Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

Or, Nero Was No Hero

But one of the good things about reading history is you learn a good deal. And, we know for sure that the big spending programs of the New Deal did not work. In 1940, unemployment was still 15%.”
— Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), speaking the untruth of the powerful, Feb. 6, 2009.

“[O]ne of the things that really has gotten dumber about our culture: the media constantly talks about truth as if it were always equidistant from two points. In other words, sometimes the truth is one-sided.” []
“[I]t’s exactly like saying ‘so-and-so says, two plus two equals five. But, of course, mathematicians say that it really equals four.’ The mathematicians are right. The people who say that two plus two equals five are wrong. The media blurs that constantly.”
— Susan Jacoby, from Bill Moyers’ Journal, PBS, Feb. 15, 2008.

That great economic historian, Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, took to the floor of the Senate last week to excoriate the memory of FDR and claim the New Deal didn’t end the Great Depression. In fact, Roosevelt’s New Deal programs put millions of average Americans to work and reduced unemployment from a high of over 35 percent to 14 percent. Aside from that, if FDR was such a failure, why did he win by 62.6 percent of the popular vote, and 98.5 percent of the electoral vote, in 1936, and 55 percent in 1940, with 84.6 of the EV? Why was he retained in office for 12 years, from 1932 until his death in 1945, the longest-serving president in our history, if he accomplished nothing toward solving the primary issue of that time the economic crisis? Some smart reporter should ask McConnell those questions.

“Only with the New Deal’s rehabilitation of the financial system in 1933-35 did the economy begin its slow emergence from the Great Depression.”
— Ben Bernanke, the Republican-picked Fed chief, from his book, “Essays on the Great Depression.”

“I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.”
— President Franklin D. Roosevelt

In his first press conference on February 9, Obama put the screws to the GOP, albeit wrapped in enough padding that no blood was drawn but, to mix metaphors, this is Obama’s style wear them down with civility while you score with shots to the gut and dance away. Our ‘Gentleman Jim’ President nimbly peppered the punch-drunk Republicans just as ably as the original did in 1892 to win the heavyweight crown from the blundering beast that was John L. Sullivan who had only his ‘strong right arm’ as a weapon.

Pushed by such withered toads as McConnell, blatant numbskulls like Mike Pence of Baghdad street bazaars are ‘just like any open-air market in Indiana in the summertime’ fame, and the inchoate babblings of the evidently very corrupt new RNC chair Michael Steele, the GOP is collectively lurching toward irretrievable disaster, one every bit as bad as anything the Dimbulb Son who just left the White House wrought — you know, the one whose name must never be mentioned in public by any Republican ever again. They seem determined to take the mean-spirited, unpopular opinion on nearly every issue, just to gratify a shaky base of fringe nutcases, religious retrogrades, Fox News employees, Wall Street Journal editorial board members, Coulter cultists, racist rednecks, professional malcontents, crumb-bum lobbyists, and off-shored-assets tycoons channeling Leona Helmsley.

But the final stake in the heart of the party of Nixon won’t come from the current brouhaha over economic stimulus the near future holds the prospect of national health care reform, and it’s a fight they can’t win. Almost every average American, or someone close to them, has or had a health problem that was either insufficiently covered by their health insurance, not covered at all, or their policy was canceled due to long-term illness. Add in the millions who have no insurance whatsoever, and you have set up a situation wherein if the Republicans cooperate with Obama they lose the Limbaugh Loonies, and if they oppose the President, chance the GOP dwindling to a little rural party, incapable of electing much more than some red-dirt congressional candidates as they narrow their appeal to scary Jim Bob snake handlers invoking dire imprecations on the heads of Muslims, liberals, agnostics and Unitarians; cardboard-sword Risk board imperialists; permanently-outraged Freeper peepers, and a few scatterbrained latter-day Friedman groupies on the payroll at one of those fog-bound think tanks with a life-size framed portrait of St. Ronnie in the lobby wearing a white cowboy hat to hide the halo. Meanwhile, the rest of the country is moving on into the twenty-first century.

The Bush/Rove Republicans are now barking like a crazed dog trapped in a vet’s office corner — they are lashing out, barely making sense anymore. A friend who once worked for a psychiatric hospital said when a patient with psychotic delusions was provided with incontrovertible, undeniable proof that their delusion was wrong, the common reaction was to first rave hysterically, denying the evidence, and then weep and crumple into incoherent nonsense.

With some patients, this could be a breakthrough that led to them accepting reality and dealing with life as it is; with others, it caused a further retreat into their hallucinatory world, some eventually becoming catatonic.

Look what’s happening with the right these days; radio propagandist ‘Tokyo Rose’ Limbaugh has slumped into hoping America slides down the tubes to save his shrunken ideology, while McConnell and his merry band of GOP moon-howlers are fighting battles with a man who has been dead for 64 years, furiously trying to demolish the history he made, while they tilt at windmills most Americans want to power our future of cheap green energy as we wean ourselves off of the Middle East oil teat.

Just ponder the true madness contained in these words of a prominent Republican Congressman, advising his colleagues on how to go about reelection in two years:

“Insurgency, we understand perhaps a little bit more because of the Taliban. And that is that they went about systematically understanding how to disrupt and change a person’s entire processes.”
— Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), Chairman of the GOP 2010 Election Committee.

The GOP has openly declared war on the American psyche; a war they’re destined to lose just as surely as they lost Iraq, the economy, and the last two elections.


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