Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hoping for Matt Dillon


The many millions of us who grew up in era of the simple-minded black-hat/white-hat Westerns...and the equally binary right/wrong religions...the current reaction in these panic times makes sense. Americans have emotional need for a hero or set of heroes.

The risible aspect of this is how the anti-heroes call for the equivalent of a white-hat, Matt-Dillon sort to clean up Dodge the country. Our own sometimes local Mitt Romney is the worst of the observer class here. He decried the POTUS' lack of leadership, saying it was his responsibility to make all the good stuff happen and prevent any of the bad stuff from doing so.

This is rife with contradiction, hypocrisy and humor on so many levels. Consider first that throughout the run-up to the debt crisis that Romney hid from the public, saying only that whatever Obama would do would not be what Romney would do. Then in his professional life, he has a long and deep history of destroying jobs to maximize the saleability of companies his VC group invested in, invariably meaning dumping employees. Then during the debt-ceiling debates and after, he had nothing to add and no direction to lead.

The GOP'ers in the House, linked to the Tea Party and no, almost all walked away from the disaster they forced whistling, looking skyward and saying it wasn't their fault. I contended yesterday in our Left Ahead show that the majority of voters are not so easy to delude on this very public, prolonged drama. Obama may not be the good guy, but we sure know who the bad guys are. I'm betting that even in conservative areas, constituents are blasting the out-of-session members of Congress.

Two and one-half years in, we know that Obama is no Lyndon Johnson or Franklin Roosevelt. He's not likely to transform into the decisive, insightful hero we long to save us.

There is a slim chance that this so-called Super Committee of 12 given the tasks of cutting debt and please God raising more revenue will be sensible and improve our lot — not heroic, but at least smart. For all the winger blather about having to run the nation like a family, on planet Earth that has always meant challenging bad times by doing with less, bringing in more resources or both. It was not about starving to death, living in the woods, and sacrificing the weakest in the family.

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