The Other Foot

Well, it looks like the liberals are in control now, and that’s a scary thought.

Actually, neither of those are true statements, unless you come from the radical regressive right, where a guy like John McCain is ideologically suspicious.  Only from way over yonder amongst the Golden Horde can a collection including Hillary Clinton, Bob Gates and Timothy Geithner seem like a dangerous liberal cabal gone amok.  As for the rest of us, the staffing of the Obama administration is shaping up more or less like a replay of Wild Bill’s Excellent Adventure.  Without the adventure part.

Meanwhile, even as the meltdown of the trainwreck once known as the United States accelerates in the decaying hands of its worst president ever – its Caligula, its walking advertisement for the joys of monarchical government – even still, some regressives are already apoplectic about Barack Obama.  And that’s two months before he’s even been inaugurated.

I say, get used to it, fellas.  In fact, get very used to it, since your ideology is going to be in the toilet for a very long time.  Bush is Hoover, Obama is FDR, and conservatism will be worse off than ever.  See you in about fifty years, when you guys can recover from this blow enough to gin up another Reagan pretend patriot clone, once the new liberalism has finally partially exhausted its political run.

Meanwhile, though, I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind us governing the way you did these last eight years.  I’m sure you won’t complain if we employ the same tactics and analogous policies, since you not only didn’t complain when Little Boots did these things, you worshiped him for it.  Fair enough?  How’s that shoe fitting on the other foot?

Here’s how it’s gonna be from now on:

First of all, that Cheney dude is goin’ to Gitmo.  Let’s get that straight right from the top.  No lawyers, no habeas, no prissy Bill of Rights niceties, no Geneva.  Lots of waterboarding, though.

Second, Lil’ Bushiekins is going along for the ride too.  He’s gonna (continue to) be Cheney’s boy, if you get my drift.  And we’re not just talkin’ about eight years here, either.

I know y’all won’t mind if we start polarizing the country from now on, too.  You’re either with us or you’re with the evildoing really bad people (however we choose to histrionically label them – terrorists, communists, churchgoers, whatever).  Limbaugh and O’Reilly and Hannity and them cats – if they criticize the president, they’re not loyal Americans.  They’re not patriots.  They’re supporting America’s enemies.  They’re traitors.  Same with Republican politicans.  You trash-talk the president, we’ll make sure it is understood that you’re undermining our soldiers.  During wartime.

And that’s just the beginning.  We’re gonna politicize everything, including national security.  We’re gonna turn every national issue into a way to benefit our politics, and to humiliate and destroy Republicans.  We’ll make you vote for stupid wars based on phony pretexts if we feel like it, and tell voters that you can’t be trusted with American national security if you don’t.

Everything we do will be for purposes of enriching our supporters.  Oh sure, we’ll dress it up like it’s for the benefit of the country, but the truth is that we’re gonna use the government as a big cash cow to take care of our own and to punish you fellas.  We’re gonna make it illegal to be a CEO.  You’re gonna do jail time just for making over a million bucks.

We don’t give a damn about the Constitution, either.  That’s just parchment.  You can even win control of Congress if you want.  We don’t care.  We’ll ignore your subpoenas.  Oversight?  What’s that?  Legislation?  Go ahead and pass any you want.  Maybe you’ve heard of signing statements these last eight years, eh?  We have.  And that whole unitary executive thing too.  Thanks for the tips on those.  Now let us show you how to really do them up right.

We’re gonna talk a lot about national security.  A lot.  But when a real national security event occurs, we’re gonna be asleep at the wheel if we feel like it.  If you point that out, we’ll make sure that you’re labeled friends of the terrorists (whoever they are).  Even former members of our own administration who cross us by telling the truth are going to have their reputations savaged.  If we can’t beat you on the merits of any debate, we’ll simply turn you into a drug-crazed commie hippie pedophile brown-skinned terrorist.  That usually works.

We’re gonna spend whatever we need to of your children’s money in order to fund useless pet projects that further our careers and enrich our benefactors.  Then we’re gonna tell the country over and over again that we’re the party of fiscal responsibility, and that you can’t be trusted with the federal purse-strings.

If the country, or indeed the entire world, is mortally endangered – say, by some grave environmental crisis, perchance – we’ll certainly respond.  Provided, of course, that it’s in the short-term interests of the economic elites to whom we cater to do so.  If it’s not, though, we’ll not only not be pursuing solutions, we’ll actually be taking steps to exacerbate the problem.  But first, we’ll buy off a bunch of ‘experts’ and pay them to muddy the waters enough so that we can plausibly deny that the problem even exists.

In fact, we’re gonna be doing just about whatever we want in the world from now on, because we’re right about everything and everyone who disagrees with us is just wrong.  Not too mention foolishly naive in a dangerous world.  Or the friends of terrorists.  And besides, we just don’t care.  So what if your parents and grandparents had to fight for certain principles, or worked hard to enhance this country’s reputation abroad?  So what if your kids will suffer because of what we do?  That’s the beauty of not caring.  You just don’t.

Get used to it.  You’re in the reality-based community now, fellas.  Just watch us as we make history.  You can sit over there in the corner and write about our exploits if you like.  And, of course, you should be grateful to us for allowing you to do so.

I’m afraid we’re gonna have to outlaw religion, too.  Especially yours.  It’s just too much goddamn trouble, to be honest.  Did I mention, especially yours?

Oh, and one other thing.  You won’t be flying in and out of Reagan, anymore.  Sorry about that.  You’ll get used to it, though.  We know from experience, you do get used to it.

Anyhow, welcome, meanwhile, to Paul Wellstone International Airport!

DAVID MICHAEL GREEN is a professor of political science at Hofstra University in New York.  He is delighted to receive readers’ reactions to his articles (, but regrets that time constraints do not always allow him to respond.  More of his work can be found at his website,





DAVID MICHAEL GREEN is a professor of political science at Hofstra University in New York.  He is delighted to receive readers’ reactions to his articles (, but regrets that time constraints do not always allow him to respond.  More of his work can be found at his website,