Politics is war without bloodshed – Mao Tse-tung
Republicans have declared war on America. Sounds ridiculous, but is it? To fully understand the behavior of the Republican Party, one must view their actions through the eyes of a soldier. Still skeptical? That’s OK. Let’s go review the troops waging this war.
The Republican forces are aligned along three fronts: (1) Corporate business interests, (2) the Religious Right / social conservatives, and lastly, (3) the Tea Party. Granted, there is a good deal of overlap between these combat organizations, but identifying them in this fashion helps clarify their battle plan objectives.
Let’s talk about the Republican shock troops first. That would be the Tea Party. Their stated objective is reduction of Government spending. However, this movement also includes some Southern “Special Forces” units whose troops are, frankly, horrified by the idea of a black man in the White House. To the extent they support fiscal conservatism, it is motivated by the belief that too many of their tax dollars go to support minority-focused social programs.
The Tea Party resents being called “racist.” But the fact is, while George Bush ran up $5 trillion in debt, these so-called fiscal conservatives sat quietly by, not saying a word against two unfunded wars and massive tax cuts for the rich. Their induction into the fiscal conservative movement did not take place until after President Obama was elected. They say they see red ink, but it seems what they really see is “black people.” Occasionally we get a glimpse of the real Tea Party whenever Rand Paul questions the 14th Amendment or Haley Barbour declares that things “weren’t that bad” in Civil Rights era Mississippi.
The longest serving Republican ground troop legions are the Religious Right and social conservatives who have for decades complained that “America is going to hell in a hand basket.” These folks are politically armed and motivated by the perceived threats posed by the “4G left-wing monster network” — the Godless, the Gays, the growing minority population and the anti-gun lobby.
An army is said to march on its stomach, but in the case of Republican troops, their forces are fueled by money. And ample money is available from big business like never before, thanks to the recent Supreme Court Citizens United ruling. No modern military assault would be complete without an Air (waves) Force which is supplied by the likes of Fox News, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and right-wing radio.
All war is based on deception – Sun Tzu
According to Sun Tzu, all war is based upon deception. The Republicans have learned this particular lesson very well. They campaigned during the last elections on jobs… jobs… jobs. This message resonated with the American voters and the Republicans made stunning gains in the House of Representatives. Their jobs mantra was, however, the classic military feint. After emerging victorious from the recent electoral battle, rather than attack joblessness in America, the Republican forces returned to many of familiar culture war issues such as abortion. When told that the proposed Republican budget cuts would cost jobs and threaten the nation’s economic recovery, John Boehner’s now-famous response was, “So be it!”
When you demonize, you dehumanize. – James Forsher
Throughout history, forces promoting conflict have sought to demonize their enemies. In addition to rallying the troops, demonization makes it psychologically easier for your troops to defeat and destroy the enemy. The Republican “war machine” philosophy is no different. Right-wing radio and its constant messages of hate and fear does a great job of communicating with the troops, conveying the seemingly endless threats posed by the illegitimately elected Democratic administration. Rush Limbaugh and company are the 24/7 equivalent of a “Government-is-the-enemy” rebel-yell battle cry. Hell, no! They won’t let anyone forget that real Americans and their liberty-loving and god-fearing ways of life are under attack from the unpatriotic left.Seriously, you have to give the Republicans credit. America is afraid. And this fear is a cultivated and calculated strategy. Fearful people vote. Fearful people do not pause to consider the consequence of their actions; they just react, spurred on by the Republican dog-whistle fear messages of Socialism, Unconstitutional-ism, Marxism, (or insert your favorite fear-ism here) and juxtapose it next to the Republican bumper sticker message-of-the-day: Women shouldn’t have the right to choose. We pay too much in the way of taxes. We don’t need the EPA. We need to get Government out of our lives. The “Kenyan” wants to take away your right to bear arms. We must not be weak on Defense. Obama hates white people. Government is taking over healthcare. Obama is Muslim and it goes on and on and on.
The Republican forces are impressive. They have massive numbers of ground troops, tremendous air (wave) power and lots and lots of big business money to keep their attack machine well-oiled and moving. But the most devastating forces are the Republican “sabotage teams.” These are the elected representatives who, under the camouflage nets of their jobs, seek not just to discredit government, but to literally dismantle the very institution they purport to serve. Enter the States’ Rights astro-turf movement with its claims of states’ supremacy and the ability to nullify Federal laws. An elected and serving Republican even suggested that the President should not speak for America. Statements such as this are not off-the-cuff. They are all part of the Republican war effort.
We harass; the enemy tires; we attack. – Mao Tse-tung
By delaying, obfuscating and obstructing every legislative initiative proposed by this President, the Republicans have sought to convince Americans that he, along with the Democratic Party, are incapable of governing. By refusing to discredit the Birthers, the Republicans have sought to cast Obama as an illegitimate and literally “un-American” President. (Do you really think the Joe Wilson “you-lie” shout-out during the President’s State of the Union address was an accident? Could it have been calculated disrespect to rally the troops?)
So there you have it. These three groups are the assault forces assembled in the Republican war on America. But what are the Republican combat objectives? Well, there is no secret here. Karl Rove told us. The Republicans want a permanent Republican majority. To accomplish this, they must not just defeat the Democratic Party – they must destroy it. The Public Employee unions are viewed as Republican Public Enemy Number One. Destroy them and they also destroy the Democrats’ primary ability to mobilize and get out the Democratic vote. Voilá! You could very easily have your permanent Republican majority operating at the behest of big, multi-national businesses. Their mantra might as well be, “If it’s good for big business, it’s good for America…” just not working, middle-class Americans.
The frontal assault being waged on public employee unions going on in Wisconsin is the most visible battle at the moment, but there are other fronts of this Republican “war” as well. Ever hear of divide and conquer? Classic military strategy is to cut off an enemy from its supply lines and its access to reinforcements and then kill it. The modern day equivalent of this tactic is redistricting which Republicans are undertaking with a vengeance. Redraw voting district lines and Democratic majorities can literally be cut to into tiny ineffective electoral pieces.
In politics, as in war, it is important to hold the high ground – and the high court.
The Supreme Court was once considered a bastion of the liberal left. No longer. The Roberts’ court, with its reliable pro-Republican majority votes, stands ready to revisit what many considered to be settled law. Think things can’t get any worse than the Citizens United ruling? Think again. The court appears poised to abandon all appearances of legal neutrality and join body-and-soul with the right-wing movement. Clarence Thomas when recently addressing his wife’s activism on behalf of right-wing groups said it plainly. “We believe in the same things,” he said.
What’s the Republican war all about? For big business and corporate special interests, it’s all about the money which comes in the form of less regulation and lower taxes. In their view, the projected growth of entitlement programs threatens their much desired tax cuts. In addition, programs such as Social Security and Medicare also threaten the 20% of our spending that goes to Defense. Defense contractors certainly want to ensure that their gravy train chugs along without abatement. Did you know that some Republicans are even calling for the U.S. to get involved militarily in Libya? Apparently two wars aren’t enough!
While Republicans love to publicly wrap themselves in the flag of fiscal conservatism, the fact is that in the last half-century, they’ve proven themselves incapable of reducing spending. Based upon both distant and recent history, they will redistribute spending in a way that repays those who contribute to their campaigns. The Military Industrial Complex and big business will continue to flourish. The myth that Americans pay too much in taxes will continue to be promoted. If history is any indicator, the rich will get richer, while the middle class and the most vulnerable in our society will continue to suffer. And entitlement programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security will come under increasing attack as unaffordable.
So you still don’t think the Republicans are at war? Well, what really matters is what the Republicans think – and they are all military-geared up for a scorched-earth campaign to take their country back in 2012. Democrats and democratic values stand a good chance of becoming casualties or nothing more than collateral damage in the Republican uncivil war on America.
About the author: SequimBob2 is an author, a former soldier, a political junkie, and a self-described member of the resistance against the war being waged on America by the Republican Party. When not on the battle lines, he can be found shooting pictures in Washington’s beautiful Olympic Peninsula. Photos used in this story were provided by “Slagheap.”