Make Believe Next Right by stimbleupon.com
What get called miracles, Biblical or political, are usually smoothly-decked out conspiracy theories in reverse, hardly revelations of the ineffable. Many are simply "mysteries" science hasn't yet gotten to. Thus, a rash of lameduck Congressional gains, dubbed by some a "miracle" symbolically if not practically, falls short of the miraculous -- that belongs to serious systemic repairs, such as: economic inequities, looming environmental/energy train wrecks, and ungovernable campaign financing.
Now if this president morphed into a forceful progressive champion -- battling national economic collapse with half the militancy he applies against Afghanistani "terrorists" -- that would justify miracle status. If Obama tackled Wall Street abuses or cut the ongoing trillion dollars global tantrum we call "defense spending," that'd be a marvel. Likewise, if the puny-minded Party of Petulance embraced the 21st Century -- racially, socially, economically, or compassionately, that would be a wonder to behold.
And yet small miracles must be acknowledged -- in political terms alone (vs. great solutions) this lameduck Congress has quacked with unexpected vigor and major surprises. In mythic-religious-winter solstice terms, key adult legislation left for dead (DADT, food safety, 9/11 Responders, even START) was dragged out of graves -- to breathe again, even soar with flying colors. For Obama's future, the last weeks provided long overdo good news.
White House Off Life-Support
If we blame Obama for what happens on his watch, whether inherited recession or woefully-inadequate jobs stimulus, we must give credit when good ideas get through our embarrassment of a government. Few politicians are as good as we hoped for, nor as bad as we feared, W. alone dispelling this wisdom, in both directions.
Offering as much joy as dumping DADT, something's afoot when the most filibuster-addicted, unified Repug obstructionism in decades dissipates. The Dinosaurs, using every procedural quagmire for two years, for reasons yet unexplained acted like senators of old, with the country's interest at stake. In what the extreme right already tags temporary insanity, characters on the wrong side of history supported gay rights, healthy food, aid to ailing 9/11 Responders, and fewer nukes with better monitoring.
Really, what's left in the GOP fraud against America -- a fake assault on the non-war against Christmas? More bad immigration stances, like its politically-damaging, unpatriotic quackery that killed the Dream Act, denying citizenship to immigrant children willing to die in our absurd wars? And before Obama fans click their heels, the Money Party Shills got their plum tax rates renewed -- supplementing massive federal deregulation lapses and fat subsidies. Plus, GOP House control dooms adequate funding to implement health insurance and financial regulatory reform. That puts the two signature Obama bills on the line, half-dead, half-alive.
The Worms Turn, Surprisingly
Up to this lameduck session, "sanctimonious" liberals could write off this White House as inept, scattered and self-wounding, its own worse enemy, up against an exemplum of idiotic, unified mind-control, but competent by sticking together like rat packs. Yet that paradigm has temporarily broken. The Democrats couldn't lose for winning, and the Republicans reveal growing ideological and geographic divisions. As before, Republicans can lose more than the Democrats will likely win on their own.
The nerve, the gall, fooling us by switching roles in the middle of the drama, like switching horses in the middle of the stream! It's like Scrooge unforgiven or the Titanic limping home or Sarah Palin understanding one complex idea. Look, comrades, we have our expectations, based on intense study and careful conclusions, and we can live with only so much disequilibrium, even ruined stereotypes. After all, does this mean rational Republicans, open to compromise, are beyond the fatal embrace of McCains, DeMints or Sessions, Palins, Gingrichs and Bachmanns? Well, I'll be.
Of course mysteries remain: why in tarnation did these "masterful" Democrats, holding a wildly winning hand against more tax breaks for rich, not broadcast a plethora of winning plays before getting slammed in the midterm? Why promote now -- because you managed to become the minority? So, were passing these bills the weird payoff for blowing your political control. That's not just lameduck thinking but lamebrain logic.
I haven't changed my view Democrats will find novel ways to shoot themselves in the feet, nor that Republicans are reborn into reason or public interest. The "tyranny of the minority" means the GOP House will bully anyone, or demagogue any issue, that makes it look better. And the horrendous, basic GOP logic for 2012 is unchanged: what's bad for America is bad for Obama and thus good for them. How long will a GOP House doubly divided, that can't produce jobs, not infuriate the left and right? Will Dems point out this implicit destruction of America?
And yet, this lameduck has advanced Obama's re-election, now stronger than the left imagined just weeks ago. Objectively, wins cover a wide swath, likely regaining centrist support with a big social-rights issue (gays in the military), the soccer mom constituency (food quality), foreign affairs (START), alas, something for Wall Street-business planner types (predictable taxation). And a huge majority liked the anti-terrorist cherry at the end -- medical funding to 9/11 Responders. Significantly for his re-election, Obama's wins mandated not one new "socialist" program with a big price tag and more debt to China.
The Come-on of the Comeback Kid
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