There are very few occupations that require one to modify their appearance in order to prevent recognition, and they are usually associated with law enforcement or intelligence services such as the CIA or FBI. Changing one’s appearance to misrepresent their true character is different than wearing a disguise, and for the past three years Republicans have abandoned misrepresenting themselves as servants of the people they were elected to represent, and instead have revealed themselves as the wealthy elite’s sycophants. On Sunday, Vice President Joe Biden remarked that the GOP was unrecognizable from the party he once knew and said, “This is not your father’s Republican Party. This is a different party than I’m used to,” and like millions of Americans concede, the GOP has revealed themselves as far-right lunatics whose policies and resistance to compromise have made governing nearly impossible.
The Vice President pointed out that many new members of Congress blocked efforts to work with Democrats, and he blamed the “minority of the Republican Party as controlling Congress, so that there is no room for compromise,” and that “the leadership of the Republican Party is prepared to work with us, but it’s sort of the tail wagging the dog.” However, Mr. Biden also said the electorate has changed and that it is forcing Republican leaders and lawmakers to move farther to the right creating an environment of extremism that is empowering Republicans to be straightforward about their goals for the country and that “this is the first time Republicans aren’t hiding the ball; they’re just saying straight up what they believe.” The Vice President’s remarks, although true, fail to acknowledge that the newer, extremist members of Congress were not serving for the first two years of President Obama’s Administration when Republicans failed to compromise on any legislation, so assigning blame to the tea party caucus is not entirely fair. However, his point that Republicans are not concealing their true beliefs any longer is entirely correct.
It is not a new Republican phenomenon to oppose government spending for anything unrelated to the defense budget any more than giving the oil industry and corporations preferential treatment is, but their drive to openly destroy safety nets while giving the wealthy and corporations bigger breaks although not new, is their stated objective and they are unrepentant and unwavering in their efforts to shrink government. This new Republican Party Vice President Biden refers to is the continuation of Bush-era policies that in themselves began with Ronald Reagan’s presidency. As Mr. Biden points out, the difference in 2012 is that Republicans have support from a segment of the electorate that is not so much concerned with the deficit or spending, but they are concerned that for the first time in American history there is an African American man sitting in the Oval Office and it is that racist opposition to President Obama that empowered Republicans to show their true colors and intent to change the nature of government.
Republicans have opposed social programs since the inception of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal and it has been their dream to undo every aspect of FDR’s vision for a country where every citizen deserved a secure retirement, decent job, healthcare, education, and home. However, besides government ensuring that all Americans have security and a decent life, it is government regulations that conservatives have sought to undo as much as social programs. Looking at Republican opposition to banking and business regulations in 2012 is a continuation of conservative’s opposition to business and banking reforms they hated in the 1930s. The cries of fascism, communism, socialism and loss of individual liberties Republicans are promoting today were well-known to Roosevelt and his question to Americans in 1934 is the same question liberals are asking teabaggers and conservatives today; “Have you lost any of your rights or liberty or constitutional freedom of action and choice?” The answer, of course, is no, but the Republicans have perpetuated fear among racists that safety nets, taxes, government, and programs such as the Affordable Care Act are attempts by Barack Obama to rob Americans of their personal liberty.
Republicans have not changed their conservative agenda and they are not being pulled or pushed farther to the extreme right by teabaggers in Congress any more than they suddenly began hating taxing the wealthy and their corporations. Their agenda today is the same agenda they have carried since the New Deal and despite misrepresenting their character as politicians concerned for Americans and their freedoms; little has changed in nearly 80 years. It is interesting that this country’s greatest economic growth and creation of the great middle class occurred during the last decent Republican president’s administration, but today’s plutocratic Republicans never bring up Dwight Eisenhower’s name. Why? Because he presided over an economic period that witnessed the creation of the great middle class, Interstate Highway System, and it was paid for by taxing the wealthy at a 91% tax rate.
The Republicans’ goal in 2012 is to return to pre-New Deal America that fostered the Great Depression and they are beginning by taking the country back to the Bush-era that created the Great Recession. As Vice President Biden noted, they are not disguising their attempts to dismantle social safety nets or financial reforms that will prevent another Great Recession and their unapologetic drive to enrich the wealthy with greater tax cuts is only matched in severity by their plans to destroy Medicare and eventually Social Security. They are pandering to disgruntled white racists to garner support for their agenda and their opposition to compromise has hampered the nation’s economic recovery and job creation. Nearly every Republican has staked their political life on the fact that all Americans are racists, woman-haters, and evangelical fanatics to impose their Draconian budget that will increase the nation’s debt and devastate the poor and middle-class, and the Republican presidential hopefuls promise to finish what Bush-Republicans started and destroy the economy again. Their opposition to education, financial reforms, safety nets, and a government that works defines them not as Republicans, but as Libertarians. Perhaps that is why Vice President Biden said he does not recognize the Republican Party that is, in reality, an anything goes, privatized government that panders to the wealthy and their corporations while sending 98% of the population into poverty.
Mr. Biden was wrong on one count; Republicans are not being controlled by newer members of Congress, they are simply using them as an excuse to destroy everything that made this country great and they are “just saying straight up what they believe;” there is no limit to what we will do to wipe out 80 years of progress to change America into an oligarchy.
image: the democraticstategist.org