Arguing over the deck chairs

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

Imagine if the passengers of the Titanic, informed of their grave peril, began arguing over how the deck chairs should be arranged so as to provide the most comfortable sinking experience. That is an appropriate metaphor for what passes for political discourse in the blogosphere these days. Here are some examples:

1. The health care fiasco. The insurance and drug industries have such a powerful hold on the US Congress that nothing resembling what the public wishes (a national single-payer plan) has a hope of emerging from the process. So what is all the excitement about? It’s about whether Obama can pass ANYTHING resembling an improved health care plan.

2. The forever war. Obama’s election caused the US antiwar movement to implode. Hey man, Obama is pulling us out of Iraq! We are still in Iraq, and we have expanded the war in Afghanistan to more than offset any reduction of expenditure of blood and treasure from Iraq. So what is the debate about? How soon we can pull completely out of Iraq to increase the commitment to the quagmire in Afghanistan.

3. The crumbling economy. Nobody believes Wall Street or the Government any more, because their lies are plain to see. Our economy is deflating like a punctured balloon as the debt-fueled building of unsustainable living patterns hits the wall of fiscal and ecological reality. So what are we arguing about? How quickly we can resume building McMansions and selling more SUVs.

4. The torture follies. Everybody now knows that half of Americans support torturing human beings in order to protect “national security.” This is the final verdict on American society in the 21st century: we are a cruel and wicked people who deserve to be punished. So what are we arguing about? Which Republican politician (Cheney?) can be made to absorb all the blame for a torture policy that half of America supports.

What passes for politics in America is now fully decoupled from the discussion of the problems that face us, as we drift in a fantasy land of bogus “issues” to avoid dealing with the truths that we just can’t handle. But as we adjust our political deck chairs, the ship continues to sink.


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    • Joy B. on July 22, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    …as “Reality TV.” Sure, the scenarios, conditions and issues are contrived by well-paid fiction writers, and the participants are paid volunteers, but so what? It keeps America fat and happy in front of their boob-tubes every night and day, instead of pressuring politicians to do their jobs or protesting in the streets like other countries do when they get shafted.

    Actually quite brilliant, given that it works like magic!

  1. I was thinking this just the other day.

    Sometimes I feel like we (DDer’s) are “the band”.

    • Edger on July 22, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    That’s an easy one.

    Obama and Maliki can sit down with a map of Iraq, draw circles around all the locations of US Troops and bases, and, declare that anything inside the circles is no longer part of the country of Iraq but is instead US territory.

    Complete and utter withdrawal by 5 o’clock. Just say the word!

    Or some similar bullshit…

    U.S. Troops to Pull Out of Baghdad…By Redrawing Map

    Thursday, May 21, 2009

    The political art of redrawing urban boundaries, long an American tool in elections, is being applied to the U.S. effort to keep troops in cities in Iraq despite a legal agreement to remove them. Under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that officials in Washington and Baghdad agreed to last November, American forces are supposed to withdraw from all cities and villages by June 30. That agreement has posed a problem for the US Army’s Forward Operating Base Falcon, located within Baghdad city limits.

    The U.S. and Iraqi governments have agreed that it would be a mistake at the current time to remove the base’s 3,000 troops because of the need to maintain security in volatile south city neighborhoods. But American and Iraqi officials don’t want to violate the SOFA either-so they decided to redraw the city map of Baghdad. Presto! Forward Operating Base Falcon is no longer inside Baghdad. One U.S. commander said the SOFA was “a living document” in explaining how the two sides justified the gerrymandering.

    • Inky99 on July 22, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    by paring down the military by, say, 50% or so.

    Seeing as how American spends half of the military spending IN THE WORLD, all the countries PUT TOGETHER, it seems that we could easily do that.

    But we won’t.

  2. I would have thought a top example would be the energy/climate change bill.

    Jon Stewart Jizz-Ams in Front of Children – Cap’n Trade

  3. on history, wars, CIA, banking, etc. and have learned some astounding things in my older years.  Things I certainly was never taught in our stepford citizen educational system.   I’m inquisitive in that way, asking why and how things are happening or have happened.  At this point, at least to me, supporting the democratic party over the republican party is like choosing death by firing squad or by lethal injection.  Different methods, but the end result is the same.  

  4. Fantastic essay.

    Is there any way I might be able to open a kiosk, selling non-skid rubber feet for the chairs, or maybe even sunblock cream. (just as useless)

    I`m trying to be part of the economic stimulus.

    Any tips?

  5. As someone who almost lost his life to the icy waters of that cold Atlantic, your response is even more to the point & is maybe why I like your essay.

    What is it that some people don`t get?

    The iceberg??

    • tegrat on July 23, 2009 at 8:43 am
  6. because it’s the most relevant.  It takes being away from America (the Titanic) for awhile to best see what is going on, and how trivial the politics has become, be it the government or the blogs.

    This should be cross-posted at Daily Kos.    

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