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  • May 24th, 2013

A Taxing Situation

By Joel M. Vance

Yahoo!  Let’s ride that spavined horse all the way to the 2014 election!  The right wing finally has its Got-‘em-by-the-short-hairs moment and they won’t let go.  Congress, that circus of inept clowns, has seized on the so-called IRS scandal to go after President Obama with a fury they haven’t been able to muster for five years, try as they might.

It’s the first time they’ve had a real issue and boy are they gleeful.  To see the right wingers stumbling over each other in their haste to set  up hearings is like watching clowns in a rundown circus desperately trying to get a crowd reaction.  Give  them fright wigs and big flappy shoes and they’d be at their true calling.

Is this really an issue?   Should the IRS have given Tea Party types special scrutiny?  You bet your ass—the Tea Party is a disorganized band of extremists whose only aim is to dissolve most of what made the country what it is, including anything that smacks of the federal government.  Nevermind the cost to the roads they drive on, usually recklessly, or the bridges they cross or the education system (who needs education when you’re so comfortable being stupid?).  Nevermind social programs, which benefit a bunch of foreigners and minorities.  Nevermind Medicare, that Communist plot by the black guy to do something awful, whatever it is.  Nevermind taxes that fund programs that ultimately benefit even the drooling Tea Partiers.  Get rid of ‘em!  In fact, let’s just shoot anyone who is not a White Anglo Saxon Protestant because they’re probably Communist Socialist Fascist Muslim Terrorists.  And Democrats, too.

Well, I’m a White Anglo Saxon Methodist which probably is marginally acceptable but I think the Tea Party (which really does not exist as a single entity but is mostly just an assortment of pissed off grumps looking for something to be angry about) no more deserves tax exempt status than I do.  They are overtly political and in no way are they educational or any other standard by which tax exemption is authorized.  I don’t mind them ranting and raving, but I think they should have to pay taxes to do it, just as I do.   And if their extremist rants raise warning flags in various federal government agencies, so be it.  Quit whining about Big Brother picking on you.  You asked for it.

Obama’s handling of the so-called scandal is unfortunately typical of his handling of most problems—waffle and obfuscate and kowtow to the lynch mob.  Where is Harry Truman when you need him?  Probably whirling in his grave like a centrifuge.  I also cannot imagine President Eisenhower putting up with the shenanigans of today’s Republican lightweights exemplified by the human puppy piddles, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner.   Lyndon Johnson would have had both of them in the woodshed for a well-deserved hiding.   They would have returned to Congress with sore butts and a better attitude.

But Obama is not likely to become a lion at this late stage.  He has the unfortunate burden of being the first black man elected President and, like Jackie Robinson breaking the baseball color barrier, he has had to walk a careful path.  They don’t come right out and say hateful things, the way they did with Robinson or other folks of color who dared to demand equality, but it’s there.  There can be no other reason for the irrational hatred of the Tea Party types for the President.   Obama has been the prime target of the bigots since Day One.  We always have had bigots, evil hatemongers, and always will, humans being what they are.  But it’s rare if not unique for so many to be so loud and overtly obnoxious.  It’s probably a reflection of unrest with the economy (which has steadily improved under Obamacare and for which he gets little credit), an increase in electronic outlets (like this one) where anyone can say anything, no matter how outrageous, and a plethora of problems that seem to keep piling up and on.  Global warming, rising prices, lower wages, jobs migrating overseas—life just seems to get more threatening all the time and who better to blame than the black guy at the top?

Obama often is tentative when he should be forceful.  A good example is that he delayed visiting the awful scene of  tornado destruction in Oklahoma for several days.  That indecision and seeming indifference certainly cost Little Georgie Bush brownie points (“doing a heck of a job, Brownie”) after Hurricane Katrina and it doesn’t look any better when Obama does it.   He should have been on the ground in Moore hours after the storm struck.  As is all too often the case with him, he made grandiose promises to “stand beside you”, etc., rather than putting rubber on the road en route to the stricken town.  As the old saying goes, talk is cheap.  Get bodies and relief goods there S.A.P.  Take charge.  Right now.

Just as he could have taken charge of the IRS kerfluffle instead of trying to downplay it.  You have to admire Obama’s self-control even as you criticize him for cool disdain.  Considering that the Congressional leaders are a bunch of malcontented incompetents whose only goal is to gain political advantage, the country be damed, it is a small miracle that the President hasn’t lashed out at the “do nothing” bunch, just as Harry Truman did when confronted with a braying bunch of nincompoops.   The right wing-dominated House has but one aim and that is to thwart Obama, no matter the cost to the nation.

So many of the Congressional reps, House and Senate, are so reprehensible as to warrant only a head shake and a sick feeling and the thought How could we have been so dumb as to elect this bunch of dim bulbs!.  Congress is busted, folks, an arm of government so corrupted and divisive and corrosive of democracy as we wish it were, that the only viable solution seems to be to get rid of it and start over.  Unfortunately the government doesn’t work that way although now it doesn’t work at all.  And the Supreme Court abdicated its brain and its function as a leavening entity when it ruled corporations are people and can buy legislators without restriction.  So, two thirds of the government is crippled and the other third is hamstrung.  Doesn’t leave a whole lot to be thankful for, does it?

You get what you pay for and, thanks to the Court, we have gotten a special interest paid-for Congress that no more represents the common good than does a pod of hippos wallowing in an African river.  They’re dangerous and so is our Congress.  The hypocrisy of politicians, especially when they get to Congress, is both astonishing and depressing.  But what’s most depressing is that they get away with it.   They tell credulous folks what sounds good no matter that it’s a lie and the credulous buy it.

My wife and I live on a dead end road in the middle of woods, with a small lake just off the deck.  We listen to the owls and chuck-will’s-widows at night, the tree frogs and bullfrogs and we get more sense out of them than from all the prattlings of the fractured spectacle we call government.  And if the evening news consistently makes us froth with anger, a few hours with the critters sooths the inner beast.

Was that a frog I heard?  Or just another Congressman swallowing a fly?


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