The 60% Solution

There was an op-ed piece in The Times the other day by David Brooks that upset me.  He suggested that if the Democrats lost the Senate election in Massachusetts and had their majority reduced to 59 votes from 60, any effort to pass health care by using some procedural shenanigans would be “political suicide”.  I found this interesting and kind of hypocritical. After all, if the Republicans use their 41 votes to filibuster any health care reform bill, is that not preventing passage by another kind of procedural shenanigan? (You don’t have to answer that).  Apparently, being in the minority and blocking all kinds of legislation is just “business as usual” and has no political risk….but moving  Obama’s agenda along while having only 59% of the Senate instead of 60% in agreement on  policy issues is “suicide.” Is this not ironic? I wrote a letter to the editor making these points but the anti-Semitism at The Times is so deep-seated that I doubt it will see the light of day.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have almost no interest in writing about politics.  This, in spite of being a “political junky”–at least, up ’til now.  I’m currently  in the process of re-examining my overwhelming interest in the political theater.  This is an inchoate (god, I’ve always wanted to use that word–first time;  hope it’s close to a correct usage) analysis but maybe together, we can figure this out.

My greatest interest is in national politics;   I barely follow the stories any longer of what’s happening in Iraq (apparently, my attention span is about seven years) and my interest in Afghanistan is waning.  I’m starting to develop a theory that my concern with the national political horizon is psychological….that it is less about being an informed citizen and more to do with satisfying some less-than-healthy parts of my psyche.  So, here it is (be gentle):  Much of what has gone on in this country in the last ten years has been enormously frustrating to me.  But, the silver lining in that cloud is that I’ve been able to have boundless feelings of righteous indignation.  These feelings provide a kind of satisfaction…a comfort, that have their own solace.  And… and (pay attention–this is the important part) are so familiar!

This neurosis is not mine alone.  I think one could argue that the whole notion of “rooting for the underdog” is just more of the same.  All, part of a piece.   Think about it–the underdog hardly ever wins;  so why be invested in an event which almost certainly will leave you unhappy and frustrated.  The answer is simple–your mother didn’t hold you enough.  (Or maybe too much).

As all of us are,  I am, a work in progress.  For me, dealing with the false satisfaction of being denied is one of my “final frontiers”.  Changes like this can be glacier-like but sometimes baby steps are what gets the ball rolling.  So, I’m doing what I thought was once impossible… I’m going to start rooting for the overdog.  That’s right, I’m becoming a Yankee fan. Let’s Go Mets Yankees!!


4 Responses to “The 60% Solution”

  1. jackie Says:

    wow I’ll bet you’re feeling pretty self-satisfied after yesterday’s Supreme Court decision.

  2. iron(ic)man triathlon Says:

    jackie…i wish i could say that i’ve ‘evolved’ enough that there’s no satisfaction in that. not there quite yet. but it seems that EVERYTHING is going wrong nowadays. i’m almost at the point of ignoring all the news. maybe go back to watching sports. should make me a fascinating person.

  3. Jane Says:

    The U.S. is a neo-conservative country, and some of us believed Obama would change the course of history. He gave us hope. These two major turns of events, Mass. and the Supreme Court decision, have me at “what the hell was I thinking?!”. The good news is we’ll all start spending more again, owing more again, rents will go up up up (Neil control your glee) and people will start consuming more again and we’ll all feel wealthy again … it’ll be like OLD TIMES! I’m just annoyed with myself that I put so much time and effort into ‘the cause’. What was I thinking?!

    • iron(ic)man triathlon Says:

      What a sad commentary… nothing ironic about it. the bright spot in all of this (for me) is that i no longer feel compelled to read the Times everyday. with the extra time, i expect to see a huge improvement in my backhand..or possibly i’ll give myself over to discovering the meaning of life. yes.. .. probably that.

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