No one has been more disappointed than I have in hearing the term “Political Theater” bandied about during the unfolding of our newest national pride: the debt-ceiling crisis. What’s going down in Washington is far closer to Fox Reality TV than any theater I’ve ever seen. And I know bad theater.
The truth is, Beltway Posers are as clueless as the nabobs of Jersey Short when it comes to how they perceive themselves and how they are seen by the rest of the viewing public. If only America had three giant X buttons to reject the acts we found unbearable.
Though I swore to myself I don’t do math, I’m currently in the process of calculating/recalibrating a new formulaic ratio: the one between how stupid people are to how loudly they pronounce their idiocy in the public sphere. My research was helped a great deal last month with the swearing in of Paul LePage, Tea Party favorite of Maine who’s clearly had too many cakes with his tea, when he made his 63 point plan to slash and burn environmental regulations.
He was quoted as saying. “It is time we start defending the interests of those who want to work and invest in Maine with the same vigor that we defend tree frogs.” What piffle.
This is what we in philosophy call a logical fallacy, in particular, a Strawman Argument, or a False Analogy. I’ll spare you the lesson, but check out the list of fallacies in reasoning, and have a field day with how comically far from sensical these dipshits go for a sound byte. LePage would love it if his state popped the bra strap on a few million acres of the North Woods for “development”, because, after all, it’s just sitting there doing nothing whatsoever besides removing CO2 out of our increasing poisoned air.
He’d also love to terminate a law currently in place to monitor toxic chemicals found in toys until he gets more “science” on the issue. Because we all know, politicians spend a great deal of their time pondering complicated scientific data.
An even higher ratio is found with another Tea Party Governor worthy of a tea bagging, Rick Scott, in Florida. If it were up to Ricky, the fifty million set aside to protect and restore The Everglades would be eliminated. After all, the state needs money, and how on God’s green earth will protecting The Everglades do that?
The infamous state of New Jersey, which actually leads in environmental legislation after possessing the most Brown sites in the country (there was nowhere to go but up), can thank Tea Bagger Governor Chris Christie for attacking the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act. The law protects more than 800,000 acres of open land in order to provide drinking water to more than half the state’s inhabitants. But to Christie, it’s “an infringement on property rights”, and he intends to load the state courts with appointees who favor vampiric developers over healthy children.
It makes sense! Budget cuts have prompted Republicans like the raging Boehner, and other Tea Party poopers to get vocal about rollbacks for the EPA. The ratio here is biggest of all. Businesses are hurting nationwide, so why not blame the environmentalists. They were the ones Trading Credit Default Swaps and sucking up T.A.R.P. money, weren’t they?
Aside question for Tea Partiers: don’t tea leaves require clean air and water to grow? Or should we achieve a state of total environmental pandemonium before lifting a green thumb?
What I propose is that each of these geniuses gets a tattoo on their foreheads that says, “I doubted Global Warming in 2011” or “I chose short term profits over clean air and water.” But here’s the catch. The tattoo does not just go on their foreheads. It goes on their grand kids, great grand kids and great, great grand kids as well. That way, in 2075, when the St. John river is a pool of fluorescent alluvium, and the air above the formerly verdant North Woods is a stinging mustard yellow, LePage’s great, great grandkids won’t be allowed in the water lines that form daily at the local filtering station. Thanks for playing.
That liberal rag, The New York Times, reported that almost all state environmental budgets have suffered setbacks since the start of the recession. But it’s accelerated in both scope and ambition since the Republicans took of congress. Lawyers at Earthjustice, a national environmental lawfirm, have claimed that Scott’s anti-environmental budget makes Jeb Bush’s previous budgets look like those of a orthodox Buddhist.
Because let’s face the facts here: it’s more profitable for our country to stay the course it’s on then plan ahead for three decades from now. The fact that we had to go down to the 23rd hour on the final day of debt-ceiling issue is totally indicative of the mind set. And look at the famed Catbird Seat we’re in now from the last decade of deregulation, too. If we do everything in our power to help businesses expand, the environment will probably just take care of itself, like it did with Wall Street banks, and in low-income housing loans, and every other aspect of failed trickle-down voodoo economics.
Don’t these assheads have families? Don’t they hear themselves on TV? Don’t their wives give them shit during pillow talk? Or their mistresses?** Or are they aliens in human form, determined on destroying the earth slowly through the meticulous consumption of all our most valued resources?
That would be a relief in all truth. Then we would at least understand what the fuck reasoning these freakshows are using. How can these “leaders” be so totally wrong about their own self interests? Every one of them wants to be a part of history. They all secretly hope that somewhere along the line, their legacy will be included in high school textbooks.
Can’t they see that right now it’s going to happen in the chapter on Shortsighted Villains? On people we should have decapitated but weren’t? It won’t matter much, in the long run. Their children’s children won’t be in school. They’ll be fighting in the soon-to-come Wars for Natural Resources. The ones these high ratio pinheads made possible by dismantling fundamental legislation in favor of more short-sighted profiteering. Dollars over food works for a while, but remember this kids, you catch salmon in a revenue stream.
**Footnote: Idea for a television show. High end hookers who sleep with politicians work as double secret agents for the Environmental Protection Agency, influencing pro-conservation legislation et al via hardcore blackmail and kinky naught sexiness.