"After listening to all of the Republicans' speeches coming out of Tampa this week, I have one question: who matters to them?
It's not seniors, who could pay $6,400 more every year under Paul Ryan's plan to privatize Medicare. It's not the middle class, which bears the brunt of the burden under Mitt Romney's tax plan while the wealthiest get off scot-free. Nor is it the five million voters being disenfranchised by Republican governors' so-called "Voter ID" laws.
If anyone matters to the Republicans in Tampa, it's the billionaire donors powering their campaigns. It seems like nothing matters more to the Republicans than winning this election. They need to win so they can put their radical plans into action, the consequences be damned."
Aviva Shen, of ThinkProgress, wrote:
"A panel of three federal judges has ruled that Texas' redistricting plan violates the Voting Rights Act.... D.C. Circuit Judge and George W. Bush appointee Thomas Griffith wrote the opinion, finding that all 3 redistricting plans dilute minority voting power by carving up minority-heavy congressional districts."
Joan Walsh, in her new book, "What's the Matter with White People," made this observation:
"The GOP's new dog-whistle politics, trashing white people in coded language once reserved for blacks, opens new opportunities for Democrats--if they can help those white people translate the new GOP rhetoric. In a 2012 debate, then-front-runner Rick Santorum approvingly quoted from Charles Murray's Coming Apart, hoping his listeners wouldn't know that this time Murray was scolding white people. After Georgetown University student Sandra Fluke supported President Obama's insurance regulations mandating cost-free contraception, conservatives began trashing the young white law student as a "welfare queen" wanting birth control on the taxpayers' dime.
But "dependent voters" aren't just a problem to the GOP because they eat up our tax dollars. "Republican supporters will continue to decrease every year as more Americans become dependent on the government," Tea Party Senator Jim DeMint wrote in his shrill 2012 book Now or Never. "Dependent voters will naturally elect even big-government progressives who will continue to smother economic growth and spend America deeper into debt. The 2012 election may be the last opportunity for Republicans." Wisconsin conservative representative Paul Ryan, he of the "Ryan Plan" to abolish Medicare, divides the electorate into "makers" and "takers."
This is coded language meant to whip the GOP base into a frenzy of fear and resentment. Because for the past forty years, we've all known who the "takers" were, or were supposed to be, anyway: the welfare queens, the urban rioters, the students, the slackers, the various people the Democrats sided with in the 1960s, most of them, in the partisan story-telling, African American.
Yet today, many white folks who are voting Republican don't seem to know one important detail: they are, in fact, the "takers." We saw white Tea Party supporters demanding the government stay out of their Medicare. We know that much of the GOP's aging white base relies on Social Security. But the contradiction runs even deeper than that: Dartmouth political scientist Dean Lacy found the more a county receives in federal government payments, the more likely it is to vote Republican. The New York Times referred to Lacy's research in its understated but still rather shocking feature "Even Critics of Safety Net Depend On It." As Lacy elaborated to a WNYC reporter: "The counties that are getting more in crop subsidies, housing assistance, and Medicaid payments are a lot more Republican. So it really is about that catch-all category that you might call welfare." Yet because their local congressmen and women tend to defend that type of "welfare," Lacy says, "they have the luxury of voting on social issues knowing that these federal spending programs will be kept in place."
Except those programs won't be kept in place by the new GOP, which is committed to trashing even the economic supports it used to (however hypocritically) defend."
Matt Taibbi, in Rolling Stone, said this:
"" this is where we get to the hypocrisy at the heart of Mitt Romney. Everyone knows that he is fantastically rich, having scored great success, the legend goes, as a "turnaround specialist," a shrewd financial operator who revived moribund companies as a high-priced consultant for a storied Wall Street private equity firm. But what most voters don't know is the way Mitt Romney actually made his fortune: by borrowing vast sums of money that other people were forced to pay back. This is the plain, stark reality that has somehow eluded America's top political journalists for two consecutive presidential campaigns: Mitt Romney is one of the greatest and most irresponsible debt creators of all time. In the past few decades, in fact, Romney has piled more debt onto more unsuspecting companies, written more gigantic checks that other people have to cover, than perhaps all but a handful of people on planet Earth.
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