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Crime and punishment, Hollywood style

Polanski and Van Houten

Polanski and Van Houten

In late 1998, President Bill Clinton’s political credibility was in jeopardy when it became evident the hillbilly in chief was not only the sort of guy who routinely cheats on his wife and child, but also was inclined to lie whenever his sins of the flesh threatened his political credibility.  The many affairs dating back to his days as attorney general of Arkansas had been widely documented, but ignored with a wink and a not by the same members of the media who would later question George W. Bush’s fitness for the presidency because of a DUI that occurred around the same time Clinton allegedly raped Juanita Broaddrick in an Arkansas hotel.  Broaddrick’s recounting of the event, from her description of the buildings outside her hotel window to Clinton’s campaign schedule, was more than credible.  Journalist Lisa Myers confirmed that the view from the hotel had indeed changed — to it’s current incarnation from the very one Broaddrick remembered.  And rape allegations had followed Clinton since his days as a Rhodes Scholar, when he abruptly left England in the wake of an unprosecuted rape that never warranted media scrutiny.  And surely the rumors about a certain politician with national ambitions raping a former Miss Arkansas were part of a vast right wing conspiracy, just like the pile of complaints from women who hadn’t asked to see his small, curved penis.  When confronted about the probability that their golden boy was a serial rapist, Clinton’s supporters inevitably issued some retort along the lines of, “He may be a rapist, but he’s our rapist!”

Prisons are full of people whose earlier lives were rife with tragedy.  Parental addiction and abandonment?  Check!  Physical and sexual abuse?  Check!  Household violence?  Check!  No one (well, no one other than a Muslim) would deny that Roman Polanski’s childhood in war-torn Poland and his mother’s death in a Nazi concentration camp are tragic on a grand scale.  And if those events weren’t enough, Polanski’s eight-months-pregnant wife was murdered in 1969 by minions of cult leader Charles Manson.  All of the film industry grieved with the promising film director who seemed to face devastation at every turn.  And they tightened their security, since nothing so terrible was supposed to breach the imaginary barrier that separates Hollywood types from ordinary people.

Eight years later, a fortysomething Polanski drugged and sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl in what Whoopi Goldberg described as “not a  rape rape.”  Since his middle school-aged victim wasn’t on birth control, Polanski figured he’d better use the rear entrance.  The girl, a model who was in Polanski’s company for a photo shoot, told her mother about the rape when she returned home.  The police were called, charges were filed, Polanski was arrested, and the brilliant director didn’t even deny the allegations, though he did admit he struggled to understand what he’d done wrong.  When it became apparent he’d receive a substantial prison sentence, Polanski fled the US for Europe, where he remained for the next thirty years.  With his arrest this week and his impending extradition from Switzerland, Hollywood’s elite have found a new rapist to replace their former bad boy. 

Chief among the arguments for releasing Polanski from police custody and granting him absolution are the victim’s statement that she long ago forgave her attacker and the three decades that have passed since Polanski sought refuge in Europe, presumably because he didn’t savor the promise of anal rape at the penises hands of fellow convicts.  What’s good for the goose is apparently not so good for the gander.  And while it’s great that his victim sees no reason to relive that chapter of her life after so many years, her unwillingness to take part in the legal proceedings does nothing to absolve Polanski from prosecution.  Unless California is operating under one of the interpretations of Sharia law in which the accused must face his victim in order to be prosecuted (which ironically means murderers cannot be charged, as their victims have no voice), the courts are duty-bound to pursue Polanski’s case, regardless of his advancing age.  Perhaps especially so, since Polanski has never expressed a word of remorse, despite having decades to establish some connection with his conscience.  There’s no magical age at which prior bad acts magically vanish.  If you don’t believe me, talk to a Nazi concentration camp survivor. 

Leslie Van Houten, one of Charles Manson’s former followers, has served forty years in California prisons for her role in the stabbing death of Rosemary LaBianca on the second night of the Manson Family killing spree.  Absent the drugs Manson used to manipulate his young charges, Van Houten renounced her affiliation with Manson, earned two college degrees, tutored other prisoners, and became involved in prison-based charitable programs.  Considered the most likely candidate for parole, since her participation was limited to the LaBianca house, Van Houten has been in prison twenty years more than prosecutors expected her to serve at the time of her conviction.  Manson Family member Susan Atkins, who until her death last week had been the longest-serving female prisoner in the California system, was denied compassionate release to die at home even after brain cancer had paralyzed her body and limited her speech to a few prayerful words.  Until she was restricted to bed by her terminal disease, the born-again Christian worked with at-risk kids, helping them to avoid the mistakes she had made.  The parole board, citing the horrific nature of the crimes for which Atkins was convicted, said the sixtysomething-year-old woman who slept through most of the hearing was still too much of a danger to society.  Charles “Tex” Watson and Patricia Krenwinkel, like Atkins, found the Biblical Jesus — not the Jesus Charles Manson claimed to be — early in their prison careers.  Watson became an ordained minister in the ’80s and founded his own outreach ministry from behind prison walls.  Krenwinkel trains service dogs for the disabled, which she hopes will help offset the carnage of her youth.  Despite nearly 40 years of demonstrated remorse, efforts at restitution they know will always fall short of the mark, and glowing psychiatric reports, none of the key players in the Tate/LaBianca killings has generated any sympathy from the same Hollywood people who want the public to ignore the rape of a child by a man who still doesn’t see anything wrong with raping a child.  Apparently, redemption in Hollywood is reserved for the unrepentant, so long as the guilty party is part of the in crowd.

I’m neither advocating for the release of the Manson killers nor calling for Polanski’s crucifixion, but rather observing human hypocrisy at its most base and vile.  Should Polanski serve a prison sentence?  Hell, yes.  A man who tells his underage rape victim to keep the assault a secret must have a vague notion that his actions are not entirely kosher.  And being good at one’s job, last time I checked, doesn’t serve as a shield against prosecution.  I’m sure Jeff Dahmer made some delicious chocolates back in the day, but in the wake of the cannibalism, nobody remembers that he was Employee of the Month.  Frankly, I loved “Death and the Maiden” and thought Polanski’s direction was beautiful.  However…

I’m a big believer in redemption, but the first step toward receiving it is to accept responsibility for one’s actions.  And all things considered, I’d rather borrow a cup of sugar from next door neighbor Leslie Van Houten than Roman Polanski.  Statistically, we know a certain percentage of women will be raped during their lifetimes.  It is my sincere hope that those who comprise that unfortunate statistic are the same ones who excuse rapists they consider their rapists.  Because for those of us who still consider rape a crime, being a victim might seem like kind of a big deal.


obama throws cops under bus in eternal quest for street cred


Once again forgetting that he’s as white as he is black and not so much a ghetto punk as an Eddie Haskell, Barack Obama made an ass of himself in a dispute that has brought to light the president’s delicious lack of judgment.  We all know the incident well by now.  After responding to a call from a passer-by who witnessed someone attempting to force open the front door of a house, police encountered so-called educator Henry Louis Gates, who had attempted to enter through the front door, but upon finding it stubborn, entered through another door.  Sgt. James Crowley, a white officer, offended the pompous professor by having the audacity to ask for identification that showed him to be the legal occupant of the house.  As we learned during the past few election cycles, courtesy of ACORN activists, it should be illegal to ask people of color for identification.  I’ve never been provided with a substantive explanation as to what makes ID cards racist, but I assume there’s something about the shiny laminate that’s vaguely reminiscent of shackles and recalls past-life traumas.

After becoming belligerent with Sgt. Crowley and proving his Harvard worthiness with a reference to Crowley’s mother, Gates was arrested for refusing to cooperate.  As as an Ivy League educated professor of African and African American studies, Gates should be above such a  stunt  — one infinitely more befitting an aspiring rapper.  Rather than show his ID and quell the passer-by’s and police’s concerns that his house was being broken into, Gates chose instead to behave like an asshole.  And when the police treated him as such, he claimed victim status and said his experience is that of the black community as a whole.  Apparently, being asked for ID when someone reports possible burglars entering your home is akin to being gunned down by cops in a case of mistaken identity.  And cases such as this trivialize legitimate cases of racial harrassment.

Obama, never one to pass on an opportunity to stoke racial fires, admitted to knowing few details about the Gates arrest for disorderly conduct, but went ahead and accused the police of “acting stupidly” anyway.  Must be part of the great racial wisdom Obama accumulated on the mean streets of his Honolulu private school.  Remarkably, Obama seemed surprised that his words inspired such a backlash.  Police across the country leapt to Crowley’s defense, demanding apologies from both Gates and Obama.  Gates, who’s gone all Joe the Plumber in his quest for celebrity, will never apologize, since he’s now a symbol of oppression for opportunistic blacks who find themselves increasingly short of poster boys.  And Obama, who’s never issued an apology in his life because he believes himself to have papal infallibility (although the pope’s infallibility applies only to theological issues — a key distinction between the American messiah and the leader of the Catholic Church), pulled a Jane Fonda and said he was sorry his statement had turned into an obsession for so many people.  In other words, you’re the problem, not Obama’s fiercely stupid statement!

Obama used race to shore up his voting base during the primaries, since race is one of the most expolitable issues a politician has.  It’s what drew Obama to Chicago in the first place, what inspired him to join a church whose theology preaches classical racism (the belief that one race is genetically superior to others), and what caused him to write a book touting his absentee father’s great influence on his life, while dismissing the grandmother who raised him as a typical white woman.   Would it not be fair to say Obama’s father was a typical black man — at least by American standards?  After all, 70% of black children in the US are born to unmarried mothers and damned near that many have only intermittent, if any, contact with the men who knocked up their undiscriminating mothers.  Obama is as much a race whore as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.  The only difference is that it’s taken many people longer to catch onto his motives.

In his boot-licker, Eddie-Haskell mode, but still unwilling to apologize for the inappropriateness of his comment, Obama phoned Sgt. Crowley and made nice, issuing his standard non-specific invitation to the White House for a beer.  That’s what Obama does when associating with white people, whom he believes can be appeased into submission by the mere suggestion that they’re worthy of an audience with him.  To make matters worse, Obama said he hopes the Gates arrest can wind up being a “teachable moment.”  People might use it to improve race relations, rather than “flinging accusations.”  On its surface, that sounds like a real Sesame Street moment and I’m sure that’s exactly how Obama wants it to sound.  But since Obama’s the one who flung the accusations in the wake of the Gates arrest, he’s hardly qualified to be the voice of calm.  He may have given a shout-out to voters who couldn’t care less about his policies, as long as he does a sufficient job of portraying himself as a black man, but he did so at the expense of cops whose jobs were dangerous enough without the president implying they’re prowling the streets, hunting black people.  Only an asshole would compromise the safety of police officers to gratify his own ego.


Say nice things about the wise Latina!


At the risk of seeming like a racist (who are we kidding — I’m of Eurowhitey descent so let’s just assume I hate everyone whose skin doesn’t glow in the dark!), I’d like to point out the ookie resemblance between former Panama dictator Manuel Noriega and Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.  You’d think the same people who did the math on Sarah Palin’s and her daughter Bristol’s pregnancies would have jumped on something as obvious as this.  If we were supposed to conclude that Bristol Palin’s uterus operates like a Pez dispenser, hurtling forth babies every eight and a half months, why should we not suspect a tryst between a young Panamanian soldier and a Bronx housewife in September of 1953?  Maybe because it’s absurd.  Almost as absurd as thinking a governor wore body padding in an attempt to pass off her grandson as her own child.  Weird how that story disappeared once Bristol Palin delivered her son and the math just didn’t work.  Oops! 

For the past few days, the weenies in Washington have disrespected the Supreme Court as much as the judicial nominee seated before them disrespects the role of lawmakers in the political process.  Democrats, who subsist on a steady diet of anything-but-white boot dirt, practically hummed patriotic songs while their colleagues read facts about Sotomayor’s life from her Wikipedia entry.  She was poor and lived among the brown people!  Praise the Lord!  Her father couldn’t speak English and died when she was a child!  Thank you Jesus for taking her daddy!  She felt uncomfortable in the Ivy League school she attended due to affirmative action!  She’s as godly as Obama,  the patron saint of opportunism!  Sotomayor’s evasive and even deceptive answers to questions were so overshadowed by the idiocy of her questioners, her ascention is assured.  Apparently, the democrats aren’t accustomed to sharing breathing space with someone of Latin descent who isn’t carrying a feather duster or leaf blower.  And when confronted with the unfamiliar, why not gush like a tween at a Jonas Brothers appearance?

The republicans were, if possible, even more pathetic.  So afraid they are of being called racist or sexist (which they will be regardless of what they do), they ignored facets of Sotomayor’s record that should have disqualified her from consideration in the first place.  She’s a member of La Raza, an organization that advocates the ceding of Southwestern states to Mexico and opposes any enforcement of immigration laws.  And in speeches, she regularly advocates lawmaking from the judicial branch of government.  Either she has no understanding of or disregards the reasons for having separate branches of government.  So like her patron, Obama, she’s either stupid or evil.  But rather than address these serious concerns, the republicans repeatedly asked about her belief that a “wise Latina” such as herself will likely show better judgment than a white man, since he’s never been a Latina (duh?).  And republicans even accepted Sotomayor’s justification for her racist statement, which she dismissed as a throwaway line that fell flat.  Never mind that she continued using the line in speech after speech.  I’m sorry, but wasn’t she supposed to be smart?  Oh, wait — she was probably just lying!

It’s been a long time since I expected fairness from politicians, but some part of me actually had faith in the judicial system and the notion that all men will be treated equally in the eyes of the law.  But the public actually elected a color to the presidency last year, rather than a man, and that color is treating the whole of Washington like a Benneton ad.  The people who have the power to right the ship don’t have the will to do so.  And I can’t help but think of my father and all the other old soldiers looking down on this fiasco from the afterlife, probably crying at what’s become of the country for which they were willing to sacrifice their lives.  What I wouldn’t give to send a few hundred politicians to their eternal reward (such as it may be) in exchange for the good men who saved the republic from assured destruction in the past.


Stupid or evil?

We’ve all been treated to a great deal of drama over the past week as Our Lord and Savior Barack Obama proposed that veterans be required to purchase their own health insurance to cover the treatment costs of combat-related injuries.  The government, he reasoned, is overburdened already.  If soldiers continue to plague us with requests for prosthetic limbs and artificial eyes, how will we pay for tattoo removal programs, studies of barnyard animal flatulence, and the needs of octuplets born to a professional breeder with no visible means of support?

Contrary to popular opinion, President Obama is no genius.  His latest aborted stunt was so transparent, I can only conclude the Messiah has grown blind from basking in the glow of his neon halo.  Obama may be an arrogant ass, but not for a moment did I believe he wanted military veterans to bear the costs associated with treatment of their war injuries.  I found it a bit daunting that so many people bought his artificial premise.

It’s common knowledge among thinking people that Obama knows his fans are stupid.  He’s depending on it.  In their company, a man of ordinary intelligence, such as himself, can demand and receive respect.  He can even become president.  There’s no danger of his minions researching topics when their thirst for knowledge can be quelled with bumper sticker slogans.  As long as there’s electricity for the Wii and enough cash for cigarettes, Obama’s loyal following will remain intact and blissfully ignorant.  Those who have questioned Obama’s motives since the early days of the primaries, however, should have immediately recognized that Obama would not be so stupid as to forsake the veterans unless they were pawns in a larger game. 

Given that health insurance premiums already challenge the wallets of healthy Americans, it stands to reason that veterans whose injuries will require lifelong care will be unable to afford private insurance.  Obama overestimated his popularity when he pompously assumed the masses would support any idea he proffered.  Abandoning veterans was not his goal, but rather a means to an end.  In Obama’s socialist vision, veterans and their supporters would storm Washington, demanding that premiums be lowered so the heroes who sacrificed themselves for us could afford the care to which they are entitled.  Donning a cape and tights (borrowed from Rahm Emmanuel, probably), Obama would order insurance companies to reduce premiums to federally mandated minimums for all veterans.  That, Obama believed, would silence the veterans.  But to offset the costs associated with the heroes’ chronic injuries, the evil insurance companies would have no choice but to drastically raise premiums for other customers.  Employers would be unable to afford the increase and stop offering health insurance to workers.  And workers would be unable to afford the coverage at the prohibitively priced rates.  The masses, in Obama’s dream, would then storm Washington and demand that the all-caring government do something to unburden them.  Again, Obama would don his cape and tights, condemn the greedy insurance companies for their failure, and announce a federal takeover of the health care industry.  After all, what choice would he have?  He would only be responding to the desperate need of the public.  In his mind, that makes him not a manipulative socialist, but a beloved hero.

I’m torn between describing Obama as stupid for thinking such a ploy would work or calling him evil for concocting such a plan, in the first place.  I’m inclined toward the latter, since Obama’s yes-men are largely responsible for perpetuating his arrogance.  Arrogance and stupidity are closely related, but not the same. 

Though Obama has shelved his plan to absolve the government of responsibility for veterans’ health care, I have no doubt his similarly inclined and more intelligent cohorts are working on a plan B.  The stench of socialism is thick in the air.  The only mystery that remains is which underdog group will be played next in Obama’s quest for ultimate control.  If his next power grab is to be successful, he’d better choose a group that’s less sympathetic than veterans.  Even the coldest of Obama’s associates blanched at the notion of abandoning men and women whose devotion to our country knows no measure.  It’s a pity their Commander in Chief doesn’t know the meaning of the word sacrifice.


Obama averts second Great Depression with cash payouts


A few months ago, before the seemingly bloodless transfer of power, I was in a Wal-Mart picking up a few staples without which I could not sustain life.  As I studied the many brands of hair color filling six shelves, I was bumped from behind by an obese woman whose own hair rivaled the Eiffel Tower in both height and technical complexity.  She didn’t apologize, which didn’t surprise me, given that she was bellowing into her pink cell phone at someone I can only assume was hearing impaired.  As she spun her way through the aisle, I heard her complaining about the economy, calling it “the worse [her pronunciation] since the Great Depression.”

I flashed back to the grainy black and white photos that peppered my fourth grade social studies book.  There were couples who looked far too old to have such young children standing in line in hopes of being gifted with a loaf of bread.  Men in suits stood on street corners with their once-prized belongings, desperate to trade whatever anyone would have for a handful of change so they might feed their families.  And some photos showed several families crammed together in a single apartment with bedsheets hanging from ropes to create the illusion of privacy.  These were the images of the Great Depression. 

The deluded woman, who clearly knows less about history than my dog ,was standing in brand new Wal-Mart, surrounded by every necessity and convenience known to man, talking on a telephone whose signal beams through space before reaching its destination.  Her obesity suggested not only easy access to food, but a leaning toward gluttony her ancestors would have considered sinful.  Her choice of hairstyle would have been ostentatious even in Victorian prostitute society.  And I’m willing to bet she paid at least $10 for her Obama T-shirt.

Americans are spoiled and we often don’t realize it until we encounter bumps in the road.  During the days of artificial gravy, when salaries and housing prices soared to unsustainable highs, people adjusted their expectations upward.  If someone earned a salary of $80,000 right out of college, he assumed he would earn more each year in the future.  No point being frugal, since President Clinton announced fictional budget surpluses that had only materialized on paper after books were cooked and recooked.  And when Clinton expanded the Carter administration’s program to provide home loans to folks with no discernible income, even paupers had castles.  Barney Frank, whose boyfriend (the successor to the boyfriend who ran a prostitution ring from Frank’s home) was reaping millions of dollars from the government’s crumbling loan program, dismissed pleas to take action before the housing market collapsed.  With an election approaching, Frank wasn’t about to alienate his voting base by suggesting they actually make payments on their homes.  Why should they?  A deal was struck with the future Obama administration to make the mortgages of the lazy and stupid the burden of working taxpayers.  That’s what passes for generosity among the ruling class.  Those of us who had always submitted our mortgage payments were expected to continue doing so, while those who had no business buying homes in the first place were allowed to stay in their homes, regardless of ability or intent to pay for them.

For the most part, people during the Great Depression were heartier than we are today.  Surely plenty of tears were shed when breadwinners lost their jobs, their homes and their sense of security.  But those people still had a survival instinct that superceded whatever sadness they felt as their lives slid into the mire.  Many had defended their beliefs and way of life in World Wars I and II, only to find those things threatened by the actions of their own government.  They didn’t weep and wail at the feet of their president, asking him to pay their mortgages and assure them risk-free futures.  They moved in with family, worked when the opportunity presented itself, and learned to live lives of subsistence with faith that there would be light at the end of a long, dismal tunnel.

Since Barack Obama’s inauguration, we’ve witnessed idiot after idiot weeping with joy to be in his company.  A Florida man even appeared to have an orgasm when selected to ask a question during a town hall meeting.  Rather than using the opportunity to glean knowledge about Obama’s policies, the young man instead begged the president to expand his socialist policies and require McDonald’s to increase pay and expand employee benefits.  Obama sold himself as a Jesus/father figure throughout his campaign, knowing that most people are more inclined toward charismatic people than ones with accomplishments.  But unlike the carpenter Jesus, Obama has never been much of a breadwinner.  He’s the political equivalent of George Constanza, managing to secure jobs for which there are no specific duties and for which he has no qualifications, but using the job titles to establish an aura of worthiness.  Until his election to the Senate (and since then, if we’re being honest), Obama was paid by political organizations to expolit uneducated people in exchange for their votes.  The financing gave Obama the opportunity for the power he craved, and in exchange for buying him that power the financiers can expect much reciprocation.  To educated people, there is nothing more frightening than someone who pursues power for its own sake.  But to the stupid, empty promises are golden.  When nothing comes of them, the victim class can remain inactive, since they’ve got someone else to blame.

The so-called stimulus package will likely be the ruination of a once-great nation.  I grew tired of hearing its defenders cry, “Well, something has to be done to stop the bleeding!”  That’s like a drunk driver crashing into another vehicle, sending it careening into a tree, and then lopping off the entrapped driver’s head because beheading the victim must be better than doing nothing.  Not a single politican who voted for the stimulus bill had read it.  Some claim they were unaware that the legislation is rife with cash payouts to the organizations who purchased the presidency for Obama.  ACORN will receive a big chunk of the pie to further its voter fraud programs with the approval of the new president.  And George Soros’ anti-capitalist corporations will likely see free speech quashed as a thank-you for their efforts to quash anti-Obama sentiments during the campaign.  Plus, they’ll receive piles of money, since they funded the Obama juggernaut.  Quid pro quo?  I wondered how the same people who insisted we were all starving in the streets managed to compile such huge piles of cash for the Obama campaign.  It turns out the donations were actually loans to be paid back in the months following the inauguration.

The stock market has continued its decline since Obama took office, which indicates Wall Street’s infatuation with the stuffed-shirt president was fleeting.  Maybe someone finally asked, “Yes, we can what?”  But the masses are still invested in their plastic hero and awaiting the first of their lifelong string of welfare checks.  Like the woman in the Wal-Mart, they prefer to be dependent children who can take comfort in the arms of Big Daddy if their lives never flourish, since that’s preferable to accepting personal responsibility for their own failures.  Perhaps it would be better if the United States split into factions, though a civil war would certainly ensue when the victim class grew to resent the capitalist states for having the audacity to live productive, fruitful lives after they voted for a president who promised to take away that option.  Who needs the audacity of accomplishment when you have the audacity of hope?


Stop the crucifixion! I’ve seen the Obama light!


Less than a month after intellectually blighted Americans celebrated the coronation of their lord and savior Barack Obama, the world is for the first time and finally at peace, oppressed people are enjoying freedom and prosperity, and the world economy is as bullish as Ted Kennedy at fraternity kegger.  Things are even looking brighter for George Obama, whose life wasn’t as directly corrupted by white man’s greed as his brother’s, but still sucked.  Before George became First Brother, he survived on less than $1 a month and hope, since Barack apparently didn’t have his address to send him a few dollars.   But his decision to celebrate his brother’s rise to power with a spliff landed him in a Nigerian jail where he’ll enjoy improved living quarters, daily nourishment, and the sort of regimented life favored by socialists the world over.

In my diary, which is less tawdry than Barbara Walters’ tell-all book, but nonetheless devoted to world leaders on whom I have crushes, Margaret Thatcher has been supplanted by Barack Obama as the statesperson with whom I’d most like to slow dance to Journey’s “Faithfully” under a mirror ball in a balloon-festooned gynmasium.  Sure, Attila the Hen has great hair and can rock a pair of low-heeled taupe pumps, but her views on liberty as a birthright and the benefits of free-market economies would really, in retrospect, be better stitched on pillows than pursued as ideals.  She was always so, “My way is the right way!  Human beings have rights!  Stop starving your people!”  Really, if you think about it, she’s a little bit judgmental.  I suppose Iron Maggie was really more of a rebound gal in my development as a human being, since I was drawn to her mostly because she was the polar opposite of her predecessor, Leonid Brezhnev.  Leo, as I liked to call him, was really nothing more than a big, squishy teddy bear, no matter what the history books say.  Beneath those caterpillar brows were eyes that saw the world as it could have been, if only he’d had the means of forcing it into submission.  His detractors always said it was wrong to use military power to sway public opinion, but how is that different than slapping a child’s hand to stop him from touching a hot stove?  Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind when people aren’t smart enough to know what’s good for them.  During my Thatcher years, I nearly forgot how safe I felt imaginary-dancing in Leo’s arms, but the rise of President Obama brings those tingly feelings back to me.  And it’s even cooler this time around, since Barack knows all the words to “Faithfully” and sounds just like Johnny Cochran when he sings them softly in my ear.

I actually think it’s a good thing that President Obama chose tax cheats as disciples, since it makes him more Christ-like.  Just as Jesus forgave the sins of the men crucified with him, Barack absolved Timothy Geithner of his misdeeds and petitioned the public to be gentle with Tom Daschle, who misunderstood some complicated law he thought granted free car service to people who care.  Inspired by their peers, some of Barack’s other disciples are digging into their pockets and retroactively tithing to their state religion.  As I write this, literally hundreds of Barack’s friends, colleagues and supporters are lining up at the door of the IRS, checkbooks in hand,  eager to donate past earnings and lift the country out of recession.  It makes me think all the drama over the trillion-dollar economic stimulus package is nothing more than partisan hype.  If Barack’s appointees continue this trend of generosity, surely the government will have more than enough money to cover the tab for all the proposed social programs.

There’s a new lilt in my step as I anticipate the future under an Obama administration.  I feel a little like Barney Frank atop a  Mardi Gras float.  I’ve been promised a tax rebate that exceeds my payroll witholdings, I’ve been assured I can live in my house whether I continue paying for it or not, and I’m pretty sure I’ll wake up some morning to find a brand new electric car in my driveway, courtesy of my president.  I won’t have anywhere to drive, since my job is under threat, but is having a job really necessary in an era of unlimited progress?  I enjoyed having goals and working toward them, since achieving them brought an odd sense of pride.  But pride is really more Margaret Thatcher than Barack Obama.  And has pride ever fed a hungry child?

July 2018
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