Friday, September 4, 2009

Stages of Grieving

David Sirota articulates here what I've sadly come to acknowledge.

Elizabeth Kubler Ross gave us The Five Stages of Grieving. It is an incremental, slow, sometimes halting process. I haven't got to the final stage, Acceptance, yet, and am stuck somewhere between Stage 2, Anger and Stage 4, Depression. I've clearly passed Stage 1, Denial, and don't remember much about Stage 3, Bargaining, except I tried to be patient with Obama, though less patient with Congress.

I listened to my Obama loyalist friends who have been more patient than I, that he's only been president for(name the number of months of your choice) and that it takes a lot of time to turn the Queen Mary around in her berth. But the captain and his crew have not even loosened the dock lines. They are not trying to turn things around. We've still got Bush's secrecy, detention and rendition policies in place. Like W, Obama is rewriting laws with signing statements, to cite a few things that we were told would change.

I am one of those who has felt stabbed in the back by Obama and the Democrat Party. They are guilty of false advertising, bait and switch behavior, if not outright fraud and dishonesty.

Neocons are still able to get war funding passed, the Pentagon is still able to keep the president in line. The military/industrial complex still lives and controls The War Department.(The Defense Department is a euphemism). We are doubling down in Afghanistan to keep the unending, by definition, war on terror going.

As I wrote during the campaign, I hoped for, but didn't really expect that we'd see much if any change in DC, regardless of who won the White House and held majorities in both houses of Congress.

Still I hoped.

But it's pretty clear that just as many Democrat as Republican Senators and Representatives compromise their integrity with acceptance of huge campaign contributions from vested interests; defense, energy, health insurance, finance, auto, etc.. These are vested interests in the status quo located all around the country and around the globe.

Here's Ralph Lopez at Truthout on this point. He cites a 1976 Supreme Court decision which equated money with freedom of speech. He makes the pithy statement that it granted the right to buy your own Congressman, but not expressly mine too.

So the wars roll on, we're still in a Great Recession, unemployment is almost 10%( and that doesn't include people who could work, but have stopped looking for work), nothing substantive is getting done about climate change, the outlook for real improvement in health care is bleak, the financial tycoons are laughing all the way to the plush offices in their banks, the so-called financial regulators are themselves reined in by those they are supposed to regulate, nuclear proliferation seems inevitable, immigration reform isn't even talked about now; and that's just for starters.

It's business as usual in D.C. Follow the money. Them's what has, gets. The more things change, the more they stay the same. So what else is new?, hope for the best but prepare for the worst, and any and all other sayings and shibboleths that come to mind.

Do we just resign ourselves to total and complete cynicism and Depression, Stage 4 or do we find solace in the line from Desiderata, 'No doubt the Universe is unfolding as it should', Stage 5, Acceptance?

The Lighthouse is still on; a beacon to the adrift and illumination for the washed ashore.

Lighthouse Keeper


The Old New Englander said...

Where would we be if McCain had been elected? Do you really see no difference between Obama and W?

I understand that you are not satisfied. Neither am I. But politics is usually a choice between better and less good, not between good and bad.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper said...

My problem with Obama is his continual and persistent reversal of policies on which he campaigned. That's the bait and switch thing I complained about. Secrecy, signing statements, rendition, detention,for example.

He seems too pliable to the power brokers, and that sticks in my craw.
That's the good vs bad thing.

I'm still glad he's president, not McCain.

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