Jan 31, 2017

January 31, 2017: Citizens in the Hands of an Angry GOP, Furnace of Wrath, Capricious and Arbitrary

“The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours. You have offended him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince; and yet it is nothing but his hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment. It is to be ascribed to nothing else, that you did not go to hell the last night; that you was suffered to awake again in this world, after you closed your eyes to sleep…
O sinner! Consider the fearful danger you are in: it is a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath, that you are held over in the hand of that God, whose wrath is provoked and incensed as much against you as against many of the damned in hell.  You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it, and ready every moment to singe it, and burn it asunder; and you have no interest in any Mediator, and nothing to lay hold of to save yourself, nothing to keep the flames of wrath, nothing of your own, nothing that you have ever done, nothing that you can do, to induce God to spare you one moment…”

    ----Jonathan Edwards “Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God” 1741 (1)

This is the essay I have been fearing to write for the GOP, always confusing itself with GOD, has now complete control of every branch of government and is about to unleash its venomous anger and bottomless mendacity upon the unsuspecting republic; a republic the citizens of which the Banana Republicans hold in deep and utter contempt.

It isn’t that I hadn’t seen it coming.  I remember a conversation with Jason Rhodes, then a graduate student at the University of Georgia, in the spring of 2009 as Obama had just assumed office and was grappling with the looming economic catastrophe left him by the previous incarnation of Rescumlican leadership.  Celebrating Obama’s victory and the majorities in both houses of Congress it was easy to get caught up in the euphoria.  “Jason”, I cautioned, “ let us not forget that the Democrats won’t be in power forever, rarely does a party hold the White House for more than eight years, and when they re-emerge from under the rocks that constitute their natural habitat, the next Rescumlican manifestation will represent a much more acute and lethal form of the cancer that is the American Conservative movement upon the body politic of the republic.”  Indeed meetings had already been held among Rescumlican leadership to block and obstruct virtually everything they could to prevent the success of this president even if it harmed the country by so doing. (2)

Later, much later, as I surveyed the landscape in the waning days of Obama’s tenure in office I noted the loss of nearly a thousand state legislative seats, most of the governorships in the country, two thirds of the state legislatures, both houses of congress and a record of gridlock and stagnation that had once again swept Washington in the last six years of his presidency as Rescumlicans put into practice their tactics of delay, obstruction, and obfuscation in an unparalleled display of political mendacity, it was not hard to imagine the return of the Scums to power only this time they would likely control every branch of government.  Now, despite the assurances of their candidate—a man whose veracity is totally unreliable—that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid would be held harmless I feared that given the chance the wet dream of the idiot wrong was about to become a long national nightmare.  In this context, sitting in a restaurant chatting with my late wife and daughter, it stuck me. “Sinners In The Hands of An Angry GOP”,  I said, pointing out an appropriate title for an essay when the Scum returns to power.  Katie, a student of such things immediately grasped the concept. 

What has provoked our GOP is, perhaps, anyone’s guess.  It certainly predates abortion, for indeed much of the conservative movement has never accepted the New Deal or much of the twentieth century.  It all began to unravel with the candidacy of Barry Goldwater for his nomination—despite his crushing defeat in the general election—legitimized the unravelling of the New Deal.  In any case, not happy with the growing health and prosperity of those that create, through work, the wealth of this country; recoiling from the horror of the growth of the middle class; outraged at the emergence of a ‘social contract’ between business and labor that gave workers a voice and hope for an ever better tomorrow, these malcontents labored mightily to seize the public square, occupy the forum, and change the terms of the debate.  Now, after a half century, they emerge triumphant about to complete the vandalism begun so long ago.
 What form this takes is anyone’s guess, for at the head of this malignancy is a man incapable of understanding with a marked propensity for prevarication, obfuscation, and deceit.  He knows nothing of public policy and cares less.  A perfect figurehead for a movement hell-bent on vandalizing and destroying every bond that holds us together except greed.  tRUMP always capricious and arbitrary, now holds the body politic suspended by a thread over a newly constituted Rescumlican Hell.

And now we have nothing to lay hold of to save ourselves, nothing to keep the flames of wrath, nothing of our own, nothing that we have ever done, nothing that we can do, to induce the GOP to spare us one moment…nothing can save us except, perhaps, the breathtaking incompetence that is this man, this administration, this political party, this movement.  For it knows not how to govern and experience is powerless to instruct.
(1)   Edwards, Jonathan.  “Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God” 1741.  Baritz, Loren
“Sources Of The American Mind”   Copywright 1966 John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, London, Sydney  pp 85-86.
    (2).  In a statement to the press after leaving office, former Ohio Republican Senator  Rudy
                        Voinavich told the press that meetings were held Inauguration night in which
                        Everyone present pledged to vote as a block to oppose the new president no
                        Matter what he tried to accomplish, even if he adopted their agenda.