Sunday, June 05, 2011

Running Hard To Lose

It wasn't hard to select an article from those provided by Watching America this week. How could I pass one by that opened with this sentence: "The Republican Party is working hard to fall from grace in record time." The article, from Belgium's De Morgen, provides a pretty good assessment of where America is at this point in the election cycle.

Pointing to the GOP's determination to privatize Medicare at all costs, the article makes it clear that the American electorate is not in the mood to have the last bit of their tattered security blanked shredded any further.

A lot of this has to do with Medicare, the popular public health insurance for retired people. Still drunk on their victory in November, the Republicans decided to launch their proposition to privatize Medicare. Basically, elderly people would receive checks with which they could buy health insurance on the private market. These checks would not cover all costs though, and since the value of the checks does not increase with the duration of their lives, retired people will gradually have to pay larger amounts out of pocket even if it means giving up their last dime, because if you are old and sick enough (which we will all be one day), you do not have a choice anymore. It will be pay or die.

The Americans have had a rough siege the past five years. Barack Obama promised to make it better and was elected. He didn't make it better, so the public turned to the GOP, who promised to make it better, electing a Republican majority in the House. The problem is that the GOP's idea of making it better is to make it better for the already-haves, not the losing-what-little-they-haves. The recent special election in New York shows how well that worked.

Meanwhile, Americans are angry and getting angrier:

The Americans are right to be angry. Company profits are once again off the charts, and CEO's are collecting bonuses as if there never had been a “Great Recession,” but the common people keep suffering. Unemployment is stagnant at nine percent. Add the number of people who are forced to work part-time because they fail to find a full-time job, and you end up with a number that constantly balances just underneath a terrifying twenty percent. Tens of thousands of people are still losing their houses every month, and millions of others see the value of their properties drop.

Here's the hard part, however, something which the article doesn't take into consideration. The Republicans may be screwing things up royally, but the Democrats aren't doing anything productive beyond pointing and laughing at the GOP with that election looming a mere seventeen freakin' months away. There have been no proposals to get people back to work under a WPA type program. There have been no bills introduced to rework mortgages so that people could actually stay in their homes. There have been no meaningful investigations of the banksters who caused most of this economic turmoil, much less any prosecutions. Apparently it wouldn't be prudent. After all, there's campaign money to rustle up.

Until the American public curses both parties and starts making some stiff-necked demands backed up by pitch forks and torches, I see no real change on the horizon.

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