Yesterday I quoted a long-time Congressional staffer -- one involuntarily retired by the mid-term results in 2010 -- who ratified previous comments about the Republican-led nihilism of the Congress and the disgusted reaction it was evoking in the rest of the country. A university librarian in the Midwest responds:
>>I've never actually written to a journalist before, but I was one of the 1,252 people arrested this weekend in front of the White House. I also live in the rural Midwest and your source is right. People are close to revolt. I think it will be a five year process of movement building, but even my very conservative staff of library assistants all cheered me on when I told them what I was doing. The people I interact with here and the ones I met in DC are all fed-up at a deep and fundamental level.
All of the people I know who are capable of rational thought also understand that the combination of (we're rural so pretty much everyone gets climate change) climate change and energy issues, lack of jobs, and the refusal of government to provide us with basic services means that a new revolutionary social movement is needed. Food prices are soaring, gas prices are making it hard for people to get to low paying jobs, and the amount of suffering because of lack of access to medical care is dire.
I sent a staff person home today (without pay since she's part-time) with a draining ear infection and a high fever. She also has a mass in her abdomen. She has no insurance and she's divorced with children and her ex also has no money. She is paying her bills with what I would call scam student loans that will eventually ruin her. These people are getting closer and closer to the point where we will have fundamental break-down of law and order.
How far does Congress think they can push before they get pushed back?<<
Several more worth reading after the jump, a small sample of what has arrived. I am out of the country and on the road and will catch up with these as often as I can.
The U.S. has been through difficult moments in public life before, including many I experienced and remember myself. This is different from the eruptions and desperation of the late 1960s, it's different from the Constitutional crisis of the Nixon era, it's different from a range of other bleak episodes that come to my mind. But today's fatalistic exasperation about the basics of self-government -- about whether a rich and still-powerful nation can address its rudimentary and most obvious challenges -- is more than I remember in a long while.