I woke up this morning with a mad, radical thought in my head: What if I'm wrong and those damned Republicans really are right? What if, after all their clowning around, it turns out they actually have what it takes to allow us to pack up our troubles in our old kit bag and smile, smile, smile?
It sat me right up, this thought that I've been fighting against that bunch for so long I've completely lost sight of what they might actually stand for. Ye gads, what if Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin are just the kind of visionaries it takes to shock us into lasting prosperity?
I can't say my eureka moment energized me enough to cause me to leap out of bed, but around my third cup of coffee it came to me that in order to understand my potential new pals I must go to the source and see what they have in mind for us once they've regained control of congress and have set to work fixing all of the things they so successfully screwed up in the first place.
I went to GOP.com, the one-stop-shopping place for all things Republican, and wasn't a bit surprised to see Sarah Palin waiting for me at the door. I got past her, side-stepping the booth where they're lining up to get on the Get Pelosi Fired bus, then found myself in some pretty nasty alleys and a few dead ends, but I forged on, looking for the magic portal marked "Solutions", the entrance into proof-positive that the Republicans have only our best interests at heart and are working feverishly toward making America the Land of Plenty for more than just the ultra- über- super-rich.
So. You're pretty sure I found it, right? You can't wait to read concrete evidence that the Republicans have actually come up with better recovery plans than anyone could even have imagined--that a miraculous fix is in the works, ready to be implemented as soon as they're in power again.
I'll bet you're thinking I'm going to have to eat a whole field full of crow after all the naughty words I've used against them.
Not so fast, mateys. This is all I found: A six-part section called "Issues".
The first, National Defense, is the longest, at 177 words, and starts out, "President Ronald Reagan's approach to America's national defense, which successfully confronted the Soviet Union and ended the Cold War, is as essential today as it was then."
Okay. Nothing new there.
Issue number 2 is Health Care: "We support common-sense health care reforms that would lower costs, preserve quality, end lawsuit abuse, and maintain the health care that Americans deserve. We oppose government-run health care, which won't preserve the physician-patient relationship, won't promote competition, and won't promote health care quality and choice."
Americans deserve this kind of health care? And this wins you brownie points?
Third issue, Energy: "We believe in energy independence. We support an 'all of the above' approach that encourages the production of nuclear power, clean coal, natural gas, solar, wind, geothermal, hydropower, as well as off-shore drilling in an environmentally responsible way. We oppose so-called cap and trade legislation that would impose a national energy tax on families and small businesses that would kill jobs and raise utility prices."
Just kidding about that Green energy stuff. We're not really going to push that.
Education is number 4: "We believe that maintaining a world-class system of primary and secondary education, with high standards, in which all students can reach their potential, is critically important to American's future. We believe in the power of school choice, that giving parents the ability to send their children to better schools--not keeping them trapped in failing schools--is an important way to enable children to get the quality education they deserve."
Okay, public ed, the jig's up. You're outta here.
Issue number 5 is Economy: "We believe in the power and opportunity of America's free market economy. We believe in the importance of sensible business regulations that promote confidence in our economy among consumers, entrepreneurs and businesses alike. We oppose interventionist policies that put the federal government in control of industry and allow it to pick winners and losers in the marketplace."
In other words, carry on, O Leaders of the Pack. Your money is safe with you.
Number 6, the final issue, is the Courts: "Republicans believe a judge's role is to interpret law, not make law from the bench. Judges in our court system, from district courts to the Supreme Court, should demonstrate fidelity to the U.S. Constitution. We trust the judicial system to make rulings on the law and nothing else."
Phew, glad this one was last. Sure stinks up the place, doesn't it?
So that's it. There's nothing else. Notice what's missing? There's not a single solitary mention of the need to protect American workers or the need to create American jobs. Not a thing about the poor and middle classes, who are suffering the most in this depression masquerading as a recession. Nothing about bankruptcies or foreclosures or people lining up at job sites, at food banks, at homeless shelters. Nothing about vets living on the streets. Nada bout kids having their health insurance canceled out of spite. Nothing in there to sully their devotion to the Fat Cat sponsors who count on them to keep the "You line our pockets and we'll line yours" roundelay going.
Okay, they're as bad as I thought they were only just yesterday. But I should sleep well tonight, ready for battle again tomorrow, because I've seen the nightmare and it is them.
But in case you're still leaning toward voting the bums back in because the Democrats just aren't doing it for you, you might want to read "The 'Teach-the-Dems-a-Lesson' myth" by Robert Parry. It's an eye-opener.
(*Boffo box office: Old Variety headline meaning a film, play or performance has raked in the big bucks.)