Twain Would’a Had a Time

Mark Twain would have mocked the human condition. The Clinton Administration left us with a balanced budget and a much reduced national debt. The Bush Administration spent eight years running up a huge tab without paying for it and left Obama two unpaid wars and a collapsing economy.

Now the House Republicans have adamantly refused to pay for what they spent, and are making a huge show of bringing the budget down. They’re pulling many billions out just when state and local governments are capsizing and all together creating a whirlpool through which the economy will probably tank.

But if you’re a Republican, especially if you are a Tea Party Republican, that’s great. People will be homeless but wealthy CEOs will be able to pay Chinese wages in America. And besides, they’ll be able to blame the whole thing on Obama. After all, Obama is supposed to lead. And at this rate we’ll be having a depression. So it’ll be his fault.

Now I can imagine Twain – how’d he’d a’ said it – explaining how Obama was going to lead the enemy, not a herd of cats going in all different directions, but the very people whose major goal seems to be to pull him down and they want to make him responsible for their nonsense so he, not they, will pay the price. How’s that for hypocrisy. Uh, I don’t think they know the word, they’re too busy hypocratizing!

You didn’t make us do the right thing so you’re guilty. I can just see them making that explanation about crime – it’s not the criminals that’s guilty, it’s us because we didn’t straighten them out. After all Republicans stand for taking responsibility, or used to. Not shift the blame.

But no that’s not blame shifting, that’s just calling a spade by its name. We take responsibility for what we did but failing to lead, now that’s Obama. And while calling him on it for failing to straighten us out we can just hide in his shadows. Wooopeee.

And while we’re at it, let’s shift the blame to all the good law-abiding American Muslims because after all they didn’t stop believing in Allah when some other people who call themselves Muslims did bad things. Now after all none of us Christians and Jews stayed Christians and Jews after the things that those other Christians and Jews did in places like Yugoslavia and the West Bank or the Confederacy or the Klan. Why we owned up to it and separated ourselves from that. We went further. We burned Korans. And we’ve got Representative King looking into Muslims, and in New York there’s Greg Ball of the New York Senate Republicans with Dean Skelos calling the most stereotypical – and least informed – Muslim haters to do what they call testify so we can all have a show about blaming other people while this country falls apart.

See, what the Republicans are offering us is bread and circuses except without the bread. I think Mark Twain would like that. I don’t think it would have improved his view of the human race or the American race either for that matter.

—  This commentary was broadcast on WAMC Northeast Report, April 12, 2011.


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