It is pretty clear now what is happening. The Republicans, so close to a literal takeover of the government under Bush and Cheney (see Presidential rule # 51) have decided that they will attempt a literal political coup.
Some of the statements made by the new Tea Party Republican Senatorial candidates (they are all Republicans) have been quite reckless and seemingly dangerous. The idea, for example, that if legislative actions are not what they expect, that they might seek to overturn the government by force.
That used to be considered treasonous. But since the Bush Administration, apparently we now have a country that is divided between the rich (who one might be reminded have not served in the military) and the middle class and poor…much larger numbers…who have served and been wounded and some have died in the military.
The hugely wealthy, created by the policies of Ronal Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush, have used their money and control of national media to attack the largely educated working families of the country. They caused a huge recession in two ways.
First, they eliminated manufacturing in the United States. By closing down manufacturing and sending jobs abroad, they weakened unions. When unions had less power, young people were less inclined to join because unions could no longer protect their wages and jobs. The destruction of labor unions was begun by Ronald Reagan, based on his long association with GE, which was and still is the arch-enemy of labor unions. They simply no longer speak about it in public.
Once they had eliminated manufacturing, the money that used to flow to manufacturing flowed to finance. By trading on existing corporations, on real estate and on international corporations, a large number of people could be brought into an industry whose primary goal, more than anything else was its own preservation.
One of the key places to invest, it turned out, was real estate. The head of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, he now admits, was used as a stooge by cynical financial people who knew of his dedication to certain free-market principles. They played upon those ideological aspects of his character to influence him to hold interest rates low.
This created a huge opportunity for financiers to speculate in the real estate industry, which they did. They were further encouraged by the wealthy elite to do so because it became clear that when the speculation reached its peak and declined that the prices of real estate would plummet.
Why is this important? Because the principle asset of the middle class over the years had become the equity value of individual family homes. If they could destroy that, the corporate lords of GE and NewsCorp and Koch Industries and other mighty multi-billion
dollar entities could gain almost complete control over the masses of Americans, particularly the formerly strong middle class.
Deregulation of the credit card industry at the same time as home equity loans were being made legal and encouraged by the Reagan Administration were both severely damaging to the unsuspecting public. Interest rates so high that they would have been criminally prosecutable in the 1970s and earlier became the norm, including exorbitant fees for late payments. The option was to go to a home equity loan, thus endangering the very place you lived.
As manufacturing moved abroad and resulting service sector jobs reduced incomes by $10 to $15 per hour, people began to suffer. With the continuing assimilation of one corporation into another, again something illegal in earlier eras, prices began to climb in gasoline, electric and natural gas energy, all kinds of utility bills, insurance, particularly health care insurance, and all kinds of consumer products.
To compensate, some large manufacturers began to make products abroad and sell some through discount merchandisers. Pointing to some of these products as evidence that international trade was a good idea, the manufacturers who now no longer made products in the United States, but at most assembled products here at much lower costs, touted this as much greater “productivity.”
This is like saying that if I no longer had to put gas in my car I would get much greater mileage. Yes, of course there was greater productivity…but the patient died—the American worker suffered lower wages and a lower standard of living. But some people made money.
With taxes lower than ever in our history…2008 tax revenues were the lowest since 1950…the government, on which more and more people had come to rely because of lost jobs, higher health care costs, increased numbers of personal bankruptcies and increased numbers of home foreclosures…began to suffer huge deficits. In the 8 years of the Bush Administration and the year following it when the Great Bush Recession hit hardest, the Republicans spent $8 trillion more than they took in.
The idea is very simple. Bankrupt the government so that it can no longer pay Social Security, no longer pay Medicare and no longer pay Medicaid or even Veterans’ Benefits. What will this do? It will insure that a handful…perhaps 300,000 very wealthy individuals will become fabulously wealthy, pay no appreciable taxes and have total control of the government.
This is what the Tea Party Senatorial candidates are meant to do. As you will see, they are clearly either bumpkins, or they have their own agendas, religious or ideological, for which they will sacrifice the good and the rights and unknowingly, perhaps the freedom of their fellow citizens. This is why the Koch Family has funded and organized FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity to rally all the ignorant and bigoted people they could find.
Could a literal coup, an attempted military takeover of this country by Republicans be possible? There were many, many people at the end of the Bush Administration, who thought that they might. Remember what they had done up to that time.
They had packed the courts with Right Wing ideologues, including 2 members of the Supreme Court. They had fired all 92 U.S. Attorneys, people who can arbitrarily prosecute politicians, and hired all Right Wing Republicans. They had caused the false indictment and imprisonment of the governor of Alabama. They had taken American citizens from our streets without warrant and in secret and sent them to foreign countries for interrogation. They had secretly tapped the phones of American citizens, checked into their library records and video records. So, yes, people were worried whether they would actually give up all this power. And also because George W. Bush did enact a provision that said that in an emergency the President and only the President had complete control of government.
So it was not such a far fetched idea that that private armies of 14,000 as we find in North Carolina, called Blackwater or Ze, masquerading as private security companies, might be called on by the President, or the Vice President…for whom we later learned they worked directly, to support a military takeover.
If you think that the new Neocon Republicans are “just like you and me” then consider this. Would you, as one lone senator, for your own personal reasons, have held up unemployment compensation to millions of Americans for weeks…money for food and necessities of life for children…in the United States of America, in 2010? One Neocon Senator did.
Would you have voted down or filibustered so that it could not pass a resolution to fund specific research into an extraordinary number of serious respiratory problems by the first responders to the disastrous terror attacks of 9/11/2001? The Neocon Republicans in the Senate did exactly that. And do you know why? Because they did not want the money to pay for it to come from corporations avoiding taxes by incorporating in the Bahamas or in the Cayman Islands. That is how cheap and chiseling and how insensitive they are.
Such an event as a coup is definitely possible. Such things don’t happen with a prior announcement on television. They are sudden and secret. Yes it is true that such militia would not be a match for the many middle and lower class Americans who have been in the service, but once in power, the government controls the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the Marines. At that point, the private army that Cheney recruited could become virtually another Gestapo. We saw the evidence in unmarked black SUVs roaming the streets of New Orleans unaccountable to any local authority.
This is why it is so important to know who the Republicans are putting up as candidates and why they are supporting them. The Republican Party and the arch conservatives are selecting people whom they know are as ignorant or as malleable as the very Tea Party members themselves.
They are so confident that they can accomplish this coup with the help of the dedicated Fundamentalist Christian zealotry within the Tea Party system, within the military and with the aid of Republican governors, who have control of the National Guard, that they are quietly financially supporting the candidates they feel can be most easily manipulated.
The election of a Senate and House of Representatives majority will result in an attempt to repeal advances in health care, will result in unwarranted investigations to stall any kind of legislation already in progress and even perhaps an attempt to overturn the Presidency, certainly to stop any activity cold with potential irrelevant but effective impeachment proceedings as they did with President Clinton. They learned that they can effectively stop all legislative and administrative activity with simple, unwarranted investigations, non stop. This is how shameless and disgusting they have become as tinhorn politicians. It is disgraceful and a blight upon American Democracy.
Once in office, these untested, neophyte Senators and Congress people will go along with the Republican agenda. Some of them have never held high office. Some of them are like Sarah Palin, officials in small, backward states where no one knows exactly what they have done in the past.
One Republican Senatorial candidate stands out. It is Christine O’Donnell of Delaware. Not only did she not have a job, but she lived, illegally, on campaign contributions. She has run for the Senate from Delaware three separate times. She has no qualifications at all. She didn’t even have a college degree until 2010, which would have been fine, except that she lied in her two previous campaigns and said that she did.
She is against any kind of taxes, in favor of raising the age to receive Social Security, against abortion under any circumstances at all…let the woman die if necessary…and against embryonic stem cell research. Her entire career, such as it is, has been in advocacy for various religious causes, mostly having to do with sex.
How difficult do you think it will be for the corporate-paid lobbyists to push her and shove her into any direction they want? They are used to sophisticated legislators and a great deal of effort. This will be a piece of cake, especially since the Republican Party is already, as one congressman has said, a wholly owned subsidiary of the corporations.
Next, let’s take the U.S. Senate campaign in Florida. The principal candidate for the Republicans is Marco Rubio. Who is Marco Rubio? He is the fiscal restraint candidate. He is concerned, he says, about the huge amount of debt the U.S. incurred. But he is a Republican. So where was he in 2001 when Bush, in a sudden recession, decided to cut taxes for the rich, thus developing about a trillion dollars in debt?
Where was he when Bush decided to go into Iraq, after we were already in Afghanistan…which now seems like a more questionable choice than just bombing the hell out of them…and then CUT TAXES again? In every other case, in the days when we had responsible financiers drafted into government to assure our fiscal solidarity, we raise taxes up to as much as 97% at the top marginal rate! But Rubio is a Republican. He’s running as a Republican. He would caucus with the Republicans.
Marco Rubio is personally $1,000,000 in debt. He has three homes that he cannot keep up the mortgages on. Did you get the number of homes? Three. Does this sound like a man you can trust to cut the deficits and reduce the national debt? Not likely.
Rubio is popular among those who left Cuba to protect their financial wealth or to escape prosecution…or maybe persecution…and came to Florida to start a life over here so that they can dictate to us how we should live our personal lives, our religious lives and our financial lives. Rubio is the latest in a bunch of arrogant politically protected people who think that the world owes them a living and they owe nothing to their fellow citizens around the country.
The Cuban-Americans in politics have made their careers on only one issue, which is the destruction of the current political system in Cuba. While there may be many justified cases of Cuban exiles who were forced from Cuba on purely idealistic grounds, many more left because they were the owners of businesses who were making a fortune with the Batista regime while the Cuban populace starved.
In Nevada, we have another dilly. Her name is Sharron Angle. (Actually that is the correct spelling, not a typo.) She wants to phase out Social Security, the Department of Education, the Energy Department and the EPA. She wants the U.S. to withdraw from the United Nations, and privatize Medicare. She believes that her religion should be the state religion of the United States.
She implies, by saying that if things don’t work out the way she wants at the ballot box, that “second amendment remedies” (guns and militias) might work. She is a real kook. She wants to do away with the entire IRS code, but she has no good alternative suggestions. She is against both same-sex marriage and fluoridation of drinking water.
In Alaska, the Republican candidate is another Tea Party member. He is supposedly a West Point and Yale Law School graduate, yet thinks that unemployment payments are unconstitutional. Or not. He seems to take different positions depending upon with whom he is speaking.
He wants a balanced budget amendment. He wants to eventually send the responsibility for Social Security to the states and let them decide if they will offer it. Wants to cut spending in many places…to the United Nations, the National Endowment for the Arts (how much good theatre is there in Alaska anyway?) and apparently not raise taxes on anyone anytime anywhere. Good. Welcome to the 1930s.
These are some of the Senatorial options being given to you this fall by Republicans. They are ignorant and simultaneously arrogant on the one hand and on the other seem to belie their education and favor untried or disproved ideology on the other.
Either way, given the huge amounts of money that will be necessary for them to be elected with these kinds of positions, they will be under the thumb of the national Republican Party, the large organizations, like the National Rifle Association, the Family Research Council, the Chamber of Commerce and the billionaires like the Koch Family.
So much for the Tea Party. And if we are not very aggressive in our response…so much for the future of American Democracy.