I know why the caged Snuffleupagus sings
[Welcome Blue Gal / Carnival of the Liberals readers!]
"Yes, it's quite regrettable, and I wish he would stop. Though I'm still in his camp, it does worry me.”
Perhaps if he got some static from the faithful, he'd learn to stop sounding those sour, authoritarian-enabling notes that harsh our mellow.
Obama seems purgatory-bent on pretending away two essential truths about millennial America:
- Our country is in a state of shame thanks to the unchallenged and unconscionable actions of today's GOP and the institutional conservative movement that pulls its strings
- Governing based on the fantasy that is religious faith is insanity — especially for the most highly armed nation in the history of the world
On the former matter, Obama (like Hillary) chooses to be above it all, too gosh-durn nice to acknowledge the partisan sins that demand not accommodation, but a countervailing partisan response.
At least in the latter, Obama doesn't mind being a partisan. He reads directly from the GOP hymnal, scolding progressives for being amoral heathens and ratifying the neo math that says religion = values = Republicans:
“I think it’s important particularly for those of us in the Democratic party to not cede values and faith to any one party.”
“For progressives, I think we should recognize the role that values and culture play in addressing some of our most urgent social problems… I think progressives would do well to take this to heart....”
“...the discomfort of some progressives with any hint of religion has often prevented us from effectively addressing issues in moral terms.”
That he and his advocates function in denial of the reality on the American ground is doubly troublesome.
First, it makes people of reason wonder if the candidate in question has a proper grasp of, yknow, reality.
Now, Barack boosters routinely argue that this is mere vote-getting rhetoric, and he's to be admired for his canny and guiltless ability to spread his compromising charm from coast-to-coast, like some sort of Johnny Bullshitseed.
And some have granted that this glib pandering just might work. Maybe it profiteth a man to gain the White House and lose his soul. So, the immorality of being dishonest aside, what's the (other) problem?
The problem is that a pretty poison is still poison.
These lies aren't just any lies, they're lies propagated by and for the lying liars who have made every major candidate afraid to describe him- or herself as a "liberal."
These lies turned us into a torturing state with a politicized justice system that spies on its citizens and can "legally" disappear them without recourse.
They created a bizarro universe where they can use calipers on a Democratic President's penis. But when, on the exceedingly rare occasion his Republican successor is questioned on matters of national urgency, they won't allow a pencil and paper in the room.
They created a "reality" where any Democratic opposition is an obstructionist filibuster that must be faced down with "the nuclear option," but a record-breaking Republican freeze on legislation is merely the lack of "the sixty votes needed."
They created a reality where one renegade president can blamelessly write more unilateral, law-perverting signing statements than all preceding presidents combined.
They created a reality where lawlessly throwing voters off the rolls is simply good politics, and where the best way to count votes is to stop counting them.
They created a reality where killing hundreds of thousands of people for an incredibly expensive lie is of absolutely no consequence, and ditto for letting a major American city drown.
They created a reality where religion is a litmus test for the presidency.
Well, listen up, Barack. Some of us hate what's happened to our country. It's swell that you don't mind that much, but it's not swell enough that I will vote for you on Super-Duper Tuesday.
Acting like now is not a time for partisanship is tantamount to mental illness:
George A. Kelly’s definition of a psychological disorder: "Any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation."
Doubtless, using the playbook of L. Barack Hubbard's fans, you'll turn around and say it is we who are crazy, what with our crazy anger and all.
You might be onto something, because invalidation cuts both ways. When trusted people refuse to validate obvious truths, it's quite emotionally scarring.
It's why the Children's Television Workshop came to realize that abused children might be learning a dangerously disempowering lesson while watching Big Bird try in vain to get people to acknowledge the existence of his friend Snuffy.
Look, whether you want to date it to 9/11 or your choice of incidents from "We Didn't Start the Fire," this is a country with PTSD. We went a little funny in the head... you know... just a little... funny.
And with our fragile national psyche, invalidating the truth is about the last thing we need.
An invalidating environment is one in which communication of private experiences is met by erratic, inappropriate, or extreme responses. In other words, the expression of private experiences is not validated; instead it is often punished and/or trivialized. the experience of painful emotions [is] disregarded. The individual's interpretations of her own behavior, including the experience of the intents and motivations of the behavior, are dismissed...
Invalidation has two primary characteristics. First, it tells the individual that she is wrong in both her description and her analyses of her own experiences, particularly in her views of what is causing her own emotions, beliefs, and actions. Second, it attributes her experiences to socially unacceptable characteristics or personality traits.
"...to invalidate means to attack or question the foundation or reality of a person’s feelings. This can be done through denying, ridiculing, ignoring, or judging another’s feelings. Regardless of the means, the effect is clear: the person['s] feelings are “wrong.”
Back to Dr. Kelly's theories:
In fact, Kelly says that we spend a great deal of our time seeking validation from other people. A man sitting himself down at the local bar and sighing "women!" does so with the expectation that his neighbor at the bar will respond with the support of his world view he is at that moment desperately in need of: "Yeah, women! You can't live with 'em and you can't live without 'em." The same scenario applies, with appropriate alterations, to women. And similar scenarios apply as well to kindergarten children, adolescent gangs, the klan, political parties, scientific conferences, and so on. We look for support from those who are similar to ourselves. Only they can know how we truly feel!
To be sure, the more unsavory groups on that list (the klan, kindergartners, men) lack a healthy diversity of thought. But all groups and all individuals crave the barest minimum of reaffirmation — that what we saw was what we saw.
In the event that we're not crazy, that our country really has gone wrong in countless ways since the Reagan Revolution, the Contract on America, and Florida 2000, we're left to wonder about one or two of our leading candidates who blissfully say they can't smell that smell coming from the Beltway.
Do they lack the sense to smell it? Or are they intentionally telling the same lies as the ones who made the smell?
And how does that make you feel?