As the 2013 Political Year Disappears Into the Night, Little Light Appears on the Horizon

Barack Obama

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I’ve probably submitted 320 articles or so to this august, informative and objective progressive website. That’s no big whoop since Jason and Sarah seem to write that many in a week. Nonetheless, I feel like at least a 2nd cousin in the PoliticusUSA family. As such, I’m going to pipe up and share some of my personal thoughts on a 2013 year-ender and some early observations for the year directly in front of us and perhaps even further down the road.

As the Tea Party continues their delusional preoccupation with destroying both the federal government and the black president, the faithful appear to forget that Barack Hussein Obama is sticking around until January 20th of 2017 before the swearing-in of a new (Democratic) president. That’s over three years distant. That’s about 1,100 more days of your favorite Kenyan still in the “White” House every time you turn on your TV. By the time Teapublicans are officially rid of Obama, he’ll be nearly 56 -years-old. Spouse, Michelle will be 3 days shy of her 53rd birthday. Elder daughter Malia will celebrate her 19th year on Independence Day of ’17 (that’s gotta piss off the righties) and even young Sasha will turn sweet 16, June 10 of 2017.

Considering how disgusting and burdensome this last year has been, three more years seems like a long, long time. And for the radical right, that’s exactly what it is. For the duration, look for more of the same from the extremists’ opposition. I doubt there are enough Democrats willing to get off their couches to reverse the Teapublican majority in the House and I look for a razor-thin Senate margin for the good guys and gals. So, if history is any guide, we get continued flurries of nonsensical legislation out of the House; reasonable rejoinders from the Senate and possibly a veto or two if things get too wild and wooly.

My major concern is trade-offs to keep the government afloat, even if the numbers aren’t there for the Teapublicans. It all starts with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Billionaires, the insurance and pharmaceutical interests and clueless Republicans want to rip it to shreds. If they do, premiums will go even higher than they repeatedly have in the last quarter-century.

To hell with anybody who is really sick. To hell with women’s reproductive needs. To hell with covering pre-existing conditions. To hell with continuing to cover cancer, diabetes, heart and stroke victims after the meter reaches a certain point. To hell with insuring the young, minorities, unemployed and infirm. To hell with freebie preventative measures. To hell with expanding Medicaid. To hell with ACA. In short, to hell with a major percentage of the population, just as has ALWAYS been the case with the health care insurers and the druggie industry and, not incidentally, the modern-day South. And doofis gay-haters – (Hey “Duck Dynasty” quacks, how you doin’?), racists and bible-babbling hypocrites will have just enough votes to make life miserable for thinking and civil people.

Not a real promising forecast, is it? But, for the foreseeable future, that’s your United States, sans feelings and sympathy, as only the super-wealthy seem to command respect, while the poor and non-whites are left to symbolically die in the gutter.

Let me drag you down to even greater depths. If the Teapublicans gain a super-majority, it is truly all over. This is not Crystal Ball gazing (5 to 5,500 bucks if you want to buy your own). This is real life. There are stories out there that will rip your heart out. One is an account by Ann Jones of the impact of the Iraq war on a young veteran. It appeared in the December 16 issue of the Nation magazine. The title is “When Soldiers Break” and the story is about one of those broken soldiers.

He served his time in Iraq only to by “plunged into a paralyzing depression.” He lay in his childhood bed at his mother, Sherry Cooper’s house for three years. His teeth crumbled to the tune of $30,000 in dental bills. His body artificially inflated, like the Michelin Man and yet his limbs were incredibly tense and stiff to the touch. Ms. Jones, recounts a visit from an Army Colonel, himself in need of help, who came at the behest of the Army to shore up this “Broken Soldier.”

It was a sad and futile attempt that ended with the colonel racing out of the house crying “Jee-zuz!” Our former President, George W. Bush and his controlling VP, Dick Cheney, broke Sherry Cooper’s son for life. In the political drag of Cruella de Vil, Cheney donned a layer of dogskin respectability while driving the most evil agenda of modern times. Human lives in battle were mere trinkets to this man without a soul. The macho and seductive “Army Strong” recruiting ads and commercials yielded an incredibly weak, semi-comatose child, with few to no life expectations.

It’s as if, for a certain segment of our society, the rest of the world must believe Richard Pryor’s memorable words, upon walking out of a jail cell with Gene Wilder in the 1980 movie, ‘Stir Crazy’… “That’s right, we bad…that’s right!” If “We bad” is illustrative of the senseless killing of Iraqi and Afghan civilian populations, including children, the elderly and women, unbridled gun deaths in this country encompassing double-digit murders of school children, victims shot from a car, murders in churches, bars, by a spouse, in malls and movie theaters; hospitals; name the venue, somebody has been shot dead in its interior.

Many of my contributions have a certain sameness to them. That’s because I essentially cover the legislative and political beat and both have a certain sameness to them. The example that jumps out at me is the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. It is chaired by Darrell Issa and it, like Issa, is a joke. The supposed misdeeds of very target of this silly exercise are blown up to gargantuan proportions by the right-wing media. And every outcome turns out to be the same; a ho followed by a hum.

Fast and Furious exposed Trey Gowdy, a committee member from South Carolina, to be a smug, full of himself, uncivil inquisitor, as if no one else had ever graduated law school. Gowdy’s sexist rantngs directed at Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. His blather yielded little other than the Congressman proving himself to be an ass. F & F was reduced to a few downstream resignations and breathless committee attacks on Attorney General Eric Holder and the president, that were reduced to essentially nothing by an investigative article that appeared in Fortune magazine.

The extremists in the House did manage to get Holder held in “Contempt of Congress.” The House, of course, is held to a much higher degree of contempt by the American people than Holder will ever be. The right-wing propaganda pols didn’t get much mileage out of Benghazi either with Hillary as target. We know Hillary was the target because Issa swore “Hillary’s not a target.” She’s moved on, as has Benghazi.

So there’s 2013. Depending on the outcome of the ’14 and ’16 elections, this piece is probably a ‘clip ‘n save’ for the next decade or so.

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