Tits & Spittle

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Sorry, but it’s time for another one of my dismal, tiresome political rants. I’ve tried for days to resist but I find myself at last overwhelmed by my baser liberal, left-wing, godless, bleeding heart, moonbat emotions. As a paltry recompense I’ve included a few decent titty shots along the way. Enjoy the text, the mindless smut, or both…

 

I’m mad enough to spit!!!

Paul Ryan? Really? Paul Ryan!?? You’re kidding me. At this point I planned to make a joke, but realized I couldn’t hold a candle to Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, Jay Leno, or Steven Colbert, so forget it. Besides, for the country, Paul Ryan is no joke. A nightmare, maybe – but no joke.

OK, yeah, I’m a nearly fossilized sixties’ liberal (I would have been a sixties’ radical, but that seemed like too much work and dangerous to my future health and welfare). I came of age during what was, in retrospect, the last great age of liberal accomplishment: Medicare, Medicare, civil rights, the success of the anti-war movement, the birth and rise of the women’s movement and reproductive freedom. Liberalism was surging forward like an irresistible tide and I believed that tide would continue far into the future.

How wrong I was! Almost sixty years later that progressive tide has ebbed; liberal accomplishments, even those of a hundred  or more years of age, are facing erosion from cold, corrosive conservative currents. Even the very core of the New Deal, Social Security, is buffeted by the reactionary undertow. Paul Ryan, seen as a serious voice for fiscal sanity, seeks to reform both social security and Medicare and slashing federal spending. We just can’t afford not to, he tells us. The future of our nation itself is at stake! He’s such a principled budget cutter – just ask the mainstream pundits ( except of course when it comes to outlays for defense or the need for new revenue, and the promotion of Bush’s wars, tax cuts and entitlement programs).

Who would have ever thought, even twenty years ago, that the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, passed in 1913, would come under attack from mainstream Republicans? Animosity to the amendment mandating popular election of senators is no longer confined to the fringe of the conservative movement. Several current Republican candidates for the Senate espouse or support repeal. More alarming, no serious Republican has gone on the record countering the growing move for repeal.

The argument against the dubious 17th seems to be its passage undermined the Founders’ grand scheme of federalism by depriving state legislatures of their original Constitutional power to choose senators. By stripping states of that power, the amendment crippled state sovereignty.

The amendment was passed in the face of rampant corruption. Think politics are shady today? Our age seems pristine compared to the politics of the Gilded Age. Imagine a state legislature, in which a relative handful of politicians, can pick two of a hundred senators; and imagine senators whose only real constituent is that handful. If you think today’s corruption – including outright bribery – is less likely just think Rod Blagojevich (imagine your state legislature with a few score Rod Blagoieviches on the make).

Returning to legislative election of  senators would save corporations, and other special interests, tons of money. Instead of having to pour millions upon millions into thirty-three senate campaigns every two years, they would merely have to cough up sufficient political donations to satisfy a few hundred  greedy pols. Even better, this sort of campaigning could be kept entirely confidential. What the people don’t know can’t hurt them…

I wonder when we will hear the first Republican long for the days when only white male property owners could vote. Seems to me the restricted franchise was a part of federalism too. Why should the unwashed, teeming rabble who have  no real stake in the serious business of government be permitted to dilute their betters’ franchise? Shouldn’t determining qualifications for voters be entirely returned to the sovereign states?

And wouldn’t a real conservative federalist want to repeal the 14th Amendment as well as the 17th? After all, nothing did more to shatter the Founders’ original scheme than imposing the burden of compelling states to respect federal personal rights. Our Founding Fathers never intended, for example, the Bill of Rights to apply to the states. Only the 14th, and the meddling of the Supreme Court, caused such a disturbance in the Scheme of Things. Why shouldn’t the Mormons, for example, be able to establish their religion in the sovereign state of Utah?

Of course, let’s not even discuss the 16th Amendment. Is anything more inimical to liberty than the IRS?

When I came of age in that distant progressive age states were seen as nearly irrelevant and subservient to the federal government. The argument for states’ rights was largely discredited by its adoption by southern racists resisting the crusade for civil rights. The then existing broad scope of the commerce clause allowed the federal government to control virtually every economic and political sphere.

Now we have a Supreme Court together with a conservative movement,  seemingly bent on undoing seventy years of precedent. When lawsuits were first filed against Obamacare based upon an argument Congress could not justify its adoption on the commerce clause the overwhelming consensus in the legal community was such an argument was clearly without merit. A majority of the Court, however,  disagreed and cast an ominous pall over federal powers scrutinized by the Court in the future.

I was in something of a political argument with an acquaintance a few months ago. I jokingly asked him if he would give his life to defend Tennessee, thinking the obvious answer was no. I was wrong; the fellow declared he’d gladly die to save our Volunteer state. I was totally nonplussed. To me it seemed as ridiculous to die for Tennessee as it would to give my life for my county or city (I only regret I have but one life to give for my municipality!

Paul Ryan, and perhaps Mitt Romney (who knows what he really believes) are part of the forces seeking to return American to the Nineteenth Century. Perhaps they genuinely believe our country was a better, freer place in 1900. At that time the United States was indifferent to the clamor of women, blacks, workers, immigrants, and other misfits, for political rights and powers. It took the Roosevelt cousins, and the shock of the Great Depression, to shake things up and give the federal government broad powers to promote the general welfare.

Some cynics, myself included, doubt the sincerity of Paul Ryan and his ilk. Like their racist predecessors, I think modern conservatives’ advocacy of state’s rights and fiscal austerity  merely a cloak to conceal their true interests.

That’s what I think and it makes me mad enough to spit!!!

Except for small header, photos above by Shawn Perez, subject to this creative common license

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