Thursday, January 31, 2008

"Outsized" Expectations

A recent poll conducted by the Associated Press/Yahoo News suggests that we Americans have some pretty tall orders for the next President.

Apparently, we expect the next leader of the now-only-semi-free-world to balance the budget, lower taxes, reduce the price of gas and fix what's wrong with the environment. Who'da thunk? The President, responsible for making the country better? Perish the thought! (I have to wonder why the article is accompanied by a picture of Mitt Romney--is the Associated Press trying to tell us something? If so, I refuse to listen.)

The article calls these "outsized expectations." I think perhaps that's only because after eight years of incompetent leadership, the pundits and watchdogs have had to adjust their expectations downwards. Well, I look at it differently. Try this one on: we're payin' for it--we better damned well get our value. We sure as hell haven't been lately.

For those who take the view that it's unrealistic to expect a single person to fix every one of the crises facing our country (and indeed, our world), well, that's what the cabinet is for--the President has people to help him with this. Would any of us have thought it "outsized" at the time of GWB's so-called election to imagine that he could undo the many decades of social achievements, budget surpluses and advantages that America had worked so hard to get? I certainly would have. Who could have imagined one man could leave a trail of destruction so long and a swathe of disappointment so wide? So, you see, he did at least exceed our expectations in one area!

But he didn't do it alone. He had a cadre of carefully selected Greedbots seated at his table in the underground lair, each one responsible for ravaging a separate sector of American life. Let's see, we had Tom DeLay cracking the whip down in Texas, all redrawing those voting districts and shit so that minorities would have less electoral standing (and standing on a stack of phone books the whole time--that's gotta be hard!); we had Katherine Harris who, when she wasn't reapplying her Battered Hooker #5 purple eye shadow, was working behind the scenes down in Florida to make sure those disputed ballots got shuffled through; Brother Jeb helping her out (hey--its GOOD to have family in the house!); Dick Cheney gunning his big corporation's engines to "rebuild" the war zones after they got torn up (and conveniently stepping down in the midst of it all so there could be no legal question of conflict of interest); Antonin Scalia and various sundry family friends who got pasted into the Supreme Court to ensure that their conservative social policies would once again (and for the first time since about 1965) become reality, suspending our lives once again into that delusional halcyon sitcom where every woman stays at home wearing shirtwaist dresses and finger wave perms (or is punished by laughable wages and sexual harrassment that's more and more difficult to prove), only men and women live together with benefit of marriage and punishing the single folks with killer taxes, thereby forcing the issue of marriage (so we can all suppress our natures, contributing to ever-increasing resentment which eventually erupts into violence or divorce anyway), and birth control education is discouraged in school, thereby insuring a spate of unplanned children are born to parents who aren't always prepared to raise them (and a dearth of adoptive parents who can care for them).

But hey--those are the liberals' problems, aren't they? Let them worry about it! Life on the Right is one long party--it's a big ol' hoedown complete with roasted pig, Laura's fried chicken, devilled eggs, corn squeezin's and Toby Keith concerts. Those goldurned liberal heathens! If they'd live like the Bible said, everything'd be just fine and dandy!

(Never mind that if the conservatives lived like the Bible said, we'd have fewer business interests controlling the government right now, since the Bible does after all instruct us to show good stewardship of the earth--I can't imagine God dancing for joy at how his children are treating his creation--in fact, I imagine there's a big-ass paddle up there waiting to be used on some wayward neo-con hineys.)

So, to sum it all up, let's BE "outsized" in our expectations. We've had outsized damage done to us for the last better part of a decade (or should I say "longer part of a decade"--it sure hasn't been better). It's only right that we should expect our next leader to start selecting his or her team to put this shit right. And please: do you really think that these candidates don't know what they're facing? If they're smart, they've had ideas for years now. They wouldn't be running if they didn't.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the most overlooked scriptures in the Bible is the one that says it is a sin to charge interest on money loaned to another person. Also, these holier than thou Mother effers ask for more than a ten percent rate even though that is all God asks for, thereby putting themselves above God. Bush doesn't even believe in God that was just to get the Bible belt's vote. I wish they would let me ask Romney a few questions. He is pretending that Mormons are just another christian group like Methodists. Let's ask him what Joseph Smith is. Let's ask him how important Jesus is. Let's ask him why a regular person can't go into a Mormon Temple. Let's ask him why women can't be priests. Most important to me,let's ask him why Gays can't even be a member of his church. Ed

9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jefferson believed a person's debts should be forgiven after X number of years (can't remember the exact number.)

I think anyone who believes the next president should lower taxes is delusional. Although W got us into this mess, we still have to throw money at it to fix it and it's going to take lots of money. Let's look at any tax increase as a penalty for those who voted for W, for those who didn't go out and vote against him and for those who failed to talk sense into the first two groups. Suck it up, people, bite the bullet, a $9trillion deficit doesn't go away by itself. Trust me the Chinese are going to call in those markers.

10:15 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

You're right about all of it...sadly, people have been whipped up into a herd mentality, so they selectively pick and choose what they hear and believe. I'm guilty of it myself, up to a point: I'll listen to everything, but I never hear anything coming out of the Right that's compelling or persuasive--it's always the same warmed-over stale bullshit.

And yes, the interest rate thing is very interesting. But then, people have been selectively interpreting the Bible for millennia now...why change now?

Bush is "born again." Sadly, the second birth is almost always breech...

10:16 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

I don't think anyone really expects the President to lower taxes (I was a little surprised when I saw that, too), but there shouldn't be a big INCREASE either...the next leader should be able to reallocate what Bush and his marauders so foolishly squandered over the last eight years ...also, shift some of the burden back onto the big corporations (where it BELONGS--it's time they paid for the free lunch he fat-catted them), and that should give us a little relief, too.

11:12 AM  

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