A premonition is an intuition of a future occurrence, usually unwelcomed and foreboding, which portends danger for the person having the experience and should be a sign that change is called for to avert some impending calamity. Republicans hate change, and despite promising to transform into a more inclusive party after their defeat in the 2012 general election, they are clinging to an agenda that foreshadows an unwelcome and foreboding future for Americans if they come to power. Since the start of the 113th Congress, it appeared Republicans were going to stay the course they blazed over the past four years, and this week it is obvious Republicans intend to pursue a more extreme agenda that spells doom and gloom for the people and American society.
After the election, there was a split amongst conservatives regarding why Republicans lost to President Obama, and while one side expressed a desire to be friendlier and appeal to mainstream America, hardliners claimed the party needed to embrace more extreme conservative principles to garner support from the people. Apparently, the hardliners won the debate and Americans are in for a bleak future.
Yesterday, Republican budget guru, Ayn Rand devotee, and failed vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan released another Draconian budget, and The American Conservative Union geared up for its annual CPAC 2013 with a lineup that reveals the conservative movement is serious about extremism in their drive to take the country back to Depression-era America. Just perusing Ryan’s budget, and the best and brightest list conservatives will parade across the stage at CPAC, any thinking person sees a bad omen predicting ravaging poverty, religious edicts, and a few phenomenally rich industrialists.
The CPAC speakers include Ted Cruz (keynote address), Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Bobby Jindal, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, and Paul Ryan. The speakers are listed in order of importance based on the time allotted for their rants against 21st Century America, and they will preach about the war on Christmas, Europeanization of America, United Nation’s takeover of America, Obama’s threats and intimidation, and the virtues of plastic bottles, fracking, Genetically Modified food, and Big Gulp sodas. Donald Trump will spend fourteen minutes debunking the myth that racism exists in America. It is a veritable smorgasbord of conspiracy theories and faux outrages, and the cast of characters highlight the extremes of the Republican Party. However, if the conservative exreme-athon isn’t a bad enough omen, Ryan’s budget should frighten the life out of 98% of Americans.
Last week Ryan said there were no surprises in his budget proposal, and he was telling the truth because if one imagined a dire American future with rampant poverty, starving children, dying seniors, and a monumental tax cut for the wealthy, they would be fairly close to describing Ryan’s budget. Ryan claims his proposal will balance the budget in ten years, but it is predicated on repealing the Affordable Care Act, slashing domestic programs ranging from Medicaid to college grants to safety nets, and requiring Medicare patients to give up the healthcare they paid for and purchase private insurance. Ryan’s plan was short on details, but one thing is certain, poverty-level Americans, working-poor, and the middle class will be decimated to award the rich a whopping 14.9% tax cut. It is Ryan doing his best Ayn Rand impersonation to kill off takers and reward the makers, and instead of showing a semblance of humanity for Americans, Ryan shrugged.
Ryan justified slashing domestic programs by touting Bill Clinton’s success at moving welfare recipients into the workforce, but he presided over the greatest job creation since Eisenhower. Domestic cuts Ryan proposes will kill millions of jobs more than Republicans already destroyed with their spending cuts, and Clinton also did not cut the wealthy’s tax rate to 25%, or eliminate middle class tax deductions. He raised taxes, created millions of jobs, and left a budget surplus that Republicans promptly gave to the wealthy when the conservative Supreme Court handed George W. Bush the presidency. Ryan’s tax cuts dwarf Bush’s, and it portends incredible income for the rich, and higher poverty for the poor as well as economy-crushing unemployment typical of austerity in a tepid recovery. It is the “new” Republican agenda and notably, there is not one mention of infrastructure improvements, job creation, or hope for 98% of the American people; just the way Republicans like it.
Conservatives, in all their iterations, have nothing in store for Americans that does not spell economic despair, and they have plotted to finish what they started after disaffected Democrats stayed home in 2010 and handed the House and several governorships to the extremist wing of the Republican Party; teabaggers. This week during the CPAC conference, a wave of teabagger and Republican sycophants will rant and rage against the American people’s choice of president, and bemoan their loss of religious liberty to impose Dark Age mentality on America’s women and school children. Paul Ryan will tell his fellow extremists that the Path to Prosperity is paved with steep austerity, joblessness, crushing poverty, and colossal tax cuts for the richest Americans, and when cameras are gone, no doubt he will demean the 47-percenters (takers) for robbing the makers.
If any American thought they had seen the height of extremes from Republicans in the lead up to the November election, 2013 and the beginning of the 113th Congress should have been a clue they were just getting started. Speaker of the House John Boehner announced Republicans’ top priority for 2013 was banning abortion with no pretense of creating jobs, helping recovery, or protecting the most vulnerable Americans; children and seniors, but they are hell-bent on stopping abortion. During the sequestration debate, Republicans decried that damage to the economy and jobs the automatic cuts would impose on the nation, and then celebrated their enactment as if they had just won the lottery, and they did because their goal was killing jobs and halting the recovery. Now, between Ryan’s budget and the CPAC lineup, it should be painfully apparent that the new extremist Republicans will not rest until poverty is rampant, children starve, and seniors perish from lack of healthcare as they destroy the New Deal and take the country back to Depression-era America.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.