Thursday, September 26, 2013

Far Right Holds US Hostage Again: Boehner Bows to Pressure

Some people who have never been poor, or who have been but were able to pull themselves out of poverty, are grateful, and empathetic towards those who are less fortunate – for whatever reason - and humble enough to be aware of 'there but for the grace of God go I'. 

Some seem to be so terrified of poverty that they’ll see and represent themselves as being better – having more character, being more willing to work hard and face challenges down – than those who haven’t been able to rise. They’ll disparage the poor or downtrodden and won’t care if they starve or suffer. They’ll step on anybody, shove them out the way, in their desperation to keep themselves safe and will find a way to make that an admirable trait as well. 

Is it that some humans are just inherently nasty? As Hamlet said, “I have thought some of Nature’s journeymen had made them [men] and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.” (Hamlet III.II.34) More likely it’s about deep rooted fear that doesn’t show on the surface and that they themselves aren’t aware of.

Whatever the reason, the ultra right in Congress continues to imitate humanity abominably and to pressurize House Speaker Jim Boehner to sacrifice the interests of the country to those of the select few.  A week ago he bowed to that pressure, afraid perhaps of losing his position if he weighed in on the side of sense and sensibility. This time the demands were that he tie money to keep the government open after September 30 to stripping finance for President Obama’s Health Care law. 

Perhaps these ultra conservatives might have a different viewpoint if their child had to go to the emergency room and died because they didn't get seen to in time or if they themselves were paralyzed for life because they didn't get proper care.

It’s a tragedy that America’s fate is so often in the hands of this grouping of people. Especially given that the President is a man with heart but also with powerful understanding of the dynamics of a healthy middle class. A man who has performed miracles given the obstacles thrown in his way but who could lead the country to truly great heights again if he wasn’t blocked all the time. Pearls before swine.

Comments left on a New York Times article about Boehner’s dilemma illustrated how those ultra conservatives in Congress made their way into power, and how they’re in the minority, which everybody knows. Even Republicans.

Somebody calling themselves “Yes I am Right” from Los Angeles quoted the Bible:

“2 Thess 3:8-10

8 Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:

9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an example unto you to follow us.

10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”

Another reader, ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ said “Feeding poor people is the work of Satan, you are creating a dependent class. Starve the poor, and soon they will join the labor force as responsible workers. Give lazy slaves an option such as food stamps, and they will refuse to serve their Corporate Overlords! Work! Work! Work! A few days on the factory floor and Work Work Work will be blasted into their brains. Work, you peon, work! If you are not a productive citizen, and by productive I mean making me rich, then you must die since you are worthless.”

This being the New York Times, which generally draws the most intelligent comments out of all the online high profile news outlets, the above abominable comments were the minority. The majority were humanitarian and sane.

On the other side of the fence, Carrie from Missouri said I am disabled and receive $812 in Social Security Disability and $137 a month in food stamps. How about we require our senators and representatives to live off that for a month before they vote to take food out of the mouths and hands of the needy?”

Sherry Jones from Washington commented: “The problem with not making sure capitalism takes care of people is, no one can buy the goods you're selling, increased poverty, hunger, homelessness, crime, despair, and social unrest.

“We tried lower taxes and trickle-down and it didn't work. The rich just got richer and everyone else is barely treading water. We tried deregulation and bankers crashed the economy. The resulting unemployment is long-term and intractable. And now House Republicans punish the people who got hurt the worst, the people who are truly drowning, the unemployed poor. They cut education, they cut work training programs, and then they cut food stamps for people who can't find work.

“It makes people feel good I guess, in a sadistic kind of way, but punishing the victims of voodoo economics is not the answer.”

Her comment got a lot of recommendations, which was good to see. As for Congress holding the government hostage again, it didn’t work last time and it’s even less likely to work this time. They just can’t get enough of making fools of themselves. While they toy with the US economy and its fate.