Thu. May 30th, 2024

By: W.D. Noble

The evangelical freakshow which has become the Republican Party seems poised to anoint either Mitt Romney (my personal choice; perhaps because I really do like whistling past the graveyard and he’s the least mentally-challenged of the lot), or Rick Perry (a fellow who makes G.W. Bush look like Thoreau). Both are followers of a particularly-nasty brand of Christianity – Romney is a Mormon, and believes in things like baptizing dead people and wearing magic underwear; Perry is a Fundie, who believes that renting a whole stadium to pray for rain while getting rid of several thousand firefighters is the best solution for a drought and wildfire problem in his home-state of Texas.

Romney gets at least a point or two for not bringing religion into the general discussion. He has, however, made it pretty clear that he thinks Bush was a genius, and that undoing everything done by Obama is his first priority.

Perry doesn’t get points. At all. His Imaginary Friend is a particularly scary bastard; a guy who founded America, but who wants to destroy it the moment we quit supporting a gang of equally-nasty thugs who are busy pissing-off half the world by way of running the show in Jerusalem; He’s the sort of fellow who’s coming back on a white horse, packing a flamethrower and ready to sort-out anyone who doesn’t believe not only in Him, but in guts, guns and the Republican party.

Meantime, the bow of the Economic Ship of State is well-underwater, and there are some pretty serious signs that the pumps aren’t working at all – we didn’t create Job One in August; first time claims for unemployment were the highest in several months, and leading indicators are pointing to that double-dip recession-with-a-cherry-on-top which I predicted a year ago.

Further, the mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, said in front of the whole world the other day that prolonged unemployment could cause civil unrest (read: riots).

When the bankruptcy rate for college graduates is through the roof, and when PhD’s are standing in line to apply for the few jobs which are available screwing wheels on BMWs in South Carolina for half the pay of their German counterparts, we don’t have a temporary problem in America – we have a problem with our economic structure; the kind of thing which requires government re-regulation to set right, along with the prosecution of those who created the collapse in the first place.

One doesn’t solve these kind of problems by continuing to bring up the strawmen of abortion and same-sex marriage, calling them ‘America’s real moral issues’ – not when the privileged few are worrying about preserving their largesse and discussing where in the world they’ll take this year’s three-month vacation, while there are people dying of bad teeth and starvation. You solve that problem by holding the perpetrators accountable, and setting the circumstances to rights which cause the problem in the first place. Both, however, require a kind of courage which is missing in the Oval Office.

Deep down, Americans know this. Tanning BinLaden’s hide and hanging it from the White House fence as a trophy might have helped a little, but the same problems were here when the party was over. You can only cheer so much for the demise of one man, no matter how evil, when you’ve no job to go to on Monday morning; no paycheck come Friday; no food come Saturday morning.

Going broke slowly is something which even the rank-and-file can see coming – going broke quickly is a conundrum; one of those things which induce good old-fashioned panic. (James Carville said the other day that with two special-elections going the way of the GOP; both in traditionally Democratic territory, it’s time to do just that – time for Obama to use the old Soviet method of firing everyone in sight, putting privates in charge of regiments if that’s what it takes to stop the relentless tides of Republican Panzers from overrunning his political Stalingrad). A kind of panic is now setting its shadow across the land; the kind of uneasy fear that precedes things like revolutions.

You may not be fully aware of this, getting your news from CNN and Fox, but Europe is actually in pretty bad shape. The Euro is rapidly becoming worthless in its home-countries and convertible into very little else; from Great Britain to Greece, European economies are teetering on a precipice named ‘debt’, and none of them have any real solutions. The closest most of us get to the problem is the Dow, which either rises or falls 150+ points each day depending on whether one of the Eurotrash nations is going to default.

Such a catastrophe would certainly carry more than a few American banks with it. This could be the nick in the nation’s fabric which causes the whole thing to unravel; it could be (as I postulated in a piece of alternate-history a while ago) the default of a major state, or something entirely as mundane as a howling mob of a few thousand 99ers deciding to apply a pitchforks-and-rope solution to the mansions and persons of the wealthy in Anytown, America.

America is rapidly becoming ungovernable in any conventional sense; people who are working are just hanging on, terrified of losing their jobs; the unemployed are rapidly losing hope and coming to the realization that they’ve nothing to lose in a nation run by a hapless but well-meaning President who surrounded himself with, instead of men and women of some courage, a thoroughly disappointing gang of cowards, amoral grifters and chickenshit politicians. On the other side of the radio-dial, the Tea Party is nothing but the collective mouthpiece of the plutocrats who are pulling the puppet-strings on everyone from Limbaugh to Bachmann in order to continue turning the United States into the economic equivalent of a 1970’s-era Argentina or Chile, and the socio-religious equivalent of 17th century Salem, Massachusetts.

It may well be that Obama is the last president, at least for a time; maybe forever. Certainly Romney or Perry (or whoever the plutocrats choose to replace him; the last great hope of the common American) will have to face that possibility; that they could be the Romulus Augustulus of the 21st century. The falcon sure as shit can’t hear the falconer, and the center quit holding a hell of a long time ago.

Somewhere, someone is thinking. That person might be a recent college graduate, incapable of finding a job, or an unemployed steelworker, fed up with beans at the homeless-shelter, someone who’s watched one too many children die from a lack of medical care, or a governor of one of America’s more liberal states. Whoever they are, I don’t doubt he or she exists. For one thing, there are too many people just like them everywhere in America – and America is begging for leadership and action.. Just what that action is, what form it takes, and whether our civil liberties are intact on the other side is anyone’s guess.

Absent a random Army general whose name has never surfaced on CNN taking a drive across the river and making an end-run on the Constitution, one of these people is sooner or later going to take action themselves. As I’ve said before: When they start handing out those crisp new brown shirts and armbands, think hard – because it’s a lead-pipe-cinch they won’t tell you the price-tag.


(I’m going to Washington next week to take part in the October2011 protest. More info when I return.)



By astranavigo

Astra is one of the clever monkeys occupying space on the Third Planet From The Sun. While it was an early wish of Astra's to be one of the first to go to Proxima Centauri, he knows this is not to be; instead, you can find him here (some of the time) using simple tools to create communication. Holding up a mirror and saying 'Looky! Mistofer Emperor! Y'ain't wearin' no clothes!" is but one of the services he provides here. Others are subverting prevailing wisdom, peeing in people's Cheerios, trashing on their Imaginary Friends (he does this a lot,) and shifting paradigms without benefit of a clutch. He lives in Portland, Oregon, where he hopes he'll never have to learn the true meaning of some of his dystopian fiction.

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8 thoughts on “Slouching Toward Washington”
  1. It seems strange sometimes to be so far away from the main action; that is, the sway of demographic influence; yet still be so much at the effects. I find it economically infeasible to fly four thousand miles so i might protest at the seat of our law-making body, and have no desire to expose myself to dehumanizing airport security, anyway. For those who are able,however, i send every blessing i can summon from the bottom of my heart and wish them well and safe.

  2. At this point, it doesn’t really matter who holds office anymore – when you break down policy they’re all the same because they just follow along that trail breadcrumbed with bribe money.

    Fuck the U.S.A and its political class – it’s way past time for this bloated beast to die…

  3. While I’m all for civil disobedience, I know that The State loves to have everyone in one spot, they are easier to round up that way. Don’t believe it? Look at the 700 plus arrested at Wall St over the weekend, not to mention ‘Slut Walk’ protesters.

    I support those willing to go to D.C. And risk arrest as well as lack of support and housing. However I’d like to remind everyone you can protest right where you are, local showings are important too. People need to see and learn in their very own hometowns and not just shake their heads at ‘those crazies’ on the nightly news. Go to your state capitol (like I did this week) If you can’t do that, go to your town square or send support in the way of food, toiletries, blankets etc. For those who are going. Heck help just by talking about it.

    This protest needs to be a several pronged approach and there is much to be done.

  4. “While I’m all for civil disobedience, I know that The State loves to have everyone in one spot, they are easier to round up that way. Don’t believe it? Look at the 700 plus arrested at Wall St over the weekend, not to mention ‘Slut Walk’ protesters.”

    I have to disagree.

    This process has to start somewhere.

    Yes; there are a lot of us who will wind up in jail. I don’t relish that thought – but there’s no way I’ll let America simply fade out into the night without taking a stand – one which goes beyond ‘talking about it’.

    There’s been enough ‘talk’. It’s time to stand.

    (For what it’s worth – yes; I believe in a hundred years, this ‘bloated beast’ will probably have died; societies which have gone this far down the road of destroying its own civil-liberties and allowing its rights to be co-opted by the wealthy have not recovered – France is an exception, but I’m not thinking that anyone is going to be erecting a guillotine on the Capitol Mall, as much as I think it’s probably necessary.

    In a hundred years, if we’re lucky, we’ll have Balkanized into several countries – if not, we’ll begin the long decline; eventually becoming as significant as Uganda.

    Regardless, it won’t happen without a future historian being able to say, “There were people who tried to act…..”)


  5. @ W.D. -“In a hundred years, if we’re lucky, we’ll have Balkanized into several countries ” – I entirely agree.

    Also I didn’t mean that we shouldn’t act. Absolutely we should. And if you do end up in Jail, I hope we get to hear about it.

    What I meant to say was this movement also needs to go viral and those sitting back saying they can’t do this or that should be thinking of what they can manage and then do it.

  6. @ Grainne,

    “While I’m all for civil disobedience, I know that The State loves to have everyone in one spot, they are easier to round up that way. Don’t believe it? Look at the 700 plus arrested at Wall St over the weekend, not to mention ‘Slut Walk’ protesters.”

    This is precisely why I find street protests ineffective – the state just takes the opportunity to document the dissidents so that they have a nice rolodex of suspects when any real, significant actions that pose a genuine threat to its power take place.

    My advice is to stay away from the public protests and focus on building small resistance cells – a handful of well-trained guerrillas can do more damge to the state than thousands of protestors can (especially when the state finds itself dealing with multiple insurections with no centralized leadership – a leaderless resistance can’t be killed by conventional means)…

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