Monday, July 31, 2006

You Asked For It, America!

"Those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of a tiger, ended up inside".
John F. Kennedy
Inaugural Address
20 January 1961

Everywhere you turn, whether it be in the papers or on the radio and television or even on the street where you live, you can't help but notice what can only be described as an assault on the working people of this country. Every night on CNN, Lou Dobbs highlights another example of "the war on the middle class" that is being waged by the Bush administration and both houses of congress - republicans and more than a few democrats. The headline in the Middletown, NY Times-Herald Record yesterday blared, "THE NEW WAR ON THE POOR". The photo on page one was of Robert and Constance McDonald of Middletown. He is an out of work auto mechanic who was disabled years ago, the result of a back injury. She suffers from congestive heart failure. They live on slightly over nine hundred dollars a month to cover all of their expences plus a meager $147.00 in food stamps. The sub-headline states that George W. Bush's new Medicaid rules have sent them and thousands of others in our area (not to mention millions across the country) into panic-stricken desperation. "I'm scared", said Mr. McDonald. "I'm scared where we're going to go. There's no money to bury us". How unspeakably sad. As perfect a comment on our sick society as I've heard in a long, long time. God bless the both of them.

Did the McDonalds vote republican in any election during the past twenty-six years? It's hard to say. Maybe they did and maybe they didn't. But it's an easy bet that most of the people across the country who are now in the proccess of getting screwed by the most criminal administration in the history of human folly did, in fact, consistantly vote for the GOP. The fact that so many of them have been brain-washed by the cave men of Hate Radio and are trained, like Pavlov's dogs, to blame their current woes on "the liberal democrats" is really kind of pathetic and yet extremely funny all at the same time. You want irony? I'll give you some irony, baby!

What could one possibly say to people that willingly ignorant? What immediately comes to mind is the old cliche: You made your bed, now sleep in it, schmuck!

The only people with whom I feel any degree of sympathy are the ones who were smart enough to pay attention to affairs of state and never fell for the mindless nonsense being peddled by the far-right. As for the rest of the country - those who voted for the conservative agenda or those who didn't bother to vote at all - they're going to get exactly what they deserve. That will be the only joy to come out of the coming domestic meltdown: Watching the faithful viewers of FOX and Friends whither in shame and embarrassment at their utter stupidity. To those of you who for years have knowingly dedicated your lives to promoting the lies and the foolish propaganda of the extremists within government and without, I have but one messsage: Have no fear, we will be merciful. You'll even be allowed to retain your right to vote! Seriously! Unlike you assholes, we still believe in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

If it'll make you feel any better, I share in some of the responsibility for the current mess we're in for two reasons:

1. On election night 1980, I was a 22 year old reporter for WALL RADIO in Middletown. That was Orange County's community radio station until it was Clear Channeled to death by the de-regulation of the FCC in the early eighties. On this particular evening, I was covering the democrats. They had an open bar and I wound up drinking more than I should have. How drunk did I get? I went to the polls just before they closed and cast my vote - just as a joke, mind you - for Ronald Reagan! Yeah, I really got that drunk! It's a miracle I even woke up the next morning. I learned a valuable lesson that night: Don't drink and vote. So help me, Mitch Miller, I've been stone-cold sober every election day since.

2. In 2000 I stubbornly insisted on supporting Ralph Nader's candidacy. I had been frustrated for years at the right-ward tilt the democrats had been taking and wanted to cast a "protest vote", so to speak. At the time I felt that it would be a reasonably safe, even a responsible thing to do. As harrowing a prospect as a potential Bush presidency may have seemed to any thinking person, at the time I thought that he didn't stand a chance in hell. I mean the guy was just so gut-bustingly stupid that running against him should have been the political equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel. Lesson number two? As mind-numbingly dumb as Bush obviously is, the American people are just as clueless.

True, Bush didn't actually win the White House, per se. I'ts now obvious that they were able to steal the elections by denying the vote to African Americans in Florida in 2000 and in Ohio and New Mexico in 2004. But the fact that he was so obviously corrupt (Please read Molly Ivins on that subject) and that he had the IQ of a half-eaten box of MilkDuds should have made both of those contests a landslide for the democrats. That so huge a segment of the electorate really believed that sending this homicidal, half-witted frat boy to Washington was a good idea illustrates, beyond denial, the deplorable state of our national political awareness. It also shows the frustrating ineptitude of the once-great party of FDR and JFK. As John Lennon once said, "Nobody told me there'd be days like these".

One day - and that day is coming very soon - the American people are going to wake up from the right-wing coma they've been snoring under for the last quarter of a century. And just as they did in 1932 with Franklin D. Roosevelt, they'll send a progressive, "a liberal" to Washington to clean up the whole shameful mess.

Strange days, indeed.

Pray for peace.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


At 10:46 PM, Blogger Fenrir said...

Unlike your previous blogs, this one tipped on the edge of emotional drama.
Whatever happens in office affects both parties. Your post made it sound as if democrats and liberals were immune to the laws (however absurd) that are coming out of Congress and the White House.
I gotta go. Will write another comment later.

At 5:20 AM, Blogger landsker said...

Here in the U.K., the B.B.C. recently ran a news item, showing the plight of hundreds of former soldiers, who are now homeless.
In the U.S., there is a programme called "StanDown", which in the last year, claims to have helped over 100,000 homeless veterans.
It is the price of war, that many young people return from battle, totally devastated and mentally drained.
In war, every nation becomes hardened to the death and suffering of others.
It begins with the "enemy", which, in order to kill them, must be portrayed as lesser human beings.
Sadly this viewpoint soon spreads to encompass all those who do not support the war.
Poor people, disabled people, old people...they have little to offer a government at war.
To a government at war, they become a burden, to be cast off and forgotten, until election time.
Of course, now that there is diebold, the word election holds no fear for the current administration.

At 8:36 AM, Blogger betmo said...

actually, i don't know how many folks that program helped because the papers recently carried stories about soldiers living in cars and on the streets in shelters because they were homeless. my guess is another 'program' designed to funnel money to gop coffers.

At 8:38 AM, Blogger betmo said...

as far as emotional drama, one only has to look at the evidence trail to see what many are calling a 'dictatorship in its embryonic stage.'

At 9:42 AM, Anonymous BullDerm said...

And FDR came into office on the heels of near total economic failure. If that's what it takes to change an electorate's choice of future direction, there may not be a world, much less an American society to put back together. What's sorely lacking now is an opposition party, and the current Democratic leadership it is not, except perhaps Dean, Feingold, and a few others. Sometimes that seems more chilling than the oil-friendly, corporate-friendly interests that ruin us now. The upcoming Congressional election will definitely set the tone for the next ten years. The only question is, will it be more of the same...

At 10:03 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Excellent point, bullderm! I'm going to support the next democratic nominee whoever he or - God forbd - she may be. But as far as most of the current frontrunners are concerned, I'll be holding my nose as I cast my vote. Russ Feingold is one of a very few that I am able to muster up any enthusiasm for.

At 12:13 PM, Blogger landsker said...

Over here in U.K./Wales? we have four or five political parties.
Holland has about thirty, China has just the one.
( "pause for thought")
Which ever way you look, there will always be professional politicians.

Reading the american press, it seems as though Bush now only carries around 20-30% of the people.
So, could one ask, "academically", if those numbers were to be translated into democrats taking seats in congress, would that be strength enough to rapidly and radically change the social nature, or "purpose", of America?

Just a thought.

At 12:23 PM, Blogger stoney13 said...

I don't care if it's one of the toads that live in my shop! If it's a Democrat, it's getting my vote! Idon't think this country ewill EVER get over Dumbaya! If it does, It certainly won't be in my lifetime!

Maybee we could have a National Lottery to pay off the debt this nutjob has saddled us with! How odd it is the China holds the note to America! UNACCEPTABLE!!!!! We CANNOT let the "Repiglican" Consevatives (Jesse Helms types) and Can't Serve atives (Neocon Chickenhawks) run this country any more into the ground!

We as Democrats must reach out to more people. One way would be to stop this Anti-gun business. Here in North Carolina I hear it all the time, "I'll NEVER vote for a Democrat! They want to take away my guns!" I own five firearms, (one assault rifle, one shotgun, and three pistols) and I DON"T belong to the NRA! But I do know that the NRA members vote almost excusivly for Republicans! Why? They feel that only Republicans will look out for their interests! Think the Brady Bill is a good idea? If ALL youyr guns are registered and President Pork Pie decides it will be much easier, to defclare an emergency and lock all of us godless Liberals up In one of the fancy new Haliburton camps, they Aready know who has the guns, and can neatly dispose of us, and them! I'm not going quietly! I took an oath to "Defend the Constitution of the United States of America, from all enemies foriegn and domestic"! I STILL do!!!

If we as Democrats don't preserve the Second Ammenment, How will we expect to protect the first! Besides, if Diebolt pulls another trick like they have in the past, we just might need those guns!

At 6:33 PM, Blogger betmo said...

tasini for new york senate. seriously. i looked at his platform and it is pretty common sense. hill- well she has turned into a 'democrat in name only(dino)' and i am not sure why. this pro-war crap has turned me off completely.

At 8:27 PM, Blogger Nancy said...

I don't believe in allowing anyone who still supports Bush EVEN NOW after the serial crimes have become public notice to retain their franchise.
Sauce for the gander.
I also don't support Hillary Clinton. She's brighter than Bush but otherwise has little to recommend her. And I live in her home state.

At 12:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think I'll live long enough to see the mess that Chimpy, Cheney, et al have created, cleaned up, straightened out, repaired, etc. And I'm an optimist.......

If masses of people don't turn out to vote this November, then I fear all will be lost.

Mary Eman (age 57)

At 6:36 AM, Blogger griffinia said...

This was always their plan, Tom. But the boldness, the sheer in-your-face capacity of the assault can mean only one thing - they have every intention of rigging the elections until the job is complete. The vigilance we must assume this November and again in 2008 is Hercuclean, but if we don't, we are doomed.

At 6:59 AM, Blogger No said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog...I like yours too!

At 10:44 AM, Blogger cognitorex said...


President Bush softly sings.

I Miss Arafat in the Springtime,
I miss Sadaam in the fall,
Lebanon‘s a mess, it‘s in splinters,
I Had No Idea at All.

At 11:33 PM, Anonymous Barbara D. said...

I have gotten lost & don't know if I am posting this where I ought to post it. But your statement that you voted for R. Reagan as "a joke" just about blew me away.

I have had a drink or two too many in my day, but to vote for a REPUBLICAN? As a joke? I guess I never got quite that damn drunk.

I did, however, cold sober, vote for Ross Rerot, when he ran against Clinton. And just think about it. If Perot had won there would be no Great Sucking Sound of Nafta. And given the choice I would quite probably vote for Ross Perot again.

Tom, I love your site. Don't mistake any of my comments for condemnation.

At 6:33 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Dear Barbara,
Thank you for the kind words! Yes, there is no excuse for my irresponsible actions of twenty-six years ago. Let my experience be a lesson to you, folks: DON'T DRINK AND VOTE!
Tom Degan

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