Friday, December 03, 2010

Outrage Fatigue

(this totally sums up my feelings right about now - article reposted from CT Blue by permission of John W. - go read his blog because it seriously rocks)

Another post at (Daily) Kos, as at so many of our left leaning blogs, documenting yet another “outrageous” act by a Republican, this time the fact that John Kyl is holding up the Start Treaty in order to get a tax cut for the rich.

I must confess that I am not outraged by this, nor am I outraged at any of the other outrageous acts in which Republicans have engaged lately. I will admit that the acts of the Republicans are objectively outrageous, but I no longer find them emotionally outrageous. At this point, it is just Republicans being Republicans. It is what they do. Worth noting and cataloging to be sure, but not worth an increase in one’s blood pressure. After all, so far as the Republicans are concerned, I can take comfort in the fact that I am in no way responsible for their push to establish a plutocracy. I didn’t vote for them, contribute money to them, or support them in any other way.

I’m afraid that at this point my emotional outrage is reserved solely for the Democrats, from Obama on down, for whom I do have some responsibility, although in my defense, I didn’t have a lot of choices. I know objectively that spineless retreat and ineffectual public communication is what the Democrats do (in the latter category, and somewhat mysteriously, only after they get elected, see e.g., Obama’s campaign in contrast to Obama’s presidency), but I confess that I can’t accept this with the equanimity with which I can accept Republican outrageousness. It is outrageous that the Republicans will hold the government hostage to get their tax cut; it is even more outrageous that the Democrats will cave. It is outrageous that the Republicans are out to destroy the middle class, it is even more outrageous that the Democrats will let them do it. It is outrageous that the Republicans manipulate the middle class, working class, and stupid class with misleading frames; it is even more outrageous that the Democrats make no attempt to counter those frames by effectively packaging the truth. It is outrageous that the Republicans accuse Obama of failing to reach across the aisle, it is even more outrageous when, in the teeth of 2 years of evidence to the contrary, Obama agrees with them.

In the single case of the tax cuts, it would have been easy- it would still be easy- to brand the Republicans as lackeys of the rich, the servants of the folks who are living off of our bailouts. I am 100% certain that if given the choice, most people would prefer no action on taxes over giving yet another tax cut to the rich. But that’s not going to happen. The best we can hope for is a “temporary” extension that will be made permanent later, either by another Democratic capitulation, or by the Republican president elected in 2012 due to the Democrats demonstrated weakness. Meanwhile, the Republicans will, out of feigned concern about the deficits they created with their tax cuts, demand cuts in programs that benefit the lower 98%, to which demands the Democrats will cravenly accede, since they won’t want the pundits and the Republicans to think they can’t make “tough choices”.

CTBob comments: my only observation is that taking "no action on taxes" would equal the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, and I personally would be willing to take that hit on my own middle class tax burden if it means the wealthy have to jump off that gravy train they've been riding for the last ten years.

Because that's a large reason why we're in this budget mess in the first place. I consider it the sort of required sacrifice (although on a much more modest level) that our parents and grandparents made during WWII to ensure our nation's survival.

We should stop behaving like spoiled children being denied a pony on their birthday. I can absolutely survive without a new car every 36 months, a McMansion, or a 62" flat screen for a few more years if it means a chance for economic stability.

1 comment:

West Haven Bob said...

Why bitch? The left won in 2008, then rolled over to get it's belly scratched by the right. We've none but ourselves to blame for this sad result.

If we used the same energy to continue after the 2008 election; had we forced the democrats in Congress to work together for the common goal; if we had used that amazing energy to marginalize the so-called "blue-dog" dems....had we at least attempted these things, WE WOULDN'T NOW HAVE A COMPLETELY REPUBLICAN CONGRESS AND A BALL-LESS WHITE HOUSE!

After 2008, we went home...while the Republicans took a lesseon from our playbook and ran with it.