Friday, December 13, 2013

The Budget Deal: Not Even A Fight

My unemployment insurance will expire on my birthday. The budget deal that I am hearing praised? The Democrats didn't even put up a fight on unemployment. Now, if it had been the Republicans losing on one of their policy goals, we'd have heard about it 24x7 on the news. There would have been a filibuster and hostage-taking. Instead, the Democrats just rolled over, letting the Republicans avoid doing something that would cost them hugely in public standing and perhaps even votes.

I feel like I'm living in an abusive family, where the violent alcoholic father beats us routinely, and the beaten-down mother doesn't even raise a protest, and the neighbors all complement the mother on keeping the peace. Abuse survivors will often tell you they hate the complicit parent as much as the openly abusive one. The Democrats could have the vast majority of the public on their side if they just stood up, but they never do.

And what is this stuff with parents anyway? The parties are supposed to be working for the people, not the other way around. They're supposed to be our sons and daughters, not our parents, not our rulers.

No. This is not what the Framers fought for, in that long-ago time when they created the first modem democracy. No.


Lee H said...

I like your thinking, and your posts. I disagree, though: I think that a large part of our problem is that, despite some changes and inroads through the last two centuries, we do have the Democracy our Framers fought for, to wit: A Democracy that serves only the landed wealthy, the supreme business man, etc.
Now, I don't think it is worth spilling a lot of argument over, but I wonder: Would it help our thinking and our cause if we considered that we have what the Framer's intended, and realized that the system won't be better if we just elect proper representatives (i.e., it is designedly disfunctional), but we must change much more of the foundation to get the sort of responsive and responsible government people like you and I desire?

Raven Onthill said...

I have come reluctantly to the conclusion that we do, in fact, need structural reforms. I am not terribly happy with this. Whatever our opinions of the Framers, they were greats of their time, and I see no-one of comparable stature to build on their work.