Archive for September 29th, 2011

Republican sabotage means we are actually doing things their way.

Sep 29, 2011 in Politics

I really can’t stress how important it is that every word coming from a Republican should be doubted until proven to be true. They really just can’t help making things up, but they also don’t want to stop making things up, so there’s no incentive for rehabilitation.

The current state of the economy guarantees that Republicans headed into 2012 are going to do everything they can to hang that around Obama’s head, regardless of the fact that Obama always erred in the direction of Republican/Blue Dog Democrat priorities, and that Republican obstruction and intransigence has actually delivered a lot of what Republicans say we need to do in order to help the economy. I mean, one can only be a fool for trying to make sense of what the Republicans say, because above all else their only concern is 2012 and preventing Obama from overseeing a recovered economy that everybody in 2008 knew was going to knock us off balance for years.

No hiring surge will happen until that job killing stimulus spending winds down; until Dems allow Republicans to extend the Bush tax cuts on the rich; until Dems agree to deep cuts to Federal programs; until municipal governments are forced to cut back and fend for themselves; until Dems embrace the notion that government must tighten its belt to restore business confidence; and until Dems begin seriously basing their policy response to unemployment on the conservative idea that if we only reduce the deficit, a thousand economic flowers will bloom. Only then will we see the surge in employment we’re all waiting for.

Oh, wait…

But that doesn’t work for 2012. No, after two years of automatic filibusters and the big Tea Party blowout of 2010, we’re supposed to believe the Republicans have gotten nothing and bear no responsibility for anything.

The reality is that they’re getting most of what they want as well (as things they used to want when Republicans proposed them), and they’re stopping lots of things they say would hurt the economy (again, do not try to make sense of this, as they say the stimulus hurt the economy when it actually helped a lot). No, the election of the Republicans to the House delivered lots of nothing, and one big something: The holding of the American economy hostage unless they got their way on spending cuts, resulting in the Tea Party Downgrade. That, along with the stimulus running out, has put us directly into the stagnant hole we’re in.

No, there is to be no logic, facts, or reason applied to 2012. Republicans want to win, period. They know that even though the public supports the policies of President Obama and the Democrats, they are likely to punish them at the ballot box for whatever the economic climate is in November 2012. It’s a fundamental irrationality in the nature of the voting public, and therefore fundamental irrationality is all one can expect from the Republicans in 2012. Not that any election year has produced particularly rational Republican candidates.

Democrats have to be real simple about this: Where they’ve gotten their way, we’ve been helped, and where Republicans have gotten their way, we’ve been hurt. We’ve tried to play fair, President Obama has certainly done so to a fault, but trying to make everybody happy has made nobody happy. Firefighters cannot work with arsonists if the goal is less fire.

Yes, I intend to use that metaphor until 2012 and beyond, so if that’s a problem, sorry. The underlying reality that metaphor describes hasn’t changed, and won’t change in the next year.

-hw

De-program the rich-worship/poor-hatred.

Sep 29, 2011 in Politics

The whole article by Joshua Holland is necessary reading:

In his classic book, “Why Americans Hate Welfare,” Martin Gilens found a striking disconnect: Significant majorities of Americans told pollsters that they wanted public spending to fight poverty to be increased at the same time that similar majorities said they were opposed to welfare. Gilens studied a number of different opinion polls and concluded that the disconnect was driven by a widespread belief that “most welfare recipients don’t really need it,” and by racial animus — “perceptions that welfare recipients are undeserving and blacks are lazy.”

A quick rundown of the ideas that have embedded themselves into American culture via the GOP that aren’t true and tear away at our will to make this a better country for everyone:

1. Registering the Poor to Vote Is “Un-American”
2. Unemployment Benefits Have Created a “Nation of Slackers”
3. You Can’t Really Be Poor if You Have a Color TV!
4. Food-Stamps: “A Fossil That Repeats All the Errors of the War on Poverty”
5. “The Main Causes of Child Poverty Are Low Levels of Parental Work and the Absence of Fathers”
6. Taxing Working People Less Than the Rich Is “Perverse”

If any of those sound good to you, go read the article. If they don’t but you’d like to better learn why they’re wrong, go read the article.

-hw