Yep. It's amazing that they've been so easily co-opted on hollow "values" issues, but part of the source of their defection is that the Dems took them for granted, while going along with big-business pelf. Joe Biden is a perfect example of this syndrome, a slick, well-spoken, calculating prick who gets his tough-guy schtick ready for the Sunday morning circle jerks, but heels when MBNA snaps its fingers. How many working-class folks get to watch their credit card bills go through the roof, with no bankruptcy protection, and no way to pay their doubled minimums, because some pencil-psuhers feel that we don't save enough (because there's nothing left to save), and Biden danced with them that brung him?
When people realize that they have no one looking out for them, they figure they may as well just go with someone that'll make 'em feel tough and give them someone else to kick in the process.
Amen. Read the whole thing; it's a wonderful, passionate synopsis of this strange malaise that has infected this country's soul.
One final thing about the mining tragedy, and it's really all I'm even going to say on the subject: I note that a pretty healthy chunk of media coverage, from when the miners were still initially thought to be alive, through now, as they prepare for the funerals, seems to revolve around all this ceremonial genuflection to God. Their prayers were first thought to be answered, then the exact opposite. Now the priests are insisting that God was with the miners as they expired. Um, no. If that were the case, they'd have been rescued, no?
The boilerplate response to that is always that it was all just part of His Plan. But you look at the lives of the people in these areas -- even had the miners been rescued, what then? Recuperate and back to work, or move to where there's some opportunity. It's nasty, dangerous work, work that no one aspires to, work that people get caught in, mired in, because they are in an area that presents them with no decent choices.
Top that off with the concessions that the extraction industries have wrung out of this administration, and you wonder what sort of deity has a plan that dooms the hopeful and exalts the useless. If there was a God, wouldn't Paris Hilton or Michael Jackson have been trapped in a mine shaft?
So enough of the mindless navel-gazing, media weasels. We get it -- the pious walk the earth, publicly resigned to their fate, and we must all pretend that the invocations and rituals have some practical meaning. If they spur us to have the sort of national conversation ReddHedd describes, then yes. But when the air time is saturated instead with chanting and praying, not so much. It has devolved into some sort of rubbernecking cathartic Event.