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A GOP Nightmare
Everything they fear has come to pass. Lucky us!

by Bryan Zepp Jamieson
wemagazine.org
January 24, 2009

Four days after the Inauguration, it's clear to everyone that there's a new sheriff in town. Obama has told the Pentagon to work on a safe way of getting the troops out of Iraq. He has ordered Guantanamo Gulag to be closed within a year. (Yes, I would like it closed immediately, but the frightie-righties are terrified that people who have been imprisoned and abused for six years without trial or any promise of release might harbor some resentment against the scumbags responsible). He has lifted the execrable “gag order” against countries that provided abortions or American charities that aided those countries. He toughened up rules about lobbying members of his administration, putting an end to outright whorishness in the Bush White House, during which time nearly everyone in the West Wing made Monica Lewinsky look chaste. Obama has ordered an end to what was arguably America's greatest disgrace under the Bush junta: the use of torture.

Bob Herbert of the NY Times wrote “[I]t’s called leadership. Mr. Obama has been feeding the almost desperate hunger in this country for mature leadership, for someone who is not reckless and clownish, shortsighted and self-absorbed...Mr. Obama has signaled loudly and clearly that the era of irresponsible behavior in public office is over.” Herbert noted that Obama had critics on both the left and right, and that's certainly true. I'm strongly opposed to his plan to send another 30,000 into the quagmire of Afghanistan (Hello? The British Empire? The USSR? Big countries go to Afghanistan to die), and skeptical of his efforts to “reach across the aisle” to a pack of whiny, petulant cowards who want nothing less than their own way on everything.

What I've seen of the economic stimulus package looks good. He wants 12 million homes to be running on clean energy sources in three years. He proposes the retrofit of 2 million older homes toward that end to make them more energy efficient.

He wants to use $100 billion as loan guarantees so banks will lend, which is probably the only thing that will work to get the cooperations of those shortsighted cretins in the banking industry. Me, I would just nationalize them and use them to invest in a national rebuilding. As Robert Scheer noted, we already have plenty of debt, and encouraging banks to create more is foolhardy. And encouraging profiteering on any project that big is even more stupid, and invites corruption on a cosmic scale. Did we learn nothing over the past 25 years of free market economics?

According to the NY Times, Obama's plan would also extend medical coverage to over eight million people presently doing without (leaving about 35 million) and would protect another 22 million from state cutbacks on medical care. (I have a friend who is paralyzed from the hips down who just won the right to be at home instead of in a health care facility (read: toxic dump site for old folks), which was costing the state about $80,000 a year. Being home with a health worker present would have cost the state about half that, but the state just cut back the funding for such aides to four hours a day -- two two-hour shifts, and I'm sure you can just see people lining up for jobs with those hours! But at least Arnie protected billionaires from a 2% tax increase. My friend will be very happy to know that.)

So Obama is off to a good, strong start, and as I said, there's a new sheriff in town.

The folks on the right wing are going completely out of their minds, of course, which is enormously satisfying to watch.

Take Rush Limbaugh, radio gasbag and drug abuser. He came right out and said, “I hope Obama fails.” No “if Obama does this or that, he will fail,” not even “If Obama gets his way, the country will suffer.” Rush doesn't give a shit about the country, of course. He just wants Obama to fail, because his ideology and ego demand it. He was a sleazy, overpaid dirtbag sixteen years ago when he mocked then-12-year-old Chelsea Clinton's appearance. Now, he's a sleazy, treasonous, vastly overpaid dirtbag, and the heart of the GOP. They grow up so fast.

Senate Minority Bleater Boehnner and other right wingers are losing their minds over the idea of “terrorists being brought inside our borders.” The impression seems to be that they will be set up in cottages near schools and given nuclear weapons so they can clear brush. “Terrorists!! Inside!!! Our borders!!! Aieeee!”

Of course, we already have lots of terrorists inside the borders now. The 1993 WTC gang. Charlie Manson. Hell, Charlie Manson is less than a day's drive from where I live, and we KNOW he's dangerous. I'm not losing any sleep over that proximity, though. There's also *Zacarias Moussaoui*, Richard Reid, *Mohammad Rauf, and the most terrifying of all, John Walker Lindh. Lindh is so scary Steve Earle wrote a song about him, and we all know how scary that can be.*

* What Republicans fear is that the people at Gitmo will get fair trials in open court, and America and the world will see what a cowardly sham the Bush Administration's “War on Terror” really is.*

* Speaking of what a sham the war on terror actually was, as Americans were peeling off their shoes so they could board planes and producing photo IDs so they could ride trains, and the government was putting nearly a million names on the “No-Fly List” and the NSA was spying on everyone, the ports lay largely undefended, open to any WMD that floated in on one of the millions of containers aboard the vast trade ships. Obama has moved to improve port security. So while Boehnner howls about how no mere American prison could possibly hold the monsters of Guantanamo, we are actually going to be a little bit safer, “without sacrificing our principles.” Oh, how the GOP hates that. People walking around, unafraid and free! Oh, the horror!*

* Of course, the right is claiming that free markets had nothing to do with the economic implosion, and that Obama will wreck the economy (which apparently stopped imploding and is now healthy and invulnerable and has been since Tuesday) if he does, well, anything. Like help people. Ordinary people. Not “the right people.” The GOP isn't happy, and doubtlessly asked Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly to whine loudly about that, too.*

* They'll be whining even more next week. Obama will be introducing legislation to tighten up regulation on banks, brokerages, mortgages, and introducing regulation on hedge funds and other derivatives. For all the screaming about accountability Republicans like to do, they never do like it much when the accountability applies to them. A wise man once said, “In commerce, if the government doesn't regulate it, they will eventually have to nationalize it.”*

* It has taken the right a while to realize that their reign really is over, and they are livid, frightened, and futile in their bitchiness. To them, it's much better that Obama fail and take America with him. If they can't own it, nobody can.*

* Paul Craig Roberts, quoting Thomas Jefferson, quote, **“**A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles. It is true that in the meantime we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public debt....... If the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at stake."*

* And it is that hope and strength and resolve, brought to life by the Obama administration, that is what right wingers truly fear.*

Posted: January 27, 2009

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