Wednesday, February 01, 2012

An Exceptional To The Rule

Interesting quote from Mitt Romney:

"I'm not concerned with the very poor. We have a safety net there," Romney told CNN. "If it needs repair, I'll fix it. I'm not concerned about the very rich, they're doing just fine. I'm concerned about the very heart of the America, the 90 percent, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling."

Host Soledad O'Brien pointed out that the very poor are probably struggling too.

"The challenge right now — we will hear from the Democrat party the plight of the poor," Romney responded, after repeating that he would fix any holes in the safety net. "And there's no question it's not good being poor and we have a safety net to help those that are very poor . . . My focus is on middle income Americans ... we have a very ample safety net and we can talk about whether it needs to be strengthened or whether there are holes in it. but we have food stamps, we have Medicaid, we have housing vouchers, we have programs to help the poor."

Now, the main sentiment he was trying to express, that the middle class have it tough in these times, is a pretty accurate one. After all, its the middle and working classes who have lost the most in the mortgage bubble. Significant portions of the money they've invested in their homes-- yea, that's a dopey concept, but you know what? That's what we were told to do-- on the order of 50% or more was lost.

And there is no safety net for that. You can't write it off your taxes like a corporation...pardon me, corporate entity...could. There's no bailout so that you can pay yourself a bonus instead of donating to people worse off than you. You can't leap into a golden parachute because your house is now essentially worthless.

Ah, but there's also no safety net to speak of for the desperately poor: no jobs, no income, no assets. The working and middle classes at least have jobs. They have *something*. The really poor have nothing and the clock is ticking. If they went on welfare because they got laid off from a job cleaning floors at the bank or parking cars on Wall Street, they're bumping up against the five year limit on their welfare.

A smart man, a man who would be President, would know that. He'd know that shortly after he took office, he'd have to put boots on the ground about this problem.

Unless he didn't care. Unless he lived in the double-bubble of conservatism and wealth, he'd see this problem coming.

Don't Republicans get tired of always being in the dark? Don't they get tired of saying, "Well, no one could have seen that coming. A failure of imagination, we missed the signals, the previous administration didn't make it clear enough...." and so on.

I mean, you'd think 9-11 would have been a wake up call to the ignorant that things are not going as swimmingly in America as they are in America Prime, the "exceptionalist" America.

Now, America as we know it is still an exceptional place. Just not as exceptional as even a decade ago. We've been wounded; wounded from abroad, wounded from within, wounded economically, wounded spiritually, wounded morally and perhaps, mortally.

If you had told me, even after 9-11, that we'd condone torture as a nation, I'd have looked at you cross-eyed. If you had told me that we'd spend trillions on two wars that had a goal of no clear victory, I'd have called the insane asylum. And if you'd had told me that the global economy, in large part owing to the lack of oversight of the greediest bastards on the planet, would melt down and destroy the American working and middle classes, I'd give you a sobriety test. 

I mean, it's one thing to screw with a sector of the American economy, bubble it up, make money off the suckers, then light another stewpot, but to screw homeowners?

And yet we did it, and we now have a candidate running for President who wants to ignore the blood stains on his hands and plow on, blithely ignorant of the pain and suffering around him.

I wonder what Romney has on his iPod? It must be loud, since he can't hear the crying.

Stephen Colbert said it best, and its partcularly apt when talking about a Mormon candidate who professes to be a conservative Christian, because maybe he missed this about Jesus:
If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn't help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we've got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don't want to do it."
So, Mitt...about those poor....