We Read the Newspapers

     “A single sentence will suffice for modern man. He fornicated and read the papers. After that vigorous definition, the subject will be, if I may say so, exhausted.”
     I don’t want to compete with Albert Camus on his own turf – the French language – but a single sentence will suffice for modern U.S. politics.
     Democrats were cowards and Republicans were liars. After that, the subject is exhausted.
     Take for example this so-called fiscal cliff, which would – horrors! – increase the top graduated income tax rates for millionaires and billionaires to less than half what they were under Eisenhower.
     When President George W. Bush pushed his tax cuts through Congress, 11 years ago, he and Congress agreed they would expire in 10 years.
     Bush inherited a multibillion-dollar budget surplus from President Clinton.
     Bush, and Congress, handed out billions of dollars to millionaires and billionaires, but said it was a short-term thing: Since the economy was in great shape, we could afford to do it.
     Well, now that the economy is not in great shape, why has no one, including the guy in the White House, reminded the nation that these tax cuts were sold as temporary?
     Letting Bush’s tax cuts expire is not a “tax increase.”
     It is what Republicans proposed in the first place.
     I am not saying that Bush’s tax cuts were bad, good, or indifferent.
     I’m saying that Republicans today, true to form, are lying, by calling the expiration of the tax cuts a tax increase, and that Democrats, true to form, are truckling like cowards to Republicans.
     Here are two more examples. One reason the national debt has increased by trillions of dollars in recent years is that President George W. Bush pushed legislation through Congress prohibiting the federal government from bargaining with drug companies about the price they charge Medicare for prescription drugs.
     Let us call this the Rape Us for Drugs Act.
     Everyone agrees that the price of medical care is one of – perhaps the major – factor driving the federal deficit.
     Why, then, have the Democrats not introduced legislation to overturn the Rape Us for Drugs Act?
     Mitt Romney ran for president on a platform of repealing President Obama’s health care law.
     Governors, religious organizations, hospitals and your Aunt Sadie have sued the United States in federal courts around the country, demanding exemptions or repeal of Obamacare.
     So why haven’t the Democrats introduced legislation to repeal the Rape Us for Drugs Act?
     It’s because Democrats are cowards.
     This, I believe, is why the Republicans have any chance at all against Democrats in elections today.
     Americans aren’t stupid. We have a lot of stupid beliefs, but we aren’t stupid.
     We’re fairly well educated in our underfunded public schools. We get classes in social studies and government. Most of us are literate.
     The reason the Republicans have any chance at all against Democrats today is that Americans hate cowards.
     But we don’t mind liars.
     Look at Mark Twain. He lied for a living, and admitted it.
     Look at Wall Street.
     Look at Billy the Kid. Bonnie & Clyde. Look anywhere. Look all around you.
     Americans love liars and criminals. But we hate cowards.
     That, and that alone – OK, along with trillions of dollars – explains why the American public votes for Republicans at all anymore.
     That and the cowardice of Democrats.

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