Anyone Surprised?

Captain Kirk pulls it out of his ass at the last minute! (“Scotty! Give me everything you’ve got!”)

No — really. We’re all familiar with the classic Star Trek setup, right? Gene Roddenberry hooked audiences on this scenario: something has gone wrong and the clock is ticking! We’re working on the problem! Oops — something else has gone wrong and the clock is ticking faster plus the stakes just shifted upward from “local implosion” to “thermonuclear meltdown.” Oh, and the character you love most is in mortal peril.

Well I don’t know if anyone was in mortal peril but a shitload of people’s household budgets are probably going to be in the Rice-a-Roni zone for a while. Does that count?

Unlike Star Trek, this was real life, which goes on after the lights come up. And the drama was orchestrated by a bunch of bozos who have no need to worry about their household budgets, choosing — I glumly predicted it at the outset — to run out the clock till a few minutes to midnight, trying to see how many flinders of concession each side could exact.

Oh I make no secret of my predilections. The American Republican Party has devolved from the party of sleeve-tugging fiscal restraint to the Party Of Whack, a refuge for people who want Old White Guys to have the last word and can’t handle the idea of sex without procreation, actually can’t handle the idea of sex at all for long, forget gay people, anyone in distress did something to deserve it, I’m aboard pull up the ladder. “Do you hate Obamacare more than you love your country?” one exasperated television host asked a GOP Congresswoman.  

You know, I think the ACA is more than a little bit of a clusterfuck myself, but it’s a step in the right direction — toward the environment experienced by many of my blog friends, who may gripe about their countries’ health care plans but will never have to fear that illness will bankrupt them. I am down with lobbying aggressively to fix it. Tying the country to the railroad tracks is right out of it.

This was a flirtation with worldwide economic Shit On Toast . By leading with legislation that the American President had stated — for reasons that would be obvious to any nematode or prion even — would be antithetical to him, the House of Representatives essentially moved to take not just their own country but the world economy hostage, over a health-care program they had already unsuccessfully tried to undo forty times. Jeebus: this was not about sending people to the Gulag or seizing their personal information online, what the fuck, we already did that, no, it was about an argument over the best way to pay for health care.

In the process, the entire protocol for paying the bills we had already run up with the approval of Congress got hijacked.

Please, people, remember this when you go in the voting booth. Voting? You remember that right? It happens somewhere in the interstices between reality TV and trips to BJ’s wholesalers.


4 thoughts on “Anyone Surprised?

  1. Surprised of what? That the US government goofed again? Not really!

    I really don’t understand the position about Obamacare. Nobody wants to help any body else? Oh I’ve got money, you don’t, why would I care? Here we pay about 25% of our wage to taxes. You know what? I’m very happy with that. I can get to the hospital even without money, I cannot get homeless if I loose my job. Different places, different culture I suppose. But I wouldn’t swap places.

    I avoid any political posts on my blog because I aim to talk to people over the entire world. But somehow, you can. We all hear about your politics. This is something you can do that I can’t 🙂

    • Well, Americans who are paying attention hear about things to the north and south of us — but I know it isn’t the same. The US still has that 800-pound gorilla effect, when it comes to things like the international markets and our leaders’ dismal habit of sending armed troops everywhere.

      Part of the problem with the Obamacare controversy is as I (and John, below) said — people are devoting so much attention to car races and cheesy TV. or celebrities’ lives, that they have few brain cells left over and can be easily convinced by people with a financial interest that the country will be DESTROYED if we do this or that. Ronald Reagan made the same dire predictions about Medicare, and now we have people so ignorant that they are afraid the Affordable Care Act will “take away their Medicare” (which is even more “socialist” than the ACA). And there is this bizarre myth that people who are in need somehow did something to deserve it and shouldn’t be helped. It’s like a one-life version of the karma concept in Hindu culture. Puritanism at work there, I suspect; God smote him, why should we argue with God? Still, at the bottom, it’s a cheap way of justifying self-centeredness.

  2. Great characterization of the American Republican Party! We’re not surprised that they pulled back from the brink at the final moment. Again. But I can’t suppress the dystopian vision that one day, Congress will shut the government down and not be able to reboot it.

    Barring an outbreak of sanity, the 2014 elections will be held in an atmosphere of fear and loathing. We won’t have presidential candidates to provide even a hint of focus. Citizen participation in mid-term Congressional and State elections is in decline. Who knows what havoc the voting minority will wreak while the majority is busy self-medicating on NFL, Netflix, and cable news-babble?

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