Elephant Poo Déjà Vu
Seeing the Elephant
William Rivers Pitt:
The Republican Party has become a preposterous farce, dominated by the likes of Sarah Palin and Michael Steele. The Tea Party movement is basically nothing more than a Trojan Horse filled with hard-core GOP base members whose views on everything from religion to the constitution to freedom of choice is not shared by roughly 75% of the general population.
They are the Taliban of American Christianity, and the only reason they have gotten so much ink is because the national press corps likes to take the easy way out whenever possible. Add to this the fact that the Tea Party has shot the GOP in the foot several times already by running off electable Republicans and nominating the cast from One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. [...]
If people need a reminder, one is readily available. We are, of course, in the middle of a gut-twisting recession that a lot of smart people believe is about to get worse again. The response of the GOP and the far right, of course, is to offer up a repackaged version of trickle-down Reaganomics that would, if enacted, char the economy to cinders. Not to worry, because the very rich would get theirs, but the rest of us would wind up standing in soup lines and selling apples to stay alive.
If people need a specific reminder, they can look to the obnoxious drama that has been unfolding in congress over the last several weeks. Democrats in the Senate have been trying to extend unemployment benefits to millions of Americans who desperately need help. Senate Republicans have filibustered the extension of these benefits at every turn, insisting that these benefits be paid for by either tax hikes or spending cuts. This view is shared by virtually every Republican in the Senate.
But wait, there's a solution right in front of them: the bloated, unaffordable Bush-era tax cuts for rich people are about to expire, and the GOP is in a tizzy. Democrats want to keep those tax cuts in place only for people making up to $200,000-$250,000 a year, and dump the tax cuts for anyone making more. This would generate billions in revenue that could pay for, among other things, extending unemployment benefits for Americans who have been screwed out of their jobs and homes by Bush-era economic policies.
But no, says the GOP, we have to keep those tax cuts as they are. Their desire to make sure unemployment benefits are paid for does not extend to making sure these Bushian tax cuts are paid for. If Senate Republicans get their way, the unemployed will get screwed and the super-wealthy will keep getting pornographically huge slices of revenue we absolutely cannot afford to give them. As it stands, the GOP's filibuster of these benefits is already screwing the people, and if the Republicans were in the majority, well, we've read this script before.
Been there. Done that. Didn't work.