The Heart of the Matter

How did you like living in the U.S. under the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union?

They lasted from 1777 until 1789.
So they must have worked really well, right?

For those of you who aren’t in the U.S., the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union was the system of government the baby United States adopted right after the Revolutionary War.  It basically granted all power to the individual 13 states; anything that crossed state borders was subject to negotiation.  Everything.

The Articles of Confederation worked so well last time that they lasted, well, from 1777 all the way until 1791.  Wow, that’s a lifetime.  If you’re a dog, that is.  Then in 1791 the U.S. Constitution was adopted because states rights are, umm, unworkable with 13 states (with 50 I’m sure it’d be much more workable).

Why didn’t it work?  Well, the “Federal Government” existed under the Articles, but it was powerless.  Primarily because it couldn’t levy or collect taxes.  Imagine the Federal Government in the role of Cinderella, and you’ve got the general idea.  Yup, the rich and powerful states like Virginia and NY were perfectly willing to screw the smaller, poorer states (pity my poor little Connecticut with no fairy godmother!)

Now, back to my question.  How did you like living in the U.S. under the Articles of Confederation?

Oh you didn’t?  Well, tough noogies, because you may just get to live under them again.  Wouldn’t that be a hoot?

You see, “States Rights” is a huge part of what the modern GOP is all about.  (And yes, I used the term “modern” ironically.)  They want all the power to go to the states from the Federal Government.

That’s what Mitt Romney wants to do with Medicaid – send block grants to the states!  Wooh Hoo!

That’s what Mitt Romney wants to do with Healthcare – make the states figure it out.  Yippee!!

That’s what Mitt Romney wants to do with FEMA – the Federal Emergency Management Administration.  Won’t that knock your socks off?  Or your roof?

Now, I need to digress for a minute.

Can someone please explain to me why Mitt Romney

is running for head of the

FEDERAL Government

if he wants all the power to go to the states? 

I mean, can’t he run for governor in one of the other states where he has one of his many homes?  Not one that I or any of my friends or family live in, mind you.

But what is it with these Fucking Republicans who want to go into the Federal Government and take it apart?  It started with Ronald Reagan and continues and continues and continues.

The GOP has way too many stupid ideas.  That’s not part of my digression.  Or I have been digressing that way for 32 years (since Reagan).  One of the two.

So yeah, Mitt wants the Federal Government out of FEMA.  He’d kind of like it to go back to the states (see Articles of Confederation, above).  But what he’d really like is to send it back to the Holy Private Sector. Because insurance companies are so cooperative during natural disasters, aren’t they?

 

[Yup, that’s what Mitt Romney said back when he was Severely Conservative Mitt.  He wanted all the power to go back to the states.  And he confirmed that that’s what he’d do if he becomes president on Sunday night, 10/28/12.]

I wonder how that’ll play in North Carolina and Virginia — battleground states — next week.  Probably no better than in any other area that’s been hit by this or any other natural disaster.

You know, I’m beginning to think that Dick Cheney had the right idea.  Maybe we should move all the GOP members up to the head of the line for heart transplants.  We can start with Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.  They certainly seem more in need of hearts; the Democrats clearly already have them in spades.

 

44 Comments

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44 responses to “The Heart of the Matter

  1. The thing with Mitt that scares me the most (and should scare others but doesn’t) is that come election day, which Mitt are they going to be voting for? It’s like voting for Sybil before her extensive treatment (which wouldn’t be covered if whichever MItt got elected, right?).

    • You know, I was making phone calls yesterday for Obama. I got one woman who said she supported Obama in 2008 but was going to go with Mitt. I was dying to say — “Which Mitt– Severely Conservative Mitt or Moderate Mitt” — sadly we’re not allowed to go that far off the reservation!

      • That’s a shame. Why can’t people see how much he changes his tune to fit the prevailing winds? (Probably not the best choice of words considering what you are facing right now and what I’ll be dealing with soon enough…)

        • It’s not bad here yet But I think it is the perfect image for Romney. He shifts with the wind … And he is a total washout. Let’s hope so, anyway.

          Good luck to you in the storm, too, Lorna!

  2. Speaking of heart, my 10 year old democrat, noticing the Obama Biden sign blowing over in the neighbor’s yard, took it upon herself to run over and fix it. (Yeah, I know she’s following our foot steps right now. Sweet, nonetheless.)

    • Good for her! Beginning when he was in junior high, my son used to make political calls with me. People were always nice to a young kid!

      And the Obama folks actually sent an email out to their folks to take in our signs because they might become dangerous projectiles. Even in the little things, Democrats care.

  3. Haven’t you heard his campaign? That tape is fake. He never said any of that.
    The only thing that makes Romney look presentable up there is Cain standing a few feet away.

    One other note about the articles of the confederacy – those are the articles that the South formed their govt around during the civil war.
    And it became a mess for exactly those reasons – states not helping each other out.
    On the bright side, only one Presidential Candidate looked Presidential during Sandy. And it wasn’t the challenger.

    • It’s a day later, Guap. (I’m hoping you and your girl are doing well — safe, dry, not blown away).
      Today Romney is silent, although his campaign is trying to back-pedal. His record of turning his back on the flooding in Peabody Mass. is now coming out. He said no, it flooded again.

      You’re right, Guap. Only one of these two guys looks Presidential. And that’s the President. 4 more years!

  4. Glad to see that you were able to get online today, Elyse, as recently as 2:51 PM. Excellent post here that I had to speed read, and now I have to keep my comment unusually brief, because we’re under heavy fire from Sandy, and she may knock out our position any second now. She just loudly blew up an electrical transformer in another part of town, and also knocked down a huge pine tree in the yard of the house only three houses away from us.

    Excellent point on the failed Articles of Confederation, and all I’ll add is that the mid 19th century obsession with states rights was a major factor in causing the bloodiest war in American history, that killed more Americans than all other American wars combined before or since, including WWI and WWII.

    Just gotta love that GOP for wanting to take some of the very worst ideas from our past, and trying to turn those historically proven failures with incredibly destructive consequences, into our present day reality, which may give us no future as a result.

    Gotta run now, cause this bitch Sandy is obviously a GOP loving bitch, and if she’s aware of what I’m saying about her, she may get all Karl Rove on me and try to destroy me for daring to have and voice an opinion that isn’t identical to her own!

    Reply if you can, Elyse… I’m curious as well as concerned to know if you still can get online, and again, great post!

    • Thanks, Chris. I hope you’re doing ok with Sandy’s visit. We are now fine and electrified.

      You (and Guap above) are absolutely right about the Articles of Confederation being the cornerstone of the Confederacy. It doesn’t work. Period. It leads to bad things. We need the federal government. I am hoping that Sandy may make folks realize that a strong Federal Government is essential.

      Hope you’re well. I look forward to hearing that you are safe, too.

      • Great to see you back and electrified so soon, Elyse! We are also doing fine as well as happily electrified too, after Sandy’s visit, the worst of which came as I was writing my comment on this post. We got through the storm with no flooding and no damage to our property, and no loss of power caused by Sandy. And as long as a certain utility company doesn’t shut off our power again because they can’t read a map of their own power grid, life is good and we are happy! :-)

        Sandy may make some folks realize that a strong Federal Government is essential, but two very disturbing realities remain:

        A large part of the American voting public has a very short memory, to the point that one week from now on election day, they may have already forgotten anything they learned from Sandy, and instead, they’ll focus on Romney’s latest and greatest bullshit incarnation of being a very moderate, peace loving Republican, who genuinely cares about ALL Americans of every social class, and who is the salvation of financial security for American women, and who is now co-opting many of Obama’s own words, as though they have been Romney’s own original ideas all along.

        Of course it’s all just another Mitt Romney mirage without any real substance, but because many Americans have been too self absorbed to pay attention to what Romney is really all about, and what he always has been all about for his entire political career, as well as his time at Bain, they will buy the brand new mirage he’s presenting right now, and they’ll vote for it. Hopefully not enough to elect him, but there’s a very real possibility that could happen, and then God save us!

  5. Ah, but on the day of a natural disaster, when every state on the east coast is standing with its hand to Uncle Sam, the idea of “smaller government” just won’t play. I personally think Sandy is a fed up liberal, determined to show us that we need a benevolent central government!

    • You may be right, Moms! But just think what the GOP would make out of that news! Headline: Sandy is a Liberal! I bet they’ll pick it up and run with it.

      I don’ t know if you’re still in Mass (or elsewhere in Sandy’s way). Good luck to you if you are!

  6. All the power to the states? Fine with me…I can then stop paying federal taxes. Let congress hold some bake sales if they get strapped for cash…

  7. How is it tied?!? How is it tied, Elyse? How is this not a landslide. I feel like I’m losing my g-damn mind. Did you read the NYTimes endorsement of Obama? It was like, uh-duh. He is the better candidate.

    • You are asking the same question I am asking. How is this such a close race.

    • I have no idea why he is even mildly competitive. Perhaps the only good that can come from Sandy is that people will finally realize that there is a vital role for the Federal Government.

      OK, I’m hoping. But Mitt collecting shredded wheat was absolutely pathetic.

      Hope that tree outside your dining room stayed put.

  8. Hope you are okay up there Elyse. I heard they have changed Sandy to a Cyclone, not good at all.

    Gad, Myth R and his little friend Paul Ayn Ryan are a fright aren’t they.

  9. With respect, from a theoretical standpoint, I think local government agencies (were they competent) are better set up for handling disaster relief, but theory conflicts with practice when you take a city like New Orleans (which cannot get its act together). Sometimes I think states rights work to better the welfare of this country’s citizens, but I think that Romney has it wrong in the case of FEMA.

    I would be remiss if I did not respectfully object to your characterization of the Republicans as lacking heart. I do not think Romney, Ryan, Obama or Biden lack compassion and the will to better our country. They serve for many reasons, but I think they all care. Sometimes they’re wrong, but they want what’s best for our country. I think all of us would be better served if we go ahead and assume that the people we disagree with politically still want the best for our country.

    • FEMA oversees and coordinates the work with the state and local governments. The Feds have $, they have equipment and other assets that the states and locals cannot afford. It is vitally important at times like this, especially in such a wide-spread disaster. FEMA makes sure they get what they need.

      As for whether Romney and Ryan have hearts, I don’t really see the evidence that they do. Ryan and his devotion to Ayn Rand is, as the President said “a misunderstood teenager”. Mitt Romney simply, in my opinion, doesn’t understand normal folks. I have seen nothing in his speeches, or in his governance of Massachusetts (where he refused disaster aid as one of those Governors he says should have control). I see no heart, no soul. I see a man who seeks power and secrecy. I see a man who disrespects women and their role in modern day society. And I am deeply afraid for our country should he become president.

      El, I know you have different views from mine, and I appreciate your comment.

  10. Actually heard Chris Christie thank and praise Obama’s proactive leadership in calling him yesterday to make sure NJ had everything it needs from fed govt and FEMA. Wow.

  11. Mitt is being Mitt and backtracking on FEMA. Meanwhile, if he wins, no matter what he does, he would have said he would do that.

  12. All the power to the states? Chaos. Utter chaos. There wouldn’t be a person over the IQ of 100 living in the Bible Belt. I can envision food, drug and other regulations going by the wayside in libertarian-leaning states. Health care access would be a nightmare for millions of people.

    As far as compassion and Romney’s lack of it: I’m willing to repeat and repeat often, that Romney is a sociopath, comfortable with lying and turning his back on people less fortunate than he is. He has revealed who he is during unscripted, “private” moments. I won’t give him a pass.

  13. Why do people run junkyards? So they can be in charge of dismantling things. Mitt wants to be the President of the Titanic. Flank speed ahead! Dang the icebergs!

    • I have never understood the need of the GOP to get into a government they want to drown. Reagan started it and it became like a fungus that will not go away.

  14. I’m trying to imagine my life if civil rights had been left up to the individual states, how uneducated and homeless I’d be without the passing of the education and housing laws, how I would have never met the love of my life because Va had miscegenation laws until 1976 (I married “white and wonderful” in 1971), how I wouldn’t be able to vote if not for federal laws. . .it goes on and on and on. The thought of Romney in the White House keeps me awake at night and makes me shudder.

    Elyse, hope you weathered the storm okay. We are fine, although the sump pump worked overtime, and we would be sitting in a very flooded basement had the electricity gone out. All the best.

    • You are right about just how different a country we would have under the Articles. It would, I’m pretty sure, suck. So glad it’s not the case.

      Glad you weathered ok, Eleanor. We did fine too. No power for a day (and no internet — withdrawal is horrible.) It’s back now, and we didn’t lose any of the trees I expected to be cleaning up. Rained less here than expected, too. So my thoughts are with those further nor th than us.

  15. As a British person I cannot fathom the American disdain for free, or at least affordable health care at the point of delivery. It’s a matter of humanity.

    The Uk has a National Health Service (NHS). Everybody pays into it through their wages each month. It’s compulsory to pay it. It’s not a fortune compared to the consumer items people are will to pay for. The day you get, weather the first day of work or the day before you retire, medical care is free.

    I watched an interview this week with an American who had no health insurance and he had a heart attack with some complications. It cost him $150,000! He was going to sell his house to pay for it. That just wouldn’t happen here. There is private health care here, but that is voluntary and a private matter – you don’t opt out of the NHS, you suppliment it.

    There was debate from Havard yesterday on the BBc above this issue and some of these young students were against universal health care on some deep idiological prinicapls (enshrined in the consitution). This idology transcended the prinicpal (the Christian Principal) of society helping those less fortunate than others. Nothing to do with economics. They would rather see poor families get sick and die for a notional principal, that anyway like the rest of the Consitituion, is open to interpretation.

    There are politicans who would like to dismantel the National here. There are alot of American medical companies, hovering around like vultures, taking advantage of the economic situation here and trying take over some of our hospitals and medical services. Given half a chance they’ll have our babies being born in the Emergancy rooms.

    • correction:
      The day you get ill, weather the first day of work or the day before you retire, medical care is free.

    • Welcome to 54.5, Bill. Thanks for stopping in and for your comment.

      Why are Americans opposed to nationalized healthcare? That’s a tough question, Bill, and not one that I can answer easily or in a comment. It makes me crazy as a person who prides herself on having at least a double digit IQ.

      I wrote a post on it a while back: http://fiftyfourandahalf.com/2012/03/24/pounding-wood/.

      But mostly I am with you. And while I do understand strongly held opinions and beliefs, I try to consider the overall good of my country when acting like a total blowhard. These “States Rights” folks simply don’t understand that there are some things where we all need to work together.

      Ronald Reagan began his presidency in 1980 (and his campaign) by saying the Government IS the Problem. The damage that man did will continue for a very long time I am afraid to say.

  16. That’s a very witty quip about Mitt’s heart. Of course he doesn’t need a transplant, though, he’s cardboard,isn’t he? At least that’s how it looks to me!

    • Butim, you went into the Way Back machine to find this post! Mitt does seem to be made of cardboard — but since he isn’t going to impact any governmental policies he could be made of swiss cheese for all I care. He won’t have an impact on the country. And I thank God and my lucky stars for that!

      Thanks for commenting!

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