Tuesday, July 26, 2011

But Can They Read The Handwriting On The Wall?

I know one thing for sure about Republicans. They can read. I was already aware of their fondness for Ayn Rand, but it's also clear they've got much more than passing familiarity with George Orwell.

They regularly condemn class warfare, even though they are waging an astonishingly effective class war and have been for years. Every time someone suggests that maybe millionaires and billionaires should share in the sacrifice that everyone else is expected to make, they shout "Class War! Class War!" at the top of their lungs. The class war card has become an all-purpose inoculant against any attempt to promote economic and social justice.

Every chance they get they rail against judicial activism and label every liberal judge a judicial activist. The judges they appoint then throw judicial restraint to the wind and take judicial activism to unprecedented heights, radically reinterpreting the First Amendment to serve the purposes of their class war and otherwise reordering society by judicial fiat to usher in a new Gilded Age.

They beseech the American people not to ever allow their elected representatives to raise taxes on the "job creators." Never mind that the U.S. economy was far healthier and producing more jobs here at home when tax rates on businesses and the wealthy were much higher than they are now. And never mind that today's "job creators" are really just profit takers. For working people, economic recovery is when the jobs come back. For those on Wall Street and in the corporate boardrooms, economic recovery is when the profits come back. For them, there's a recovery underway. That it's been a jobless one does not concern them in the least. But when someone suggests that perhaps some of their newfound profits should be plowed back into education or infrastructure repair or green energy investments, a panic attack ensues. They trot out their "don't tax the job creators" line and people fall for it and the profits from their jobless recovery are once again safe.

I know one thing for sure about Democrats. They can read. A.A. Milne at least. They clearly are on cousinly terms with the bear of little brain. And they've got Eeyore's angst and depression and indecision down pat. When the Democrats see the remotest risk, the slightest possibility of a political setback, they sit on their hands.

The Republicans wage class war and the Democrats whine about it and the Republicans accuse them of promoting class warfare. They feed the profit-hungry and the Democrats whine about it and they yell "you can't tax the job creators!" They stack the courts and get the judiciary's blessing of their class war. The Democrats whine about it and are accused of pushing judicial activism.

So Scott Walker and the Fitzgerald brothers and their minions take away worker rights, roll back child labor laws, slash school spending, cut health care assistance to the elderly and poor and disabled, bring back poll taxes and deregulate the phone companies. And they are just getting warmed up.

Hundreds of thousands of working people are inflamed. Walker's collective bargaining bill alone triggered mass protests, the largest ever seen at the State Capitol. Nine senators were targeted for recall, the most ever in Wisconsin history.

Over at Democratic Party headquarters, Pooh sighed "Oh, bother" and Eeyore mumbled "Oh well." The chairman of the state party made remarks widely interpreted as throwing cold water on the idea of mounting an effort to recall Walker as soon as possible. He later backtracked some. Some grassroots Democrats have made it known that top party brass were cool to the idea of ever trying to recall the governor when the subject came up at the party's state convention.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: One party is scary and the other is scared.

One is Ayn Rand's dream and George Orwell's nightmare. The other is A.A. Milne minus the innocence of childhood.

Neither is what our society needs.


SAPA said...

While I agree with your assessment that the trickle down economics hasn't benefited our middle class or country as a whole, I don't agree with the Democratic ideal of giving everything away for free. I'm not represented by either party and I talk to many people who feel the same way. Who represents the middle class?

Seth Jared said...

"Giving everything away for free" is a pretty gross simplification of social policy. World War II got America out of the Depression because people were put to work manufacturing war materials. Today we have a trillion dollar war, but the only one profiting are private corporations like Halliburton, and it hasn't created jobs.

This isn't a case of people taking advantage of welfare, it's making the people who control the majority of the wealth pay their fair share. Time has told that wealthy people do not magically create jobs when they have extra money, it simply gives them more to put into their trust funds.