Sunday, January 27, 2013

GOP to Use Soviet-Style Election Tactics

Besides gerrymandering and voter suppression laws at the State level, the Republicans are still doing everything they can to steal elections away from the American people and to subvert our democracy.

The GOP can't win the hearts and minds of the people with their vision for America based solely on their draconian Ayn Rand-style public policies, nor can they convince the voters of their sincerity and empathy with Paul Ryan's brutal austerity plan.

And most Americans have learned that most Republican leaders can't be trusted to tell the truth either, as we've so clearly witnessed through the last election cycle.

Only a minority of Americans agree with the Republican's stand on social issues, as well as other planks in their party's platform such as abortion, gun control, immigration and equal pay for women (just to name a few).

Most Americans also believe in evolution, and agree with the way their church has reconciled religion with science, something many Republicans refuse to acknowledge, still embracing 18th century ideas and being "ultra-conservative" by conserving their obsolete ideas and stubbornly clinging to their antiquated beliefs and superstitions from an ancient and by-gone era.

The Republicans have been living in a surreal world: The United States of America is not "Leave it to Beaver", where the majority of the people are white and living in upper-middle-class neighborhoods, where mom stays home baking cookies while waiting for the Beaver to come home from school. Although, Ann Romney might have done that. But the real economy and our demographics were much different then, and especially so today.

Back in Beaver's time, union membership made up 35 percent of the work force during the mid-1950s, when the population in the U.S. was 160 million people. Today union membership is at a 70-year low with 12% of the work force belonging to a union in a growing population that's almost doubled to 315 million people.

For decades the Republicans have been very busy busting labor unions to bring down wages in order to increase CEO bonuses --- bonuses that are paid by the same corporations that paid for the GOP's elections (just follow the money).

In case no one has noticed, there are two economies in this country.

  1. The "maker's economy", the tiny percentage of the population (mostly bankers) that controls the vast percentage of the wealth --- and those whose stock shares on the Dow Jones are on track to pass the all-time high this year --- and those whose personal federal income tax rates are still lower than those earning $50,000 a year, while their corporations have been earning record profits and they've been being paid record salaries and bonuses.
  2. And the "taker's economy", the vast majority of Americans who have struggled for years trying to survive on dwindling and stagnant wages, while an ever growing number are having to rely on food stamps, just to make ends meet (and who will also need Medicare and Social Security when they become too old or sick to work any longer.)

Since late 2008, one economy has rebounded with a luster under President Obama, while the other economy has remained flat-lined with Tea Party and Republican obstructionism in the House of Representatives.

For decades the Republicans have helped dragged down the wages for all working Americans, because when the labor unions go, so goes everybody's fair wages, working conditions and worker's benefits --- such as healthcare, holiday pay, over-time pay, and the 40-hour a week. Just look at Wal-Mart and McDonalds, now America's two largest private sector employers. The Waltons and Mrs. Kroc pay the same wages today that high school drop-outs could have earned 30 years ago working in a factory right after graduating from high school.

And besides just EXPORTING jobs to China for cheaper labor, the Republicans also advocate using the guest worker program and VISAS to IMPORT cheaper labor to the U.S., under-cutting our college graduates and unemployed engineers.

Unlike the Republican's policies on unions, worker's rights, fair wages, universal healthcare and family leave, most Americans who enjoy these benefits today, do so only because of the competition that the union work places provided for non-union companies. That's a fact.

For several years the GOP has been attempting to turn private sector American workers (aka taxpayers) against public sector workers (who are also taxpayers) by using envy and bashing public union employees for earning more than everybody else in the private sector...but it's everybody else in the private sector who should be earning AT LEAST what the public union employees earn.

To bash union employees for being paid a fair and middle-class wage when you are not, is a cop-out. For those of you who are not being paid a fair wage, instead of complaining, the under-paid should get off their whining asses, join a labor union and demand a raise. Otherwise, nobody is going to just voluntarily hand it to you on a silver platter. Fact.

The Republicans have been using "class warfare" to create dissension among the ranks of working Americans (divide and conquer), while the Democrats (and Occupy Wall Street) have correctly pointed out that the real class war has been waged by the very wealthy against working Americans. If you don't believe it, just ask Warren Buffett.

Paul Ryan comes from a very well-to-do family and calls those living in poverty "takers"; even though he put himself through college using Social Security death benefits; but yet he still pontificates that "60% of all Americans get more in government benefits than they pay in taxes".

Even if this were true, then it's because his corporate sponsors pay far less in wages than they get in exchange for labor --- while paying too little in taxes on their corporate profits. If people were paid a "living wage", they wouldn't need so many government benefits. 50% of the U.S. work force only nets $27,000 a year or less.

Meanwhile, Paul Ryan's family business Ryan Inc Central profits from government spending.

In conjunction to his $174,000+ annual congressional salary, in 2011 Paul Ryan earned $60,000 in capital gains, and as Vice-President under Mitt Romney, he wanted to tax capital gains at ZERO percent. Is that his definition of "shared sacrifice" and his plan for fixing the budget and reducing the national debt?

But I digress: The GOP likes to portray union leaders as mafia bosses; and they and Bill O'Reilly always depict Progressive policies as "far-left" --- implying that they're either Communist or Socialist --- like Florida congressman Allen West had once did last year, before being unceremoniously dumped by his constituents. Fox News still puts Allen West on the air as a pundit, like Fox News often does with all their kooky, obsolete, irrelevant and has-been rejected politicians (Sarah Palin and John McCain are two other examples.)

But Bill O'Reilly's definition of "far-left" today is really "mainstream", and it's the Tea Party and "far-right" that is tittering over the edge of public opinion, and might soon vanish into oblivion, only to end up as a minor footnote in American history.

And just like with the labor unions, the Republicans have also used propaganda campaigns to demonize the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) --- and any other body of government that supports regular working Americans. (see my posts on Boeing Inc. here and here)

Most Americans disagree with most Republicans on most Republican policies, and the Republicans know this --- and this is clearly demonstrated just by comparing the numbers from Fox News opinion polls (from people who ONLY watch Fox News) to all other bipartisan polls (from people who get their news from ALL news sources, including Fox News).

And that's why the Republicans now have to resort to rigged elections to gain political power for themselves on behalf of their corporate backers.

For decades the GOP has used scare tactics, slander, and lies to win elections. Now the GOP is attempting to take power away from the majority of the people by using a very sinister plan...much like the way elections are rigged in the Soviet Union. (See my post: Republicans Use Psychology to Promote Fear)

In other words, after soundly losing the elections last year in 2012, even when the Republicans were already playing dirty, the GOP plans to play even dirtier that ever before.

This week a Republican-controlled State senate subcommittee in Virginia approved a radical plan to award the state's electoral votes from "winner-take-all" to parceling them out by Congressional districts (gerrymandered districts).

Thanks to Republican gerrymandering, if this plan had been in effect last year, Mitt Romney would have won 9 of Virginia's 13 electoral votes -- despite losing the state by an overwhelming number of popular votes. And if every battleground State adopted this plan, President Obama would have lost the Electoral College last year, and Mitt Romney would be our president today. (OMG!!!)

It's the new Republican game plan. If you can't win fair-and-square based on your policies and ideologies, then twist the rules and rig the game. And if this plan passes in Virginia, you can bet your ass that crooked and power-corrupted Republican leaders in other battleground States like Florida, Wisconsin, and Ohio will soon follow.

Vladimir Putin would be very proud of the Republican's election process today (because it would validate his own presidency), even though the GOP still wants to start wars with his pro-Soviet proxies.

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