Monday, July 25, 2011
A false equivalency
The two parties are not the same. They are not doing the same thing. The Democrats are not failing in bipartisanship. The Democrats are not bringing us to the brink of financial disaster.
We have today a Republican party that is insane. Certifiably so. It is a party willing to throw our country under a bus in order to make ideological points that are totally irrelevant because the debt ceiling crisis is a manufactured crisis by the Republican party.
There is no debt ceiling crisis. There is no budget crisis. We do not need, at this point in time, a balanced budget. Government spending is not out of control (excepting as it pertains to the Pentagon and our ongoing Middle Eastern wars). Social Security is not in crisis.
Furthermore, what financial problems we do have could be solved by simply 1) reversing George W. Bush's tax cuts for the rich, 2) hiking the minimum amount of income subject to FICA, 3) closing the numerous loopholes which allow corporate entities to avoid paying any income tax whatsoever.
The Democrats led by President Obama are willing to do all of the above. That is not equivalent to the Republicans who, like spoiled children, insist on special privileges for their rich friends; who demand the middle-class and the poor bear the brunt of our financial burden; who show clearly that their loyalty is neither to our Constitution nor to their constituents, but to the corporations who own them.
In the past, raising the debt ceiling has not been a partisan issue. Congress has routinely raised the debt ceiling over 70 times. Furthermore, reasonable and responsible people do not threaten the financial well-being of the entire country (and the world!) by withholding approval to raise the debt ceiling by holding the country hostage to their whims as directed by the lobbyists and by the crackpot teapot members who have hijacked the Republican Party.
Republicans, in spite of all their protestations, don't give a damn about our debt or our deficit or whether or not we raise the debt ceiling. It is all a pretense. They want to save tax cuts for the wealthy. They want to cut the social safety net in our country, a net that has been built by blood, sweat and tears over the years. The Republican Party has always fought social programs that benefit regular human beings. If the Republican Party had its way back in the 30s and 40s and 50s, we would have no Social Security, no Medicare, no Medicaid. Another obvious sign that the Republicans are not concerned with our debt or a balanced budget is their blanket approval for the Bush spending spree between 2000 and 2008. Bush came into office with a huge surplus which he promptly decimated by cutting taxes for his rich friends and his war-mongering. We have thrown over a trillion dollars down the toilet in Iraq and Afghanistan for no reason whatsoever. That's why we have a huge debt at the present time. It's a Republican problem caused by a Republican president and his Republican cohorts in Congress.
Now, that we have a Democratic president who is also "black," the deficit suddenly becomes a problem. And yes, I am calling much of the Republican opposition racist! Racism in the Republican Party has raised its ugly head over and over again over the past two and a half years!
Hypocritical is too nice a word to describe the Republican Party today. Insane is more correct. Dirty also fits. Unconscionable is right on target. Ignorant describes most Republicans.
But we don't hear any of this from our news media. Instead, we hear how bipartisanship has failed. We hear how the Republicans AND the Democrats can't work things out. We were told that weepy Boehner walked out twice on the president, but the sense was that he had no choice because the president was so intransigent.
The parties and their representatives are treated as if their discourse and demands are equivalent. Nothing could be further from the truth. For the Republicans, it's "my way or the highway"; it's "if I can't win, I'll take my marbles and go home."
We should let them do the latter. One cannot come to agreement with people who have already lost all their marbles!