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AdLib On December - 16 - 2010

There is a time when our politicians have to do the right thing by us. Unfortunately, it’s usually about twenty minutes later than “right now”.

This is not to say that some of the right things aren’t done for the public but you can set your watch to how it usually falls short of going all the way.

The Dems’ and Pres. Obama’s Health Care Reform did go a long way towards what was best for America…but it just wasn’t the right time to go the whole way with Single Payer or a Public Option. The financial reforms took some positive steps but here too, didn’t go the full monty into severely restricting derivatives and ending too-big-to-fail because the timing wasn’t right.

Now we come to the Bush Tax Cuts and Unemployment insurance and it’s not the right time to end giveaways to the wealthy and reduce the deficit for a better future for all of us.

Add to these, ending war in Afghanistan, fighting climate change, curbing the buying of our democracy, etc. It just never seems to be the right time.

Democracy’s internal clock is always running fast. And time is often short. There’s no time to debate important legislation, The Patriot Act or this extension of the Bush Tax cuts. We just don’t have the time to really consider all of the major decisions affecting our nation profoundly…and we just have to hurry up, throw them in the backseat and speed off with them so we’re not late for picking up the kids for soccer practice.

To be fair, the Repubs’ filibustering debate for two years in The Senate deserves a lot of the blame. So the truth is, it’s not really about time, it’s about a crippled democracy that is simultaneously representing the public and opposed to the public’s will. A natural dichotomy that comes from the wealthy having disproportionate power and influence in our democracy.

The will of the people, represented for the most part by Obama’s agenda, is of course damaged and carved down on its journey through the legislative gauntlet. About half of the Senate is literally there to represent only 2% of Americans…so the interests of 98% of Americans are represented by only about half (or less) of The Senate. Is that really what one would call a democracy?

It’s not terribly surprising that we don’t hear these figures in the MSM…they (their corporate owners) are part of that 2% being massively over-represented in our Congress, why would they want 98% of the nation thinking about how marginally their interests are represented?

So, the phrase we’re left with when our representatives can’t follow the complete will of the people is, “This just isn’t the right time”.

This is not Obama’s fault for trying to accomplish what he can in this dysfunctional democracy. Nor are the Dems working with him or fighting him for this to be the right time to do what’s right…in the wrong. They are all trying to tread the water of representative democracy in their own ways, with this anchor of plutocracy wrapped around their ankles and trying to pull them down.

Though we might consider writing an angry letter to “time” for never being right, it seems that the root of this problem is not time but a democracy where the wealthy and corporations have bought a controlling share.

For “the right time” to come, we’ll need to break that corporate hold on our democracy. Focusing like a laser on that would seem to be a goal that would accomplish many more goals.

Including, resetting our democracy so it once again reflected “the right time”.

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

31 Responses so far.

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  1. Khirad says:

    So, the politicians are: “maybe tomorrow, dear”

    And the electorate is: “are we there yet?”


    “What may be done at any time will be done at no time.” -- Scottish Proverb

    • AdLib says:

      “There’s no time like the present for the wealthy.”

      In a true democracy, there is not a disconnect between the people and their representatives. That’s why approval ratings for Congress are at record lows but most people don’t understand the connection between their dismay at Congress and the rise of corporate control of Congress.

      Seems so obvious but we’re not trained to see the big picture in school in this country and it’s much easier to be pointed at others and be told, “They’re the bad guys, go get ’em!”

  2. kesmarn says:

    AdLib — the time-space-logic continuum is a rubbery thing in RepubiTeaLand, isn’t it?

    Surely these are people who — all their lives — have been inclined to say things like;

    “I was gonna get you a birthday present, but…”

    “I meant to renew that car insurance…”

    “Are you sure today is our anniversary…?”

    “About your camera that I borrowed…”

    “You mean I never paid you back that $50 I borrowed? I coulda sworn…”

    I loved your article and I’m hoping America wakes up in the immediate future.

    • AdLib says:

      Thanks Kes!

      Yes, amazing how outrageous deficits are when they don’t involve giving billionaires millions of dollars. That is indeed what the Founders were all about when they staged the Boston tea Party.

      “No taxation without over-representation…and then no taxation after that too!”

  3. boomer1949 says:

    We’ve fallen down the rabbit hole and it keeps getting deeper and deeper.

  4. Chernynkaya says:

    OH, DANG! That long reply was supposed to be for Questinia! So very sorry!!

  5. Chernynkaya says:

    I can’t find the video of Lawrence O’Donnell on Nixon, but here is the transcript. (Yes, it was that bad.)

    O‘DONNELL: Time for tonight‘s “Rewrite.” For those who remain unsure of who is the worst president in American history, recently released audiotapes should permanently settle the question. This is a conversation between former White House senior adviser Charles Colson and the 37th president of the United States, Richard M. Nixon.


    CHARLES COLSON, NIXON SENIOR ADVISER: I‘ve always had a little prejudice.

    RICHARD M. NIXON, ® FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: It‘s not prejudice in the sense that one I‘ve just recognized that, you know, all people have certain traits. The Jews have certain traits. The Irish have certain—for example, the Irish can‘t drink. What you always have to remember with the Irish is they get mean. Virtually every Irish I‘ve known gets mean when he drinks, particularly the real Irish. They do very stupid things.

    The Italians, of course, those people don‘t have their heads screwed on tight. They are a wonderful people—and the Jews are just very aggressive and abusive and obnoxious personalities, but they‘re just able people.


    O‘DONNELL: And then there is this conversation between Nixon and his Secretary, Rosemary Woods, about Secretary of State William Rogers.


    NIXON: Bill Rogers has got somewhat, and to his credit it‘s a decent feeling, but somewhat, sort of, a sort of blind spot on the black thing because he‘s been in New York. He says, well, they are coming along, and that after all they are going to strengthen our country in the end because they are strong physically and some of them are smart.

    My own view is that I think he‘s right if you‘re talking in terms of 500 years. I think it‘s wrong if you‘re talking in terms of 50 years. What has to happen is they have to be, frankly, inbred and just, that‘s the only thing that‘s going to do it, Rose.


    O‘DONNELL: The tapes were recorded in February and March of 1973, more than a year before Nixon resigned due to the Watergate scandal and just after he surrendered in a war that he had needlessly prolonged that killed over 58,000 American soldiers and accomplished absolutely nothing. That‘s nearly ten times the number of American soldiers who have given their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    And there‘s also this exchange between the president and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger.


    HENRY KISSINGER, FORMER NIXON NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: The emigration of the Jews from the Soviet Union is not an objective of American foreign policy, and if they put the Jews into gas chambers, in the Soviet Union, it‘s not an American concern. Maybe a humanitarian concern.

    NIXON: I know. We can‘t blow up the world because of it.

    Advertisement | ad info

    O‘DONNELL: That‘s right. Rewind the DVR is you have to. You just heard the racist, anti-Semitic president of the United States agree with his Jewish national security adviser that if the Soviets put Jews into gas chambers, it should not concern us. Such was the casual evil of the banter in the Nixon Oval Office.

    So the rewrite tonight is yours. All of you who came of age after the Nixon presidency who have some other name at the top of your list of worst presidents need to write the word “Nixon” over whatever name you mistakenly have listed as the worst president in history.

    • AdLib says:

      Thanks for this!

      Hmm, maybe we could have a series about selected conservative Presidencies titled, “Profiles in Discourage”.

    • kesmarn says:

      Cher! I saw that on O’Donnell’s show last night. Nixon really was as bad as everyone I know suspected at the time.

      But — you know what? — I actually would give the “Worst President Ever” award to Dubya. I really believe he did more damage… to the country and to the world at large.

      • Questinia says:

        Agreed. As awful as Nixon was, his ugliness is circumscribed to racism in this extract. Bush et al. hit all dimensions.
        At least Nixon opened China.

        • bito says:

          Amazing where the Republican Party has gone. Nixon’s social programs would label him as a flaming liberal now. I doubt if St. Ronnie’s actions (he did raise taxes three times) would be accepted if the actual (not mythology) were acknowledged. Same with Senator Lugar (R-IN), he was once considered as an exemplar of conservatism. He is now being challenged by a teabagger as being a liberal an appeaser.

          • Khirad says:

            I mean, the EPA, for goodness sakes. And trying to get health care expanded? Never mind all that social safety net stuff.

            Nixon would be a socialist in the Tea Party’s eyes. That makes them a 100 times scarier than G Gordon Liddy.

            Ruminate over that and let it sink in.

        • kesmarn says:

          Right, Q. I mean Watergate was ridiculously stupid and paranoid. The Viet Nam war was unnecessarily prolonged and Nixon was clearly a bigot.

          But there seems to be no area into which the Bush tentacles did not penetrate, either domestically or abroad. And he has had lots and lots and lots of helpers, some of whom are still around and pulling strings.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        Me too-- for Iraq alone and the economy alone.

  6. Khirad says:

    Republicans give whole new meaning to Douglas Adams.

    “Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.”

  7. Questinia says:

    I guess what you’re saying is what many of us are thinking but may be at various levels of denial about: that our form of government has been mutating into a system so plastic, malleable, susceptible to both getting conned and held hostage that time can be suspended, sped up or slowed down, and owned.

    I am fairly unfamiliar with other decades since I was born, like, two years ago. Was it ever this bastardized? Was Watergate like this?

    • AdLib says:

      As you know, my Gravatar is from the movie, “Brazil”.

      It is that kind of dysfunctional, handcuffed society that it seems we have been moving into deeper and deeper. This is reflective of the corporate creep into our democracy.

      When our democracy appears to be blocked from operating properly, it is a clear sign that there is something between the people and their government.

      The Public Option was supported by 2/3 of Americans. The repeal of DADT is supported by by just as many if not more. Letting taxcuts for the wealthy expire too.

      Yet, these have such difficulty being passed by “our” representatives?

      The condition of our democracy and the cause for it are so obvious when we take a step back from the high voltage conflict of partisanship.

      Getting the public to be in an eternal state of conflict, pitted against itself, is a necessary tool for plutocracy to flourish.

      As citizens who are polarized as Repubs and Dems, Progressives and Conservatives, we fight over eternal social issues (which are intended to be eternal) while the wealthy and corps steal everything from both sides that isn’t nailed down.

      Much as I have big problems with the regular people in the Tea Party, at some point, at enough of us need to redirect our focus on the con men trying to distract us while they rob us.

    • choicelady says:

      Ques- I think yes, there were even WORSE times in the late 19th C. There was vastly more rampant corruption, local to federal, and the government was so nakedly on the side of corporations that they killed people to preserve privilege. From the militas abetting Frick and CArnegie at the Homestead Lockout in 1892 to the Army riding down the Bonus Marchers in the early 1930s (MacArthur and Eisenhower at the head), there have been more openly aggressive acts against ordinary people, more economic insecurity (we had depressions every 3-8 years with NO assistance to the unemployed), to child labor, violence against people of color, massive exploitation of those same people even AFTER slavery was abolished -- horrible, horrible times.

      The historical comparison is what keeps me from utter despair -- and knowing the terms and conditions OF that misery makes me eagle eyed about anyone who wants to turn places such as OHIO into a ‘right to work” state. Destruction of rights -- labor, women, children, immigrants, etc. -- is NOT impossible. But this time there are coherent voices speaking out when a century plus ago, there were few.

      What IS troubling is that too many of the voices are just blogging, not acting. Where are the activists following labor? Where are the people marching in the streets? Where is the Bonus Army and all those who have a reason to speak out? The teabaggers have shown us HOW -- and they are people living merely in fear of change, not people who’ve lost anything or are likely to.

      So what happened to American moxie? How freaking lazy ARE we that we will not stand up for what is right? We won’t ACT, we only whine? I can’t believe the difference among us between even the 60s and now. Where did all the action GO?

      GROW and the Planet may well be THE exception -- the time we have taken to get to know one another and to make contact may well prove to be the new model. And for that -- all I can say is WOW! It’s a whole different ball game if we set the stage for more than just complaining. To quote an ally: Don’t whine -- ORGANIZE! So that’s what WE are doing here. Stay tuned -- AdLib may have started something amazing and effective -- and I’m honored to be part of it!!!!

      • bito says:

        AdLib and C’Lady! (BTW, how did you get so brilliant?)

      • Questinia says:

        Great comment CL. I really appreciate the crash course in corporate depravity of yore.

        That IS the big mystery, mobilization and action. There was some of that stirring post 9-11 in NYC, but so many (including a friend of mine) were brutalized and arrested. Are people fearful?

        We may also not be seeing all the mobilization and activity simply because the MSM does not show it:

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