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Quicksand at the Center
| Political Waves

As the astrology of the moment shakes us to our very core, the nation dithers like a deer in the headlights. I take that as another step in our long journey toward awareness, but for those a little ahead of the curve, it's aggravating to see politics become a process in slow motion. With teeth-rattling emergencies announcing themselves on a daily basis, you might question that statement. But it isn't the worrisome events that matter -- it's what we feel about them. We feel stuck, unable to move. Our instinct tells us to run away from the shifting instability, but our feet seem firmly planted even as the ground trembles beneath us.

We have survived another Super Tuesday, with states like Arkansas, Nevada and South Carolina putting candidates in place for the November election. The Huffington Post announced the results in a giant header, reading "Establishment Wins," referring to incumbent Blanche Lincoln narrowly beating Bill Halter, a candidate supported by unions and progressives. Lincoln, you may remember, is a Blue Dog Dem from Arkansas who held us hostage in both the health care and financial reform debates. Such power comes to her via the close vote split in the Senate. Every Dem counts, even those at outer edges of their own party, which effectively describes culturally-conservative, business-cozy Blanche. So now, unless the Republicans sweep Arkansas, we're stuck with Blanche and her Blue Dog, centrist dithering.

Giant plumes of undersea gunk are on the move, poisoning whatever they touch, yet British Petroleum denies their existence. This is the global warming conundrum writ large: if you don't see it, can't touch it, it ain't real. Whom are you going to believe: the obnoxious Greenies, always crying about some outrage to plants or animals, or the big friendly corporations that give us jobs and boost our economy? Obama continues to accept responsibility, calling on experts from different disciplines in an effort to fix the spill, but for the moment, because BP has the technology, they still lead the pack as "the responsible party." I fully expect British Petroleum to declare bankruptcy at some point, cutting their losses and regrouping under another corporate entity. They will continue to dither until they get that all arranged.

Digital pictures of the flow have finally been released showing as much as 100,000 gallons of crude -- more than double the corporate estimates -- spewing daily into the Gulf and moving toward the Atlantic coast. As if this nightmare scenario were just business as usual, Gulf states have demanded that off-shore drilling continue, giving local oil workers their jobs back. Because economy trumps ecology, the Administration agreed to shallow-water permits after new safety regulations were released this week. According to Rolling Stone, Obama has taken the political calculation to appease the conservatives dedicated to drill, baby, drill. Bad timing to make a deal with this particular devil.

The nation is increasingly preoccupied with Obama's temperament. Apparently, we want to see our own angst reflected on his face, optimally while we share a beer with him. Me, I'd rather see his progressive base reflected in his decisions, but that's not the way things work in an election year. The nation evidently wants Barack standing on rubble with a bullhorn, or wearing a codpiece in a flight suit -- something decidedly Bushy. A satirist wrote a piece for Huffington entitled, "Obama Creates Department of Overt Emotional Display."

The voices are insistent: Show us a crack in your calm, Mr. President! We want the illusion that things are under control, even if it isn't true. We want someone punished, even if it isn't those who gave us the problem. If we can't get BP or Wall Street, give us Helen Thomas!

Our latest example of low-hanging fruit, plucked and gobbled, is an 89-year-old White House reporter, whose obscure senior moment was seized by the right-wing and trumpeted as blatant anti-Semitism, causing Ms. Thomas to retire. Asked what Israelis should do, Helen said they should get out of Palestine and go home to Poland, Germany and America. Without saying the actual word, she invoked the Holocaust and questioned Israel's right to exist. Old enemy, former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer, used her unfortunate quip to club her. AlterNet's Laura Flanders questioned the depth of our outrage in her article, "Helen Thomas was Wrong -- But You'd Think She'd Killed 9 People or Destroyed Our Coastline." Liberal blogger, digby, put it nicely: "But hey, they got an 89-year-old woman's scalp, so I'm sure they feel very morally superior. Wake me when they introduce the bill to revoke the 14th amendment."

As I wrote about the controversy in Political Waves this week -- with Uranus and Jupiter conjuncted in Aries, a once-in-a-lifetime transit for any of us born after 1927 -- I thought about the single-minded, bulldog qualities that this woman brought to her long career as White House observer, reporting on a total of ten presidents. I have often thought that if ever there was Aries overriding a personality, it seemed so in Helen, born a Leo. I later discovered her Sun currently squared by Mars and -- behold! -- an Aries Moon. Jupiter conjunct Uranus in Aries triggering a natal Moon? Key words: Rash, emotional, explosive, overblown. So that's that. We'll miss her. Where will we get another cranky old voice, rising over the din in the White House Press Room to demand, "When are you going to get out of Afghanistan? Why are we continuing to kill and die there? What is the real excuse? And don't give us this Bushism, 'If we don't go there, they'll all come here.'"

With Uranus gone into Aries, we're sure to see more of these explosions. We'll hear more stuff we don't want to, face more questions that have gone unasked and therefore unanswered, embarrass ourselves with real emotions, and perhaps even take a true assessment of ourselves. Uranus will quickly retrograde back into Pisces for a while, but maybe this taste of Aries fire will be enough to get us out of our political quagmire. We're stuck in the quicksand of appeasement between two distinctly separate ways of looking at the world.

Let's hear the truth in a good outburst. Let the right come clean about why it wants Social Security and Medicare to fail as liberal give-aways to deadbeats and the socially irrelevant. Let's see someone on the left have a hissy fit over nearly a quarter of America's children living in poverty, creating a disabled generation for the future. Let's see anyone question why we'd rather lay off 100,000 teachers than take a penny away from the military budget. I want the cultural conservatives to explain why they will defend fetal tissue to the death (of others,) but are unwilling to open their homes or wallets to the babies they insist must be born. And while we're at it, I want a handful of mainstream media folks to go rogue and broadcast these events, so we won't miss them in our rush to analyze which female star kissed another. Too much to ask? If anything can do it, Uranus in Aries can.

Who knows? Maybe some Aries courage and candor, even a tantrum in all its revealing splendor, would be enough to rescue us from unproductive centrism. If we're going to blunder, let's get on with it. There's an authentic America hiding somewhere beneath the smoke and mirrors. The parsing of the center -- which is also called the status quo -- isn't working for anyone. The egocentrism that dumped us into this quagmire needs a knock upside the head, slapping the slow motion right out of us, and here comes a fiesty new Uranus signature to do the job. So fasten your seatbelt, as Aries actress Bette Davis famously said, it's gonna be a bumpy hight.

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