Four years ago, there was so much to write about. On this date in 2008, we had a real campaign for the presidency. There were concerns about what the Hillary folks (especially the PUMAs) would do. There were fascinating House races, with real characters. There were issues to be discussed. No one really knew how badly the economy would tank 10 weeks later. Salad days.
I look at America today and I honestly do not understand. I feel like the grandfather in the movie Moonstruck who watches all around him, meets with his friends late at night, howls at the moon with his dogs, explains his existence with "I'm so confused", and in the final scene, implores his son to do the right thing. I have not yet howled at the moon, but I spend a lot of time imploring people to do the right thing.
Perhaps you can help alleviate my confusion. Can someone explain to me why when Gallup asks the right track/wrong track question, it's a referendum on Obama? It seems to me that the things putting us on the wrong track are unbridled money in politics, the obstructionist Republicans at all levels, and the constant propaganda and lies spewing forth from Fox. Obama is the last barrier to utter disaster. Why is it about him?
I used to revere the Supremes. They fixed mistakes of others in moving the Constitution forward (cite: Marbury v Madison, Roe v Wade, Miranda, etc.). They fixed their own mistakes, for example Brown v Topeka Board of Ed overcoming Plessy v Ferguson. They make some mistakes, like Kelo, but their imperfections were always points of law. And now we have Antonin Scalia. It's not just that everyone from the Marshall boys (John and Thurgood), Warren, Frankfurter, Holmes, Jay, Chase, Taft, Brandeis, Douglas, Cardozo, Burger and a host of others are rolling in their graves. His actions are anathema to the living ex-Supremes. His presence on SCOTUS is not just an embarrassment, it's a stake in the heart of the three branches of government the Founding Fathers envisaged for America.
Our government works, in theory, because of an ingrained system of checks and balances, which depends on the ability of the courts to interpret law relative to the Constitution. When the court throws out the Constitution, as Scalia has done, it calls into question the bedrock on which our country was founded. Why does Arizona have a state right to ask people for their papers, but Montana does not have a state right to keep institutional corruption out of its borders? Pick one, Antonin. His diatribe against the president? (And not for the first time.) Really? After putting Bush in power by circumventing the Voting Rights Act and improperly interpreting the 14th Amendment? Shameful.
Capstone of the week on the political side? David Duke (yes, the ex-grand poobah of the KKK) endorsed a Democrat in a NY House race. Need more proof that the country has gone crazy?
Four years ago, I used to blog several times a day. It was a golden time for written thought: people read paragraphs and articles, discussed, and often took action. Four years later, people prefer to get their "insights" in 160 character clumps, videos and bumper stickers. As a society, we seem to discuss less, think less, and interact less. I saw some numbers on the Ed Show last night: it was a poll of Republicans asking them about certain aspects of the ACA. They overwhelmingly (80%+) loved the provisions, so long as Obama's name was not associated with the facets. So many racists, so little time.
Now is the time for actions over words. It used to be "contact your Senators and Representatives" but that time has passed. So many are the leashed dogs of the corporate right that it no longer matters. What matters is getting the Republicans out of office. Here in PA, they've stopped the pretense that the Voter ID laws have anything to do with voter fraud: it's all about ousting Obama. Really. So what you have to do, and have to get everyone you know to do is to work this election. Get out the vote. Work Voter Registration. Work for local Democrats. Get everyone you know to the polls. START TODAY. We, the Democrats, don't have the money the evil side does, and we're never going to. All we have left are our votes. Please, use them.