A LIBERAL VIEW OF THINGS: Beans vs. bags: Not a political game

There is a movement afoot to take back sanity from the likes of Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and all the other charlatans trying to make political and financial hay at the expense of frustrated citizens. The rise of the Coffee Party is at hand. It will NOT necessarily affiliate with either of the major political parties, unlike the Tea Party’s attempts to grow out of the side of the Republicans.

It was inevitable, really.  Somebody had to step up and take back reason, facts and truth from what is rapidly becoming a lunatic-fringe movement.

Let’s just hope that they don’t fall into the same trap while coming from the left.

There has also been some recent rhetoric about us taxpayers and citizens being misled by everybody under the sun except our mothers (and she may be next if some pundits have their way). It’s true that some in the banking industry and those who operate it have debased financial ethics and thrown every tenet of responsible behavior out the window in order to preserve their bonuses. They were enabled by decades of deregulation brought to them on a silver platter by the likes of Phil Gramm and Newt Gingrich. As a result of this, they KNEW the government (via us taxpayers) would come to their rescue when their greed got out of hand, which it inevitably did.

The recent health-care forum held by our president exposed our Congress critters for what they are and who they work for.  The “start over” mantra from the Republicans was an insult to us taxpayers after nine months of stubborn recalcitrance by that very party to reach any kind of agreement.

The Senate minority leader, Republican Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, opened his press-conference summary of the forum by telling us how much time each party took speaking. Aren’t there such things as administrative assistants to do that? The democratic leaders covered themselves with ignominy by hurling great quantities of mud even as our president asked everyone not to. So much for bipartisanship; it is here that our president is either naive, stubborn in his convictions or both. Bipartisanship in this Congress appears dead.

It was this display of naked politics superseding the public good that has every one of us out here in the fields so frustrated. The “stout opposition” to real health-care reform came from BOTH sides of the aisle.

Meanwhile, people keep dying, losing their homes and dreams or remain sick or injured for want of affordable health care. Ironically, the best idea to come out of the forum was also an indicator as to how far we’ve fallen as an ethical and moral society.  That came from Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who suggested putting undercover patients into the Medicaid system to ferret out the 30 percent (or more) fraud.

Our moral decay, then, has gotten to the point where we have to resort to stealth patients to uncover fraudulent medical practices by those whose primary rule is: First, do no harm.

It’s not about our president misleading us.  It’s about how we allowed ourselves to be misled by putting our trust in politicians who are clearly supporting those who can afford them.

And yes, the Great Lakes are dirty and they need to be cleaned up to prevent the citizens who live there from being poisoned by the effluent of rust-belt industries  allowed to violate the law for lack of enforcement.

That little tidbit was brought to us by the Bush Administration, which eliminated so many of those environmental law enforcement jobs to pay for hundreds of billions of dollars for that war of choice in Iraq. This is part of the mess our current president and our Congress has to clean up. It’s not about building swimming pools; it’s about fixing a broken nation.

I am always amazed how somebody’s crystal ball can predict things like higher taxes, inflation and loss of freedom from proactive projects intended to fix wrongs and provide for the common good of our citizens. We cannot assume an outcome when we don’t even know what the action will be.

These are the contributors to our frustration that turns citizens into tea bags, or in a new movement, coffee beans.

Turner is a retired engineer and teacher who lives in the Marble Falls area.

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