CHAPTER ONE: Super Tuesday in Greenwich Village
[A WARNING: I’ve just come from watching the Election Returns for Super Tuesday with some friends in Greenwich Village, some of whom I knew better than others. Some were Obama fans, some were Hillary fans. No Republicans.
These were informed people. We talked a lot of politics, there was as you can probably imagine quite a bit of disagreement in the air, and bitter frustration.
But –as well as a lot of enthusiasm for the change that now looks more and more possible.
CHANGE! Decency. Respect. A desire to do the right thing. To identify and set to solving the problems of the nation. A turning away from arrogance, aggression, and hubris. A desire to rehabilitate our country, our nation, our civility, our institutions.
To renew our spirit.
A desire to root out lies, to spell them out, to finally get our questions answered. A desire to transcend, to rise above the posturing that has become politics. A desire to get to work –serious work, healing work.
Yes, it was a loud evening, argumentative. We didn’t all hear each other out, especially at the beginning. There was a tendancy to talk at the same time, to not listen.
After a while I began to think: you know what we sound like? We sound like a bunch of Democrats –which of course we were (By the way, exactly half of us had voted for Hillary, and half for Obama.)
But as the evening wore on, it became clear that what joined us together was many times more powerful than our argumentativeness.
To me it seemed quite startling –the argumentativeness was a direct result of the suppression of the last seven years, when the desire for answers was suppressed in a desire to join together as a nation in the momentous aftermath of 9.11.
Momentous, but –sadly– a much exploited aftermath, saddled by the all dictates of ideology, and distorted and immature personalities, and unsettled scores. And most of all by an utter refusal to debate and argue and doubt and discuss, and work things out.
It was a splendid evening. Healthy, and respectful.
And I think we could all applaud our two candidates, and be grateful that either one of them we could all support when this chapter of the process ended, and we entered into the main chapter which will be –Election 2008.
CHAPTER TWO: The Folly of The Stimulus Package
One of the many topics that came up for discussion was the state of the economy, and the utter folly that is the Stimulus Package, which we have been hearing about for the best part of two weeks now. (And which gives this posting its headline.)
When I got home, I thought about what we had said about the so-called Stimulus Package.
I don’t think I have ever heard anything quite so insane. At least, not since Rudy Giuliani’s 9.11 “Shop and Grieve” Nostrum.
It was as if I had gone to sleep and woke up in the middle of Gullivers Travels.
I’m going to need help here. I am trying to make sense of Mr. Bush’s conundrum: the Stimulus Package is, as he puts it — “Letting Americans keep more of their money should increase consumer spending.”
Letting Americans KEEP more of their money by spending it? Beautiful! We borrow the money from China so we can go to Walmart and BUY MORE CHINESE STUFF.
Wait until I tell the Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop-Shopping. He’s going to be mad at the President.
Our friends in China (they are our friends, aren’t they? Excuse me –you are our friends, aren’t you?) must be laughing their heads OFF at us.
Actually, not –they are far too polite. (But –in a quiet moment– some laughter, don’t you think?)
CHAPTER THREE: And so –inevitably– to the War in Iraq.
Here’s a recommendation: if we do decide to take the money, let’s use it to buy some proper body armor for our poor guys in Iraq — there are STILL some U.S. military over there trying to “Do the Surge” without proper body armor; still dying (but, come on, ONLY half as much).
Ah, The Surge! Our poor guys pacify the trouble spots, so Maliki and his Iraqi Parliament can act and resolve, so that we can get the hell out.
We sacrifice, risk our lives, go the Extra Mile. But Maliki and Co. throw the sacrifice back in our face, do nothing. They’ve had seven months, and (almost) nothing has gotten done.
We have a choice:
Stay there. Stay, and stay, and stay. Until when? 2012? 2018? No –here’s the latest estimate: one hundred years (that’s from McCain Estimate.)
Stay. We have infinite patience for you, Mr. Maliki. Take your time, your infinite time.
Give Maliki and Co. a deadline. You have 3 months, 6 months, to resolve the oil revenues and the staffings and divisions.
Solve them. Now. Stop dragging your feet. Do it now.
Unfortunately, “Do it now” does not seem to be the Iraqi way. As I’ve said before: Saddam the Tyrant ruled (tyrannically) for 30 years or more, and killed –the figure is oft quoted– 300,000 Iraqis.
And NOBODY got rid of him. Thirty Years!
That must be where McCain gets his 100 years in Iraq.