Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Contract On America 2.0 - The Radical Right's Plan For Completing The Destruction Of America

Leave it to the morally and intellectually bankrupt Republicans to come up with a plan that proposes our country take a number of giant leaps backward. Meanwhile, they assert with a straight face that these proposals show they are not The Party of No. Interesting concept... NOT The Party of NO.

It reminds me of a lyric from the 1956 Broadway show, L'il Abner, whose song Jubilation T. Cornpone, mockingly portrayed a cowardly, incompetent Confederate General:

When we fought the Yankees and annihilation was near,
Who was there to lead the charge that took us safe to the rear?
Why it was Jubilation T. Cornpone...

The first thing that these inhumane monsters on the right want to do is say NO to, to repeal, or at least hamstring health care reform enough so it limps along accomplishing nothing. So, people with pre-existing conditions, poorer children, marginal wage-earners, the almost-old and a host of others will find themselves tossed off the gurney and into the unknown. 

The second thing the radicals want to do is to say NO to spending the rest of the stimulus package. This at the very time when the funds yet to be spent will be pumped into infrastructure, education, and towards mitigating the housing crisis. 

The radicals are also saying NO to Social Security and Medicare at a time when millions and millions of Baby Boomers are reaching age 65. In the jolly spirit of their Know-Nothingism, though, Republicans have not made clear the specifics of how cuts would be carried out. 

They also are saying NO to federal funding of abortions. NO to non-traditional marriage. NO to the rescission of the odious "Don't ask don't tell" policy in our armed forces. NO to a pathway to citizenship for aliens who serve in the armed forces. NO to a tax rise for the rich who are the only group to have achieved any personal economic growth in the last 15 years. NO to any legislation that the radicals believe is "unconstitutional," meaning anything they disagree with. NO to any sort of deficit spending, one of the pillars of modern state-interventionist economics. 

What is absent from the New And Unimproved Contract On America? 
  • Any mention of education funding whether for Head Start, English-As-A-Second-Language Programs, Anti-Drop-Out funding, or higher education funding. In other words, NO.
  • A mention, even in passing, of a coherent energy policy. Not even one that is pro-oil, which we might understandably expect. So, NO again.
  • Some sort of viewpoint on the continuing degradation of the environment? NO.
  • Proposals on how to deal with our increasingly at-risk food supply? NO.
  • Thoughts on how to deal with the continuing off-shoring of American jobs? NO.
  • Cutting out-of-control defense spending? NO.
The impulse to blame government for every ill in society is a strong one, and it occurs in equal measure on the left and right. 

The chief difference is that the left generally believes in the perfectability of government, really an optimistic position that is about our own personal perfectability, and one that reflects the positive or "YES" nature of leftist politics through the centuries. 

The right simply wants to burn the social contract and scatter its ashes, believing deep down that government per se is evil, that the individual is all that matters, that the accumulation of personal wealth at the expense of the commonweal is the preferable condition of society. In spasms of atavism, they wish to return to an existence in the "state of nature" that Hobbes so famously described as "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short." Let's see how they're doing.

Solitary - play each of us off against the other politically. Fear thy neighbor, especially if he or she has a different-color skin or religion. Check.

Poor - the decline of the middle and lower middle class over the last 30 years. Destroy unions, import cheap illegal labor, ship well-paying jobs overseas, allow under-priced imports into country. Check.

Nasty - prevent people of the same sex from choosing their marriage partners. Check.

Brutish - shouting down opponents at town hall meetings, toting guns to political rallies, portraying a President as a (take your pick) monkey, a dictator, a terrorist. Don't exactly wear a Brown Shirt, but, you know, like, um, act like you're a Brown Shirt. Check.

Short - those without health insurance die almost 6 years earlier than those with it. Check.

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