Thursday, February 2, 2012

Republicans: A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma

It's as though that ever since Abraham Lincoln in 1865 (over the last 147 years of American politics) our two major political parties have completely reversed their views on the role of government (the Jeffersonian versus the Hamiltonian approach).

Theodore Roosevelt (leader of the Republican Party and founder of the short-lived Progressive Party of 1912 and subscribing to the Hamiltonian philosophy) called for a broad range of positive social welfare programs. Theodore Roosevelt was the one and only (and perhaps the last) Republican president that has ever endorsed government healthcare.

Harry S. Truman (who was Vice-President when FDR died in 1945) beat Thomas E. Dewey in the 1948 presidential election. The Dixiecrats broke with the Democrats and Strom Thurmond declared his candidacy for the presidency and led a full-scale revolt of Southern "states' rights" proponents.

This revolt on the right was matched by a revolt on the left led by former Vice President Henry A. Wallace on the Progressive Party ticket (and who was also a VP under FDR, and not to be confused with Alabama Governor George C. Wallace).

In the end, Strom Thurmond only carried Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina. One newspaper, the Chicago Tribune, boldly (and wrongly) predicted that Dewey had won the presidential election.

Since that time the Southern Democrats (Dixiecrats) have morphed into the Republican's Tea Party today and now hold their radical Jeffersonian views in our House of Representatives. They and the more "mainstream" (moderate or establishment) Republicans are almost the exact opposite of Theodore Roosevelt (or his distant cousin, FDR). Today they primarily represent the large corporations (and their CEOs) and are totally against any type social programs or government healthcare (e.g. TANF, food stamps, unemployment benefits, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, etc.)

Today the Republicans claim they want government to "stay out of the way of business and let the free markets resolve themselves", but yet Republicans in congress don't think twice about voting for such things as their own earmarks and oil subsidies. They have benefited from government spending (taxpayers) and corporate welfare as well as anybody else.

Government certainly "stayed out of the way" when the Republicans deregulated the banks, and we saw what happened then. But still the Republicans "want more of the same" by repealing Dodd-Frank and doing away with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Are the Republican representing the will of THE PEOPLE, or are they most concerned about large corporations and their CEOs? Aren't they really all more like Mitt Romney, who's "not very concerned about the poor"?

Most major U.S. corporations (see the complete list at the Forbes Global 2,000) have CEOs who pay themselves multi-million dollar paychecks (e.g. The $50 Million Club and those on the Forbes Fortune 400 list) who hire expensive lobbyists to have congress pass a tax code that taxes them at a much lower rate than middle-class taxpayers (while complaining about double taxation), while at the same time receiving government subsidies from taxpayers.

Then these same corporations sometimes get bailed out with taxpayer money and sometimes these CEOs hire people like Mitt Romney at Bain Capital to cut costs and file bankruptcy against the taxpayers.

Then these CEOs and corporations layoff the taxpayers, and then have their bought-and-paid-for politicians in congress (who are also paid $174,000-a-year and given "gold-plated" healthcare insurance by taxpayers) try to deny or limit the taxpayer's unemployment benefits, Medicaid, TANF, and food stamps after they are laid off from their jobs.

Then the CEOs and corporations have their Republican sponsors deny these unemployed and working tax-paying Americans the power to renegotiate their under-water mortgages with the big banks.

And then these CEOs and corporations try to screw these laid-off taxpayers out of their pensions that they worked all their life for (take American Airlines for example).

These CEOs and major corporations dominate our system of government with influence peddling in congress and political donations to get special tax breaks, corporate welfare, and laws that most always favor themselves over the American working taxpayers.

After the taxpayers work hard all their lives and pay Medicare and Social Security taxes on 100% of their wages (which the CEOs have capped at their first $110,000), the corporate CEOs have their bought-and-paid-for politicians try to cut Social Security and Medicare when taxpayers are too old and sick to work any longer.

Why do taxpayers give their hard-earned money to profitable oil and natural gas corporations who don't pay any taxes at all, and if taxpayers complain, the wealthy CEOs call the poor taxpayers un-American; but the insulted taxpayers allow these CEOs to drill or build pipelines on the taxpayer's land (and take possession of taxpayer's oil)) when these companies only sell the oil and gas to countries overseas for the highest profit, instead of using the taxpayer's natural resources for their own low-cost "energy independence".

Most major U.S. corporations have CEOs who pay themselves multi-million dollar paychecks, then lobby congress to pay taxpayers the federal minimum wage of $7.25-an-hour to live on and have their bought-and-paid-for politicians limit working taxpayer's rights to collectively bargain through labor unions to earn "living wages".

Or these major U.S. corporations will move to other States (like Boeing, who receives government contracts from taxpayer-paid defense spending) - - to other States that that have "Right to Work" (to under-pay) laws. If that fails, the corporations move jobs to place like China -- such as Apple for example.

Some call this "free market" capitalism. Some call it crony capitalism. The CEOs call it "American free enterprise". The middle-class and poor taxpayers call it "political corruption and corporate greed".

But yet, for some odd reason, even knowing all this, Republican taxpayers will still continue voting against their own best interests and vote for Republicans, whose primary concerns are now mostly the large corporations and their CEOs.

Some people call these Dixiecrats in the south "good Christians" (as we've recently witnessed from the good folks in South Carolina). Some call these Republican taxpayers "naive and uninformed far-right-wing evangelical radical Fox News sheeple".

Some say these Republicans voters are a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.


  1. Thanks to the Republicans and those CEOs and major U.S. corporations, the working poor (almost half of all U.S. households) now live just one crisis away from the bread line.

  2. YOUTUBE: The first episode of the documentary video series about long term unemployment, 99ers, and organizing the unemployed:

    The second episode of the documentary video series about long term unemployment, 99ers, and organizing the unemployed:

    Visit Salon's page for the series here: