Ordinarily I blog my little thoughts about my days run, simple observations of birds & weather. Occasionally something like this happens. I apologize for the rambling & disorganized nature of what follows.
With the recent Supreme Court ruling concerning the Affordable Care Act this great lumbering brute of a country moved another increment forward, in our convoluted meandering fashion we managed to put the needs of others above our own selfishness. There have been screams of anguish & much gnashing of teeth & there will still be setbacks to come, but these screamers & gnashers will become more & more irrelevant as they always do. It is an ongoing mystery to me that they do not recognise themselves, that they do not look at the old films of klansmen & segregationists, of the schemers & haters, the small minded bigots who love their little power & can only hold onto it by denying someone some small something, that they do not see themselves in these images & know that they are on the wrong side.
Nationally the response was swift & predictable, Speaker Boehner announced another misguided vote at taxpayer expense, Romney said yet again that it was a good idea when it was his but now . . . not so much, Faux news spent the day reporting on, well Rupert Murdoch actually, go figure.
The outrage was particularly intense here in Mississippi, Bryant quickly gave the old segregationist standby about the “over-reaching federal government”, he knows his audience & his audience knows him, the infant Palazzo was quick to puppet the party line like a good little boy, & our tea-party adoring local media, all smirks & sneers, reported the news as if they’d stepped in something.
But why should it be this way? Why is Mississippi, a state that stands to benefit the most from the new law, certainly a state w/ the greatest need, determined to fight to the bitter end any attempt at progress? What is it exactly that we want?
We speak reverently of Haley Barbour & praise his “leadership” in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina when his accomplishment was to tell us how strong & independent & self reliant we were while squeezing every dime of disaster relief he could get out of the Federal Government. Even w/out the funding that results from natural disasters, our state gets back far more than we ever pay in in taxes & yet the tea party yahoos run rampant, a festival of self congratulation & bile spitting hatred.
After electing a Republican Governor & majorities in both the House & Senate on the promise that “now we can get something done”, what was the agenda? A draconian Immigration law that would have encouraged racial profiling, a demonstratively unnecessary voter ID law designed to deny the poorest & most disenfranchised among us the right to vote (think of these together as Jim Crow Lite), & legislation designed to force the closure of the states only abortion clinic denying women a legal right to exert control over their own bodies.
All of these were certain to wind up in Federal Court, w/ little hope of implementation, costing the state considerable time & resources, w/ no discernible benefit to anyone but the politicians involved & all have proven to be very popular. Again, what is it exactly that we want? What “good old day” do we wish to return to? How is it that we have come to celebrate the bullies among us? Why do we now openly sneer at ideas like fairness & diversity? Why are so many ideas & attitudes that ought to have died off during & after the Civil Rights era now making a comeback? Why are so many using this disturbing trend for political gain w/ no thought to the consequences?
The two most pressing issues in Mississippi are poverty & education & yet we spend our resources in legal battles. Our elected leaders are selling us out for political advancement & to advance a national political agenda. (The fact that a number of Southern states are currently in legal battles over immigration & voter ID laws is no coincidence.) Rather than working w/ the Federal Government for the benefit of the people they represent they follow orders, using the power of their office to put pressure on the current administration in the hope of influencing the upcoming elections.