If I didn’t care so much, if the stakes for civilization were not so high, if the fate of our ecosystem didn’t hang precariously in the balance and our blood and treasure were not so casually tossed aside on behalf of a crumbling empire, I could laugh. A hearty-belly laugh at the absurdity of current events, our mediocre at best leadership, the irredeemable whores of big industry, and the mindless corporate mouthpieces with expensive haircuts masquerading as journalists. Yes, I could laugh at the whole damn mess.
I could laugh at America’s bizarre political math that says unless sixty votes can be cobbled in the Senate we can’t do a damn thing without achieving some faux centrist nirvana at the expense of meaningful financial reform, overhauling immigration, a cleaner environment and energy independence. I could laugh at the even more bizarre math that says stimulus spending to create jobs is bad while spending trillions in Afghanistan and Iraq is good.
I could laugh at a political culture that simultaneously portrays President Obama as a radical Black Muslim Bolshevik and Wall Street corporatist hoping to score Goldman Sachs cash. I could laugh at how the Supreme Court will be even more hostile to wage earners, whistle blowers, the environment and civil liberties at the end of President Obama’s first term then it was at the beginning. I could laugh at how American tax payers may eventually bail out British Petroleum to clean up its mess in the Gulf.
I could laugh at how my home state of New York is on the brink of fiscal insolvency as mendacious Albany politicians grease the patronage mill for contracts that fatten their wallets, borrow and spend from pension funds and cut needed services for the poor, the elderly, the young, the old and the disabled. I could laugh at my Mayor Michael Bloomberg, as his let business be business philosophy allowed mob corruption to metastasize in the New York City Buildings Department, undermine the health and safety of millions of New Yorkers while his Honor retains the image of an above board technocrat. Heck of a job Mike!
I could laugh at how America’s center of political gravity is defined by xenophobes who belong in a lunatic asylum. We have Republican candidates in 2010 that want to return to the gold standard, privatize Social Security for the benefit of Wall Street parasites, and support more off shore drilling and even repeal civil rights legislation. And America's center-left is folding like a limp noodle. How funny is that?
I could laugh at how conservatism defines decency down. Nixon was crazier than Goldwater who today would be considered too liberal in the Republican Party. Reagan was even more of a ruthless class warrior against wage earners than Nixon and George W. Bush even more of a war monger then all of them combined. Then I could laugh at how the Tea Party makes George W. Bush and Dick Cheney almost seem like moderates. And I could laugh at how the American people might just put these people back in power in November 2010 and 2012.
I could laugh at how a Democratic White House gloated over the defeat of organized labor’s backed candidate in Arkansas Bill Halter in favor of the pro-corporatist Blanche Lincoln. I could laugh at how former President Bill Clinton who coveted organized labor’s support during his campaigns and his wife’s, demonized those who stood up for wage earners, health care and the environment.
Then I could laugh at how Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln’s first vote after her primary victory was in favor of a resolution to take away the power of regulating greenhouse emissions from the Executive Branch at the behest of the energy industry and the Chamber of Commerce. Thankfully the resolution was narrowly defeated but remarkable that faux populists like Blanche Lincoln can with a straight face say their vote is not for sale. I could laugh at that too.
If only I could laugh at it all. But none of it is damn funny.