RICHARD A. STITT FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Recently, the Republican-controlled House voted for an agriculture bill that appears to be the template for all future bills that we can expect to come out of this dysfunctional, mean-spirited and parsimonious Republican-Tea Party body of risible and odious lawmakers. To their glee and characteristically malignant mien, they discovered that those issues that serve the most vulnerable American citizens, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), could be totally eliminated.
Voilá! Just like 5 right-wing, partisans on the U.S. Supreme Court who decreed that discrimination and prejudice are a thing of the past when they gutted the Voting Rights Act, so too has the Boehner-led Congress decided with the swift swing of an axe, they could ignore poverty by excising the food stamp program from the agriculture bill that serves the American men, women and children who need that help more than ever.
But when it comes to larding up the mega farm and agri-business with all the freebies they know will please their constituents back in their home districts, the bill is a virtual cornucopia loaded with subsidies for cotton, sugar, corn ethanol (an extremely inefficient fuel), tobacco and other handouts that are in their bottomless bag of goodies to shake down the taxpayers in order to feed their lobbyists and political campaign contributors.
The Republican demagoguery is hitting its stride as they trot out some of their most obstreperous luminaries like Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mike Lee (this is their future?) and other Ayn Rand enlightened self-interest types. Their hope is that they can convince enough of their Pied Piper following to join them in a collective contempt for those millions of American workers who have fallen on hard times.
Their attitude reminds me of a comment made by former Attorney General Ed Meese who remarked, "People are poor because they deserve to be poor." But, as a result of the 2008 economic implosion their efforts to punish the American people have accelerated and succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.
The fictional character Gordon Gekko played by Michael Douglas in the movie Wall Street put it this way: “We pick that rabbit out of the hat while everybody sits out there wondering how the hell we did it. Now you're not naive enough to think we're living in a democracy, are you buddy? It's the free market. And you're a part of it. You've got that killer instinct. Stick around pal, I've still got a lot to teach you.” He added, “The point is ladies and gentlemen that greed, for lack of a better word, is good.”
I think we get it. Thanks to Mitt Romney’s 47% speech in which he clarified his contempt for the hoi polloi few people ever thought that he represented anything other than the filthy rich whom he cynically claimed are doing nothing technically illegal when they pay only a pittance of the tax rate that ordinary schmucks pay. He and other "wealth creators" were only taking advantage of the offshore tax shelters and legal interpretations of the tax code written into law by the pimps in Congress.
But, you gotta hand it to the Republicans. They have managed to pass even more anti-constitutional laws and bills in their bloated Republican state legislatures and governorships than they did during the 2012 presidential campaign.
Mandatory secondary state rape is now law in many states, Texas, North Carolina, Ohio and North Dakota, which requires a pregnant woman seeking an abortion after she has been a victim of date rape or incest to undergo a required transvaginal sonogram probe in violation of her Fourth Amendment right to privacy.
Republican-controlled states are passing more voter suppression laws which have been green-lighted by an equally morally depraved U.S. Supreme Court in their 5-4 ruling when they gutted the Voting Rights Act (VRA), declaring in effect that discrimination and racism are things of the past. Using the claim of voter fraud Republicans have stepped up more aggressive and stringent voter I.D. laws in the slipstream of the demise of the VRA.
Beneath all of the Republican efforts to suppress the vote and strip away more individual rights and liberties are the insidious racist and xenophobic undercurrents and the fear that their Anglo-European heritage is being diluted by the increasing Hispanic population.
Eagle Forum Phyllis Schlafly probably gave the most honest analysis of the state of the apartheid Republican Party’s paranoia when she encouraged the GOP to ignore Latinos and focus on white turnout. It isn’t as if they didn’t try that when you look at the results of the 2012 election in which Mitt Romney won 59% of the white vote to 39% for Barack Obama.
Furthermore, she added (as if it needed more emphasis), that comprehensive reform would be “suicide for the Republican Party” because immigrants “come from a country” where they expect “a handout” from the government.” Hmm, sounds a bit like Romney’s 47% remarks at his $50,000 per plate fundraiser.
Republicans are on a punitive and rotted crusade to punish minorities by passing and enacting anti-Hispanic laws like Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070 which allows law enforcement officers to stop, detain and arrest a person who is driving, walking or standing while brown.
While self-righteous Republican-Tea Partyers and their Evangelical constituency praise and celebrate the birth of God’s little (white) miracles they disparage and malign brown-skinned women who they chaarge come to the U.S. only to “drop a little anchor baby” or worse, “have a terrorist baby.” Republicans incessantly pound home to their Fox News-immersed cultists the specious claim that those of Mexican heritage come to the U.S. so that they can get all the things like health care, food and housing for free. And of course, they will take all of those field jobs away from white boys and girls.
The announcement that the royal couple Prince William and Princess Kate Middleton celebrated the birth of their yet-to-be-named royal baby was an event that brought out the multitudes of cheering British citizens in a display of civic pride and an affirmation of an England that remains on firm ground and a hope for a grander future for its people. All too many of them as well as their European partners, many of whom share common bonds, have suffered under excruciatingly severe cuts due to austerity policies which have punished the poorest while essentially leaving untouched those who were the masterminds and architects of the unprecedented avarice that brought down the world’s economy which has yet to recover.
One wonders, while our own U.S. Congress squabbles over how many programs such as SNAP they can eliminate, the programs that help those most in need, how can they simultaneously justify spending the billions they hand out in farm and crop subsidies? How many more $400 million-per-copy F-22 Raptor fighter plane deals can they funnel into their defense contractor-contributors’ bank accounts? How many equally obscene projects like the $400 billion F-35 Joint Strike fighter plane contracts will stay on auto pilot? How many more aircraft carriers that cost $12 billion each (3 more are planned for future pork barrel projects) and other high tech contracts with open-ended cost overruns will the U.S. Congress extort at the expense of the health, welfare and national security of the American people?
Republicans insist that we cannot afford even the barest of health coverage for the 47 million American citizens who are struggling from pay check to pay check just to keep their heads above water. They have voted 38 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Yet, in spite of the sequester which has taken on robotic powers to dictate our lives from now until Congress can decide how quickly they can turn America into a third world country, they passed a $638 billion defense bill and are now working on more ways on how to divert an additional $47 billion from other programs to perpetuate the military industrial complex that Dwight D. Eisenhower warned against over 60 years ago.
So, did Princess Kate Middleton deliver one of “God’s little miracles” or did she “drop a little anchor baby” who will be totally dependent on the good taxpayers of Great Britain to receive all of his health care free, all of his basic living and housing needs free of cost, the best education free of cost and all the lavish exotic travels free of cost and live out his opulent royal lifestyle on the public dole, all while his “subjects” toil in poverty?
“Mongo only pawn in game of life.” – Alex Karras' line from the movie Blazing Saddles