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Marion On April - 8 - 2011

I was raised by a father who couldn’t abide the Republican Party. In fact, I don’t ever recall a time in his life when he didn’t refer to the GOP collectively as “those god-damned Republicans.” When Mills Godwin, a Democratic governor of Virginia, defected, mid-term, to the Republicans, my father refused to stand as he took the podium in 1976 in order to confer degrees at the University of Virginia. It galled him to no end when I brought home a boyfriend from college, who happened to be a Republican, and he never ceased to remind my mother’s youngest brother, who had a habit of turning up, unannounced, along with his family just in time for Sunday dinner, that the Republican uncle was eating food cooked in a Democratic kitchen.

So even though I have Republican friends, I really don’t have any love lost for the Republican party, in general. And this present reincarnation of them, in particular.

What’s really angered me is the fact that the government is about to be shut down because neither side can come to agreement about the budget, but the real disagreement isn’t fiscal, it’s ideological. I suppose history will refer to this budget crisis as the “Abortion budget,” because that’s the real sticking point in all of this kerfuffle. The Republicans in the House, led by Luddite Mike Pence, are using abortion and women’s preventative health rights as a stick with which to beat the Democrats, holding them ransom to a cause they’ve sought to pursue for forty years.

Until recently, this was really a non-starter. It’s only since the rise of the Tea Party movement that these cockroaches, funded by the real Kockroaches, have even deigned to seek light. This tactic, this de-funding of Planned Parenthood, is part and parcel of a party devoid of ideas and driven by sheer, mean ideology. Ever since the Republicans took power in the House of Representatives in January, supposedly reflecting the will of “the American people,” they’ve done sweet Fanny Adams.

For all his bluff, bluster and teary-eyed talk about the American people having spoken, John Boehner hasn’t begun to address the much-promised issue of jobs; rather, he’s actually thrown the unemployed on the scrapheap and promised them company, with that off-the-cuff and callous remark about the proposed Republican budget being responsible for the loss of 700,000 jobs.

So be it … Amen … He gave his fluorescent orange blessing to the generation of the workless, whom he can only identify as “workshy.” His life is the classic tale of poor white Yankee shanty trash, who’s pulled himself up by the bootstraps to a reasonably successful life – achieved by gratuitous bootlicking of superiors with money and influence – who turns on others of his social origins as abject failures. Dickens would have been thinking of John Boehner, or his ancestor, when he created the character of Uriah Heep.

No wonder he drinks to the point that his skin reveals incipient liver damage, and he cries on a dime. Alcohol abusers tear easily. And now he, like many other most probably moderate Republicans, is craven to the demands of the Tea Party’s most dangerous nutters. Why? Because he fears for his job. His job.

If he doesn’t play ball according to their rules, he’ll get primaried in 2012, by a candidate of their choice. As will any number of other Republicans, even the ragtag bunch who are seriously thinking of running for President. It’s almost a game of whoever veers the most to the Right being declared the winner, but what a dangerous game it is.

These people want to deny poor and working class women the right to preventive healthcare. With Planned Parenting’s defunding goes their only recourse to breast and ovarian cancer screening, as well as birth control advice. Defunding that organisation with the palliative assurance that the individual states will take up funding such services is just a shoddy sleight-of-hand. We all know how any state with a Republican governor would disperse those funds. What an insult to people’s intelligence, and what an insult to women!

Even more of an oxymoron is the fact that in many of the red states, a fair number of women who take advantage of services offered by Planned Parenthood, probably voted for these people, in good faith because these Tea Party candidate types are people of faith, people who held the same values they did, or presented themselves as such.

The Republicans have made this budget all about abortion, and, no matter what the outcome, that wedge issue will raise its head again in 2012, because the next general election will be all about culture war, simply because the Republicans are devoid of any original ideas as to how to deal with our 21st Century problems, and so the 2012 battle is to be one waged for the collective soul of America – whether it’s to be the America of mom, apple pie and white men in power for time immemorial, or whether we have a future of diversity with the real meaning of E pluribus unum becoming the defining norm.

Already, since the election of the first African American President, we’ve seen racism re-emerge on both Right and Left, in varying degrees of subtlety. A Teabagger carries a poster of the President as an African chieftain; the Left call him “the Affirmative Action President.” Newt Gingrich refers to the President as a Kenyan; Jane Hamsher calls him “bugaloo Bush.” Tea Party controlled school boards in certain states virtually reinstate a system of racial segregation, whilst the 10 most segregated cities in the United States are all found up North, including New York City and Los Angeles.

With this assault on Planned Parenthood, we’re seeing women’s rights being systematically destroyed, not only by the men in power (and not just white men, if you count the benighted Alan West), but also the mean girls’ sorority championed by Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann.  Already two GOP Presidential contenders have said that, if elected, they would work towards the repeal of the repeal of DADT.

Nostalgia for the past is one thing, but this is ridiculous. Ridiculous and dangerous, considering the corporate powers who are empowering these dolts from the Right in their pursuit of days of future past, but it’s food for thought.

At the end of all this, the government will probably shut down, and the President will probably cop the blame for it, thanks to the machinations of the media, and the equanimity of hate emanating from the Right and the Left. But let’s put the blame where it really should lie. This is all down to the fact that we are lumbered with a Republican House and a decreased majority in the Senate. As someone else said yesterday, all that stands between us and the Thunderdome is the President and four Democratic Senators (and three of them are Joe Manchin, Bill Nelson and Mary Landrieu.) So the real blame for the fact that we’re about to achieve government shutdown, lies with the voters who empowered this majority in the House … and as much as the voters who chose not to vote and, thus, gave tacit permission to these clowns to wreak havoc.

And that’s a blame shared equally by the extreme Right as much as the extreme Left. I hope Ed Schultz’s ears are burning.

3 Responses so far.

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  1. choicelady says:

    When my brother sought CO status during Vietnam, the person who came to his assistance was IL Senator Charles Percy, a Republican. He wrote letters in support of my brother’s petition. He did not even KNOW my brother. That was beyond awesome.

    All over the Midwest when I was growing up, the Republicans were of two camps -- the “real” Republicans of Lincoln’s party, and the McKinley types who prevail, in worse and worse form, today. How it came to pass that the latter became dominant had everything in the world to do with Reagan. Reagan may have raised taxes (as Governor not as President I think I recall) but he sold out to the religious right in the famous summit in 1980 where the extremist religious factions set a significant part of the agenda. They made it very clear that he would not win the candidacy if he did not bow to their whims. And he did. He even became a fancier of Rushdoony, a man so far off the “Christian” mainstream that even Pentacostals feared his zeal. Ahmanson, Rushdoony, and Scaife became the triumverate of faith and money, and they all shoved Reagan further and further to the Right.

    And he dragged the GOP with him.

    Every single Tea Bagger candidate today in Congress is a Dominionist Christian. They don’t talk about it because they know we’re suspicious of them, so they put “fiscal conservatism” at the head of the list -- then give us the ol’ one-two on the hate issues of abortion and GLBT rights right back at us. They are, indeed, fiscal conservatives, just as they see it: cut taxes on the rich, add them to the poor (who are yes, “work shy” and obviously undeserving or they WOULD have jobs) and get government out of the way of the elites who ARE elite because, well, God blessed them to be so.

    NEVER underestimate the role of theocracy in any of this. Those now in power want an embedded INEQUALITY in our society, our tax system, our Constitution where the Godly are in charge, and they rule us all who are inferior. They can PROVE we’re not worthy because if we were, we’d be rich. They have set the course -- the Apostles were “businessmen” and therefore businessmen were sent by God to rule. Working people are poor because they have dared to be disobedient to capitalists. This is God’s punishment. Women are empty vessels to serve their husbands -- so birth control and good health care are irrelevant. Minorities MIGHT be saved -- but they will always be second tier even if they believe. But for sure white rich males are the “chosen”. Minorities who are born again and compliant will be house slaves while the rest of us will be field hands. Minorities in the GOP therefore WILL get to be a cut above the rest. I’m sure that’s comforting.

    So watch these policies and the politicians supporting them. They are not at all interested in creating jobs. They want to do away with labor as much as possible leaving a huge society of desperate people who will do any kind of work without good pay, benefits, or safety. Then we will have a highly organized society with a few at the top, a tiny number of lessers below, and all the seething masses who will serve the interests of this tiny number of the Elect. It’s Social Darwinism from people who reject Darwin.

    It all makes terrible sense if you understand where they are coming from. They are anti-Constituion, anti-American, and anti-democratic. So parse what you see through Boehner’s weepy proclamations -- see what serves Theocracy, and you will understand that they are NOT hypocrites at all. This is the March of the Theocrats, and you and I and ordinary Americans are just dust under their feet.

  2. agrippa says:

    Contemptible.
    That is the state of american politics today; unless you want to treat it as a black comedy. I go contrmptible one day and black comedy the next day. Perhaps, it is both.

    I have a premonition of “the terrible ifs accumulate” ( from Winston Churchill); that forces/processes are being set in motion that no one can stop. And, many do not want to stop.

    And, a near majority of americans do not have a clue. Many americans know next to nothing about government, politcs and current events and do not wish to know. There is that: we will have a bloody mess on our hands and the great mass of people will have no idea of how or why we got to that point.

  3. ADONAI says:

    I have Republican friends and Republican associates. All to a different degree. They are dye in the wool Republicans, don’t get me wrong, they would never change Partys.

    Some of them do have deep philosophical disagreements with their Party. Like me, they see a bunch of potentially great ideas on the Republican side, but no leadership to carry them forward effectively. They all long for the good Reagan. The Reagan who raised taxes on the rich, improved schools, put millions back to work before being taken over by the neo-cons who all but bought his election. To be fair though, Reagan didn’t put up much of a fuss about it.

    And there are the ones who believe Obama is a socialist, proxy-Muslim and that the Great Depression was solved by ending banking regulation and cutting taxes on the rich. Seriously. I’ve actually had that argument.

    But I don’t mind. It’s like my Democrat friends. I have level headed friends who feel Obama is trying his best but he is a politician at the end of the day. We all knew that. And Democratic friends who believe Obama is a corporate stooge who is actually working with the Republicans and that the Republican Party gave birth to the corporate machine when we all know it was the Democratic Party many many decades ago.

    They ALL feel the shutdown is a bad idea though. Politically and for many many Americans. Including them. But, of course, they still argue the fault. I always say, look no further than the people standing in the room. Us.


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