I hang out with a bunch of rednecks most weekends, with people who play banjos, and many who do even worse things. I usually keep my mouth shut about politics because after all, good banjo players are few and far between.
But sometimes I can't help myself. The GOP has had it their way for most of the last eight years, and when the Dems finally took the house back but were limited in what they could get done:
With Democrats clinging to a 51-49 advantage, the Senate became the place where signature legislation went to die. Republican stalling by filibuster became the norm. A record 92 filibusters were conducted this session of Congress.
We've seen what the deregulators could do with the economy. We've seen the rich get richer, while most of us watch prices go up far more quickly than our salaries. We've seen endless, pointless war which costs us ten billion a month we don't have. In fact, the national debt clock, temporarily retired when Clinton retired the debt, now has to be redesigned in order to accommodate the unanticipated extra digit. Honestly, short of bombing our own country, it's tough to imagine what else the neocons could have up their blighted sleeves.
I was heartened, however, that a banjo player of my acquaintance, one who vehemently supported W., has finally come to his senses, saying, "He just doesn't care about people like me and my family." He's going to vote for Barack Obama, even if it means that the uber-wealthy may end up paying a few extra points in taxes. I was also heartened by the picture above (which I filched from Andrew Sullivan).
I'm willing to make that sacrifice as well. I regret I don't make enough that my taxes would rise, but if Ms. Weingarten manages to negotiate a 150% raise next year, I'm willing to do my bit.