Get a grip

OK, people. Time for a short rant on nonsensical comparisons.

Back in 2000, during the American presidential election, I would have voted Ralph Nader of the Green Party if I had been able to vote at all (I’m not a citizen here so I can’t vote.) At the time it looked to me like Bush and Gore can from the same kind of background and money and represented the same interests, and Bush merely seemed unqualified. Naturally, I rapidly learned that the two men were very different, that Bush was far worse than unqualified, etc. The point is, in my mind I had lumped together flaws and offenses that were simply not comparable.

Within a year, Democrat voters started complaining that the Greens had given the election to Bush and were virtually traitors. That was equally nonsensical and a cop-out. Then we saw the post-September 11 “patriotic” craze — actually self-righteous pricks wrapping themselves in a flag to call anyone raising any kind of mild objection a terrorist, a hater, a traitor, etc. Again, lumping together offenses that were completely disproportionate.

From 2001 through 2008 I observed more despicable acts from those in power and their cheerleaders, in a race to the bottom, than I ever imagined possible in this place and this age.

In late 2008 Barrack Obama was elected with a comfortable margin on the promise of change. After just under a year in power, his progressive supporters now feel disappointed, abandoned, betrayed, and complain bitterly that there has been no actual change.

Let’s review, shall we?

Bush’s first acts in power: renege on the Kyoto treaty, appoint industry lobbyists and religious right loonies to all key positions. Obama’s approach by comparison: launch major R&D into alternative energy sources and energy conservation, appoint scientists and experts to key positions, take the U.S. back to the table to tackle global climate change, launch a reform of the disaster Americans call a health care system.

Yes, there are still industry lobbyists in key positions, but the balance has shifted dramatically. Cap-and-trade does not go as far as we environmentalists would like, but it’s at 180 degrees from the previous free-for-all. Guantanamo has not been emptied yet, but the work has started. The health care reform will probably be sadly incremental, but there will be a reform.

Seriously, folks, how can we complain that there has been no change? Did you think that once people had gotten off the couch to vote a Democrat in power there would be lemonade, chocolate chip cookies and ponies for everyone? Did you think the fight was over? No, dammit, if you want reform you have to fight tooth-and-nail for it all the fricking time.

Look at the Loonies of the Right: even when they win, do they ever stop asking for more? No! They keep demanding, and demanding, and advancing upon the liberties of all. Yeah, it’s a bummer and a pain in the ass that we’ll always have to march and petition and call and give and stand up and protest and, for those of you who can, vote. It’d be nice if we could call in our order and wait for the 30-minute guaranteed delivery, but we’re outside the delivery area.

Obama has already initiated (not finished, yet!) more good than the Bush administration ever did (that’s on account they did none, but who’s counting.) It’s true that the Dems in the House and Senate are infuriating. Call them, for $#%^* sake! It’s very nice that you signed that petition the other day; now call again! You’re not done! And stop whining that this administration is no better than the previous one. It’s a goddamn lie and it’s defeatist.