W.R. Marshall | Here there be dragons
There was a time, in the not too distant past, when folks hadn’t ventured too far from their old world shores. They didn’t like to lose sight of land when taking a three-day gambling junket or heading out to invade Troy. Even when Columbus was about to “cross the ocean blue” there were still plenty of folks who thought the world flat and once you lost sight of Gibraltar, you were off the map and there were all manner of horrifying beasties out there.
In the end, reason and a good compass proved the world round, navigable and while daunting, at least fire-breathing dragon free … until 2000 when a lot of weird … stuff … started happening.
First, we had a coup right here the good old US of A, and George the Boob had himself installed as fearful leader. It’s not that everyone in his family didn’t know he was a major screw-up, it’s just no one had any idea how majorly he could really screw things up. He did something no leader in the history of the world had ever done – cut taxes while waging war. (Agamemnon, who went to war over a woman – an even flimsier excuse than WMDs – was still somehow prudent enough to keep the coffers full while launching his thousand ships.) Then, while ushering in what some economists are calling another Depression (or Great Recession), Dubya multitasks and pretty much destroys his own party.
Things really go off the map in 2008 when we the people, who fifty years ago had problems with a white man and black man sitting together at a lunch counter for a tuna sandwich, elect a man of color – then hand him an economic crisis the likes of which the world has never seen. (We’ve never seen it because after it happened the last time, safeguards were put in place to prevent it from happening again – then it happened again.)
Now President Obama is trying to right the ship and do things that haven’t been done before because no one has had to face this problem before, and as is often the case, never before seen problems need never before seen answers.
However, fear of dragons have the puling remains of GOP standing up and shouting: “Stop what you’re doing! That won’t work! No, we don’t know what will work. Why not just do what we did before and forget it got us into this mess? That’s what we do … in between saying ‘no’ to everything else.”
And now, as we sail through these very dangerous and unknown waters, the people who got us here and have no idea how to get us back, line up to bow at the feet of the bloated, ego-maniacal, part-time junkie and demagogue Rush Limbaugh. (I said demagogue – I don’t count myself among those who think ‘El Fatbo’ is a demi-god.)
So there are strange things out here where no one has been before, but I suppose we should be grateful there aren’t any dragons – just big bags of self-righteous gas.
– Column by W.R. Marshall