Chris Feinstein

December 16, 2009 by  

Chris Feinstein:The nihilism that is rotting away Western modernity’s heart showed itself yesterday.  The self indulgence and ugliness of a society whose dominant elites have come to believe in nothing but their own narcissistic and sociopathic selves, and their lust to hold onto power and wealth at any cost, without any sense of responsibility, or service to the country that makes their ascendancy possible.

How else can we explain the huge grin plastered across the face of Joe Lieberman as he pulled his last minute double-cross against a compromise he himself had agreed to only a few months before.  On the issue most Americans are most personally concerned about.  His power and name recognition was magnified as never before despite its harm to the millions who expect something from the so-called “representatives” they put into office or his fellow senators who groveled at his feet.  That more Americans will enter into bankruptcy or die while Joe preens in the public eye is of no concern to him. None at all.

How else to explain the cravenness of a Harry Reid who continues to prove his utter lack of fitness for his post by repeatedly demonstrating his inability to do the American people’s work, or to focus the Senate’s abilities on the major issues facing this country today?  Whether in the majority or the minority, Reid has demonstrated a singular inability to lead on anything, accomplish anything or stand for anything.  He is a man of a thousand excuses and few accomplishments.

How else to explain the dark cynicism of a Rahm Emmanuel and the President, Mr. “B+,” who gave him his position.  Yesterday they urged Reid and the Democratic Senate to reject the wishes of a majority of Americans, including the great majority who voted Democratic, to compromise with a man who has proven he negotiates in bad faith, proven his personal pettiness while the nation deals with big issues, proven his dishonesty to his constituency and his contempt for the craven Senators who keep providing him privileges and perks he does not merit.  They urged Reid to ignore significant health care reform the better to do Joe Lieberman’s bidding. Truly the semblance of “winning” matters more for the White House than the substance of the win.

How else to explain a Democratic Senate comprised largely of old men who stand for nothing, neither defending the constitution from Republican assaults when in the minority nor accomplishing much of their own agenda when a potentially powerful majority.  Repeatedly they allow corrupt single senators to grind the institution to a halt with their anonymous “holds” on issue after issue, from appointments to executive and judicial branch offices to important legislation.  Then they put up with “filibusting” the people’s business without the supposed filibusters even having to say a word.  One time the filibuster actually had to be used to be effective.  The person making the threat had to carry it out.  No more. Now they just need to drop a hint.  It saves Senators the stress of having to vote for their corporate paymasters or the people who elected them so long as they keep issues from coming to a vote.  But they do find time to give billions to those who gave us our financial crisis while almost ignoring the millions who suffer from that crisis, and who voted for them.  No one puts holds on that.  Daily the bulk of Democratic senators show they believe in nothing, will fight for nothing, and care only for their perks and status in their club.  I mean men like you Max Baucus and Ben Nelson – and women like Diane Feinstein.

How else to explain the Republican opposition who has forgotten the first principle of politics in a free society: that opposition must be loyal opposition, one that however strongly they disagree over how best to serve the nation, agree that serving the nation is their top priority.  Seeking to bring government to a halt, the country to its knees, hoping for failure on all fronts in order to pick up the pieces not because the public supports you but because they loath the other party even more than they loath you, is not the stuff which preserves a free society.  These are the tactics of the Communists and Nazis in the doomed Weimar Republic.  Supporting the lurid fantasies of birthers, global warming conspiracy advocates, “death panel” imbeciles and teabaggers does not create a country able to preserve democratic institutions.  I mean people like you, Mitch McConnell and James Inhofe.

How else to explain the self-described “religious” right who prove over and over again that they will do anything, say anything, to gain power over the rest of us.  The God they really worship is power, not the power to create or preserve but the power to dominate.  They  despise the principles this country was founded on, seeking theocracy over a world they claim is doomed but are possessed by the lust to rule anyway.  Little things like the constitution and rule of law are so much chaff in the wind.  I mean people like you Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin.

How else to explain a corporate media, highly paid men and women who spend more time focusing on Tiger Woods’ sexual shenanigans than they do on medical reform, Afghanistan, global warming, or the economic crisis.  Like so many of the above, their real love is seeing their own face in the public eye while they collect millions for their alleged talents as “journalists.”  Polls have shown that Americans who get their news from the comedy channel understand more about what is going on than those who get their news from you “newsmen.”  I mean people like you Chris Matthews and George Stephanopolous and Cokie Roberts.

How else to explain a business elite who treats capitalism as a sophisticated casino where the public pays for their losses and they keep their wins.  Creating products and services is secondary to million dollar bonuses (bonuses for what?  Certainly not competence.)  These are men who try and fill their inner emptiness with multiple homes, cars, jets, and boats while preening themselves as somehow having earned the wealth they extort from those who create it.  I mean you, the bloated leaders of corrupt institutions such as Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, men who could not even be bothered to meet with the president to discuss the devastating problems you caused.

How else to explain a significant percentage of the American public who continually finds excuses for whomever in the above they claim to support because they loath the others more.  Cutting perpetual excuses for any of the above has trapped our country in despair, stupidity, and hardness of heart at a time when integrity, clarity of mind and openness of heart, are necessary as rarely before.

Across the board, with few exceptions, America’s elites have proven themselves nihilists at best, monsters at worst.  They reward failure and dishonesty and ignore competence and  integrity.  I increasingly think countries have life spans that come to an end when their elites have become self-perpetuating incompetents challenged by an opposition whose only goal is to destroy and take power on the ruins.  This is why a majority of incompetents cannot triumph over a minority of undemocratic radicals even in a democratic body.  The secular pursuit of wealth and power as the highest things in life, mostly challenged by a power obsessed religion with its demon god, cannot maintain let alone expand, the basic attitudes, commitments, and loves needed if a country and a culture are to remain worthy of respect, let alone devotion.

The “religious” right is correct about one thing, even if they have nothing positive to offer to help, and much to make it worse.  We are in the midst of a moral and spiritual crisis.  The Enlightenment ideal of a society that takes only the tools and methods of science and instrumental reason as legitimate knowledge, and believes that knowledge is power, that power is the common denominator, is proving itself bankrupt. We desperately need a spiritual awakening to the immanence of the sacred and the intrinsic worth of this world and all within it.

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