Lifting the Fog around the Fraud
In what could become a particularly powerful conversation for conservatives (tea) challenging the Republican establishment (acronyms) in upcoming primaries, a potent distinction is beginning to solidify in the wake of the recent tea party in Nashville and last week's CPAC in DC.
Glenn Greenwald's outstanding The GOP's "small government" tea party fraud masterfully captures what I have been trying to articulate for several weeks, the fracturing of the Republican party into different groups not remotely as aligned as suggested by a lie that has been perpetrated for decades. Through deception, misrepresentation, and outright lies, the Republican party has successfully duped certain groups into thinking it is something it is not. Perhaps the greatest of these lies is the notion that GOP leadership stands for limited government and responsible spending.
No they don't. In the reality of governance, Reagan/Bush I and Bush II with Republican support produced the greatest government expansions/deficits in US history. For decades, routine operating procedure for Republicans is massive expansion while in power and then foaming at the mouth about the deficits and over sized government after losing it.
Did they howl about the deficit in the 1980s or 2000-2008? Are you kidding? Cheney captured the sentiments perfectly, "Reagan showed us that deficits don't matter."
Part of what's happening now, and tea will agree, is that some actually do stand for limited government and fiscal discipline. After the 1980-1992 deficit orgy, independent thinking Ross Perot wasn't shy about the Reagan/Bush $4+ trillion dollar debt. More recently, but for years, Ron Paul has voiced these sentiments, but he is not exactly tea, explaining why this can get confusing.
This blog has lately been schizophrenic about "the conservatives." At one point, they seem intelligent and true to their values (Paul). Then they occur as blithering idiots (Palin, Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity). Then they occur as easily manipulated bitches (the sex obsessed theocrats). Time has a way, and matters may indeed be starting to clear up. A fog is lifting, and the distinction "GOP establishment" is emerging.
The final paragraph of the Greenwald piece:
But that GOP limited government rhetoric is simply never matched by that Party's conduct, especially when they wield power. The very idea that a political party dominated by neocons, warmongers, surveillance fetishists, and privacy-hating social conservatives will be a party of "limited government" is absurd on its face. There literally is no myth more transparent than the Republican Party's claim to believe in restrained government power. For that reason, it's only a matter of time before the fundamental incompatibility of the "tea party movement" and the political party cynically exploiting it is exposed.
A very small sample of the 573 comments posted at the article:
As a Ron Paul supporter, I can tell you that the aftermath of the CPAC straw poll was both predictable and hilarious. Immediately the Republican establishment mouthpieces were telling us how worthless the poll is, and how meaningless it is. One wonders if that would have been the response had Sarah Palin won...me thinks not. Ron Paul supporters are under no illusions about the current Republican party, and realize that they hope to use us and make us believe that they have changed. We know better.
Most establishment Republicans just don't understand that you can't be fiscally responsible domestically, whatever they think that means, when you are trying to rule the world by spending trillions overseas. War always leads to tyranny at home.
The upcoming political season will be entertaining. To watch the Republicans, who think they are going to fold the Ron Paul supporters in as loyal subjects, start kicking and screaming when they realize that we are going to be fighting for actual change...or we won't vote for them...period.
This has been the Republican strategy for winning elections for some time now. Run up huge deficits, refuse to pay for them, let the democrats win for a term, and then campaign on the fact that the democrats are spending too much and can't get deficits under control. In effect, they have gotten what they wanted--state budget crises that are so severe that they force the elimination of much discretionary spending. Then they can use their pretend libertarianism to defeat the democrats. And it works every time. It's a wonder they aren't exposed as the frauds they are.
I hope the co-option of the tea party movement is unsuccessful. Libertarians and progressives need to make certain they do not fall into line, in any way with either major party. There is nothing small government about Republicans and there is nothing progressive about the Democratic party. I think this is a chance for actual progressives to reach people they ordinarily could not. That is because Libertarians will not take on the economic nightmare that ordinary people face. But progressives will.
As an unnamed Bush official told reporter Ron Suskind, "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality--judiciously, as you will--we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors...and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do." For those who didn't like it, another Bush adviser explained, "Let me clue you in. We don't care. You see, you're outnumbered two to one by folks in the big, wide middle of America, busy working people who don't read the New York Times or Washington Post or the LA Times."
What will it take for the people who really do believe in limited govt to realize that they are being used and abused? Are they really this stupid or do they just not care?
I agree about the GOP's gross hypocrisy about being for "small government" while inflating it as far as possible in practice. The claim to be "fiscal conservatives" falls under the same umbrella: it's basically just politically-driven lying, smoke and mirrors to get people to vote for big business and war without quite realizing it.
During the Bush years, when it came to invading Iraq, torturing people, military commissions, due-process-free detentions, endless expansion of the military, air-bombing villages in Afghanistan, and warrantless eavesdropping on American citizens, who was worse "nuts" and "loons" -- Ron Paul (who vehemently opposed all that) or those who enabled and supported it?