Monday, October 18, 2010

The GOP's big plan: Yell "taxes" in a Crowded Theater, Send in the Clowns, Boffo Box Office*

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, 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- ├╝ber- 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.)


  1. Oh, dem crazy Republicans, ya shure...

    Confront the Soviet Union? Have they been asleep since the 1980's? (Note: Rhetorical)

    The rest of it is just as good.

    I wonder if anyone has ever really asked these people how national health would interfere with a choice of doctors. I mean, if it's nationalized, how is any doctor "out of network" - or whatever they're calling it these days?

    As for energy, while I have my doubts about "cap and trade" being effective, I do support the widest possible range of solutions and raise them by offering this: Technology won't remain static, it will continue to develop - where and only where its development is furthered by investment and research. Nowhere in there do I see any recognition of that. Why is that? Because they and their donors do too well by leaving things in their current messy state, so their true commitment is to doing nothing whatsoever, as long as they have gas for their limos.

    Schools, well, I guess as long as they stop teaching that nasty evolution stuff we'll be OK. We can just pray for things while the rest of the world races past.

    It does raise a serious question, though: How do we get good schools in a nation that, sadly, seems to place such an incredibly low value on education?

    Doubt that assertion? Two words; Jersey Shore

    By the time we get to the coiurts and the economy, I am convinced these people see this society as something of a purely abstracted experiment, running on a bench in a lab someplace. It points out more clearly, in their own words, the disconnect between their party leadership and the reality, on the ground, of Americans' lives.

    The really sad part is that there are so many here who are gullible enough, pliant enough, thoroughly surrendered to "authority" enough, ignorant enough, or racist enough to accept enough of this cavalcade of nonsensical generalities that the Republicans are still likely to make substantial gains this fall. That the upcoming state legislative elections we're also looking at will determine district boundaries for the next decade is even more depressing, and a thought I'm sure these malevolent malefactors have not ignored.

    The really infuriating part is that there are indeed people on this side who want to "teach the Dems a lesson" and will further that in their hissy-fit of pique. (If that comment offends you, oh reader, you are one of those I refer to, and to you I then say this: Screw your feelings, it's time to close ranks and if we have to play a little defense this cycle, so be it. Even if it's an incremental bit of progress, it's worth preserving, it's from incremental gains that true progress comes with the passage of time.)

  2. Right on, Alan. Your last paragraph didn't offend me at all. Closing ranks is the smartest thing we could possibly do. Look how well it works for the Republicans. The one thing they have going for them is voter loyalty. No matter many ridiculous or dangerous things they do, they can always count on their base.

    The Democrats are a party with a shifting base--which means they're without a base. So any time they come into power it's seen as a fluke, and it probably is.

  3. It wasn't you I aimed the "offended" at, Ramona. I think you know that...

  4. Alan, I didn't take it that way. I guess I should have made that clearer. Your comment says it all and I couldn't agree more.

  5. Didn't think so, but I do seem to have hit a nerve or two over at Dag.

    I'll gladly give any of 'em a quarter if they want to call someone who cares.

  6. Yeah, I know. The usual suspects. Not surprising.

  7. Ramona all respect to you. I fear that my interest is tarnished by so other positions, hence me being queer and Latino. I salute you in your approached. I love reading your blog and the civility that comes after your strong arguments Alan was able to make his point and your remarks afterwards is what it needs to happen on our democracy. Bless you always!

  8. As for the Repugs I will like them to outline a plan that will say to me that less government is ok while the middle class is at stake. I want them to say if they are so vested in the people why are they hiding behind big anonymous donors? If you stand for something then man off!

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