By John Ballard
On the weekend that we are supposed to honor and think about the importance of labor every newscast continues to include the ongoing travesty of the world's richest nation running dismal unemployment statistics with no end in sight. The disloyal Loyal Opposition seems more focused on insuring that the president goes into the presidential election with the only albatross that almost always insures the defeat of an incumbent, a stinking economy with high unemployment statistics.
This Katrina vanden Heuvel twitter message is my favorite today.
How many jobs need to be lost before it's
crystal, crying out loud, starkly clear that
austerity is discredited, failed.
I'm sure readers her already know the drill. No need for me to preach to the choir.
I've rather enjoyed the Wasnhington flap over dates next week. I have a suspicion that the White House set up the GOP and matters are falling right into place. Calling for a joint session of Congress on the same night of the presidential debate the Obama people knew it would hit a nerve, which it did. Boehner and the team took the bait illustrating that Republicans are more concerned with politics than jobs and the economy. And by rescheduling the joint session for Thursday the White House sends a message that those who would rather watch football are more interested in sports than jobs and the economy. Meantime, Obama has a head start crafting retorts to slings and arrows coming from the debate.
Cohen has great fun comparing Cantor with Marie Antoinette and that "Let the eat cake" theme, ending with these lines.
Cantor�s salvation is that one of his party�s presidential candidates is Ron Paul � second in the Iowa straw poll, remember? Paul makes anyone seem moderate. He would severely limit the Federal government�s role in disaster relief and he had the temerity � a bit admirable, actually � to express his feelings as much of the East Coast was being flattened. Had Dickens lived to see Paul, Ebenezer Scrooge would have a different name.
In recent days, Cantor must have looked in the mirror and, shocked by the visage of the late French queen, moderated his statements. He has acknowledged that people look to the Feds for disaster relief which, when you think abnout it, is relief of a sort right there. But the damage may already have been done. The congressional wing of the Republican Party is convincing most American that it lacks common sense. It appears to have paused to pinch pennies while the flood waters were still rising. This is not smart economics. It is also stupid politics. Keep your eye on Eric Cantorette and his minions. Come November of 2012, heads will roll.
I don't want to make light of a grim situation. But this is one of those times that all that's left to do is shake youor head, roll your eyes and hope for the best. Reason and common sense were left bleeding in the street long ago. Hell, the Arabs are showing themselves better at conflict resolution than we are. And they have some really serious issues, life and death issues, tearing at the economic and social challenges they face. Many Americans might feel shame if they ever escaped from their cocoons of ignorance and isolation.