Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Shocking Stupidity of the Stubbornly Short-Sighted

Apparently 72 Republican members of the House of Representatives have signed a letter (or some other document) saying they will never agree to any increase in taxes. I gather they mean what they say, no increase in taxes no matter what. It seems from the reports I have seen that the Republican members of the so-called Super Committee have also refused to give in to any new taxes. I gather they are also opposed to closing corporate loopholes and are holding out passionately to keep on making the rich and the corporations even richer than they are. With hundreds of American citizens now taking to the streets in our major cities demanding action on jobs, something that will require some increased revenues to produce, just where do these Republicans ideologues think the Occupy movement will go?

As I understand it, some 68% of Americans want to see the rich and the corporations pay more in taxes (or at least “their fair share”). I also saw today that even 68% of millionaires have requested they be taxed more heavily. Warren Buffet and other billionaires have also suggested they should pay more. It is also obvious that those with millions and billions could easily pay more and not even miss it. Some 40 or more Republicans have announced they will not honor the no taxes pledge they signed for Grover Norquist. Even so, the Republican leadership (if it can be called that) seems to be determined not to budge on their position. I find this virtually impossible to understand, and I cannot help but wonder if they have any ideas of the potential consequences of their complete unwillingness to help our country out when it desperately needs help. Similarly, I cannot understand their apparent total lack of either understanding or compassion for the lives of those out of work that have in many cases also lost their pensions and their homes.

These Republican holdouts apparently believe that “It can’t happen here.” That is, there cannot be a genuine revolution in the United States. I guess they believe this because there has not been a violent revolution since the original Tea Party, and because they believe the current rebellion will either exhaust itself and go away or the police will destroy it for the 1%. I suspect they do not know how dangerous the times may become. I also suspect that at least some of the billionaires and millionaires might well understand the dangers and hope that by giving in a bit this eventuality might be avoided. So far, even after more than 60 days of protests, the protests have remained non-violent. One can only hope they will remain so, but I’m not so certain the protestors cannot be prone to more violent acts if they see no activity on behalf of Congress and the Administration to seriously attend their grievances. Frustration, if prolonged, does almost inevitably lead to violence. In the present case the majority of the population is being frustrated by a relatively small minority that seems to believe they can get their way (and get rid of Obama) by just standing pat.

Paradoxically, the position of this stubborn minority is being undermined by the only true thing they have ever said – they are dedicated to making President Obama a one term President. As they announced this with some pride, and have religiously stuck to it, it has become obvious that anything else they say about Obama will almost certainly not be true (and hasn’t been). Try to remember if you have ever heard them claim anything about Obama that is actually true. They have tried everything: he wasn’t born in America, he’s a socialist/communist/fascist/racist/Muslim/Dictator/visitor from outer space/weak on national defense/dumb on Foreign Policy/economics/etc., all claims with no substance whatsoever. The latest as of today, a la Rick Perry, is that he is “a child of privilege,” a claim so outrageously false as to inevitably make Perry look like more of a fool than he has already revealed himself to be.

It appears there will be no Great White Dope to unseat Obama, and as Herman Cain is basically little more than a practical joker he, too, will be of no consequence. Romney will probably get the nomination by default, but even he is now under fire for destroying the records of his Governorship. This, however, will probably make little difference as Romney is already known to be completely wishy-washy on virtual any subject you can name, "inauthentic" is the most flattering thing you can say for him.

If I had anything to say to the Occupy people it would be: Don’t waste your bodies or health trying to make it through the winter in tents and sleeping bags. Withdraw temporarily for the winter, make it clear you are using the time to organize a nationwide Spring offensive that will make what you have accomplished so far look like child’s play. Continue to pressure Congress to act before it becomes too late, see if they take the obviously not subtle hints and actually begin to act responsibly. If not, Spring and Summer will make the point both inescapable and inevitable.

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

John F. Kennedy

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