It was “only” 65 years ago when America seemed to be on the upswing, in large part because millions of World War II veterans got a paid college education and no-down low-interest mortgages. Less than five years after the formal end of the Great Depression, higher education and a modern home became reality for the very people who were starving and illiterate in the grim 1930s. And now, no thanks to “Country First” fraudster John McCain, a wonderful new GI Bill was welcomed today by draft-dodging Kenyan bounty hunter Barack Obama. America now has hope that the post-9/11 veteran will end up smart, comfortable and happy … and not some redneck racist wingnut terrorist mass-murderer like Timothy McVeigh.
Many famous Americans studied with GI Bill tuition, from Lawrence Ferlinghetti to Johnny Carson. Norman Mailer went to school on the bill, which may or may not have been a good thing — and so did Phil Gramm, which was definitely a bad thing. Other well-known GI scholars include Bill Cosby, Gene Hackman, Joseph Heller, Harry Belafonte and even Bob Dole.
One of the more pathetic John McCain moments of last year was when the “I got famous for being in the military” senator refused to back a new GI Bill that would provide real education benefits for returning troops. Too expensive, sorry vets! Of course, Ol’ Walnuts McCain never had to worry about his future when he got back from Vietnam. He was the son of admirals, with TIME magazine covers and easy Washington jobs awaiting him, until the East Coast elitist sniffed out a congressional seat and a hot young beer heiress available in the same state, somewhere around Mexico.
Anyway, fuck him. Today Barack Obama, a co-sponsor of the Post 9/11 GI Bill, cheered the thing that George W. Bush actually signed into law in December. A bunch of Obama’s Republican Senate colleagues/co-sponsors didn’t show up at the White House, because who wants to be seen with this Obama thug, the way he is trying to get basic health insurance coverage for people who aren’t rich lobbyists.
But what will the new GI Bill bring to a nation on its death bed? Who knows?! Basically, if you served 36 months in the Wars On Terrors, Washington will say “thanks” by paying your tuition, books and housing at a public university — or, you can apply that to a private university, many of which are now offering scholarships to veterans to make up the difference. More than 100,000 applications have already been processed.
Experts say we may also get a new “Beat Generation” as the nation suddenly has a lot more people who can read and think critically. As these educated youngsters gaze with cynicism upon the new age of prosperity and middlebrow intellectualism, such diversions as jazz, “smoking tea” and writing long angry poems will most likely follow, eventually ending with an overeducated and prosperous generation unwilling to fight in the nation’s next bullshit colonial war, on Mars.