortunately, the right-wingnuts are so lost in fear of the “N” right now that whatever few empty heads chopped off apparently were canceled out when the Fat Man movement sprouted a few more out of its ass.)

The Fat Man’s followers may be relatively few, but they are loud, and they have control of the Republican party, and they are committed to stopping anything from being done about anything by using the Republican party for that purpose, for no other reason than to “prove” that Obama is no good.  Nice work if you can get it.  And if Obama gets past their wall of stupidity and actually gets something done, they will claim his victories for their own.  No matter how they will do it — they just will.  When reality has lost its grip, nothing anyone knows as a fact matters anymore.

That brings us back to the point: extremism does not work.  Marx’s famous statement that religion was an opiate for the masses can be translated into a modern version: extremism is now the opiate for the masses.  Extremism is the new religion.  And it does not work.

Let’s get serious.  The fact is, it happened: we woke up one day recently and the world was different.  This snuck up on us while the Bush administration and people like the Fat Man were desperately trying to get us to look the other way, and apparently were doing a very good job of it for a long time.  It also snuck up on us while people on the other end of the spectrum clung to 1960’s hippie-wish thinking, humming, “I’d like to teach the world to sing” while visualizing a perfect world where everyone would stand around holding hands, smiling and being multicultural.

All of that is old now.  All we have left is new, and we have to figure out how to deal with it.  Pointing fingers is just pointing fingers.  Reassigning blame is a mere diversionary tactic.  Clinging to disaster is not an option.

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