The term fight means to attempt to harm or gain power over an adversary by blows or with weapons, and regardless the motivation or reason for fighting, the goal is inflicting enough damage to destroy an enemy. The idea of fighting, or attempting to harm the government is appealing to America’s enemies, and in Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address he extolled the virtues of those who fought “to ensure the survival of America’s government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” It is likely that most citizens understand Washington is a metonym for the government that, according to Lincoln, is the people and most Americans would not advocate damaging it with blows or weapons. It is doubtless that few Americans expect their government representatives are in their position to harm the government, but that is precisely what Republicans are planning to tell their constituents they will do after returning from their August recess.
Since people are the government, when Republicans say they intend to “fight Washington” they are, in effect, intending to harm the people in keeping with their four-year anti-government and anti-American crusade. The American people pay for the government to function on their behalf including building and maintaining roads, bridges, schools, and hospitals, as well as protecting the people from both foreign and domestic aggressors. Few people could argue that Republicans don’t hate the government (and the people), and with help from aggressors such as the US Chamber of Commerce, ALEC, and the libertarian Koch brothers they have spent the past four years damaging the institution they were elected to serve. Republicans did not have to announce they were fighting the government, and they will find allies to help inflict damage on it to neuter its ability to function for the people, but for the first time since the Civil War a segment of the population is being called to action to fight against their own government.
The Republican goal is clear; either Washington concedes to divest its power and transfer it to the wealthy and their corporations, or they will, one way or the other, destroy the government. Republicans claim they are “Fighting Washington for all Americans,” but anyone with half a brain comprehends they are fighting the people on behalf of corporations and the wealthy. In their playbook, Republicans assert they are fighting to spur economic growth, create jobs, dismantle the Affordable Care Act, kill regulations, and slash spending on domestic programs that help Americans. However, for over four years they have deliberately thwarted economic growth and killed jobs to make room for tax breaks for the wealthy, and they intend to cut spending on domestic programs to create hunger, homelessness, and a cycle of poverty tens-of-millions of Americans will never escape. Apparently, Republicans will not stop fighting the people until they disabuse them of any government they pay for with their hard-earned tax dollars.
Not satisfied with the damage they inflicted on the government, jobs, and people with the sequester, fiscal cliff, and debt ceiling fiasco in 2011, Republicans already laid out their ransom to raise the debt ceiling sometime near the end of October to allow the government to pay the bills Republicans already racked up. House Republicans are demanding the President institute the Paul Ryan budget that privatizes Medicare, cuts Social Security, pillages social safety nets, and gives the wealthy a 14.9% tax cut while raising taxes on the poorest Americans. In the Senate, Republicans intend to block any budget that includes funding for Affordable Care Act, and some imply they intend to hold out for a formal promise from the President that the debt ceiling will not be raised at all regardless it will destroy the full faith and credit of the United States. It is no exaggeration that those Republicans demanding the debt ceiling not be raised intend bankrupting the federal government to put it in the same situation Detroit finds itself. Bankrupting the government will end Republicans’ fight to destroy it so they can hand it to their paymasters on Wall Street, the oil industry, and corporations.
Americans can hardly take any more Republican assaults on government. They have eliminated funding for 47-million Americans’ (mostly children and the elderly) food assistance, cut funding for Meals on Wheels, ended housing assistance to put Americans on the streets, slashed funding for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), as well as vote to eliminate overtime pay to send more Americans into the ranks of poverty. In their drive to keep Americans unemployed Republicans blocked every Democratic jobs bill, any attempt to stop corporations from outsourcing Americans’ jobs, and to keep the people ignorant cut education spending to the same level as Detroit’s emergency manager. Despite that America’s infrastructure ranks near the bottom of all developed countries, Republicans blocked every one of President Obama’s attempt to put millions of Americans back to work citing government overreach, and are unfazed their sequester cuts are on pace to kill millions more jobs.
What is stunning is that despite Republican obstruction and intransigence created an ineffective Congress with the lowest approval rating in history that even many Republicans condemn, they are going to their constituents to recruit anti-government warriors to assist in their fight against Washington. Americans are beleaguered, hungry, and looking to Washington to do its job and help build an economy that creates jobs and provides them with a sense of security they can avoid falling into poverty, but Republican’s fight against Washington means the people will never be secure and leaves them with little to hope for beyond survival. It is tragic that the damage Republicans have already wreaked on the people is not enough, and it verifies that their goal is a nation of hungry, homeless peasants at the mercy of wealthy plutocrats. The real atrocity though, and a sad commentary, is that they are emboldened and despicable enough to announce their intent to fight the people and are willing to bankrupt the nation to gain power of their adversaries; the American people.