Those Who Do Not Remember History
Are Doomed To Repeat It
As I watched with a combination of dismay and amusement the grand opening of the George “Dubya” Bush presidential library this past week, a number of things occurred to me while I viewed the newsreel. We are at a point in our history now where the party that’s still clinging to its former power is refusing to move on. Hey Republicans, or conservatives or whatever, you lost the election. Get over it. Get a life already! But instead many are still reveling in one of military history’s most colossal mistakes, basking in the glory of the act, while forgetting the bitter irony of the event. I’m talking about the war in Iraq. Never mind Afghanistan, at least for the moment. The Republicans want glory. They want credit for being the heroes, for saving civilization. The irony is, their narrow-mindedness and their superficial perspective on world events dooms them to be a curse upon their own land. Nothing is getting done, because of the Conservatives of this land. And what are Conservatives fighting to defend? Only one of the worst situations this country has been in for a long time.
Want reform of the financial markets? Screw you, we’re filibustering. Want Healthcare Reform? Screw you, forty thousand people a year can die so the rest can be charged twice as much as the rest of the world for inferior care. Of course, resisting this is painted as resisting big government and the evil overspending liberals. Never mind that we’re basically doing most of our healthcare spending in budget neutral ways, or that the Republican’s own conduct speaks poorly to their skills as fiscal guardians. The Republicans need their dark enemies to highlight their glorious crusades. The Public Option has to be this great evil, healthcare reform has to be government taking decisions from your doctors hands. Never mind the facts.
They did this all along during the Bush Administration. Everything was about defending what Bush and his Congress was doing, everything was about justifying colossal mistakes. Whether turning a soldier’s request for more armor into another chapter in the epic of the evil liberal media, or blaming Katrina’s death toll and the subsequent humanitarian disaster on the victims themselves, or coming up with a million different justifications for outing Valerie Wilson, the Republicans devoted themselves to the task of rationalizing failure on a massive scale. If I sound angry here, that is only to be expected. This government-by-rationalization is what I’ve fought against for the last several years. I don’t want to live in a country where the government exists in an alternate universe, where the politicians are so oblivious to reality. And I’m not freaking done, not by a long shot. Since I don’t have plans to leave this country that I love, I have plans to be part of a movement, whether it’s me by myself, or millions answering the call around my nation, to make the government that runs this country a part of the reality-based community. Rather than jump the gun and jump to conclusions as it suits some ideology, I’m in favor of a government that is constantly on the move, doing objective good for this country.
I’m in favor of the Republicans, and more importantly the US military-industrial complex and its conservative minions, finally coming to grips with the fact that their policies didn’t work. They can remain conservatives, keep on favoring conservative ideas, but what gives them the right to let things go to hell to prove ideological points? They are more out of the majority than they’ve been in years in no small part due to their failure to put politics aside and deal with an emergency with the fortunes of the nation, rather than the fortunes of their party first and foremost. Failure is not an option for me. A government that lets things fail to prove political points is violating its oath of office by failing to uphold the Constitution of the United States. It is tantamount to an abdication of the throne. A government that justifies failure by making political points, is not worthy of governing this country.
For the last decade, America has been the victim of unwise policies, policies that presupposed a willingness for restraint from the financial sector, policies that presupposed that perseverance on a military strategy and distraction from a critical theater of battle would somehow lead to success. These are people who looked at America’s economy in the summer of 2008 and said the fundamentals of our economy were sound. That, right up until the point where the crashes made the obvious truth unavoidable. I don’t want more government by people who are simply persisting in their policies until events overtake them and make it impossible for them to maintain the status quo. I want people who are adapting to our problems in advance, and allowing the government that flexibility. The last thing this country needs is another decade or decades worth of governance from a party that cannot tell the difference between a defeat and a victory, and resists all efforts to bring its attentions to these problems.
The Democrats aren’t perfect, like Obama might say, but they are “perfectable”. There is at least a recognition among the rank and file that the current situation is not to be tolerated, or continued. The charge of the Republican light brigade should end, and this country should be allowed to get back to deciding what the wise thing is, not what is politically convenient to an unwilling, undignified minority.