Last Week in the Political Time Machine

Nick Gillespie writing in The
Daily Beast
last week accused Obama of going back to the 1950’s. Mr. Gillespie
feels that child care is a minor issue in today’s America. How
out-of-touch-in-the-male-bubble is he? He’s even out of touch with most men.
I grew up in the ‘50’s and my mom did not “work out”. She was
not referring to her exercise routine when she said this. She meant she was a
stay-at-home mom and did not work outside the home. Today she wavers between
guilt about not “working out” and doubling down on her belief that women who
have children should stay home and raise them. Child care may not have been an
important national issue in the 1950’s but in the 21st century when
two wage earners are basically necessary to maintain a comfortable life, and when
we understand that both men and women require mental stimulation and
satisfaction, child care is a key issue to any American with a child or
children. Nick Gillespie may be the man who is stuck in the 50’s.
Even considering Obama’s plan for free community college
attendance another author, who is more favorable to Obama, heads back to the
1950’s to talk about the GI Bill. For Republicans, who are grumbling about the
takers who won’t or don’t work, voting yes to such a no-brainer,
already-in-place, and relatively inexpensive program to train people for
gainful employment is an idea that ought to warm the cockles of their little
hearts. The fact that it doesn’t shows both their antipathy for Obama and their
immovable attachment to a set of outdated positions, and puts them closer to the turn of the 19th
century. They make Obama look positively avant-garde.
The time machine was activated again on Bill Maher’s HBO satirical commentary show last week. He had Brett Stevens as a guest, a Republican who has written a book
called America in Retreat and who is
still extolling the virtues of supply-side trickle-down economics and laissez faire capitalism. Stevens is sneering
at Obama’s belief that by loosening the purse strings a bit to assist the
middle class we may just jumpstart the very growth that the grumpy,
penny-pinching GOP says we will get only if we go back to the wild days of the
robber barons. We must go back, back before a labor union had ever been
imported to America, back before a corporation had ever been taxed. We must be kind to the rich and then they might drop some pennies into the pockets of the middle class, but only those who work really hard.
Mr. Stevens is wrong but so smug and so convincingly righteous-seeming
that he’s impossible to argue with. And that’s how Republicans are winning, by
being an immovable object, just one stubborn bloc of solid misguided opinions.
They do not seem to understand that the particular incarnation of the
Industrial Revolution they are so in love with is over and they can’t get it
back; just like the middle class will never have the factories back as they
existed in the 20th century. Nineteenth century gone, twentieth century gone – we have nowhere to go but forward.

We will never get to try any new ideas with these dead weight
buzz kills around. If I had to choose I would prefer being stuck in the 1950’s with the Democrats to being stuck in the 1890’s with the Republicans (and no unions).
By Nancy Brisson

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