Thursday, September 8, 2011

The GOP Anti-Enlightenment

It is one the world’s true wonders that current republican candidates can be so wrong on so many issues, and how they label our president with the worst of their own faulty positions.  Their main smear against Obama is that he just wants to do “more of the same thing”, which has not worked, and will not work in the future. 

On that point, it is hard to label Obama as a “more of the same thing” kind of guy, since, aside from rescuing the banks, he actually hasn’t done much on the economic front.  Some of the things he says he wants to do—spending on infrastructure for example, are hotly resisted by all of the candidates.  In fact, it seems not to matter what Obama wants to do—republicans have said No to everything.  They do so want him to be a one-term president.
So, what is their prescription?
Repeal “Obamacare” – now there’s a big job creator. Take away health care from the 40+ million who have none, thereby further reducing their spendable income. Yeah, that’s a winner. The main fear of republicans about “Obamacare” of course, is that it threatens one of their core financial supporters, the health insurance industry.
Roll back all regulations – they talk of an ‘explosion” of regulations, “smothering” American job creators. In fact, the near absence of regulations is what got us into the current financial mess to begin with. Their most current bitch was about some proposed EPA regulations on emissions, which Obama just killed. But the fact is, our skies were cleaned up with no obvious deleterious effects on employment some 40 years ago. Republicans are simply lying about it. What we need is to reinvigorate EPA, not kill it. Bush almost succeeded in killing it, and in fact killing all regulations. That worked out real well, huh?
Cut more taxes on corporations, especially on profits earned overseas—oh yeah, that’ll create more jobs, huh?  The main net effect of further cutting corporate taxes, already at a low point, is to fatten the profits flowing to the wealthiest Americans. No new jobs are created by these tax cuts, but they do exacerbate the already perilously high and climbing national debt.
Substitute the Bible for the Constitution – sounds far fetched, except that one of the core constituencies of current republicans is the country’s Christian Taliban.  They are a scary bunch who want to gut public education and replace secular law with religious law (e.g., Sharia). Current candidates cherish this bunch of ignorant miscreants.
Get rid of what remains of the Nation’s Middle Class – this is one of the most baffling of their platform planks. They seem bent on killing the Middle Class, which is the group that made America great, while it was still great. Republicans seem intent on destroying that class and its institutions, including unions, public schooling, Medicare, Social Security and the minimum wage.  They seem not to realize that, if we lose the Middle Class (a serious possibility) we lose much of America.
Talk about repeating the same thing over and over, while expecting different results (one definition of insanity). That platform more or less describes the course charted for America by George W. Bush. I believe we are in the middle of Great Depression II mainly because of those republican policies held so dear by the current crop of candidates.  If Obama hasn’t yet even begun the job of solving the enormous problems of our Nation, willed to him by republicans, it is because republicans continue to resist solutions.  Some of them, Bachman for example, wish to return the Nation to the 18th century, without the enlightenment part, of course.  Call her crazy.
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