The Devil is not in the details, he has taken up residence in Washington DC.

Like many Americans, I am incensed at the current state of affairs in Washington. My favorite saying has become, “If you’re not pissed off, you’re not paying attention.” It has a delightful ring and applies to so many things. The Debt ceiling debacle is symptomatic of how screwed up our government has become. On this evening’s address to the nation President Obama said, “Americans voted for a divided government, not a dysfunctional one…” Unfortunately, that is exactly what we’ve got.

How can anyone deny the growing and massive inequity in the tax code that allows the wealthiest few to pay less than the masses? Why is it so problematic to expect that the wealthy and the corporations pay more into the system to allow fundamental programs to flourish? How can one justify cutting aid to Senior Citizens while millionaires continue coast? Does it make sense to you that teachers who play such a critical role in educating future generations, or pilots who hold lives in their hands daily, barely make a pittance while some idiot who sits behind a desk deferring decisions to his overworked staff rakes in a 150 grand per annum? How can we sit idly by while corpocracy becomes the norm, CEO’s and executives rake in obscene amounts of money while couples rack their brains monthly as to how they will pay their mortgage in a two income household?

Yes, it’s true, I am a Democrat but I am an American first. That being the case, I accept that compromise is needed to serve the interest of all Americans, not just my ideologies, and I expect the government we have voted into office to do what is necessary to make things happen. Not stalemates and standoffs. I do not expect my government to squabble in the streets of Washington, sling mud on TV at one another and to continually disrespect our President just to ensure that yet another Republican can be next in line for election. I think they get paid enough money to do their jobs and yet are failing miserably at it. (Can someone please tell Speaker Boehner that his sour puss face is sickening to behold? He should try smiling every once in awhile.) Such ridiculous behavior is certainly not an indication of the best and the brightest. If these individuals worked for you, to a man, they would be fired. Yet, we sit idly by cursing them in our living rooms and doing nothing.

Many people simply think nothing can be done. This is the reason that they refuse to vote or even pay attention to politics. Instead, they act like the American government are Greek Gods and that we are doomed to live or die like ants at the mercy of their decisions. Sadly, the American public is to blame for the current state of affairs. Had we not been so divided and apathetic in the interim elections the shift in the House would not have occurred which has only strengthened the current atmosphere of dysfunction in Washington.

 I beg to differ with the attitude of apathy that has become so pervasive. As far as I am concerned, the entire system is broken and needs to be replaced. During his speech this evening, President Obama said, “America is an experiment in a mix if ideologies and religions… Out of one, we are many.” What one? The experiment has failed, people. Our political system is corrupt, ineffectual and seemingly irredeemable. If it was a marriage you would ask for a divorce just to save your sanity lol. Seriously though if these people worked for you what would you do? FIRE THEM. Well, they do work for us we are simply not holding them accountable.

Surely we knew the system was broken when Bush made it into office and we all got to add “dimpled chad’s” into our lexicon. No? Well, perhaps you can visualize the look on our former, fearless, leader’s face on 9/11. I will never forget just how lost the man looked which was just symptomatic, in my opinion, of his entire presidency and enduring legacy of poor decisions. Yet, people were remarkably silent about his culpability until he left office and he got eight years to screw us over. Go figure.

Now, consider for a moment, the immorality of those who have been voted into office. What a motley crew of individuals: alcoholics, actors, thieves, liars, swindlers, adulterers, warmongers and racists. I don’t just mean the Presidents, although they may be the easiest to remember, and of course that doesn’t include everyone. It’s just getting more and more difficult to recall an untarnished president and we take the failures of politicians, in general, as par for the course. People seem to believe that morality is of lesser importance today but reality simply doesn’t bear this out.

 There are some who would argue, myself included, that a system is only as good as the people who are executing it. People, by their very nature, are either inherently weak, or subject to corruption which seems to go hand in hand with power. “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” In which case, we can never expect to have a perfect government, regardless of ideology, because face it there are no saints amongst us. Yet, we need gov’t, so the best answer would be to refine what we’ve got.

I can think of a few ideas that might be helpful.

  1. Reduce term limits as a measure of control.
  2. Institute a nationwide vote for matters of National importance, like going to War, raising the debt ceiling etc.
  3. Implement local committees made of up everyday citizens, who serve for 6 months to a year as advisory committees to their local government. Voluntary service with the caveat that they be responsible for public polling and acting as the arm of the people.

I will go on record and say that I love Obama and what he stands for. I still believe that he is a person of great moral fiber, exceedingly intelligent, passionate and committed to the greater good. I believe that his ability to affect change has been limited by big business and the wealth of the Right orchestrating movements against him in some very obvious ways, the current debate notwithstanding.

Opinions aside, something must be done to stop the tide of spiralling dysfunction that has become our Nation’s hallmark. Doing nothing but changing politicians is clearly NOT the answer for the future of our country. I agree with Michael Moore that dissent has become the only effective way to champion change and I think that we need to expand our vision as to what that change should be.

Check out Michael Moore’s video below. His website is



6 thoughts on “The Devil is not in the details, he has taken up residence in Washington DC.”

  1. Brava, Coco, for your addition the national conversation!

    The one thing I’m not sure about is the nationwide vote for matters of National Importance. I’m afraid that many of the people I see around me (and in the news) would misunderstand how a lot of these issues work, and always vote for what seems like the option that costs the least. Imagine if the EPA worked that way. Or if the corporations (where much of the money is these days) were able to run ads to influence the unintelligent and the lazy.

    The problem throughout our government reminds me of a couple of difficult people I’ve known in my past. One person simply refused to listen when she didn’t want to. My ex has Aspergers and (generally speaking) can’t understand your point of view. As a citizen I can’t give up, but I don’t know where to find the energy to keep sifting through all the issues with our government and trying to make sense of it.

    I’m very dismayed that President Obama is mostly a voice of reason, yet so many citizens seem to view him otherwise. WTF? Bill Maher used to help me blow off steam about all this, but I had to get rid of my HBO. I’m much more like a deer in headlights these days. I’m grateful to you and The Urchin Movement for helping me keep up in Bill’s absence.

    1. Sparks,

      It’s SO sad but true. I was desperately trying to blow off steam when I wrote this and in hindsight I would have to heartily agree with you. An alarming number of individuals who comprise John Q. Public, are just too stupid to be entrusted with such matters.

      And no, I don’t get why Obama’s messages are so commonly distorted. It’s almost like a game of telephone. Did you hear the SAME broadcast I did??

      Is it the effect of racism on a not so subtle level? Are we victims of years and years of embedded racism and therefore simply can’t trust messages delivered by a black man? After all, the black male image in America is still largely tarnished and typically associated with negative values and images. Or, perhaps we just can’t believe in the purity of ANY message? A friend of mine continues to say that Obama is just too honest and squeaky clean so on that basis alone she is suspicious and disbelieving of what he says. She says, lord love her, that he reminds her of Hitler. WTF. At least she’s honest about her prejudice…

      A great topic for another post lol. Thank YOU for caring and commenting.

      1. Great debate!

        I think Obama’s message gets distorted because of the clear and present danger he represents when it comes to shattering the belief that socialism, of any kind, does not ultimately mean communism: healthcare.

        If Obama had not tried to breath life into the Clinton idea of health care for all he might well have been able to get himself an easier (not easy) ride. Add that to the fact he won the election based on a lot of animosity to the previous administration, the utterly inept choice of running-mates on the Republican ticket and the fact the youth of American actually made an effort to vote.

        He was up against it before he was sworn into power…

  2. You could transpose every reference to US politics with an equally damning remark about UK politics – or politics in general.

    We have had our own spotlight moment in recent weeks; NewsCorp. Something that has finally shown the masses what corruption in the halls of power and dereliction of duty to enhancing the greater good of the people you govern looks like.

    They say the people get the government they deserve; I am not so sure.

    1. I am so busy today that I can only scan at the moment (will return later), but I had to quickly say that I agree with the spirit of this post and heartily agree with Mark– that those of us who vote and try to choose what’s best, don’t deserve this kind of government.

    2. Mark,

      “…Corruption in the halls of power and dereliction of duty to enhancing the greater good of the people you govern looks like.”

      Thank you for your comments.

      There is a shared commonality in the corruption and dissolution of morals that is embedded in the political arena, irregardless of locale. Which for me underscores the idea that it is a direct consequence of the “structures” we put in place and the inability of our fellows to carry any mantle of power with integrity, honesty and reverence.

      So we are fucked before we start, excuse my French 🙂

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