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How Did Washington Get Pushed So Far Towards the Crazy Right?

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It shouldn't be surprising to those of us who physically restrain our gag reflex and endeavour to observe or participate in the American political spectacle that a trending topic on Twitter this past weekend was the combination of a four-letter word, the word "you" and "Washington".

For a long time now, what goes on in the Beltway has ceased to serve the interests of the vast majority of Americans, in that shockingly most of us don't have weekly passes to the Creation Museum, or attend performances at the David H. Koch Theatre while monocle-clad and porting brandy snifters. But the current impasse, over an artificially created "debt ceiling" (an artifact of World War I) that's been a non-event in the past, is pushing our political culture towards what was previously reserved only for Barnum & Bailey.

It is key to note, as I did in my last column here, that the Republican Party bus is being driven by people so at odds with reality that they likely think Darwin was a character on Bewitched.

Speaker of the House John Boehner is a ribald mobster whose brain - due to his oh-so-healthy lifestyle choices - has seemingly liquefied into a thick stew of sun block and Chattanooga Chew. House Majority Leader and Whiner-in-Chief Eric Cantor has shown all the temperament of playground time at my four-year-old's pre-school, and an intellect to match.

And Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell, almost literally in bondage to any corporate entity that can raise him five-figures-plus in legalised bribes we call campaign contributions, possesses such an inverted chin that I'm only left to conclude that it's a Pinocchio-mirroring act. Each time he lies to avoid responsibility for the benefit of his corporate benefactors, it retreats one inch further into his jaw.

Of course, this is what President Obama and the Democratic leadership want you to see, to obscure the fact that it is his lack of leadership and a political team that should be fit to be drawn and quartered that has empowered this clan of kooks to determine whether the US economy takes a horse and buggy ride into Clayton Ravine, dragging the world economy down with it.

There are varying theories for why President Obama always punts on first down and negotiates by handing the opposition a paddle and saying "thank you sir, may I have another". But any one of them is predicated on weakness, a man too feeble to stand up to Republicans and official Washington and do what he believes. Either that, or he is too weak of character to digest the fact that cutting taxes for billionaires while cutting Social Security cost-of-living increases for impoverished seniors is not what one might call a "moral" decision.

This is only more true when one runs a campaign during which they say, in the middle of a nationally televised debate with the opposition, "John McCain's campaign has ... suggested that the best answer to the growing pressures on Social Security might be to cut cost-of-living adjustments or raise the retirement age. I will not do either."

Or when they promise to end mammoth tax cuts for the richest of the rich, put in place by The Great Unificator - George W. Bush.

Right of Nixon

A candidate who said all that, and meant it, might have accepted a proposal by Senator McConnell to avoid any responsibility as usual by turning the debt ceiling over to Obama, allowing him to raise it without touching Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Here is what's even more maddening. When President Obama was negotiating with Republicans in December, and allowed tax-cuts-for-Kardashians to be extended, he "received" something else - something that, like raising the debt ceiling, should have simply been a given (especially during a severe economic downturn) - an unemployment benefits extension.

President Obama could also have made raising the debt ceiling a condition for that particular cave-in. He could have reminded people that during the presidency of George W. Bush, Vice President and Chief of Shooting People in the Face, ####### Cheney, remarked that "Reagan taught us that deficits don't matter".

Obama could even have informed people exactly who had created these deficits - out loud no less!

Many political commentators were already discussing this as the next big fight, knowing that the Tea Party-backed blockheads now populating Congress would go where nobody had gone before and try to take down the US economy, if only to make a point to the voices in their heads - the ones they think originate with God, but more likely are due to a daily overdose of high-fructose corn syrup and hot toddies.

But President Obama doesn't like to fight, even if it's with people who see Reagan as being somewhat of a commie liberal for raising the debt ceiling 18 times during his presidency, with no conditions ever attached to these raises. In fact, it may be Obama's seeming acceptance of a Washington-manufactured "conservative consensus" on economic issues that has led conservative scholar Bruce Bartlett, in Fiscal Times, to compare Obama's "moderate-conservative" governance with that of Richard Nixon (something he is not the first to do).

With one exception, of course. Nixon was further to the left.

So that is where we are today, with a Democratic president governing to the right of Nixon and a Republican House of Representatives governing to the right of William The Conqueror. Meanwhile, the multiple polls that show Americans want to raise taxes on the rich, protect their Social Security, and see our government act like adults are ignored.

Not too long ago, in saner times (1954, to be exact), Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower wrote in a letter to his brother Edgar, "should any political party attempt to abolish Social Security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labour laws and farm programmes, you would not hear of that party again in our political history". He went on to say that those who would repeal these items were "negligible and stupid".

Sadly, they are not negligible in Washington, but they most certainly are stupid. And worst of all, not only is the conservative party in this country pushing for these crazy ideas, but the liberal party has leaders willing to entertain them or, out of fear, bargain them away.

To paraphrase Simon and Garfunkel, "Where have you gone, Dwight D. Eisenhower?"

http://www.alternet....ght/#paragraph3

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Absolutely correct. Deficits don't matter. They only way to fix this country is for the government to spend a LOT more money. Let's also raise taxes on the rich and businesses. Heck, the US is only 2nd in highest business taxes. We need to be number 1. If they don't like it tell them to hit the road and go elsewhere.


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The right and left are both equally ruining this county.


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Because the viewing-point shifted (from actual centre) leftward past Tommy Douglas, almost to Lenin!


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Because the viewing-point shifted (from actual centre) leftward past Tommy Douglas, almost to Lenin!

No... that would be silly hyperbole.

The US has always been centre right compared to much of the rest of the developed world. If it is moving further to the right - that is the inevitable result of rising nationalism and anti-immigrant sentiments that you usually get in a financial downturn.

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Because the viewing-point shifted (from actual centre) leftward past Tommy Douglas, almost to Lenin!

Can you give examples that are within the same timeframe as this Republican shift to the extreme right? Social Security? Nah, it's been around for almost 80 years, and even Eisenhower thought any talk of ending it was stupid. Guess which president gave us the EPA and the Endangered Species Act? Nixon. Oh wait, I know - he was really just a RHINO... :lol: That's when you know how crazy the far right has gotten - when a president like Nixon or Reagan are regarded as RHINO's. Good Lordy.

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The right and left are both equally ruining this county.

+1 :thumbs:

Iv'e been a Democrat most my life, but I find myself leaning further right lately for the fact the Dems have went way too far left...like to extremism. Your average American doesn't want a lot of the ####### the Dems are shoving down their throat these days. We don't want the Dream Act, we don't want more illegals (in fact we want the ones we have out), we don't want the gay agenda forced on us, we are looking for something in the center. Not so far left, yet not so far right. Both parties have went so far in the opposite direction that it's left main stream Americans without much of a choice.

Edited by Why_Me

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"I want to take this opportunity to mention how thankful I am for an Obama re-election. The choice was clear. We cannot live in a country that treats homosexuals and women as second class citizens. Homosexuals deserve all of the rights and benefits of marriage that heterosexuals receive. Women deserve to be treated with respect and their salaries should not depend on their gender, but their quality of work. I am also thankful that the great, progressive state of California once again voted for the correct President. America is moving forward, and the direction is a positive one."

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+1 :thumbs:

Iv'e been a Democrat most my life, but I find myself leaning further right lately for the fact the Dems have went way too far left...like to extremism. Your average American doesn't want a lot of the ####### the Dems are shoving down their throat these days. We don't want the Dream Act, we don't want more illegals (in fact we want the ones we have out), we don't want the gay agenda forced on us, we are looking for something in the center. Not so far left, yet not so far right. Both parties have went so far in the opposite direction that it's left main stream Americans without much of a choice.

It's funny because the number of illegal immigrants deported from the US rose sharply under Obama. Gay agenda? Who really gives a #######? It's kind of a Republican ideal anyway, I'd say. Freedom to live your life without government interference. The balance on the part of the Republicans is their religious aspect. And how can you claim to be speaking for all or most Americans when Obama was fairly voted into the presidency? Edited by Ste

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It's funny because the number of illegal immigrants deported from the US rose sharply under Obama. Gay agenda? Who really gives a #######? It's kind of a Republican ideal anyway, I'd say. Freedom to live your life without government interference. The balance on the part of the Republicans is their religious aspect. And how can you claim to be speaking for all or most Americans when Obama was fairly voted into the presidency?

You can deport 1,000 illegals a day and it's still not going to make a dent seeing how that same number is coming across our southern border every day. Fix the problem.

And as I pointed out, the Repubs have went way too far right, but again the Dems have went way to far left. We want a "center". Not so far left, yet not so far right.

btw Affirmative Action is another law that has passed it's usefulness. It's time to fix what needs to be fixed before there's even a bigger split.

Edited by Why_Me

sigbet.jpg

"I want to take this opportunity to mention how thankful I am for an Obama re-election. The choice was clear. We cannot live in a country that treats homosexuals and women as second class citizens. Homosexuals deserve all of the rights and benefits of marriage that heterosexuals receive. Women deserve to be treated with respect and their salaries should not depend on their gender, but their quality of work. I am also thankful that the great, progressive state of California once again voted for the correct President. America is moving forward, and the direction is a positive one."

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You can deport 1,000 illegals a day and it's still not going to make a dent seeing how that same number is coming across our southern border every day. Fix the problem.

But you said "in fact we want the ones we have out" and I pointed out that the Obama administration is doing so. :huh:

How would you "fix the problem"?


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But you said "in fact we want the ones we have out" and I pointed out that the Obama administration is doing so. :huh:

How would you "fix the problem"?

As far as the illegals go? That seems like a no brainer. If you don't want the rain coming in your house, you put a roof on your house ...correct? Either tighten the border security, build a wall, or both. Seems extreme, but what other option is there? Then you make laws that crack down on businesses that hire them...and you enforce said laws. You get rid of the anchor baby law, you don't give them tuition, drivers licenses, public education, etc....you make it so they want to leave on their own, and the ones that don't you send back asap.

If the Constitution has to be tweaked to make it work, then so be it. It's not like it's never been amended.


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"I want to take this opportunity to mention how thankful I am for an Obama re-election. The choice was clear. We cannot live in a country that treats homosexuals and women as second class citizens. Homosexuals deserve all of the rights and benefits of marriage that heterosexuals receive. Women deserve to be treated with respect and their salaries should not depend on their gender, but their quality of work. I am also thankful that the great, progressive state of California once again voted for the correct President. America is moving forward, and the direction is a positive one."

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How would you "fix the problem"?

Oh, you know, mass deportations, concentration camps, reams of barbed wire enclosures, Berlin-wall style towers and walls along the Mexican border, patrolling officers with shoot to kill instructions, etc. That would do it, no?

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Oh, you know, mass deportations, concentration camps, reams of barbed wire enclosures, Berlin-wall style towers and walls along the Mexican border, patrolling officers with shoot to kill instructions, etc. That would do it, no?

Take a tour of a US prison. What you just posted is pretty much what a prison here is. Now what does the word illegal mean to you?

Edited by Why_Me

sigbet.jpg

"I want to take this opportunity to mention how thankful I am for an Obama re-election. The choice was clear. We cannot live in a country that treats homosexuals and women as second class citizens. Homosexuals deserve all of the rights and benefits of marriage that heterosexuals receive. Women deserve to be treated with respect and their salaries should not depend on their gender, but their quality of work. I am also thankful that the great, progressive state of California once again voted for the correct President. America is moving forward, and the direction is a positive one."

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