I am a fan of comedian Lewis Black. Over the course of my adulthood, he has done quite well identifying the stupidity of whichever power is currently holding office, both as a stand-up comic and as a guest on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”
“There has to come a point, where Democrats and Republicans, where we see a piece of footage, and we just agree, on what the f**k reality is,” Lewis said during his HBO special, “Red, White and Screwed.”
Two of my esteemed colleagues in the editorial section of the paper, Kevin Hollinshead and M. Alex Stephens, have demonstrated habits I find both alarming and ignorant. Now relax boys, I know you both to be intelligent young men, and Alex, is it true the guys from “South Park” asked you to be the voice of Chef after Isaac Hayes died?
Like my fellow columnists, Keith Olbermann, Bill O’Reilly, Chris Matthews, Sean Hannity, Rachel Maddow and Bill Maher, and any other person failing to recognize anything good about the opposing party while failing to recognize significant flaws in their own party, irritate the hell out of me while demonstrating intellectual bankruptcy.
Let’s look at the facts.
Congress established the Post Office in 1775, and after 234 years, they are running a budget deficit of $7 billion in 2009. Bill Maher had a guest a few weeks ago who defended the Post Office saying he did not see how FedEx or UPS could get a letter from one coast to the other for 44 cents.
This was unforgivably stupid and Maher should have made the point that the Post Office cannot pull it off for $0.44 either, but Maher is a liberal, so he agreed.
Social Security was established in 1935 and Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. Forbes magazine estimated its unfunded liabilities at $107 trillion. These are the two best examples of exactly what is going to happen if the government becomes involved in health care.
Fannie Mae was established in 1938, Freddie Mac in 1970. They are both broke. Both played significant roles in the housing collapse that started in 2007.
The War on Drugs started in 1968. We’ve spent billions of dollars annually for 40 years without making a dent in the recreational drug trafficking, manufacture or consumption in America. You probably know more people who smoke weed than work for the government.
AMTRAK was established in 1970. For years it has operated running a budget deficit.
The Republican Party supported the $787 billion banking-sector bailout of 2008 that has yet to create a single new private-sector job.
Not willing to be outdone in a contest to out-stupid the Republicans, Democrats authorized Cash for Clunkers, which went broke after 80 percent of the carProxy-Connection: keep-alive
purchased turned out to be produced by foreign companies.
Now, which party was responsible for these demonstrations of terminal stupidity? If you hope to blame it all on Bush Republicans or Reagan Republicans or even Rush Limbaugh listening Republicans, you avoid your own party’s role.
Both Republicans and Democrats had their hand in decimating the Constitution, the federal government and the future of the nation. Keep in mind, I did not cite a single actual war, though those too have destroyed the nation, and both parties bear the responsibility for them.
The realities for all of us require some emotional calming, intellectual investment and admitting of failure. If you honestly believe the federal government is going to provide a positive change to health care in America, I have only one question for you. On what do you base this belief?
What I find ironic is the far left displays doubt in the intellect of those on the evangelical right when it comes to their faith in a deity providing for them, but these same doubters have no problem believing their own government will provide for everyone despite the evidence to the contrary.
I see unforgivable flaws in both parties, so keep the change boys; I’ll take liberty over hope any day.
Seth Stern is a senior journalism and sociology major. His column appears Fridays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.