I don’t want to beat a dead dog, but I want to know what the Republican idea of foreign policy is. The Bush administration showed a clear and persistent disdain for diplomacy, preferring instead to simply invade other countries, and the Republicans seem to want to continue in this vein. The sabre-rattling continues unabated and every day seems to reveal another Republican demanding blood.
- Lindsey Graham (R-SC) wants to invade Iran
- Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA) opposes cuts in defense spending
- Jon Kyl says Congress doesn’t have time to ratify the new START treaty
- Michele Bachman (R-MN) says Obama is going to let Iran nuke Israel
Why aren’t these people talking about the economy, about lost jobs, or about tackling the deficit? Really the only thing they’ve had to say so far about the economy is that they want to ban earmarks, which amount to less than half of one percent of the federal budget. Military spending accounts for over 50%.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist here to figure out that something isn’t right. So let’s try to understand this:
- Banning earmarks, 0.5% of the federal budget will fix the economy
- Keeping or increasing military spending, which is more than 50% of the economy, won’t hurt the economy
- And we might as well add keeping the tax breaks for the rich, which won’t hurt the economy either, somehow
No, it still doesn’t make sense, does it?
Come to think of it, I want to know what the Republican idea of domestic policy is. Do they have one of those either? It doesn’t seem so; no foreign policy ideas and no domestic policy ideas. Just…nothing. Nothing at all.
Oh, they’re against a lot of things. It would take more time than I have to list it all. But they don’t seem to have any solutions either on a global or on a local scale beyond a nihilistic denial of everything.
It’s a matter of very simple mathematics. You don’t even have to drag economics into it. It’s just that simple: to spend money you have to have money, or you create deficit spending. You owe money. Right? We all know that. We experience it every day with house payments, car payments, credit cards and any other kind of loan.
The only way to balance things out is to make more money, or to spend less money.
Is that so hard to understand? And money has to come from somewhere. The government isn’t a corporation. It gets money from taxes. That is the money the federal government has to spend. If the government cuts taxes, it has less money.
But the Republicans want to continue to spend money. They don’t want you to have healthcare, they don’t want you to have unemployment insurance or social security. But they do want to buy more guns, tanks, planes and missiles.
I may not be a rocket scientist but I don’t think a missile is going to do any of us a helluva lotta good.
So we are justified in asking: What the hell kind of policy is this?
You’d probably get a lot of dumb looks if you actually asked. Michele Bachman apparently didn’t have a clue that the Bush administration had engaged in diplomatic relations and even state visits with Iran’s president, the much loathed Ahmadinejad. At least, she didn’t want to talk about that when it was brought up while she was busy denouncing Obama.
What other policies do the Republicans have?
- They’re against same-sex marriage
- They’re against repealing DADT in the military
- They’re against abortion
- They’re against the building of mosques in the U.S.
- They’re against “Obamacare”
- They’re against immigrants
- They’re against federal regulations unless morally based
- They’re against the environment and alternative energy
- They’re against high speed rail
Does any of this help us with the two matters about which Americans are most concerned, jobs and health? No, not at all. You can ban same-sex marriages, keep DADT in place, ban abortion and mosques, and people still won’t have jobs and if they succeed in repealing what they derisively call “Obamacare” they won’t have health insurance either. Meanwhile, federal regulations protect the average citizen from corporate abuses and “green” programs and high speed rail would put thousands back to work and money into the economy. We can’t have that, apparently.
Again: what the hell kind of policy is this?
Will returning to a Bronze Age morality code put the economy back on track or keep people healthy? No, not so much.
Meanwhile, these new Republican politicians who campaigned steadfastly against health insurance for the rest of us want their own, and they don’t want to wait the required 28 days for it.
This is what voters have given us, a nihilistic party spouting slogans so absurd they can’t be taken seriously as a political movement. A political movement has to be about something. The Republican party is not. It is against a lot of things, but it offers us no path forward, no coherent policy that will lead us out of the mess their lack of vision steered us into.
Why are they back in office? Better than asking that, get out and vote next time and make sure they don’t get the executive back. The damage they can do is limited by the powers granted the House in the Constitution. Sanity still reigns in the Executive and in the Senate, and I suspect that two years of Republican pseudo-policy might jar the electorate sufficiently to save them both in 2012, particularly if Palin runs, but the danger is real and the danger remains.
Demand answers, America. Demand solutions, demand action, real, meaningful action, and start asking of these people, “Why do you want Bristol to win?”
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.