July 29, 2011 by jamesessj
There must be, I think, two different kinds of people in the world. Those who do their best to be happy, and those who do their best to be unhappy. I am, as if you needed to be told, in the latter category. I used to believe I was in the former, but kept getting dragged into the latter by life, by circumstance…that my unhappiness was dictated by events, surroundings, people, etc. But I have slowly realized that, No, I’m just not built for happiness.
As an example, politics. It frustrates the holy hell out of me, and yet I follow it with something bordering on passion. Almost every day the Democrats make some idiotic statement, or do some ridiculous thing, that drives my blood pressure well beyond the reach of medication — and yet the next day there I am, back at it, reading/watching the news, ready for another bout of clinical depression. This latest conflict, over raising the debt ceiling, is so asinine that it hurts my eyeballs to look at it: Obama and the Democrats ran up spending to record levels (and don’t give me any of this crap about Bush and his two wars, for in what way does that mitigate Obama’s record spending?) and now they argue they’re the responsible ones when it comes to debts and deficits. This is like giving a morphine addict control of his morphine drip. Nothing good will result. The difference is, when the morphine addict overdoses and dies, only his family and friends are affected; when the U.S. o.d.’s on debt, we’re all going to suffer.
I saw Joe Trippi (once Howard Dean’s campaign manager) on Fox News today and he said (I paraphrase), “All the Republicans want to do is cut spending and cut taxes. That’s not going to create jobs.” Um…well, no, it won’t create more government jobs — if we’re lucky it’ll get rid of a few — but it will certainly stimulate the private sector to do a wee bit more hiring. Trippi is a liberal, naturally, and for liberals The Government = The Economy. It really does seem to be that simple. They prattle on about the private sector, but their policies are entirely geared toward the care and feeding of the Federal government. Nowhere is this more evident than in their absolute unwillingness to tackle the debt issue with any seriousness. They bring up the ratings agencies’ (and why are we paying attention to these folks, anyway? Aren’t they majorly responsible for the 2008 meltdown?) threats to downgrade our credit rating as if the debt ceiling were the problem, and not the debt itself…of course they have to spin the issue, because they’re the ones who ran up the debt in the first place, but no, it’s not their fault if our borrowing so much money should cause our credit rating to suffer. How, honestly, can anyone take these people seriously?
Meanwhile the president goes on television for the 873rd time this week (when will his advisers learn that the more Obama speaks, the less people listen? Nothing speaks to this man’s outsized ego moreso than his continuing belief that his personality and rhetoric are capable of changing hearts and minds) to decry the coming apocalypse, yet he himself has offered not one word — one letter — one punctuation mark — of his own plan to resolve the crisis. Does not simple logic tell us that either a) he doesn’t believe the apocalypse is truly on the way or b) he doesn’t care if it eventuates? My guess is a bit of both; he knows the apocalypse he’s described is entirely avoidable even without a rise in the debt limit, and he’s also betting that, should a government shutdown occur, 1995 will repeat itself and the Republicans will reap the whirlwind. In other words, the best you can say for Obama is that he’s a gambling man, so long as it’s with other people’s money. (We really should amend the Constitution with a provision that any elected official ought to have to have made a payroll at some point in their career.)
As I’ve written here before, we would all do well to remember that the Founding Fathers started this Great Experiment of ours* over a tax on tea.** Democrats could stand to do some soul-searching and ask themselves just whose side they’re on — George Washington’s, or George III’s? The modern Tea Party is very aptly named — they are firmly in line with the Founders’ ideals of limited government, low taxes, and opportunity for all.
But as I said in yesterday’s post, perhaps I am missing something. Logic has not led to happiness. Is that the secret? Let go your brain, and act on instinct? If so, I’m doomed to misery. My brain, sad to say, is all I got.
* And let us not forget that it is an experiment; and as such could yet fail.
** Yes, the price of tea actually went down in the Colonies as a result of the Tea Act, but the colonists were fighting for a principle, i.e. no taxation without representation. That they were more willing to fight for this principle than go along with a scheme that benefited them, but violated this principle, sets them apart from just about every politician currently living.