A Little Song, a Little Dance

My old daddy would boil to see what these neo-con-men
have done to his beloved Republican Party. My party as well, until they
left me drop-jawed in the Reagan years, trying to recognize which shell
covered the pea of our nation’s greatness.

A little seltzer down your pants. Something to think about as
you step into the voting booth on November 7th—what forces have the
conservatives set loose on your children (and grandchildren)?
These, after all, are the folks who came in promising smaller
government and a bigger piece of the capitalist pie for mom and pop. My
old daddy always thought government pie was something FDR promised from
the sky and that the tastiest was always cooling in mom’s kitchen
But then old daddy was an old-time Republican. He prospered
in the twenties, damn near failed in the thirties, worked in the
Douglas Aircraft plant during the war, got back on his feet in the
fifties, made a buck, built his dream house with a Cadillac and a
Packard in the two-car garage and promptly died of cancer at age 62.
The American Dream, but not long enough. Daddy never
collected a single payment of that Social Security that FDR promised
him. That was okay by daddy—he fought the old-time true conservative Republican battle against Roosevelt his whole life.
Old time Republicans, Garrison Keillor likes to point out, were the wire-rim glasses businessmen down on Main Street, when there still was a Main Street. Does anyone remember Main Street before those poisonous malls killed off every independent business in town?
Those Republicans I grew up with fed their families, took two-week
vacations at the lake, bought Buicks and worked themselves down to nubs
building small businesses for their kids. You have to listen to Keillor
or read Sinclair Lewis to get the feel of those original conservative
men of consequence.
My god, how they detested debt. Savaged by a Depression—the
Great one is still capitalized—they paid their bills, put a little
aside, toughed things out, sent their kids to college and washed the
car in the driveway while their oldest son mowed the lawn. If there had
even been credit-cards, they’d have avoided them like the plague.
They wore hats
these sturdy citizens who built the strongest economic machine in the
world. They sat down in restaurants in coats and ties, held doors for
ladies, knew their neighbors, went (maybe a little uncomfortably) to
church with the family, played golf and paled at the thought of bank loans. They attended Lions and Rotary. They worried about their daughters, loved but didn’t understand their wives and thought that society was something you built with sweat-equity. Eisenhower Republicans, every one.
Beware the military-industrial complex.

factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer
into society’s future, we — you and I, and our government — must
avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease
and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage
the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also
of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive
for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of

Ain’t that the truth!
Reagan, Bush the First and Bush the Present hijacked
that conservative, America-building Republican heritage. In the
incredibly short period of  twenty-five years, they took a conservative
fear of debt and turned it on its ear by bribing and pandering to an
entire generation.
Their generation.
It took fully 200 years of American government to reach a trillion
dollar debt. In 25 years, the Republicans multiplied that fifteen-fold.
The most self-serving, thieving political banditry in history has
beggared future generations of Americans.
Neo. That’s what they call themselves, neo-conservatives. New, revised, new version Republicans cut the country up like a hanging slab of beef. They portioned it off to Big Media and Big Investors, Big Pharma and Big Agriculture, Big Wal-Mart, Big Oil, Big Defense Contractors.
Left in the wake of that giveaway, broken schools, boarded up
downtowns, chicken-shit jobs and a country that can’t afford to send
their kids to the doctor.
My old daddy would boil to see what these neo-con-men
have done to his beloved Republican Party. My party as well, until they
left me drop-jawed in the Reagan years, trying to recognize which shell
covered the pea of our nation’s greatness.
You want some numbers to carry into that voting booth?
Interest on the debt—the same debt the Bill Clinton was actually paying down—is up 20% this year to $220 billion. Interest! What we pay for not having paid.
$250 billion in 2007 and $270 billion as President Bush swans out of
office in 2008—leaving that mess to my kids and grandkids—my old
daddy’s great-grandkids.
That’s not the bill, folks. That’s the interest on the bill. In a decade when Medicare and Medicaid are growing too fast to predict, the fastest growing component of government spending has become interest on our debt. America’s national credit-cards–all of them maxed out. What is it that these so-called conservatives actually conserve?
Bush dares to talk about ‘cut and run.’ He’s cut deals with the rich and run
this country into unimaginable debt and plans, two years from now, to
just saunter off into the sunset of his ignorance and hubris. His bread
is buttered, as is Cheney’s and Rumsfeld’s.
We buttered it, you and I, by not giving a damn about politics. Explain that to your kids, when there is no money to run the nation. Take that to the bank and see if you can get any money for it.
This president has pissed away trillions in the past five
years by cutting taxes for the rich and failing to fund an unrelenting,
inescapable and hugely costly war. A trillion is one thousand billion. Your money, my money, your children’s money and their children’s and their children’s.
Take that into the voting booth with you.
Anyone else out there talking about debt?

1 thought on “A Little Song, a Little Dance

  1. A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants:

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