[This is part I of a post in which I insult both parties and try my best to feel sympathy for a lawyer (presumably) who has labored in secret to perpetuate a colossal injustice. Frankly I couldn't get to the point without a couple pages frothing at the mouth about past, present, and future asshattery emanating from D.C. How do I get myself into these things? Ah well, here goes:]
Years ago I was furious. An ill day was about to dawn and there was nothing I could do about it. The economic misery preordained by elected miscreants and their pet army of the economically illiterate was drawing nigh. The tools both parties had constructed to inflict civil liberties disasters that were literally (not figuratively) Orwellian loomed ever closer.
There was shit. There was a fan. The next step was just a matter of time. I was tense.
Denial was the name of the game. I knew it wouldn’t last. Realty cannot be denied. I just had to hold my breath and hang tight against the tide. Luckily, time has passed. I’m far more laid back now. Why? Because, in large part, it’s a done deal.
For example; the economy tanked. It’s no longer about to tank unless we take action to avoid it. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s still tanked. In fact we’re getting used to tanked. Americans are a rich and fortunate people and our version of tanked isn’t as bad as some versions of tanked. (See: Greece, et. al.) Sure, things can get worse and in some ways they will. (See: Cyprus, et. al.) Sure, some folks want to go back to the glorious naiveté of the past. (See: Washington Post, et. al.) At least we’ve reached the point where nobody takes them seriously. The press has been reporting “green shoots”, “housing restarts”, and whatever drivel Paul Krugman spews for years. End result: they overshot tanked and charged straight into bankrupt. (See: New York Times, et. al.) NPR may still blare from the dash of a Prius but nobody is waiting on a Unicorn car. (See: the Chevy Volt.) Also the Prius is en route to the Obamacare mandated 30 hour work week (if the driver is lucky). Tough economic times are a reality enforcing mechanism that makes us thankful the fossil fuels in North Dakota are on private land and the yoyos didn’t dig any deeper trying to build their particular Utopia. I’m glad we’re done with that. Misery sucks but unreality was worse.
The civil liberties front has been worse. You can try to “opt out” of the economy but privacy has been hammered remorselessly for everyone. This is a very bad thing because money comes and goes but distrust goes to the core where it resides for life. Privacy concerns were once the private hell of networked Linux fans and the tinfoil of hat. The last few years made it everyone’s business. Grandma knows the NSA has spied on her Facebook posts of knitting projects. Clueless teenagers, who en mass had iPhones grafted to their ear, know their cell phones have been monitored. Children have seen Michele Obama glaring at them from posters at the school cafeteria. The rest of us know the IRS has targeted it’s enemies and will soon have our medical records. A people who’ve seen guns seized in Katrina, martial law in Boston, an occasional “botched” no knock raid that kills an innocent, and of course suit wearing liars misrepresent each event in its turn… such people can’t quite return to their status of unaware.
Things change when your phone goes from “theoretically insecure” all the way to “has been, most certainly still is, and will continue to be monitored”. It’s not good news but it’s true. I prefer truth. As I’ve mentioned before, careening toward the guardrail is scarier than winching the wreck out of the ditch the next morning.
Now, in 2013, only the most unteachable, emotion soaked, true believer can avoid the obvious about both the economy and civil liberties. So, paradoxically, I’m relaxed.
So now that I’ve made my argument that we’re going to hell in a handbasket and I deal with the disaster better than the denial, I’d like to ponder a little piece of collateral damage. Administrations (of both parties) hire lawyers to justify their actions. Their lackeys never ever fail to come up with some sort of bullshit reasoning that allows their boss to do whatever the hell the boss wants to do. It’s their raison d’etre.
That’s a peculiarity of our system. Other monsters don’t hire “justifiers”. Stalin didn’t hire lawyers to justify his madness any more than Capone needed one to justify ruling the Chicago underworld. Recent administrations, uniquely, have done just that.
What madness flows through the mind of a person who has been hired to legally, morally, and rhetorically justify an administration bent of doing that which is both wrong and illegal? What does that do to them? How do they feel afterward? I guess what I’m trying to say is that the folks who twist logic probably wind up twisted themselves and I suspect it’s an unpleasant experience. That’s why I say that they’ve got the shittiest job in all of creation.