A mid-April consideration on the political state of things

A bland title perhaps but there’s nothing else that seems to sum things up in a deft sense for me, so I won’t bother trying. Still, perhaps you can consider this as me seeing the end of Lent as realizing I inadvertantly gave up political posting for the season — though for good reason, simply because it kept my head from spinning each and every day.

It is important of course to reiterate the key point always missed in partisanship — the basic continuity of the system means things are neither as radical an improvement nor a disaster than one would expect. You wouldn’t know it from any amount of happenstance and rambling that’s out there these days, though. From the well-documented moronic theatrics of Glenn Beck to the mock-surprise from people who should know better — hi there, Glenn Greenwald — that electing Obama didn’t suddenly mean bunnies and kittens hopping around everywhere, if you added up everything from mass media points of view to endless blog rants to tendentious columns to whatever else and believed all of it, the republic is simultaneously collapsing completely and in complete lock-step with the previous presidency without change. Nice trick if you can manage it but I prefer to take slightly longer and calmer views.

It’s one reason why this post isn’t going to be that long in comparison to many similar ones I did last year. Yet what has ultimately struck me about the past few months is the sheer amount of what has happened, legislative decisions, court rulings, executive orders. Not simply on the national level alone, of course — thus the events in Iowa and Vermont the other week, which together probably are going to herald the eventual adoption of gay marriage on a wider scale, for instance (and a very good thing that will be — I strongly suspect this to be the straw that breaks the back of the religious right in its 20th century hangover sense).

In this mixture of actions I see little to draw a definitive bead on beyond the sense of new consensuses that are starting to slowly, carefully emerge. Even those are vague to me, though, and the danger of overcategorization — as I’ve long sensed as a problem in the realm of music — is just as relevant if not more so in the world of the sociopolitical. More important, therefore, to focus closely on matters at hand that one can have a direct say in.

Therefore taking a page out of my own book from last year’s posts — namely the need to remember the local as much as the national when it comes to politics — my next posts on politics over the upcoming weeks will look at the upcoming California special election addressing the variety of measures designed to finally do something about the ultimately ruinous financial situation of the state in recent years. Meantime I’ll be chiming in as per usual on various posts at Balloon Juice as amusing or idiotic or important national events of note occur.

So I’ll just end here to say that I’m going to be terribly amused by the cranks and fools that are going to pretend anything’s going to happen with their little protests on April 15th beyond openly-displayed self-loathing and paranoia plus a lot of purchase of tea. If I were an active investor, I’d buy stocks in Lipton.

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