On Shooting The Wounded!

Unemployed workers Signing up for Compensation

Are Democrats Playing Russian Roulette with Workers?

Today Congressional Democrats rejected the tax deal President Obama worked out with the Republicans that would extend unemployment benefits for two million workers, preserve  tax cuts for the working and middle classes, and according to a wide range of economists of varying ideological persuasions, will stimulate job growth.  The reason House Democrats found this deal unacceptable is because it also preserved the Bush tax cuts for the top income brackets.  Now all of the firebrands and armchair revolutionaries on the left who wanted to see a fight around this issue have got one…but be careful what you wish for.

Ironically, nobody in the Obama Administration likes the idea of maintaining the Bush era tax rates for the filthy rich; the President has said this repeatedly, including when he announced the deal.  But he can envision no way to get the things he wants for those Americans most in need of government assistance without entering into this compromise.  Neither can I.   And based on the things they are saying the President’s critics are clueless too; they don’t know how to bust that grape either.   Since it is clear that the Grand Obstructionist Party doesn’t give a shit about these struggling Americans, they will let unemployment benefits die and let tax rates rise.  After all, the Plutocrats they serve will survive; it’s the working people, in whose interests the pugnacious self-righteous pols in the Democratic Party claim to labor, that will go down to wreck and ruin.

It is one thing to witness this kind of reckless behavior from irresponsible ideologues on the left, who continue to confuse their ideological constructs about the world with reality; but we have a right to expect far better from people whose stock- in – trade is politics!   Their behavior is especially puzzling because all of them understand that if they don’t take this deal they will soon be facing a Republican dominated House that may do no telling what.  The only thing that we can be absolutely certain about is that their choices will be far worse!  Hence the deal must be done now!

Only people who are not facing eminent ruin, or have any real memory of it, can believe this is a wise course of action – especially as they all admit that they must do the deal within the next month.  Now that the Democrats in the House have rejected a done deal lets see what their plan is.  I can see no way to avoid the disaster President Obama seeks to avoid that does not involve this compromise.  Anyone who thinks that if the Democrats allow two million workers lose their unemployment, and tax rates rise on 156 million Americans, they can win the national election in 2012 is dangerously deluded!  I think their ass will be grass come 2012, as it ought to be!

This is no time for ideological posturing; real people’s lives are at stake.  And any way you read the results of the recent election it does not add up to a vote for more pain.  Although the results of their decisions at the polls seems designed with more pain in mind.

Which is why I argued that the election results were irrational – a triumph of the untutored mob. Yet decisions made by the professional left also contributed to this disaster at the polls.  Like the petulant morons who counseled people to stay home and not work vigorously to elect Democrats!

These people never learn; and although I share much of their vision of the ideal society I am not about to cut off my nose to spite my face by deciding to sit on the sidelines while the Tea Party out organizes us.  Everybody has a wish list of things they would like to see come to pass in America.  If it was left up to me I would have lined everybody  who played a part in the recent economic disaster on one side, and those who started the bogus war in Iraq on the other, and force them to fire at each other!   And I would slash the military budget drastically.  But I know that’s a pipe dream so I don’t bring them up in serious arguments.

Most on the left are not so reasonable; they routinely debate their wildest fantasies as if they are real.  Perhaps this explains why I can detect no semblance of a plan of action that can arrest the resurrection of the radical right emanating from the left.  In the aftermath of the political devastation wreaked by the royal ass whipping progressive forces received at the polls, the left continues to engage in internecine warfare between those who approach politics as a process by which relationships of power are shaped – which means gaining control over state power.  And those who view politics as endless polemics over obtuse ideological issues that hold no meaning for average Americans whatsoever.

To these leftist ideologues – who act much more like religious crusaders than sober political strategist who base their strategy and demands on the political realities – “the people” are ideological abstractions.  In their view the masses are ready for revolution, all they need is an ideologically correct vanguard to lead them!  It takes a powerful capacity for self deception in order to blot out the transparent facts of the American political landscape; taking refuge in abstract theorizing about who the American electorate really is in order to see them as chomping at the bit for the kind of progressive changes envisioned by the left. Sadly for the country, this delusion has prevented them from becoming a real player in American politics, and they have become contented in the role of a national debating society!

This exercise in willful deception which conceptualizes the masses of American workers as repressed agents of social change awaiting only the right catalyst to burst forth and revolutionize the USA, creating a just society based on socialist democracy; rather than the empty headed, jaded, racist, befuddled seekers after bread and circuses that most of them are, is the kind of dangerous delusion that leads the most passionate leftist ideologues into theoretical cul de-sacs.

The late great American man of letters  H. L. Mencken, pegged them just right when he dubbed the American electorate “Boobus Americanus.”  And this was at a time when Utopian Marxist were celebrating the “wisdom” of the masses.  If there was any doubt that Mencken was right the results of the last elections supplied conclusive evidence of his deep insight into the flaws in American character.  (See “Our Dysfunctional Democracy” and “Triumph Of The Untutored Mob!” )  The failure of the left to accept this reality and see the American electorate as they really are, is what now leads them to such frustration that their response to the election results resembles that of a sheriff who leads his posse into a town that has been ravaged by criminal gangs…and shoots the wounded!

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Playthell Benjamin

Harlem, New York

December 10, 2010

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