Saturday, February 19, 2011
Captain Obvious: Government Shutdown? Aren't We at War?
We are still at war. This has not prevented the right from flinging every possible insult in their repertoire at President Barack Obama. No matter how head-scratchingly stupid the insult, they'll continue to use it, and ramp it up in intensity. There's nothing he can do, nothing he can say that won't result in incensed, frothing, venomous reprisal from the right. The attitude spread from the President to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi (two people many Americans would barely have known about otherwise) and to all other Democrats/liberals/progressives. Oddly, the right's patriotism isn't maligned for their doing this. When they simultaneously tout American exceptionalism, and then proceed to gloom-and-doom us with how we are in the "end times" of America. . . .are "the troops" even remembered?
Back in the aftermath of 9/11, "the troops," policemen, firemen and other emergency "first responders" were put on a pedestal as near deities. The military is still fetishised in some quarters (and for once, I don't mean that in a sexy way!), but the rest of 'em? Not so much. They're government employees, and that's suddenly a bad thing. They should have their unions busted, their pensions pulled, their benefits cut! Hell, let's just shut down the government! As John Boehner says, "so be it!"
But again, we're at war. As incoherent as our reasons for being there are, we are there. Don't ya think while we have soldiers in battle, there probably ought to be a functioning government back home to support them? How about the benefits of veterans, the health care of the troops' families back home? For once, the claim of "we're at war" really does have something to do with the political argument of the moment.