There are so many really bad cartoons about the shutdown -- oh, excuse me, the "partial shutdown" -- that I feel particularly compelled to feature ones that (A) seem to get it and (B) make a point beyond "gee, this sucks."
(And, yes, I do think it's extraordinarily silly to add the word "partial" to make your coverage seem impartial.)
Lee Judge notes the conceptual disconnect between the buck-passing and finger-pointing at this level and the persistent demands that people take responsibility for themselves at another. He's not the first to note this chicken-hearted blame game -- "Don't fart and point at the dog" indeed -- but I like the simplicity of his approach.
I get really tired of the Facebook memes in which people complain about how easy kids have it today, and then seemingly brag about how they were beaten for doing those things as kids. "We got our asses whipped for that!" they chortle, as if it were something to be proud of.
I suppose it would be uncool to note that maybe there's a correlation between being raised like that and growing up to be bitter and to lack empathy, but I do wonder whether it's a learned behavior or whether they just lack a gene for decency and humanity, as did their parents before them.
What I do know is that there seem to be a lot of people out there who lack the gene for recognizing when they are being exploited by people who tell them they are being exploited.
Ted Rall points out a disconnect between the Beltway Dwellers and those forced to tighten their belts.
It seems a bit wishful, given how many people ought to be furious and yet are apparently rallying around the kidnappers. Granted, his end of the revolution does seem imbalanced with middleclass college kids, but maybe they're just the ones making the most noise.
I was talking to someone the other day about the transformational impact of the First World War, which caused the Soviets to rise up before it had even ended, sparked similar revolutionary fervor in Ireland and brought a militancy to Britain's labor movement that was summed up in the slogan, "A bayonet is a weapon with a British workingman on each end."
If you compare what happened in Britain with what happened in Russia, I think you see that oppression comes in gradations that determine the balance of people on each end of that weapon.
I'm not a fan of what one of my professors called "dime-store Robespierres" from either side of the aisle and take a fair amount of inspiration from a then-current play another of my professors had us study and which yielded this relevant soundbite:
The play also asks "What's the good of a revolution without general copulation?" and it is hard to get people to rise up without a few incentives, much less when they discover that their revolutionary leaders are, like the pigs in Animal Farm, indistinguishable from the oppressors they overthrew.
And maybe the idea of the revolution rising out of the farmland is not so metaphorical after all.
I like the passion of Ted's implied question, "Why don't they get it?" but I think David Horsey brings a more measured commentary (which you really ought to read), suggesting that the deception will not last forever.
Of course, the conservatives were already holding the Farm Bill hostage before they launched their cunning plan to destroy the Affordable Care Act.
But their response to the effects of their own cynical obstruction of public services is to weep over people not getting to tour the White House or visit a National Park, while genuine sacrifice is happening out there some place where well-fed Beltway visionaries fear to tred lest their custom-made blinders slip and their theories be punctured by sharp reality, as Stuart Carlson pointed out a few days ago:
Every time something has the potential to be wielded as a sound-bite weapon, like WWII vets being for a very short time and then not at all turned away from the WWII monument, or death benefits for the soldiers killed in a war that oh-let's-not-get-into-that, they rise up and demand a band-aid so that particular ouchie won't piss off anyone smart enough to know who's holding America hostage.
Meanwhile, screw the ranchers and farmers. Screw Head Start. Screw WIC.
Oh, and veterans? If you come home dead, or if your war was 75 years ago, the Republicans care deeply and they have your back.
Otherwise, screw you, too.
I'm glad Obama isn't falling for all the "can we just fund the parts that hurt us politically?" pleas coming from across the aisle.
In fact, I'm kind of conflicted about the news that a pair of billionaires stepped forward to re-open Head Start, or that some states are paying to open National Parks, not out of patriotism but to avoid the job-killing they realize it causes.
I'm as tender-hearted as anyone, but taking pity on Beltway people when they stray never, ever works out.