There is a hostage situation in Washington, D.C.
Republican Congressmen (and yes, I believe all the freshman teabaggers are in fact MEN) are steadfastly refusing to either raise the debt ceiling or roll back the tax cuts put into place by Dubya to coddle his uber-wealthy friends.
This bone-headed move risks putting the US in default on its loans, which, having done battle with the student loan police in my past, I can assure you is a very bad thing.
It also risks shutting down huge chunks of government services, things we liberals cannot bear to consider cutting off - Medicare Medicaid, Social Security, SS Disability Insurance, Food Stamps, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), all that stuff.
The Republicans are using our nation's most vulnerable people as human shields as they run from the bank they have just robbed (the US Treasury) to the waiting plane to take them to the tax-free haven of an offshore island. They are using disabled children and 80-year-old veterans as their cover.
They know that the Dems won't pull the trigger and hurt those folks. It is against our nature.
My nature is gradually shifting. I'm about ready to shoot the hostage. Remember in the movie "Speed" when the two cops are talking about what to do in a hostage situation that presents itself as impossible to resolve? One of them says "shoot the hostage." The other is horrified at the notion and figures his partner is just spouting some smart-ass answer until later when he is held hostage and his partner does, in fact, shoot him.
The fact of the matter is: it changed the hostage situation instantly and expedited the resolution of the standoff. With no human shield any longer, the hostage-taker had three choices: flee, stand there and get shot, or surrender. I don't remember what he did, but since it was a Hollywood movie, I am inclined to think he probably shot it out with the cop and died. Maybe after a brief chase.
The thing is, Democrats do not seem to have what it takes to win an actual war. And make no doubt about it, according to the teabaggers, this conflict is nothing short of a holy war for the soul of America. Democrats are unable to order people into battle, knowing that some will not come back. We are unable to calculate and decide what acceptable losses are in terms of human suffering.
The Republicans seem to have no such qualms. They will order the their members out to the front lines. Some will survive, some won't, but they'll throw a new body into that empty space in the line and keep marching. When we lose someone? We scamper in circles like Piglet, shouting "Heff heff, a hellable horrilump! Help help! A horrible heffalump!"
So in this situation, the Rs are holding hostage every vulnerable person in America, and the Ds are freaking out about it. Instead of growing a spine and confronting the Rs in the street at high noon, the Ds fuss and fret and scamper about, trying to find a way that will do the least harm to the people we (meaning ALL Americans, not just the Ds, mind you) are supposed to serve and protect. Well, the minute we do that, we have become complicit in the Rs crime against the weak.
We are finding a way to pad the weak from the punches of the Rs, not finding a way to get the Rs to stop punching.
I remember a Star Trek episode from a bazillion years ago. Classic Trek. Kirk and Spock and Bones. They visited a planet that was at war. Only there was no actual war. No bombs fell, no shots were fired. Instead, computers on each planet were linked to one another, a program ran that produced virtual battles, with virtual bombs and damage done, but no actual physical damage to the planet or its infrastructure. Only the people had to die. Like a draft lottery, the computer produced a list of casualties with each wave of the war, and the people whose numbers were called lined up and walked into the machine to be obliterated. The leaders of the planet were very pleased with their machine - wars happen, they said, and people die, but this saves us having to rebuild our cities every couple of years from the bombs, and farmers can produce crops without fear of being strafed. If one has to be at war, this was certainly an orderly, sterile way to get it done.
It was the stuff that makes one's jaw drop with the horror of it. At the end of the program, Kirk and somebody (Spock? Ensign Smith? I don't remember) destroy the computer, forcing the people to either start having war that is messy and painful and uses real bombs and causes real injuries with real blood and broken bones, or to work for peace and figure it out in a hurry. (Prime directive, what?)
So now I am inclined to blow up the computer that is the current process. Yeah, go ahead and have war now, fellas. Please, go ahead. Do damage to people you actually have to see and hear. Let them hold you accountable when they have no food and they have no medicine and you can't hide behind the "well government is a very complicated process" bullshit. No.
Do it. Hurt the vulnerable, you arrogant fucks.
Do what you really want to do -- form a government and a society that caters only to the rich, white, able-bodied, heterosexual, conservative, Christian men and their subservient wives. Go ahead. Put on your white sheet and march down Main Street, assholes.
And Dems? It's time for you to stand up, step up and claim your place as well. You can either slouch along behind the Grand Wizard over there, holding the hem of his robe out of the dirt or you can pin on your badge and step out into the street and say "Stop! You won't do this on my watch!" and commence to blow up the war computer.
We need to stop finding less painful ways for Rs to beat up on our vulnerable people and call them out for being bullies. If that means we have to take one or two punches in the kisser to illustrate the point, we may have to do that. They want to strangle us. Make them do it in public. Make them show themselves as they really are.
Shoot the hostage. Blow up the war computer.
Drop your polite pretenses and get real.