Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Even in the bizarro world of current Republican politics, some things defy explanation. How is it, in particular, that Congressional Rs, especially (but not only) those in the House of Representatives, so blatantly line up against the middle class (offering phony explanations)? It's not the only time they've been so unabashed in their crass defense of tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of providing for the needs of everyone else.

I've wondered about it many times: it seems so self-defeating. Is it simply a matter of brazen clinging to failed ideology, like insisting the earth is six thousand years old; true believers blind to facts? Damn the torpedoed claims, full scream ahead? This article makes a list of other explanations, all of which seem to be at play:

1. Republican lawmakers assume voters aren’t paying any attention. Politicians can get away with quite a bit if they think the public won’t know either way.

2. They assume Democrats, when faced with any pressure at all, will invariably surrender and give Republicans whatever they demand. That’s generally not a bad strategy, but it failed miserably in the fight over the payroll tax cut.

3. They assume the media will, under all possible circumstances, continue to tell the public “both sides” are always to blame for everything. This, too, is a pretty safe bet, but when even Republican media outlets turn against the GOP (take the Wall Street Journal editorial page, for example), this starts to fail.

4. They fear primary challengers. Under this model, Republicans know their extremism will offend the American mainstream, but if they’re defeated by even-more-conservative primary opponents, their careers are over anyway.

5. They figure major right-wing money — from the Koch Brothers, Crossroads GPS, assorted Super PACs, etc. — will come in before the election, destroy their Democratic challengers, and keep them in office no matter what they vote for.

6. They're just nuts.

Some absolute partisans might take exception, evidence to the contrary notwithstanding, to #6. The others, though, in all seriousness, must be part of it. It's like I've been saying for years: a dumbed-down electorate, fed misinformation constantly by the right-wing scream machine, lied to until it sounds like truth, whose hatreds and paranoia are played like a harp (what more self-pitying group is there than teabaggers?), are perfectly created to accept and/or ignore whatever their manipulators do.

Stockholm syndrome as political plan.

It really will come down to a pretty stark choice in the 2012 elections; I'd say the starkest ever. Voters will be choosing the direction our country will take at a time when the options couldn't be more divergent. It's not an exaggeration to say that one fork in the road leads to (at least the possibility of) viability, while the other leads to slow but certain suicide. The current crop of Republicans, from their extant and expectant leaders to their public propaganda organs and to their willingly deceived share of the electorate, see a country where government has little if any role, corporations run unregulated and rampant, the environment is allowed to putrify (who are these people??), climate change is ignored and actively denied -- censored! -- and, most dramatically, revenues are, in the name of protecting tax-cuts for the wealthiest, allowed to dry up to the point of having no money to pay for research, roads, bridges, dams, education, cops, libraries, firefighters, medical care for the needy, unemployment benefits ...

They're not hiding it, as discussed above; their priorities are out there for all to see, and they see the elections as just as critical: either they (and their tax-cuts, their voter suppression, their gutting of government protections for all but themselves) win, or the country does; not both. There's no secret what the R agenda is, and what the impact will be on, yes, the 99%. For whatever reason, they simply don't care. Maybe it's because they have theirs and figure they always will. Maybe it's because they believe the end of the world is at hand, so there's no reason to plan for the future: may as well rob as much as they can and enjoy it while it lasts. Not hard to ignore the needy: from the top floor of Trump Tower, you can barely see them.

So the question is not what the choices are really about. The question is whether, now, finally, when it matters most, Democrats might be able to come up with a message -- the truth! -- that is able to overcome the disinformation which pollutes the airways 24/7/365 from the right-wing propagandists. The question is whether, at last, before it's too late, people can be made to realize how they've been played for fools, how they've been made to vote against their own and their country's interests by people who couldn't care less -- about them or the country. People who will ignore facts, reject science, actively distort any reality that doesn't fit with their failed ideologies; ideology that simply doesn't stand up to the scrutiny they try to prevent (successfully, mostly), all ways, at all levels.

The issues are not in question. The ability of people to see them for what they are most certainly is.


  1. Sid you've had 2 whole days and not one sentence mocking the made up holiday of Kwanza.
    OK, I haven't read every word of your increasingly Steven King-esque Tomes, but I'd bet $10,000,
    I mean 10,000 Cents, no thats still too much.
    2 Cents, which is 2 cents more than I've paid in Social Security tax in the last 6 months..
    OK, I know you paid ZERO, nichts, zippy, Nada(thats Mexican for nothing)cause you don't work.
    But when I start paying into Social Security, I mean "Paying Money so Old Geezers can buy lottery tickets and write checks at the Georgia 400 Toll booths" next week, my total Tax Burden will still be 2% less than when the Nappiest-Headed-President of all time entered the Oval Orifice.
    And if they keep letting 2 hot chicks french kiss everytime an Aircraft Carrier returns from the middle east, where the NHPOAT has brought all the troops home except for 50,000, I might even vote for him, although Wayne Williams(Google) hss a better chance of carrying Georgia.

    Frank "we would hate you, but we're too busy" Drackman

  2. There's one more reason to add to the others, that would sound conspiratorial were it not so well documented by Naomi Klein http://www.naomiklein.org/shock-doctrine/the-book
    , and that is ' “the shock doctrine”: using the public’s disorientation following massive collective shocks – wars, terrorist attacks, or natural disasters -- to achieve control by imposing economic shock therapy." '

    In this case the R's seek to cause economic disaster; to block any collective response; to act during confusion and shock from the conditions thus created to eliminate, as much as possible, the remaining social, protective, and regulatory functions of government, to legislate their moral agenda, and to increase the control and wealth of the tiny fraction of the population they represent by further transferring the assets and wealth of the nation to the already wealthy. It's a conscious but concealed strategy not much written about, but again, Klein's thorough research indicates that it ought to be understood as a basic right wing methodology.


  3. Well said. I struggle with trying to understand why so many in this country are actively acting against their own best interest, but consistently fail to come up with any explanation that isn't covered by what you wrote. I worry about the future of this country, and the complete failure of so many of our citizens to think critically about their stances and positions on political issues. Sound bites do not equal decision making.



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