Saturday, March 28, 2009
SPECTERS OF HISTORY
"Spectrality does not involve the conviction that ghosts exist or that the past (and maybe even the future they offer to prophesy) is still very much alive and at work, within the living present: all it says, if it can be thought to speak, is that the living present is scarcely as self-sufficient as it claims to be; that we would do well not to count on its density and solidity, which might under exceptional circumstances betray us."
as bush & his cronies continue their unprecedented & feeble attempts to rewrite history, i've been struck more by the republican party's inability to craft a coherent, reasonable response to obama's very large gameplan.
let's face it: the republican party hasn't ever really been a party of ideas. for the last few decades, they've been elected based on their positions vis a vis a very few social issues: abortion, gun control, gay rights. their positions on these issues never required any significant thinking---their only argument was that they were upholding "core american values," even when polls clearly indicated this was no longer the case.
i suppose phil gramm was one of the last "thinking" republicans & he got the hell out of dodge after he'd crafted the various laws that lead to our current economic crisis. like the excreable trent lott, gramm retreated to a higher paying private sector job where he could reap the benefits of his money grubbing ethically challenged public work in the senate.
if you doubt me, just tune in & watch the republican's nightly exercise in jaw-dropping nonsense & non sequiturs in the face of our near economic meltdown. it's tax cuts & spending freezes over & over w/nothing in between. if we didn't already have an historical precedent that proves how catastrophically counter-productive those ideas are(vide 30s america, ie the great depression), just a few moments of reflection would reveal how counterintuitive they are.
the culture wars of the 90s have produced a republican party that's w/o intelligence, short-sighted in global issues, burdened by intractable positions on social issues, & unable to hear itself parroting failed & obsolete ideas. when the country wasn't fighting TWO wars, on the brink of economic chaos, & dangerously reviled around the world, the republicans could count on their base & steer the discussion toward social issues. they weren't compelled to KNOW anything about economics or world politics or globalization or science. in the past, we've certainly looked to our political leaders to at least give us a heads up about the important issues of the day. for the most part, the democrats still do. but the republicans have been caught out in the open now, their weaknesses so glaring they blind us to any strengths that might be there. the rapidly vanishing middle-class has been the victim of these people's incompetent leadership. their children are being sent to fight again & again & again in a spectacularly pointless war, losing their lives & their minds. they've seen their hard earned retirements vaporized by the greed & corruption of republican sponsored wall street. any children spared the horror of war face the horror of not being able to go to college, not because of merit but because of money.
our brand spanking new president has already demonstrated in less than 70 days on the job more intelligence, more wit, more innovative thinking than the entire republican party has since lincoln. watching bush & his bootlicks try to manipulate their place in history made me realize just how pathologically clueless the last adminstration was. when history washes over these nitwits, it won't be to wash them clean but to slam them into a true & right judgement. we may well have been briefly the victims of their ignorance & evil but in this great democratic experiment called america, the "truth will have out."
i think obama knows this. i think he realizes there are many histories in our america. i think he knows he's highlighted one particular but significant thread in the complex weave of this country's fabric of existence. that's why the specters of history won't haunt him. he knows they're actually here to help & that it all comes out in the wash.