I See Dead People

Maybe this should be the new Republican mantra for a suitable candidate in 2012.  If Republican politicians aren’t conjuring up the ghost of Ronald Reagan every fifteen minutes, they can go back further into the annals of GOP glory and dig up another Republican corpse.  Say . . . Ike Eisenhower.  And lo and behold, that’s exactly what NY Times columnist Ross Douthat attempts in his recent “The Greatness of Ike” piece, which extolls the General’s many virtues, bemoans the fact that Eisenhower is overshadowed by the likes of FDR, ties for twelfth-place in POTUS rankings with Jimmy Carter and is generally under appreciated.

The man may have a point.

I recall Eisenhower’s warnings about the industrial/military complex being aired frequently throughout my living memory.  Yet no one has paid much attention beyond nodding and saying: yes, the man was right.  I suspect the current state of affairs, the country involved in a decade of senseless war, where defense contractors and mercenaries have been made fat and happy, proves the General’s point.  Only problem for the Republicans is that it was likes of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld who led the disastrous charge into Iraq on false allegations, hyped-up claims about weapons of mass destruction, and then offered a breath-taking defense of torture for national security purposes.  Even more startling, they got away with it, leaving the country bleeding and bankrupt in their wake.  All in the name of democracy, freedom and ‘shop ‘till you drop’ exhortations.

It was a moment of infamy, as someone once said.

This is why the glance backwards always skips over those inconvenient years of woeful mismanagement and fiscal insanity.  No doubt the current batch of 2012 candidates, the Fearless Four, bring angst to all Republican hopefuls convinced, only a few, short months ago, that a 2012 victory was inevitable, a piece of cake.

A powerful dose of nostalgia makes the medicine go down easier.

Surely, the good ole days seem ever more grand as Rick Santorum raises the flag for a home-grown theocracy and dances with the Devil, Mitt Romney continues to stumble over his own tongue [revealing his wife drives ‘two’ Caddies], Newt Gingrich beats his breast over the secular plot to undermine America and Ron Paul, the cuddly libertarian, begins to look and sound strangely reasonable.

What’s a true-blue Republican to do?

Dig up some corpses.

Am I, a thoroughly disenchanted Democrat gloating?  In a pinch, yes.  In the long-term, no, because I’m stuck with a candidate I did not vote for in 2008, a man who has proven himself less a champion of Democratic principles than even I ever expected.

As a Nation, we are stuck in a rut for which there seem few alternatives.  The legacy parties offer nothing but more of the same—craziness on one side and the uninspiring ‘we suck less than they do’ on the other.  As a voter, I’ve vowed to go 3rd party  in November [unless the Republicans were to choose Santorum, then I’ll vote directly against him].  However, in the larger frame all I see are monied interests, directing and maneuvering what is suppose to be a ‘free’ election.  It has virtually nothing to do with me or my values.  On the contrary, it’s all about the persistence of a political class and their cash-soaked benefactors calling for war and protecting their national interests, the gutting of our social contract; the unwillingness to formulate a sensible energy program sans the giant fossil fuel companies’ interference or address the critical and devastating slippage in education, infrastructure, healthcare and employment opportunities.

We have plenty of money for bombs.  But not our people.  Bailouts are bad.  Unless our representatives are saving the asses of and colluding with the corrupt TBTFs.  Water and food is the stuff of life until there’s a pipeline, gushing with sludgy oil and money, to compromise both.

Ed Rollins, former Reagan strategist, made a statement recently about the 2012 Republican field:

“Six months before this thing got going, every Republican I know was saying, ‘We’re gonna win, we’re gonna beat Obama.’ Now even those who’ve endorsed Romney say, ‘My God, what a fucking mess.’

That about sums it up, not simply about the Republican field but the entire country.  It is an effing mess.  And there’s no savior on the horizon.  In fact, there’s no savior anywhere.  Unless we, the American public, do the saving.  But that means coming together on issues where we can agree.  The gridlock in DC gets us absolutely nowhere.  It’s enough to put anyone into a funk.

But then this morning I read an article about environmentalists and Tea Party activists coming together to fight Keystone XL, the pipeline extension from Nebraska to Texas.  For the Tea Party,  it’s all about individual property rights and the way TransCanada, a foreign company, has attempted to strong-arm property owners.  For the environmentalists it’s about preserving fertile farm land and a major aquifer from the too real danger of irreversible contamination.  The nexus of agreement between these two wildly divergent political groups is this: the Keystone pipeline does not serve the public’s interest.

That’s the winning hand: the public’s interest.  Not the oil companies, not the 196 people funding the SuperPacs, not the banks, not the Democratic or Republican parties.

What serves the public’s interest.

We, American citizens, can find ways to work together or continue to be spectators to the endless political theater, the Kabuki dance we call elections.  And once more we’ll be digging up corpses, which could very well be our own.


23 Comments on “I See Dead People”

  1. So, this is what a voice of reason sounds like. It’s refreshing. Thanks, peggysue.

    • peggysue22 says:

      Thanks, Connie. I am so weary of listening to the pols on either side of the Divide. When I know that it’s business as usual once the election is over. Plutocrats on the right, plutocrats on the left. You switch out the names and faces but it’s deja vu all over again.

      There’s got to be a better, more constructive way. The whole system needs a bath and redo.

  2. HT says:

    Tres Bien, Peggysue – but how does one get beyond the theocratic platform that seems to have inflamed the repub voters? Or has it? Is the MSM once again more concerned with selling divisive viewpoints than reporting news? Seems to me that it all rests with the MSM these days, those vampires that are feeding on the public’s insecurities. How does one battle that? Wayback machine – McLuhan declared that the medium was the message – seems like, although he was ridiculed back in the day, his predication has become fact.

  3. Pat Johnson says:

    Great post, peggysue!

    And so true. The quality of candidates is so poor they’re practically begging Quitterella to join in. At least she has “star quality” if nothing else. The “nothing else” she has in spades but Romney and Saintorum are not to their liking.

    Eisenhower may have ambled through his presidency, smart enough to get out of the way of the Democratic reforms that came to bear after WW 2, and should at least be given credit for that much.

    But just like McCain, his baggage came with having Richard Nixon on the ticket and for that he will always be remembered.

    The nation and the economy were recovering during his terms in office and the GI Bill alone fast tracked the middle class into prosperity without interfernce.

    Too bad his like has essentially disappeared from the ranks of the GOP.

    • peggysue22 says:

      Thank you, Ma’am. I read an analysis today indicating if Romney gets the nomination, and then is defeated soundly if will only encourage the evangelical right-wing that theirs is the true way. And yes, Palin is waiting in the wings, either for the 2012 or 2016 beg off: oh please, please run, Miss Sarah.

      Ugh!

      As far as the economy we have two examples with results now: a too small stimulus, which at least kept the country from drowning and the austerity measures used in Europe, an utter and complete disaster. As far as GOP heroes of the past, I don’t think Reagan could pass the smell test now. He actually raised taxes, something like 18 times! You can imagine what Mr. Emperor Toad [Norquist] would say to that :0).

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Eisenhower definitely deserves a higher ranking than Jimmy Carter! Good grief. Eisenhower was probably more liberal than Carter. Jeeze. He even cared about the infrastructure–interstate highway system anyone?

    • ralphb says:

      Frankly most of the credit for the interstate highway system ought to go to Sam Rayburn and LBJ and the House and Senate they led. At least Ike had the good sense to sell it and go along for the ride.

      Have a look at Charlie Pierce’s take on Ike. He doesn’t dislike him but puts him into some historical perspective.

      http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/Ross,_Ike,_and_the_Lost_Republican_Centrist

    • peggysue22 says:

      I was surprised at the ranking, too. Jimmy Carter though a decent man was not a good president. My husband and I were young with babies crawling around. It was hard making ends meet with inflation off the charts.

      And here we are again–different set of problems but a lot of people struggling for survival.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I couldn’t take Carter’s sanctimoniousness and his born again religion. IMHO, he opened the floodgates to a lot of this public piety we’re dealing with now.

      • northwestrain says:

        Yes — you hit the nail on the head. Anyone (politicians) who talks up their religion with words like …. “I’m a Christian blah blah blah blah blah” — I just don’t trust.

        Which religion will be the state religion — hummmm Santorium — your flat earth version of Catholic? Or how about Lutheran, Church of England, Jehovah Witness, Bible Belt Baptist, Mormon/LDS, etc. etc. etc. — There are so many different churches, sects —

        Or how about the church of “Hate them women” or the Church of “keep women their place” — most the the patriarchal religions believe in keeping women in their place — it is the unifying theme that holds the haters in the GOP together.

        Seems to me that under Prez Carter — women lost a chunk of their rights — he signed something and said that everyone needs to give up something to get along — only thing is only women lost. He was one of the guys who used women’s human rights as a bargaining chip.

        But his Southern Religious conservative core — really bugged me. I never voted for him — I was moving the first time. The second time he quite before the West Coast had time to vote.

        Eisenhower was much better than Carter by a long shot. Ike came to Hawaii when I was a kid — we got out of school. A very big deal for us to see our father’s Commander in Chief.

  5. peggysue22 says:

    I think you have to tune them out, HT. There’s very little I believe anymore coming out of our corporate-owned mainstream media. They’re spinning as fast as they can and the fear factor is what it’s all about. McLuhan was a prophet. I recall first hearing that quote and really not understanding what the man was getting at. Now, it makes perfect sense. As for Santorum? It’s hard to say how many Republicans really buy into his revival-style campaigning. The primaries tend to get the zealots in motion. From what I’ve read, the establishment GOP and the actual conservative conservatives are thoroughly disgusted. I would vote directly against Santorum [meaning I'd cast a vote for Obama] if the Republicans are foolish enough to hand him the nomination. I don’t think they’re that stupid. Not only are Santorum’s religious views completely bizarro but he’s mediocre at best and not a true conservative.

    We shall see. But private citizens like myself can get involved at the local level and work towards change. I was really heartened to read the cooperation between the progressives and the Tea Party activists. There’s strength in numbers, regardless of the direction from which we work. In this case, the goal is the same: stop the damn pipeline.

    • HT says:

      I wish all of us luck on the pipeline – but the PTB are really pulling out all stops to ensure it happens. The real problem of course is that there has been no real reasearch, ongoing, financed research into weaning our collective societies off of non-renewal sources of power – witness that idiot that blames Obama for having to pay more to gas up his hummer, for gawds’ sake. REsearch is expensive, doncha know, and if there’s oil, well, why bother, so say the powers that be.

  6. ralphb says:

    You can’t work with assholes like this. First there has to be at least one cm of common ground.

    The Dildos Mandating Dildos road show apparently has moved along to Alabama after its boffo run in Virginia.

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/Probes_Fell_On_Alabama_Last_Night#ixzz1nd0eDtJn

  7. bostonboomer says:

    Speaking of dead people who can’t fight back, Scott Brown has been dancing on Ted Kennedy’s grave, claiming Ted would have supported the Blunt contraception bill. Now Ted’s son Patrick has asked Brown to stop lying about Ted, and Brown has refused. What a dick.

    http://news.bostonherald.com/news/us_politics/view/20220226patrick_kennedy_blasts_brown_on_health_care/srvc=home&position=3

    • bostonboomer says:

      Frankly, Ted should have stuck with Jack’s views on separation of church and state.

    • peggysue22 says:

      I read that, BB. I thought it was pretty arrogant of Brown to tell Patrick Kennedy what his father thought or would have done regarding the Blunt amendment. Think the son knew his father better and far longer than Scott Brown ever did.

  8. ralphb says:

    Mitt Romney couldn’t have remembered Detroit milestone; he wasn’t born

    DETROIT—When Mitt Romney regaled a Michigan audience this week with childhood memories of a landmark moment in Detroit history, it was a rare instance of emotional candour.

    And, perhaps, an even rarer example of time travel.
    [...]
    The Golden Jubilee described so vividly by Romney was indeed an epic moment in automotive lore. The parade included one of the last public appearances by an elderly Henry Ford.

    And it took place June 1, 1946 — fully nine months before Romney was born.

    The timelines suggest Romney could well have been conceived that day. But it is inconceivable he was actually there.

    Sperm are people, my friend.

    • NW Luna says:

      Romney’s foot-in-mouth utterances are adding up to a long list of asinine talk.

      But that commentary makes me think of the song “Every sperm is sacred, every sperm has ears,” to start a take-off on the immortal words of Monty Python.

      I’m waiting for the Rs to outlaw male masturbation on the grounds it murders sperm before they have a chance to propagate.

  9. peggysue22 says:

    Just as an aside, there’s a fascinating interview up at Alternet with UK journalist Paul Mason about the worldwide Occupy movements in 2011 and where he sees/thinks all this turmoil is going, the opportunities and dangers the revolutionary movement and spirit provides and how we, the whole bloody world, has changed forever. He’s been on the ground interviewing, observing and reporting and has just published a book about what he saw, ‘Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere.’

    I may be forced to track this one down :0). His point is that the neoliberal economic structure is collapsing, everywhere. The question is: what will replace it? He won me with this:

    ‘What has changed is that the collapse of the economic model, the collapse of the narrative of neoliberalism, the collapse of the “recreate-reality” Karl Rove doctrine, means that a space is opened up where the left has to redefine itself towards the emerging events. It’s caused a huge crisis for social democracy in Europe and I would argue is probably the root of the crisis inside the various Occupy and Occupy-like movements as well.’

    That seems true to me. Where there’s danger, there’s possibility. It’s going to be a ride, for sure.

    Link here:

    http://www.alternet.org/story/154273/how_financial_crisis%2C_economic_inequality%2C_social_media%2C_and_more_brought_revolutions_in_2011–and_changed_us_forever_/?page=2