Rotten Tomatoes for Republicans

All right, I admit defeat. I can’t tune out those crazy Republican Congressmen who actually believe that they are acting righteously in preferring to shut down the U.S. Government rather than guarantee all Americans the right to affordable health care.

I need to let off a little steam, so bear with me.


It is beyond depressing that we have such an apathetic, distracted, numbed electorate, of whom barely 50% generally even bother to show up to the polls.

Of the half who do show up, obviously they are the easily manipulated types, because these Tea Partiers have managed to convince them to vote against their own interests time and time again.

It’s no secret that the Tea Partiers have been most successful in the so-called Red States, where the egregious gap between rich and poor (ie, the gap between the 1% of extreme wealth and the 99% of everyone else, way down at the bottom of the mountain) is huge.

Why would people vote against their own best prospect of getting affordable health care?

Why would people vote against the political party that, while far from perfect, has at least shown a measure of human decency and responsibility in its approach to governing?

images-2It’s only fathomable if you remember how, in Tea Party country, education and the media are entirely controlled by these same craven elites, who will stop at nothing to seize power and control of the country.

In these parts of the country, people live in ideological bunkers, where party-controlled propaganda is the only message they get.  Red China anyone?  1984?

With the advent of the World Wide Web, in America at least, it’s hard to maintain a complete lockdown on information.  But as we all know, we tend to surf to places on the Web that are familiar and tell us what we want to hear.

So I get my news from The New York Times, while in Tea Party country the average citizen is more likely to check out Fox News.  The same story looks entirely different as reported by these different media—check it out and see for yourself.  Spin rules.

This is the only way I can explain the fact that these Tea Party maniacs were elected to Congress in the first place.

I can only hope—yes, I still do have hope—that in the next round of elections, they will be sent back to their Neanderthal caves where they belong.

Then the rest of us adults can get on with the much more important business of the day.

HillaryCare1993aAffordable health care—yes, of course!  We should have had it long ago, back when Hilary Clinton tried to get it going in the mid-1990s.  She was stymied by lack of authority as merely the First Lady, seen as overstepping her bounds (get thee back to the parlor, Mrs. Clinton!).

Now President Obama is getting blowback for daring to challenge the status quo and lobby openly for the rights of the poor and for all Americans who have gotten screwed by the medical industrial complex over and over again.

It’s the same old same old, which is why I have resisted taking up the Tea Party gauntlet this time.  Why should I waste my time and energy with their nonsense?

And yet, as the government shutdown looms, and behind it the mythical debt ceiling crisis, I just have to add my voice to the chorus of BOOS and throw some metaphorical rotten eggs at those stinking Tea Partiers who want to deprive ordinary Americans of the right to a functional government, along with the right to affordable health care and an economic system that at least attempts to lift all boats.

images-1I thank the President and the Democrats for holding the line on this one.  “We don’t negotiate with terrorists,” right?  Let’s let those terrorist Republicans dig their own fox holes and stew in their own SH*T.  I’d like to see John Boehner coming out when it’s all over like Saddaam did, dazed, dirty and totally deposed.


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  1. I’ll sling some tomatoes along with you. This is an extremely personal issue for me and it is making me hopping mad. As a self-employed doula and author, married to an entrepreneur, I have long been looking forward to a little relief in the health care department. In fact, tomorrow, we are going to be able to shop for more affordable, subsidized health care on the Covered California exchange. Now, am a I a whiner who wants to leech of other hard-working Americans to get an entitlement? NO! I am someone who has consistently contributed close to a quarter (YES, YOU READ THAT RIGHT, ONE QUARTER) of my after-tax income to purchase health insurance for myself and my family. And is this a gold-plated, cover-everything plan? No! It doesn’t even begin to cover most things until we have met the $6,000/PER PERSON deductible.

    And yet… the degree of helplessness I feel in fighting back is overwhelming. What have I done? Signed petitions (but they will never be read by the Tea Party obstructionists); donated money to organizations like Act Blue and the Democratic Senatorial Committee. As today wears on and a government shut-down looks more and more likely, I can only cross my fingers and hope that the damage isn’t too great and that the sensible members of the government don’t blink and give in to the crazies.

    Thanks for giving me a forum to vent.

    • Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

       /  September 30, 2013

      It does feel good to let off steam, doesn’t it?! I actually had a couple of hateful spam comments from Tea Party sympathizers already, so maybe they ARE listening, in their own fashion.

      We can’t give in to that feeling of helplessness. We also can’t let them determine our agenda. This is why I’ve started to deliberately turn my attention elsewhere, seeking out entry points into other kinds of conversations that make me happier and seem saner to me. We have to remember that what they crave above all is attention. Turning our attention elsewhere is a political act in its own right.

      So is opening up new platforms for dialogues like this one. Thanks for commenting today!

      • Yes! A conscious decision not to get swept up in the insanity IS a political decision. And sometimes devoting attention to the small and personal (how we treat other people in our day-to-day interactions, the work we choose to do, how we raise our children) can have a bigger impact in the long run than any amount of steam-venting or bloviating (sp?). Thanks for doing the work you do.

  2. I fault the Republicans, their far right crazies most of all, but I also fault the Democrats. I fault almost everyone in elected office today, because greed, self-interest, willful lies and deception have taken the place of honest governing. The term lacks all meaning today. I am glad Obama has not yet caved on this part of the Affordable Healthcare act, because he has caved a number of times before this–most egregiously in keeping health care in the pockets of the insurance and pharmaceutical companies. The congressional Republicans have shown themselves to be somewhere between ludicrous and downright criminal. Their racism and hatred for this president overrides any reasonable assessment. In other countries, when those governing stray this far from the real needs of the citizenry, people organize and administrations are thrown out. It feels like we have been lulled into complacency. It is outrageous, and I totally share your need to let off steam.

    • Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

       /  September 30, 2013

      I was thinking the same thing today, Margaret–why aren’t we marching on Washington to throw these crooks out!?! In some ways, perhaps, the ability to “let off steam” this way, online, makes it less likely that we’ll actually move ourselves physically to the barricades. And to be honest, it’s hard to be clear on which is more effective, these days–

      • leavergirl

         /  October 1, 2013

        Because new crooks would get in. Sounds to me like you are getting yourself trapped in the spectacle, Jennifer… ey?

      • Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

         /  October 2, 2013

        Yes, too true. Just couldn’t help it there for a moment! I’m over it now….

  3. Distraction! This is just the game they play. A charade for the masses while the real working of the government goes on behind closed doors. The democrats will give in to some changes, which they already have regarding state rights, not because the republicans or tea party are making them do it, but because the insurance and pharmaceutical corporations want these changes if they are to allow other parts of it to stand. We don’t have a single payer, government run program choice, because the insurance companies wouldn’t allow it and they use the republicans and tea party as their mouth piece, then and now. And while we are having our attention diverted to this “crisis”, the quasi government is continuing to do their dirty deeds over in the middle east and around the world in pursuit of wealth and power while we are cloaked by this distraction. I have no faith that our government, democrat or republican, will do what’s best for we the people. They will do whatever the 1% allow them to do and that is to protect their own interests. Sometimes it may be in their interest to throw a bone to the people so they don’t revolt completely, but don’t be mistaken about it, it is only a bone……

    • Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

       /  September 30, 2013

      Yes, I have to agree with you, Deborah. That is why I’ve been trying to resist paying attention to this whole debacle, because it feels so clearly like a ruse, a magician’s trick to divert our attention so they can accomplish the real business at hand, whatever that is. But surely no one wants the slide to global financial insolvency, right? Who would benefit from that? The banks, again? The hedge funds, again? And the rest of us, screwed as usual….The truth is that there will be no systemic change until things do get really, really bad. We may need that kind of serious jolt to wake us out of our distracted stupor and get us to focus on what really matters. Which to me, as my readers know, is bigger even that our economic system. It’s the sustainability of the planet’s life support for human civilization. I keep thinking there may be a reason why we Americans seem to have such a focus on zombies in the past decade. In some ways we are already there, in other ways we are anxiously imagining what is to come….

  4. What’s to come is the “new normal,” in which robots replace workers on factory floors, healthcare is meted out in homogenized packages that favor the insurance and pharmaceutical companies and still costs too much for an increasingly impoverished population, public education castigates those who think (students as well as teachers), and earth and air stumble toward a state so poisoned they cannot sustain life. Art speaks louder than “reality” when warning about these things. Read Marge Piercy’s HE SHE AND IT (written more than 20 years ago, prophetic). Meanwhile, members of Congress on both sides of the aisle seem to be drinking themselves into a stupor. Is it belligerence or shame? The saddest part is how methodically we have been lulled into cooperating with our own demise.

    • Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

       /  October 1, 2013

      Yes–what Mary Daly called “self-lobotomy,” on a society-wide scale. It’s frightening. And when I watch my children and their friends with their eyes continually trained down into their phones or tablets, it makes me worry even more, because it’s just amazing how quickly they (and we!) lose the capacity for creativity, wanting/needing always to be “entertained” by those devices. Now of course, a lot of creativity goes into what’s being offered on the screens–movies, video games, social media, etc. But it’s a completely artificial kind of creativity, divorced from the natural world and divorced from our own intrinsic, deep sources of knowledge, which will wither and atrophy if not cultivated. I count it as a blessing that I can still get my 15-year-old to accompany me for a hike in the woods, or out to the garden to plant and harvest. But it’s a daily struggle, and sometimes I just can’t summon the energy to fight it anymore. I have a feeling so many parents have just given up, or are never even aware of the “problem” of screen addiction with their kids. For kids who are growing up from infancy with their eyes glued to tablets, well…what WILL they become? What will become of them? What kind of society will they create? Questions for another day….

  5. Love Marge Piercy! “He, She and It” one of my favorite books of all time.


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