Whew, thank God it's Friday. Nothing beats knowing that the man sucking another fifty hours from your life is in the rearview mirror for at least two days. It's supposed to be a miserable weekend in Dallas. Freaking snow possible Sunday. Oh well, that's why God invented space heaters. A little 40 mph north wind won't keep me out of the garage.
One of our commenters, SteveP, was kind enough to point me to a rebuttal to my little Hitler ditty the other day. Verbalpaintball, or should I call him Weak Fauxlbermann, has this to say:
It's funny how these nutjobs can brand our liberal-minded President as an socialist/dictator-like pied piper idiot and not see the true connective characteristics in their own dim-bulb/authoritarian/ex-President and play-along republican lawmakers.First things first. "Verbalpaintball"? I know your average soy-sipping, spotted owl-humping liberal pantywaist would soil his/herself through their hemp britches into the papasan at the mere mention of a firearm so "Verbalpistolsattenpaces" is out of the question, but couldn't we at least get Verbalrockfight? Ah, rock fights. It's sad that kids today don't know the simple do-it-yourself joy of a rock fight. Older "Generals" sending us young kids on a full frontal assault against the other side's fortified position. You want zen? Take a golf ball-sized rock thrown by a 15 year old kid to the cranium. I'm not saying it was Mount Suribachi but it was at least Heartbreak Ridge.
Okay, "Baron Von Ottomatic" (a man with a stupider pseudonym than myself), spew this garbage if you like. Convince yourself that this President - a man who's intentions have always been honorable and for the benefit of the people (more or less) is a dim-bulb leading our country to ruin.
The irony of your own ignorance is hilarious - and sad.
It's that Lord of the Flies zeitgeist that makes older generations better than today's generations. I swear to Christ, you give me fifty 15 year old boys with bags of rocks - not slingshots, honest-to-God nothing but bags of rocks - and we could drive every last dirty, stinking hippie like Verbalpaintball out of Berkley in less than 12 hours. After 48 we'd have every catalytic converter in a 50 mile radius at the bottom of the Bay. Verbalticklefight is more like it.
Yeah. So there. FWIW, Baron Von Ottomatic was a character on an obscure cartoon I can't even really remember. It was a Wacky Races type thing, he was the stereotypical Teutonic comic villan/foil. Maybe the one with Muttley? Or was that Dick Dastardly? Who knows. And who knows why it popped into my head when I registered for Compuserve eons ago.
But considering I'm the resident goof blogger it's suitably silly.
So there are several ironies at play here. First, may I direct your attention to the years 2000 through 2008. The Bush = Hitler meme was ridden hard, put up wet, sodomized, starved, beaten, and otherwise bandied about by the fringe left. I'm not saying that's you, but a Google search gives 7,000+ results on Kos for bush hitler. We both agree it's an eye-roller, as witnessed by irony number two.
Up front, first words out of the gate, I explicitly said I was crossing the Rhine into goofball land. I said it was hyperbole. And then gave nod to my ignorance of history. You're browbeating me for being ridiculous and ignorant in a post that specifically stated I was being daffy and using a ridiculous hyperbole because I haven't spent much time studying history. Think Ed Anger meets John Waters.
To wrap up so we can move on (you asked for it, and since I don't have to get up early and drive my giant pickup down to the poor neighborhood and shovel kittens into the lead smelter for ten hours tomorrow...) let's not overlook the fact that one area where I will give Obama the credit he's due is his continuation of virtually all of the domestic anti-terror polices enacted by the "authoritarian ex-President". A man whose intentions were honorable and for the benefit of the people.
Will you concede that of Bush? I don't believe Obama is acting in bad faith. He's undeniably attempting to govern far to the left of the Candidate Obama Americans were sold, but I'm sure he believes what he's doing is the "right" thing.
But that doesn't mean it hasn't been poorly thought out, poorly timed, and poorly executed. It doesn't mean it won't be disastrous for the quality and availability of health care. Re-forming health care doesn't equal reforming health care. Now throw in the fact that 70+% of the people are satisfied with their health care and 60+% (rightly) think the bill will make their situation worse. The legislative process has been a freakshow of backroom dirty dealing and arm-twisting - complete with yet another Sunday night vote. Metaphorically slogging through Russia in winter.
I'll assume you haven't read through whatever it is they're hoping to foist upon us since no normal person has, but are you really satisfied by the process Congress has used to draft health care legislation? Why is it so important that Congress passes this particular bill right now? Do you agree with the requirement that you must purchase insurance from a third party? Do you believe health benefits should be taxed? Do you believe future Congresses will cut $500 billion from Medicare?
The point that's going to get hammered home between now, November, and 2012 is, if it was so urgent to pass a massive, expensive health reform bill right now why don't the benefits start for four years? It's not going to go quietly into that good night. At the very least the Senate has left Democrats who voted "yes" in the House with a conspicuously wide stance. Worst case for Congress is procedural Risk with additional attempted and failed reconciliation efforts and other re-votes. And lawsuits. Maybe even pitchforks and torches. I prefer a sturdy hickory handle. I should post a pic of it mounted on the bayonet lug of my AR-15. See 'em all the time at our Texas Tea Parties. Good times, the kids just love it.
For Democrats, I suppose they might as well shit in their hats since the voters are going to have their asses in November anyway. Again, like I've said before, it didn't have to be this way. If Obama had exhibited a little statesmanship health care reform would be a memory. Agreed? A half-way modest bill would have peeled some R's, no worries.
A buddy of mine said to me back in December of '08, "Man, it's going to be a long eight years." It sure looked like it at the time. As SteveP also pointed out, we have no power. We're losers. Yet here we are 13 months later with the House almost assuredly flipping R and the Senate a coin toss. Obama is a lot more liberal than advertised, he over-reached, and he left the nuts and bolts to Congress. Congress is an inherently verminous place. So much the more when one party controls both houses. Yep, Republicans too.
Which is where pragmatic, post-partisan Obama should have stepped in - no, he should have consulted with Republicans and presented a bi-partisan blueprint to Congress. This was his chance to shine. I'd say he voted present, but pragmatic, post-partisan Obama was an illusion from the get go.
I know nothing I say will change your mind if you believe Obama has managed the health reform process well or even competently. From here he blew it big time. Electoral fortunes can change, but at this moment in time he's eight months from a wave election followed by two years of hearings in front of Republican-chaired committees. I don't think anyone saw that coming.
As to whether he is leading us to ruin (you started this, and since I just threw a couple more snow leopard pelts in the potbelly stove...), one thing they did learn us in Texas schools is math. We've already added more to the debt in one year than under Bush in eight. If the cost of this health bill doesn't vastly exceed projections it will be the first time an entitlement hasn't. Again, what percentage of the GDP can the government consume before it has a detrimental effect on our capacity to grow?
You and I are already upside down $100 trillion in unfunded entitlement liabilities. Realistically, Obama is just another in a long line of captains on the Titianic as it continues on the course Admiral Roosevelt plotted. That doesn't mean he needs to start throwing life rafts and deck chairs in the boilers to hasten our voyage.
Regardless of who started it, it is unsustainable. We're pretty much doomed since no one has the stomach for the harsh measures needed to avert disaster. Particularly the public. So why complain? By the time the bills come due I'll have had a good run or by the grace of God, these Marlboros, and the moonshine I cook up in an old truck radiator I'll be deep in the all-forgiving ground. Unless I'd give off more carbon dioxide being cremated.
Another thing they taught us in Texas schools is how Texas is great. Speaking of leading a country to ruin, let's ignore history and look at the right now. We don't need to wonder where an orgy of unsustainable deficit spending will lead us. Look at California. Look at New York. Look at Michigan. Compare them to us toothless mouth-breathers here in Texas. Without federal dollars they would collapse. So taxpayers in fiscally responsible states get to subsidize the folly of the exact policy prescriptions Obama, Pelosi, and Reid want to implement nationally.
Businesses and taxpayers are fleeing California. Is the goal to give them no place to go because we're all sharing the same misery? I guess without a thorough knowledge of history I'll leave myself open to repeating the mistakes of the past. Washington won't even learn from the mistakes of the present. Which makes me the idiot.
We obviously see that scenario differently. It seems apparent that making it more expensive to hire employees and making energy more expensive and heaping ever more regulations on already driven-to-the-point-of-outsourcing businesses is a colossal loser when our only hope is for everyone to start making a lot more money.
Another Texas public school subject was the Alamo, and it's probably a decent analogy. There will be a gallant fight but wave after wave of entitlement spending and red tape will eventually consume us all. We'll definitely teach that in all the United State of Texas public schools after the fall. Then we'll see who's crazy for hoarding all that Texas Militia currency.
Anyway...we can at least agree any Hitler comparisons are on their face ridiculous. It's just so tough to come up with something snappy in between the cockfights and giving it the hose if it doesn't put the lotion in the basket on a work night, and I went obscenely overboard. Like Obama on health care. I'd say Obama=Carter but Carter had a real job before he was President.