Category Archives: liberal opinion

Republicans Hail “Anti-Liberalism”, Then Fail

RE: Why Conservatives are Wrong When They Say Liberalism Will Fail


Liberalism saved Western civilization from  the tyranny of the church. Liberalism freed us from superstition and its sequelae (sic), like burning people who said “no” to the dominant power; and it gave us freedom and democracy and science, leading to a world where people were free to make their own decisions and to pursue individual happiness rather than a path bound on all sides by damnation, dictated for them by religious authorities.

Conservatives have never quite gotten over this rejection of the past and with it, of their ultimate, capital-T Truth. We have seen them convince themselves in recent years of liberalism’s essential illigitimacy (sic) as a political ideology, leaving liberalism’s success, let alone its continued existence, to confound them.

Throughout our history, Republicans have sweat blood trying to re-define liberalism in a disparaging way. They have placed “anti-liberalism” high on their agenda as a method of winning hearts and minds of enough of a voting block to win elections. Evidence of this comes as recent as the last two elections. The tea-party hysteria of 2009/10 which was all about, but not limited to, birthers, 9-11 thruthers, anti-science, and anti-tax (This is low hanging fruit for opposition parties since the time of Alexander the Great. It is an easy way to win points with the electorate without actually having a plan to govern.), anti-immigrant, and a plethora of anti-Obama talking points swept Republicans into office all across the US and the House of Representatives.

Along with this has been their very effective years-long campaign to paint the American media as liberal – as if liberal were a bad word. The result of this has been the total ineffectiveness of the media to mediate the discourse and remind us all of what is actually true.

While Republicans offer up theory after theory of why liberalism is going to be the death of us all, and at the same time they fail to offer up any viable alternative to the liberal view that appeals to anyone who is neither white, nor over 50, nor Christian, nor straight, nor xenophobic, nor misogynistic, nor racist. They are quick to tell you how liberals think, how foreigners think, and how God thinks. Claiming the corner on “what God wants” has got to be the most arrogant and presumptuous position in the annals of political history.

If you want solid empirical evidence of this “anti-liberalism” approach to governing, you have to look no further than recent issues and the current US Senate. The health insurance mandate was dreamed up by conservative economists in the 1980’s.

They wanted a market-based alternative to the liberal notion of universal health care which enjoyed popular opinion. Many Republicans supported the idea. But, they have since turned on it because Obama is for it. And that’s all. They offer up no other explanation except that it will kill jobs/ruin the economy/destroy America – all without any factual basis.

They want an economy without government interference based on a market that self-corrects. Here’s the truth: If the market could self-correct, it would have already done so. The crash of 2008 is a prime example. Without a rapid response from the government, we would all be in bread lines still, along with the former rich.

The current US Senate has obstructed every bill that the Democrats have introduced without offering any viable alternative or compromise. They have used the filibuster to deny cloture to more legislation than any in history. Since January of 2010, the Senate Republicans have blocked over 375 bills including the farm bill, jobs bill, and the food safety bill. They have not once moved to compromise with the Democrats because their definition of compromise is total capitulation.

Anti-liberalism has become their mantra. This is why they lost Presidential and Senate elections. During the campaign Romney offered nothing more substantial than “trust me”, “I have business experience” (torn apart by the Obama campaign), and “Obama is bad” – mostly the latter. Now they find themselves in the awkward position of having to find themselves. I think the election was a splash in the face for the right, a wake up call, to see the U.S. as it really is rather than looking through their “anti-liberalism” glasses. This could be a good thing for America.


The United States of Danger

Re: Chris Kelly: After a Massacre, Obama and Romney Suggest Nothing

Eighty-five years ago, on January 9, 1927, 78 children were killed in a movie theater in Montreal’s east end, at a Sunday matinee double feature of a western called The Devil’s Gulch and a comedy called Bring ‘Em Young. A fire, started by faulty wiring, started a stampede. The people of Quebec, and the Catholic Church, didn’t blame the faulty wiring. They blamed the movies. And no one under sixteen was allowed in a movie theater in the province for 40 years.

Early this morning, 71 people were shot — 12 died, one of them six-years-old — in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. They were killed, apparently, by a rifle and a handgun and the faulty wiring inside the head of an alleged gunman named James Holmes. And our response — America’s response — is going to be nothing.

Nothing. That’s what the NRA hopes we do about the massacre in Aurora. They hope that America’s 48 hour news cycle runs its course and then they hope that the whole incident in Aurora is forgotten. The NRA sits back and waits for Americans with short attention spans to go on to the next thing.

This is from Geoffrey R. Stone, Huffington Post

But, of course, why should the NRA have anything to say about this tragedy? As we all know, guns don’t kill people, people kill people. This tells us something striking about Americans, by the way, because the average American is 40 times more likely to be killed by gunfire than the average Englishman or Canadian. According to the NRA, this has nothing to do with the fact that guns proliferate in America and are scarce in England and Canada. We just have to face the facts: Americans, unlike Englishmen and Canadians, are murderous by nature. The ready availability of assault weapons has nothing to do with it.

The gun lobby, NRA, gun manufacturers, and our lame-assed, money-grubbing politicians are to blame for this tragedy. We are going the wrong way on the gun issue. We need more control, not less, as the trend is now. No one will stand up to the gun lobby. The United States of Danger. That’s what we are, and no one is willing to do anything about it.


Focus On Pay-As-You-Go

It is apparent that today’s Congress is fixated on determining the payment plan for new initiatives well before they are passed out of committee. That is not such a bad thing, you know, being fiscally responsible. As a matter of fact, seeing the need to have the funding for anything without going to China for the cash is great, in my book. More comments follows this snippet.Bush vs Kerry debate

Re: White House Outlines $467 Billion In Savings To Pay For Jobs Act

WASHINGTON — The Ob ama administration announced on Monday a series of tax policy changes that officials say will pay for the costs of the president’s job creation plan.

The provisions, announced by Office of Management and Budget Chair Jack Lew, would raise an projected $467 billion over the course of 10 years. The American Jobs Act, as outlined by the president last week, will cost an estimated $447 billion.

The president is set to offer those pay-fors as part of an larger package of debt and deficit reduction measures that he will present to the congressional committee tasked with finding $1.5 trillion in savings. Whether the committee incorporates those measures is up to them, Lew said. If they choose not to, however, the administration said it would welcome Congress as a whole taking up the proposal.

The provisions the White House is offering as an offset are largely rehashes of tax policy changes that the president has pushed before. The primary piece would be to limit itemized deductions for individuals making over $200,000-a-year and families making over $250,000 — which Lew said would raise $400 billion over 10 years. Another pay-for would be to treat carried interest as ordinary income rather than capital gains, which Lew said would raise $18 billion. The White House is also calling for the end of tax subsidies for certain oil and gas companies, which the administration believes would raise $40 billion, and the axing of a tax break for corporate jet owners, which it believes could save $3 billion.

“The kinds of provisions we are talking about changing we don’t believe will cause a reduction of any kind of economic activity or job loss,” said Lew.

The thing that strikes me as odd, though, is listening to the right-wing echo machine go on and on about paying for everything, including disaster relief for hurricane victims prior to any emergency funds being sent to the disaster area. Geesh! Talk about your puppy killers! Anyway, my point is this question: where were all these fiscally responsible right-wingers and their insistent droning about spending during the Bush administration?

I remember the October 13, 2004 presidential debates when John Kerry announced that the U.S. must start funding the wars and everything else using a “paygo” system. George Bush damn near laughed him off the stage! Following are snippets from that debate narrated by Bob Schieffer:

SCHIEFFER: All right.

Senator Kerry, a new question. Let’s talk about economic security. You pledged during the last debate that you would not raise taxes on those making less than $200,000 a year. But the price of everything is going up, and we all know it. Health care costs, as you all talking about, is skyrocketing, the cost of the war.

My question is, how can you or any president, whoever is elected next time, keep that pledge without running this country deeper into debt and passing on more of the bills that we’re running up to our children?

KERRY: I’ll tell you exactly how I can do it: by reinstating what President Bush took away, which is called pay as you go.

During the 1990s, we had pay-as-you-go rules. If you were going to pass something in the Congress, you had to show where you are going to pay for it and how.

President Bush has taken — he’s the only president in history to do this…

SCHIEFFER: Mr. President?

BUSH: Well, his rhetoric doesn’t match his record.

He been a senator for 20 years. He voted to increase taxes 98 times. When they tried to reduce taxes, he voted against that 127 times. He talks about being a fiscal conservative, or fiscally sound, but he voted over — he voted 277 times to waive the budget caps, which would have cost the taxpayers $4.2 trillion.

He talks about PAYGO. I’ll tell you what PAYGO means, when you’re a senator from Massachusetts, when you’re a colleague of Ted Kennedy, pay go means: You pay, and he goes ahead and spends.

He’s proposed $2.2 trillion of new spending, and yet the so-called tax on the rich, which is also a tax on many small-business owners in America, raises $600 million by our account — billion, $800 billion by his account.

There is a tax gap. And guess who usually ends up filling the tax gap? The middle class.

I propose a detailed budget, Bob. I sent up my budget man to the Congress, and he says, here’s how we’re going to reduce the deficit in half by five years. It requires pro-growth policies that grow our economy and fiscal sanity in the halls of Congress.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Bush was vehemently opposed to PAYGO and that Kerry was to be despised because he voted to raise taxes. Well, so did the rest of Congress.

If you think about all this in smaller terms, say like your household budget and if your bills exceed your income then you have one of two choices. One, you can try to stop or reduce discretionary spending like that night out on the town you take every Friday night for example, and two, you can try to increase your income to cover your expenditures. Simple. Bush decided early on that he was going to do neither and spend money like a drunken sailor and damn the consequences even though there is not enough money in the till to cover it. Kerry wanted then what all the right-wing, flip-flopping blow-hards want now – responsibility.

The righties have unwittingly proven that Kerry was correct in his vision of our economic future.


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