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Tom D'Antoni

Tom D'Antoni

Posted: October 30, 2007 02:14 PM

Note to Democrats: We're Pissed


We're very pissed.

We worked for years to counter the Republican spin. We wrote countless blog posts. We contributed our time and money, heart and spirit in the fight to stop the country from swirling down the drain.

We helped turn the Congress into a Democratic majority. We heard the new committee chairs talk about how they were going to re-establish oversight. Even heard some talk impeachment.

We got fooled.

The Republicans are laughing out loud as the man we all ridiculed as stupid wins time after time. This isn't what we expected, although some did. Before the 2004 election, I had many conversations with family and friends about how, if the Democrats got into power again, nothing would change. I said, "No you're wrong." The worst of Bush administration would be restrained.

So what have we gotten? Domestic spying is just fine. No company which conspired to spy on us can be held responsible. The war continues...expanded, even. Torture isn't so bad. Waterboarding? I'll get back to you on that. More kids can't get health care. Subpoenas served are ignored. The military is readied for an attack on Iran. The planet continues to melt.

The strategy of running out the clock on the Bush administration is a cynical and simple politics. That clock ticks for you, also.

We don't want excuses. We want action. You Democrats have allowed us to be branded "Far Left" in the party. You have allowed us to be pigeon-holed as the same kind of "base" as the religious wackos on the right...the Republican "base."

We aren't. We are the mainstream.

A lot of us complain that we want the Democrats to get a backbone, to stand up for what they believe. The sad fact is that the Democrats ARE standing up for what they believe. They believe in business as usual, just with them in charge.

The Democrats who have something to say are belittled by their own side, generally not for what they stand for, but how they look.

So we're pissed. How pissed? Spitting mad, to continue the wet metaphor.

In the midst of this overwhelming frustration, the words of Allen Ginsberg come to mind. Sadder still because they are more relevant than ever:

"America I've given you all and now I'm nothing.
America two dollars and twenty-seven cents January 17, 1956.
I can't stand my own mind.
America when will we end the human war?
Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb
I don't feel good don't bother me.
I won't write my poem till I'm in my right mind.
America when will you be angelic?
When will you take off your clothes?
When will you look at yourself through the grave?
When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites?
America why are your libraries full of tears?
America when will you send your eggs to India?
I'm sick of your insane demands.
When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I need with my good looks?
America after all it is you and I who are perfect not the next world.
Your machinery is too much for me.
You made me want to be a saint.
There must be some other way to settle this argument.
Burroughs is in Tangiers I don't think he'll come back it's sinister.
Are you being sinister or is this some form of practical joke?
I'm trying to come to the point.
I refuse to give up my obsession.
America stop pushing I know what I'm doing.
America the plum blossoms are falling.
I haven't read the newspapers for months, everyday somebody goes on trial for
murder.
America I feel sentimental about the Wobblies.
America I used to be a communist when I was a kid and I'm not sorry.
I smoke marijuana every chance I get.
I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the roses in the closet.
When I go to Chinatown I get drunk and never get laid.
My mind is made up there's going to be trouble.
You should have seen me reading Marx.
My psychoanalyst thinks I'm perfectly right.
I won't say the Lord's Prayer.
I have mystical visions and cosmic vibrations.
America I still haven't told you what you did to Uncle Max after he came over
from Russia.
I'm addressing you.
Are you going to let our emotional life be run by Time Magazine?
I'm obsessed by Time Magazine.
I read it every week.
Its cover stares at me every time I slink past the corner candystore.
I read it in the basement of the Berkeley Public Library.
It's always telling me about responsibility. Businessmen are serious. Movie
producers are serious. Everybody's serious but me.
It occurs to me that I am America.
I am talking to myself again.
Asia is rising against me.
I haven't got a chinaman's chance.
I'd better consider my national resources.
My national resources consist of two joints of marijuana millions of genitals
an unpublishable private literature that goes 1400 miles and hour and
twentyfivethousand mental institutions.
I say nothing about my prisons nor the millions of underpriviliged who live in
my flowerpots under the light of five hundred suns.
I have abolished the whorehouses of France, Tangiers is the next to go.
My ambition is to be President despite the fact that I'm a Catholic.
America how can I write a holy litany in your silly mood?
I will continue like Henry Ford my strophes are as individual as his
automobiles more so they're all different sexes
America I will sell you strophes $2500 apiece $500 down on your old strophe
America free Tom Mooney
America save the Spanish Loyalists
America Sacco & Vanzetti must not die
America I am the Scottsboro boys.
America when I was seven momma took me to Communist Cell meetings they
sold us garbanzos a handful per ticket a ticket costs a nickel and the
speeches were free everybody was angelic and sentimental about the
workers it was all so sincere you have no idea what a good thing the party
was in 1935 Scott Nearing was a grand old man a real mensch Mother
Bloor made me cry I once saw Israel Amter plain. Everybody must have
been a spy.
America you don're really want to go to war.
America it's them bad Russians.
Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen. And them Russians.
The Russia wants to eat us alive. The Russia's power mad. She wants to take
our cars from out our garages.
Her wants to grab Chicago. Her needs a Red Reader's Digest. her wants our
auto plants in Siberia. Him big bureaucracy running our fillingstations.
That no good. Ugh. Him makes Indians learn read. Him need big black niggers.
Hah. Her make us all work sixteen hours a day. Help.
America this is quite serious.
America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set.
America is this correct?
I'd better get right down to the job.
It's true I don't want to join the Army or turn lathes in precision parts
factories, I'm nearsighted and psychopathic anyway.
America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel."