Sunday 23 Oct 2016

Small Portions
AJ Robinson

I remember a scene in a Woody Allen movie where he was talking directly to the screen and telling a story or joke. Two women eating in a restaurant and one complains about how bad the food is. The other voices the same opinion, and then complains about how small the portions are. Woody said that was his view on life: it’s terrible, and the portions are too small.

Recently, something reminded of that story, when I heard the Republicans whine about, well, almost everything: from Benghazi to schools, from hurricane and tornado relief to the airport delays. The reason being: the GOP constantly complains about bad government. If they’re not bad-mouthing the President, they’re talking about how great it is that they’re cutting, cutting-cutting government.

That’s pretty much all they want to do these days. I mean, I haven’t heard a single member of the GOP voice an idea as to how to create jobs, improve our infrastructure, or deliver healthcare to those in need. It’s all about the cutting because government is bad. So, let’s cut education because teachers are all union thugs. Let’s cut police, firefighters and other first responders, after all, they’re just government workers. Let’s cut funding for the defense of our embassies around the world, after all, they’re not important. Let’s especially cut funding on social security, unemployment, Medicare and Medicaid, and any other social programs. While all of the GOP claim to be good Christians, and charity, benevolence and caring about your fellow man and woman is part of their creed, that’s supposed to, according to them, be done by the individual, not government.

We can cut, cut-cut because government is bad.

Ah, but let something go wrong, and then they complain about the small portions. If, suddenly, the politicians have to wait at the airport because of budget cuts, well, now government is too small. If a tornado or hurricane hits his or her district, where are the first responders? Why aren’t they there quicker and in greater numbers? Where are the relief supplies and money for re-building? Government is too small. Then there was Benghazi. The GOP loves to talk about the “talking points” that the administration used immediately after the attack. If you listen to FOX News and the conservative pundits, this is the biggest scandal since Watergate; impeach Obama, tomorrow. Yet, according to the emails released by the administration, hundreds of them, nothing could be further from the truth. On top of that, the main reason the embassy defence was so poor, to start with, was very simple: those “wonderful” budget cuts about which the GOP is always crowing.

I seem to recall a number of GOP congress and women saying two things about the Sequester: the cuts are great and they won’t affect anyone negatively. What do they say now? Two things: it’s either the cuts didn’t go far enough or isn’t it terrible what President Obama’s Sequester has done to the country! Man, you could get whiplash trying to switch between their talking points.

That’s the GOP’s take on government: it’s terrible and the portions are much too small.

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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