I would like to invite my loving Republican family, friends and fren-emies to join my tea party. Can we talk? We all appreciate a conservative's viewpoint but are you all really getting anything out of the recent Republican speeches or antics? Do you really believe, like they do, that we do not need government assistance or government spending at this point in our economic downturn? The Conservative Republicans seemed to be kicking up dust anywhere they can whether it relates to our issues or not. They are revolting against gun laws, earmarks, the welfare state, tax laws etc. which are not the current priorities of the administration. In the past 2 months, we have been entertained by commentaries from Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter. We have been sidetracked by Republican tea parties and the Conservative conventions, all to derail the intention of the new administration's attempt to resolve our issues.
Last month, the Republicans formed their forty-odd revolts across the nation protesting against government spending and taxation — Obama's stimulus bill. These revolts are called, "Tea Party USA." They claim that their tea parties are not a conservative or a liberal revolt. It is their revolt against our government giving billions of dollars to failed corporations. They believe that individual tax payers should have the right to spend their own money, not the government. That small business is the backbone of our economy and not the failing corporations. They believe optimistically that the American people have the work ethic and ingenuity to succeed and government will only get in their way. These small tea party groups were staged in cities across the nation to get their weary supporters to reject government aid and not think like a 'minority,' as Limbaugh had phrased it. What do they mean by minority? Regardless of class, race, sex or political persuasion, we are all 'minorities' at this point and are all threatened by this economic downturn and social breakdown.
Most would agree with the Conservative Republican position that corporations should not be 'bailed out' or compensated if they 'did it to themselves' from toxic investments and poor performance. That would be a logical reaction if the rest of our economy was strong and could sustain the fall out. The question is, do we have a choice at this point? Would the repercussions of their bankruptcy be worse? Also, most would agree with McCain that earmarks need to be edited out and reviewed very carefully so we don't waste any more taxpayer money. Advocates of the Republican Tea Party like Ann Coulter (columnist), Rush Limbaugh (talk show host), Michelle Bachmann (Rep. MN) would make more of an impact with the American people if they didn't continually insult the very people who are working to get us out of this mess or banter for the sake of hearing themselves talk. Any potential follower can see how counter-productive and frankly out of touch their comments have been half the time.
Jeffrey Feldman at the "Huffington Post" observes:
As the Republican leadership reverts to the same childish antics that turned off so many voters in the 2006 and 2008 elections, Americans worry about finding the money to put tea on their own tables – about making their mortgage payments, paying for treatment when they sick, and covering the cost of their child's college tuition. Symbolic tea parties, in other words, are not the collective action that an America in need actually needs right now. We need pragmatic, steady, and relentless actions–solutions after solution after solution until we finally stop the free fall of our economy and our optimism, allowing us to begin the long, arduous climb back to the surface. While revolting Republicans sit down for their tea parties, today, the White House, the Congress, and state governments across the country are working to give Americans those solutions.
If the Republicans had a leader who expressed a complete and thorough understanding of all the interrelated issues facing us and the potential short and long term repercussions of every decision as well as offering the President solid solutions, they would be invaluable to their country. The Republican party would then be taken more seriously. We need pragmatic tangible results and immediate solutions, not vague ideas and age-old conservative ideologies that do not relate to our current issues.
For instance, last month Rush Limbaugh spoke at the CPAC convention in opposition of Obama's stimulus plan claiming that Democrats were Socialists and are the ruination of our country. CPAC, the "Conservative Political Action Committee" is a group of far right-wing Conservatives who stage their concerns and protests against Democrats and big government. Their main theme was how the Obama's "Robin Hood" approach to government spending and the socialized domestic programs are considered communistic and socialistic. Limbaugh continually belched out that he wanted Obama to fail. He is convinced that the Democrats are responsible for our current $1.9 trillion deficit by enabling a socialistic state for the past 50 years. Let's talk through his logic for a moment, shall we? Hmm… The minor percentage of poor people collecting a total of maybe $1,200 a month in welfare is responsible for our trillions of dollars in debt? While Limbaugh is in la la land dancing through the tulips it has been clearly stated many times, and also admitted by members of his previous administration, that our current deficit was mostly caused by the greed and economic raping of corporate ultra-millionaire pirates, deregulated leadership, gross overspending and the poor management of no bid government contracts that are still missing billions today and remain unresolved losses. The Bush Administration and high level corporate crooks have cost us billions and billions of dollars. Remember Bush saying in his exit interview, "So what?". "We made mistakes.". Anyone remember that? We can't make this stuff up so why is Limbaugh?
Limbaugh also claims that those who cannot pay their mortgage, have no right to be in their home. The past deregulating administration, greedy billionaires, banks and rouge mortgage brokers helped put our average Joe and Jane in their own financial quagmire by selling them mortgage rate schemes that they knew were disproportionate. There are always exceptions to the rule but many of us who refinanced did not read the fine print. The mortgage brokers and the banks, however, wrote the fine print and came up with the schemes that were irresistible. We all fed into the housing boom, whether we knew it or not. Those who could not withstand the recent fall out need some assistance to help get them back on their feet. Today, there are many hard working families who are either late on their mortgage or facing foreclosure mostly because they have lost their jobs, not because they also bought a boat, a luxury car or went on lavish vacations, unlike our rich counterparts who are still living lavishly on our invested tax money. The issue is: If we kick them out of their homes, what do the Republicans plan to do with all the empty housing that no one wants? Who pays the mortgages? The Conservative Republican's "caring", freedom-loving philosophy states that all Americans should be proud of their ingenuity and be self-sustaining and not be dependent on welfare. With no jobs outlined, no money to pay off mortgages or no affordable lending, how can an individual tax payer make it without government help? Is government assistance a necessity at this point or is it a totalitarian strategy, according to their philosophy? Conservative Republicans want Democrats to fail because they believe that we are not a country to be socialized and controlled.
Recently, Limbaugh smeared Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services, for demanding the return of all undeserving bonuses given to former and current AIG executives and also requiring that AIG turn over the list of employees with the bonuses they received. Limbaugh claims that Frank's request was pure McCarthyism, that Frank is on a witch hunt and that these employees, despite their poor performance, deserve millions in bonuses.
Limbaugh's accusation is nothing short of ridiculous and has nothing to do with McCarthyism. AIG, American International Group, is responsible for insuring celebrities, corporations, national relief missions, etc. A small department of executives made toxic investments in the housing bond market that had been so inflated, it had no value, hence, put the company in bankruptcy. The company is now government owned and would not even exist if it weren't for the tax payer's money. Our nation is not in a life-threatening "Cold War" as it seemed to be in the era of McCarthyism. McCarthy was known for his fear mongering and interrogating many people who were suspected to have connections to Communism or Russia. Many people went to jail and lost their jobs because of his witch hunt. In the case of Barney Frank and AIG, these witches are already out. There is no witch hunt or unfair imprisonment. As the owner of AIG, we have every right to subpeona the list of people who received excessive bonuses undeservingly and manage who is entitled to what. May I ask my Republican friends, "Where is he coming from?. Does Limbaugh actually believe that the culprits of AIG's demise deserve millions of dollars in bonuses?"
The corporate thievery is costing Limbaugh and the rest of us billions and billions of dollars regardless of whether Limbaugh believes that they have a right to keep their bonuses or if he even knows what McCarthyism was. It is ironic that the same Republicans who claimed that Obama is a Communist has also criticized him for not changing the provisions in the bailout bill ahead of time to remove the employee's contractual right to these bonuses. Government intervention is only Communistic when it suits the Republican agenda or their pockets.
While we are all hoping that Obama can pull rabbits out of his hat and get this economy back on track in 100 days, we are distracted by these presumptive, non-supportive Republicans who babble on and on, not willing to help the President or his cabinet resolve our grave issues. They accuse Obama of Socialism, Fascism, Communism and now McCarthyism. Their claims are hypocritical of their own party's behavior (past and present) and their claim would be a radical shift in government that would take years and years to fully develop a socialistic or communistic government. So why do the Conservative Republicans focus on these non-issues when they could be speaking pragmatically and acting productively?
Here are some basic definitions of what Communism, Socialism, Fascism and McCarthyism actually mean so that we can try to understand what the Democrats are actually being accused of and to see if their protests relate to our current reality or not.
Refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating public or state ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and a society characterized by equality for all individuals, with a fair or egalitarian method of compensation.
Modern socialism originated in the late 19th-century intellectual and working class political movement that criticized the effects of industrialization and private ownership on society. Karl Marx posited that socialism would be achieved via class struggle and a proletarian revolution, and would represent a transitional stage between the capitalist and communist modes of production.
(Quoted from Wikipedia)
Socialism, then, may be said to be a formal economic system in which society exerts considerable control over the nation's wealth and property in the pursuit of social justice. Considerable control may or may not entail public ownership, while social justice usually depends upon the whims of a bureaucratic elite. Generally speaking, a market-based economy is antithetical to socialist principles and some form of benevolent planning is advocated.
(Quoted from Conservative Resources.com)
We have much fewer jobs and the ever-increasing number of unemployed is now forecast to reach 9% in 2010. That will soon result in many of us, Democrat or Republican, being out of work and without health insurance. This will force everyone to go to the emergency room where it costs a hospital and the tax payer $5,000 person per visit. Socializing healthcare seems to be our only way to avoid this potential outcome without completely annihilating the economy. Also, we have banks and major corporations claiming bankruptcy. If they do not get funding, it will affect every neighborhood and family dramatically and the ripple effect will be devastating. Our money will not be worth the paper it is printed on and no one will be able to get loans. We will also have fewer corporations who can employ a vast amount of our people if the government does not take ownership. I am sure all of us who are out of work will need to take advantage of these socialized programs one day if the greed and scheming does not stop.
Is a radical, authoritarian nationalist ideology that aims to create a single-party state with a government led by a dictator who seeks national unity and development by requiring individuals to subordinate self-interest to the collective interest of the nation or race.
Promotes violence between nations, political factions, and races as part of a social Darwinist and militarist stance that views violence between these groups as a natural and positive part of evolution.
Is a system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.
A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government. Oppressive, dictatorial control.
It seems to me that the Bush administration acted within the definition of a Fascist government. They promoted violence in Iraq, had a belligerent nationalistic attitude with the UN and willfully broke international law and allowed the Vice President to create his own autonomy and secret office. The Bush administration made many totalitarian decisions that caused the ruination of our country. They were not democratic or even transparent. They worked for a select group of big businesses and wealthy billionaires and not the state of our nation at all.
President Obama has inherited a world on the brink of bankruptcy, a world on the edge of a world war and and environment that is in peril. All that we are looking for him to resolve in 100 days. He has reached across party lines for bipartisanship, solutions, and ideas. He has continually been transparent and tried to explain what is actually happening through town hall meetings and press conferences. Also, Obama is said to be working on an appeal to Iran with the Israeli leader- an unprecedented peace-making attempt in the Middle East.
Now, in what way is Obama a Fascist and Bush wasn't?
Is a socioeconomic structure and political ideology that promotes the establishment of an egalitarian, classless, stateless society based on common ownership and control of the means of production and property in general. Karl Marx posited that communism would be the final stage in human society, which would be achieved through a proletarian revolution. Pure communism in the Marxian sense refers to a classless, stateless and oppression-free society where decisions on what to produce and what policies to pursue are made democratically, allowing every member of society to participate in the decision-making process in both the political and economic spheres of life.
In my opinion, we all, Republicans included, have created an inflated illusional economy by our need to live above our means and by the greed and criminal behavior of some wealthy scammers who took advantage and enabled in this search for a better life. Everyone gambled for a piece of the good life and many lost. As a result, we have empty homes and buildings, empty storefronts and bankrupt companies. Who will fund these empty institutions? How do we keep from spiraling into a Depression? Who will pay all these unpaid mortgages and bonds if the government doesn't? I don't see where the wealthy who caused this mess or even Limbaugh for that matter, buying up anything! As a middle-class single executive, I feel oppressed every time I get 40% taken out of my paycheck and have no tax credits or write-offs to speak of. I feel oppressed when I have paid all these taxes but cannot get health insurance because of a precondition I have. I feel oppressed when we learn that we are going to war that we cannot vote on.
Politically motivated practice of making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence. The term specifically describes activities associated with the period in the United States known as the Second Red Scare, lasting roughly from the late 1940s to the late 1950s and characterized by heightened fears of Communist influence on American institutions and espionage by Soviet agents.
McCarthyism soon took on a broader meaning, describing the excesses of similar efforts. The term is also now used more generally to describe reckless, unsubstantiated accusations, as well as demagogic attacks on the character or patriotism of political adversaries.
During McCarthyism, many thousands of Americans were accused of being Communists or communist sympathizers and became the subject of aggressive investigations and questioning before government or private-industry panels, committees and agencies. The primary targets of such suspicions were government employees, those in the entertainment industry, educators and union activists. Many people suffered loss of employment, destruction of their careers, and even imprisonment. Most of these punishments came about through trial verdicts later overturned.
This does not even deserve a comment because Limbaugh must have been suffering from too much medication when he commented on Barney Frank using an old McCarthyism tactic by requesting the list of AIG (American International Group) employees who received inordinate and undeserving bonuses after their poor decisions and performance caused the company to go into bankruptcy. Barney Frank is not using fear mongering or illegally dismissing any employee, he simply wants a list of these known thieves and corrupted employees who happily accepted these bonuses. He, like all of us, want to know what we paid them in bonuses and believe that since the corporation is not making money, they don't deserve huge bonuses, contractual or not. As a share holder, do you want employees who no longer worked at the company receive millions of dollars in bonuses? Will you pay a bonus of 20 million and more to the top managers responsible for the breakdown of the insured security bond market?
The answer is no.
Now that we have well-educated, responsible and independently functioning families losing their jobs, 401K's, pensions, their cars and homes, the government, and WE THE PEOPLE have to intervene and help each other. People can only help themselves as much as the resources around them. If there are no jobs in their town, sector or marketplace, everything else in their life immediately comes under assault. No amount of Limbaugh's preaching about personal striving, desire for independence or even a daily intake of Limbaugh's morning show will put food on their table.
Don't throw stones, conservatives. We all live in glass houses because we have all taken better rates, taken tax cuts, used government subsidized programs and invested in the stock market that gambled with our money. All of you applauding Limbaugh at the CPAC convention or tea totaling at your tea parties, freezing out in Fargo, take all the exemptions and tax breaks your accountant can get his hands on. If Limbaugh, Coulter and other conservatives were ever fortunate enough to put their pontificating words to the test to find themselves broke and out of work with only two choices: to be unemployed and solely independent, or be unemployed and accept a tax break, accept extended unemployment insurance or sign up for a temporary revised mortgage rate break; I bet that that they wouldn't turn down the helping hand from Uncle Sam. Talk is cheap, guys. Put your money where your mouth is and show us your true conviction… I've got an idea. Refuse to take any government tax break for a year!
Everyone should do whatever they can do to help their neighbor and support President Obama; after all, he got the job. The Congress needs to offer up their best, bipartisan, politically unmotivated, well thought out solutions and take responsibility for their part in the mess. I think every breathing American would like to see that responsibility has been taken. We need to be assuaged from the past political debacle. Congress needs to get out of the sandbox, take charge of the issues of today and help get us back on track. We do not have the time and the energy to waste with political banter and finger pointing that is not productive. Lives and industries are lost and at risk every day and after all, we are years and years away (if even at all possible) from a complete and fully organized Communist or Socialist government. Republicans, come join us in reality- get your hands dirty like the rest of us.
Pass the sugar.