July 6, 2010

“It’s time we stop hey what’s that sound? Everybody look what going down.”
— Stephen Stills, “For What It’s Worth”, Buffalo Springfield, 1967

After a nice relaxing weekend it’s back to work and, unfortunately, back to reality. Some things, like that soft grinding sound eminating from my Saturn’s left front brake (ever since the AAMCO place down the road replaced my front brakes) just won’t go away, and no amount of avoidance is going to make it better. At some point you have to re-focus your attention on the problem or it won’t get resolved. The same with the ill wind that appears to be blowing across the country in this summer of discontent.

Tomorrow, it’s back to the shop as far as my car is concerned. As far as that ill wind, it looks like the country is going to have to wait for the November midterms.

I write this because over the holiday weekend I had the opportunity to speak to several friends who either checked in on me, or I on them. One is a small business owner in northern Mississippi on the outskirts of Memphis. Another is a long-time friend in Massachusetts who works for a large financial company in Massachusetts. The third is a pal I know who designs surf boards in Huntington Beach, California. I’d call my Mississippi friend a conservative, the other two unabashed liberals. All three voted for Barack Obama in 2008. All three are now regretting their decision and expressed great concern – if not outright fear – as to what is happening in the country right now.

I don’t think my friends are wrong or misguided in their sentiments, for anyone with ears willing to hear and eyes willing to see can tell you what’s going on out there right now. It’s not just concern, but fear. The sense that this ship of state, if not actually going down, is taking on serious water and it’s not getting any better. The economy. The deficit. Jobs. Afghanistan. The Gulf oil spill. State and local government pension funds. You look at all of these things, and can anyone say they have confidence in our elected leaders in Washington – most especially in the White House – to right this ship?

It’s not just the Democrats’ passage of ObamaCare without any apparent concern either for the way it was passed with all its slimy and sleazy backroom deals, its lack of public support, its projected negative downstream impact on the deficit, and its impact on the quality of healthcare.

And it’s not just the Obama administration’s job-killing programs and policies that continue to stifle job growth in any other sector except the federal government.

And it’s not just just the blatant and reckless incompetence displayed by the Obama administration and the federal government in response to the Gulf oil spill. The feds don’t want you to see it, but this is Obama’s Katrina.

And it’s not just Obama declaring war on the state of Arizona simply because it felt the need to do something in the face of federal inaction on protecting our southern border against illegal immigration.

And it’s not just the lack of focus and direction on Afghanistan. What is the goal there? Is it some form of victory? If so, what would “victory” look like? If not, why the hell are we bothering to put our men and women in harm’s way?

What it is, in the end, is the sense that all these things show both a President and a federal government completely out of touch with what the people they have been elected to serve, and serve at the behest of. There’s no “we’re all in this together” sentiment, instead there’s only anger, hostility, finger-pointing, race-baiting and class warfare.

If you want to see the true face of this administration, how it really thinks and really feels about the anger, frustration, and fear out there, look no further than the Vice President calling a small shop owner a “smart ass” simply because he made a joke about having his taxes lowered. While it is shameful, at least it shows how they really think and feel. They could care less about you, about me, about anyone except for themselves.

And that’s where the fear comes from, that no one at the top who has a clue as to to how to stop this country from sliding into greater economic and societal decline. Or, even worse, that they could stop it would if they truly wanted to, but it’s in their political interests to “never let a good crisis go to waste”.

Pool temp: 91 degrees

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:42 | Comments Off on An Ill Wind
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