Tearing myself away from “Nashville” and Deacon’s latest conquest and the question of whether Rayna Jaymes voice would be restored, I watched the obscenity Wednesday night called the House of Representatives vote on the bill to reopen government and hike the debt ceiling through next February 7th. We all know the final tally; 285 in favor, including, to their credit, no matter their motives, 87 Republicans.
A total of 144 Republicans felt that kicking hundreds of thousands of government workers, plus an additional number of those working for government contractors to the curb and savaging various agency services was a wonderful reflection of democracy. The Senate vote was 81-18 with the predictable likes of Republicans Cruz, Coburn, Lee, Rubio, Paul and Scott among those balking at the idea. The final deal was shamefully struck about 100 minutes before assorted government defaults became a very real possibility. For Republicans, it was poll-struck, not a matter of civic conscience. The president and Harry Reid had held their ground.
But know this is in no way a victory. It’s a political pause. Knowledgeable observers recognize that this is the briefest of fixes extending a few months that are bound to be as contentious as the three year span since the Tea Party took over an arm of our government with a minority of the vote. Yes, a minority. As pointed out by a feature in The Nation magazine, Republicans took over the House even while losing the total margin by 1.7 million votes to the Democrats. District gerrymandering had carried the day for the radicals.
As early as January 2014, Tea Party shutdown and debt ceiling fecal matter will once again hit the fan and, on schedule, as they have done before, the radicals will parade out a series of heartless and senseless cuts trying to barter the continued demolition of the federal government. Then things will get worse.
In case you missed it, here’s the Tea Party strategy. Mess up the government to the extent it’s unrecognizable as a democratic institution. That would entail withholding funding from every worthwhile program and agency in DC. In addition to ACA, the other targets for elimination or virtual worthlessness are the Department of Education, the Energy Department, the Commerce Department and certainly the EPA and any other departments or agencies that have anything to do with regulation and oversight, especially financial and environmental. The National Labor Relations Board is also in the political crosshairs.
Destruction of the Postal Service continues unabated with no citizen pushback. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will be (already is) weighted down with so many demands, restrictions and requirements as to be unworkable for most. Billions are being diverted from SNAP by religious zealots who see nothing unholy in letting children and the elderly go hungry.
Let’s not forget continued tax cuts for the wealthy so there are no revenues save the lucre to keep our military machine oiled with, ironically, veterans as victims hugely underserved. So what are we left with going into the 2014 and 2016 elections? A chaotic mess that’s what. A mess of the doing of one party, or more correctly, an extremist faction of one party. Follow closely the strategy these extremists hope to pull off. After they destroy the federal government and for all practical purposes grind it to a halt, they’re going to BLAME THE DEMOCRATS. That’s because they have several things going for them at the polls. The first is a low-information constituency that can’t see beyond Rush and Fox News.
Then there’s the icing on the sleazy Republican contribution cake compliments once again of the right-wing Supreme Court. In McCutcheon vs. the Federal Election Commission, currently before the court, an attempt is being made to raise the two-year limit of an individual contribution from the current $123,200 to as much as $3.5 million or thereabouts. FOR SALE! Every election in America. An earlier similar case brought in September of 2012 before the U.S. District Court for DC by Shaun McCutcheon (an Alabama businessman) and the Republican National Committee (RNC) was dismissed.
But with the right-wing cuckoos sitting on the Supreme Court bench, the next obvious move was to bump the case up a judicial notch to the Supremes. And one of the guys making the decision believes the devil is a smart and successful “real” person. Do you suppose Antonin Scalia makes his decisions based on his perceived input from “SAAATAN!!! (as Church Lady used to say)?” Having read some of his decisions, I’m absolutely convinced the devil is a real person. And how about Clarence Thomas, the strong, silent type who is married to a woman who works 24/7 to rip apart ACA? No conflict of interest there in cases relating to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or health care in general.
No matter the outcome, we’re in for at least a couple of more years of ludicrous political turbulence on the federal and state levels. Until the Republican Party rids itself of any meaningful Tea Party influence, nothing the GOP does matters. By that I mean their platform will have no positive influence on the country or its people. Keeping minorities, the poor and the LGBT community in their places isn’t public service for the people, it’s bigoted repression. Bowing to the demands of billionaires has nothing whatsoever to do with Democracy. Obsession with entitlement cuts to deflect a percentage of SS money to Wall Street and trashing Medicare and Medicaid will do great harm to the majority of citizens and ignoring the fact that government cannot function without revenue is just plain stupid.
The “new” Republicans have done this nation an enormous disservice. In my next submission I’m going to give you an example of what a number of members of one profession are going through that would make the most rabid of fascist proud. And the horrific consequences can all be traced back to the right-wing.
There is an obvious answer that I’ve repeated in my PoliticusUSA offerings over and over. GOTV! Get Out The Vote, then get out AND vote. Get your kin, friends and neighbors out to vote and your fellow workers and every other Democrat and moderate Independent and moderate Republican. Explain in easily understood terms what a continuation of Tea Party dominance is doing to them, their families and future generations. Reasonable, informed votes trump huge, dirty money every and radicalism every time.
Raised rural & small town, then lived in N.Y., Chicago & LA. Widely traveled. Returned from world wandering to pursue media life of anchorman/reporter and major, medium and small market talk radio. Highly active in politics. Once worked as orderly & security in Mens Lock Ward for the Criminally Insane at a state institution. Much more rational population than current Teapublicans. Great concern for country run by and for the extreme wealthy. The inhumane current running through this country has no precedent in modern history.
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