Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Tea Party and History

So, our election swept into office a group of True Believers, with the expecdtation that they would support jobs and the economy. So far, not so much. They have focused on attacking women and unions, and attempting to destroy what good the government does with threats of shutdown. They’ve attacked the judiciary, suggested that it should be legal to murder a doctor performing a legal procedure, and are attempting to criminalize abortion. What the heck?

E.J. Dionne writes that The Tea Party is Winning.
Washington is acting as if the only real problem the United States confronts is the budget deficit; the only test of leadership is whether the president is willing to make big cuts in programs that protect the elderly; and the largest threat to our prosperity comes from public employees.....

Thanks to the Tea Party, we are now told that all our problems will be solved by cutting government programs. Thus the House Republicans' budget bill passed Saturday. They foresee nirvana if we simply reduce our spending on Head Start, Pell grants for college access, teen pregnancy prevention, clean-water programs, K-12 education and a host of other areas.

Does anyone really think that cutting such programs will create jobs or help Americans get ahead?
Let's be clear on what these budget cutters want to cut: programs that take care of the poor, that pay for medical research and education, clean water, etc. Even Wall Street agrees that these cuts as currently proposed would damage the economy. Evidence is solid that these cuts would lead to the loss of jobs (as Speaker Boehner, the orange man said, "So Be It."). Repealing "Obamacare" such as it is would COST money. This is an ideological battle, not a political one.

There's also a moral component which is deeply disturbing.

Tom Ehrich:
The glee of young conservatives in Congress and state governments is disturbing. Those who are years from needing Medicare and fortunes from needing Medicaid are making life-or-death decisions on behalf of older Americans, and are showing troubling unconcern.

Those who wouldn't send their children to an inner-city school are making decisions about public education. Those who have cadged every dollar from polluters, bankers and pension-stealing employers are making decisions on behalf of those abused by those donors.

They cheer each other on and wrap themselves in a flag that all of us have worked to protect. They claim moral supremacy while serving their own interests. They boast of prudence and fiscal responsibility, while handing favors to the mega-wealthy and allowing infrastructure to crumble.

Where is the sadness? Where is the sense of being conflicted? Where is the discomfort in making decisions that others aren't in a position to make but whose interests matter every bit as much as the wealthy writing big checks?

The budget battles under way show a take-no-prisoners disregard for the vulnerable that violates everything this nation has stood for. Then these oligarchs and their protectors have the gall to declare themselves "patriots" and worthy successors to those who threw off such monarchical arrogance.

In the next few days, I'll continue to highlight some of the disturbing acts of the Tea Partiers and try to invigorate you with the moral need to stand up to them and push back.


IT said...

I think it is well worth reading about the prank call placed to Wisconsin Governor Walker by a journalist pretending to be autocrat David Koch.

Walker admitted he is not bargaining in good faith with the Democrats, that he has considered planting rowdies in the crowd of protestors, and that he would be happy to get a trip to California from his sponsor Mr Koch. It's pretty disgusting as an example of naked ideology.

JCF said...

Dang, IT, you beat me to it!

Where is the sadness? Where is the sense of being conflicted? Where is the discomfort in making decisions that others aren't in a position to make but whose interests matter every bit as much as the wealthy writing big checks?

Yeah, whatever else was in the taped phone call w/ Fake Billionaire-Koch, the above is what one did NOT hear from Gov. Walker.

dr.primrose said...

One of the most frightening things about where this country is going is that the government has increasingly become a government of the rich and for the rich.

We don't have enough money because we have drastically reduced taxation on the wealthy and the "solution" to the resulting budget crisis is to eliminate programs benefiting the non-rich. From what I understand, the entire Social Security funding "crisis" could be eliminated simply by continuing to apply the social security tax after income reaches the current cap of about $106,000.

In inflation-adjusted dollars, income for the top 1% has quadrupled since 1979, income for the top 20% has increased a bit, and income for everyone else has remained flat.

For post-tax share of income, the top 1% has increased over 120%, the top 20% has increased less than 30%, and everyone has declined, with the bottom 20% decreasing almost 30%.

The top 20% now owns about 85% of the wealth in this country.

You can see all this is chart form at here -- they're really scary-looking.

This is a model of oligarchy moving toward feudalism.

IT said...

There is certainly enough money in the system if not just in bonuses to deal with the crisis in the states, which was caused by financial malfeasance by those who .... get the bonuses.

it's margaret said...

There are rallies nationwide on Saturday, to stand in solidarity with the workers in Wisconsin.

I have signed up to attend here in Richmond. will have the rally info nearest you.

MarkBrunson said...



Yes. That'll teach 'em.

They have to be gotten rid of, now. Not assassinated or anything like that - that's their style - but recalled, removed from office.

Otherwise, they have til the next election to break completely what is a delicate and very fragile civilization into pieces.

Paul (A.) said...

There is an illustrative cartoon.

Paul (A.) said...

Speaking of that prank call, IT, two Republicans in Wisconsin have "coincidentally" introduced a bill to criminalize spoof telephone calls. Both deny any relationship between this bill and the Walker-"Koch" phone call last week.