Ichabod's Kin
A place for politics, pop culture, and social issues

Big Spenders

"The Third-Term Panic", by Thomas Na...

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Wow, did we show them! In these trying economic times, we ran through Black Friday and days following like a bottle of Epsom Salts. I first thought that front page Globe photos were of looters leaving Big Box stores. It was loot, all right, meaning discounted largesse from retail corporations.

And here we thought we were down to the nub, financially, given all the hysterics at town hall meetings and anger at the ballot box. And, gosh, election day was only two and a half weeks before the feeding frenzy.

My, what a recovery, from despondency to gluttony, all in a matter of days. A woman got a temp job for the holidays and said it increased her Christmas budget by two-thousand bucks. Sounds like she wasn’t exactly at death’s door before, but I guess the GOP and its Tea Party must have made her think so at the time.

Ya think maybe something was grossly exaggerated during the past year–leading us to blame our brand new Prez and make his job even worse than what was handed him? And the culprits behind such reckless anxiety were Chicken Littles of politics who wanted us to think the sky was falling. Silly them.

Turns out, TARP and Stimulus money is coming back into the coffers, the market began stabilizing months ago, and we’re financially in better shape than most of the world except for Germany. Wall Street, the Greedy Gus of us all, and certain auto companies are returning some Big Ones to the government, and unemployment strains to grind to a halt, like a runaway locomotive finally getting some brake traction.

I hasten to add that this is hardly over. When the next dip comes, however, like follow-up tremors to an earthquake, maybe we’ll realize this is a “process,” as Obama says, and start dishing some disregard to the nay-sayers who try to make political hay from our pain.

So, as cheerful, generous feelings of the coming Season begin to warm the cockles of our hearts, let’s take a calmer review of the landscape.  Firstly, we now know the Tea Partiers were and are better off than we earlier assumed: they have bigger and better jobs and resources. So what’s their real beef ? It’s a power grab, mainly, from folks who are older, whiter and richer than the average bear but who see the world changing under them. Oh, dear me: you mean the same world that’s changing under the rest of us?

Their demographics show damn little diversity and little of other races, not to mention of recent immigrants (including documented ones). This is not a world they recognize and they’re uncomfortable in it. They want to know whatever happened to backwoods Southern sheriffs who knew how to keep certain people in their place, and smoke-filled back rooms where cigar-chompers managed a world more privileged and familiar to their liking.

But they can’t stand up in front of God and the whole word and admit their racism and a democracy based on cronyism. Looking out over the political panorama, they found the smokescreen they needed: money and taxes! Republicans of course really believe that’s the problem, since their dream is of an America that’s a banana republic comprised of rich and poor, while the devil takes the middle class.

The Tea Party knows that’s a lot of guff. What they want is what we’ve all heard time and again since Obama’s election: not being among the jobless and suffering, they just want their country back, meaning the Good Old Days when men were men and life was cheap, especially if you weren’t a man.

So the Teabaggers held a “party,” otherwise known as the 2010 election campaign, where they told the populace that taxes and Socialism were gonna get our mamas. That was not only a bunch of hooey, but a disgrace to the event they name themselves after.

Just before the election, Glenn Beck told Americans to send any dollar, however spare, to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which led to said institution becoming awash in kids’ college money, dispatched by frightened parents and other potential voters. It’s nice to know their dough’s now safe with a Chamber board comprised of reps from ConocoPhillips, Dow Chem, JPMorgan Chase and Rolls Royce. Trouble is, it ain’t dough gonna come back to the donors in any way, shape or form.

But election day came and went and already those who’ve long called Democrats big spenders are over-spending on their own 2012 GOP national convention, while former committeemen wonder why and where the money’s going. Weren’t they were supposed to usher in financial responsibility?

And as far as getting rid of “elitists,” they ran Joe Miller of Yale Law, Rand Paul of Duke Med School, and Ken Buck from Princeton in hopes of doing so. Then there’s Dick Armey, who runs the Tea Party outfit known as FreedomWorks, whose last job was with a big lobbying firm.

Chickens will soon come home to roost. And when the economy really sweetens, it will be the pin that pricks the Tea Party balloon, and it’s hard to keep a whole country mad when it’s feeling better.

I can’t wait to hear the popping sound.

2 Responses to “Big Spenders”

  1. This was really thought-provoking, and well-written. Thank you!

  2. Bravo, John,

    You articulated my frustration nicely. But, did our terrific president and his once faithful supporters expend, two years ago, their entire open-your-eyes, yes-we-can, don’t-be-fooled capital? You said, last January, that you thought that the tea party was “sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Would that it were so. I fear that the damage their fear mongering – and they get their distorted messages across so effectively – will be extensive. Why is it that the dems lose heart, steam and energy and get stupid just when the brass ring is within reach? Not power hungry enough? I don’t know. Maybe.


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