Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Why Democrats Must Win, Part Two

Now let's get to specifics. Why must Democrats win?
  1. Republican ideologues are over the edge, and they're not coming back. Examples of their wildly destructive behavior are everywhere.
  2. Republicans are violating their conservatism because of the overabundance of libertarian sentiment. For example, JP Morgan Chase has lost a bundle, now at $2 billion and likely to exceed $3 billion, playing with credit default swaps not directly tied to the bank's current risk. That's the heart of the Volcker Rule, though lobbying by banks softened its current form to allow the very kind of trade that cost JP Morgan big-time. So what do the conservatives say? What we need is less regulation! That's the same as having your local bank robbed at gunpoint and the police recommending that you cut your security guards from two to one. No, we need a stronger Volcker Rule, as well as a return to Glass-Steagall.
  3. The conservatives won't be happy until all the wealth is set to transfer from the have-nots to the haves. They don't want to save Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, they want to end them.
  4. The conservatives are willing to cut taxes and increase defense spending -- even when the Pentagons says no thanks. This clearly proves that they don't care about deficits. They never have. They just want to end social programs because the poor are bad people. And we can't help them! They're slackers!
  5. When there's a chance to save money, increase alternative energy sources, or back off on corporate welfare like oil and agricultural subsidies, the conservatives fight it tooth and nail. Why? Aren't these savings at the heart of conservative values? Of course they are. But this is not about conservative values. It's about transfer payments from government to the wealthy or from the poor -- in higher costs -- to, yes, the wealthy.
  6. The same goes for anything that has to do global warming or the environment in general. Conservatives poll that they actually believe in global warming and environmental concerns, but they also poll that they are against spending a penny to do anything about it. Again, if it hurts the wealthy, no dice. Why the working-class conservatives think this will benefit them beats the hell out of me.
  7. The Republican leadership has shown absolutely no intention of negotiating in good faith about anything that would help heal any of the broken systems in American government, finance, or health care. In fact, they are becoming more fiercely ideological every day. We can't count on them working to improve any aspect of American life. Oh, there's one possibility: if they ever get complete power -- White House, Congress, and the courts -- they might find themselves having to please some constituency other than the rich, if only for self-preservation. We saw that a bit in the Bush administration, but that led to debacles like Medicare Part D, in which a drug program for seniors actually disallowed price negotiations on drugs. Nuts.
  8. The Tax Pledge is the great immobilizer.  Conservatives will adhere to it for the foreseeable future. Progress can't be made if there continues an all-out war on common sense.
  9. If Republicans take control of the executive and legislative branches, the judiciary, especially the Supreme Court will follow. Sure, they already own the Court, but imagine two more Republican appointees in a Romney administration. I shudder to think about it.
  10. If we allow the Republican Party to take control of this country, they'll continue to destroy the very fabric of our society. Education, food safety, water and air quality, infrastructure, in fact just about the whole of the American experience will degrade. Conservatives are hell-bent on this. At some point, when they're staring into the abyss, they'll have a real holy-fuck moment when they realize they've just been tools of the overlords, who never intended to give much back, let alone power. By then, it'll likely be too late.
  11. The Republicans need to be fought on the state and local level, too. As the federal government shrinks, so, too, does government at all levels. As state governments are forced to pick up more costs, they, in turn, will shrink. This is that crazy thing known as the Paradox of Thrift, in which saving money means declining growth leading to decreased revenues that lead to even less growth and so on. Soon, we're not saving anything but instead are devouring ourselves. Yuck.
I could go on. But this is already a grim enough picture. Every voter should just, as rationally as possible, examine the policy implications of everything the Republican Party says today -- even if it requires deft translation from phony talking points to the real meaning behind them -- and think long and hard about what kind of America is left. Then, vote. Democratic. Please.

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