WE ARE NOT THIS DAMN STUPID
Oh. Oh, man, where to fucking begin?
To start off with, some personal indulgence.
The corporation I had trusted not to be Wal-Mart has tossed me out on my ear and left me to the tender mercies of bureaucratic hell, after thoughtfully screwing me out of my medical coverage, after lying to me and saying I was covered to the end of the month, and my accumulated vacation hours. (CHOKE ON THOSE 10.5 VACATION DAYS, YOU BASTARDS.) So now the whole vexed question of aid for the needy comes home in a big way, given I'm less the 99% now and more the 9.6%
I go downtown to the Department of Employment and Workforce (Orwell-esque and ungrammatical for the win) and the line merely to get told where to go is out the door, doors propped open letting the precious air-conditioned indoor climate bleed out. How much of my taxes are going to fund that bullshit? Inside it's like a refugee camp, which I suppose is a better analogy than I thought it was, given the class war we're in. And are evidently losing.
This in the richest, most powerful country on God's grey Earth. Hi, you fucked up, get in line and fill out these forms and shut up and wait.
It's the waiting that kills. Waiting to see if you're eligible for benefits, waiting to hear back on those resumes you've sent out that seem to have disappeared into the void, waiting for the pension company to get around to mailing you your check for your 401K you had to cash out. "Significant penalties for early withdrawal", but for fuck's sake, you need money to live on. You can't pay your utility bills with promises.
Whee, let's apply for public assistance. This should be fun and easy, if you ignore the fact that a system which gave me migraines when I had to deal with it back in 1993 is now even more overburdened and poorly funded. I suppose one solution would be to use the applicants for assistance to help process requests, if it weren't for the fact that it might cost money and the federal and state scumbags who allocate the money would rather die horrible deaths than see funds go to "the unproductive". Also ignore the fact that the system is biased towards children and families, as if in America single adults can't possibly be considered needy. And even more waiting and forms to fill out and resentful employees and the constant stinky assumption that you're going to defraud the system because YOU PEOPLE do that kind of thing.
Lost my insurance so it's time to find something else. There's COBRA, but I don't have the $350 dollars a month that it would take to keep my present coverage, so what else is out there? SWEET HOLY FUCK is that deductible actually $1000? Yep, you can either have a massive deductible and a reasonable monthly payment, or no deductible and an obscenely huge monthly payment. If they cover you at all. Don't worry, it'll all get better when the ACA is fully implemented in 2014, so I guess I'll just not get sick for the next couple years. Oh, and if the ACA doesn't get repealed. Hell, keep from getting sick for the next 20 years and I can get Medicare! If that's still around.
So, yeah, I'm paying a bit more attention to politics than I did previously. Kind of motivates you to do that when your future depends on it.
And what do I see but a week-long circlejerk in which the GOP fails to address any issue beyond "OBAMA SUCKS!!", culminating with Mitten's paean to himself and his view of what America could be, which is basically what it was at least four years ago. Obama failed; let's go back to Bush. Ain't that a winning program.
And even better - I walk into the grocery store yesterday, take a look at the papers, and there's big pictures of Mittens and Paulie Fishnuts with their smug privileged-white-boy grins and the tagline for Thursday night, "WE DESERVE BETTER".
"We deserve better." From the people who want to grab America by the scruff of its neck and drag it back to the Bush era/the Reagan era/the Cold War Fifties/the Gilded Age.
Here, buy these magic beans from me! They'll cure what ails you!
Aren't these the same shitty magic beans you idiots sold me eight years ago that made things WORSE?
Yeah, but these are IMPROVED magic beans! And Obama sucks!
Hey, why not? What we really goddamn need is another war, some more failed economy, more bigotry, alienate the rest of the world again. Maybe we can get a couple thousand people killed this time, too, then use their mangled corpses as stage props for 2016. Worked so well last time.
Paulie's budget cuts everything except "defense". Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps, TANF, Social Security. The stuff I may need to depend on in the near term, if the job situation doesn't turn around. And where does all that money go but to tax breaks for the ultra-rich, who are supposedly going to fund all those new jobs? You know, like they've done for the last decade, what with all the tax money Bush gave to them. Don't worry, he's not getting better because we haven't bled him enough!
Goddamit, given that America can be a stupid, stupid country, but we are not this stupid. I can't seriously believe we are. We are not that vicious and shallow and stupid.
At least I hope not.