Friday, October 16, 2015

Slavery is the Next Neat Idea (and other outrages)

Republican Department of Neat Ideas (via Mike Huckabee): slavery for non-violent offenders

Here's how deals are done on the money minded Right. You use the Party office to run a loansharking business and loot a charity to cover expenses. When there's trouble, declare bankruptcy. Pocket consulting fee. This actually happened in the GOP offices in Nevada.

"We didn't have a spending problem. We had a revenue problem,” said Scott Walker's campaign manager. This is how the failed Walker campaign brushes off their $1 million deficit. The point being this: if you spend people’s money on Scott Walker it’s well spent. If you spend taxpayer dollars on public needs it’s money wasted.

Another example of the Republican “Not My Responsibility” mindset: whenever possible let’s give the wealthy and corporations the option to avoid supporting public needs. NPR reports on a "neat" Oklahoma law that allows companies to leave workers high and dry.

For them, owning the company is what funds their workers’ comp. The only worker they want to compensate is the one at the top. Everything spent on other people is either waste or theft.

For the guys at the top “efficiency” becomes a question of “Who can we do without?” “Who can we get rid of?” The CEO himself is essential, of course, but everyone else is expendable.

When this kind of thinking migrates from the top of corporations into the top of government, what does it begin to remind you of? Which countries have systematically planned how to get rid of groups of people they didn’t want or didn’t like?

Don’t immediately say Germany in the Thirties. That’s easy. The same nasty thinking has been rampant in this country too. One loud voice in favor of selective extermination is now the favorite philosopher of the Republican Party: Ayn Rand.

When the thinking gets this toxic people want to step away from it. So you’d think.

But the migration of the GOP from levelheaded mainstream practical thinking to nutty extremist hate mongering insanity has been so gradual that a lot of people you thought are sane are still party to it. They’re the ones trying to explain away the ugly statements and proposals as isolated gaffes not representative of the broader party. David Brooks, the soft-voiced overly-polite columnist for the NYTimes is one of these, but even he is expressing disgust. Not so much with the hateful policies, though. It’s the dysfunction he finds embarrassing. Forgodssake, if you’re going to be a bigoted extremist party at least be an efficient and competent one! Think German engineering.

Here's an analysis of Brooks' fed up rant.

The problem is, David Brooks has been ushering the GOP down this road for decades. Explaining away the nuttiness, smoothing out the ugly policies, rationalizing the outright unAmericanness of the whole selfishness creed. He’s shocked, SHOCKED, to find the Republican Party––whose dysfunction and extremism he’s been doing PR for all this time––has become a dysfunctional and extremist party. Typically Republican. His response to any problem is threefold: Not my job. Not my responsibility. Not my fault.

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