Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wah-Wah Republicans: Given 'Em Hell, Barry

Here among my friends in New Hampshire precious few know the name Eric Cantor. Which means, of course, too few follow Jon Stewart or the essential Stephen Colbert.

So, I will have to make an introduction: Mr. Cantor is a Congressman from Richmond, Virginia--you remember Richmond, capital of the Confederacy, then once the feds regulated them out of slavery (the 13th and 14th amendments), they turned their entrepreneurial spirit to the cultivation of tobacco--anyway, he is the latest attack dog for the Republican party.

Yesterday, on the Squawkbox, an insufferable morning show with an officious right wing host who has all the qualifications of a right wing agitator, good hair and a pugnacious style, Mr. Cantor inveighed against President Obama's road trips around the country during which the President brings attention to Republican senators and congressmen who refuse to tax millionaires and who have targeted Medicare and Social Security as public nuisances.

"Stop the campaigning. City after city, yeah. Listen, there's no question that that's what happened. Immediately, the next day after the speech was given, he came to Richmond, my district, and then that bridge in Ohio. Right. It's like somebody going around the country picking a fight. The country doesn't need that. I mean people are angry in this country. Middle class does need to see leadership in Washington. It's not inflaming division but instead focusing on solutions, that's what we're trying to do."

This amounts to what Paul Krugman has called, "The Panic of the Plutocrats," i.e. the politicians and right wing talk show hosts who reliably serve the interests of the wealthiest hundredth of a percent. Mr. Cantor has attacked the Wall Street protesters as mobs who are "Pitting Americans against Americans," and he invokes, as do all Republicans any complaint about not taxing millionaires as "Class warfare."

Stephen Schwartzman, chairman of the Blackstone Group, compared an Obama proposal to close a loophole that lets some millionaires pay absurdly low taxes to Hitler's invasion of Poland.

And George Will inveighed that Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic contender for the current Republican senate seat in Massachusetts, has a "collectivist agenda." Rush Limbaugh went one better, as he called her "a parasite who hates her host. Willing to destroy the host while she sucks the life out of it."

I defer to Mr. Limbaugh and his Republican cronies, who are the experts on sucking the life out of their hosts.

These are the people, Krugman observes, who are not Steve Jobs. They invented nothing, made nothing. They got rich by peddling complex financial schemes that brought us the wonderful world of financial collapse, and they paid no price. They are like the spider wasps, who suck their host dry, then move on. "Their institutions were bailed out by taxpayers...They continue to benefit from explicit and implicit federal guarantees--basically they're still in a game of heads they win, tails taxpayers lose...This special treatment can't bear close scrutiny--and therefore, as they see it, there must be no close scrutiny. Anyone who points out the obvious, no matter how calmly and moderately, must be demonized and driven from the stage...So who's really being un-American?"

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