Then I got an e-mail from the DSCC, with this bit: Today, Sen. Schumer talked about how meeting the challenges America faces begin with restoring our people's faith in government. Republicans - many hostile to the very idea of government - have bought us Iraq, Katrina and an unmitigated string of government failures.
Schumer touches on the point, the critical point, the unspoken point, that overlays everything that’s gone wrong in this country, a point that Obama doesn't seem to recognize in his optimistic talk.
Everybody thinks, wants to think, couldn’t believe otherwise, that Bush/Cheney are patriotic Americans, concerned with our founding principles and the normal operations of this country. You hear it from Hillary as she tries to explain her war vote, you read it in the words of Sen. Obama, Sen. Edwards, the Broders and Russerts and Picklers.
But as Chuck Schumer notes, they’re hostile to the very idea of government, and I’ll go even further and say that they’re more than hostile, they don’t believe in Democracy and the Constitution, don’t believe in the Declaration of Independence, don’t believe in the precepts of the Magna Carta, no, they believe in power unto itself, and nothing more.
And when you think of it that way you realize that what’s broken isn’t our politics, isn’t the institutions of this nation, but the Bush administration.
There are two systems in operation here, the one Obama speaks of, the one most everybody lives in, the normal world of reality, with all it’s bizarre behaviors and rank stupidity, it’s greed and selfishness, it’s sacrifices and duties and everyday heroics going to work or raising a child or stopping at a stop sign, and then there’s this other, fundamentally sociopathic world of Dick Cheney and George Bush.
The problem is in expecting BushCo to act in a way consistant with the reality world, when that world of policy and commity and goals and shared community, shared American heritage, doesn't exist for them. They don't care about us, about Americans, about veterans, about laws and decency and doing the right thing. Look at how they crap all over the veterans of their own war, let alone those from past wars. Does cutting funding for veterans, of leaving the National Guard troops out in the cold when it comes to benefits and care sound like a cry of concern?
Just this week the Administration admitted that they had underfunded veterans' health care by $3.7 billion over the next two years. And about 20 percent of all reservists do not have health insurance at all – approximately 12,219 in California, leaving them and their families without coverage when they leave active duty.
Disabled veterans in California face delays, barriers to getting benefits they earned. More than 41,212 in California are still subject to the disabled veterans’ tax, which forces veterans to sacrifice one dollar of their pension for every dollar they receive in disability benefits. In addition, there is a huge backlog of almost 500,000 compensation and pension claims, including those from veterans of the current war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Disabled veterans in California are still waiting approximately 181 days for their disability assessment.
Just keep reminding yourself, they are indeed hostile to government, and the incompetence they demonstrate is designed to make us think that our government, our politics, is the problem. They want us to throw the bums out, to lump the Democrats in with the republicans while they go merrily about their real business. Let's not let them get away with it.