Sunday, September 18, 2011

Nattering Nabobs of Negativism: Rick Perry and the Republican Frontal Assault

The indispensable Gail Collins has a wonderful piece in today's Times about Rick Perry, but she could just as well be writing about Frank Guinta or Kelly Ayotte. She alludes to a piece which appeared in the Texas monthly in which a local observer remarked: "The problem is...that the energy in the Republican Party today is not directed at how to make government work better. It is directed against government." (Italics mine)

Whenever today's leading Republicans think about the federal government it is always as "A sinister force that can be identified as the villain when anything goes wrong."

Collins notes, "More than a quarter of all Texans have no health insurance whatsoever. During the first presidential debate Perry blamed that fact--as he has in the past, back home--on Washington."

The excuse for any failure attributed to the Republican Party is always the federal government.

From Herbert Hoover on, the federal government was seen as grasping to control the "Minds and the souls" of good decent Americans, who would otherwise be hard working and successful, but for the intervention of the feds.

So while America burned, while the bread lines lengthened and the factories emptied and the roads and bridges crumbled during the 1930's, the President and the Congress sat on their hands and told everyone there is nothing the federal government could do. The solution had to be small business and big business had to come to the rescue, as John Boehner has said, "As it always has."

Except when it hasn't.

Capitalism has failed before. In the 1920's and 1930's when the catastrophic failures in Germany and across Europe led to the rise of Hitler and world war.

In America, Franklin Roosevelt was elected President and started spending money and regulating banks and started trying things. And the Republican Party has never forgiven him. And in 1937, he finally was overwhelmed into pulling back on federal spending by the same Republican Party, and the economy went back into a tailspin.

If those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it, then we are all in deep doo doo.

Obama is no FDR. He doesn't have the fight in him.

Maybe he'll learn and start to channel Harry Truman and start giving the Republican Party what it so richly deserves, which is to say: Hell.

Here's hoping, because we need our government again.

We need to remember Medicare, the Internet, the interstate highway system, the wonders of clean rivers and an untainted food supply, the Center for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health, the Coast Guard which rescues more people every year than any Republican governor or senator, the Seal Team Six, which found and killed Osama Bin Laden, and all the other successes of the federal government.

It's no surprise there are stupid, ambitious people out there like Michele Bachmann (who hears a mother blame the HPV vaccine for her child's mental retardation and Michele accepts this as received Gospel) or Rick Perry, who thinks other people are guilty of treason for doing their jobs, whereas he can advocate secession from the union and is not at all treasonous, or Kelly Ayotte who votes to kill Medicare, or Frank Guinta (well, you just pick your quote from that man--anything will do.)

What is puzzling is how idiotic can the voters in this great country of ours can elect these low life and elevate them to national office.

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