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October 23, 2013

Diagnosis: Altered State of Consciousness

Patrick W. Allen

An altered state of consciousness is a state of consciousness that differs significantly from baseline or normal consciousness. To actively and aggressively work to shut down a government significantly differs from a baseline of normalcy.


In other words, the political Right lives in an altered state of consciousness.


Let’s be clear…the government has now reopened, national parks have reopened; and federal workers will be reimbursed for their loss wages.


But, what about the tens of thousands of government contractors who are not so lucky? You know, the people who wear business suits and work at the Washington Navy Yard, or the people who wear coveralls and sweep the floors of federal buildings. The people, who like many, live pretty close to the financial edge, sometimes, paycheck-to-paycheck.


Or, how about the many small businesses and mom-and-pop boutiques located just outside the perimeter of western state national parks who withstood a national disaster of forest fires…depleting their cash reserves to keep their bills paid…then hit between the eyes with a shutdown that caused them to close their doors forever.


To see delusional members of Congress – Senate and House of Representatives – deliberately shutdown the government then stand in front of the World War II Memorial and decry, “Look what Obama has done to you,” or an even richer quote from a self-proclaimed leader of the mentally unstable right-wing (i.e. Ted Cruz), “Why is the federal government spending so much money to erect barricades to keep veterans out of this memorial?”


Well, Teddy, it’s because you and a few brain dead right-wingers in the House of Representatives closed the damn Memorial down…then you manipulated veterans from the greatest generation to be pawns in your photo-op with half governor Sarah Palin.


It’s absolutely astonishing to see legislators whose resumes demonstrate academic achievement function with such a degree of political ignorance.



There have been lazier Congresses, more vicious Congresses, and Congresses less capable of seeing forests for trees. But there has never been in a single Congress – or, more precisely, in a single House of the Congress – a more lethal combination of political ambition, political stupidity, and political vainglory than exists in this one, which has arranged to shut down the federal government because it disapproves of a law passed by a previous Congress, signed by the President, and upheld by the Supreme Court.


A law that does nothing more than extend the possibility of health insurance to the millions of Americans who do not presently have it, a law based on a proposal from a conservative think-tank and taken out on the test track in Massachusetts by a Republican governor who also happens to have been the party's 2012 nominee for President of the United States.[1]




More astonishing than Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Sarah Palin, Fox Noise and Tea Party members in the House of Representatives are the people who identify themselves as conservatives (all stripes) and either supported the plan to shut the government down, or simply remained silent. #headscratch – #headdesk.


Not all conservatives are nuts, but there is a high probability you can swing a cat around in a room and hit a few lunatics without much trouble. Unfortunately, once hit by the cat, they simply get up, brush themselves off and go about their business as if nothing had happened.


For the Republican Party to regain any sense of footing, integrity and respectability in America’s political duopoly, they must immediately divest themselves of right-wing zealots who are draining the life blood from the party.


There are intelligent people in the Republican Party, but where are they? Several, members in the U.S. Senate, have begun to find their voice and speak out against the circus politics and bat crap crazy strategies attempted by Cruz & Company. But several is not enough.


Note to Republicans: Quit blaming everything on President Barack Obama. That’s a hollow and failed strategy. To consciously and aggressively attempt to obstruct the nation’s first black president, a strategy which is obvious to all, only serves to maintain a crippled economy, higher unemployment rates, fails to produce jobs with fair wages and leaves the nation’s critical infrastructure to further erosion and collapse.


Here’s a simple strategy that might work…


Put on your big boy pants and get back to the hard work of governance…not for a privileged few of self interest contributors, but for all Americans. If the Republican Party wants to get beyond being the party of “white and straight,” then it needs to take its foot off the neck of women, blacks, Hispanics, Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, gays and the millions of Americans, who by no fault of their own, live at or below the poverty line.


When you attempt to pass a Farm Bill which provides hundreds of thousands of dollars in subsidies to members of Congress, but deny benefits to those who need a nutritious school meal or assistance in purchasing groceries for their families…you demonstrate your willful negligence to those you have been elected to represent.


For the sake of the nation, set aside your delusional anti-Obama and pro-Cruz psychosis. You can do it. You do not have to continue to live in an altered state of consciousness.



[1] The Reign of Morons Is Here, Charles Pierce, Esquire


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