October 2011

To listen to Republicans you would have to believe that their philosophy is for a smaller, less intrusive government; for authority and responsibility to be divested from Washington and vested in the individual; families not bureaucrats should be the ‘deciders’.

They believe the basis for government and law should be the Constitution and ‘original intent’. And that the tenth amendment is the prime directive for locating political authority with the state.

Well that’s what they say but not what they propose.

Republicans are scathing in their condemnation of President Obama’s Keynesian approach to job creation (John Maynard Keynes proposed that governments use deficit spending to stimulate demand during economic downturns). But even as they claim that the government suffers from a ‘spending problem’ and that the Democrats just ‘throw money’ at problems they are demanding that we ‘throw money’ at defense, border control and homeland security.

They claim that we are protecting some vital national interest, that people who question the cost of fighting or who want to stop the wars are traitors. But when you consider the waste and fraud in procurement and the type of weapon systems politicians foist on the military it is reasonable to see part of the billions we spend on defense as nothing more than a government profit plan for big business; the transfer of wealth from the tax payer to corporate America.

Republicans say that we cannot sustain the current level of entitlement spending, but the last big addition to the social safety net – the senior prescription plan – was a Republican creation, signed into law by Bush Jr. after it was enacted by a Republican House and Senate.

Their big government philosophy encompasses more than money. They are also big into values – their values. It was despite fierce conservative opposition that contraception was legalized, that women gained the right to their own bodies, that consenting adults could decide for themselves what constitutes acceptable private behavior.

Despite a supposed reverence for the Constitution (including the First Amendment)  they are eager to ban books; not just because they are too graphically sexual or violent, but for political and religious reasons.

Despite the Establishment Clause – (1st amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”) – they are constantly trying to shoe horn religion – specifically Christianity and a very specific Christianity at that – into the public arena; most egregiously into science classes.

Despite their professed love of the individual and original intent they persist in fighting a ‘War on Drugs’ that has cost $2 trillion (there’s that waste of tax payer money again) and has done nothing to reduce drug use. Nowhere in the Constitution or in the jurisprudence of the first 100 years of the Republic are there any anti-drug laws.

They esteem the Tenth Amendment – (“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”) – as a tool to contain the reach of the Federal government – sometimes. To Republicans it is applicable, except when states pass laws permitting assisted suicide, medical marijuana or same sex marriage or when a State Supreme Court allows a husband to take his comatose wife off of her feeding tube.

Both political parties are addicted to spending but the Republicans are not so eager to pay for it. Both parties are eager to tell other people how to lead their lives but the Republicans pay homage to the rights of the individual. Both parties love the power and size of government but the Republicans won’t admit it.

Republicans will have you believe that they don’t like big government but that doesn’t stop them from applying for entry to the club.

 

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Really? 10/29/11 – The usual lot plus Iowa, Europe and Snow

October 30, 2011

***** GOOD LUCK The Critical Mind wishes North-Easterners well in their year long struggle against Mother Nature (climate change anyone). To all of those who are without power (possibly again!) I hope you are back on line shortly and reading this. ***** PERRY PICKS UP THE PACE Trailing Cain and Romney badly Perry has decided […]

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Really? 10/29/11 – Mitt the Flipper, Governor Goodhair, Income, Motto and Sex

October 29, 2011

***** MITT BACK TO HIS OLD TRICKS Mitt Romney was starting to convince some people that he had left his old flip-flopper self behind. He wasn’t apologizing for his Massachusetts healthcare plan. He wasn’t leaping on the flat tax bandwagon. He said he wasn’t concerned about the rich. But apparently science is an issue that cannot be left to […]

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An Election 2012 Update – Perry, Joe the Plumber and the Pope

October 28, 2011

TO DEBATE OR NOT TO DEBATE Rick Perry’s communications director, Ray Sullivan, suggested on John King’s show that Perry might skip some debates to focus on the early voting states. He argues that Perry will get better questions at local town hall meetings, that the debate format doesn’t present a candidate with much time and besides there are 18 […]

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Really? 10/26/11 – The poor rich, poor corporations, poor Bank of America, getting an education and flying high

October 26, 2011

***** PAUL RYAN SPEAKS AGAINST CLASS WARFARE Of course he’s against it. If you have won why keep fighting? You don’t think that the rich are winning? Consider this from the Congressional Budget Office. If anyone still says that tax cuts for the rich ‘trickle down’ then they are lying, either to themselves or others. ***** HOW […]

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Really? 10/25/11 – Perry embraces voodoo, Bachmann shrinks, Robertson samples reality and Cain goes up in smoke.

October 25, 2011

*****  RICK PERRY’S CHINESE TAX MENU The government runs a deficit. Rick Perry wants to make it worse. In a twist to the usual flat tax proposal under his plan (20% flat tax) he would allow people, if they prefer, to keep their existing tax rate and most of their deductions. He would reduce corporate […]

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Right and Wrong? – Depends on Who Does It.

October 24, 2011

The only thing constant about conservatives is their inconstancy. President Obama announces that he is withdrawing all troops from Iraq and the conservatives squeal that we are leaving the Iraqis to the tender mercies of the Iranians. But when Obama announced that he was increasing troop levels in Afghanistan the same conservatives whined that we were squandering young American lives. But when Bush […]

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Really? 10/23/11 – Prison diets, Romney argues all sides, Reaping what you sow, Bachmann (still) Rubio (maybe never).

October 23, 2011

WHY NOT MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE? There is an existential clash between two fundamental tenets of politicking; law and order vs the pocket book. Prisons in Texas and elsewhere are cutting back on weekend lunches to save money. Why not save real money by decriminalizing non-violent drug possession? We spend our treasure locking people up for self -abuse (and many […]

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Really? 10/20/11 – The Anti-Terrorism President, The Rich, Their Poodles, Drunks and Delusion

October 20, 2011

***** QADDAFI DEAD After 42 years of brutal and insane dictatorship and months of revolt Mummar Qaddafi was killed; a revolt that Obama gave materiel and intelligence support to in the face of vociferous and and partisan opposition from the Republicans. The President derided by his own party (remember Hillary Clinton’s 3 am phone call ad) […]

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