Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Scrooge Lives

From Forbes, a very good examination of the argument over our serious long-term unemployment problem. (Which, by the way, has been deepened and lengthened because minority Republicans in the Congress don't want the economy to improve. You can see why: a better economy improves Obama's chances of being re-elected. Economic pain is a theoretical abstraction to the Republicans, and a very useful one.)

Republicans say people who are out of work are either lazy or picky or on drugs and need a good kick in the pants. They say the unemployed deserve to be unemployed, which by extension means their children deserve to be hungry and homeless.

Scrooge lives.

Here's another good short analysis of the Republican strategy, from the New Republic.

The Republican Party (which just shut the door on the millions of Americans worst hit by the recession Bush left us with) seems to have re-engineered itself as the party of the selfish, the greedy, "the haves and the have-mores" (the folks Bush jokingly referred to as his base). They've devised a cruel mythology to support their argument and have a large well-funded apparatus to push it. Lots of air time at FoxNews, lots of microphones, lots of radio listeners who swallow it whole.

This kind of thinking, this brutal meanness, isn't new to America, but it's never dominated a major party before. That it's also wedded to the loudest Christian groups is more than ironic, but these people are immune to irony. Super-Christianity was also allied with Franco, Mussolini and Hitler in a time that seems increasingly similar to ours.

Something to think about as we watch A Christmas Carol and It's A Wonderful Life. Merry Christmas indeed.

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