Saturday, August 4, 2012

We the people

... are the problem.

Gail Collins wrote a quietly mournful piece in the New York Times in which she set out just a little of the people's business that this Congress failed to carry out before going on their summer recess.

Collins implicitly pinned most of the blame on the House, and in particular on House Majority Leader John Boehner, though there was more than a whiff of disdain for those whose allegiance belongs to the so-called Tea Party.

I won't disagree with Collins insofar as her guesses and implications go, but I will suggest that she didn't mention the real problem: a sizable minority of voters want government to fail. Not just this Congress, not even just this President (though the silent mass of private racists, whose deeds over the last four years have proven much, much louder than their protestations of non-bigotry, would very much like this non-Caucasian president to fail irrespective of the consequences), but the federal government as a whole, and maybe the parts of state governments that don't comport to a pseudo-libertarian ideal, too.

We can get mad at Boehner and Cantor and the other obstructionists in the House, but the real problem is the uncooperative yahoos who keep (re)electing these roadblocks to Congress. It is those yahoos who don't give a damn about this nation's collective well-being.

Or perhaps they do give a damn but they have no goddamned idea how badly they are screwing us all over with their mindless intransigence and signal failure (read: refusal) to understand what we all need to do — or even that they have a civic responsibility to work with the rest of us. Their hearts might be in the right place, but their brains are missing in action.

I'd like to say that I would prefer one over the other, that a self-centered anarchist posing as a libertarian is "better" than a simpleton, or vice versa, but I can't choose. Both appear to be just as destructive to this nation.

Until we can fix our fellow voters, with whom we must share this country whether we will or no, we have no hope of fixing our government, and thus no hope of fixing the country as a whole.

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