Thursday, July 11, 2013

When Republicans Are In Charge

     Photo by Van Winkle Law Firm

North Carolina is one of my favorite states and places to visit
I’ve had extraordinary fun in Raleigh, Charlotte, Camden,
Columbus, Ashville and Pinehurst. The 2014 U.S. Open Golf
Championship will be played at Pinehurst’s wonderful #2
course. I had planned to attend. In protest, I think I won’t go.

Let us consider an example of what happens when this new brand of Republicans are in charge and then ask ourselves two questions: (1) Could it happen on a national basis if Republicans were in total charge? (2) Could it happen in my state if Republicans were in total charge?
by Charlie Leck

At this point, ideally, you should go read this NY Times editorial, The Decline of North Carolina, that appeared in this powerful and famous newspaper on 10 July 2013; however, since many of you will not want to, I'll summarize the important editorial for you…

A significant number of people in North Carolina have begun observing “Moral Monday.” These people gather on Mondays to demonstrate and protest “the grotesque damage that a new Republican majority has been doing to a tradition of caring for the least fortunate.”

You know, conservatives – especially conservative politicians – like to talk about honoring American traditions. One of the great ones, it seems to me, is our nation’s willingness to care for those who are down and nearly out.

I think conservative Republicans have forgotten this tradition. Oh, my! Not all Republicans. I know some of the best of them – men and women who are true to real conservative core values but who also deeply believe is caring for those in our society who are less fortunate and unable to climb up on the big, steady American bandwagon that moves toward success and comfortable lives.

The realistic understand that there will always be a segment of society that has not been fortunate – that is down on its luck – that has encountered serious set-backs – that has failed in ways that are not due to a failure to try. It may be what Jesus meant when he is quoted in the scriptures as saying, “The poor we shall always have with us!”

There are a large number of people in North Carolina who fear that their state is forgetting this. Certainly, the state’s legislative body seems to have forgotten a deep, abiding tradition to care for the less fortunate. The NY Times editorial says…

“But the bad news keeps on coming from the Legislature, and pretty soon a single day of the week may not be enough to contain the outrage.”

Republicans control both the executive and the legislative branches of government in North Carolina, giving them free hand to do pretty much what they want in terms of legislation. The NY Times describes what’s happening down there as “a demolition derby, tearing down years of progress in public education, tax policy, racial equality in the courtroom and access to the ballot.”

Here is what the Republican Party has done in North Carolina and what it could do in state after state in the south and eventually in the conservative states in the north; and this would create such havoc in blue states that its expenses would rise uncontrollably as people flock into them to escape a brand of politics that I can only call unAmerican.

Last week North Carolina ended unemployment benefits for 70,000 of its residents. In a short while they will end them for 100,000 more. The remaining North Carolinians on unemployment will have their checks cut by a third. Unemployment in North Carolina is the fifth highest in the nation. It was the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce that convinced the legislature to do this.

Then the North Carolina legislature has weakened an already shaky education system and, in the long run, that will only hurt any recovery from the high unemployment rates that North Carolina is experiencing. Teacher pay is falling dramatically in North Carolina. The state legislature wants to remove all limits on class sizes. Many are predicting that a teacher exodus will follow. So, of course, will the quality of education in that state.

·         The legislature in North Carolina repealed the Racial Justice Act.

·         They refused to expand Medicaid.

·         The look to reduce taxes on the wealthy while raising it on all others.

·         The state senate in North Carolina has voted to close all the state’s abortion clinics. The House is looking at it. The Governor will sign it.

·         The legislature wants to, and probably will, impose voter identification laws and cut back on early voting (while many states are moving to expand such voting). It’s protection insurance for all ultra-conservatives.

It was not many years ago that progressives were taking note and hope in North Carolina’s acts of compassion, thinking this state might become a beacon for the entire south. Now comes the dismantling of all that hope.

Take note!
This is what Republican conservatives like Tom Emmer and Michel Bachmann support. Off-hand, casually, they will say they don’t, but an examination of their campaign comments and their voting records will show they do.

This is what could happen nationally with Tea Party types in charges. America could be dragged down into the ditches of despair and disrepair.

This is the kind of politics the horrible Koch Brothers fund.

America, beware!


[UPDATE] The Texas State House of Representatives has approved, on strictly party lines, a new abortion bill. The State Senate could vote on it sometime on Friday. The new law would ban abortions after 20 weeks and only allow abortions in surgical centers.…

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