Calhoun’s Can(n)ons for April 8, 2011
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.
The laughter started in the middle of Los Osos Valley Road, halfway home. I had been driving along while listening to another radio news broadcast so full of crap it took my breath away. Then it hit me: They’re not even trying anymore. The bullsh*t has now gotten so high it’s simply no longer worthwhile to try to spin it, to cover it up or ignore it or pretend it isn’t there. There’s simply too much of it. Piles of it. Mountain ranges of it, filling all the spaces of our daily lives. A person can’t breathe any more without inhaling bullsh*t.
In the bad old days, there was a sense that arrant nonsense should be hedged in with at least some kind of plausibility, that blatant, palpable lies needed to be finessed, that hypocrisy and theft and greed and wrongdoing and bad behavior needed to be justified or hidden because there once was some kind of sense of accountability or shame left in the country. A sense that people were too smart to fall for the feeble con, the misdirect, the political carny tricks that only worked on low-information rubes.
We aren’t bombing Lybia, France is. President Obama is a Muslim who was born in Kenya. Tax breaks for the rich and for multinational corporations create jobs. Trickledown economics raises all boats. The budget deficit can be fixed by cuts alone. Taxes are job killers. What’s good for Wall Street is good for America. (Which is why I paid more taxes last year than G.E. did?) Medical reform hurts businesses. A fairer, reformed tax code is socialism. Illegal immigrants are destroying America. Global warming is a myth. Tighter (and enforced) Wall Street rules and regs will kill the economy. Outsourced jobs didn’t kill the American Dream. Skewed tax breaks for the wealthy didn’t kill the American Dream. A de-regulated Wall Street didn’t kill the American Dream. Collective bargaining by Wisconsin’s teachers did!
Here in California, which is sinking under a mountain of debt, the legislature has been held hostage by a minority of Republicans who refused to even let the people vote on extending a modest handful of about-to-expire taxes and instead proposed a cuts-only budget which will result in continued tax breaks for big corporations while it slashes K-12 funding and cuts services for the most vulnerable of our citizens. In short, Grover Norquistian Bullsh*t.
In real life, when your family finds itself in debt, you tighten your belts, cut expenses to the bone and every able bodied family member, including the kids, goes out and gets part-time jobs to raise income. But not in Republican Norquististan. In that country, Daddy first goes out and buys a few Rolls Royces for himself and his buddies, thereby busting the budget. Then he absolutely forbids Mom and the kids from getting jobs to raise more money, and instead takes money out of the house-repair account to buy more cars for himself, and if the leaking roof can’t be repaired and falls down as a consequence, well, too bad. Then he eliminates family medical coverage to ensure his rich friends have extra money for luxuries, and if the kids get sick and die as a result, also too bad. As for taking care of Granny? Sorry, Daddy needs that money to avoid paying taxes on a new yacht, so out into the street she goes while the rest of the family is put on bread and water rations for the duration.
In the good old days, anyone proposing that line of Bullsh*t would be laughed out of office. But not now. Now, they get elected by the very people who are going to get kicked to the curb – folks who understood too late that the funny piece of paper pinned to their backs was a bull’s eye. And now they’re afraid because they no longer even know how to ask the right questions.
Which is why the corporate pols no longer even bother to lie to them anymore. And why the bullsh*t is so high it’s blotting out the sun. And why I started laughing out loud while driving down Los Osos Valley Road, half-way home.
Donald Trump for President! Too perfect. America? You’re fired!