Published On: 9/2/2005 1:00:00 AM
Let's just review a few of the main lies* perpetuated by the right wing that have been exposed and obliterated by Hurricane Katrina:
*The private sector is the answer to everything: Yeah right, let's see profit-only-motivated WalMart and ExxonMobil respond to an event of this magnitude, even if they wanted to)
*The government is the problem, not the solution: Only if you believe that victims of natural disasters should be allowed to fend for themselves, while civil order breaks down into disorder and chaos.
*Environmental protection costs more money than it's worth: Only if you believe that it's better to spend hundreds of billions of dollars (not to mention the massive economic dislocation caused around the country) on trying to recover from a disaster like Hurricane Katrina than a few billion dollars to protect wetlands and barrier islands that could have prevented or significantly mitigated the damage. Duh!
*We can give huge tax cuts to rich people and corporations, fight an endless war in Iraq, run up huge debts, overextend our military to the breaking point, and STILL manage to deal with problems and natural disasters in our own country. Uh, no.
*George W. Bush may not be a great visionary or intellectual, but at least he's a strong leader who knows where he's taking the country Sorry, try again. This Hurricane showed Bush as a President who has pitiful leadership abilities any way you look at it. This guy is certainly no Ronald Reagan, who I will never forget speaking to the country (and bringing tears into and out of my eyes!) after the Challenger disaster. And he is certainly no FDR, who rallied the nation both morally and politically/economically from the brink of collapse and fascism during the Great Depression. Sorry, Republicans, but George W. Bush is no leader. Never has been (except for that brief moment after 9/11 when he appeared to wake from his life-long stupor). Never will be.
*Global warming is bulls***: Sure, except that a recent scientific study in the journal Nature found that "The duration and strength of hurricanes have increased by about 50 percent over the last three decades" as ocean waters get warmer, along with the rest of the planet. Hmmm....
*One-Party (Republican) government is a good thing: Wrong again. Instead, how about a few "checks and balances" on either party's arrogance, stupidity, short-sightedness and craziness? Unfortunately, right now we've got essentially one-party rule in this country. That's got to change all across the country, starting in Virginia this November.
*We can maintain our gas guzzling way of life forever: Sure, if we want to spend $3 per gallon and send the proceeds to Saudi Arabia, Libya, Venezuela et al.
*We don't need to deal with racism in this country, because it's all a thing of the past. Right, then please explain to me why the pictures I see on TV and in the newspaper are overwhelmingly black?
*The economy's doing great, and there's no problem with income inequality or a permanent underclass in this country. Right, then please explain to me why the pictures I see on TV and in the newspaper are overwhelmingly of poor people?
*Guns are great, let's hand 'em out to everyone: Yep, so they can shoot at helicopters like they did yesterday in New Orleans. Wonderful.
*God protects the innocent and punishes the wicked; there is justice in the world: Yeah, explain that to the conservative, Bush-voting, God-fearing citizens of Mississippi and Louisiana, two of the "reddest of red states" in America, who just had a Category 5 hurricane rock their worlds.
Now, all this is certainly not to argue that the Democratic Party is perfect. Far from it. In fact, I'm all for abolishing "Duveger's Law," as Kenton "Can't Believe He's 14 Years Old!" Ngo writes about so perceptively on his blog. For the time being, however, we've got two parties in this country, one of which happens to be in power - unfortunately. And that party, the Neocon-Theocrat Republican Party, has proven itself, over the past 5 years, to be a complete and miserable failure. To paraphrase Virginia's own junior Senator, George Allen, perhaps what we need to do - figuratively speaking, of course - is to "enjoy knocking [the right wingers'] sharp teeth down their snarling throats." Hey, you gotta start somewhere!
*Note: some of the ideas for this piece were borrowed from a great diary at DailyKos, but I was just about to write almost the exact same thing myself...been thinking about this for days. Still, thanks to "Leaves on the Current" - I recommended your diary and hope it stays in the "Recommend" area for a long while!