Either/Or: The ambiguity stops here

August 15, 2011 by barbara

barbara writes

Dear Marcus Bachmann:

I have a question for you about your marriage to The Petite Michele. (I assume that’s her legal name, since that’s how she’s being referenced now by the media).

I know, I know. You imply that the nature of your marital relationship is none of our business. Love that little bit of hypocritical irony, you two!

The Petite Michele flung this “submissive wife” thing into the arena her very own self. But now, both of you are dodging questions about her submissiveness. You say it’s irrelevant. Wow. So scriptural imperative is irrelevant in your universe? I think not. By virtue of your strict adherence to the centuries-old book authored by authoritarian men in a patriarchal society, you cannot have it both ways.

Simple question: The Petite Michele either IS or IS NOT submissive to you. Which is it?

It is not prurient interest that leadeth me to inquire. No. Many of us harbor deep concern about who would be The Decider in the unlikely event that The Petite Michele should wake up in a White House bedroom with you in January 2013.

While waiting for your next evasion, I believe I’ll do a little Bible study on truth and the telling of it.

Cordially,
Weary, Wary American

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Are we invisible down here?

August 07, 2011 by barbara

barbara writes

Another day without a call from Barack Obama. (sigh)

Like every other keyboard genius, I figure he ought to pop in for some real-people advice.

Like every other keyboard genius, I most likely would blink and babble and fail to articulate my brilliant thinking while he speaks eloquently but incompletely.

I’m feeling no small amount patronized and discounted by my president. My pattable little head is no longer pretty, if ever it was. But its worry capacity has expanded over the past few years, with good reason.

Mr. President, I am having heavy-duty abandonment issues. It’s lonely for me down here in the little people trenches. Lonely and pretty darn scary. I have to climb very high up the political leadership chain – I have no representatives in the state legislature nor in the U.S. House – to find anyone in government who represents me. That boils down to Al Franken. After Al, there’s nobody, far as I can tell. Are you there?

There's a fierce battle of concepts and words going on down here about you. You're a sly fox. No, you've lost your mojo. You're going to unleash an amazing counter-attack on the domestic terrorists. No, you're spineless and bland. You care deeply about the people of this country. No, you're a politician who cares only about being re-elected. You're smart and savvy. No, you're naive and you've been rolled.

That kind of thing.

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. Someone (Barack Obama?) said that a distinguishing feature of Democratic leadership is the belief that citizens can be trusted with the truth.

So here’s my question, Mr. President. What the hell is really going on with you? Seriously.

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Who are we now?

August 03, 2011 by barbara

barbara writes

For the past week, nearly all my waking hours (and no small number of supposed sleeping hours) have been invaded by thoughts of Washington, DC. You, too, I imagine, since you’re here, reading this.

As I spin myself into the ground like a crazed corkscrew on a daily basis, I realize that my list of things about which I’m furious is now longer than a Jim Thome home run. And yeah, the Twins have made my list, too.

Pick a topic. Any topic.

Blatant racism. Bully politics. Slimy schemers. Mitch McConnell’s face. John Boehner’s tears. Blue Dog Democrats. "Real" Democrats. Shrill Obama loyalists. Shrill Obama attackers. Tea, which I will never drink again. Maybe. Rich people. Lawyers. Legislators. Legislators. Legislators. Barack Obama and the horse he rode in on (on which he rode into the presidency). Crappy faux journalism. Promises broken. Tight shoes. Bridge in the Mississippi. Michele Bachmann. Milk that sours before its expiration date. Geese that poop on my patio. Which brings me full circle to the radical right’s dangerous Tea Partiers.

I had coffee with friends today, which spilled over into lunchtime. And at one point, I heard my own thought coming out of someone else’s mouth.

“I just feel sad,” she said.

Oh, yeah. Sad. I get that. I really, truly get that.

Now y’all know I can morph into righteous indignation in a heartbeat. But what I can’t seem to mitigate against this week is my consuming sadness about my country. The one some pundits have been likening lately to a banana republic. The United States of America, in thrall to a band of reprehensible terrorists who have held our government and 300 million people hostage for the past several weeks.

And this has happened on the watch of my president – our president. The guy I (along with others) busted my butt to get elected because he said he could make things better. Granted, he was (as we are fond of saying) dealt a losing hand from the get-go. And no one with even a shred of optimism or hope ever dreamed or nightmared this kind of catastrophic unraveling that has culminated with the USA perched on the brink of economic and social disaster. Hyperbolic? Actually, not so much.

And who’s to blame? I can’t take that on today. I’m just too discouraged and too sad. And there you have it.

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How long has this been going on?

July 29, 2011 by barbara

barbara writes

I was chatting with LeftyMN this morning about the emerging, relative sanity of Republican pundit David Brooks. After today’s Paul Krugman column, the NYTimes noted: “David Brooks is off today.” It was an open invitation, but I paused, mid-snark.

Over time, I’ve had published a few letters in the NYTimes about Brooks, with whom I historically take issue. Fundamentally, we will never agree, David and I. But as I said to Lefty, Brooks (like Krugman) seems to think, ponder and then speak – a radical difference from the radical right’s reflexive spewing.

Here’s what Lefty has to say about this:

Brooks represents what a large portion of the Republican party was prior to 1970.

For all intents and purposes his ilk (intelligent, moderate, but certainly filled with noblesse oblige) are marginalized in the party. They share the strain of low taxes and unfettered regulation that allows them to live.

A very nice life indeed…. But the party has essentially become (as Wege notes) the Southern Democratic party that existed prior to 1970. Now in bed with the Know-Nothings of the Tea Party who are essentially the radical states rights-libertarian, up with the bootstraps, nativist real American group that has been with us since the 1700s.

They trace their ancestry back before Shay’s Rebellion but essentially they are the heirs of the Scotch/Irish protestant western settlers of the 17th, 18th and early to mid 19th centuries. They thrive like hothouse tomatoes under the 24 hour news cycle and offerings of cable tv and the unlimited internet.

A friend said in response to this that it is the media making the extremist credible that has created the problem. And for this, I think historically it is cable tv and the internet to blame… if you think back to pre 1965-70, neither the John Birchers nor the radical leftists were given credibility by anyone and certainly not within the two major parties.

It was Nixon’s Southern Strategy and the cable tv news phenomenon that changed things, in my opinion.

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Read it and weep OR share it!!

July 26, 2011 by barbara

barbara writes

Debt ceiling chart

Credible source (The Atlantic). Please read, inwardly digest, forward this post and/or copy the chart and share liberally.

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