Thursday, January 17, 2008

GOP yahoos just can't see who is to blame

Isn't it funny how down-on-their-luck Republicans always manage to find someone lower in the social pecking order to blame for their problems? They never look up, toward their cherished leaders, when they are angry about losing their jobs or afraid of crime or worried about the cost of health care.

Rather, the culprits they see are disadvantaged or marginalized people: Muslims, Mexicans, gays.

It reminds me of a joke I heard some years back:

The scene is Moscow, in the winter of 1968. The temperature is somewhere around -5 degrees Celsius and the wind is howling. Snow flurries lower visibility such that anyone more than 20 meters away is but a dark silhouette. A line of Muscovites has formed outside a butcher's shop, to await the shop's opening. There are rumors that the butcher will have beef for sale, despite the chronic shortages.

A low-level political commissar happens by, on his way to the subway station. In a tone of authority he demands to know what is happening.

"There are rumors that the butcher shop has beef, comrade," says one Muscovite, his voice muffled by the scarf covering his face.

"We'll see about that," the commissar says. He pounds on the door of the shop and is quickly given entrance.

After about 15 minutes, he emerges, wiping his mouth, and patting his stomach contently. He addresses the crowd: "There is beef available, but there is not enough for everyone. No beef will be rationed to the Jews."

He continues on his way, and the Jews in the line wander off, their shoulders hunched against the cold.

The temperature drops another 2 degrees, the wind blows harder, and the snow is unrelenting. Another commissar, flanked by 2 machine gun toting KGP agents happens by and demands to know what is going on.

"Beef!" says one of the Muscovites. He points a frozen mitten at the butcher shop door.

"We'll see about that!" says the commissar. He and his bodyguards enter the shop.

After about 15 minutes, they emerge, wiping their mouths and patting their stomachs contently. The commissar addresses the crowd. "There is beef, but only enough for Communist Party members. Everyone else should disperse." He and his guards go on their way, and the crowd lessens as the dejected non-party Muscovites wander away.

The temperature continues to fall, the wind begins to howl, and the snow falls even faster. A limousine with a phalanx of policemen happens by. The motorcade suddenly stops and a high-ranking Kremlin official pokes his head out of the limo to demand what is going on.

"There are rumors of beef, comrade," says one Muscovite. There is rime on his eyelashes.

"We'll see about that," says the Kremlin official. He and all the members of his motorcade file into the shop.

They emerge about 30 minutes later, wiping their mouths and patting their stomachs contently. As they are getting back into their vehicles, the Kremlin official shouts: "There is no beef. Everyone disperse." The motorcade speeds away.

As the last of the dejected crowd dissolves into the nothingness of the white-out conditions, one disappointed Muscovite is heard to mutter: "It's true what they say...the Jews get the best of everything."

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