The Seeds of a Poison Fruit

puppet peopleMany of you may know that I was a Republican back in the day and that I even ran for office as a Republican.  I was continually sent to county and state conventions  by women’s groups to try to stop the party from systematically eliminating its historical positions on the ERA, reproductive health,  and just general civil rights positions that once were the hallmark of the party. The position of Senator of the Nebraska state unicameral is nonpartisan which is how I got marginally beat by a combination of Michelle Bachmann/Sarah Palin whacko that had  lived in the state less than a year and ran one the nastiest campaigns in the state’s history that was primarily fought from church and parish pulpits.  She was brought in by the fetus fetishists who were in full on purge mode by the early 1990s.  Nearly every elected official I spoke to was not very big on them but feared them and said they agreed with them just to make their re-elections easier.   Having two catholic parishes, two big barn evangelical churches and some Southern Baptists run a religious witch hunt on you is absolutely traumatizing.  It’s worse than dealing with the Taliban because at least the Taliban wear beards and are easy to identify.  No one wants to believe they have  a whacko living next to them in a suburb and that’s the hardest thing to fight about them.  They used to use code words and they tried to fit in.  They looked normal.  After 20 years of plotting take overs and purges in state after state with no one really taking them very seriously we arrive at the position we are in today.  They’ve broken their strings and no longer serve plutocrats that empowered them. We have a democracy that is a duopoly of two parties.  One of our parties has gone insane.  The result is complete dysfunction.

It’s not like the establishment republicans don’t deserve this.  They really let it happen.  They laughed at their crazies and gave them just enough lip service that they thought they’d keep them in their little corners.   Now, they’ve been cornered themselves and there doesn’t appear to be much they can do about it.  Andrew Sullivan has an eloquent piece about about the unhinged among them.  Really, the rise of the unhinged is the poison fruit of the tree of greed.  The establishment never thought they’d have a revolt on their hands. They always thought those little puppets were so dumb they would never attack their corporate establishment masters.

Between the humiliating and chaotic collapse of Speaker Boehner’s already ludicrously extreme Plan B and Wayne La Pierre’s deranged proposal to put government agents in schools with guns, the Republican slide into total epistemic closure and political marginalization has now become a free-fall. This party, not to mince words, is unfit for government. There is no conservative party in the West – except for minor anti-immigrant neo-fascist ones in Europe – anywhere close to this level of far right extremism. And now the damage these fanatics can do is not just to their own country – was the debt ceiling debacle of 2011 not enough for them? – but to the entire world.

Those of us who have warned for years about this disturbing trend toward ever more extreme measures – backing torture, pre-emptive un-budgeted wars, out-of-control spending followed, like a frantic mood swing, by anti-spending absolutism of the most insane variety in a steep recession, vicious hostility to illegal immigrants, contempt for gay couples, hostility even to contraception, let alone a middle ground on abortion … well, you know it all by now.

But the current constitutional and economic vandalism removes any shred of doubt that this party and its lucrative media bubble is in any way conservative. They aren’t. They’re ideological zealots, indifferent to the consequences of their actions, contemptuous of the very to-and-fro essential for the American system to work, gerry-mandering to thwart the popular will, filibustering in a way that all but wrecks the core mechanics of American democracy, and now willing to acquiesce to the biggest tax increase imaginable because they cannot even accept Obama’s compromise from his clear campaign promise to raise rates for those earning over $250,000 to $400,000 a year.

deranged

The worse thing is that most of the deranged think some kind of magical being is on their side and they can’t believe they’ve lost the last election and lost it badly.  This has caused a lot of deranged behavior that’s hard to fathom in a first world country.  If there is a gawd, she’s obviously not on their side.  They don’t like the outcome and an insurrection is the only answer.  Most of them have neoconfederate mindsets any way so they think bringing down our government is some how a patriotic duty.

Though it has been 45 days since voters emphatically reaffirmed their faith in Mr. Obama, the time since then has shown the president’s power to be severely constrained by a Republican opposition that is bitter about its losses, unmoved by Mr. Obama’s victory and unwilling to compromise on social policy, economics or foreign affairs.

“The stars are all aligning the wrong way in terms of working together,” said Peter Wehner, a former top White House aide to President George W. Bush. “Right now, the political system is not up to the moment and the challenges that we face.”

House Republicans argue that voters handed their members a mandate as well, granting the party control of the House for another two years and with it the right to stick to their own views, even when they clash strongly with the president’s.

And many Republicans remember well when the tables were turned. After Mr. Bush’s re-election in 2004, Democrats eagerly thwarted his push for privatization of Social Security, hobbling Mr. Bush’s domestic agenda in the first year of his second term.

New polls suggest that Mr. Obama’s popularity has surged to its highest point since he announced the killing of Osama bin Laden. In the latest CBS News survey, the president’s job approval rating was at 57 percent.

But taken together, events suggest that even that improvement in the polls has done little to deliver the president the kind of clear authority to enact his policies that voters seemed to say they wanted during the election.

A group of tin pot congressmen from gerrymandered districts appear unwilling to work the system.  They want to follow the mandate of the craziest among them and drown our country in their personal bathtubs.  The GOP is in utter chaos and its taking the country down with it. We can’t get even the slightest bit of sane policy.  If you look at the state level, its even worse as Republican governors and legislatures work hard to bring their local school systems, health systems, and economies down to enrich their ALEC donor base.

Disarray is a word much overused in politics. But it barely begins to describe the current state of chaos and incoherence as Republicans come to terms with electoral defeat and try to regroup against a year-end deadline to avert a fiscal crisis.

The presidential election was fought in large measure over the question of whether some Americans should pay more in taxes. Republicans lost that argument with the voters, who polls show are strongly in favor of raising rates for the wealthy.

But a sizable contingent within the GOP doesn’t see it that way and is unwilling to declare defeat on a tenet that so defines them. Nor are they prepared to settle for getting the best deal they can, as a means of avoiding the tax hikes on virtually everyone else that would take effect if no deal is reached.

When Boehner tried to bend even a little, by proposing to raise rates on income over $1 million, his party humiliated him, forcing him Thursday night to abruptly cancel a vote on his “Plan B.”

“We had a number of our members who just really didn’t want to be perceived as having raised taxes,” Boehner said Friday. “That was the real issue.”

It’s hard to predict what will come of all of this.  It’s pretty clear that Republicans in congress and in many states are about as interested in serving their electorate as a devout Theravadan Buddhist monk would be interested in a well cooked steak and a hooker.   It’s going to take awhile to purge statehouses and congress of these problems.  Some of the more obvious nuts–like Allen West–were ousted.  Still, Michelle Bachmann  snuck through feeling strong enough to run for speaker of the house and emboldened by the crazies in my old haunts.  Can you imagine a person that out of touch with reality being third in line to the presidency?

Yes.  The Republicans have  problem that started with Pat Robertson’s run for the presidency and the embrace of a major political party of the American Taliban and Fascist movements in the name of garnering enough votes for greed that’s best characterized by the likes of Santorum, Perry, Buchanan, and Romney.  But, it’s had a lot of negative impact already. There are a lot of folks that would be Nixonian Republicans running for office and holding office in the Democratic Party.  Senator Ben Nelson comes to mind.  The Republican party wanted none of him so he and the dead animal on his head went to the welcoming arms of the Democrats.  His votes were still reliably Republican.  Now he’s been placed by a tea party whacko.  So, these are our choices these days.  Republians running as democrats or theocratic fascists running as republicans.   Just think of it.  Eight years ago Dubya Bush was trying to ‘reform’ social security and none of us wanted any party of it.  What’s going on today?  We have the American Heritage Plan Health Care Law and a president who has no qualms chopping into key Democratic legislative and judicial battles from the past.   The Democratic Party has become home to the Richard Nixon Republicans.  This has virtually left us with a center right party and a party of the extreme right.   Our discourse on policy is extremely limited.  I had to choose the lesser evil but it truly sucks that we never have a better choice

So, it’s nice to think about bringing out a bowl of popcorn and watching the internecine republican fight of the century.  However, living with the results of this chaos are going to be much more far reaching.  I’m not sure the party will go the way of the Whigs but I’m pretty sure we’re going to be dysfunctional for at least another two years.  Given the weakish state of the economy and the craziness going on in the Middle East, we just might find ourselves increasingly irrelevant in the world.  After all, it’s usually by check and military might that we throw ourselves into every world event.  Now, it seems there will only be a bath tub,  a group of nuts, and our government trying not to drown.

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27 Comments on “The Seeds of a Poison Fruit”

  1. Silent Kate says:

    I thought your Nixon comment to be quite interesting. Your assessment of both parties is fairly accurate. I consider myself to be liberal and a humanist. The only person that really comes close to representing my thought process is Sen. Bernie Sanders. We settle for what we have and hope for the best. I think the Repubs are bat shit crazy. When I talk to my brothers about basic issues they repeat the crap they’ve been told. I have a brother that is a NRA member but he doesn’t even own a gun. He doesn’t want to even talk about any limitations on guns of any kind! He fears the government but uses It for everything he can get from it. Frankly, I’m amazed at how ignorant many people really are today! I’ve been watching the History channel today about the history of all mankind. It appears that we really haven’t learned much from our ancestors about how to live together in peace. We still kill each other over religion and we still want whatever someone else has! Will we ever learn?

    • dakinikat says:

      I’m not sure we will. There’s no genetic difference between the Cro Magnon men and their descendents that keep wanting to react the same way in a much more complex world that really doesn’t need groups of hunters that go and kill things very much. That much testosterone is unnecessary in modernity but look at the number of ads for prescriptions to increase it far into an age more suited for comfy chairs?

      • Silent Kate says:

        I may have these numbers off but according to the History channel program I was watching Genghis Khan raped so many women that one in two hundred today are thought to be his descendants! 60,000 women committed suicide to avoid being raped by the Mongols. Maybe this is why so many men are nuts…nuts for guns, nut for war, nuts for killing their women, religious nuts, and nuts for telling women what to do with their bodies!

      • bostonboomer says:

        I’ve heard that about Genghis Khan before.

      • NW Luna says:

        Besides which, the main reasons for erectile dysfunction are far and away hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes, not low hormone levels. Some men refuse to believe it might be something so unexciting as that, and too many physicians write prescriptions instead of taking time to educate their patients.

        I also think about that study in the last year which showed most conservatives are lost when it comes to dealing with complex issues, and liberals are far more comfortable in those situations.

        Dak, you were a Republican back when they were Democrats. Now the Democrats would recoil from FDR himself. I’m apalled by the idiocy of it all.

      • dakinikat says:

        I always thought of myself as a Betty Ford Republican. I’m actually sorry I didn’t vote for Ford. He would’ve been better than Carter but I went for Anderson …

  2. janey says:

    What I have noticed about the republicans is that their ‘pundits’ are not really thinkers. They are propagandists. They parrot the line of the day at all the talk shows. If they are asked a question they don’t answer it, they parrot the line on that subject. Next subject, next line. This is propaganda, not political discussion. They do it on Fox News of course, but also on all the other channels, whenever they can. I fully expect them to pull a coup d’etat the moment they are capable. They are just not capable, yet.

  3. dakinikat says:

    The Absolutist Politics of Norquist and LaPierre Will Destroy the Republican Party

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-paul/the-absolutist-politics-o_b_2351919.html

    In their embrace of absolute doctrine without regard to the facts on the ground, the anti-tax and pro-gun movements have contributed to the undermining of democratic society. Both stances refuse dialog and disdain compromise. Taxes in America have declined steadily for the decades since Norquist came on the scene, and that is in large measure his doing. But Norquist and his movement utterly failed to wean Americans off of their reliance on and demand for public spending. Over the past decade alone, even as individual income taxes have declined by 25 percent as a share of GDP, the areas of public spending most dear to the Republican base –military and entitlements — have grown faster than any other, up 56 percent and 37 percent as a share of GDP. Rather than shrink the size of government, Norquist has cultivated a world of followers content to give less to even as they demand more from their government. He has essentially turned John Kennedy’s notion of public citizenship on its head, and contributed to Americans becoming a meaner and more self-centered electorate.

    I wish that he’d also added absolutists positions on women’s issues too. They’re awful on all things relating to women.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      It’s just Patriarchy lashing out to retain their dominance of all things. They aren’t into sharing of either money or power.

      The 2 things that stood out for me in LaPierre’s diatribe were that in describing the movie, music & video game industries he, at least for me, was describing the gun industry. And the call for Congress to allocate the monies to put an armed security person in all schools from someone on the Right? How is that shrinking government & cutting spending? To me the rhetoric of the Right is constant contradictions & it amazes me that those who continue to vote for these whackos don’t seem to see/hear the contradictions. It’s no more evident, again at least to me, when they say their primary concern is jobs-jobs-jobs & then the only legislation they pass is to restrict women’s access to healthcare, contraception & abortion. I really just want to retreat to a comfy cave with my cats & dog.

      • NW Luna says:

        I really just want to retreat to a comfy cave with my cats & dog.

        That better be a big cave. I’m coming too!

  4. Fredster says:

    I knew the Republicans in Louisiana (i.e the guv.and crew) were finally over the deep end and batshit crazy when, in the name of cuts to the budget, they eliminated all hospice care for medicaid patients. Lil Booby never ceases to amaze when it comes to what he cuts. However, this one is so totally cold and callous it’s simply beyond the pale.

    http://www.nola.com/health/index.ssf/2012/12/state_medicaid_hospice_cuts_de.html

    • dakinikat says:

      Did you see the link I posted the other day from the New Orleans Lens about how vindictive he is? He appears to fire folks that say anything that might suggest he’s wrong …

      here it is again if you didn’t see it …

      http://thelensnola.org/2012/12/21/jindal-gaining-reputation-for-punishing-people-who-stand-in-his-way/

      • Fredster says:

        Thanks Kat I missed that one! I believe that happened to one legislator who questioned some cuts or something and then poof! the man was removed from either a chairmanship or from the committee entirely. Booby is truly a very little, evil man. :evil:
        The medicaid thing just got to me. I mean, people who are literally at death’s door and the thing that can help them the most (and their caregivers if dying at home) he takes away. Not very “christian” at all governor, not in the least.

        • dakinikat says:

          He’s responsible for deaths for sure. I read about how his cuts have decreased beds and access all over the state.

          I follow those two bloggers mentioned … they’ve had some really unsettling posts from people whose relatives have died tried to get emergency care or have been thrown out on the street.

      • HT says:

        Good grief that is the epitome of evilness. cutting off people who are dying. Is that the “republican” way of caring? If so, that’s disgusting. If not, why are so many advocating it and implementing it. What a group of fine human beings they are – not. Scum sucking pigs is more like it.

      • Fredster says:

        I follow those two bloggers mentioned

        I have them bookmarked now. After seeing everything he’s done to LSU Health/Hospitals I’ve laughed (very dark laugh) that he must have someone he knows that he’s gonna give the contract to, to literally pick up the dead off the streets that will result from his cuts to healthcare for the poor.

      • NW Luna says:

        He’s stupid as well as callous. Hospice care lowers costs compared to traditional care, in most studies. (It’s hard to have truly random and ethical studies in this area.) Patient/family satisfaction and quality of life ratings are almost always higher with hospice than traditional care.

  5. Fredster says:

    From the WaPo link you included kat:

    “The hard-core anti-tax conservatives in the GOP seem to believe that Barack Obama will be blamed if there is no agreement reached to avoid sequestration and the tax increases that are coming,” said Sheldon D. Pollack, a University of Delaware law and political science professor who has written a history of Republican anti-tax policy. “Calculated gamble? Or are they simply incapable of recognizing that they do not control the White House or the Senate, and hence do not have the ability to control the agenda? Sadly, I think it is the latter.”

  6. dakinikat says:

    For Poor, Leap to College Often Ends in a Hard Fall

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/23/education/poor-students-struggle-as-class-plays-a-greater-role-in-success.html

    Amazing read on the experience of there young girls from poor families and their attempt to go to college …

  7. NW Luna says:

    First I’ve heard of this. Did I miss something back around Dec. 13? Hope it’s minor and she’s just sick of Crass Consumermas.

    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who contracted a stomach virus in early December, became dehydrated, fainted, fell and hit her head, according to aides and doctors. She was diagnosed with a concussion Dec. 13 and hasn’t been seen in public since.

    http://seattletimes.com/text/2019957119.html

    • dakinikat says:

      yeah … it happened around then and the rethugs says she’s faking it so she can avoid testifying to them on Benghazi … yet more republican crap

      • NW Luna says:

        Oh, thanks.

        Not that anything would ever satisfy the Rs on Benghazi.

        • dakinikat says:

          they just keep looking for worse scandals than Watergate and it’s just not going to happen for them … they need to just own up that the teapot dome scandal and watergate and then guns for hostages is a helluva lot worse than a blow job in the oval office and any thing else they try to dream up

      • roofingbird says:

        I think they want to chew on her in case she is thinking of 2016. I haven’t read all the panel points but I understand she did agree that all 29 recommendations should be implemented. From the outside it looked odd-why would the State Dept accept all the heat?

  8. dakinikat says:

    Nancy Lanza let son shoot guns to “teach him responsibility” http://bit.ly/TMvVQJ

  9. roofingbird says:

    As crazy as they are, I blame us Dems taking too long to pull the rope back over to our side of the ditch. You can’t do tug of war, when you already have one leg on their side and are at the same time negotiating to give up that position and bring your other leg over,