Wednesday, October 26, 2011
He Thanks I'm Stoopid
It's not too hard to remember back when I thought each election was a kind of clean slate, with the various candidates for each office all being at least genuine, earnest citizens who, at least in their own minds and perspectives, really believed that whatever they were offering as a way forward was indeed the best way for all of us. There was, that is to say, a bond of shared citizenship. And the differences were a matter of reflection--because the world was big and complex and of course one guy or gal could see things different from another. And sometime or other way back then I ran into a cynic at a party (I think it was back when people drank martinis--I have a vivid picture of this guy with a martini in his hand, the olive bouncing around down at the bottom as he gestured, the clear liquid sliding around the edge of the glass like oil--I probably had a beer in my hand). This guy was older than me by about a generation, and had been in Korea, and had come back to the States to start a little newspaper. He rode an old BMW, and had a '55 Porsche in his yard that hadn't run in six years. This was just before Vietnam really got going, but after Kennedy had been shot.
So, he says to me, you have to understand that the Republicans do not care about anybody but the very rich. That's who they are working tirelessly for, 24/7. That's the only way to understand who they are, what they say and do. And... He took a drink and put his empty glass on a glass table that stood nearby... They very well know that they cannot operate on such a program openly and honestly, because no one would vote for them.
Well, I was kinda shocked at this Yankee attitude. (This guy was from New York, and I'd played poker with him once, and he'd won all the money simply by raising the ante until no one else had any courage left to play their hands.) I'd grown up a nice Methodist in Raleigh, NC. We believed in giving everyone an even-steven chance.
But then along comes the rest of my life. And now, day before yesterday, the one Republican candidate who is allegedly living in the actual real world says on the Hannity radio show (I heard this myself), "I'm troubled by the fact that this President has run our economy into the ground." That's simply a lie. That Mr. Romney says it in the reasonable tones of a guy at the Club doesn't make it less a lie. It's been only three years since Mr. Obama inherited an economy that was cratering, and we can all go look at the stats, month by month, from say mid-'08 to now, and see that everything was falling when Mr. Obama can in, and that mostly things are significantly better today.
Then Mr. Perry, the other supposedly serious candidate, comes out with this "flat tax" plan yesterday. His big selling point is that it's "easy." You can keep your lawyers and accountants and keep using the old system, or you can just send in your taxes with a post card. Take your pick. And that's an even bigger lie. It takes only seconds to figure out that the flat tax is simply a big tax break for the very rich, and a big tax increase for the rest of us. And perhaps it takes a whole minute to realize that there ain't no way a government is going to keep parallel tax systems in place for long, because it would be a huge waste of money. And it might take three whole minutes to get the picture that with such a huge revenue drop as this new flat tax plan would initiate, the Republican congress would be sure to make up the deficit by huge cuts to so-called "entitlement" programs such as social security and medicare.
In other words, Mr. Perry is simply and obviously flimflamming the people he's asking to vote for him. He's simply lying to them, offering to trade them a post card of convenience for their social security checks, and not even bothering to mention that people who are out of work, because for example they've simply aged out of the work force, ain't gonna need to be worrying about paying taxes anyways, whether it's on a post card or a regular sized piece of paper.
How can they think we're so stupid? I really don't know. I asked Libby last night, because this just boggles the mind. She said, well, they've been acting like this--brazen you might say--ever since the Tea Party showed them that they'll respond to anything. Then she mentioned a couple of things: "death panels," "Kenyan Marxist," "Sharia Law."
Yesterday listening to NPR report on Mr. Perry's Amazing Post Card, I was close to wrecking the pickup when the closing paragraph of their story asserted that, "actually," there's little difference in the Perry Post Card and our current tax system for "most" people.
Oh really. If NPR is saying it, and Perry is saying it, what are even reasonably intelligent people to think. I mean if they don't want to be bothered to just. Errrrrrrrr. THINK. I don't know. I know NPR has gotten my last nickle. That's a start. And as for Perry and Romney--I sure don't think I'll be voting for any bold-faced liar anytime soon.