Monday, March 22, 2010

Historic Day

So I haven't had much to say here in a while. I've been working more or less full time and generally life is pretty static these days. I did run off to Guatemala for about 2 weeks, and I'm taking an urban gardening course, so things are happening but... for the most part any posting I would do seems more to be notes to myself rather than anything worth digesting by other people.

The more I realize that's the case, the more I get the urge to leave— not really to leave but to go, to restart that conversation with myself and you out there in the world. It's been too long since I've written, but lately even that has been changing and I can sense myself coming back to it. Hello, old friend.

Anyway, the health care bill passed last night [barely, an embarrassment to both parties in my opinion]. There's an article on CNN, How GOP Can Rebound From Its 'Waterloo', written by David Frum. It starts out on a pretty ridiculous foot, as he says this should be the No. 1 early priority:

One of the worst things about the Democrats' plan is the method of financing: an increase in income taxes. The top rate of tax was already scheduled to jump to 39.6 percent at the end of this year. Now a surtax of 5.4 percent will be stacked atop that higher rate. At first, the surtax bites only very high incomes: $500,000 for individuals. But that tax will surely be applied to larger and larger portions of the American population over time.

Oh yes, SURELY that will happen, no doubt at night while you're sleeping. EVERYBODY PANIC.

I mean, I get it. Not everyone's happy and the bill is far from perfect. It's a meaningful start, at least. Anyway. Frum finally calms down a little and talks some real sense...

"Conservatives have whipped themselves into spasms of outrage and despair that block all strategic thinking.
Or almost all. The vitriolic talking heads on conservative talk radio and shock TV have very different imperatives from people in government. Talk radio thrives on confrontation and recrimination.
When Rush Limbaugh said that he wanted Obama to fail, he was intelligently
[disagree] explaining his own interests. What he omitted to say— but what is equally true— is that he also wants Republicans to fail.
If Republicans succeed— if they govern successfully in office and negotiate attractive compromises out of office— Rush's listeners get less angry. And if they are less angry, they listen to the radio less and hear fewer ads for Sleep Number beds.

Glenn Beck will be crying gleeful fake tears and Rush will be getting ready for his next cardiac episode, Sarah Palin will get her pointy fingers going... I don't know who exactly listens to them, but apparently it's a lot, A LOT, of people. At least when I watch The Colbert Report I understand that much of what he says is carefully worded to make a point, usually opposite to what he's just said, or to get a rise out of his unwitting guests. His audience is in on the joke.

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