Once Upon a Time... , July 15, 2011
I put myself on The New Republic's email list when I was young, carefree and stupid, around 1923, as I recall. (In my defense, I will note that I've had an extraordinarily low estimate of that magazine's intellectual and moral worth for some years: "The Abominables of The New Republic: Getting Away with Murder.") In any event, I still receive their missives, which occasionally turn up an item of limited clinical interest.
One such item is Jonathan Chait's column, "What Deal Should Obama Take?" (I additionally note that I've had a very negative view of Chait for several years as well: "Just STFU, Chait.") Chait's piece is just what you'd expect. Relying in significant part on what he terms Ezra Klein's "nice rundown of the Obama administration's rationale for cutting a deal to reduce the deficit as part of the debt ceiling negotiations," Chait/Klein tick off the elements you've all heard numerous times during this "crisis," if you've been unfortunate enough to have been following this important national debate. I've been following it to some extent because of the fascination severely aberrant psychology holds for me (doubtless a disturbed and disturbing failing, but mine own). Also, I have no life. What's your excuse?
So Chait/Klein mention "You can't spend till you cut," "It's your only shot at stimulus," "It's a way to control the timing," "Getting Obama reelected is important," and "Deficit reduction is good economic policy, both now and later." Chait then adds these insightful gems spit out by his churning brain:
Obama's goal here seems to be a fiscal adjustment that takes the deficit off the table as an issue. But that would just lead to an election focused on the state of the economy, and that's a bad grounds for Obama to fight on. ...These are the political calculations of utterly unprincipled, opportunistic, power-seeking peabrains. What strikes me very forcefully about ruminations of this sort -- and these constitute the only sort of reflections you hear from politicians and most commentators (including "leading" bloggers like Atrios, Digby, et al., together with their conservative counterparts) -- is how tired it all is.
The tax code is filled with inefficient subsidies that are regressive but still provide some benefit to the middle class. (Think home mortgage deduction.) Because of his 2008 campaign promise, Obama can't close those tax expenditures. He needs Republicans to give him cover. In return for that, he can offer entitlement cuts, which is something Republicans crave but can't get without Democratic cover. ...
So if a deficit deal is to be had, these are the contours for Obama. Root out wasteful spending on the domestic side, with some balance between domestic and military. Cut spending on Medicare and Social Security in return for closing some tax loopholes. Leave the fate of the Bush tax cuts to the 2012 election.
I'll use a blunt and, I fervently hope, unsettling comparison. All of these repellent people have decided to rape "ordinary" Americans until they're dead. They're only debating who gets to rape them next. And what these human slugs know but will never acknowledge, and what they hope you won't notice, is that they can't even get it up anymore.
You're being fucked to death by impotent terrorists. The only power they have is the power you grant them. Why do you continue to let them do it?
I have one more point to make, concerning the priorities mentioned in the title of this post. Of course, this is never mentioned by anyone taking part in this important national debate. I've made the point before, a number of times in fact. But I can't improve on the following way of expressing it. In writing about the Obama administration's assertion of its power to murder whomever it chooses, for whatever reason it cares to name or for no reason at all, I said:
Most of you refuse to understand the meaning of what you know. Allow me to offer some assistance.Against this background, anyone who cares at all about which gang of rapists gets to commit the next series of crimes is damned. And he is damned by his own choice.
The highest levels of the United States Government have told you -- repeatedly, at great length, always emphasizing the critical significance of their conviction on this point -- that the lives of Americans are worth less than shit. Your life, the lives of all those you love and all those you know, the lives of everyone in your city and state, the lives of all Americans are worth absolutely nothing. ...
There is no power greater than that of life and death. This is absolute power. This is the power claimed by every slaughtering monster in history. You know this. You refuse to understand what it means. ...
So you continue your arguments about the best course for the United States Government to follow in creating jobs, or preserving Social Security, or providing health care. You continue to act as if the United States Government is essentially civilized.
The United States Government can murder you if it chooses to, today, tomorrow, next week, next year. The United States Government can murder you because someone in government feels like it. He enjoys murdering people. He gets off on it.
And you're going to chat with him about job creation or Social Security? And you're the "realistic" one?
You make me puke.
You should also note that not a single person has resigned in protest from the Obama Administration as the result of the administration's claim of absolute power. Not one single person. At a minimum, this means that all those in the Obama Administration view this assertion of absolute power as of minor importance, certainly nothing to resign over, for heaven's sake. That should tell you a great deal about the depth and breadth of corruption in our national government. Yet you will not understand what it means.
Don't tell me this is the only choice you have, for it is no choice at all. You have another one, but most Americans refuse to consider it. You can start by withdrawing your support from a system of evil, devoted only to the commission of evil. If you give a damn at all about the innocent victims -- and there are many of them, although you will not find them among the ruling class or its useful allies in the media/blogger complex -- you will decline to take part in this endlessly cruel charade perpetrated by monstrous terrorist-rapists.
If you are still capable of even a flickering, momentary recognition of the sacred value of a human life, you will say, as forcefully as you can: "No."