The body of this election is not yet cold, and still undergoing autopsy by the pundits across the political spectrum, with people discussing the cause of its demise, for demise it was for Republicans and their conservative bedfellows, and Republicans are busy hijacking the political process.
In some states with Republican legislatures, laws are being rushed in without judicious review, without debate from Democrats, and without speaking frankly to the people. The most recent example of this is in Michigan, where an ineptly named Right To Work law was rushed through the legislature without even a cursory nod to the electorate.
The governor of Michigan, Gov. Rick Snyder now claims that this right to work law favors unions because the union will have to define its message more clearly to entice people to join. Michael Moore, renowned critic and ever-present thorn in the Republican foot put it in terms similar to this, “my kid plays soccer, but I refuse to pay my dues to the soccer league because I have a right not to”. This is what happens when some people pay for a service that everyone receives. There needs to be a mandate to make sure that the people who benefit most from paying their dues, also pay into the system. When people are not made to pay a fair share, they can take advantage of the system.
Unions are good for all workers, and thus, all workers should pay towards them, dependent on their ability to pay those dues. This way, when negotiations begin, the workers have a stake in the outcome. I made a similar argument a few days ago.
Republicans in Michigan pushed through this law despite the fact that they do not have a mandate. Yes, they have a majority of the seats in the state legislature, but this is a state that voted for Obama over Romney by ten percentage points. Republicans also did not campaign on this issue, but it is the issue that they pushed immediately after the election and before the new legislature takes its post. It is an underhanded and mean-spirited attempt to undercut the democratic process by not following the acceptable legislative protocols.
A poison pill has been inserted into this bill to the effect that the bill cannot be overturned by a referendum of the people. This basically bypasses the democratic process. This is a procedure that we normally see in dictatorships and autocratic political systems, and is not something I thought I would ever see in a democracy of this stature.
An autocrat like Silvio Berlusconi, the erstwhile Italian Prime Minister tried similar tactics to prevent his indictment on criminal charges, for which he served a little over five months. What this means is that Democrats have to win back the state house to overturn this bill. A referendum will not be allowed.
Republicans are trying similar tactics in other parts of the country, and particularly in the US Congress, where they are effectively holding a gun to the head of the President, and the American people. Their gambit is that if the President does not give them what they want, they will destroy the American economy.
In the Senate, Sen. John McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham face the press on a daily basis to condemn Susan Rice, Americas ambassador to the United Nations for her reporting on the incident in Benghazi in which four Americans died. The ambassador had absolutely nothing to do with the attacks in Benghazi, nor was she responsible for the area in any way. She was handed a series of talking points that she presented to various Sunday morning TV shows.
It is the CIA that is responsible for intelligence gathering and what is presented to the nation, she is the mouthpiece. President Obama was floating her name for Secretary of State. McCain and his cohort, Graham spent weeks attacking her, going so far as to call her stupid, incapable and not qualified for the position, despite her decades in public service, her educational qualifications and her international experience.
McCain and Graham do not want her to take up the position because they want Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts to assume the position. Their Machiavellian reasoning is that if Kerry gets the nomination, their candidate for his vacant senate seat will probably win in Massachusetts. They are willing to hold up an important nomination for purely political gain, holding the Presidents agenda ransom to install their own candidate in the senate seat vacated by Kerry.
Last year, to prevent the debt ceiling from being raised, Republicans drew up a particularly odious poison pill in which they insisted on severe spending cuts across the American economy and returning the Bush Tax rate cuts to their Clinton era rates. The spending cuts will affect every area of the US economy, including the US military. If they do not act, tax rates will rise on every family in America. This bill is now due to come into full effect.
John Boehner, the leader of the House of Representatives is holding the line on the bill, refusing to keep tax cuts for the Middle Class because the tax rates on the obscenely wealthy will rise. In addition, if a deal is not reached, every part of this economy will be affected by spending cuts. This is all so that the wealthy, who do not need another tax cut, who are already wealthy, who have taken for themselves far more than is their due, do not have to help this nation in its hour of need.
Republicans are quite willing to hold this nation to ransom, put a fiscal gun to our heads to make sure that their political base get even more money than they already have. They are happy, in fact eager, so eager to destroy the Middle Classes with their political machinations, that the dramatic effect that their intransigence will have on the economy and on the lives of ordinary Americans is irrelevant to them.
They have already indicated that even if the president gets a deal on the fiscal cliff, even if they get no tax increases on the wealthy, spending cuts on entitlements, they will hold the country to ransom again during the debate to raise the debt ceiling. The debt ceiling is a formality, an acknowledgement that this nation owes a certain amount of money to others, and if it does not raise the debt ceiling, it will be unable to pay its debts. It is irresponsible for conservatives to refuse to raise the debt ceiling.
The ransom conservatives are demanding is that the country must cut its spending to lower the deficit, and they are putting this burden on the people who can least afford it by cutting programs on which the majority of this nation rely, Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid.
The deficit is a Republican crisis. not a Democratic one. Conservatives created this crisis by spending trillions of dollars on two unpaid for wars,wars that were totally unnecessary. The destruction of Al Qaeda would have been far simpler if carried out by small, targeted Special Operations teams in concert with the intelligence community.
Republicans wanted vast sums of money to go to military contractors, so they contrived these two illegal wars. In addition, instead of raising taxes to pay for these wars, which serious people would have done, they legislated a tax cut. These two things as well as an unpaid for Medicare Part D expansion, a payoff to drug companies, rapidly increased the federal deficit.
Now, they are holding the country to ransom by cutting programs for the Middle Class and poor to pay for their own incompetent neo-colonial expansionism. Instead of putting the burden on the people that have benefitted far more than the Middle Class from Free Trade, outsourcing, increased productivity and exploding corporate profits, namely CEO’s, executives and shareholders, they put the burden on those that saw salaries decline, benefits slashed, safety standards decline.
The Republican Party has become the Anarchists, the nonpatriots, aggrandizing the oligarchs and neo aristocratic wealthy classes at the expense of the majority of Americans. They appeal to wealthy angry old white men who only want the old America back, when people of color knew their place, where women were barefoot pregnant and in the kitchen, children were seen and not heard.
Republicans and their increasingly right-wing extremists are the modern pirates of our culture, taking from the vulnerable, the poor, the elderly, and the sick, to line the coffers of King John and his henchmen, the greedy, brutal autocrats of this era. We the people should cut them down to size, raise their taxes progressively to 50%, 65%, 75% to create jobs for working people, to pay for roads and bridges and schools and renewable energy, to reclaim the land from the landowners that do nothing but pillage and destroy.
It is only when people realise that they are being held hostage, that their future is one of diminishing returns, of deadly ailments in retirement, of living on canned dog food in freezing tenements, of watching loved ones die of preventable disease that things might change. All of this in order that the wealthy can pay for another car elevator, another house on the Riviera, another tax free account in the Cayman’s, another holiday with other oligarchs in Davos. It should be seen as piracy of the first order.
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