New Year’s Day… now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. ~Mark Twain
As the countdown to the new year begins, it is often the moment when many of us decide to make those standard resolutions whereby we swear to extinguish our long ingrained dreadful habits like smoking, overeating, not exercising, procrastinating, or watching too many hours of marathon programming of Teen Mom or My Strange Addiction. I fall in lockstep with all who make these yearly pronouncements. Do I have good intentions? Always. Do I keep them? Rarely.
However, I’m going to attempt to add a new, fun twist to this year’s resolutions. Instead of focusing on my own glaring deficits which, trust me, there are no shortages of, I am going to make a wish list of sorts. I am going to pretend that I actually have the power to make resolutions for others, mostly because I’m pretty bored with my own tiresome yearly proclamations to lose weight, be more patient, stop biting my nails, run a marathon, read War and Peace, etc. I’ve been giving some serious thought as to what I would like to see actually happen in 2012 in my perfect fantasy world. Here then, is my wish list of resolutions that I would love to see the Republican Party make in 2012:
1. We resolve to stop worshipping Ronald Reagan, holding him up as the bestest dang president ever!
Reagan sycophants are notorious for tediously rifling off his resume upon the mere mention of his name. Why… he held the Ruskies arms behind their backs until they cried “Uncle Sam!” He got America working! He made Americans feel all warm and gooshy about themselves again! He made the lame whole! He made the blind see!
The problem is Reagan, after looking through the long lens of history, was actually one of the most overrated presidents we have ever had. Reagan’s policies and actions set in motion a devastating legacy that has come to a head 30 years later. His ideology and execution of supply side economics is unquestionably one of the biggest reasons the middle class has seen virtually no gain in wages in 30 years while the income of the richest in our society has soared off the charts. His union-busting and deregulation mentality initiated the destruction of the middle class. Subsequent Republican ideology can be directly traced to this presidency, an ideology that propelled us into the greatest economic disaster since 1929.
Reaganonomics was sold to a gullible American public as a way to put lots of dough into the hands of the rich who would spend it and the result would be a “trickle-down” effect whereby everybody benefitted. Reagan plied the public with small, across-the-board tax cuts in order to seal the deal. What was not told to the American people was the well understood ideology of those at the top that this was merely their version of “grooming” the public in order to get huge tax cuts at the top. “Trickle-down” (voodoo) economics was meant to get more wealth to the wealthy who would forever benefit disproportionately. Income inequality anyone? While the theory was that a rising tide lifts all boats, the fact was that the biggest boat got the greatest benefit. Reagan’s very own budget advisor during this time, David Stockman, has come out and said that this policy was nothing more than a “Trojan Horse” and a way to sell “trickle-down” economics.
Reagan actually raised taxes on the middle and lower classes 7 years out of his 8 year term. Of course, they weren’t called “taxes”, these were billed as “fees” and other euphemisms that fell disproportionately on the lower-tier Americans. Wink,wink, boys. He did this while cutting the marginal tax rate from 70% to 28%. Of course he had to raise taxes on the middle class since the revenue streaming into the government fell off measurably due to his much heralded tax cuts.
The best part of his failed legacy was the fact that in order to cover the lost revenue to the government he tripled the deficit. Tripled it. The United States went from being the world’s largest creditor nation to the world’s biggest debtor nation under Reagan. And yet, today’s GOP howls over the Obama deficit, much of which he inherited on January 20, 2009 as well as a near depression.
Additionally, Reagan DID NOT single-handedly end the cold war. This myth is a tightly guarded tenant of Reagan-worshippers. Sorry to break it to you, but it was common knowledge inside the CIA that the Soviets were headed for disaster in the 1970’s. The truth is, there were numerous reason’s for the fall of communism and Reagan’s role has been glorified by the fawning right.
Reagan funded TERRORISTS. He supplied Iran with weapons when there were sanctions against them. He in fact basically created the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan. Dear goodness, if President Obama had done what Reagan did, Sean Hannity’s head would have imploded live on tv.
Reagan is partially responsible for our present day reliance on oil, and our late entry into alternative energy sources. In a stunning symbolic display of short-sightedness, Reagan removed the solar panels from the Whitehouse that Carter had installed. Reagan thoroughly dismissed and ignored any attempt to move our country away from fossil fuels which had been attempted under the previous administration. Whereas Jimmy Carter had increased fuel efficiency standards for cars, Reagan rolled them back. Reagan reduced by half the budget for the Department of Energy in the areas of conservation and alternative fuels. Say what you will about Carter, he was right when he called out our dependency on oil and his wish to invest in alternative energies. Imagine where we would be if administrations had heeded his call? Imagine where we would be if Reagan had not destroyed those initiatives?
His backing of brutal military regimes which tortured and murdered men, women, and children (death squads) in Latin America against the will of the people was another seed sown in the garden of Anti-Americanism. Thanks Saint Ronnie.
He deregulated the banking industry in 1982 and the S&L loan crisis was an immediate result. For those of you under 30, there was a bailout to the tune of 600 billion for that debacle.
Oh, by the way, Reagan was supposedly the “big government” nemesis. But I bet you didn’t know that Reagan actually increased the non-military employee ranks by 10%. Oh, I will add that President Obama has 35,000 less non-military employees now than in 1980…even with a greater population.
How do like them apples Reagan lovers?
2. We resolve to stop pretending that we actually want the economy to get better.
Look, we understand that the “Obama derangement syndrome” is a severe malady, often causing heart flutters, migraines, psoriasis, back acne, turkey neck, and liver spots. We understand that Obama scares you more than Jason Vorhees on a Friday the Thirteenth. We realize that since Obama is not really “one of you”, it makes you nervous that he is our leader. We know you stay glued to Faux News in order to hear about his latest evil and un-American deeds. I’m waiting for the 3 doofuses (doofi?) on Fox and Friends to announce that he was responsible for the Lindbergh baby kidnapping or perhaps sleeps with The Communist Manifesto neatly tucked under his pillow.
However, since the moment President Obama was sworn-in, it has been the self-admitted laser-focus of the right-wingers to bring Obama down. What else can explain their actions? The use of the filibuster has been record setting by the Republicans. They have said no to and attempted to block everything the President has asked for to help get people working again or keep them on their feet in a tenuous economy. No to the badly needed infrastructure package he has proposed. No to an actual proposal to help small businesses. No to raising a SINGLE DIME OF REVENUES through taxing their fat cat constituents or letting the Bush tax cuts on millionaires expire, although most economists tell us that trying to reduce the deficit WITHOUT tax increases is foolish and would cause devastating cuts which would actually HURT the economy. Some self-serving troll named Grover Nordquist has somehow become the hostage taker of our recovery and prosperity, and you can blame every Republican who signed that stupid-assed “no taxes ever, ever, ever” pledge for our slow recovery.
I’m going out on a limb here. I’m getting the impression that these Republican and Tea Party legislators are actually quite HAPPY to have the unemployment rate stay in the 8.5 range. I am starting to envision that with every economic report that says the recovery is slow or stalled, Eric Cantor does a sweet little jig in his heart shaped covered boxers. I picture Boehnor weeping tears of joy (no surprise there) and slugging back a little Johnny Walker Black–neat– in celebration. Come on, you know it’s true… it’s also disgusting…and un-American…and just plain wrong.
3. We resolve to discontinue our frightening campaign of anti-intellectualism and anti-science.
I know one of the rallying cries of the Tea Party faithful is that puzzling refrain of, “Take our country back!” The stupidity and insensitivity of that phrase is readily apparent to the fully evolved (you want to maybe go back to the 50’s where African- Americans couldn’t get a seat in a movie theater or at a lunch counter? How about the notion that women were second-class citizens and needed to keep the home-fires burning for hubby? Yeah, good times…), but it actually makes a lot of sense to me now. These people actually DO want to take the country back…back to the Dark Ages.
The Republicans have been so compromised by far right elements like the Tea Partiers and the evangelicals that they need to reject any accepted scientific facts. This is partially due to the new right wing class who believes that you cannot hold a scientific view AND a religious one at the same moment. It is frightening.
For instance, can you believe that in the same year where we have had the most extreme weather events on record which has cost us billions of dollars, and warnings of much more to come, the House of Representatives actually blocked a much called for reorganization of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration which would have cost NOTHING? The reorganization was asked for in oder to deliver the most accurate and reliable weather information necessary to businesses, citizens, and local governments in order to plan accordingly. They blocked it because Cantor and his Tea Party Poopers do not want there to be any “propaganda” opportunities for the Obama administration to promote climate change measures. Righty-o Eric. Way to keep our country dangerously stunted and moving backwards for your own personal political gain. You are da man.
Of course, Republican leaders want to keep their constituents in the dark in order to enact their policies which favor big banking, big money, big oil, big corporations, and big pharma.
It is dangerous to have an intellectual conversation about stem-cell research when the religious zealots in their base won’t hear of it. It is hazardous for the party to admit to global warming when they are enriched by the oil tycoons and the car companies. What else explains a party that bashes “elites”, as if knowledge was some sort of evil entity? The more anesthetized and ignorant you keep the masses, the more you can pull that wool way down over their eyes. God, guns, and glory! Don’t actually think Americans, just let us hypnotize you with folksy anecdotes and easy-to-remember catch phrases that harken back to the good ole’ days when good white folks had the run of the place. When men were men, and women and blacks and gays and foreigners and religious “others” knew their place. Don’t tread on me!
The Republican/TeaParty leaders have perfected the KISS formula. KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID. What else explains the rise of Sarah “Drill, baby, drill” Palin, Michele “Carbon dioxide is not a harmful gas” Bachmann, Rick “Oops” Perry, and Herman “Nine, nine, nine” Cain?
Just stick to the talking points and you won’t get thrown off. Big government baddddd. No taxes goooood. Obama baddddd. Cutting taxes for rich goooood. The party has become a repository for non-thinkers. I think it’s time for the Republicans to change their symbol from the elephant to say…Homer Simpson? DOH!
Well, those are my wishes for the new year. I won’t hold my breath waiting for these resolutions to come to fruition if Republicans are anything like me when it comes to keeping them. Aw heck, maybeI’ll start reading War and Peace while I wait. I understand it’s a pretty lengthy read.