Two walls; two presidents
I used to say that a lot in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. When I’d be jacked up on a combination of LSD, marijuana, and bourbon, I’d reach a mellow peak where nothing mattered, and when others around me—equally wasted—were freaking out, I’d comment in a bemused tone “Wow, things are happening fast!”
These days, I haven’t had a drink of whiskey since Memorial Day—when I toasted absent friends with a Constant Reader—and the only drugs I consume now are for high cholesterol and increasing my bone density.
Things are still happening fast, though. I’m still bemused.
Quite a few months ago, when this whole health care thing started happening, I made a comment that bears repeating today: When the government takes over health care, it will be the end of private insurance. The government will be able to set premiums as low as it needs to in order to drive out all competition, and they can subsidize their losses indefinitely with taxpayer money. Once they have a monopoly, they can set premiums at whatever level they care to, and make up the difference.
Today, we are one step closer to having this prognostication become a reality. I now know how Miz Possum felt when she was pregnant. Today’s morning sickness came courtesy of news clips showing Dirty Harry Reid kissing his cohorts because of their stealth vote to proceed in the Senate with the political colonoscopy known as “health care reform.”
Hang on, kids. We’re in for a bumpy ride, and things are about to get a lot worse. When the absolute perfect storm finally breaks, and the penultimate moment arrives, I will take no satisfaction at all in saying “I told you so!”
That’s not what brought me soaring into cyberspace today, though.
Burqua Barbie, Somalian pirates, Sarah Palin, and people being arrested in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for not leaving a tip at a restaurant are tempting subjects for my careening attention, but they can wait.
I have a faded tee-shirt that proclaims “Old hippies never die—they just flash back.” Let’s flash back for a moment. Not to Ye Olde Days; that erstwhile freedom of 30+ years ago is gone forever. Let’s take a look back at the last couple of weeks. Please bear with me while I draw a comparison of two presidents and two walls.
Any student of history—before Oprah Winfrey began replacing Albert Einstein and Paul Revere in high school textbooks—has probably seen the clip of John F. Kennedy standing in from of the Berlin Wall proclaiming “Ich bein Ein Berliner!” [“I am a Berliner!”] He made this remark to illustrate America’s solidarity with the free people of West Germany against the creeping threat of Soviet Communism and totalitarianism. Twenty-odd years later, Ronald Reagan stood in front of the same wall and beseeched “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
The Berlin Wall was a literal symbol of the repression of collectivism. People in Berlin were voting with their feet, and running away from communism as fast as they could. The State didn’t cotton to the flight of their best and brightest, so they constructed a wall, and enhanced it with barricades across the country that included barbed wire, mine fields, motion-sensor-activated machine gun nests, and watchtowers to vector armed patrols with shoot-to-kill orders onto unarmed refugees. A lot of people died trying to flee the collectivist, hyper-socialist mentality that is engulfing America today.
The wall eventually came down, and the German people were reunited. Last week, the descendants of those who were hoodwinked by Hitler and the Third Reich celebrated the twentieth anniversary of freeing themselves from that karmic burden and the communist yoke that enslaved them for decades afterward. As a people, they embraced the principles of freedom espoused by Kennedy and Reagan and exemplified by America during those decades of struggle.
Our current president, who is currently pulling off the greatest national fraud of modern times, couldn’t be bothered to make an appearance in Berlin. I suppose to his way of thinking, it was somehow unseemly to walk in the footsteps of John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, and reaffirm those values of freedom and democracy.
The only thing that would get The Red Herring out of town was the announcement that Khalid Sheik Mohammed—the mastermind of 9/11—will be brought to Manhattan to stand trial in civilian court for his part in the debacle. Osama Bamalama left that chore to one of his myrmidons, Attorney General Eric Holder, and split town. Hell, Obama split the country to dodge the heat from the people he allegedly serves.
And where did the Manchurian Candidate go to escape the inevitable fallout from his tacitly-approved decision? Why, to China, of course. He went to hang out with his philosophical brethren in Communist China and brush up on his next steps for ruining the economy of the United States. While he was there, he went for a big photo opportunity, posed atop the Great Wall of China. With his head cocked skyward in his trademark Hitlerian stance, he proclaimed “This is awesome!”
Too bad he couldn’t be bothered to show up in Berlin at the appropriate moment and say the same thing about millions of people freeing themselves from communism.
Along about the same time—actually, a few days before—Obama’s predecessor showed up at Fort Hood, Texas. You remember Fort Hood; it’s the place where a “disturbed individual”—now referred to as a “detainee”—committed an act of mass murder that The State is going to great pains to not refer to as an act of terrorism. Thirteen people were killed, and dozens wounded. Many are still in hospital, including hero cop Kimberly Munley, who stopped the shooter.
Normally, the movements of ex-presidents are tracked and reported upon by pool reporters assigned to them. In this case, George W. Bush and Lady Laura issued strict instructions that there was to be no coverage of their trip to Ft. Hood. No photos, no commentary, no breaking-news flashes. Instead, they went to the medical facilities at Ft. Hood and gave comfort and support to the survivors of the terrorist massacre. They thanked medical personnel for their heroic efforts in caring for the wounded. They posed for a few personal photographs with medical staff and patients. Two of these photos were leaked to FOX News, with the story, ten days after the fact. As far as the Bushes were concerned, none of this should have been made public. They didn’t do it for a photo-op; they did it because they care.
I am still processing some input I got last week. As recently as my birthday in February, Miz Possum was still remarking that she was glad “that dumbass” was gone from the White House. Previous retorts to my casual use of names like “Osama Bamalama” included “Stop calling him that! Give him a chance! He’s better than the chimp he replaced!”
(Sorry, darlin’. You know it’s true; you keep me honest.)
With comments like that in mind, imagine my shock and awe when she admitted a few days ago that she would rather be living through a third term of George W. Bush than watching the deterioration of America under Barack Obama. She actually said “I miss him [GWB] now.”
You will never know this woman as I do; thus you cannot fully appreciate how earth-shaking this pronouncement is. Our disparities are what bind us, and I have a better chance of walking unaided than I do of influencing her opinions on any given subject. I am a fair hand at literary and rhetorical devices, but I can’t make this stuff up.
My Significant Other objects strenuously when I mention her online in any context, but I am so rattled by her recent admissions concerning the current state of national affairs, I’ll take the heat for passing them along. Miz Possum is notoriously apolitical, but the ascendancy of the “bipartisan” Anointed One has alarmed her to the point of taking sides on political issues. We are a classic example of opposites attracting, but her recent dissent from the Obama cult of personality reflects thought and common sense, which is why I love her.
I was going to wait until next year to channel Ronald Reagan and pose the following question, but it’s going to come up PDQ at The Possum Den, so I’ll ask it here: Are you better off now than you were last year?