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Why Republicans Make Things Up

by : Daveparts
Sunday February 21, 2010 - 18:10
1 comment

By David Glenn Cox

It has long been offered that politics is the art of telling your constituents to go to hell and then convincing them that they really want to go. It’s the art of convincing them that what they think is good for them really isn’t. Sometimes it’s a promise to make the sunshine brighter or the rain fall on command.

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When you ran for office as a Democrat in the good old days you could promise new and better schools, highways and more jobs. It was a pretty easy task as most working people were obviously in favor of such things. Very little subterfuge was needed. Construction companies and teachers unions gladly donated to your campaign because it was in their own self-interest.

How does the Republican Party counter such arguments? For generations the Republican Party has been the party of wealth and of Wall Street and though they need schools and highways, too, they are also the party of high-income earners whose primary concern is their taxes. A Republican candidate cannot come to the lectern and say it’s better if the middle class and poor pay more taxes while taxes are too high on rich people.

So they take on a suit of armor to fight an imaginary dragon. They tilt at the windmills of getting government off your back. Small government is better because it’s more efficient. Democrats just want to spend, spend, spend when what this state really needs is more charter schools and toll roads. When I first moved to Georgia I was appalled when I went to get my drivers license. Just getting my Alabama license swapped over to Georgia took four hours. When I took my son to take his driver’s test, it took eight hours.

That’s getting government off your back; that’s a small and efficient government. Not long after that, in response to complaints the Republican Governor, with great fanfare, announced that his administration was putting more chairs in the waiting rooms of license stations to help alleviate the problem.

Ronald Reagan successfully sold the dragon myth to the American public, that government was the enemy of prosperity and not its engine. While slashing programs for the poor and middle class they built billion-dollar plastic warplanes. They deregulated the banking industry that ended up costing American consumers billions upon billions of dollars. The Reagan administration was the modern model of Republicanism. Screw the suckers and build the bombers. More money has been spent on Reagan’s star wars pipe dream than was spent on the Interstate Highway system and as of yet that weaponry hasn’t knocked down one missile that it wasn’t told in advance where it would be.

Even today many Americans believe the myth of the welfare queen, living in a nice home, driving a Cadillac. It never was true and it’s even less true today. The poor are marginalized and pushed into slots and programs to make it more difficult for them to obtain benefits rather than to help them. The government has become their adversary. Millions of disabled Americans know about the fight to get the benefits that they are lawfully entitled to through Social Security disability. Of course the Republican’s answer is that this is efficient government, just trying to weed out the deadbeats with their phony doctor’s diagnosis and x-rays.

But, like anything for sale in America, if successful your competitors will begin to copy you so you must build up your franchise. During the Reagan years it was hard for Democrats to get elected in swing districts and so we have the rise of new Democrats, or Republican light. Maybe we should try vouchers for charter schools and build more toll roads; maybe a women’s right to choose should be scaled back. So what other course is available to Republicans when your opponents agree with you but to veer further to the right?

Bill Clinton called himself a new Democrat; he supported NAFTA along with Bush the elder. He supported a welfare reform program that Richard Nixon would have vetoed. So what was there that Republicans could attack him on? Balancing the budget? Kosovo? The economy? Well, the Republican’s attacked him on all of those things but gained the most traction on moral issues. How could they expect to gain ground by attacking him for agreeing with Republicans?

Modern politics is about money, no bucks, no votes. So everywhere around us we see the swirl of corporate influence which when combined with Republican bile and rhetoric spoils the broth.

Candidate Obama ran for the Presidency on a progressive platform. He promised hope and change and the public responded by the millions. The scene on the National Mall was unforgettable. Once in office, however, Obama began to cast overboard his progressive campaign promises. He had promised to support card check legislation and didn’t. He took the bankers’ side against the unions in the GM bailout. During the campaign Obama told the AFL-CIO that he supported single payer health insurance but once elected single payer wasn’t even allowed a seat at the table. He’s gone from single payer to a willingness to support legislation without even a public option favoring a bill that mandates thirty million Americans to purchase health care from private insurers. That was something that candidate Obama told John McCain was just wrong.

So how can the Republican’s attack Barack Obama’s agenda? They can’t because it is their agenda. Instead we get junk about birth certificates and the ultimate irony of ironies, calling Obama a Marxist and a Communist. It’s ironic because Communist countries all have single payer healthcare. Republicans can’t argue the truth about Barack Obama so they must try to run further to the right, after George W. Bush made that seem almost impossible. Instead they devise teabagger fantasies and windmill hunts to slay imaginary birth certificate dragons.

John McCain wanted to expand the armed forces by 100,000. Obama has expanded it by 30,000, but for each soldier there are two contractors. So McCain wanted a hundred thousand; Obama gave them ninety thousand. John McCain proposed a $420 billion stimulus loaded with tax cuts. Obama supported a $787 billion stimulus that is 35% tax cuts. Since when did tax cuts become part of the Democratic agenda? John McCain proposed building nuclear power plants and expanded oil drilling in environmentally sensitive areas. President Obama has proposed the same program. So what’s a Republican not to love?

John McCain offered during the debates that what the United States needed to solve the budget crises was a spending freeze and a presidential commission to look at all spending including Social Security and Medicare. Candidate Obama disagreed but President Obama thinks that’s a swell idea. A spending freeze during the greatest economic downturn in almost a hundred years. McCain, of course, didn’t want to include military spending in the freeze, and again Obama agrees.

The Bush administration took the defense budget from $307 billion in 2001 to a peak of $527 billion, not including all the off-budget war goodies. What does Obama’s first proposed defense budget look like? A whopping $680 billion plus the off-budget war goodies for contractors and construction contracts. See the change? How can Republicans attack Obama on these issues? If Obama adopts the McCain agenda then John McCain must not be conservative enough! At the recent CPAC convention a punching bag was on display with John McCain’s face on it.

In New Mexico in the late nineteenth century a group of crooked politicians and lawyers, known as the Santa Fe Ring, began voiding land grants and evicting the rightful owners. This escalated into the Lincoln County War with vigilantes on both sides committing murders and retaliation murders, which made one William H. Bonny, aka Billy the Kid, famous. Bonny murdered the sheriff of Lincoln County in cold blood and was, by any legal definition, a murderer, but to the suffering people of Lincoln County he was a hero. He was a Robin Hood to the people and so they protected him and gave him food and horses and a place to sleep because he was fighting for people who saw the government as their enemy.

In Missouri Frank James had fought as an irregular and guerrilla fighter during the Civil War. Like the Lincoln County War, atrocities were committed by both sides, but since Frank James had fought for the Confederacy his crimes would not be so easily forgiven. In 1863 Union militia came to the James farm looking for Frank. They tortured his stepfather, burned the crops, and according to legend whipped sixteen-year-old Jesse with a lash. Missouri at the time had a population that leaned towards the South but a government that ruled from the North.

The James brothers were seen as partisans in Missouri; every bank or train that they robbed was seen as striking back against the Northern boot of oppression. When, however, the James-Younger gang went to Minnesota to rob a bank, they were seen as criminals and shot to pieces.

During the Great Depression the bank robber Pretty Boy Floyd was also seen as a Robin Hood. Bankers were viewed by the public as greedy thieves. Sheriffs were the people the bankers used to evict you from your home. The police were the uniformed thugs who beat up strikers on picket lines and Floyd was Robin Hood, giving generously to the poor.

In 1932 alone food riots and police shootings filled the front pages. To the public in the depths of despair it appeared that the bad guys were the good guys and the good guys were the bad guys. This was the year of the Bonus Army and the Dearborn Massacre. This was the year that hungry farmers, who hadn’t eaten in three days, demanded food from a bureaucratic Red Cross office and were labeled as vigilantes and rioters by the Hearst Newspapers.

America’s new underclass was percolating. There was a seething resentment of the government and all the symbols of government. To the people, the government appeared to be their oppressor and not their savior. This is why the Roosevelt administration called its relief program “The New Deal.” Think about what that means for a second, a government starting over to establish a good relationship with its people.

This is how Joe Stack is being viewed today, a man pushed over the edge who saw government as his oppressor and enemy. Perhaps the ten million families who have lost their homes understand who Joe Stack was. People who have defaulted on bank debts and seen those debts written off by the banks while the banks sold those debts to attorneys who haunt the debtors with subpoenas and court actions, maybe they too think they know who Joe Stack was.

This is the difference; this is why Republicans and teabaggers make things up. They yell and rant about Mao and birth certificates and the President not wearing a tie in the oval office and all sorts of silly ass horse shit because they don’t dare tell the truth. Then they load their protest signs into the back of the Suburban and go home to watch American idol. The media will brand Joe Stack as a crazy person, when what he was was a man who felt pushed over the edge.

When Addie Polk, the seventy-six-year-old widow, shot herself twice in the chest as deputies waited on the porch with eviction papers, she was a women pushed over the edge. It’s going on all over this country and there are millions of Joe Stacks out there just waiting for one more thing to push them over the edge. I’m not saying that I think what Joe Stack did was right, only that I can see why he did it. He felt powerless against a system that doesn’t give a damn about right and wrong, only what they can get from you and how. A system where you’ll get only the justice that you can afford.

A system that has one set of rules for corporations and banks and another set of rules for everyone else.



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Why Republicans Make Things Up
Monday February 22 - 14:25 - Posted by BenAMarine - 30b0d7f273edb117...

Why Republicans Make Things Up?

The Power of Nightmares...

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