Wednesday, July 27, 2011

There Are Negotiations, and There is Dr. Kidglove

Remember John L. Lewis, Walter Reuther, George Meany . . . ?  Picture any one of them, before even the first meeting on contract negotiations, declaring, "We'll give up $2 an hour in pay, forgo company paid vacations and health care benefits, and expand the work week to 48 hours."

That essentially is how Dr. Kidglove, whom we elected to be our leader, deals with the Republicans in Congress.  I presume he thinks this is how to get elected to a second term.

As a governing tactic, it enabled him to achieve his crowning moment: passage of a milksop health care bill whose defenders assure us that it's a little better than what we had before. (Duh, why have pharmaceutical and private insurance stock prices soared so high?)

Some of his supporters might argue that he saved the country from another Great Depression by his decisions about an economy that was a shambles when he took office.  But for Americans who are not Wall Street bankers or mega-corporate CEOs, the economy is no better now that it was then.  One in six of us common folk of working age are still jobless.

Soon, things will get worse.  Having drawn a line in the sand at 95% of what Republicans were demanding, Kidglove is insisting that maybe, if paying down the deficit is so damned important, we should increase revenue a teensy bit in addition to taking away Grandma's arthritis medicine and Tiny Tim's crutch.  John Boeher, who has spent so much time on the golf course and in the tanning salon that his brain is fried, was much affronted by this, so he went on TV and told a bunch of whopping lies.  American voters love to be lied to.

Meanwhile, the government is fast running out of money to meet its financial obligations.  "We don't want to default," the Republicans say.  "But Obama is forcing us to."

Yes, my fellow Americans, things are bad enough already, but soon they'll get worse.

         * * *

So there's Walter Reuther, in  the negotiating room with Engine Charlie Wilson, who is thundering, "Your Grand Bargain isn't grand enough, Walter. What's good for GM is good for the country.   You must work for GM without pay."  Reuther rolls his eyes, winces, and says, "I hate to do this, but everyone has to share the sacrifice.  OK.  No pay."

"Not enough!" declares Engine Charlie.  "Building cars for GM is a privilege, not an entitlement!  You must pay us for the privilege.  Five dollars per man per day. What  was good enough for Henry Ford is good enough for me!"

      * * *
This silly world is confusing me, Alice.  Take me through the looking glass.  Take me to the Tea Party.

Oops!  You already have.

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