GOP: At War with Everything, Including ITSELF!

The nation’s unemployment rate continues to improve. Obamacare has already saved lives and caused health care premiums to go DOWN in places such as New York State.  The stock market continues to break new high records weekly. The housing market continues to improve by leaps and bounds. The deficit has been cut in half.  American consumer confidence continues to rise.

All things considered, including the fact that all of this is happening during the second presidential term of a democrat, one might think that republicans would see the handwriting on the wall and realize that the GOP of President Dwight D. Eisenhower is probably where today’s republican party needs to go if it wants to remain relevant.

However, this is not your grandfather’s republican party.  The group in control of the GOP, known as the Tea Party, is far different from anything that would have passed for republican 5o years ago.  In fact, except for the racial extremism that had historically marked many elected officials from the deep south, this group 50 years ago would probably been identified as fascist infiltrators.

The Tea Party believes that both the federal government and taxes should be at an absolute minimum.    They believe that there is no such thing as too much military or too much military spending, an exception to their “limited federal government” philosophy.  They think that Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other social safety net programs such as food stamps are nothing more than give-away programs that should be summarily eliminated.  They realize that they could never accomplish such a thing in one fell swoop, so they propose “changes’, which are primarily focused on starving the programs to death and transferring whatever is left to private for-profit corporations.

And finally, they believe that unbridled, unregulated free market capitalists should be allowed to operate in any fashion they so desire.  There should be no minimum wage laws because market forces can be depended upon to take care of that.  There should not safety regulations, because that interferes with corporate profits, and interference with profits means less trickle-down gains (crumb’s actually) for the lower classes.  There should be no limits on the harvesting of natural resources and no limits on corporate plans and deals.  Again, the interference thing.

The Tea Party is also heavily populated by people who believe that there is no such thing as a separation of church and state.  They believe that the 1st amendment to the US constitution guaranteeing freedom of religion does NOT mean that people are also guaranteed freedom FROM religion.  As a result, they believe that their personal version of Christianity should be  the major player in whatever government is still allowed to exist.

Over the past several years the Tea Party has consolidated political power primarily via the near-limitless funding of very large, wealthy corporations run by free market fanatics such as the Koch brothers.  As a result, the more moderate factions within the republican party began to take these folks seriously.   In fact, as the Tea Party’s power grew, they issued ultimatums to their fellow republicans to “tow the Tea Party line or else” face a primary challenge during the next election.  For members of the US House of Representatives, elections come around every two years, so the threat of a primary challenge was urgent.  Even members of the US senate facing re-election every 6 years consider threat very real.

Thus, since the mid-term elections of 2010, the Tea Party has become more and more reckless in their pursuit of “shrinking the government to a size that they can “drown in the bathtub“, as well as wrap their compacted government in their religious dogma  To achieve their goals they formulated a war strategy, declaring:

  • War on social safety net programs;
  • War on the environment;
  • War on renewable energy;
  • War on progress;
  • War on the poor;
  • War on immigrants;
  • War on students;
  • War on minorities;
  • War on Gays;
  • War on Muslims;
  • War on government;
  • War on education;

And, lest we forget…

  • War on Women.

The Tea Party has succeeded in having the US government’s credit rating reduced as a result of their idiotic debt ceiling debacle of 2011.  Now they’re threatening a repeat when the US government faces a similar debt ceiling issue later in 2013.

However, while exuding overconfidence, the Tea Party has failed to acknowledge that many Americans, including traditional republicans, are fed up with their unrealistic ultra-conservative views.  When Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) recently threatened another debt ceiling crisis to shut down the government unless the senate agreed to defund Obamacare, many republicans went on record emphatically stating this was a stupid idea.

Lee has since recanted (sort of) , but the handwriting is finally and clearly on the wall.   The Tea Party’s new “War on republicans” brings within reach a turnover of power in the US House of Representatives in 2014 to democrats.

We’ll be watching…and hoping.

 

While America Watches Zimmerman, the GOP Schemes

It’s the middle of July.  Summer is half over.  Millions are on vacation.  For some unfathomable reason, some people seem to think that news reporting is on vacation as well.  That’s no surprise since the George Zimmerman trial seems to be taking up ALL of the news channels’ daytime reporting these days.

Considering the mega-multichannel live TV coverage, one would think they were actually broadcasting the first human landing on Mars!

Those people are just relaxing in front of meaningless reality TV while becoming even less informed than they were before!

It is thus no surprise that the GOP and the religious right can convince so many people that their views on such things as that “hoax known as global warming” (caused, as many will attest, by same-sex marriage) and the God-given incapacity of women to make proper decisions about their own bodies, are correct.  After all, isn’t determining who was on top of whom longer (Trayvon Martin or George Zimmerman)  more important than passing job legislation or funding cancer research?  Or put another way, wouldn’t most people would rather watch lawyer-porn on TV than legislative debates and votes on C-SPAN?

There are approximately 13,000 murders in the USA every year.  Within that context the fixation of many people with the Zimmerman murder trial over all others defies logical explanation.  But while they’re hypnotized by the trial lawyers and witnesses talking in slow motion on their TVs, other events have been, and are, occurring which in the long run are much more important and impactful to life on planet Earth:

  • Edward Snowden, the leaker of the NSA surveillance policies, may end up in Venezuela, which has offered him asylum;
  • The pilots of Asiana 214, which crashed in San Francisco, claim they thought the auto-throttle was engaged to keep them from going too slow;
  • New pro-gun-carrying laws have passed in several states, allowing, for instance, guns in bars!  
  • Texas democratic state senator Wendy Davis stopped the religious-right-wing Texas GOP from eliminating most abortion clinics in Texas…for now.
  • The GOP successfully filibustered in the US senate today, blocking a democratic proposal to reverse the doubling of student loan interest rates.
  • The GOP-controlled US House of Representatives will hold hearings claiming Obama cannot delay one provision of Obamacare (employer-provided health insurance) for a year. (!!)

Yeah, you read that right.  The GOP is screaming that President Obama, whose executive branch of government oversees the implementation and enforcement of Obamacare, cannot delay enforcement of fines and penalties against any employer of 50 or more workers that does not provide health insurance to its employees.  The delay was announced last week as a result of businesses complaining that they did not understand all the complexities in the law and therefore could not possibly comply with the initial January 2014 implementation date.  The Obama administration accepted the complexity argument and agreed to a one-year delay in implementation of that complex provision.  The GOP, smelling blood in the water, decided to attempt to embarrass the administration, claiming that the individual mandate provisions, which the US Supreme Court found to be constitutional last year, should also be delayed a year.

Of course, that one-year delay in the mandate would bring the nation past the next mid-term election in November 2014, during which the GOP hopes regain control of the senate while maintaining its majority in the House of representatives.  If they succeed, they would vote in both houses to abolish Obamacare completely before it has been fully implemented.  And although Obama would veto such a bill, the republicans would hope to override any such veto, or preserve the issue until the next presidential election in 2016.

If you’re wondering when the GOP-controlled house is going to pass immigration reform, or a jobs bill, or an infrastructure repair and rebuilding bill, or a realistic compromise budget, or the farm bill, wonder no more.  The expectation that the house will do anything other than obstruct everything passed by the senate for the next 18 months is a sure bet.  And why?  Because the ultra-religious-right-wing base of the “new but not-improved” GOP demands absolutely NO compromise with democrats or even with the ever-shrinking number of moderates in their own GOP.

So while Americans sit glued to their TVs like crack addicts, watching the “Court TV for REAL” supplied all day long by all the major broadcast and news networks as though they were dealing crack, national and world events go largely unnoticed by the addicted masses and their suppliers.  REAL news junkies are forced to plug into what remains of the news outlets:  AP, BBC, Bloomberg, C-SPAN, and the international news outlets.

Shame on you, CNN.  Shame on you, MSNBC.  We expect this from HLN and Faux Noise, but watching the premier stations  sink to this low level is disgusting.

Your program directors need to watch “The Newsroom” on HBO.  Maybe then they’ll remember what’s important, and what isn’t, in the news.   🙁