Lorraine Ellison

Tea Partiers resemble the selfish fools who swarmed the Titanic’s lifeboats, knocking women and children out of the way, more than they resemble the band of 18th century protestors who dumped some tea into Boston Harbor.

Once again, conservative apologists are blaming lone “jerks” for the terrible outburst at the last GOP presidential debate. Oh how they abhor accountability. Cynical leaders and empty-minded followers create a climate of hatred and violence and then when the unpardonable happens, the creators scurry for cover.

Shouting “Yay!” to Wolf Blitzer’s question about whether Ron Paul recommends letting the unlucky and uninsured die, the Tea Party crowd simply revealed the gaping hole in its soul.

Dealing with their own terrors – a struggling economy, one climate catastrophe after another, a president of a different color – the Right is doing what it always does: scapegoat the weakest among us. Facing an economic imbalance that threatens the social fabric, they aren’t pointing the finger at the wealthy thieves who gutted economic law-and-order regulations and cut their own taxes. No, those responsible for the mess are successfully selling the story that their victims are to blame!

Let him die? Given the worldview sold to the mean-spirited and gullible, the “Yeahs” seem almost logical, though it is a terrible logic.

The idea that the fictional character in Wolf Blitzer’s question – a healthy 30-year-old without insurance who suffers a life-threatening accident – could possibly be blamed for, well, for anything, is madness.

As Paul Krugman rightly points out, America’s uninsured are much more likely to be poor children. They are conveniently airbrushed out of the Tea Party picture, of course, consequences being as little liked as accountability amongst that crowd. This is the kind of madness that preceded the Civil War, the McCarthy era, the anti-labor violence of the early 20th Century.

America is being ripped apart by those who can’t wait to take coins from the pockets of the dead.

I could go on and on. But today I’m just going to dedicate to America a song by the late Lorraine Ellison, a singer of enormous soul. There are other more visually attractive versions of “Stay With Me Baby” on Youtube, including one by Bette Midler. You might also have heard the song in the film, Pirate Radio. But there’s such power, hurt, hope and hunger in Ellison’s voice, nothing else will do.

America, stay with me baby.

Where did you go when things went wrong baby?
Who did you run to
And find a shoulder to lay your head upon?
Baby wasn’t I there?
Didn’t I take good care of you?
No no, I can’t believe you’re leaving me
Stay with me baby
Please, stay with me baby
Ooh, stay with me baby
I can’t go on
Who did you touch when you needed tenderness?
I gave you so much
And in return I found happiness
Baby what did I do
Maybe, maybe I was too good, too good to you
No no, I can’t believe you’re leaving me
Stay with me baby
Ooh, stay with me baby
Ooh, please stay with me baby
Remember you said you’d always gonna need me
Remember you said you’d never ever leave me
Remember, remember, I’m asking you, begging you, ooh, ooh
Stay with me baby,
Please please stay with me baby
Stay with me baby
I can’t go on
Ooh stay with me baby
I’m begging you, stay with me baby
Stay, stay, stay with me baby…


Glenn W. Smith

Glenn W. Smith