Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dr. Pangloss Joins The McSame Campaign

In high school, our PE instructor was also the football and wrestling coach. Additionally, he taught the "Health" classes to the guys which is where we got most of our sexual hangups, but that's another story. His approach to physical education was, not to put too fine a point upon it, rather old school, Neanderthalian to be honest. Forty five minutes of push ups, sit ups, squat thrusts and assorted other joint jarring, tendon stretching, muscle bruising machinations followed by a quick mile or mile and a half run was the epitome of best practice PE pedagogy in his view. He would deal with the occasional tearful breakdown, exhausted collapse or seizure with the inspirational call to reach deep inside of ourselves and discover our true potential: "Suck it up," he would say. Well, bellow actually. We never did hear him speak in a normal conversational voice, even when getting lunch in the cafeteria. "Suck it up," and the walls in the gym would vibrate. "The pain is only in your head."

We tell you this by way of introducing Phil Gramm, who is to economic policy what the old coach was to educational theory.

Phil Gramm, a former Texas senator, said he expects Mr. McCain to inherit a sluggish economy if he wins the presidency, weighed down above all by the conviction of many Americans that economic conditions are the worst in two or three decades and that America is in decline.

"Conviction." That's something that's just in your head right? See where he's going with this?

"You've heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession," he said.

Well, something is definitely "mental" around here.

"We have sort of become a nation of whiners," he said. "You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline," he said.

Yeah. So those of you who lost your houses in the 53% increase in foreclosures last month, suck it up, the pain is only in your head.

And the 438,000 of you who've lost your jobs so far this year, not to mention those of you who will lose your jobs before Christmas, suck it up, the pain is only in your head.

Buncha Nancyboys.

Mr. Gramm said the constant drubbing of the media on the economy's problems is one reason people have lost confidence.

Oh now where getting to it. Those pesky reporters. What are they doing telling people gas is over four bucks a gallon. What are they doing telling people the price of food is going up and will continue to go up? What are they doing telling people those 3000 square foot homes out there in Buckingham Village Estates their mortgage broker talked them into when they only wanted that little ranch over on the south side are now worth doodly? Oh, and by the way, that $500 initial monthly mortgage payment? It's $5500 a month now. Pay up please.

"Misery sells newspapers," Mr. Gramm said. "Thank God the economy is not as bad as you read in the newspaper every day."

Darn straight. If it wasn't for the newspapers when all your neighbors moved away you wouldn't know it was because their houses were foreclosed, you'd think it was just something you said. When you lost your job you wouldn't know people all over the country were also losing theirs, you'd think you were just not suited for the position.

So, while you and your family are sitting in your refrigerator box out behind the strip mall that closed last May, trying to decide if you should put your last five bucks in the minivan so you can drive down to the unemployment office, or buy a package of Ding Dongs for dinner, just remember Senator Gramm's advice: Suck it up, the pain is only in your head.

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