Wednesday, December 30, 2009

We still trust.

The year is drawing to a close, so one thinks about valedictory.  While there is so much to say about a
period whose content floweth over,
what caught my attention while ready to pay at Whole Foods today were the words
printed on the twenty in my hand.  In God we Trust.  What better symbol could there be for the year and
especially for those in the nation’s capital in whom we have placed so much of
our trust.  If you can say anything
about them it is that above all else they bow to two things: money and
God.  Money of course is tokened by
all those too-big-to-fail banks, and God in the fact that preventing coverage
for abortion was the price of passage for healthcare legislation in both

So those terrible Bush years are over, right?  Yes they are in a meaningful way, but
the seeds sown in the previous eight years are still yielding a crop of woe.  Dick Chaney rails against the President
urgently seeking to transfer blame for the results of that he helped put in
place.  But the Democrats also
haven’t figured out, if that were even possible, how to get from under.  In all fairness, we should remember
that our problems on the economic front have their roots in the Clinton years
and that Obama finds himself dependent on Rubinesque technocrats.  The many years that Democrats spent on
the beach left them with a sparse executive bench.  And on the Hill, Congressional leaders, specifically liberal
Schumer from New York and pragmatic Emanuel from Illinois made a pact with the
devil to gain their slim majority by recruiting a class of conservative
Democrats who could win red or reddish states and districts.  The result was more predictable than
unintended consequences, which brings us back to money and God.

The lingering effects of Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush rule is that
true to orthodox capitalism the banks had to be bailed out and that the hard religious
right is still playing the God game putting their particular brand of faith
over medicine, not to mention the law of the land.  If Barack Obama has learned two things in this year it is
that the Presidency is very powerful and totally impotent at the same
time.  It is powerful, because,
like Bush, he has learned to use executive orders, and to good effect.  Impotent, because as his successors
will learn, it’s not that easy to undo what those who came before have done.  Think Iraq, Guantanamo, a broken

So looking back at 2009, the corporate titans and money manipulators have
emerged from rehab in full recovery. 
Back to their old self-indulgent tin ear ways.  And the folks of self-proclaimed morality and megachurchdom
can, at least for the moment, breath a sigh of relief – not even self-funded
insurance can be used to allow those lowly women folk to exercise their
reproductive rights.  Bravo, year
past.  In God we Trust.

Happy New Year

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