Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Mama, I want my Wawa!

Via Fallows, a snapshot of the Romneycade beating the hustings for votes, and the Borg discovers the wonder of...Wawa!
"Romney on the stump, at a historic iron furnace in Cornwall, near Lebanon, using the hoagie-ordering experience at the WaWa as a parable for what's right and wrong in America. (Wrong: a doctor told him that he had to fill out a 33-page change-of-address form, several times, to get the post office to send his mail -- including reimbursement checks -- to his new location. That is what happens with government-run organizations where you have "no competition." Right: at WaWa, great hoagies. Also, very efficient touch-pad ordering system. This is what you get with competition.)"
It's hard to know just where to start with this fucktardry, but let's try starting with the Wawa.

I used to live in the northeast and these things are the local 7-Eleven-equivalent there. They make decent hoagies (sub sandwiches, to you fellow Left Coasters) but not that great; any local hoagie shop is usually better, and most Northeast towns have several. I've had a couple of Wawa hoagies and they're usually distinguished by the same qualities all fast food enjoys; a sort of "enh" flavor resulting from cheap products cranked out in volume. Processed cheese, mass-produced meat; you know the drill.

And here's the thing; they, like most chain stores, use their bankroll to do their level best to put those little local hoagie shops - the ones that do actual interesting things with local produce, cheeses, sauces, and meats - out of business.

So the local owner loses his business, and (if he's lucky) ends up a wage slave making hoagies for the Wawa down the street. This is good, because it's "competition"! Freedom, amiright! In the same way that putting a pair of ten-ounce gloves on you and putting you in the ring with the guy who's just gone fifteen rounds for the pro welterweight title at Caesar's is "competition". Competition! Amiright?

I have no idea what the "touch-pad ordering system" is or what it does, but, really, who gives a fuck? What benefit do I get out of it? Why is it better than, say, talking to a real live person and ordering a hoagie? Or, worse - what if it puts that person out of a job? Why is that "good", competition or no? I've actually started avoiding the auto-checker at our local Fred Meyer because, frankly, I don't want to give Kroger (the way-the-fuck-back-East ginormous grocery chain that bought our local Portland chain and gave us their fine Kroger products in place of the local stuff that Fred's used to stock) the excuse to lay off a live person.

"Competition", frankly, is one of those tidy little Republican myths, like the welfare queen and the anchor baby and the birth-control-abortion, that looks less impressive the more you look at it. Turns out that many forms of "competition" provide benefits mostly for the people who own the companies, and result in lower wages and fewer jobs as companies "compete" to sell cheaper crap for lower prices.

That is when they're not actively colluding to sell cheap crap for HIGH prices - try and drive around your town and find a gas station making a profit on the volume of selling gas for "low, low prices!!!". Sheeyeah; call me when you find one.

So I'd expect a Republican to be as stupid as a bag of hammers where "competition" is concerned.

But then there's that damn 33-page form, the paper embodiment of Evil Big Gummint.

Which is where I wish that these gomers had actually been forced to serve in the military.

Because Romney - like every GOP sunofabitch that draws breath - luuuuurves him some military. The U.S. fightin' men and women are just jake with him; they're the living embodiment of everything GoodTM and RightTM about America. Amiright?

But if he's pissed off about all that non-"competitive" government bureaucracy what effing world has HE been living on?

Because there's no bureaucracy in the world like the U.S. Army.

Because armies - like insurance, like firefighting, like policing - aren't in the business of doing something cheap at low price. They need to do things that other people can't or won't do (unless they're ridiculous or insane, like the sort of people who fight for pay) and they need to do it right the first time.

So governments tend to be all about rules and making notes to file and filling in forms. That stuff gets out of hand, oftentimes, but the mere existence of a long form has absolutely nothing to do with the "value" of government and what it does.

In fact, the rottenest thing about the modern GOP and their current nominee is their and his insistence on the zombie Reagan lie about how "government is the problem".

Why would anyone running for political office insist that the very thing they want you to elect them to do is a "problem"?

Unless they want you to think of that thing as bad, unless they want you to expect that thing to BE bad, so that they can then do it badly and not get beaten to a bloody pulp for it?

Or unless they want you to forget that if you aren't part of governing your nation, if the government is a problem and "goes away" that you remain a single, relatively powerless individual and that there will be someone - something - still there to seize onto that power the failure of government leaves as a vacuum.

Oh. Yeah. Them. Riiiiight.


Gah. Honestly, the mere fact that this lying sack of shit is within a couple of percentage points of becoming the next President makes me very, very tired. If we're not lucky this November we're going to get the government we deserve, and while I will derive a certain vicious satisfaction in that my schadenfreude will be very grim indeed.


rangeragainstwar said...

Our leaders are the sum total of our collective mediocrity.
They represent our weakness rather than our strength.
I wonder about weinies that want to be chief ,BUT were too elite to be indians.
We are becoming Egypt.
Your post is excellent.
Have u read about my dealings with my new congressman southerland? He/his office did NOTHING to help me with my SSA problems.They NEVER even sent a letter to SSA, and then they say we need less gov't while they provided me with NO GOVERNMENT, other than getting it w/o lube. No zerks req'd in their world.
I always liked Romneys assertion that his son's political work was equivalent to mil service. In his dreams.
A NATION GETS THE LEADERS THAT THEY DESERVE. It's in the bible=reap and sow, fallow ground yaddi yaddi.
I've said this to you before, and Bruce Springsteen sings of it-why do we go on, and why do we believe in spite of our daily reality.

basilbeast said...

Whatever happens, next January in 2013, we're getting the gov't we deserve.

As far as the situation RE Obama sits, I still don't think he gets it.

Caught from a commenter at FDL a couple of days ago.

Bluewombat on Obama:

“…I don’t believe the fear of being called a hypocrite who is untrue to his stated ideals is one that keeps him ( Obama ) up at night.”

Not considering the foot-long checklist of his sellouts.

BTW, I’ve been crossing swords with Phoenixwoman lately, but a few days ago, she posted what is probably the most relevant…and saddest…comment about Barack Obama that has been written on here in many a moon:

“A brave and principled stance can generate political capital like nothing else.”

After what amounts to a landslide win in 2008, in the ensuing 3-and-a-half-years, we have yet to see anything remotely resembling that from this man.

basilbeast said...

And Jim, if we're anything like Egypt, we'd be packing the streets of major cities coast to coast with minimum 20 million citizens.

Lisa said...

And on Wawas (I only knew that as a guitar term, previously):

I was brought to the history of the Horn & Hardart Automat, recently. My mother loved them in NYC when she was growing up. A great idea: freshly-brewed coffee, fresh food, dispensed via machines into which you would drop nickles and dimes.

So apparently, an automated service could and did provide fresh food, as real people were working to prepare that food. Now we have factory farms and massed food production, "served" by real people.

Interesting and non-beneficial to the average American flip.

rangeragainstwar said...

We're exactly like the Egyptians-we think/believe/hope that an election equals democracy.

teo said...

I absolutely agree with your assessment of the Republicans.
But the Dems are the ones who interpret this images like in the description:

So I suppose you'd better stay home on election day. Voting for the creators of this kind of imbecility who don't show a trace of shame is not an option to take lightly.
I would not worry instead of you. Both candidates are professional activists employed by the same corporate masters. The olygarchy is too well entrenched for anything to change. And voting for the Dems is exactely like voting for their apparent competitors.
Getting emotional is useless. Enjoy the "panem et circenses" and do not bother with them. They have got to earn a living also and this implies making a lot of noise for the proles.
I saw anyway that you might get lucky on another issue. You might get to enjoy the lynching of the aryan racist from the picture attached. Why would that make you happy is a mistery for me but it will happen. Wish granted.

FDChief said...

Teo: My problem with the D's is that they lack spine, guts, and a sense of purpose. Their hearts are (more often than not) in the right place, but they appear to lack the balls to act on their instincts.

My problem with the R's, though, is that they have completely and utterly lost their fucking minds. And, in doing so, have so totally train-wrecked the political process that nothing worth doing is getting done. I should really do a post about the complete worthlessness - no, worse, the monstrous perniciousness - of 95% of what constitutes the GOP "political philosophy" today. From worthless foreign wars to Islamophobia to bible-banging to climate change to drill-baby-drill to Gilded Age economics to austerity to...

I'm getting suicidal just listing that shit.

So the GOP is orders of magnitude worse...but you're right in that all the current D's are going to bring us is a slower, less-immediately-painful slide further into oligarchy and inconsequence.

As my old buddy Jim Struthers would have said, what a fuckin' fuckup of a fuckin' fuckstory.

teo said...

"So the GOP is orders of magnitude worse...but you're right in that all the current D's are going to bring us is a slower, less-immediately-painful slide further into oligarchy and inconsequence."

I saw the newer post also.
i still believe they are working in tandem. But you are right about the discourse. The R one is on the side of complete lunacy. The D is probably similarly bad but at least the discourse is logical.
No way out it seems.
I agree that seeing the amount of imbecilic agresivity of an R activist, president or congressman , makes you puke. But still Albright said that directely provoking the death of half a million kids is " worth it" - if you get the oil fields which until now they didn't.
The D are just as bad. But they talk about brotherhood of man while exterminating those pesky kids. it makes no difference to me.
If Hillary "she didn\t find a war she didn\t like" talks about human rights while leading the new assyrian empire this does not make her better then Dubya who was more honest. They have to cover together all the spectrum of spectators so their discourse logically has to differ.
The part about granny was hmmm different I think. Even lies are better then the R.
It reminds me of a nice book "The Hyperboloid of Engineer Garin".
The key to control the proles - Alexey |Tolstoy knew it some 100 years ago - is ethnic diversity. Multi ethnic society.
The US oligarchs today did exactly what Garin did on his island.
If ethnic groups are at each other throats well they can't unite against the oligarch to demand rights.
if you are white working class well going to vote is quite useless.
Rs hate you because you are working class and Ds because you are white and the simple fact you are still breathing is a shame for the country and planet.
Of course being wealthy buys you a pass from both parties.
It is just play and a good one. A multi ethic society just can't cope with this approach.
Interesting future.