Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Wow, two Curmudgeon posts in a row, suffused with joy. Can't have that. Where's the yang? Actually, focusing on small Pop Rocks of joy might be appropriate when the world seems so intent on showing that small instances of intelligent behavior on behalf of either government or people get overwhelmed by the continuous tide of bureaucracy and stupidity. The script gets so familiar, my sense of outrage is buried in ennui.
No, my problem with Washington bears little resemblance to the tea-party gang obsessed with deficits, though the deficit reduction plan does nothing to win Obama friends. I'm also through with worrying about how an Afghan surge will work, or when Gitmo might close. Rather, it's the constant fallback to the national-security position that often makes the Obama administration hard to distinguish from the previous one:
* A legal, nonviolent protest against a missile-defense test at Vandenberg Air Force Base Jan. 31 was met by greater repression than Bush initiated in the post-9/11 period. Military Police at Vandenberg went outside the gates to dismantle a demo on public property. Meanwhile, the missile test failed, while Obama planned on upgraded Patriot missile batteries throughout the Persian Gulf region. Bruce Gagnon blogs about the crackdown on MacGregor Eddy and compatriots here. (Update: Here's an article on the crackdown, with a photo showing a banner that was displayed for a total of five minutes before being pulled down.)
* Obama's nuclear-weapons budget, Pentagon budget ($708 billion), and Quadrennial Defense Review are more business-as-usual bids for more guns and less butter. At least Pell Grants are increased, but that can't make up for all the offensive parts of the present budget.
* The right wing has gone from crazy to downright dangerous, as revealed in the arrests at Sen. Mary Landrieu's office. But was it a CIA inside job? You'll never know. Just like you'll never know the death count from CIA-directed drone attacks inside Pakistan.
I almost got lifted from my sense of repressive-rerun boredom with Ruth Mowry's wonderful post on Black History Month. But then I remembered that even Woodrow Wilson supported D.W. Griffith and supported the Klan. I remembered that we still have racists who try to bury their hatred of a Black president under stories of Kenyan birth certificates. And I remember that our president who was to serve as an agent of change, isn't able to change much at all. I guess I had better chuckle as much as I can at the small stuff, because I am simply too tired and bored to engage in passionate outrage over a world that still seems bent on unraveling its better works.