Sunday, April 26, 2009

Blogs Of Contention

















JUST GOT BACK FROM CENTRAL PARK,
where I took in the sights and enjoyed the near-90 degree weather. My brother and I even caught some of the Greek Independence Day parade down 5th Avenue, including the seemingly omnipresent Chuck Schumer, an old-fashioned pol who never passes up a chance for face time. Every few steps a smiling Schumer, who frankly from my close-up vantage point looked like he could use the exercise, would wave to the crowd on either side of the Avenue, then raise a megaphone to his lips to say something in Greek which I couldn't decipher -- Greek being as Greek to me as it probably is to you despite my Hellenic ancestry. All I know are the curse words.

Now on to the matter at hand. Just stumbled on the Rene's Apple blog, which I used to read but in all honesty kind of forgot about for a few years. Now, it's kind of like the Bizarro World version of Warden's World, in that we are really polar opposites politically with very little common ground to stand on except for an intersecting of musical tastes. Our websites started at right about the same time, and John, in fact, left the first-ever comment on my first-ever blog post way. He doesn't seem like a bad guy, just hopelessly, stubbornly misinformed like the rest of his misbegotten brethren. One thing's for certain: Given that we disagree on almost everything, one of us is gonna be very right and the other very wrong about an awful lot of important issues.

But even though I knew it was unlikely his politics had changed since then, I was still surprised to see how entrenched he was in his anti-Obama stance. To wit, although his commentary would hardly pass as such:

"... (Obama) is... just another left-winger who hates America."

"Obama continues his Permanent Campaign of Misdirection."

"...it's already obvious that ripping Bush is more fruitful politically than supporting the callow Obama's feeble attempts at diplomacy, including his recent apology tour."

That's the gist of 3 of his more recent posts, and the overall tenor of Rene's Apple in general. In one post he puts great stock in a poll that shows Mike Huckabee coming within 7 points of Obama in the 2012 election. Love how Republicans ignore all facts except those that suit them, such as the one that showed the president with substantial approval ratings even after the right-wing smear campaign. Even the scripted Tea Parties failed to convince most of the country that Obama was a dangerous left-wing ideologue hell-bent on taking away everyone's gun and building reeducation camps for Americans who voted against him.

So while my blood was still boiling, I attached the following comment to a recent Rene's Apple post, and I wanted to reproduce it here in case it gets removed -- not that it was particularly personal, especially relative to the current blogosphere standards of venom. But hell, I wrote it and I meant it, man, so why not post it here for posterity's sake if not for the general betterment of Mankind?
"Well, it's been a long time. Good to see you're still at it. But enough small talk; now it's on to my take on some of your recent political commentary.

Given your distaste toward the Democratic economic platform, one that seeks to address the gross inequities where the standard of living for the middle class as you know has plummeted while the very upper classes have consolidated unprecedented wealth, I'm assuming you're a very wealthy man who also has benefited greatly from the 6 yrs. of Bush tax cuts. Good for you. Otherwise I'm at a quandary as to your denial of what brought us to the current malaise financially.

In your mind Bush deserves no blame for the state of the economy. The deregulation of financial markets that allowed a Bernie Madoff to flourish, that oversaw something akin to the Enron-ization of a nation? How can this discrepancy exist for the right? In other words, how do you keep a straight face when you right these kool-aid-flavored right wing talking points?

By all means, we should hold the election over again. Because now that Americans have been seeing the Republican leadership in action, not to mention the groundswell of new ideas coming from your side, I would envision a Republican landslide this time around.

I also don't see how using diplomacy and offering goodwill on an international stage after years of Cheney & Co. bullying the rest of the world qualifies as apologizing. The problem with conservatives is this visceral hatred of any criticism of America, as if the nation was an altar boy who must be patted on the head at every turn instead of learning from past mistakes.

In Latin America, don't you see that a Chavez and a Castro way before him are able to thrive politically because of years of U.S. interference in their affairs, branding anyone a socialist who dared steer his way toward a national directed economy. History is replete with such examples (Cuba, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Colombia, need I go on) throughout the last century, although I don't expect you to either know about how that history is perceived in other countries or to acknowledge the effect it has had on relations between America and other nations.

Do you in your naivete still believe that our intentions in this part of the world were always altruistic, or was it a case of America exploiting the politician situations in these countries for their raw materials and cheap labor markets? Maybe the answer is somewhere in between, although I know Republicans don't do nuance a whole lot.

Using the Bush-approved torture methods gives us a similar black eye. It also goes against everything we stood for. And even in the darkest days of WWII, against an Axis fighting machine multitudes greater in threat, America still adhered to the Geneva Convention, because that is what civilized nations do. It's what separates us from the barbarians we purport to be fighting against.

And guess what, despite what agitprop like 24 may tell a dumbed-down viewing public, torture has not only been proven ineffective, but studies have shown it to be counterproductive -- wasting precious resources on false leads.

Anyway, assuming you made it this far, as you can tell we are still polar opposites politically. The country itself is fractured as well, how can it not be when one side, the side that got pummeled in the last two elections, is openly rooting for the president to fail at every turn, and make no secret of it. It's even very good business at fair and balanced Fox.

So cast your lot with the gang that gave us Abu Ghraib, no weapons of mass destruction, shock and awe, Enron, no-bid contracts, the disgraceful response to Hurricane Katrina, waterboarding and other savagery straight out of the Red Chinese torture manual, Attorney General Gonzalez, etc. When another gun nut uses an automatic weapon to blow up a school, remember how Bush let the ban on such weapons lapse. How he started two wars that cost us much more in lives and resources than we can afford, instead of going directly after terrorist cells in this country.

Are the democrats perfect? Of course not. Never suggested they were, and there's a lot I don't like about Obama, especially some of his cabinet choices. But you know, he's on the progressive side of history, while you and your friends are always comfortably numb fighting against the wave even as it crashes down over your heads.

Still like some of your musical taste. I just downloaded I forget from which MP3 blog an entire Stevie Wonder concert from England back in his mid-70s prime. Just amazing song after amazing song like You Haven't Done Nothing and Living in the City."


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

If we got hit with another attack, no one would give a shit about waterboarding, they would want the terrorists who attacked us to drown!

The Warden said...

And everytime we waterboard, they recruit another thousand willing to die. We won WWII without waterboarding. Thank god anyone named Bush wasn't president then.

justin said...

Seems like the nay sayers are often times anonymous. Excellent commentary and that compliment is comes from a guy who is exhausted with two party politics.

justin said...

Not much of a proofreader myself, please strike the first "is". ;)

The Warden said...

Thanks, Justin. If you want to get a look through the looking glass, go to the Rene's Apple blog. He's already calling Obama the worst president of all time, etc. It would be funny if it wasn't so damn sad.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for good stuff.