Talkin’ about the Government

I’m on the pavement talkin’ about the government.” — Bob Dylan, “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” 1965.

Half a century ago, we took to the pavement.

We saw the military fighting a badly managed war, the Pentagon lying about that war, universities engaging in racial discrimination, the White House spying on dissenters, a president committing misdeeds and lying to cover them up and the IRS targeting political opponents.

All of this government wrongdoing did produce great music. Bob Dylan put our protests to song and became the musical poet of the age. Insofar as government is concerned, he anticipated the next age, too.

Because government got no better.

Weirdly, however, we stopped protesting. In the war between the people and government, the people quietly surrendered.

Many even switched sides and became the establishment conformists that they once loathed. After protesting The Man for years, they became him.

Let’s listen to Dylan again.

“So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late.” — “All Along the Watchtower,” 1968.

At least 24 times the president promised the American people that “if you like your health insurance, you can keep it. Period.” The nonpartisan fact-checker PolitiFact called this the “Lie of the Year.”

“Ain’t it hard when you discover that he really wasn’t where it’s at after he took from you everything he could steal?” — “Like a Rollin’ Stone,” 1965.

The Wall Street Journal reported that White House records show Obama knew, for years, that Continue reading