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Tuesday, 15 January 2013 07:27

Meet the New Year, Same As the Old Year?

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Well, here we are in a new year marked by many of the same old-year foibles that plagued the country in 2012. The House still maintains a healthy Republican majority pledged to further its narrow set of values, despite the president’s decisive win and because of a gerrymandered map that assures the minority party a majority role in the decision-making process.


It wouldn’t be so bad if conservatives didn’t continually haul out the same foolish bromides that continue to shape their policies and feed right-wing zealotry. They could actually float real ideas and give the country something worthwhile to debate. But with airheads like Marcia Blackburn stirring the pot endlessly and John Cornyn stepping up to bluster and fulminate in the cause of an exceedingly narrow vision, their intellectual horizons are so limited as to be almost invisible. Blackburn, among others, is bent on de-funding Planned Parenthood; one would think the organization could topple the underpinnings of the free world. Apparently taking a stand on PP is one sure way of winning re-election in certain districts, and what seems to be wasting the people’s time in some eyes is the prime mover in terms of political reality for others.


One right-wing talent is the ability to make the irrational appear to be mainstream and, except for a few of the truly loony tunes NRA spokespeople, the right speaks softly about the nation’s glorious gun-culture tradition. In that regard they repeat endlessly half of the second amendment - - the part that states ‘the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed’, ignoring the part about "a well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state…"   There’s nothing scholarly about this approach. It’s just a tactic used by people of limited intellect, a superficial understanding of the Constitution and a truncated view of how our political system is supposed to work.


If Republicans weren’t so tied to their rarified positions and so paranoid about how they are classified they wouldn’t feel the need to improperly use ‘democrat’ as an an adjective, as if it were the most normal thing in the world. How silly things become when tortured into political form at every opportunity. And how bizarre a process that has been stretched beyond recognition so that a senator can place a hold on a nominee for no reason other than personal angst or to make a partisan point.


In a world where unregulated greed has been accepted as the way to proceed and words like freedom and liberty are tossed around in ways that render them all but meaningless one is reminded of Janis Joplin singing “Me and Bobby McGee” - -  a song in which freedom is defined as “nothing left to lose.” Hopefully that won’t come to define our national fortunes.