How Loyal is the Loyal Opposition?

Originally posted 2009-03-19 12:57:22 -0500. Bumped by carol

BENEATH THE SPIN ERIC L. WATTREE

From this point on I pledge to stop using the terms "conservative" and "Republican" interchangeably. I'm beginning to realize there's a big difference between the two. Conservatives are loyal and well-meaning Americans of good faith who just happen not to share my opinion of what's in the best interest of America. On the other hand, it has become clear that the Republican Party has crossed the line between the loyal opposition, and subversion.

Am I indulging in radical hyperbole? I don't think so. The American Heritage Dictionary defines subversive as "Intended or serving to subvert, especially intended to overthrow or undermine an established government" (emphasis added).

While I don't mean to imply that the GOP is involved in a plot to overthrow our government–at least, not at this point--it is certainly clear that they are deeply involved in a conspiracy to undermine it. Forces within the GOP like Rush Limbaugh and Tom Delay have literally stated that they want President Obama to fail in his attempt to rescue America from our current economic crisis.

One can sugarcoat that anyway that one likes, but the bottom line is, if President Obama fails, the American people are going to suffer greatly. So what these GOP leaders are actually saying is that they're hoping for additional, and severe hardship, to be visited upon the American people. And considering the fact that America is in the throes of a nation-threatening economic crisis (due to a very large extent to GOP governance), I'd say they've crossed the line, from simple irresponsibility, to what could literally be considered subversive.

One might argue that I'm dealing in semantics if it were not for the fact that the GOP has taken its intent beyond mere words to blatant, and clearly defined obstructionism. They're using every legislative device at their command to sabotage the president's rescue plan. While they claim that their concern is about "pork barrel" spending, their claim is transparently disingenuous.

First, the amount of spending that the GOP is jumping up and down about is less than 1% of the rescue plan. So in essence, they're taking the position that one should allow a baby to starve to death because the local market is charging two pennies more for baby food than the store across town. Their rationale? It's a matter of principle. Oh, really?

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimated that making President Bush's tax cuts to the rich permanent, as virtually every Republican wanted to do, "Without offsets, making the tax cuts permanent would increase the deficit and thereby add to the national debt. The interest payments [alone] needed to service this higher level of debt would amount to about $700 billion over the next ten years. Thus, the total cost of making these tax cuts permanent, including the related interest costs, would be $4.4 trillion over the ten-year period" (emphasis added).

In addition, much of the pork in the rescue plan was placed in the stimulus package during the Republican watch, before President Obama even took the oath of office. And beyond that, many of the very Republicans who are complaining, are some of the most excessive spenders.

Republican minority leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell complains, for example, that the rescue plan spends more "than the previous administration spent in seven years on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and Hurricane Katrina combined." But he fails to point out that he's responsible for more than $75 million of the pork that he's complaining about.

According to Taxpayers for Common Sense, McConnell is responsible for a $950,000 earmark to fund a bikeway for a Western Kentucky University, and $2.9 million to purchase buses for LexTran, and $1.6 million for a forage animal research laboratory.

And for a politician who's so concerned about leaving debt on the backs of our children, it didn't seem to bother him when he landed on CREW's 20 Most Corrupt Members of Congress List for, according to CREW, "accepted donations to his campaign and political action committees in direct exchange for earmarking federal funds to clients of Bates Capitol," a lobbying firm owned by McConnell's former chief of staff, Gordon Hunter Bates.

And now we have Republican governors threatening to refuse the stimulus money. Governors Rick Perry (Tex), Mark Sanford (SC), Bobby Jindal (LA), C.L. "Butch" Otter (ID), and of course, Sarah Palin (AL)--all Republican, and all having presidential ambitions, thus, they all have a vested interest in President Obama's failure, and more than willing to let their people suffer to bring about that end. That in itself should demonstrate how we ended up in our current fix. Now just ask yourself–do you think that President Obama would allow people to starve, election or not, or under any circumstances? Of course not–that's the difference between a statesman and demagogues.

Even Ray Charles could see through the motives of these people–and as we all know, Ray's both blind, and deceased. When was the last time anyone ever heard of any governor telling the federal government that they didn't want more money? You show me a Republican who turns down money, and I'll show you some kind of conspiracy.

Thus, all of these Republican governors are willing to starve the people of their state for personal gain. In the middle of the worse--not just a national, but world--economic crisis of the last eighty years, they're telling the federal government, "No, I don't want you to help the people of my state. Let their unemployment lapse. We have food in the governor's mansion, and I'm sure the people will survive–somehow. " In essence, "Let them eat cake."

Those are not conservatives. They're self-serving, ruthless, and quite literally, anarchists. The American Heritage Dictionary defines Anarchism as, "The theory or doctrine that all forms of government are oppressive and undesirable and should be abolished"-- or as neo-con, Grover Norquist said, "small enough to drown in a bathtub."

No, these are not conservatives, and when we as progressives paint conservatives with the same broad brush as we do people who are blatantly un-American, we do both the nation, and ourselves a gross disservice. We play right into the hands of these demagogues, because their very survival depend on keeping the nation divided. They've prospered for years by keeping us racially divided, but that didn't work in the last election, so now they're desperate–and angry. So it's on to plan B–"By any means necessary."

What has kept America a strong and viable nation over the years is that in times of crisis we've managed to come together--not as Black or white, Jew or Gentile, liberal or conservative-- but as Americans, and that's the way we've got to address this crisis.

These demagogues have a philosophy–"Never let any crisis go to waste." What they mean by that is never miss an opportunity to manipulate the people. But we should take that philosophy and turn it on its head to mean, never allow the hardship of a crisis to go for naught, without making us a more insightful, steadfast, and unified America.

We've got to recognize that our inherent diversity is our strength. It makes us more, rather than less. Just as we need the progressive voices of Martin Luther King, Caesar Chavez, and Malcolm X to make us a more just and compassionate nation, we also need the conservative voices of a Gen. MacArthur and Colin Powell to make us strong. It's called balance.

But what we don't need are divisive voices like Rush Limbaugh's. What he represents is called, self-destruction.

Eric L. Wattree

wattree.blogspot.com

A moderate is one who embraces truth over ideology, and reason over conflict.

 

 

 

 
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and were in control of everything, they were still subversives. They were just more successful subversives because they had the power. In fact, I'd venture to say it was treason.

When anyone, including the few actual conservatives they had in their cabal, spoke out against their treason, they were silenced, ruined, slimed, slandered, arrested, and imprisoned. Some of the people they were torturing had more in common with their political views than I do.

Well said, sir. Almost enough to make me want to run for some small local office up here in central NY as a liberal Republican. But then I'd have to hang around all those awful people.

We are living in an interminable succession of absurdities imposed by the myopic logic of short-term thinking.—Jacques-Yves Cousteau

For years now I have not even attacked Bush as the primary villain of the situation. And while I would consider most Republicans to be members of the GOP I would not think so of all of them, even as many are nearly excluded from that club. ( I would put a few Dems and Lieberman in their fold as well though not actually Republican)

Much as Liberals and actual Socialists were at first subverted and then have had to fight off the connections to their own Orwellian Gang that used their "good words" as animal skins to hide their true nature as a Feral Gang bent on World conquest, now it is the other side that has had all their ideas hyjacked by a Feral Gang that has done greater damage because of the greater similarity in ideology.

Actual Conserrvatives are actually conservative about giving up what works to the untried and untested, and while ferociously independant, have been stronger than most to honor cooperative responsibilities. I suppose iy was this last that made them most vulnerable to the Gang Of Pirates who recognise no such honor except as it personally benefits them, to be abandonded instantly when it does not.

That is the problem, the GOP is Orwellian and are no more conservative than the Soviets were actually communist. As an Orwellian organization it has been their 50 year goal to destroy all governmental structures that limit or inhibit their rise to power, or exercise of it when they do have it. Even now it would seem they have abandonded the visible leadership because they would have faced total distruction had they continued, and from such an "outside" they can lead their most crazy followers against that new leadership.

However there are people in place still who are holding the vital places, and not letting the wave of Change wash over the places it most needs to. It is their expectation that once outrage over the Bush years subsides there will be enough tools in place to do the job of totalitarian government that has always been their goal.

The only real hope of permanantly defeating the Gang Of Pirates is to firmly establish structures of transparency and accountability, and permanantly destroy and make toxic all the tools that Bush put in place for a permenant dictatorship. To do this right there needs to be criminal prosecutions of all those who have built or used such tools as a warning that temporary power will be no defense in using those tools.