Monday, October 25, 2010

The Republican Party and the Beast It Serves

Big business owns the Republican Party. The people on Wall Street who caused the economic meltdown are donating hundreds of millions of dollars to the Republican Party. For many years, Republicans have been good at changing the subject and stirring up anger. They have not been good at taking an honest look at the world that now exists and what we need to do about it.

In truth, the leadership of the Republican Party has little idea of what it's doing and how to solve any of America's problems. No one exemplifies this more than Rep. Michele Bachmann. Here's a few words concerning an interview with the astonishing Bachmann from by a site that closely watches Republican right wingers:
Despite the fact that she generally has no idea what she is talking about, Rep. Michele Bachmann is planning on holding weekly classes on the Constitution for new members in the next Congress.

Q. If, with a snap of your fingers, you could change anything about America, what would it be?

A. Reduce the federal government to its original size and constitutional limitations and to restore the 9th and 10th amendments.

Of course, the population of the United States back when the government was at its "original size" was just under 4 million - it is now over 310 million.

Forget for a moment what an ignoramus Bachmann is. Like many right wingers, she simply puts together a hodge podge of conservative talking points, random articles, email propaganda (usually in the form of jokes or screaming from the rooftops histrionics about the end of the world for things like fair and honest healthcare reform) and hallucinations by people like Rush Limbaugh. Now and then, these conservatives pick up a smattering of honest facts but have no idea what to do with them or how to put them into context.

So, just what would be the consequences of smaller government? Three things. Bigger businesses with much more clout over our lives. Smaller wages. And the wealth of all Americans concentrated into the hands of fewer and fewer super-wealthy individuals. It is always what happens when the rich and powerful do not have the counterbalance of democratic government. Dear Michele, the rich and powerful men back in old England is what the colonists were fighting against.

Here's another post, this one concerning an observation about business that more and more people have been noticing in the last thirty years of what has been a very conservative era: basic grievance against big companies is that when they screw up they take 6-8 weeks to fix it, usually after multiple phone calls and whatnot, but if I screw up a penalty is immediately levied. This happens on every scale, from billing snafus with $7 fees, to cases of people being foreclosed on even though they had never missed a payment and spent money on lawyers to prove this...

A good example of this type of thing is trying to get medical approval from the bureaucracy that has been created by big business. I'm old enough to remember when a single nurse or maybe a nurse and receptionist were all that was needed to handle prepping, appointments, billing and insurance for a doctor. It's not the government creating all the restrictions, requirements, catch-22s and other nonsense that screws millions of Americans in the health sector alone. It's big business. More important, it's insurance monopolies dedicated to the principle of making themselves filthy rich rather than serving the American people. There was a time when insurance people were proud to serve their clients.

What's changed? It's not that hard to explain. Today, whether it's healthcare, your phone company, the TV cable company, your gas and power company, the various gas stations where you fill up your car, or the many stores and many businesses where you get the things you need, business executives who run these companies have one thing in common: they think of Americans as fat cows to be milked, bled and carved. That is the reality that exists in 2010, and that is the system Republican politicians wholeheartedly do their best to support. Why? Because partly it satisfies their conservative bent, but largely because it's financially lucrative.

Let's be honest about Republican politicians in Washington. Here's a few problems the Republicans refuse to solve.

1. The mortgage crisis is out of control. Republicans make noise but refuse to actually do anything.

2. Healthcare costs are out of sight, but many Republicans are funded by insurance companies who don't want the monopoly in their state disturbed.

3. Most scientists consider global warming to be one of the biggest threats facing civilization. The Republican solution is to pretend the problem doesn't exist.

4. The world is growing faster than our energy resources. The Republican solution is to pretend the problem doesn't exist.

5. We are having to buy more and more oil from foreign countries as our own production slowly continues to decline. The Republican solution is to pretend we can make up for lost production by drilling for oil. In the meantime, major Republican donors are making a fortune buying that foreign oil from others and passing on the oil to the American consumer for a nice fat profit. This perpetual game of buying foreign oil does not create jobs for Americans. Pursuing renewable energy at home as a way to avoid sending our money overseas would create thousands of jobs for every billionaire making a fat profit buying oil from OPEC. That ladies and gentlemen is a fact. Not a single oil job in America that already exists need be affected. It will take two or three decades simply to ramp up alternative energy while doing nothing more than largely replacing foreign oil.

6. More and more jobs are being sent overseas to China or other countries who offer cheap labor. Keep in mind that Republicans despise American workers. The philosophy of wealthy and upper middle class Republicans is to overvalue what they do for the average American and undervalue what the average American does for them. This too is a fact. Republicans are big on national security but more and more things that we need for our defense are being built outside the United States. It is a foolish policy and is asking for trouble down the road. But major Republican donors don't want their China connections disturbed.

The list goes on. And yet, Americans are seriously thinking of sending a majority of Republicans to the House and Senate. All that will do is weaken the United States and make almost everyone poorer, except the rich Republicans who are paying the campaigns bills to get what they want. We are in danger of getting right back to where we were just before the economic meltdown.

The way forward is solving our problems, not playing word games. It is what a majority of Democrats are trying to do, but they're not getting much help.

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