Note to the Weary Left: It's Okay to Have Principles:
So after backing President Obama on compromise after compromise on various bills, on the stimulus, on health care reform, after supporting and advocating for deals that were not only far from perfect, but were in some ways detrimental to the cause for which the bills themselves were created, after watching the President reach out again and again to Republicans, only to be told he wasn't reaching out enough and only to watch Obama say that he needs to do more to compromise, after seeing Republicans drub Democrats in an election because many Democrats were too afraid to stand for anything Democratic for fear of seeming too "partisan," after listening to Obama justify doing almost everything that George W. Bush did in the name of national security and, in some cases, going further, after years and years of watching Democrats allowing Republicans to set the terms of all arguments, whether in the majority or minority, after investing in Barack Obama the modicum of hope he asked for in changing the terms of that long, ongoing American political fistfight, only to see the whole thing twisted again by the right as they put forth the most obnoxiously anti-American candidates they could find and obstructed progress in an unprecedented way, finally, on this one thing, on absolutely opposing allowing the tax rate for the wealthiest 2% of Americans to rise by a small margin, we on the left are told by people across the political spectrum that we want too much and that we need to back down and that we need to be happy because this is the best we're gonna get.
To which the Rude Pundit can only say, "Blow me." You're allowed to dissent, dear, worried liberals. You're allowed to draw a fucking inviolable line. The Rude Pundit has supported Obama on issue after issue, but he is allowed to join with many Democrats in the Congress and call, "Bullshit." No one gets a blank check.
No, thank God, Allah, Buddha, Everyone, or No One, he's not facing the panic and horror of having his unemployment insurance cut off, the extension of which should never have been tied to the tax cuts at all (and was the stupidest move by every Democrat in DC). But what he's facing is the long-term horror of our decimated economy after a decade of irrational policies, topped by the political suicide bomb of the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. He's facing the inevitable result of multiple decades of unending attacks on the poor by government budget cuts and corporate exploitation. And who fucking warned everyone about this? Who stood there, even in the good times, waving their fuckin' arms and saying that there's gonna be hell to pay, when Reagan gutted programs for the poor and then slashed taxes while building up the military for no good reason other than to pay off contractors? Who jumped up and down for attention while Clinton triangulated the fuck out of the welfare safety net? Who had the most credibility when Bush II raided the Treasury to give money to the rich while fighting two wars? While all three of them gutted regulations on financial and other industries? Yeah, we on the left, motherfuckers.
Bernie Sanders' epic speech on the Senate floor wasn't just about the tax cut. It was about an insanity of instant financial gratification that puts the desires of the very few above the needs of the very, very many, an insanity that has fucked this country for the rest of our lives. Again and again, with the assistance of the conservative Democrat Mary Landrieu, who voted for the original tax cuts, Sanders came back to the income disparity that has turned the United States into an oligarchy. Shit, it was always that way. But at least it was a benevolent oligarchy. Not anymore, as Wall Street greed pulls on our flayed flesh to finally skin us all alive.
Don't worry. The tax cut extension will pass. The unemployment benefits extension will pass, as it should. We will put off any hard decisions on our future again for two years. And then, don't worry, we'll put them off again. Because that's who we are. That's our learned behavior. We are Americans and we've forgotten how to sacrifice anything because no one for a generation has asked us to. We're like Nicholas Cage in Leaving Las Vegas: we've decided to drink ourselves to death while being cared for by whores.
Oh, dear weary, weary leftists all, we've been treated like the once-virginal cheerleader who gave in when the quarterback wanted a hand job and then gave in again when he wanted a blow job, saying that it wasn't sex, no, not really, giving in, yes, even though it was against our core beliefs, to straight fucking, but, god, can't we at least say "No" to anal? Or is that too much to ask anymore?