Column for 6 March, 2011

THE SLUMBERING GIANT

 

“’So I will come near to you for judgment.  I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me,’ says the Lord Almighty,”

–Malachi 3:5

 

Governor Scott Walker is a miracle worker.  He has accomplished the impossible—singlehandedly reviving the American labor movement with his extremism, pettiness and obstreperousness.  This one man, who manages to make even Rick Perry look like a paragon of sober, mature leadership, has brought protestors literally out in the snow in their thousands to oppose him.  And the rebellion is spreading—to Ohio and Indiana at the very least.  The economic royalists and their pet monkeys in the Republic Party were caught off guard; they had assumed the Class War was long over, and their class had won.  Who would’ve imagined the peasants might resist?  FOX “News” was dispatched to blast propaganda—including faked coverage and deliberately inverted poll results—to the great unwashed masses.  Unionists?  Public employees?  Why, everyone knows they are despised by all Real Americans!  And yet…huge majorities (well over 2/3rds) of the American people support the right of public employees to bargain collectively.  Governor Walker remains hopelessly obtuse—locking the state capitol building in Madison in defiance of a court injunction, shamelessly lying about the budget deficit he himself exploded with tax cuts for the wealthy, ranting about “outside agitators” like some low-rent Orville Faubus, and being punked by (of all things) a lowly blogger impersonating one of the multi-billionaire Koch Brothers who serve the real function on the Hard Right that the fevered imagination of Glenn Beck imagines George Soros serves on the moribund Left.  The Mainstream Media, after initially attempting to ignore this un-serious threat to the status quo, have now actually started to pay attention. How can this be?  Is it possible, just barely possible, that the sheer depravity of the billionaires’ party in the very depths of the Great Recession has at long last awakened the slumbering giant?  Maybe, just maybe, the American people are starting to realize there is more to politics than illegal aliens getting gay married under Sharia Law.  The amount of control our benevolent corporate overlords purport to exert over us may be slipping.  After all, as recently as 2008 a time-honored tactic—screeching “socialist!” at the top of their lungs—failed to produce the expected results.  True, 2010 did demonstrate that fear is still an effective weapon, particularly with a lack of decisive leadership from the tepid, vacillating, inconsistent Obama Administration.  And that may ultimately be the problem, why all the passion being stirred in Madison may not actually produce the kind of fundamental change we saw in Tunis and Cairo.  The Democrats, rudderless as per usual, are lead by a brilliant man seemingly terrified of his own success and petulant at his base for doing its’ job, namely dogging his heels.  The public is, in record time, becoming revolted by the excesses of the Republic Party on behalf of its’ leash-holders, but when they look to the Democratic Party they see…what?  Clumsy triangulation in a poor approximation of Clintonism.  Pretty thin gruel in terms of inspiration.  Transformative moments in politics are vanishingly rare.  If not seized, they will quickly dissipate.  The Mainstream Media has the attention span of a hummingbird with attention-deficit disorder on methamphetamines.  The bludgeon of limitless corporate money unleashed by the Supreme Court will eventually wash away the protestors—FOX “News” will reassure the drones in its audience that they were all communist Nazi Muslims, anyway.  This is not a time for cool, agonizing self-appraisal or meticulous fence-straddling.  The stakes are simply too high.  The American economy only barely escaped utter collapse at the hands of the mendacious and corrupt madmen who are even now frantically hurling money at the barricades to keep the peasants at bay.  Our manufacturing base is practically destroyed—we make nothing and import virtually everything.  The era of the cheap oil civilization teeters on the brink.  The middle class has been squeezed beyond the economic event horizon.  The only way any of these problems will be solved is if the people are allowed to govern again, and not the self-appointed economic warlords.  And the only way that can happen is through bold, decisive leadership.  President Obama, this is your moment.  What will you do with it?

 

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Published in: on March 5, 2011 at 5:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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