Friday, October 02, 2015

Republicans Believe Our Government Should Be Used To Attack Their Political Opponents

The Republicans have very different ideas about what democracy is supposed to do. Sometimes they even admit it openly. A few examples:

The purpose of Congressional committees is to destroy Democratic candidates’ poll numbers.

(EJ Dionne wrote an excellent column about the vendetta of the Benghazi panel)

The purpose of the U.S. Senate is to make sure Democratic presidents fail.

The purpose of Republican-led state legislatures is to make it harder for people to vote so Republicans are elected president.

This is not a new thing. Nixon used the IRS and FBI and tried to use the CIA to attack his political enemies. It appears more evident each year that Dick Cheney used our military and our sons and daughters enlisted in it to carry out a personal agenda involving acquisition of oil reserves in Iraq and large contracts for his former company, Halliburton. It was a war that multiplied the value of his Halliburton stock portfolio.

Each example points to the likelihood that abuse of power has remained a part of the Republican DNA since the day 41 years ago when Nixon's abuse of power brought his resignation and disgrace. It doesn't seem to embarrass or disgrace Republicans anymore because they believe they were elected to government to abuse its power. Democracy isn't for the people, it's for the Right People.

In 1980, the founder of the Heritage Foundation stated the Republican/conservative strategy very clearly.

Paul Weyrich didn’t believe in Good Government. He called it the “goo goo syndrome.” He didn’t want people to vote. The group he was addressing represented conservative Christianity. They apparently believe the reason there is a God is to enhance the personal power and wealth of “the right people." Every kind of bigotry and economic unfairness flows from this. Democracy is supposed to protect us from this kind of abuse, but it doesn't when those we elect use their new power for personal vendettas.

Ronald Reagan addressed this same gathering and was elected later that year by the same conservative movement that still is trying to break our democratic system.

Books have been written about how successful the vandals have been, but very little of this gets into the nightly news. To criticize one party requires our “fair and balanced” news anchors to find something equally bad to say about the other party.

On the day Obama was inaugurated Republican congressional leaders met and agreed on a plan to oppose everything he did and to refuse any manner of compromise on any issue even if the president's proposal were something they had supported in the past, like healthcare reform based on private insurers and an insurance mandate.

A book was written about this conspiracy, titled Do Not Ask What Good We Do.

Another, co-authored by Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute and Thomas Mann of Brookings, placed most of the blame on the Republicans.

The Republican goal is to make government stop working.


Because each public institution they can destroy will offer an opportunity for their corporate clients to exploit.

Government looks at public needs as a moral duty. Corporations look at them as an opportunity to leverage necessity into large profits. The greater and more desperate the need, the greater the profit.

Ultimately Republicans would like our government run like a corporation, from the top down, with a command structure, where people do as their told, where the boss’s motives are never questioned. Americans who want a corporate tough guy as our next president do not seem to realize that corporations are not run democratically. In their blind admiration of "business" Americans forget what happens when business and government are in cahoots. There is a name for this. It’s called fascism. It’s been tried in many places. In Pinochet’s Chile, Franco’s Spain, Mussolini’s Italy, and in many smaller tin-pot dictatorships that have operated under the aegis of American corporations and their military allies. But fascism ruled most notoriously in Hitler’s Germany. It was not a successful experiment and it took millions of lives to remove it.

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