Tuesday, January 04, 2011


Illinois man jailed for slapping
his sister and holding a handgun
during fight over polish sausage.

I have been trying to run over in my head a brief review of Republican beliefs as I understand them (or perhaps don’t understand them) before tomorrow when they seem to think they have taken over control of most everything (they only have the House but they seem to think this is everything). Anyway, generally speaking, it seem pretty clear to me that:

They are opposed to universal health care, opposed to taxes, opposed to government, opposed to unions, opposed to unemployment insurance, opposed to civil rights, opposed to open housing and bussing, opposed to equal opportunity, opposed to Social Security, opposed to Medicare, opposed to welfare, opposed to abortion, opposed to immigration, opposed to the legalization of drugs, opposed to Gay marriage, opposed to Gays in the military, opposed to homosexuality, opposed to global warming, opposed to the EPA and all forms of environmentalism, opposed to all forms of regulation, opposed to education (or at least paying for it), opposed to infrastructure renewal (it costs too much), opposed to the minimum wage, opposed to Russia, Iran, Palestinians, all ethnic minorities, and all religions other than Christianity (especially, at the moment, Muslims), opposed to Obama, as well as fundamentally opposed to democracy and the idea of one person, one vote (although of course they dare not admit this openly). In short, Republicans are opposed to anything and everything that would in any way actually make life better for ordinary working citizens. In spite of this they mysteriously continue to get quite a lot of votes.

They seem to be for: the wealthy, (very) limited government, no regulations, lower taxes, corporations, business, American exceptionalism, capitalism, privatization, globalization, imperialism, colonialism, permanent “war,” the military/industrial/political complex, empire, Israel, unlimited funds for national defense, and, above all, inequality and oligarchy. Like I say, they still get lots of votes, damned if I know how.

If this is, in general, more or less true, there would seem to be little hope that Republicans and Democrats will ever be able to very adequately cope with the myriad important, even critical problems that currently beset us. But of course nothing is ever this simple. For one thing you can never believe what everyone says, nor can you always predict what they will do that has nothing to do with what they say. For example, some Republicans say they will absolutely not vote to increase the U.S. debt limit, but they will. Their “investigations” of the Obama administration will probably amount to nothing. And of course once it becomes even more clear that our country is going bankrupt they will no doubt (begrudgingly) vote to reduce the defense budget, withdraw troops from all over the world, and even, perhaps, make some attempt to bring jobs back to the U.S. and agree to some much-needed regulations. They might even come to realize that the only way health care in America will ever become affordable will be through a single-payer system. I don’t believe Republicans will ever voluntarily choose to do anything sensible for the public, but I do believe that reality will someday force them to change their behavior, if not their beliefs. Someday they might even agree to slightly increase taxes on the obscenely wealthy and abandon their long quest to eliminate Social Security.

I could as usual be very wrong about all this, but I suspect that by the time 2012 arrives the voting public will be so fed up with these Republican know-nothing clowns they will be happy to re-elect Obama in a landslide. Obama may not be the Knight in white armor, riding the great white stallion we envisioned, but as of now he’s the best game in town by far (unless, perhaps, your tastes run to the Housewife from Hell, the Lying Mormon, the Bible-Thumping Huckabee, the Super Hypocritical Gingrich, or any one of the numerous Egomaniacs or relatively unknowns that think being President would be “groovy”). I’m sorry to say it, but Jeb Bush looks better all the time, and the electorate has no memory beyond Saturday night.

Nothing is so admirable in politics as a short memory.
John Kenneth Galbraith

A group of toads is called a “Knot.”

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