Monday, September 7, 2009
Bipartisanship with Snakes
If you happen to belong to the lately disempowered Republican party in the U.S., that is to say, if you are a Republican who is now out of power, what do you do to stay relevant? The answer can be found in a single word: you SWIFTBOAT.
This means that what you want, more than anything, is to cripple the President and to get rid of him, in whatever way works.
It can be done, you discover, by orchestrating public screamfests composed of your constituents--the racists, crazies, teabaggers, lynch mobs, and vigilantes who are all out for blood--and then by overwhelming the country with lies about how Obama is a closet socialist--or worse, a fascist--who intends to take away your freedoms via healthcare reform and who plans, sooner rather than later, to kill off everybody's grandma. You disburse enough anxiety and stoke enough panic into the marketplace of semi-illiterate sheep until your lies are actually believed. And then, as people's brainwashed thoughts turn unspeakably devilish, they will begin t to sound typically like this [comment posted by "eyeopener," September 6th, 2009, on Politico.com]:
"He is stopping our economy,all his advisers are people who have either worked for or belong to Communist groups that want to harm the United States..He promise change he didn't specified the complete destruction from within under his agenda :destruction of jobs,closing down our farms under the guise of protecting an insect, guppy,etcs. attacks on the middle class, the small business owners, the wealthy, cuts from the medicare system saying that they should be dead instead of living in their golden years because they cost to much in the last years of their life. You know what they deserve every penny they worked hard all their life for this country. Has czars calling for sterilization, limits on how many children to have certainly no army for our future defense. Put another czar to stop media from telling us the truth on what going on similar to Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez.. also cutting our defense at a time when we have N Korea with a trigger happy dictator itching to blow us to kingdom come.. and he is on our side.. and he is doing this for our benefits to improve how other countries view us as Americans. Wait a minute who side is he supposed to be on. He swore to protect our freedom, our liberty our country and the pursuit of happiness.. I don't think too many of us real Americans whether democratic or republicans are happy at all with his agenda at this point.. Stop this insanity before its too late."
If, on the other hand, you happen to be President Obama, and you are facing a nihilistic opposition party that is relentlessly determined to destroy your presidency rather than to govern in good faith, what do YOU do? Counterpunch? Come out of your corner fighting? More thunder and lightning? Or, do you simply opt out of doing business with fanatics and go it alone? Can you simply refuse to take the bait and just go on as before, even if it means seeking "bipartisanship with snakes?" As for me, I am obsessed with trying to figure it all out.
"I think Obama should just quit," says my friend Ray Kass, stunning me into silence. Not that I haven't had the same thought more than once, myself. Nobody, in my opinion, should have to submit to such abuse and disrespect, least of all a president of the United States.
As I lay on the massage table yesterday, my massage therapist, Hakuin Rose, had a different take. "If you are the President of the United States, you do your job, which is to uphold the two-party system, because that is the centerpiece of what our democracy is about. As President, there is an obligation and commitment to support the conventions of our democratic system." This certainly seems to be Obama's way.
Then I found it, a surprise blog by a surprise author (one of my old-time gurus), Carolyn Myss--in, of all places, the Huffington Post. Her books have been an inspiration to me for years. But she has never shown up on a political blog. The power lock down between Republicans and Democrats, she says in her blog, is not a problem that can be solved with legislation. It is a predicament. Predicaments are much greater than problems, because, by their very nature, they do not have solutions. (Aha! I thought, no wonder I'm having such difficulty figuring this thing out!)
"This nation," she writes about Congress, "needs its representatives to undergo a transformation of their egocentric power plays for the sake of the survival of our nation. They really do have to put this nation first and not their own careers. They really do have to pull together to make wise policies at this critical time because America's base of power is imploding. But are they capable of seeing that? Can you imagine these pride-driven individuals even grappling with the idea of this challenge?...They are laden with lobbyist obligations and old world ideas about 'problem solving'--namely that all problems can be resolved by spending more money, initiating new legislation, or by invading and bombing...If ever there was a time when this nation could use creative visionaries and leadership we actually respected instead of carnival barkers who offer nothing more than criticism of the opposite party, it is now."
Myss says she is still holding on to hopes that Obama has what it takes not to cave in to criticism and dilute his energies--even though he is up against a Republican force that is now convinced they have him on the run with this health care bill. "It would be more than refreshing to watch him come back to life again, having shed a bit of his "Team of Rivals" innocence in which he assumes he can work, like Lincoln, with his adversaries as well as his supporters. And though Lincoln was from Illinois, Obama needs to remember he's from the south side of Chicago."
So, Let's Go, Obama! It's time to climb out from under that dumb napkin!