Friday, April 19, 2013

When Government Works



As usual, Charles P. Pierce nails it. Beginning with an excellent pro-government-spending statement by Barney Frank, he goes on to the pre-bomb comments of Georgia R, Jack Kingston, who used the Boston Marathon as a whipping boy to conjure the usual smug idolatry of wing nuts who see Boston and Massachusetts as everything wrong with liberalism, he goes on to say, in part, this (read the whole thing: it's perfect):


I can speak for a great number of people up here when I tell you that we're just a little tired of being used as a heavy-bag workout for every third-rate radio gasbag, every shoeless Bible-banging preacher, and every pecker-wood politician from hell to breakfast just because we have good public schools, decent public parks, and places we all can walk for free in the woods or by the sea, and a semblance of a decent health-care system. (Thanks again, Mitt!)  We are tired of apologizing for having public servants and first-responders who make a decent wage and who work for us, and not for Fire Departments, Inc. in Tennessee. Not only that, but Michael Dukakis is a good and decent man and the country would be better off if it listened to him about high-speed rail. 
We will not be embarrassed that we share these things in common just because, elsewhere, governors let children starve, and the sick get sicker, and preach of self-reliance while cashing checks from faceless millionnaires. We will not be shamed by the yahoo creationism of the Louisiana public schools, or the cruel neglect of health-care in Texas, or the corporate chop-shop that is being created out of the state of Wisconsin these days. ... 
... the essential point is that even the corruption and waste in our government belongs to us because the government belongs to us. We won't give it away, or sell it off wholesale, or exchange it for a bag of magic beans proffered by the political hucksters fronting for oligarchical money power. There is corruption and waste in Scott Walker's Wisconsin, and in "Bobby" Jindal's Louisiana. But you can't see it. It's the product of backroom deals and corporate brigandage beyond the reach of democratic accountability. That has been the great triumph of the conservative political revolution — it has managed to privatize political corruption. 
... there are limits to grief and there are limits to mourning. We will go back to being what we were before. We will return to our good public schools and our decent public parks. We will walk again for free in the woods and along the sea. We will place ourselves in the care of our decent health-care system. (Thanks again, Mitt!) We will pay again for our public servants and our first-responders, and some of them will game our systems, and we'll raise a great howl, and mock the suckers who got caught, but we will not be conned by the grifters who are trying to make a Mississippi of us all. 
We are not what they think we are. We are not the myths they've made of us. We are what we are, the Commonwealth Of Massachusetts, God save it, goddammit.

It's worth reading the piece for Barney's comments, too: I'm sure RWS™ are already calling it politicization (yeah, like they're not doing it), but it's a point worth considering. We need good government. All the raging about takers and makers and Nazi Muslim atheist Kenyan capitalism haters doesn't change that.

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