Today’s Republican Party will say anything but the TruthPosted: February 21, 2013
Perhaps one of the most overdone truisms you hear bandied about by people is “Actions speak louder than Words”. This is perhaps the seminal lesson that Today’s Republican Party should learn. They’re held captive by religious, white supremacist, and libertarian cults that operate in orbit around a corporatist elite and their cronies. They don’t really have any more core values or principles. The only have the major goals of their cults and billionaire enablers.
You can see the hypocrisy, the lies, and the actual agendas in their actions. In some ways, the worst of the cult priests are more honest than your establishment Republican which is why Karl Rove and others would prefer they stay silent while Republican Central fine tunes their messaging so they can fool more of the people most of the time. They are no longer a party of serious governance. Their goals are to further enrich and empower the wealthy, move as close to anarchy as possible with only the military left standing, and make as many states as possible adopt the bottom trawling quality of life one finds in Mississippi along with firmly entrenching one specific view of Christian morality into all institutions.
The party of “small government” is basically the party of huge military and international interventions and massive intrusions into people’s lives so that women, minorities, and children are forced into the appropriate biblical role of child bearing and slavery. They are also supportive of police state tactics that include government spying, torture, and denial of due process. Some of those folks are acceptable since they serve in the role of “House Eunuchs” where they proudly stand by or in for the master as long as they don’t get too vocal about their sexuality, their ambitions beyond child bearing, or the fact that their upward mobility is limited due to race, ethnicity, sex, or religion.
Let me source this rant to the naive ramblings of Josh Barro who wishes that Republican policies were more rooted in empirics and my now favorite Hillaryism “an evidence-based reality”. Greg Sargent did a great job this morning at Maddow Blog talking about why Barro’s wishful thinking is unlikely to come true. It simply doesn’t fit into what Republican want.
Conservatives tend to prefer a different approach that decreases the role of government, not to achieve specific ends, but because decreasing the role of government is the specific end.
This, of course, affects nearly every debate in Washington. When it comes to job creation, for example, the task for Democrats is pretty straightforward: let’s do more of what’s been the most effective, and less of what’s been the least effective. Again, it’s about pragmatism and results based on evidence.
For Republicans, it doesn’t work quite that way — they have ideological ideals that outweigh evidence. GOP leaders could be shown incontrovertible proof that the most effective methods of creating jobs and improving the economy are aid to states, infrastructure investment, unemployment insurance, and food stamps, and they’d still refuse. Why? Because their ideology dictates the response.
The left starts with a policy goal (more people with access to medical care, more students with access to college, less pollution, more jobs, less financial market instability) and crafts proposals to try to complete the task. The right starts with an ideological goal (smaller government, more privatization, more deregulation) and works backwards.
For Barro, if Republicans “figured out” that their mistaken policy assumptions were, in fact, mistaken policy assumptions, they’d change direction. I wish that were true, but all available evidence points in the exact opposite direction.
Republicans that embarrass folks like Karl Rove and his donors are basically stating the goals of the party at the moment. They don’t care how they arrive there. There are no principles involved. There is no evidence involved. Each of the cults will violate all principles and all lessons of reality and science to arrive at these goals. The religious right want their perverted version of Christianity as the rule of the land. They want no birth control, no abortion, no visible or outward signs of homosexuality or anything other than how they define marriage, family, and morality. The Republican Party says it is the party that dislikes government interference and regulation. It wants ‘small government’. To see this Republican principle violated perpetually, one only need look at the agendas pushed through by the Religious Cult wing of the Republican party where we get state mandated sermons, procedures, and tons of regulation. Yes, we get Mississippi where the state regulates the one abortion clinic into illegality even though the right to an abortion is a constitutional right. These are the same folks that scream that any tiny bit of regulation of gun ownership is the end of the Bill of Rights and Constitutional rights as we know it. See, the principle is only valid when it works for them.
Then, there’s the entire cult of Austrian Economics and Ayn Rand which is what the Barro piece was focused on. Let me quote Paul Krugman on these folks:
Substance aside — not that substance isn’t important — Austrian economics very much has the psychology of a cult. Its devotees believe that they have access to a truth that generations of mainstream economists have somehow failed to discern; they go wild at any suggestion that maybe they’re the ones who have an intellectual blind spot. And as with all cults, the failure of prophecy — in this case, the prophecy of soaring inflation from deficits and monetary expansion — only strengthens the determination of the faithful to uphold the faith.
Barro even admits to the wrongness of the economic policies of this group. But again, Barro thinks that the principles are important rather than the outcomes. This group wants the outcomes only.
Political parties should differ on normative questions. They ought to strive for agreement on positive questions — questions such as, what policies cause gross domestic product and median incomes to rise, how unemployment insurance affects the unemployment rate, or how global temperatures are changing. Currently, Republicans make a lot more errors on these kinds of questions than Democrats.
Correcting errors on positive questions should cause conservatives to revisit some of their top policies, as Bloomberg View columnist Ramesh Ponnuru laid out this weekend in the New York Times. Conservatives say tight money and lower top tax rates would enrich middle-class families. But that’s wrong, and if they figured that out, they might stop supporting tight money and lower top tax rates.
The deal is Josh, that the Republican Party does not want to honestly state that their goal is to make the upper class much wealthier and the rest of us are other in the category of pesky servants or moochers who aren’t worth wasting anything on. Pesky servants should just work at their jobs and not be seen or heard and should just be thankful for the crumbs they receive. Moochers need to just self-deport or join the military to learn civility and servility. We got a glance of the true set-up here during the Romney 47% illumination because they though we weren’t listening in. The silly donors thought the room held only servants and house enuchs!!
You see, the Republican establishment really doesn’t care about the economy as long as the donor base and the corporate base do fine which is exactly what’s been going on for the last ten years or so. When they don’t do fine, they just dip into the public Treasury and replenish their gambling stakes. They don’t want to pay for anything that doesn’t directly benefit them. They want to be worshiped as gods for holding their vaulted positions which they honestly believe has come to them because their special. You can see this again in the places that Josh holds up as being great places because they’ve got Republican Governors. Again, let’s think about this. We’re talking the plantation mentality that thrives still in Mississippi and Louisiana. Everything’s just fine as long as the economy works for the Koch brothers, the Oil and Gas Companies, Pete Peterson, and the House Eunuchs. Let’s just use the Mississippi and Louisiana governor and state set up to illustrate their idea of Mississippi as the role model for the country.
For example, we know that the sequester will likely send the economy into a recession and cost jobs. But, that’s just fine for Mississipi’s Haley Barbor because he really doesn’t care about the economy. The folks he cares about will be just fine. The only thing that matters is that they stay rich and get richer. Every one else can go to hell. You’re not going to get any kind of decent rational economic policy from some one who doesn’t care what happens to the country as long as he and his can get as much as they can.
Former Republican National Committee chairman Haley Barbour says he expects the GOP to allow sequestration to occur, and that the party should see it as an important step toward fiscal responsibility. “I hope and believe that Republicans will allow the sequestration to go into effect, so that we can start down a path of trying to get control of spending and reduce the deficit,” Barbour explained on Fox Business Network’s Cavuto last night.
Barbour also emphasized that the sequester cuts would be marginal and insignificant. “We’re talking about a tiny, tiny fraction of the federal government,” the former Mississippi governor said. “The American people know the government can save 3 percent in a heartbeat.”
Three percent is nothing to Barbor, but think about what happened just with a 2 percent increase in the majority of America’s payroll. Haley Barbor is a man who could care less about economic reality or good policy. It doesn’t impact him or the people that he is paid to care about. It isn’t about governance or good policy.
Last week, Bloomberg News reported that Walmart’s sales in the first days of February were abysmal. In internal e-mails that were leaked, one corporate vice-president described the situation as “a total disaster,” while another asked, “Where are all the customers? And where’s their money?”
The executives answered their own question. Their customers’ money—some of it—has gone back to the government, in the form of the two-per-cent increase in payroll taxes that took effect with the new budget deal on New Year’s Day. That deal supposedly allowed the economy to avoid going over the “fiscal cliff,” and its aversion was a source of much relief in Washington and on Wall Street. But there turned out to be, if not a cliff, at least a gulch still embedded in the deal. It’s amazing how little attention the payroll-tax increase got at the time—maybe because so few of the players and observers involved could imagine how much difference fifteen dollars out of the weekly paycheck of someone earning forty thousand dollars a year could make.
I do not think Barro has much experience with states like Mississippi or Louisiana given his assessment here. Again, turning the entire country into situations like these states are the goal because then you get to the what you really want. That is no taxes, no government but military and police, and ensuring anything that anyone can possibly profit from goes to your cronies regardless of how inefficient, how ineffective, how costly, and ill-equipped it is to serve all but a few.
The idea that government should run like a business or a household has led Republicans dangerously astray at the federal level, but this actually isn’t a terrible frame for thinking about states. A highway department is a lot more like a business than Social Security is. Although the federal government mostly moves money around, states and localities have lots of employees and direct operations, so greater efficiency really can go a long way. And state budgets really do need to be (more or less) balanced annually.
Republicans have also been more likely than Democrats to recognize that public employee benefits structures are outdated and needlessly costly, and that collective bargaining in the public sector lets unions sit on both sides of the negotiating table.
Let’s just go to my least favorite House Eunich and his rule of Banana Republican Terror down here in the bayou state. This explanation comes from a Louisiana educator and some one who used to serve in leadership capacity in the state’s education hierarchy. Their belief is that Bobby Jindal wants to make the state available to only Plantation owners and willing slaves and is bascially making it completely inhospitable and dysfuntional to every one else in his climb to the White House.
The power of a Louisiana Governor is virtually unprecedented among the states in the Union. He appointed the head of the Senate and Legislature, and through his appointees he has tossed off any legislators on all committees that even question any of his policies, let alone vote against them. His line item veto power allows him to threaten and cow every legislator and institution, even theoretical public watchdog institutions like LPB (Louisiana Public Broadcasting.) Bobby can and has appointed members to almost every board and commission in the state as well as the heads and senior personnel of almost every state agency. In the wink of an eye he has removed appointees who even blink wrong when testifying under oath about whether his policies will be cost neutral, good for the state and citizens, or the people served by given agencies. He can and has disbanded agencies with reckless abandon and sold them off to private companies and campaign donors, like the Office of Risk Management we are on the hook for 75 million to benefit campaign donors, the Office of Group Benefits, the entire Charity Hospital system, most of the Department of Corrections, most of our mental health hospitals, hospice care, Elderly Affairs, and now much of our public schools systems, which were locally owned and operated are being divvied up and sold off to private companies that give contributions to Jindal and his handpicked BESE (state board of education) members. Jindal alone can and has repeatedly turned down 15 – 40 billion dollars over 10 years in Medicaid funding for 400,000 thousand of our roughly 2.5 million citizens, and has turned down 80 million in federal funding for rural cable service expansion, 60 million in federal Pre-k funding, squandered 400 million dollars on BP sand berms that stopped maybe a 1,000 barrels of the 5 million barrels of oil that poured into the Gulf.
One might think that such a privatization pioneer has reaped untold gains, and set the state on firm financial footing. One might think that all of these sacrifices, all of these hardships that disproportionately fall on the poorest, oldest, mentally encumbered and least among us are setting us on a course of prosperity. However all that has happened is more people suffering and dying and Jindal’s supporters and contributors are getting richer and state budget is even more out of balance. One time funding sources have been exhausted, even ones for coastal restoration that are supposed to be constitutionally protected for their allocated purpose. When Jindal finally does leave office, what will he leave in his wake but a desolate wasteland of suffering and even less educated people?
But perhaps he has a bigger strategy at work here than anyone even thought? Jindal’s recent proposal to eliminate income taxes in favor of the most regressive tax structure in the nation with an additional 3 to 4 cent sales tax seems to pit him against the poor and least among us once more. These taxes will fall hardest on those least able to avoid them, those unable to purchase things out of state and those who have to spend most of their income on things to support their family and survive.
When I actually wrote down the list of things Jindal has rejected, many of which would have been yielded economic spending and growth to our economy I began to wonder if maybe something else wasn’t going on? I mean, when you start to add up all those 10s and hundreds of millions and even billions of dollars, it starts to come to some real money for a state that only takes in about 3 billion annually in income taxes.
Again, Jindal’s personal political star–which is the only thing he cares about–is attached to carefully carrying out all the goals of the various cults so he doesn’t even care about how it gets done or finding any kind of rationalization for what he does. In many cases, the things he’s done have been nearly immediately declared unconstitutional The Louisiana governorship has allowed him to dutifully appease the Republican donor base and its satellite cults. He’s restricted abortion access. He’s selling off the state prisons, insurance programs, pension plans, and schools to his donor base. He’s enabled science to be supplemented to with religious nonsense and he’s allowing totally unregulated religious madrassas to drain funds from public schools. He’s also protecting nonperforming charter schools and enabling all institutions to rid themselves of any union workers. See, his actions are basically the truth of the Republican Party. They have no guiding principles unless those principles can be used to further one of the cult goals. They have only goals of individual cults. They exist to enforce and enact laws that reflect specific religious views, specific economic views, and specific plutocratic privileges. That’s why they only thing they can do is try to put different shades of lipstick on the same lies. Changing policy is not kewl with the cults.
This is why what Josh Barro doesn’t fit with reality any more than anything else Republicans say these days. The deal is that actions speak louder than words. People know this and it’s why no one but members of the cults identify with Republicans or their so-called values. There’s no values at play. Again, it’s just a list that benefits a few and plays into the insane views of a few.
A USA Today/Pew Research poll released Thursday shows Obama with a strong lead over Republicans in Congress on gun policies (45-39 percent), the budget deficit (45-38 percent), immigration (50-33 percent) and even climate change (47-26 percent).
“On many of the issues, President Obama has staked out positions that seem to be closer to the public’s thinking than the positions Republicans have staked out,” said Michael Dimock, director of the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, in a statement on the poll. “The challenge for him is in building the public’s sense of immediacy on some of these issues, particularly on climate change and guns.”
In addition, the poll finds that only 22 percent of Americans even identify themselves as Republicans, almost a record low.
A Bloomberg poll from Wednesday had similar findings, with Obama’s approval ratings reaching a three-year high at 55 percent, while just 35 percent have a favorable view of Republicans.
As a former Republican, I’d just like to say one thing. No one wants to join a party where a good portion of the goals come from folks that are either extremely rich and care about nothing else and who enable social and religious cults. That’s really the bottom line. It’s the policies and its the fact there are no longer ‘values’ or ‘principles’ or even conservatives left in the party. It’s a bunch of nuts and the rich folk that think they can control them along with the rest of the servants. If you don’t believe me, check out the line up for speakers at CPAC. There’s the usual house eunuchs, the plutocrats, and the representatives from those cults. It’s the same old crowd of House Eunuchs, Cult Members, and Plutocrats with the same old goals.