Posts tagged ‘Republicans hate democracy’

The Equivalency Argument

A good friend sent me an article everyone who still has thinking brain cells should read. It is about how the Right and Left are not two sides of the same thing, but totally different animals. There is no middle ground. It is an argument I have been making for a long time, although Brian Butler, the author, makes a much more focused and rational argument. I only bring this up because I constantly get attacked as being too shrill and you will never reach the other side or change minds by calling them out. We need to listen more. The answer which if you read this article and understand it, is that there are no minds to change. The two sides are about two entirely different things.

This is important when the false equivalency of both sides do it is thrown out there. It is important, as Mr. Butler points out, when the press and newspapers try to accommodate both sides for readership or viewership. The reality when they do this is that they create a false reality of equivalence. In fact they have to accommodate the Right’s distortion of reality and when they do they simply become the loud speaker for nonsense like the paranoia of Obama and Hillary’s emails, easily proven false, but the noise was made and it cannot be taken back. That is the Rights agenda, co-opt mainstream media.

Our Democracy was based upon liberal principles of the Enlightenment. Make no mistake, Republicans of today reject those principles. Here is Mr. Butler:

Outside of the specific American context, the word liberal describes something more abstract and less partisan. Internationally, it describes a philosophical approach to organizing society that is capacious enough to include people who believe governments should provide robust safety nets to citizens, and people who believe taxes should be low and the poor left to fend for themselves. What those people share is a common commitment to basic Enlightenment-era ideals like equality, democracy, and empiricism…

Democratic politicians, liberal activists, and journalists have different purposes and respond to different incentives, but they are all liberal in that global sense. Two decades after Newt Gingrich redefined what it meant to be a Republican, it is clear that Republican politicians, conservative activists, and the right wing media have become adherents to a fundamentally different political tradition…

The job of the mainstream media isn’t to cast judgment on people with different value systems, but journalists can’t do their jobs well if they aren’t aware that the value systems of mainstream journalism and American conservatism are different and in conflict. It should be perfectly possible to apply the neutral rules of modern journalism to both American political parties while accepting that Democrats (and journalists and scientists) descend from the enlightenment tradition, while Republicans (and their allies in conservative media) descend from a different, illiberal tradition—and that this makes the parties behave in different ways.

In other words, the Right no longer adheres to the principles of the Enlightenment that is the basis of our Constitution and democracy. I have written copious blogs about how the Right does not believe in democracy at all, but in this short analysis by Mr. Butler he shows how they have veered off. There is no middle ground in these two belief systems, one based upon elites and subjugating the masses as second class citizens who should fend for themselves, and the other who believes in strong safety nets and leveling the playing field. If you doubt this think of what is happening to Dreamers and immigrants, how we have turned ICE into a Gestopo force, how gerrymandering and voter suppression is ripe in Red country. Think about how Republicans refuse to bring up votes on things the majority want. And it goes on and on.

That is why in my last blog I said we have crossed a line. There is no more argument to make with Republicans or said more fairly what has become of the Republican Party today, simply a line to be drawn so we know where the battle line is and to remove all of them from power. There is no more accommodation because if we do, we lose who we are and what we stand for. That is what this next election is about. I do not write this blog to change minds, but to wake those minds up that can still be woken, We are no longer in a rational debate. That ended for Republicans many years ago. It is just time Democrats woke up to that and entered the battle. The one thing that distinguishes us from Republicans is that we are fighting for truth and honesty. They shunned that years ago.

How the Freedom Lovers Destroy Democracy

In case you haven’t guessed it, the freedom lovers are the Tea Party of the Republican Party and they are bent on destroying democracy.  Remember civics class?  Remember how government is suppose to work?  There is an implied contract that the minority will abide by majority will.  Then there is a carefully crafted ballance of power in the three branches of government, the executive, the legislative, and the judicial, so that one branch does not takeover and run the government.  And as noted earlier, we all agree to play by the rules.

Well our boys and girls in the Republican Party don’t accept that.  Exhibit A is the latest attempt to shut down government in the form of defunding Homeland Security because they can’t get their way on immigration, something Homeland Security is not really about.  Remember that immigration reform passed by the Senate could not be passed in the House, not because there weren’t enough yes votes, but because the minority couldn’t get their way so they refused to vote at all.  Exhibit B is using the court system to both destroy Obamacare and the President’s executive orders on immigration by judge shopping in the case of the President’s executive orders, and conservative judges bringing the Obamacare case to the court that simply has no merit.  But they may find one (merit) in some ideological fog that will further destroy the credibility of the judiciary and the foundations of democracy.

Exhibit C is their blocking of all nominees of President Obama.  He won the election, but they won’t allow him to fill his vacancies because, well, they lost.  Exhibit D is their use of the filibuster for common legislation so that the Senate, while it was in Democratic hands, was powerless to act on anything the Republican minority did not agree to.  Exhibit E is their attack on voting rights and attempts to limit voting by anyone that does not agree with them.  I guess I could give you sources for all of this, but by now all of us have seen this at play.  I also guess one could argue that this is just the process, and Republicans are just using the levers of power they have to protect their interests.  But in total it is sabotaging government, making it totally ineffective, and a total rejection of the implied contract of a democracy.

I guess you could also say that they now have a majority in both the House and the Senate so they should get their way, except they don’t have the Executive and he can veto things according to the rules we have and they don’t have enough votes to override that veto.  Their solution is to hold the government hostage, even our security apparatus in times of growing threats, well, because they can’t get their way.  No, Republicans hate democracy.  Democracy for them is only functional when everyone believes as they do, otherwise they have no use for it.

But if you are still wavering here, Exhibit F ought to open your eyes.  This is the manuever by the Republicans to bypass the executive on foreign relations, inviting Netanyahu to speak to Congress.  This is a pure political ploy using a foreign government.  Netanyahu’s motives are less than sterling. He is trying to use American politics to shore up his own re-election campaign and we wisely have a policy of not getting involved in foreign countries elections for obvious reasons.  Now, for the worse, relations with Israel has become a political football and putting these relations in jeapordy.  But they, the Republicans, don’t care.  Wreck the government for all they care, we just have to make Obama look bad because we hate him.

And that is the bottomline.  They hate Obama and at the expense of America they have done everything they can to make government ineffective.  And the worse part is that through gerrymandering, this minority that controls Republican politics, is immune to their destructive ways.  That along with the fear of a primary challenge and the crazies not only control the Republican Party and their leadership, but are bent on the destruction of a Constitutional democracy by making it powerless.  And so far so good since the rest of the craven bunch has gone along with them.

So the next time one of your friends, who probably calls themselves independent because they are embarassed by the Louie Gohmerts, Steve Kings, and Michele Bachmanns, but votes for these knuckle heads who empower them, says something really stupid like I wish they would just work together, remind them that they are the ones who are empowering the knuckleheads who are wrecking this country and are not going to work with anybody.

Footnote:  I could add that even for moderate Republicans, their supply side economic beliefs, a litmus test for the next presidential election, increases the economic inequality that also undermines democracy as money and power flow to the few.  All in all Republicanism is kind of the Ebola of America.  Too bad we can’t put them all in a quarantine camp.

Footnote1:  I almost forgot.  The citizens of Washington DC voted overwhelmingly to legalize Marijuana so what do Republicans in Congress want to do if they implement it?  Throw the Mayor in jail.  Oh how they love democracy.

Democracy Hating Republicans Part N+1

The Republicans are in full panic mode as was witnessed yesterday in Virginia:

“Virginia Democrats are raising hell after Republicans unexpectedly rammed a controversial redistricting bill through the state Senate on Monday, capitalizing on the absence of a Democratic lawmaker and civil rights leader who was in Washington for President Barack Obama’s second inauguration.

The Virginia Senate is currently split evenly between Democrats and Republicans, each occupying 20 seats in the legislative body. Democratic State Sen. Harry Marsh’s absence paved the way for passage of the previously unannounced legislation by a count of 20 votes to 19.

‘The new redistricting map revises the districts created under the 2011 map,” writes Talking Points Memo’s Evan McMorris-Santoro, “and would take effect before the next state Senate elections in Virginia and would redraw district lines to maximize the number of safe GOP seats.'” (Huffington Post)

Terrified that the country is changing and they are being left behind, instead of examining their product instead of their marketing, they are trying to rig the system and are doing so successfully. But there is a big storm cloud out there that they had better heed. By their efforts to gerrymander all elections they make our government impervious to the will of the people (see the House for that outcome) and delegitimize government institutions. It is the catalyst for violent revolution. Republicans are the scourge of our democracy. How far they have fallen since Abraham Lincoln.

Voter Suppression and Republicans who Really Hate Democracy

Okay, I will grant you that this is being covered fairly well in the press, but what is amazing is that nobody is in the streets. The Republicans admitted that the new voter law in Pennsylvania would deny mostly Democratic voters and bring the state in line for Mitt Romney. Then we have a Republican judge who sees no problem with the law although there are no reported cases of voter fraud in Pennsylvania and the law affects mostly minorities and Democrats. So there are two things to note here. First is that if people don’t get angry then we have really ceded control of the country over to the rich few. Second is that our system of justice no longer works and all we can expect out of it is a partisan ruling. That my friends is the end of democracy.

I have no problem with voter ID laws in the abstract. It is the way it is being implemented that is troubling. “Let’s require voter ID and make it very hard for anyone we don’t like to get one.” Some of the stuff is so blantant like limiting the hours where one could obtain one, that one wonders why the Justice Department has not stepped in. If this isn’t a poll tax, I don’t know what is. One has to wonder why the people who claim they want to end “Big Government” want a national ID system. No, you don’t have to wonder. This kind of hypocrisy with Republicans is common when it puts them in power. There bottom line has nothing to do with big government, but being in power. They are simply trying to game the system to steal an election. They are evil.

If you really think we need a voter ID law, fine, but then you have to put in place a system that ensures that voters are not disenfranchised in the interim. It is too close to the election to be doing this kind of stuff and not have purely political motives. The judge in Pennsylvania is a corrupt partisan hack if he can not see this. It just amazes me that he was not been thoroughly ostracized by the legal profession, which shows how politics have thoroughly corrupted our judicial system and we all lose. Of course we really shouldn’t be surprised since this is the state that brought us Jerry Sandowski and the noble Joe Paterno who could not see obvious child rape and if you can overlook that, well then this is small potatoes. Selling your soul for fame and power is the play of the day.

The real lesson here is that if allowed (see 2000), Republicans will steal the election and destroy our democracy. Conservative ideas have run their course and the country is worse for it. The only way they can hold on to power is to steal it. Mitt Romney and his sidekick Paul Ryan are out lying to the country with a budget proposal that decimates everything that made us a great country and hands the reins over to a few rich people, while emptying our Treasure for tax cuts to the wealthy. What this crowd of Republicans are good at is complaining and blowing things up. They are going to decimate Medicare, the safety net, big government, but then when it comes to how they will rebuild the country while emptying the treasury to pay for tax cuts to the rich, well somehow the market place will do it. It is lunacy. It is lunacy that people can’t see through this poppycock.

But the real lunacy is that we are letting them do it. If all the people who could vote would vote, this nightmare would end. Obama is not a strong leader and he has no grand plan for the future because, well see the first part of this sentence. But he is way better than putting the rich guys in charge where they will decide what we need to know (You don’t need to see my tax returns, just trust me). So get off your asses, understand Obama won’t save you, and get out to the polls and trash the Republicans while electing a Congress that leans Progressive so we might actually get something done in this country again.

Eschewing Democracy

What do the lynch mob who wants to hunt down Casey Anthony and some of our Republican candidates for President have in common?  They don’t believe in democracy or the institutions of democracy.  In the case of Casey Anthony, she had a fair trial and the jury found her not guilty.  That doesn’t mean she didn’t do it.  They did not find her innocent.  They just said that given the facts, there was reasonable doubt.  In our justice system, if there is reasonable doubt, a person’s life is just too precious to roll the dice.  But the fans of court TV have voted and they want her strung up.  So I guess in a similar system where they were in the defendant’s seat they wold also object to the outcome?  It is lynch mob mentality egged on by a hyper exploitative media.  But what about our system of justice?  Do we just ignore it if we don’t like the outcome?  Then would there be a system of justice?

But in a similar vein is the more interesting phenomenon of trying to thwart democratic processes and outcomes of several of the Republican presidential want-to-be’s.  Take Michele Backmann (please take her).  She made the famous statement about being armed and dangerous against President Obama.  In other words, the people spoke, our system worked, there was no failure of any of the three branches of government, yet she rejects his legitimacy.  Take Rick Perry, probably the soon to enter the presidential ring, and governor of Texas, who threatened secession.  Now mind you, many of us thought that was a lovely idea and could he please take South Carolina and some of the other Tea Party states with him, but once again it is an example of rejecting legitimate democratic outcomes.

What we had was the nation turning away from their brand of conservatism back in 2008 (seems like a century ago as Obama lost his way), and the losers wanted to take their marbles and go home.  They didn’t get their way so they want out.  There is that pesky little fly in the ointment with this kind of thinking and that is we are in an implied contract that we bow to the will of the majority within the bounds of our Constitution.  Wonder what Abe Lincoln would say about all this?

But it goes beyond the gross hypocrisy of Republican Presidential candidates.  The Senate has this procedure (not found anywhere in the Constitution except to say they can make their own procedural rules) that allows the minority to trample on the majority (filibuster).  Now the original concept was that you could slow down an avalanche of an emotional overreach until cooler heads prevailed.  But today it is the primary tool of the Republicans to thwart the wishes of the majority.

Probably the most under reported example of the Republicans hate for democracy is their all out assault on voting rights.  Under the guise of voter fraud (which there hasn’t been any) they are trying to make it very hard for poor and disenfranchised to vote, making voter registration much more difficult, and requiring onerous identification requirements designed to disenfranchise poor and elderly, those most likely to vote Democratic.  If you think this is paranoia, read how the Republicans manipulated the voting lists in Florida back in the 2000 election if you want to see real voter fraud.

The real demonstration of their hate for democracy (if it isn’t their democracy) is the stunts they are pulling in Wisconsin.  The governor disenfranchised the unions (and how do unions usually vote?) and the people rebelled.  So to thwart the recall process they put up “fake” Democrats to run against the real Democrats who want to unseat the Republicans, forcing a primary.  They jammed tougher voter registration laws through prior to the real August recall election.  In other words, they are doing everything they can to thwart the will of the people.  Oh these are democratic loving people.

So there you have it.  The people who “love freedom” really only love their freedom and they don’t give a damn if it tramples on your freedom. Look at all the laws they have passed restricted women’s access to choice.   They have no respect for the institutions of democracy and in a society where we think the best ideas come out of a spirit debate, they only want you to hear one voice. That is why they have been on a crusade to cram the courts with conservative judges for the last thirty years.   If you don’t agree with that one voice, you are unpatriotic and un-American.  We have entered dangerous times and these are scary people.

 

Inconvenient Voters

I came to the conclusion a long time ago that the Republican Party, and Conservatives (with a capital C) don’t believe in a constitutional democracy.  California Republicans are in the processing of reinforcing that belief.  California, like many states, is in a big budget crisis.  The argument, as always, is about cutting programs or raising revenues.  When it comes to compromise, the Republicans will have none of it.  They will not raise any taxes.  This then, if carried out, would require massive cuts to California’s budget. including aid to the poor and our life blood, our schools.

So along comes Jerry Brown.  Now we have been living in this culture of cutting taxes for businesses and not increasing revenues which has got us into this position.  Californians have bought into this, “we are taxed too much” mantra, but when seeing the reality of what these cuts could bring to our children, are having second thoughts.  Enter Jerry who wants to put an initiative on the ballot in June and let the people decide.

Any reasonable person will understand that our problems are going to have to be solved by a mix of cuts in the right places, and increases in revenues in others.  But California Tea Party Republicans are not reasonable or rational.  And because of California’s super majority requirement for raising taxes, this minority controls the agenda.  So Jerry says, let’s let the people decide.  Let’s put it on a ballot imitative and let people tell us whether they want to raise revenues to pay for our schools and other critical services.

But our Republicans are blocking any attempt to let the people speak for themselves.  It is unlikely, without some Republican support, that this initiative can get on the ballot.  So what are they afraid of?  They are afraid of democracy if it doesn’t agree with what they want.  They want to hide behind the State Constitution when it favors their side (two thirds majority for revenue bills) and deny the people a voice, but back in the days of Prop 8 (ban of gay marriage) wanted to overcome the State Constitution on Individual rights when they thought they would (and did) win in the ballot initiative process.

So there you have it.  Conservative Republicans are not interested in our Constitution or the democratic process unless they are sure they can win.  The contract that we operate under in our system of government is that majority rules, and  that the minority, with basic rights being protected by our Constitution, will acquiesce to the majority.  They don’t recognize that contract.  They are most unAmerican of Americans and will do what they can to abrogate the will of the people in pursuit of their bankrupt ideology.  Their ideology blinds them to the solutions that are in easy reach.