End Times

Let me see if I have this right. A handful of extremists have hijacked the Republican party, holding both it and the government to ransom in an effort to overturn a piece of legislation, the Affordable Care Act. Despite that piece of legislation having already been passed into law by both chambers and the American people having given it their blessing through two presidential elections. I’m sure there are some finer details, and I don’t doubt there’s room for a mighty semantics based battle in those two sentences. But still. Am I on the right track? Roughly speaking?

I’m not sure I think the US political system is for me. I prefer the UK way.  Truly. Having a figurehead monarch from an inbred family as the head of state, an unelected upper house of barmy lords and a rowdy lower chamber of spivs, toffs and commies running the country has never looked more sensible. One house to govern, one house to oversee/advise and one house to rubber stamp. That’s teamwork. More importantly, it works. Every day. Sort of.

I really have little interest in getting into the Affordable Care Act / Obama debate. I would support a proper national health system. Others wouldn’t. But the issue seems to bring out the extremes in far too many people. People who are otherwise likeable, intelligent, rational individuals become completely insane. Geez. And I thought religion brought out the worst in people. Do people who enter the fray by breaching Godwins Law have any idea how ridiculous they sound?

Of course, things were much better in the old days. Much better. Today we’re all doomed. Yesterday was the time to be alive. The Affordable Care Act is the end of civilization as we know it.  Smallpox, polio and TB were much easier to deal with. The unrest in the Middle East? Proof of Armageddon. The millions who died in India/Pakistan during partition were nowt to worry about. Etc.

There is a way around this. Put on rose tinted glasses and remember all the good times. There were good times. That’s why there are communists in Russia and Eastern Europe who genuinely long for a return of communism. And people in the West Indies wishing the British Empire would come back and make things all good again. It’s human nature.  In the 50’s and 60’s, Rank made a series of shows that applied rose tinting at the moment of creation. They are interesting to watch. More pleasant to watch than the mass executions in Kenya, the invasions in Egypt, Malaysia and elsewhere and the other nastier realities of life that were occurring at the time.



8 thoughts on “End Times

  1. You can already guess where I am on this little set-to. If the federal government decided to go on vacation for ten years, you would not see the slightest bit of moisture in my eyes. But that is just my Jeffersonian side speaking. Good Old Tom had it half right when he said: “That government that governs least governs best.” He could have gone on to say: “And that government that decides to take a decade-long holiday wins a cigar.”


    • I suspect we think more alike in many matters that we think differently. But politics and Israel aren’t amongst them! Still, if every chap on the planet were a Steve Cotton, I wouldn’t give a fig what the political system was, because it’d work out fine.


  2. I’m thinking of writing a post on this so-called “shutdown.” I put “shutdown” in quotes because if measured by spending, only about fifteen percent (and even this seems high) of the federal government is shut down.

    The rest is conveniently still running, allowing this bit of political theater to continue without actually inconveniencing anyone at all, save for a few park visitors and federal employees.

    By the way, I’ve nominated you for a “Liebster Award,” the details of which can be found on my blog.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we like to remind everyone how quickly the problem the sequester created for air traffic was solved. Like in less than a week.


    • It does seem to be, at present anyway, a lot of political performing art. The debt ceiling maybe less so. And I get everything you say, and I understand the concept of checks and balances. But I still find it hard to accept that a system can allow a relatively small number of people to create such a performance.


  3. norm says:

    The health plan was set up as a sop to both sides, the left got their ‘universal’ health plan and the right got to keep their overpriced middle man insurance companies. The result was not a very good plan but they all got what they bargained for, a bad plan. The right is exercising its right of the ‘power of the purse strings’ from its control of the House to hold up the rest of our Federal system’s normal operation. The short two year term of the house was designed as a check on that fiscal power the House enjoys. Elections matter.


    • Compromise, by definition means that no one gets what they want. Which is why compromise rarely works well. I suspect the GOP will be the big losers come 2017. They remind me of ‘old’ Labour from the late 70s and early 80s, when the militants attempted to hijack the party. It took the best part of 14 years of internal political warfare, a revolution of policy, 18 years of opposition, a huge shift towards the political centre and the loss of a generation of socialist ideology forever.


  4. wesmouch says:

    A group of extremists a while back worked to overthrow Prohibition also- a gift from the control freak Progressives. This bill will likely self destruct. But it had to: It was passed by a Congress that did not read it, signed by a chain smoking President, funded by a tax evading Treasury secretary and enforced by a fat Surgeon General. Mencken said it best ” democracy is the belief that people should te what they want good and hard”. In this case without lube


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