By Roger Linnett
If you’ve paid any attention to the news lately you couldn’t help but notice that – Jeez those Democrats are sure lousing things up! It has even been reported on the front page of The New York Times and by NBC Nightly News (those bastions of liberalism) that the Democrats would take a beating if an election were held today. The main proponents of this contention; conservative radio talk shows, FoxNews opining, and the right-wing print media inundate our 24-hour news cycle with a co-ordinated, non-stop barrage of criticism, hyperbole, abuse and plain old lies. Their collective caterwauling brings to mind the old adage, “An empty drum makes the loudest noise.”
Whatever President Obama does is somehow wrong. It’s either too much, not enough, too late or too soon, too far left or the opposite of what America wants. He is second-guessed daily by the same bunch of mealy-mouthed, professional complainers and whiners who take their daily talking points from, and are the cheerleaders for, the lap dogs of the big business cartels that got us into this mess to begin with. And they have the chutzpah to use their fallacious tirades as the basis of a cause celebre of the coming conservative resurgence.
Such has been the screech of these reactionary harpies and their media echo chambers that some people have been misled into believing that there is some truth to what they are saying, simply because of the overwhelming cacophony of their pervasive ranting. Understand that the vast majority of us in this country don’t really pay much attention to politics on a day-to-day basis and, because the constant droning of the Conservative’s complaint machine is mostly what we hear 24/7 all around the country, after a while some people start to believe it. To quote Lenin, “A lie told often enough becomes truth,” which is exactly their M.O. Most telling, though, is that when their convoluted misstatements and bald-faced lies are held up to open, honest scrutiny and found wanting, they retreat to their favorite tactics – name-calling and ad hominen attacks.
Let’s take a moment and examine the track record of these guardians of the nation’s moral compass and the veracity of some past pronouncements, like, say – Saddam Hussein had a hand in the 9/11 plot – no – even Bush eventually retracted that whopper; or – Saddam had stockpiles of WMDs and was planning an imminent attack on the U.S. – no – in fact, the I.A.E.A. inspector’s reports showed that they had indeed all been destroyed after Gulf War I, just as Hans Blix repeated til he was blue in the face; then there was – Saddam was in cahoots with bin Laden and Al-Qaeda – no – actually they hated each other, its either a Sunni/Shiite thing or a secular tyrant/fundamentalist revolutionary thing, I’m not sure; or the altruistic-sounding – liberating Iraq would bring Western-style democracy to the Middle East – no – they’re barely able to keep from erupting into civil war and, if not for the billions in oil under their feet, probably wouldn’t want to have a thing to do with each other; and lately, our newest, greatest threat – Iran will have the capability of building a nuclear weapon and delivering it by long-range missile in a year or so – please, gimme a break, the rest of the civilized world, and especially Israel, won’t allow that to happen, at least not until they change their tune, and oust their fundamentalist, theocratic government. Feel free to cite these examples to shoot down the next knuckle-dragging, mouth-breather that starts spouting such bogus right-wing talking points regarding Bush & Co.’s criminal war enterprise, but I digress.
Getting back to the Democrats’ imminent downfall, since taking office President Obama and the Democrats have raised the minimum wage (first time in over a decade), passed an equal pay for equal work law, greatly increased funding for the V.A., passed a new G.I. Bill and earmarked substantial new funds to assist the families of service people and for pay raises (Republicans love the troops as long as they don’t have to spend any money on them), signed the order to close Guantañamo Bay prison by the end of January 2010 (the process is being being thwarted by – you guessed it – Republican legislators – in Illinois.) And that was just the first of couple of weeks of his administration.
Since then, they have pulled the country back from the edge of a banking crisis, saved a major manufacturing sector of the economy by helping to turn around GM and Chrysler and are on the threshold of enacting national health care, a dream first proposed almost a hundred years ago. Not a bad start, I’d say. And by the time the next elections come around, most of the country probably will, too.
So don’t be alarmed when those reactionary obstructionists spew their craven cynicism or claim with welling eyes and anguished voices that Obama and the Dems with their reckless policies have turned this country upside down. After all, upside down is how they got it to begin with.