“Inevitable Desperation”: The Ugliness Of The Republican Death Spiral
Democrats should not be complacent. The 2012 elections are not yet won, and we soon will find out just how much half a billion dollars of Koch and Rove Super PAC money can buy. But things are looking good, particularly for President Obama. But Democrats still need to work as hard as if they were behind, right up through election day. And Democrats need to hold on to the Senate and win back the House. Unlike Republicans, Democrats can’t buy elections. Unlike certain prominent Republicans, Democrats actually know they can’t buy dignity and class.
When the radical judicial activists who comprise the extremist majority on the current Supreme Court went well beyond the questions raised in Citizens United, to legislate from the bench an end to campaign finance reforms, the purpose was obvious. These same justices had either ruled on or come to the Court as a result of the equally radical Bush v. Gore decision, and in both cases the real intention was to undermine democracy, to protect a power elite that needs such cynical and sinister machinations in order to maintain its death grip on political power. Do not be surprised if these extremists make further moves before the election, because laws specifically designed by Republicans to prevent legally registered Democrats from voting have been overturned by lower courts, and these perversions of the very concept of “justices” are running out of means by which they and their allies can prevent democracy from breaking out.
The Republican National Convention was such a moiling morass of mendacity that even the usually cautious arbiters of national discourse in the traditional media couldn’t help but notice. Paul Ryan’s speech to the Convention was a catalogue of lies. Clint Eastwood’s bizarre performance included his deluded hallucination of President Obama as a man who tells people to shut up, which clearly is nothing remotely akin to the president’s actual personality or behavior, and in fact was a clear projection of the unprecedented disrespect with which the president has been treated by the Republicans themselves. And then came Mitt Romney, with yet another catalogue of lies.
The Romney-Ryan campaign is built almost entirely of lies. We expect some degree of dishonestry in politics, but it usually takes the form of fudging around the edges. With Romney and Ryan it is the very basis of their campaign. The primary theme of the Republican attacks on President Obama is based on a quote taken deliberately out of context. And perhaps even worse, that theme not only is based on a lie about President Obama, it is based on lies about Romney himself. He did not build Bain by means of honest hard work and enterprising spirit, he built it with government subsidies. He did not rescue the Salt Lake City Olympics by using the principles of free market capitalism, he rescued it by using crony capitalist government subsidies. As governor of Massachusetts, Romney built a health care system he now wants people to forget, and he ranked only 47th in the nation in job growth.
As Dean Baker of the Center for Economic Policy and Research pointed out, Republican criticism of President Obama for the condition of the economy is akin to criticizing firefighters for the condition of a house right after the firefighters had stopped it from burning down. When President Obama took office, the economy was losing 800,000 jobs a month. When President Obama took office, the economy was shrinking at an annual rate of 8.9 percent. The economy was burning down. Then the firefighters arrived. The Obama stimulus created some 3,300,000 jobs. Under President Obama’s stewardship, the economy has recovered all private sector job losses. The only justifiable criticism of the stimulus is that it wasn’t large enough to have sparked a full recovery, but that’s not the Republican criticism.
Republicans continue to oppose stimulus spending. Republicans oppose any potential stimulus by the Federal Reserve. In other words, Dean Baker’s analogy didn’t go far enough. It’s not just that the Republicans are criticizing the firefighters for the condition of the house right after the firefighters saved it from burning down, it’s also that the Republicans lit the firein the first place, tried to stop the firefighters from getting to the house, and now aretrying to stop the construction workers from getting to the work of rebuilding it, while themselves planning to add more fuel and light another match.
Mitt Romney has never built anything on his own. He has used government subsidies and money given to him by his wealthy family— the latter an option he apparently is too oblivious even to realize is not available to everyone. He criticizes President Obama for disparaging private enterprise, even though President Obama did no such thing, and then he claims credit for having made lots and lots of money after having lots and lots of money handed to him for nothing, which he doesn’t acknowledge because he apparently believes he was entitled to it by the mere fact of his existence. But Romney is just one among many failed Republican candidates, his triumph in the Republican primaries but more proof that while money can’t buy class, it can buy a Republican presidential nomination. His opposition was a dystopian carnival of human degradation, and if anyone ever wondered why Republicans refuse to accept the scientific proof of evolution it now is clear that it is because evolution has passed the Republicans by. The Republican National Convention featured many of the supposed rising Republican stars of the future, who only succeeded in collectively demonstrating that any ostensible Republican future is but a fantasy of a mythological past from which most sentient beings long since have awakened to consciousness.
The Republicans have no future. From climate change to national security to the economy to social justice and human rights, the list of issues on which the Democrats and public opinion are moving forward while the Republicans are stagnating if not attempting to move backward is endless. They can’t win on the issues. They can’t win on their freak show personalities. They can’t win using the principles of democracy and republic. The only hope for the Republicans is to lie, cheat and steal, and they are attempting exactly that. And to a party that now is habitually and congenitally opposed to basic scientific realities, lies aren’t incidental to their political strategies, they are in fact the basis of their world view. To a party that is openly bigoted against the diverse demographics that the rest of the nation not only celebrates but has become, voter suppression and the undermining of democracy isn’t but a political means to an ends, it is the inevitable desperation of the soon-to-be extinct. Their last and only hope is that they can buy a last election or two, and encode into law, and legislate from the bench into the Constitution an end to democracy itself.
The Republicans are dying. They may still have means to stave off their final end for a few election cycles, but demographics, evolution and history itself are working against them. Death throes are not pretty. Desperation can breed cruelty. The smaller the souls, the uglier and more destructive will be their final flailing flagellations.
By: Laurence Lewis, Daily Kos, September 9, 2012
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