Monday, October 5, 2015

Yes Confederates, it can happen to you too

Yet again, Charlie Pierce nails it, this time regarding the deadly and historic rainstorms in South Carolina that have hit in the last few days.
Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the path of the destruction, certainly. (To paraphrase Will McEvoy, nobody's thoughts and prayers are with the flood.) But my memories go back to 2013, when a survey warned us that the country is chockfull of aging, obsolete dams, many of them of the earthen variety, like the ones that gave way in South Carolina today. That same survey found South Carolina's performance on dam safety as leaky and unsafe as the dams themselves. I mean, 4.3 fulltime employees to monitor and inspect 550 dams, 162 of which were classified as "high-hazard." And, while my thoughts and prayers are with the victims, my memories go back a year earlier, in 2012, when Superstorm Sandy blew New Jersey off toward the Azores, and every single member of the South Carolina congressional delegation save one voted against a relief package for the victims. This list includes presidential candidate Lindsey Graham, lop-headed Benghazi gumshoe Trey Gowdy, and Joe (You Lie!) Wilson. And it's not difficult at all to summon up the fact that the entire Republican party denies that an increasingly deranged climate is causing increasingly deranged weather. Sometimes, the compassion of the blue states toward their backward brethren in red is well-nigh astonishing.​
Funny how these GOP hotshots were all about blocking Obama's disaster aid to the damn Yankees when they were hit by an Act of God, but they get hit 3 years later, and you can bet their whole Confederate "you guys are on your own" mentality is going right out the window when they talk about taxpayer dollars going to fix THEIR community. And there's even a legitimate argument that they don't even deserve it, because as Charlie brings up, some of this devastation was due to South Carolina running things on the cheap to prop up their "low tax, low cost, pro-business" selling points. But being part of a country means you see past such petty arguments, and do the right thing when someone in another part of the country is hit by disruptive horror. You come together and help to turn things back to normal as soon as possible, and maybe you do something that makes it less likely another type of disaster hits someone else.

That still doesn't mean I don't wish us liberals could be assholes once in a while, hammering selfish, scolding policies onto GOPs like they do to us any time a Republican is in power. Can you imagine if a Democrat said 1/10th of the inflammatory crap that Republicans and their spokespeople on AM Radio are allowed to throw out? Can you imagine if we just told the Confederate red states you're done getting more in federal spending than you send in to D.C? Can you imagine if we told rural, Walker-voting Wisconsin to build their own infrastructure and generate their own jobs and skills in response to the GOP Legislature's de-investment in the economic and academic engines of Madison and Milwaukee?

After 4 1/2 years of this "divide and conquer" disaster in Wisconsin, I feel a lot like Jules Winfield. As time and events continue to prove us on the left correct, and as the ones who frequently have to show our better angels and not stomp on those who shot their mouths off and abused their power, it gets very tiring to see this pattern have to repeat. And it's hard not to justify seeking retribution on those who deserve it. But I don't, which I guess makes me the better person, but it sure doesn't seem to pay off enough in the 2010s (and yes, the language in the clip in NSFW).

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