By Andy Schmookler for Congress
Is there good evidence, other than that they claim it, that these Republicans are patriots?
How does a patriot act? What are the hallmarks of the patriot?
Well, being a person who loves his country, a patriot is someone who is willing, when necessary, to sacrifice some of his own personal (perhaps selfish) good for the good of the country. Love is like that, including for country.
We show that we understand that when we honor our war dead: we make it a patriotic holiday to celebrate those who made the supreme sacrifice for their nation.
When have these Republicans shown a willingness to sacrifice anything, besides other people?
How much weight have they given the nation's good over their individual advantage? Well, there are clues.
As soon as a president from the opposition party took over, the Republicans made a priority of making him fail. Trying to make the President fail may be politically advantageous, but especially at a time of multiple national crises, the president's failure inevitably means serious injury to the country.
No patriot would injure the country to get political advantage.
And now we've got these Republicans threatening to push the U.S. economy off a dangerous cliff if their demands aren't met. So much for love of country. And what are they are demanding? They insist that the sacrifices in this country are to be made by average Americans and not by the rich and powerful, whom these Republicans serve.
No patriot would threaten to send a nation already in considerable distress (the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression) into a still deeper collapse--a scenario that many serious economists think quite possible if the Republicans make good their threat.
And what about those forces of plutocracy, for whose interests the Republicans are so fiercely fighting, and who have made out so well while the rest of America has been losing ground? How ready are they to make a sacrifice when the nation requires it of them?
With the nation's financial condition in a worrisome state, with the national debt having grown in relation to the economy as a whole, one would expect a patriot possessing great wealth to be willing to give up at least SOME of his enormous wealth to help his country out, even to offer it . But these plutocratic interests, far from being willing to sacrifice, are demanding, through their Republican collaborators, that their taxes already at historic lows--be reduced.
So, other than waving the flag, just what have these Republicans and those whom they serve done that demonstrates genuine patriotism?