Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sarah Palin and Cults of Personality

The GOP, given its intellectual torpidity of late, is lurching towards two years of idiocy in which the deficits will grow, the debt will explode, and the economy will not improve.  The problems confronting America are much more substantive than the current crop of leadership can comprehend, given the tendency of America to elect the latest Wonderboys and Wondergirls.  What America has to realize is that sizzle does not always correlate to steak. Would it were that we had come to this epiphany in 2000, when George W. Bush sucked all the oxygen and the funding out of the field en route to the Republican nomination.  Then again, the Democrats put forth the one candidate feckless enough to lose that election, even though Al Gore won both the majority of votes and the electoral college once the recount in Florida went through after the Supreme Court obviated its significance.  Even though illegal caging lists were used to purge voter rolls of perfectly eligible folks, Al Gore still managed to win the election, despite being the equivalent of Eeyore on the campaign trail.  

It should tell you all you need to know when the liberal media over at Rolling Stone magazine decides to airbrush their man's crotch to make seem more...substantive.  In the case of W. there was no need for airbrushing, because one cannot airbrush illiteracy and an inability to fluently speak English without mangled malaproprisms and fractured syntax predominating.  In short, you can't airbrush stupid.  

However, George W. Bush spoke the language of the masses who lined the pews every Sunday.  He spoke in plain terms about how Christ had changed his heart, so much so that he mocked Karla Faye Tucker before her execution and called a reporter an asshole.  He did what he needed to do to vilify gays and lesbians, and he sicced his operatives on John McCain in South Carolina to insinuate via robocall operations that McCain was guilty of miscegenation due to his adopted daughter's different ethnic background.  W. was a disgusting toad surrounded by other disgusting toads, but so long as he invoked Billy Graham and talked about his past drinking episodes and the redemption thereof, his constituencies would absolve him of present and past sins. 

George W. Bush was the sizzle, Al Gore was the turkey burger put forth by the liberals, and Harry Browne was the man who could have destroyed both of them had he been allowed on a debate stage.  Alas, Harry was the Libertarian Party nominee, and had no chance in hell of getting on such a stage.  Ralph Nader made it onto the ballot, and ultimately received blame for splitting the liberal vote and siphoning off support from Al Gore.  Gore's supporters were incapable of understanding that if Nader could siphon support from Gore, the problem was Gore, not Nader.  

And so the stage was set for the coronation of W., and the Supreme Court presided over his eventual ascendancy, defending due process at the expense of majoritarian rule and the electoral college.  America was ruled by an obvious and outright minority, and thus George emerged to take the White House from an election he won in the courts.  He proceeded to rule with mediocrity, until 9/11 provided him the opportunity to do what he did best: cheerlead.  He stood on the pile at Ground Zero, and told us that the men who brought down the Towers would soon hear us.  And they did, but unfortunately, George had to go traipsing over to Iraq and expand the mission to nation-building.  He had a divine mandate to spread democracy, because God spoke through him.  Today, God has used the United States to install a bunch of drug-trafficking Pashtun boy-rapists as the leaders of Afghanistan.  He raises whom He will raise, so that He might show His power...

George talked about compassionate conservatism and limited government, but compassion and small government gave way to torture, warrantless searches and wiretaps, and the largest expansion of government in seventy years. We had the Department of Homeland Security, the Directorate of National Intelligence, the Medicare prescription drug benefit, and various programs to read our email and canvass our phone calls.  His tax cuts seemed to spur the economy, but let's be real: the economic boom had more to do with the expansion of the monetary supply enacted by the Federal Reserve than anything else.  What the tax cuts accomplished was a historic explosion of deficits and the inflation of the national debt.  At the end of the eight years of the Bush Administration, America's economy was in shambles, the legacy of allowing companies to deceive investors with fraudulent numbers built on subprime mortgages.  We had slit our own throats far more effectively than Al Qaeda by pursuing an eight year orgy of guns and butter spending.  

Today, the bill for forty years of deficit spending is due.  Banks are foreclosing on properties they don't hold any clear title to, and the only reason they appear profitable is because their fraudulent accounting has the imprimatur of legitimacy via a government endorsed suspension of standards which require bad assets to be included in quarterly reports. We look to government to lead, even though we have forty years of evidence to indicate that government has failed.  

Sarah Palin is on the horizon, and a dissatisfied electorate is wandering in the wilderness, with ten percent official unemployment and over sixteen percent real employment.  We are ripe for the emergence of a cult of personality.  It is conceivable that one of two cults could prevail in 2012: either we re-elect Barack Obama, whose underwhelming performance thus far renders that possibility far-fetched, or we elect a former governor who couldn't be bothered to finish a complete term.  The former possibility seems possible given the early indicators of newly-elected Republican majority's priorities thus far, and the latter possibility seems possible if the Republicans stick Mitt Romney forward as the establishment choice while the Democrats coalesce around Barack Obama after he continues along another two years of idiocy.  If anyone can render Barack Obama electable a second  go-round, it is the assortment of clowns we have on Capitol Hill.  Let the Federal Reserve engage in more monetary manipulation, and if the regional Feds stop paying interest on excess reserves, you'll see the banks flood the market with $1 trillion in excess liquidity to lend to every sad sack-subprime borrower seeking to jump on the two-time loser merry-go-round. We'll have another economic boom attributed to a tax cut, only this time, we'll lose our rating with the bond agencies and we will pay a staggering amount more to service our debt.  Additionally, we'll be repeating the mistakes of the past by lending to undeserving borrowers who can't pay their bills.  

Sarah speaks the language of the unwashed and desperate masses, appealing to faith and family even as her own family is an utter disaster: an unwed mother of a daughter, a younger daughter whose on-line outbursts are the stuff of white trash legend and liberal fodder, and a history of petty spites and slights with everyone from Wasilla to Juneau.  This is what is on the horizon for America: a woman who is, like W., a cheerleader and little else.  She's the sizzle, the rah-rah-rah sis-boom-bah, but she isn't much else.  You don't have to be particularly competent to be a president, as the prior two presidents have proven.  All Sarah has to do is make the right overtures to fundraisers and backers like the Kochs, and she'll be on her way.  Sarah has others to write her increasingly sophisticated Facebook posts, compose her tweets, and do the heavy lifting involved with policy positions.  Just like W. and Barack, all Sarah has to do is sublimate her personality into a razzle-dazzle rally appearance.  The Heritage Foundation will supply the brainpower, or the ideological firepower, to be more accurate.  

America is footing the bill for these cults of personality, and so long as the people get to thumb their noses at the intelligentsia snobs by electing a woman whose Administration will be populated by, you guessed it, intelligentsia snobs with a cynical view of faith and values as a means to electability, we'll have President Palin in 2012.  Stick it the man by blowing off your own foot, America!  Let us not forget that George W. Bush was all razzle and dazzle, and the deficits blew the national debt sky-high.  No one bothered themselves with the logical inconsistency of a small government enthusiast expanding the government to no end, because they were enraptured by W.'s verve and vigor.  He could be as inconsistent in his professions as he liked, so long as he made America feel good.  That's what cults of personality do, they make you feel good in order to distract you from the inconsistency between professions and actions.  

You may want to elect the woman, but you need to understand that she will come with a very severe price: exploding deficits, out of control banks and businesses, and endless occupations and misadventures abroad.  After all, the people who finance presidential campaigns expect to be paid back.  It is not too far outside of probability that a woman who couldn't be bothered to finish a term as governor of Alaska could wind up as President of the world's most powerful nation, presiding over the largest economy.  It is, however, a possibility that ought to give us pause.  

 

Posted via email from momus1978's posterous

Republican Stupid.

The Republicans do not give one much faith that the next two years will be much different than years they held majorities under George W. Bush.  Tax cuts for Republicans are the panacea for all that ails America; moreover, so is a sense of fiscal responsibility that borders on the miserly.  Consider that we already run trillion dollar deficits on an annual basis, yet Republicans have the inclination to add to that disgraceful total to the tune of some $400 billion annually by extending a tax cut for another two years while fulminating about overspending when it comes to $7 billion in aid for first responders on 9/11.  Back in the early days of the Iraq War, we heard that a defense budget of $700 billion annually wasn't sufficient to provide adequate body armor and transport armor for our troops in the field, even though it was sufficient to line the pockets of Blackwater and Halliburton shareholders.  

How perverse.  The feckless Democrats are too stupid and inane to make any hay over these matters, focusing as they do on quixotic attempts to build constituencies out of illegal aliens through the DREAM Act and amnesty.  Here's an idea: why don't you focus on the constituents you already have, many of which are Hispanic and African-American citizens who find themselves unemployed or underemployed, before you go off trying to add to the population by extending citizenship to individuals who are in this country illegally?  Why don't you fulfill your existing responsibilities before you go off and assume new responsibilities?  

Today, the Senate passed a Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal, and one wonders whether our President will actually sign the damn bill.  Oh, I know that he's a liberal socialist nincompoop who somehow manages to support massive backdoor bailouts of banks and automakers, along with hundreds of billions of dollars in profits for the health insurance companies through an unconstitutional individual mandate, but let's face it: Barack Obama does not like gay people.  He dispatched his Justice Department to contest a California case by filing a brief which characterized gays in the most invidious terms imaginable: as pederasts.  We have seen the epidemic of lesbian pederasty sweeping the nation, as adult lesbians subvert the teenage girls of their communities until their hair is shorn into a buzz and they strut about like pale imitators of masculinity.  And haven't we all encountered the amorous advances of predatory gay men who just have it out for us heterosexual men, with our clashing ties and scuffed penny loafers.  The bastards wrinkle their noses whenever I walk by, and offer unsolicited comments about my attire! Well, I'm sorry if my sartorial resplendence doesn't meet with their exacting standards of haberdashery, but it's correct for my idiom as a heterosexual man!  I do too look smart! I would not be surprised a'tall if President Obama declines to sign the repeal of DADT or if he vetoes it outright.  

Republicans earned the wrath of Lt. Dan Choi, who recently collapsed under the stress of his campaign against DADT and underwent hospitalization (talk about melodramatic), only to emerge renewed and full of vim and vigor in his condemnation of Senator John McCain: "John McCain, you are on the wrong side of history. Your feet wade in the toxic septic waste of rabid hate-mongers who perpetuate America's injustice."  Oh, dear.  How overwrought can you get?  "The toxic septic waste of rabid hate-mongers..." Despite his obvious gift for rhetorical flourishes, Lt. Dan has no intention of going into a career as a Harlequin novelist.  He's a delicate soul, and the stress of regular deadlines would be more than he could bear.  

Good sense has prevailed in DADT, as the realization that some of the finest martial entities in human history institutionalized homosexuality in order to bolster the fighting spirit of their men.  The Spartans believed as much, as did the Romans, the Greeks, and others.  Granted, that's no reason to go emulating that lot, given that the Greeks had a predilection for anything with legs and a pulse.  Livestock suffered terribly under the advance of Greek armies. Unspeakable acts were committed, and atrocities were visited on sheep and cattle that do not bear going into within these paragraphs. But the fact remains that gays have always been a part of our culture, our military, and even our government.  The republic has not suffered too terribly for the fact that Aunt Sally, or James Buchanan as you know him, became a president.  The recent assertion by Jimmy Carter that the United States was ready for a gay president was laughable, because we've already had a gay president, and while he wasn't the best, he certainly wasn't as bad as Jimmy Carter. Of course, the Confederate States of America did usher into existence under Buchanan's presidency, but one can hardly blame his sexuality for his reticence to act to preserve the Union.  He was paralyzed by his sense that restraints existed on federal action which precluded a military response, and tensions between the Southern and Northern states predated Buchanan's presidency.  

With that said, the Republicans managed to stake out the idiotic ground in the entire debate, with Senator John McCain insisting that allowing openly gay men and women to serve in the military would impede union cohesion, even as the military (minus the Marine commandant) contradicted him.  McCain crashed more planes than he ever flew, and no one ever implied that his sexuality had anything to do with his shortcomings as a pilot, because such a connection would have been clearly ludicrous. In much the same way, it is ludicrous to insinuate that the inability of some podunk white trash hick from the sticks to co-exist peacefully in a foxhole with his gay peer is the fault of the gay peer rather than the asinine homophobia of the podunk white trash.  If your biggest problem is with the gay man next to you when Al-Qaeda is trying to kill both of you, you are the one with the issue.  

Some Republicans did come around to sense and decency on DADT, but the fact of the matter is that just when progress seemed to be underway, the Republicans in the House killed the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Actt, a bill with the ostensible purpose of deterring and preventing child marriage.  After the Senate had unanimously approved the bill, the House Republicans, led by Eric Cantor and others, defeated the bill on the grounds that it would promote abortion.  This, despite the fact that such pro-life stalwarts as Sam Brownback and David Vitter had supported it during the unanimous Senate vote with nary a peep of concern about abortion.  The House Republicans voiced further concerns about the likelihood that an estimated $108 million would be spent over a four year period.  Yes, and this sense of fiscal austerity followed on the heels of a tax cut and unemployment benefit extension that would add an estimated $858 billion over a two year period!  In the meantime, the legion of perverts in the backwater banana republics of the world who insist on having their dancing boys and their child brides too will continue to abuse pre-pubescent girls.  Granted, let's face reality: we can't go around fixing the world's problems, but opposing child rape (which is what child marriage is, in all truth) is a cause I'd have no problem supporting with my tax dollars. Hell, I'd support airstrikes and assassinations of perverts around the world by the CIA.  

Much of the Republican agenda consists of cosmetic gestures and thirty pieces of silver, because a continuation of tax cuts at a time when 48 cents of every dollar we spend is borrowed money is absurd in and of itself, unless you consider those tax cuts as a payoff to various demographics, which is exactly what they are.  While the Republicans will rant and rave about a trillion dollar omnibus spending bill on the grounds that it has $8 billion in earmarks, the fact of the matter is that they aren't objecting a whit to the increased borrowing which will result from the extension of the tax cuts.  Nor or they objecting to the fact that a payroll tax holiday for Social Security withholding will result in that program being transformed from a pay as you program into a program that draws upon the general budget, a budget which is already a trillion dollars in the red.  There is no serious proposal on the table to deal with the biggest subsidy of all, a perpetual war in Afghanistan and various military actions around the Middle East that have little to do with national defense and everything to do with giveaways to defense contractors.  No one can explain how a military that consumes more in budgetary allocations than the rest of the world's militaries combined can be held at bay and stymied by a bunch of semi-literate, rag-tag, Islamic fanatics who live in caves in western Pakistan.  Then again, we're defending a regime whose Pashtun overlords are drug-trafficking pederasts who like to watch young boys dance while dressed up as females.  There's your moral clarity and tactical brilliance, right there.  

In the meantime, North Korea is developing nuclear weapons and exporting nuclear technology to the likes of Syria, all the while bombing South Korea and making noise about a war with us.  Iran has been obstructed in its path towards nuclear weapons by the Stuxnet computer virus, a virus unleashed by the Israelis that has done more to prevent nuclear proliferation than anything the United States has attempted over the past decade.  Call me nuts, but I'd much prefer to be warring with the likes of Iran in order to prevent Hamas and Hezbollah from obtaining nuclear material or a bomb.  I'd consider the fact that Saudi Arabia's royal family has been sponsoring every terror group under the sun as evidence that perhaps we need to go to the root of the problem: the regimes that sponsor terror, as opposed to regimes like that of Saddam Hussein, who executed terrorists in order to preserve his own power, as opposed to buying them off like the Saudi royals do.  And let's just call a spade a spade: the Pakistani intelligence service is the backbone of Al Qaeda and the chief enabler of the Taliban, and no amount of obfuscation can cover that reality up at this point.  After nearly a decade of our intervention and occupation, Afghanistan has no meaningful exports beyond opium.  In the meantime, to the south of our border, Mexico has slipped into a civil war where over 30,000 people have died as the drug cartels have exerted more control over country than the elected government.  

Have the Republicans articulated a single program or policy position to deal with these issues, the $14 trillion national debt, or the nearly 10% unemployment rate?  Or how about the rampant, and still-ongoing mortgage fraud that has led us to a point where banks are foreclosing on houses that they don't own, and in some cases foreclosing on houses that were bought and paid for in cash by the owners?  The derivatives market which has come to add significant layers of cost to our energy markets, our commodities market, and the finished products that result from those markets, as it turns out, is controlled by a monthly meeting of nine bankers who determine who can participate in the market and the terms thereof.  How this conforms to a free market is anyone's guess, but as I understand economics, a market where access is controlled by a select few individuals who arbitrarily set the terms is the antithesis of a free market. 

There is no meaningful objection to this, or to the bailout, or any acknowledgement that today's incoming Republican majority understands that the TARP bailout was a blatant betrayal of core conservative principles and should not be repeated under any circumstances in the future.  In point of fact, Republican Senator Judd Gregg spent a significant moment last week patting himself and his fellow peers in the Senate on the back for their passage of TARP, a program which has yet to restore any of the banks to any real solvency.  Let's face facts: the only reason the banks pass as solvent and have $144 billion in bonuses to distribute to their employees is that the banks don't have to report their toxic assets.  There is no recovery to speak of, only an accounting gimmick which enables banks to hide their losses, thereby encouraging investors to buy into artificially inflated stocks, an act which drives up share prices and bonus pools.  Moreover, a significant amount of bank income comes from parking excess reserves at the regional Feds and collecting interest.  How significant is this? Oh, before the Fed began paying interest comparable to three month Treasury securities, the amount of excess reserves deposited at the regional Feds was a meager $2 billion.  Today, it's almost $1 trillion.  Banks aren't lending, they're collecting interest on deposits.  There's no real income generated from anything banking related per se, but banks are making a killing by parking their money with the Fed and engaging in the same risky investment practices that wrecked the world economy in the first place.  

I have yet to hear a single Republican make mention of any of this, or to apologize and pledge never, ever, ever, to engage in a TARP bailout in the future.  Nor have I heard Republicans acknowledge that they were wrong to have participated in the first TARP bailout.  There's no outrage over the recent revelation that the Federal Reserve bailed out banks to the tune of trillions beyond the TARP bailout, including foreign banks.  At the end of the day, how substantively different are the Republicans from the Democrats, and how can we really argue that a meaningful departure from a decade of failed big government is on the horizon, given that incumbents like Boehner and others are still in D.C.?  I would posit that the next two years will be remembered by one two-word designation: Republican stupid.  If anyone can render Barack Obama re-electable, it's the current assortment of clowns masquerading as constitutional conservatives and limited government advocates under the Republican nomenclature.  Republican stupid is here, and it's here to stay for another two years.  

Posted via email from momus1978's posterous

Friday, December 17, 2010

I will no longer be posting to drscoundrels...

Tonight I submitted an article to drscoundrels.com, an act which I have performed at the behest of Rich Hilts on many occasions as a contributor to his website.  Recently, he and I have come to different understandings of the problems confronting our country: I no longer believe in the panacea of tax cuts as the solution to every problem; he still does.  After forty years of deficits and a $14 trillion national debt, combined with an additional $2.5 trillion in liabilities to Social Security, we have to begin the process of paying for the past four decades of reckless profligacy.  I don't buy voodoo economics.  Rich does.  Consequently, because I have been critical of both the recently passed tax plan, and the Republican's cosmetic objections to the omnibus spending bill that exceeded $1 trillion on the grounds that it had $8 billion in earmarks, Rich has informed me in the letter below that we should part ways.  

I couldn't agree more.  I am no Republican flack, and if the Republicans won't live up to their historic principles as a party of limited government, less spending, and fiscal responsibility, I don't have a problem excoriating the hell out of them.  Rich believes we should present a united front, and this precludes criticizing the Party when they're in power.  We can only do that in hindsight, apparently. Welcome to the aftermath of the Tea Party: it tastes a lot like GOP.  Dissent is necessary to any movement, and if the dissenters are driven out to preserve some facade of unity, well, then...to hell with the movement.  The letter below is followed by my response, and the article which provoked our rift.  Enjoy.  

Jay Batman 

From: Rich H <[email protected]>
Date: December 17, 2010 10:14:40 PM CST
To: Jay Batman <[email protected]>
Subject: At this time

Jay, 

At this time, I am going to have to suggest that we part ways.

You and I disagree with each other vehemently on things, and frankly your articles lately are going in a different direction than I want.

I have plans for this site to try and handle things in a political way through the system that, while it sucks due to the corruption, I believe we can save without throwing the baby out with the bath water and bitch slapping everything this fledgling movement did in 18 short months.

I understand you aren't happy with the fact that we didn't get everyone out, but to minimalize the gains both in the states and in the Federal government, even to the point of stopping that omnibus spending bill for whatever reason, doesn't deserve to be torn apart, but built on.

We got here in 70 years, and my friend, we aren't going to change it in 6 weeks.

Bluntly, this is part of what I have been speaking about - the impatience and the reluctance to even give the people a chance that we just elected. If they do the wrong things, I personally, along with thousands of others, have pledged to slam them into oblivion. But right now, we haven't given Boehner, who never recieved nor asked for an earmark, helped design the Contract that did make a difference, along with other reforms,  a chance.

He was too young in power to have the speaker seat after Gingrich stepped down - but if he had been there instead of Hastert who WAS a Ford/Rockefeller social republican - he wouldn't have had these problems, in my estimation.

I am willing to try. I don't know what your solutions are, other than let taxes go up and change, change, change, but to what you really don't elucidate. All you did in that article from what I saw was slam an honest to God effort that netted changes of 690+ seats on the state levels and 63 seats in the House and 6 seats in the Senate, swinging power back towards the middle far more than we could have hoped.

I am sorry, but at this time, I can't continue on with the writing partnership that seems to have gone its separate ways.
-- 
Rich Hilts

Dear Rich: 

You are well aware of the proposed solutions I have put forth, including a 20 year phase out of Social Security, the abolition of capital gains taxes, corporate taxes, the elimination of the Departments of Education, the DEA, the ATF and its sister agency at the Treasury Dept, along with the Dept of Agriculture, the halving of the defense budget, the rollback of our nuclear arsenal from over 5,000 warheads to just 300, and the repeal of federal laws  dealing with criminal activities best left to the regulation of states, such as drugs.  I stand for the prosecution of those who employ illegal aliens, against nation-building and intervention, and for individual liberties including an unrestricted Second Amendment to all law-abiding citizens who have no convictions for violent criminal behavior. I support transparency in markets through XML reporting, the enforcement of laws against fraud, and a free market where failed businesses are allowed to expire.  You know this because I have written as much on your site, and because we've talked about it. 

However, my differences with you over spending cuts and a tax increase to pay the bill for forty years of deficits are apparently insurmountable. Being a Republican flack must be intoxicating now; in two years, when they've left you disappointed and betrayed, we'll see if you have the same exalted view of the GOP. 

Jay Batman

I am a man in love with his country, a man who defines that country as a set of republican ideals win which governments exist solely to secure, defend, and expand the liberties of individuals.  I believe in a government of enumerated and therefore limited powers, in the efficacy of truly free markets to deliver supply to the sources of demand in order that individuals may live in plentitude rather than scarcity.  

 

I supported the repudiation of incumbency in 2010, and was somewhat dismayed to see the Old Guard of the G.O.P. re-elected by and large.  While I was raised in a Republican household, and steeped in conservatism from my youth, I have long since recognized that the Republican Party is no different in practice from that other party.  My first vote was for Bob Dole, my second was for Harry Browne, and my third and fourth votes were against George W. Bush and John McCain.  

 

I dislike, nay, despise the anti-intellectualism that has come to be almost pervasive throughout the Republican Party, and while I recognize that catering to ignorance and victimhood is good politics and the way to permanent electoral majorities (see the Democratic stranglehold on Congress from FDR to the mid-Nineties), there are some things I am not prepared to surrender on in order to achieve electoral success.  George W. Bush was the most ignorant damned president we’ve ever elected; moreover, he was proud to be a man who didn’t read, hadn’t achieved much of anything in the private sector, and he smirked his way to power by virtue of his pedigree.  

 

The Republican Party, long the party of limited government and restrained power, had become under Richard Nixon the party that ushered in the EPA, insurance reforms which favored HMOs and exempted insurance companies from real competition, engaged in warrantless wiretapping and illegal surveillance of American citizens engaged in lawful protest and resistance to a state that had overstepped its enumerated powers by fighting an ill-advised war in Vietnam under false pretenses (although that war had begun under a Democrat and was concluded by a Republican), and ultimately the Republican Party would reach its apogee under Ronald Reagan in the sense that it would be at the farthest point from its principles of limited government, reduced taxes, and fiscal responsibility in the form of reduced spending.  We came unmoored, but the success of those heretics who unmoored us was their ability to convince us that they were somehow orthodox.  

 

I viewed the recent electoral developments with something akin to skepticism marred by disdain.  The Republican Party has only managed to achieve an even lower stature in my estimation with its handling of things in the soon-to-be concluded Congress.  The trillion dollar omnibus spending bill was done away with by a Republican phalanx led by John McCain on the grounds that eight billion dollars of the bill were comprised of earmarks.  Really?  I thought the the problem was the trillion dollars that wasn’t made up of earmarks, but rather comprised of expenditures that exceed constitutional limits on federal authority and oversight.  

 

Therein lies the great bifurcation betwixt myself and those Republicans who make up the incoming majority: I believe in limited government; they believe in cosmetically limited government.  There’s no objection to the trillion dollars in spending on education boondoggles, Medicare and Medicaid boondoggles, a drug war that ought to be left to the states, various agricultural subsidies and giveaways which are not the constitutional purview of the federal government; no, no, no...the objection, if there is to be one, is on eight billion dollars worth of earmarks which symbolize the real profligacy of Washington, D.C.  

 

People, people, people...are we really this goddamned stupid?  Can the Republicans build a constituency out of meaningless gestures, symbolic moments, and two years of goddamned art and poetry thereof?  Can the Republicans redeem themselves from a tax deal whose ultimate result will be an extension of the seemingly infinite unemployment benefits that have come to symbolize everything that is wrong about this crisis: we have infinite welfare for the rich through the Federal Reserve’s secretive bailouts, where the dollar is printed to bail out not only American banks, but also foreign banks halfway around the world and even the central banks of their nations as well; additionally, we have an infinite pittance for the working class who clamor for ninety-nine weeks of unemployment when they ought to be in the streets revolting over the fact that there are no good jobs due to the rampant fraud that wrecked our economy!  

 

Give them the scraps, and the working class and middle class will remain silently complicit with the government’s handling of this crisis.  Give them a tax cut that will result in additional stress on the national debt, and they will have no objection whatsoever to the burning of their country upon a pyre of profligacy.  The myopia of Americans is stunning.  

 

While we fight over gay marriage and abortion, the country itself is being burned alive with debt.  You don’t realize it, because you can still purchase your four dollar cups of coffee at the Starbucks, but the reality is that your lives ought to be a lot better.  Your homes ought to be worth more than the mortgages you owe.  Your 401(k)s ought to be stable, earning a steady rate of return, providing for your retirements and the twilight of your life.  Many of us spend more servicing our credit card debt each month than we owe on our mortgages, and this should not be the case.  Due to the federal government’s permissive attitudes towards fraud and usury, you aren’t going to have any of those realities for a while.  Laws are of no use if there is no one to enforce them until civilization has been razed from within.  

 

Decency, moderation, restraint...these are the hallmarks of good government and good society.  Who exemplifies this in Washington?  There’s Ron Paul, who crusades against earmarks and votes against omnibus spending bills chock full of his earmarks.  There’s Jim DeMint, who has spent his entire career building constituencies out of his vilification of single mothers, gays, and others who do not pass his muster.  Morality is evident through practice, not profession.  If you have to constantly prattle on and on about moral standards, it’s a good indicator that you don’t possess the ability to live by example.  

 

We go to church to hear sermons; we elect representatives to govern.  Let us not confuse the two roles or the appropriate discharge of each role’s responsibility.  There’s Jeff Flake and Thad McCotter, neither of whom will ever get near a leadership role in Washington because they do not engage in demagoguery, and both of whom are exemplars of decency, civility, and principles in action.  No, we shall have a car thief and juvenile delinquent entrusted with the chairmanship of the House Oversight Committee, a man whose business ethics are rightly deplored by anyone who examines the way he rose to his fortune.  Darrell Issa is not fit to hold elected office, much less to stand as the overseer of ethics in government.  But he’s a good gutter fighter and partisan, so he’ll do.  

 

I didn’t get into conservatism or libertarianism to resemble the things I disdain.  I got into those two schools of political philosophy as a repudiation of the things I disdain. Gentlemen do not stoop to the level of dogs, and the most embarrassing and hideous indicator of how conservatism has turned against itself is embodied in a recent book I saw at a local bookseller: Rules for Conservative Radicals by Michael Patrick Leahy.  

 

Mr. Leahy, to his credit, is no nihilist to the degree that Saul Alinsky was, but his first recommendation is one that I virulently disagree with: “It is better to be 85% right and quick than 100% right and slow.”  Expediency as a virtue is one of the tenets of liberal leftism I most disagree with.  The hallmark of conservatism is the recognition that change must be gradual and incremental, for we can never assume that we can foresee all possible outcomes arising from our reforms.  The leftists have always had the attitude that being 85% right and quick is preferable to being 100% right and slow; that’s the problem with their programs.  The 15% error is often the defining portion of their agenda.  Granted, leftists tend to be of the mindset that being 50.1% right and quick is better than being 100% right and slow; and they show a staggering inability to distinguish between the 50.1% and the 49.9%.  You get the point.  

 

I will not vote for the likes of Bob Barr as a Libertarian Party nominee, and I will not vote for the likes of John McCain as the Republican Party nominee.  Bob believes in small government for the boardroom and big government for the bedroom; in addition, he believes that the august bodies of our government should consume themselves with the tawdry details of some hick president’s fondness for fellatio.  Never mind that there were ample issues beyond an affair with an intern that Congress could have impeached Bill Clinton over, the Republicans couldn’t go after Bill Clinton for campaign finance violations or any of his other ethical shortcomings because they were guilty of the same.   As it turns out, many of the Republicans like Henry Hyde, Bob Livingston, Bob Packwood, Newt Gingrich, and others were guilty of sexual improprieties as well.  

 

John McCain owes his entire career to a government-created regime which has no legitimate role whatsoever in a free-market, capitalist economy: a distributorship.  Where it not for the distributorship of his wife’s family, he would have no access to capital sufficient to put him into elected office over three decades.  To stand before a nation and excoriate big government on the one hand, all the while knowing that big government put you in a position of electability by adding twenty percent cost to every six pack purchased by your constituents back home for no other reason than to assuage temperance advocates post-Prohibition is a sickening example of hypocrisy.  Why would you expect such a man to defend and expand free markets and true capitalism?  He has every incentive not to do so! 

 

To come before the nation as the Republicans have done with a tax cut deal that ultimately will only increase the deficit and the debt is the height of irresponsible government.  It is a harbinger of what is to come.  Republicans are not interested in rolling back federal power, because so long as they can appropriate that power for their agenda, they don’t have a problem with it at all.  Republicans are not interested in cutting spending in a meaningful way across the board...they’ll cut it for the poor and explode it for the rich, just as the Democrats have done.  I will make you all a deal: at the end of these two years, I will bet you that we have more government agencies than we currently have.  I will bet you that the national debt will be higher than it currently is.  

 

The Republican brand is a meaningless brand appropriated by sycophants who view the American people as fools, and rightly so, given the people’s failure to cast off their current form of government as a threat to their liberties and the future existence of these sovereign United States.  In 2012, I will guarantee you that the slate of candidates who emerge will represent an extension of the same failed politics of the past, and the same idiotic parroting of slogans and gobbledygook that emerges every four years in Republican presidential campaigns: small government, less government, fiscal responsibility, la-di-freakin’-da.   Give them two words that represent a general idea, no specifics on how to get to that destination, and you’ll win the White House and lose the strength of this country.  

 

If you aren’t involved at the precinct level in retaking both political parties, you are complicit in the destruction of these United States, because both parties are populated by incompetent ideologues unqualified and unwilling to do what is necessary to restore the federal government to a constitutionally limited mission.  It’s time for rebellion, precinct by precinct, registration drive by registration drive, and you can chalk up the next Congress a failure before it even begins.  It’s time to remember that revolution is continual, never-ending, and that our foes are always on the march seeking to expand their power even if it means to the end of American strength and exceptionalism.  Fight back and stop buying into the illusion that the Republican Party in its current incarnation is going to deliver.  Seize it for yourselves, and seize the Democratic Party as well.

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