Saturday, March 5, 2011

Is the New Deal Done-For?

Do the Republicans and the Tea Party really want to deal a death-blow to the New Deal?
by Charlie Leck

The Republican Party is a strange organization within American politics today – very strange! It is very difficult to describe it or to get a handle on it. It is even more difficult to understand its real and ultimate goals and/or objectives. I know only this: the Republican Party scares the holy bejeebers out of me!

Robert Shrum wrote an interesting piece this week that I think every thinking American ought to read and consider – note that I did not urge any blind acceptance, but, at least, some thoughtful consideration. The essay is called The End of the New Deal and it carries the following subtitle: “The GOP’s economic program is an effort to destroy the architecture of social justice and corporate responsibility in America.” [You can find it here!]

Thanks to Tony Rugare for calling it to my attention. Tony’s blog is currently called (he likes to fiddle with its name a lot): From Tony’s Keyboard.

Robert Shrum is a very bright guy. I’ve read him a lot and he’s solid and not wildly liberal or leftish. He makes some extremely good points in this column and I meant it when I said that it scares the hell out of me. Here’s how Schrum opens his column”

“America was rescued from the Great Depression by the New Deal — and then pushed back into recession when Franklin Roosevelt briefly and prematurely moved toward a balanced budget. Three-quarters of a century later, a second depression was averted by an act of government that did more and spent more to counter a collapse in consumer demand and the credit markets. It briefly seemed that we as a nation had learned the imperative that FDR expressed on Inauguration Day in 1933 — the necessity for ‘action, and action now.’”

I’ve got to tell you, in all truth, in all truth, that the Republican party really does scare me these days. What is it trying to do – drive a bigger and bigger wedge between the haves and have-nots in America?

Some of the best thinking and analysis of what is going on in the Arab nations right now is that this anarchy is caused not by ideological differences but by the vast separation of the common people from those of great wealth.

What the hell are the Republicans doing? Again, consider Shrum’s viewpoint…

“The GOP offered Americans a scapegoat in the recent campaign: A government doing big things in the face of a grave challenge was turned into the Big Bad Government. The very government that was preventing catastrophe was portrayed as causing it. It was an appeal to a forgotten Hooverism — to the discredited but widely received notion that cutting spending is the straightest path back to prosperity. Voters wouldn’t have bought that message if economic progress had been clearer and swifter; in 1984, they hardly cared about Walter Mondale's calls to reduce the deficit when it was morning in Ronald Reagan’s America. And the majority of voters who shifted toward Republicans last November didn't necessarily embrace their argument, but apparently concluded that there was nothing wrong with giving them their chance; in a divided government, the parties might be forced to work together.”

As Shrum also says, “…now the GOP, in the House and in newly captured state capitals, is marching relentlessly to the far right.” That’s the same party that strove so mightily in the election campaign to prove to America that it was the party of the center.

Have Americans looked seriously at what the GOP wants to do to the budget? What are they slashing? I’ll tell you.

u Police and law enforcement

u Fire protection

u Education and teachers

u Environmental protection

u Financial and consumer regulation

And they’d love to get their bad-ass hands on Medicare and Social Security too, if they thought they could do it and still get reelected.

The GOP keeps trying to convince gullible and uniformed citizens that our troubled financial times are caused by President Obama and the Democrats. It’s one of the greatest bamboozlements in the history of U.S. politics. How can we go from the financial disaster caused by two significant and expensive wars, a disastrous lack of regulation of the financial industry and a failure to tax all Americans fairly to the idea that Obama did it? That is the despicable line the Republicans use in these insane days to confute the American people!

Do you dare sit back and do nothing? Can you really allow the Tea Partiers to sell their bag of lies without speaking up? My god, man, do something in these little groups you find yourself in! Do not shy away in embarrassment! Speak up and show that you are willing to rage against that which is nothing but dastardly lies.

Keep reminding people how we got in this financial mess and under which President it was that all of this started as the regulators slept.

Again, hear Shrum out…

“As economics, the reactionary spasm makes no sense. The evidence is already there. After two years of Obamanomics, forecasts for U.S. growth are being revised upward. At the same time, in the wake of sudden and sharp retrenchment in Britain, what's rising is unemployment; growth is falling and house prices are predicted to plummet again. But as ideology, the Republican policy makes perfect sense — and presents a perfect opportunity for the true believers who were vanquished during the New Deal and decades afterwards. They lied about health reform — from nonexistent ‘death panels’ to nonexistent cuts in Medicare benefits for the elderly. The Republicans opposed the bill and now propose to defund it. But what the House just passed goes far beyond that: It's a draconian down payment on dismembering the architecture of social justice and corporate responsibility in America.

“That's why the GOP doesn’t care if the numbers actually add up. That’s why Boehner, asked about the jobs that would be lost because of his party’s program, could blithely reply: ‘So be it.’ (There’s also the obvious calculation that the Republicans' budget proposal, if enacted, could damage the economy enough to pave their road to the White House in 2012.)”

The GOP has only one intention in mind and that is to win back the White House in 2012. Truth be damned! The economic health of the nation be damned! They want to get back in position to protect the wealthy under the pretext that business is the soul of the nation.

Never ever, ever, ever forget that its people are the soul of this nation. The nation’s people!

As our greatest President once said, …of, by and for the people!

The Supreme Court doesn’t see it this way, but that is the great, ineludible, inerrant and omniscient fact that has made American, to this point, great!

In this “fierce moment of now” we shall discover what our President is made of and if the faith and truth we put so enthusiastically in him shall be justified.

God help us!


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