My friends and I fall into three categories these days: 1) those who are pissed off at President Obama for offering up Social Security (via the chained CPI) to the hostage-taking terrorist lunatics with the teabags hanging from their hats that make up the GOP as a “pre-emptive compromise,” 2) those who are convinced that the president is playing a sly three-dimensional game of chess while the room-temperature-IQ Tea Partiers are fumbling around with their tiddlywinks, and 3) those who are dazed, worn-out and confused.
How do I categorize myself? For me, it’s “all of the above.”
I’d (of course) have to turn in my lefty socialist union thug card if I wasn’t pissed at the president for offering up our Social Security as a “pre-emptive compromise.” Who the hell does that?! If I’m going to negotiate on the price of a must-have treasure I find at a flea market, I’m sure as hell not going to offer the seller a higher amount than what’s written on the price tag as a “pre-emptive compromise”! Hell, no. I’m going to start out with a lowball offer and work my way up to the highest price I’m willing to pay – if I wanted to pay full price, I would simply hand over my cash and walk away with my treasure clutched firmly in my hot little hands. And vice-versa, if I’m negotiating with my employer for a raise or with a new employer for my salary, I’m going to figure out what I want, keep that number in my head – and add a chunk to it so I can be bargained down to the number I want. And yes, there’s always the chance I might be offered the higher amount, and that’s all good. So yeah, I guess I belong in group 1, people who are pissed off at President Obama for offering up Social Security to the hostage-takers in the GOP.
But then again, over the last four years, I have also watched President Obama outmaneuver and literally run rings around those dumb dopes in the GOP – administering beating after beating and forcing the Republicans to do really stupid things – like demand that the rich get to keep their tax break for their private jets (really, Republicans?), attempt to tie food assistance for poor children to their grades in school, and all sorts of other shoot-yourself-in-the-foot kinds of things. So? That means I also fall into group 2, those who are convinced that the president is playing three-dimensional chess while the drooling gomers in the GOP are forming up the circular firing squad.
That leaves group 3: the confused, the dazed and the exhausted. And yes, I fall squarely into this group as well. First of all, I’m on outrage overload; after more than a decade of appalling bigotry, idiocy, ignorance, the insulting invasions of my body the Republicans are trying to sign into law, their attempts to strip Americans of their rights – the right to vote, the right to form a union, etc., coupled with the war crimes of the Bush administration and the detestable antics of the most embarrassing Supreme Court in our history…? My circuits are fried, and my irony meter exploded a long time ago.
We progressives end up going through this same stress every time President Obama ladles out one of his generous dollops of booty in the form of offering cuts to Medicare, cuts to food assistance, cuts to …whatever… in order to appease the GOP – you know, that “pre-emptive compromise” thing? I definitely give a damn, because of course, my reaction to every single one of the president’s “pre-emptive compromise” thingies is to be completely pissed off, and I invariably find myself nodding vigorously along with the always-predictable outrage of my heroes, folks like Bernie Sanders, Paul Krugman, Ed Schultz and Rachel Maddow (even though she’s so very nice – even when she’s outraged).
Like Forrest Gump, I’m kinda tired. So, if the president is playing that very deep game of 3-dimensional chess, I wish he’d find a way to let us know – a secret password or maybe a Barack-signal.