Monday, February 22, 2010

If they destroy the country, what will they do for jobs?

by Rich Miles

Paul Krugman has a piece in the NY Times today that lines out the problem with Republicans quite clearly: they won't accept tax increases to reduce the deficit, but they won't accept spending cuts either, so in effect, we end up with status quo: huge deficits and no way to significantly reduce them.

Republicans say they want to reduce the size of government, but they keep doing things to make government bigger, and more unruly, and more deficit-laden, and they keep blaming all this on anyone but themselves.

And so, we end up with a government that is bloated beyond all imagining, and getting bigger by the day, and no one, of either party, willing to take the deeply unpopular steps of significantly cutting one or more of the Big 4: SocSec, Medicare, Medicaid, and whatever the new medical plan is going to look like. Whatever it looks like, it's a pretty sure bet that it's going to be damned expensive. But no one wants to cut anything. The closest we've gotten to cutting SocSec is that in 2010, recipients won't get a cost of living increase (COLA). And that, as is so often the case in Washington, is not a cut - it's just a failure to increase.

So we're going to see the cost of our government balloon up and up and UP, until we reach the next threshold of disbelief: a quadrillion dollars. We've been panicked into a blase' attitude toward a trillion dollars, haven't we? And a quadrillion is only a thousand trillions, right? At the rate we're going, we should cross that threshold in less than 10 years.

And still, the Republicans will not advocate for either serious cuts, or serious tax increases. So the numbers keep getting bigger and bigger. And our country goes further and further down the drain, and the 59-41 Senate is as gridlocked as ever it was at 50-50.

And our country continues to die. And all the Republicans can think of to do is obstruct, and seek to regain power. As if that's going to make any difference in a positive direction.

Because as much as the Republicans want to think so, the deficits are not going away until grown-ups take over the Legislatures in Washington, and all the state capitals.

And there are no grown-ups in the Republican Party. By definition.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dear Republicans: Why are You so Effin' STUPID!!!

by Rich Miles

The subject line of this post is not likely to win friends and influence people, but I'm just fuckin' FED UP with how very VERY stupidly those who call themselves Republicans are behaving lately - and by lately, I mean the past 10 years or so.

I mean seriously, LOOK at what is going on: Sarah Palin (even whose supporters don't think she'd make a good president, yet still they plump her for it), that moron Scott Brown up in Teddy Kennedy's old seat, who has the charisma of a not-too-bright film star, but is no one's idea of a leader; the alleged filibustering of the health reform bill, when what they're really doing is being whiny-ass titty-babies who won't let ANYthing happen that isn't their idea and to their political liking, the federal money they pretend to abhor but in reality take in with both hands. And on and on - hypocrisy and lies, hatred of Americans, failure to look after the wellbeing of the country and its people, and oh, did I mention hypocrisy and lies?

What's to be done about these people? How do we rid ourselves of this scourge? I have no answer that doesn't require concentration camps. But I do most assuredly see that the differences between Democrats and Republicans are not mere differences of style or direction - the Democrats want to help people, and the Republicans think people are, by and large, merely expendable tools for corporations to use to achieve their goals, which are by and large to suck up ALL the money there is.

The recent Supreme Court decision giving corporations the right to contribute as much money to political campaigns as individuals (or more - we haven't seen how this will play out in the legislature) is just about the stupidest decision we could ever imagine in our democracy - yet Associate Justice Alito actually had the gall to mouth off to the president at the State of the Union message in a way that should have gotten him censured if not fired (can the prez do that? I'm not sure).

And in all honesty, we have to blame the Democrats for a good portion of the Republicans' recalcitrance. We don't slap them down hard enough or fast enough. With ample evidence that the American people support our plans much more than theirs, we still let them get away with shit that we shouldn't. And as long as we let them get away with it, they'll do it!

But all in all, the Republicans are stupid - or at least, they assume that their constituents are stupid, and they can keep running the same old okey-doke on them forever. And so they do, and because no one, not their own people or the Democrats, slap them down, they are allowed to tell lies and get away with hypocrisy, and get away with it.

I was walking in a mall the other day, and I heard a little snippet of a conversation between a young woman and a middle-aged guy she was talking to. She said to him, "It's not like he's God or anything, although he thinks he is." Well, that was enough of an intriguing statement that I had to stop and ask who they were talking about. Turns out they were referring to Pres. Obama, and she went on to say that Obama had created all the debt, and if I had children or grandchildren, I should be against Obama, because my kids and grandkids were going to end up having to pay off those debts over the next X years, etc., etc. etc.

Well, I was sooooo taken aback to find two dyed in the wool Repugnican morons right there, discussing their stupidity in broad daylight, that I was unsure what to say for a moment. But I was finally able to say, in short, that most of the current debt was a result of Bush's actions and policies. Needless to say, I did not convince them. But there they were, two Rush Limbaugh listeners, reinforcing each other's misconceptions, and obviously citizens of the U.S. with just as much right to believe and say what they want as me. Can you imagine? Foolishness, legal and out-front!

Seriously, as long as such people are encouraged to believe such lies, we are going to have the deep and evil divisions in our society that we do now. Until it becomes unmistakably clear that the Republicans are against the people (something I don't know how we will do, and I thought would have been done before now), we're stuck! Our leaders have just barely started to be genuine humanists, and only occasionally, and they're fighting too much fear-mongering, too much genuine hatred, and on and on, to get the real hard-core rightists back on the side of humanity.

But we have to keep trying, right? To fail to do so is to relegate the human race to perpetual conflict, to constant agita, like that that I have almost daily, because of all the anti-human behaviors the Republicans engage in pretty much daily.

I don't know what it's going to take to convince the Republican idiots that their so-called leaders are working against them. It's so clear to me that I can't even formulate an argument to persuade someone who doesn't believe it.

But I do know this: we cannot simply ignore them and wait for them to go away. There is too much money involved - they're not going away! As long as success in electoral politics is reckoned by how much money a candidate raises, not by what his message and intentions for leadership are, we will never rid ourselves of Republicans - because money means too much to them, and so far, not enough to us.

A two-party system is a good thing - but what we have is a one-party, one-bunch of insane asylum inmates. Guess which one I think is which?