There’s quite a lot of kabuki theatre in the great Government Shut-down Drama, but the playacting does show us the terms of the debate taking place above our heads: it’s now come down to whether women should get birth control or not, rather than whether filthy rich people should get more of our collective wealth shoveled at them.
One listens patiently for any rhetorical hint from the Harry Reids or the Dianne Feinsteins or Obama himself that the sorry state of federal finances stems directly from the bipartisan decision to liberate the comfortable from the annoyances of forced sharing via progressive taxation. Instead, Speaker Boner, browbeaten into submission by his own inflamed caucus, gets to appear as a noble conservative taking arms against the nefarious deficit rather than what he is—a loyal footsoldier in class warfare on the side of the obscenely well-off.
People are consistent, so I fully anticipate that the Democrats will find a way to throw Planned Parenthood under the bus and with it women’s access to contraception, poor women’s that is. (Middle-class women will find a way to buy it.) It may take a few funding cycles, but I see no reason for long-term optimism about the provision of reproductive health services with the federal dime.
How much easier the budgeting process would be (and this little dust-up is only the beginning) if we had a friendlier, less wacko Congress, if Obama had had the political acuity to limit last fall’s electoral massacre or at least to rally his one-time inspired troops to his side. But that would require having a side to rally to—Obama’s default position is to meet the enemy that hates his guts three-quarters of the way, then give up the farm and call it a deal.
Coincidentally, I have just received a letter, bumper sticker enclosed, from ‘Obama for America’ based in Chicago asking me to send cash to a certain re-election campaign because it ‘needs your voice’. Tee hee. This was the same voice Rahm Emanuel was so interested in responding to politely.
I wrote on the donation form ‘Stop torturing Bradley Manning’ and sent it back. I look forward to many more opportunities to engage in dialogue with the national Democratic Party apparatus.
I enclosed the bumper sticker.