Tuesday, April 05, 2011

If this is your "revolution," then I want no part of it.

I heard two pieces on NPR today that made me so livid that I had to fight hard not to vomit on my steering wheel.

First came a story about the California town of Costa Mesa, which has just informed its public employees that half of them would be laid off within the next six months. The workers have been devastated; one of them, "reportedly distraught about the layoffs, jumped to his death from the roof of City Hall." Does this sound familiar?

So what's the solution to their budget crisis? Privatize everything, of course! Fire everyone, naturally! And what's the republican/tea party response to these events?

Why, it's an opportunity! Orange County republican party head Scott Baugh is then heard telling a tea party gathering, "Ground zero is right here in Costa Mesa for this revolution!"

Let's look at that again. The situation in Costa Mesa, where fully half of public employees will LOSE THEIR JOBS -- where the government will be paying people less and no longer providing people the opportunity to look forward to a decent retirement -- This is what republicans/tea party morons are calling a "revolution?"

Balancing the budget on the backs of your workers? Cutting pensions and going back on your commitments to people who came to work every day and held up their end of the bargain? Privatizing everything (which ALWAYS cuts costs! Just see the military budget for proof!) and saying "it's not too hard to figure out" that you're going to save money, though no one can say just how much (if any!) will be saved?

If this is your "revolution," then I want no part of it.

- - -

Later came an interview with Rep. Joe Walsh (what else? R - Illinois), a member of the "House Tea Party Caucus" -- what the fuck is that? It's NOT an official party, but they have a caucus in the House? -- anyway, I heard this guy claim that democrats are doing all they can to shut down the government because they won't "compromise" on spending cuts. Walsh claimed that republicans have been the ones putting forth bills while dems have "been silent" and "the President should be ashamed."

The latest (ahem) brainchild they've put out there cuts $61 billion from social programs and education (among other things like Planned Parenthood) while funding the military for the rest of the year.

Surprisingly, NPR's Melissa Block challenged Mr. Compromise several times, repeating his soundbyte, "I came here ready to go to war -- the people didn't send me here to compromise," and basically asking when he's ever shown a willingness to compromise. He then claimed, "again, it's 'cooperate' not 'compromise.'" Oh I get it -- so your idea of "compromise" and "cooperate" is to have the dems come to the table, bend over, and let you ram your shit up their asses. Otherwise, THEY'RE the ones not "compromising." THEY'RE the ones being irresponsible and "mystifying" to him.

"I'd love to see a number though that they would put in front of us," he claims. "Can I accept less than 61B in cuts? I sure hope not...." I think this guy needs to look up "compromise" and "cooperate" in the dictionary.

Separate disgust stems from the fact that I can't remember the last time I heard a freshman democratic rep on NPR being allowed to deliver an uninterrupted tirade about anything.

Still more disgust springs from the idea that republicans claim to be serious about cutting the deficit, yet NOWHERE do they touch military spending -- despite the fact that the published figures (which doesn't include the tons of spending bills and other secret money that the Pentagon gets) show that it accounts for 25% of our budget. Here's a nice link to the true cost of our many ongoing wars.

But hey, let's cut education and pensions and Social Security; let's raze Medicare and Medicaid to the ground and leave the aged and our children to fend for themselves at the feet of the zillionaires at the insurance companies. Let's lay off workers and call it a "revolution!" and pretty much not even put a fucking dent in the REAL deficit, not even TRY to do anything to reduce our spending on wars in the Middle East.

No, let's just clog the news cycle with bullshit about "they want to shut down the government!" and "they won't compromise!" and every other horseshit bill that our government throws out there, and then we can just brush over the fact that a guy jumped off a building because he was upset about losing his job.

In Tunisia a fruit vendor, upset over the loss of his job, set himself on fire -- and triggered a revolution.

What will it take to get true revolution here?


Abu Scooter said...

Shorter Republican platform: Repeal the 20th Century.

Great catch on the Ted Bundy, I mean, Joe Walsh interview. The GOP has been great with the word games, but now they're being more open about it.

dguzman said...

Abu-for sure. *snicker* on the Bundy crack. Nice one.

Anonymous said...

I'd hate to think most Americans are past caring. Is it really nothing but white bread and circuses from now on?

dguzman said...

Kirby, I wonder whether most Americans are not just past caring but don't even know HOW to care.

gmb said...

So why are democrats rolling over? Because they want this too. If they didn't they would fight, and maybe win back their base. This is the bigger story and fear. DC is bought and sold. If something doesn't happen soon to right things, then Tunisia will be coming to your town.

dguzman said...

gmb--you're right -- they are terrified of losing their positions of power. The rulers are not of the ruled; that is our main problem. Whenever the pols try to do anything "for the American people" or whichever segment of us they pretend to care about, it's always exceedingly clear they know nothing about what it's like to BE a normal person in America. They certainly don't know; they're too busy cashing their corporate checks.

gmb said...

Exactly, dguzman. They have to start fearing us. It's coming. Given all the real deprivation around us, they really can't scare us with fake shit any more.

Liberality said...

I love your rant!!! And I don't listen to NPR anymore. There are shows that public broadcasting carries that I like but their daily news programs suck ass.

Lazarus Lupin said...

The argument i've heard against public unions is that they hold government hostage, but in privitization doesn't the bosses in question have the same position? Won't they lobby the government for various sweetheart deals? It seems we trade foxes for wolves and call ourselves safe.

Lazarus Lupin
art and review

dguzman said...

gmb--but I don't think enough of us are smart enough not to be fooled. I think there are PLENTY of people who just beg to get fooled each and every day -- how many viewers does Faux Nooz have?

Liberality--I usually share your disgust with NPR and have more than once yelled questions at the radio during their "interviews" with one repug after another, especially during this budget fiasco. But there's not a whole lot of other things on the radio, and I'm wearing out my Miles Davis CDs.

Lupin--welcome to the bloggy! Indeed you are correct about the attitude toward unions; just last night I was listening to Utah Phillips, who sings a lot of old and original songs about things like unions, the working man, etc -- and I sure wish people would stop believing the bullshit repugs and the Chamber of Commerce ladle out about how terrible unions are. Where would we be without them? Child labor, anyone? Minimum wage around $5, anyone? The unions drive up wages and work conditions for EVERYONE.

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