It’s been a year since Republicans did their “autopsy” on why they lost the presidential election, which… forgive me… but aren’t autopsies done on dead things? Well, anyway…
Republicans found out that the stinking corpse that is conservatism doesn’t appeal to all sorts of people… black people… young people … lgbt people… female people… people who want to breathe fresh air…. People who like non-poisonous food… people who want to get paid a living wage… people with intellectual curiosity…. people who have empathy…. Basically, all normal people who aren’t pale, stale and male.
So… For a minute there, the GOP tried to rebrand itself as the party for everyone – by telling everyone just what lazy, welfare dependent parasites they are.
What do you think possible Republican Presidential candidates, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Scott Walker discussed when they presented themselves to their Sovereign Lord casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson?
What they did was try to convince a New Gilded Age Robber Baron that THEY’RE the best puppet he could pick to ensure government policy enables his rapacious addiction to wealth and power.
You see, while millions of Average Americans choose whether to pay rent or buy food … The bloated banquets of Adelson, the Koch Brother’s, Pete Peterson and the like, just don’t ever seem to fill them up – they also want the crumbs. They’re sick.
Yes, sick. You see, while there is nothing inherently wrong with being rich – there is something VERY wrong with a person hoarding wealth to the point that it could never be spent in 1000s lifetimes but they STILL grasp for more as their nation crumbles and their fellow citizens suffer around them.
Look at it this way, if a person hoards newspapers, or animals… everyone agrees that person is sick and needs help. But if a person hoards money, conservative politicians line up to kiss his ring. That’s not democracy. That’s oligarchy.
Washing already clean pots and pans in a closed soup kitchen sure has made Paul Ryan an “expert” in what goes on in the “inner city.”
As Ian Haney Lopez wrote at BillMoyers.com:
“Paul Ryan triggered a firestorm of recrimination this week. Speaking recently on Bill Bennett’s Morning in America radio program, the Wisconsin Republican and self-styled budget wonk linked poverty to “this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work.”
Setting aside the factual claim — the notion that poverty is especially concentrated in America’s inner cities is an increasingly antiquated one — these comments elicited a quick and forceful rebuke from Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), who decried them as “a thinly veiled racial attack.” She explained: “[W]hen Mr. Ryan says ‘inner city,’ when he says, ‘culture,’ these are simply code words for what he really means: ‘black.’”
Ryan has since backpedaled, protesting that race was nowhere in his thoughts: “This has nothing to do whatsoever with race. It never even occurred to me. This has nothing to do with race whatsoever.”
Yeah… right. Lyin’ Ryan says, “We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning to value the culture of work, so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.”
See.. “Lazy inner city men” are the new “Welfare Queens!” – and they’re the ones to blame for the fact that billionaires aren’t trickling on us – NOT deindustrialization, divestment away from education and anti-poverty programs, “free-trade” outsourcing our jobs and factories, the systematic decimation of unions, and centuries of institutionalized racism and discrimination. Pay no attention to that record economic disparity and upward immobility behind the curtain!
In the right wing version of American history, Jesus dictated the Constitution to the founders… and then commanded everyone to rebel against the entrenched British Aristocracy to create an American one that used the Bible to keep everyone in their natural place.
In a recent appearance on the Global Evangelical Television, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said, “I think we got off that track when we allowed our government to become a secular government, when we stopped realizing that God created this nation, that He wrote the constitution, that’s based on biblical principles.”
Clearly, history (much less reality) is not a strong suit for the American Christian Taliban. The reality is that the United States would have never come to fruition if it weren’t for the radical Enlightenment principles that elevated reason over religious tyranny and superstition. But, that hasn’t stopped the scourge of faux-religiosity from forever trying to sicken our body politic by dividing people - and then insisting they’re just following orders from “God.”
And… since Jim Crow became a liability, gay bashing is a CONservative Christian’s holy sacrament. Fact is, for all their teabag-draped tri-corn hats, CONs just don’t grasp that it takes a level of maturity to actually function in a free, democratic, society of 320 million diverse people… some of whom are not straight, white, wealthy, men.
These are people who profess that their “freedom” hinges on being able to subjugate certain segments of the population… and, of course, call someone the f-word… or the n-word… without some liberal b-word getting all uppity.
Throughout history, the targeted groups may change, but today’s CONservatives are just the modern day heirs of those who believed they weren’t “free” unless they could literally own other human beings - and they had the Bible passages to back it up!
Republicans are in a bind on immigration reform. They don’t want to “appear” like they aren’t racist and xenophobic, because that might offend their racist and xenophobic base… but they also don’t want to “appear” like they’re against immigration reform because they’re desperately trying to dupe Latinos into voting for them… what to do?
Never mind the record-setting deportation of undocumented immigrants under President Obama. It doesn’t matter what the President really DOES – it matters what Republicans SAY he does.
Besides. Republicans really don’t want to do anything about immigration. You see – an undocumented worker is a nice, compliant, exploitable worker – what Republicans call “a good start.”
Funny, though. This “do nothing and blame the President” strategy is the same “idea” they’ve had since January 20th, 2009 when, as Robert Draper revealed in his book, “Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives,” Republicans who were supposedly elected to do “the People’s work” conspired, as any enemies of America would, to block everything the President would try to do to remedy the disaster of “trickle down economics” – and then blame the President for the failures.
(Updated from a post that originally appeared Jan. 20, 2013)
This MLK day, as in years prior, people all over the country will learn that Martin Luther King, Jr. “had a dream” that black children and white children would one day play and go to school together without having to call National Guard to protect them from the red-blooded American conservatives who can’t deal with, among many things, non-white people and/or progress. With the election of our first black President, surely, we are told, King’s dream is now a reality… so much so, that we can can now congratulate ourselves on our evolution by adding a made-in-China MLK statue to the National Mall. Tragically, among the many myths we’re told in America, it’s no surprise that MLK has undergone the standard whitewash from which he’s been transformed from an anti-militarism revolutionary for social and economic justice into an orator who pondered, Rodney King-style platitudes about “why can’t we all just get along?”
Keeping with the whitewashed image, on King’s national holiday, most so-called “representatives” from sea to shining sea will give their standard speeches meant to, not rally us to change the structures that create poverty for the many and affluence for the few, but convince us that the status quo is working. This year, though, some are highlighting King’s call for the need for economic and social justice. For example, Sen. Ed Markey asked at Boston’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast, “What would Dr. King say about those in Congress that vote to deny unemployment insurance even as they delay investing in new jobs?”
Joan Walsh wrote in a piece for Salon titled, The radical MLK we need today, ”Rather than remembering King solely as a civil rights leader, we must reclaim him as a radical advocate of economic justice, looking to lead a multiracial movement of poor people to complete the unfinished business of the civil rights movement. As King put it plainly, ‘What good does it do to be able to eat at a lunch counter if you can’t buy a hamburger?’ Post-integration, too many black people couldn’t sit down at integrated lunch counters and buy a hamburger; 50 years later, too many people of every race have the same problem.
Yet, conservatives insist that we now live in a “post-racial” nation. Laughably, the Republican National Committee even recently tweeted praise to civil rights icon Rosa Parks for “her role in ending racism.” The “divide and conquer” strategy conservatives utilize against the working class depends on people believing that racism is a thing of the past and structures put in place to remedy inequality are equally archaic. Therefore, people should not grumble when conservatives dismantle them.
The right wing Supreme Court killing part of the voting rights act is just one recent example of conservatives attacking the structures meant to create “a more perfect union.” According to Chief Justice John Roberts, “our country has changed.” Never mind that it changed as a result of things like… um… the Voting Rights Act!
King said himself, “The dispossessed of this nation – the poor, both white and Negro – live in a cruelly unjust society. They must organize a revolution against that injustice, not against the lives of the persons who are their fellow citizens, but against the structures through which the society is refusing to take means which have been called for, and which are at hand, to lift the load of poverty.”
Let’s remember that the major “sin” that Shirley Sherrod committed in her 2010 speech to the NAACP was that she detailed her awakening to fact that real struggle was not “white versus black” but “rich versus poor.” Hence, the right-wing propagandists went to work editing her remarks so that her message of economic equality was replaced with the one where the conservative agenda of fomenting racial division was served.
Far from criticizing our broken system, conservatives of both parties have a vested interest in propagating King’s “dream” as simply the wish that, “men,” ”not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” This is a more palatable phrase the corporate-sponsored government can regularly regurgitate for the masses to swallow, while easily neglecting threats to corporate power like King’s call for “a national responsibility to provide work for all”, “the right of every citizen to a minimum income” and “the right to an adequate education.” (Read more about that in Aviva Shen’s article for ThinkProgress 4 Ways Martin Luther King Was More Radical Than You Thought)
WATCH: Georgetown University’s Christopher Chambers discusses the whitewashing of King’s message:
The sad truth is that income inequality is higher now than when Dr. King died in 1968 and the working class is worse off now than when King organized his first “Poor People’s Campaign,” in which he meant to confront the issues of jobs, income and housing.
Dedrick Muhammad, Senior Director of the NAACP Economic Department and Nicole Kenney, NAACP Economic Program Specialist posted at the NAACP website,
“Dr. King states, ‘There is nothing new about poverty. What is new, however, is that we now have the resources to get rid of it.’ We are currently funding three unpopular wars that, like the Vietnam War, are diverting a significant amount of dollars that could be used to aggressively combat poverty and provide opportunities to reclaim the American Dream. It is simply a matter of priorities. Therefore, in the spirit of Dr. King’s legacy, let us reevaluate our country’s commitment to the groups Dr. King sacrificed his life to protect- the economically vulnerable and recognize that advancing a strong middle class economy must have progressive policy as the center of the struggle (e.g., social safety net, government investment in opportunity and equity, and progressive taxation on the wealthiest of Americans). Let’s not commemorate Dr. King’s memorial without recommitting ourselves to fulfilling the vision he and so many brave men and women fought for – economic justice for all.”
King said, “We believe the highest patriotism demands the ending of the war and the opening of a bloodless war to final victory over racism and poverty.” Then, as it is now, ensuring that society works for ALL is the highest form of patriotism.
Another day, another Republican is caught in the act of being himself: unfit to hold a leadership position in a modern nation. Now, it’s Chris Christie, the loud mouth bully/”savior” du jour of the dying (not fast enough) Republican Party. Despite his typically dismissive, sarcastic and abusive retorts, Christie was unsuccessful in making everyone forget that he and his minions abused their positions in government to create a traffic nightmare for the people of Fort Lee, New Jersey, in an effort to retaliate against Democratic political rivals – not only inconveniencing, but giddily endangering the lives of the people they pretend to represent.
Read Mother Jones’ breakdown of the whole scandal, and you’ll quickly agree with something I always contend. Namely… Republicans represent the people? Naaa…. The only reason a Republican seeks a position in government is to ingratiate and enrich himself and his/her friends.
Harming the People they Pretend to Represent: Standard Operating Political Strategy for Republicans.
As Robert Draper revealed in his book,”Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives,” on Jan. 20, 2009 – the night of Barack Obama’s first inauguration – Republicans met at the Caucus Room restaurant in Washington D.C. for a four hour, “invitation only” meeting. There, Republicans who were elected to do “the People’s work” literally hatched the plot to sabotage, undermine and destroy the U.S. economy as a 2012 election strategy by repeatedly blocking President Obama’s every attempt to fix Bush’s conservative failures in an effort to ensure the President would not be re-elected. House members Cantor, Hensarling, Hoekstra, Lungren, McCarthy, Ryan & Sessions…Senate members, Coburn, Corker, DeMint, Ensign & Kyl… conspired with unelected Newt Gingrich & Repug strategist Frank Luntz to bring the government to a screeching halt and harm the American People for political gain.
Christie’s unconscionable abuse of power aimed at the people who suffer under his leadership is just another day at the office for a Republican “hero” who sprinkled state offices with unqualified flunkies who then, like all flunkies connected to a crime boss, squatted in their positions for the sole purpose of sucking off the government teat.
Christie tried to wiggle out of this traffic jam scandal in his typical bully style. At one point, actually trying to manufacture outrage at the people of Fort Lee for having 3 toll entrances and sarcastically joking that “he moved the cones himself.”* What more can we expect? A bully is what a bully does, and Christie has a history of pettiness, bullying and retribution against political rivals.
So, please don’t believe the manufactured narrative that Christie is some post-partisan antidote to “Washington” intransigence.
He’s a typical Republican puppet of plutocracy who is in office to advance the interests of the elite. He’s already made the obligatory secret pilgrimage to kiss the Koch brothers’ feet. (Read “5 Corrupt Things About New Jersey Governor Chris Christie” by Olivia Nuzzi at Alternet).
Thankfully, Christie is now being exposed for the crook that he is – and all I can say to that is, “is it wrong that I’m smiling?“
So… let’s review.… Republican Paul Ryan Democrat Patty Murray release a budget that protects the rich (of course) and actually calls for less discretionary spending in 2014 than Ryan’s original nightmare budget that the people already rejected through a process called an election is cheered by Washington as an example of how the American People want Washington to get along and work together?
Frankly, the American people don’t really care whether Washington “getting along”. The People care about having a country that works for more than just the Koch Brothers.
It’s not a victory that politicians “worked together” to turn us into serfs, rather than doing it from their own benches.
But it’s all about slashing spending and deficit reduction, we’re told, right?! Um… wrong. Republicans calling for “spending cuts” is just their way of assuring Grover Norquiest they’re fulfilling his dream of shrinking government down to a size where they can drown it in a bathtub… like the way crooks would like to do something similar to cops…
… and despite what Republicans say, there’s no debt tipping point, above which a nation’s growth disappears – That’s just another thoroughly debunked Republican LIE …. But STILL Republicans pretend and democrats compromise that “deficit reduction” is the most important concern of a government budget when it’s just an excuse for squeezing the promise of a decent, middle class life out of the social compact.
Watching Republicans participate in a Climate change hearing is like watching scientists attempt to explain thermodynamics to a troop of bonobo monkeys – who also happen to be religious fanatics on the Koch Brother’s payroll.
It’s a national embarrassment that would be funny except when you remember that we spent more money on extreme weather cleanup last year than on schools or roads.
Even with the consequences of climate change staring us in the face, the typical Republican response is denial and call for more drilling, especially including the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. They’re like the Rapa Nui Priests of Easter Island calling for more Moai statues to be built to undo the ecological collapse caused by the building of the Moai statues.
In case you are not familiar with that tale, here’s the brief synopsis paraphrased from the Independent UK:
…Easter Island was once a lush, sub-tropical paradise covered in thick forest filled with a rich assortment of wildlife. But the trees and forest animals were long gone by the time Jacob Roggeveen, the Dutch seaman who gave the island its name when he spotted it on Easter Day in 1722, had arrived. The question is why?
In his 2005 book, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, author Jared Diamond explains why it was the islanders’ fault. Diamond says they started to build bigger and bigger ceremonial statues (Moai) in an atmosphere of competitive rivalry between the island’s many different clans. To move the statues from the island’s quarry, Rano Raraku, in the south-east, the islanders needed to cut large logs for the construction of long “canoe ladders” to carry the massive carvings to the island’s coast. They also needed heavy ropes made from the fibrous bark of the bigger palms.
“The overall picture for Easter Island is the most extreme example of forest destruction in the Pacific, and among the most extreme in the world: the whole forest gone, and all of its tree species extinct,” says Diamond.
As a result of the deforestation, food production fell dramatically as crops became exposed to the harsh winds and semi-arid conditions of the region. Consequently the population collapsed from perhaps as many as 15,000 at its peak to the few thousand that were eking out a living by the time Roggeveen arrived.
Smallpox and slavery killed off most of the people that remained, but the islanders were on the way to total collapse even without any contact with Europeans, says Diamond.
Read the whole article here.
The end is near! I mean, you can start signing up on the Obamacare exchanges October 1st. But that isn’t stopping Republicans from continuing to try to defund it. In fact, they just held their 41st sham vote to block it. I mean… what else do they have to do? It’s not like they’re fix the Reaganomics hole they put us in. They’re not going to start governing now when this whole “obstruct and drag us back to the gilded age” plan is coming along so nicely.
Conservatives: Addicted to “profitable” Failure
ONLY a conservative would dig their heels in to protect the WORST health system in the developed world. That’s right – the worst. Sure, it’s great if you’re rich! But try getting sick – really sick – and checking back with us. The fact is, the American for-profit health insurance system costs twice more than the nearest most expensive system, bankrupts millions, kills thousands, gobbles up 16% of the GDP and growing, leaves millions out and consistently ranks DEAD (no pun intended) LAST or next to last in all positive measures (quality, access, efficiency, equity, and healthy lives) – but it makes a FEW people VERY RICH to deny people access to affordable care. So that’s just fine with conservatives. After all, we MUST think of the PLUTOCRATS! As for the rest of us… I guess we should enjoy living in a country where someone can be inflicted with the type of elephantiasis only seen in so-called Third World Countries because he can’t afford to see a doctor. Hey! At least we get a TLC reality show out of it – ”The Man With the 132lb Scrotum.” That’s the “free market” at work, baby! It’s a “win/win!” The health insurance racketeers get windfall profits – and you a disgusting reality show to distract you from that strange lump on YOUR groin that you’re afraid to find out about because you can’t take a day off of work because you don’t get sick days and you can’t afford insurance.