Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tragedy at Trader Joe's

Yesterday I witnessed a horrific scene on 6th Avenue and 20th Street.  In front of the Trader Joe's, three bags of newly purchased groceries were run over by a tan livery cab.  Strewn throughout the asphalt was an assortment of TJ's groceries--broken beer bottles, smashed soda cans, squashed Butter Chicken frozen dinners and chicken enchiladas.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Right-Wing Revisionism and Imagine For A Moment....

The killing of Osama Bin Laden has been the worst week for American Conservatives since Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008.  It was painful to watch the Sean Hannity Show on the Fox News Channel with Rudolph Giuiliani as his guest.  It took nearly 3 minutes into his interview to hear Giuliani utter the words President Obama.  Before that we heard about how President Bush was to be commended for all his work on the War on Terror. 
And they all got the memo:  mention Bush's resilience, mention (without evidence) that torture had provided the intelligence to get Bin Laden. The resilience of Bush?   The same Bush who in an embarrassing rambling March 2002 press conference on Bin Laden all of a sudden was proclaiming his lack of interest in Bin Laden?  That  Bush? 
Of course, if Bin Laden had been captured or killed a week later Bush would have been preening like a teenage girl on prom night over Bin Laden's corpse and calling himself the Terror Conquerer. The Bush presidency was what Conservative governance looks like. Now, the Right runs away from Bush as some sort of apostate.  But what exactly wasn't conservative about Bush?  Tax cuts for the wealthy?  Check.  Anti-abortion, anti-stem cell  research, anti-Gay,  anti-Science?  Check.  Preemptive wrong headed war?  Big check.
Pack the Supreme Court with right-wing ideologues? Double check.  Deficits as far as the eye can see?  Check.  Bush and Cheney ran the most conservative administration since Calvin Coolidge.  It was a disaster for the United States and if you happened to live in Iraq and found yourself on the wrong end of a bomb or bullet, lethal. 

This is the restoration that is promised by the Right in 2012.   The Right's fealty is not to this country or Constitution but to Conservatism.  There are no American triumphs unless they are Right Wing triumphs.  They are consumed by ideology.  They love money and pretend to love Jesus.  They are chauvinists of the worst kind.   

Imagine  that between 1993-2001 George W. Bush had been President and turned over the reins in January 2001 to a Democrat named Barack Obama.  Imagine also that he had handed over the same country that Bill Clinton had really handed him.

Imagine then that within 9 months of peace and prosperity, President Obama had been out reading to children in school and the United States was attacked on 9/11/01 and thousands had died? And this after the smoking gun of an August memo warning of planes crashing into buildings?   Would Republicans have given President Obama a pass and said we are all with you now?  Sure, maybe on the way to his execution.

But George W. Bush got a pass. He had the special pass that is called straight white male privilege.  He could then even invade a country on the pretext of weapons of mass destruction,  kill thousands, waste trillions, find NO weapons and still get reelected.  If that had been Obama some wingnut  would have been calling for a repeal of the 13th Amendment. 

Do I wish President Barack Obama was more pugnacious with his enemies and with Wall Street?  Yes.  But in 2011 America, Barack Obama is about the best we can do.  And since we have to judge Presidents versus other Presidents, this one is the best we have had in a long, long time.  Only the LBJ of 1964-1966 was better, and that was only in the extraordinary circumstances of assassination.   And then he threw it all away.   But greatness has eluded all but a tiny few,  let's see when this one decides to roll back the empire before that's even in the equation.