The Republicans running for their party's nomination for president, were at it again last night in their latest "debate", this one on national security.
Confession; I didn't see it but I read about it this morning.
But before getting into some of their arguments or positions (or however one wants to describe this crowd's "ideas") let's recognize this fact: In order to secure their party's nomination all have to appeal to the ultra right wingers who control the party and determine the ultimate nominee. That said, whatever positions they espouse now will ultimately change because though their party is controlled by the wacko right fringe, that's not where the majority of the people in this country reside.
As I read about last nights soiree, what immediately jumps out (for this reader anyway), was the one guy based on his responses who sometimes sounded reasonable as his ideas reflected reality at times, in the latest polls was running dead last. That's right, former Governor of Utah, John Huntsman argued, "nation building in Afghanistan" doesn't serve U.S. interests. "I think the American people are getting very tired where we find ourselves today." In response, one of the supposed front runners in this cast of no-nothings, Mitt Romney declared, "Are you suggesting Governor that we just take our troops out next week?" To which Huntsman replied, "I favor drawing down to 10,000 or 15,000 troops for intelligence gathering and special force response." So just when you think there was somebody there who made some sense, you're brought back to the reality ALL these "panderers" to the far right have nothing to offer, show little critical thinking and are mostly just plain dumb.
All raised the specter of terrorists getting a nuclear bomb and striking U.S. cities. Please. Terrorists may have hijacked some commercial airliners and crashed them into buildings on 9/11 but as for them stealing a nuclear bomb and then flying a plane to drop it on some U.S. city is so far fetched, it's more in the realm of science fiction than reality.
What all these panderers do is they appeal to and stoke people's worst fears, no matter how irrational or far fetched they may be. They are scare mongers. The chance of being killed in the U.S. by a terrorist attack is the equivalent of being struck by lightening. Hello.
Most people see the futility of our wars. They're concerned about the economy, their jobs, keeping their homes from being foreclosed upon, being paid a decent wage with benefits, having health insurance.
They readily see the income inequality in this country with the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer and the middle class getting squeezed and shrinking with factories closed and jobs moved overseas or outsourced to 3rd world countries.
Most people aren't overly concerned with illegal immigration (another convenient bogeyman these panderers dwelled on last night where harshness was the rule and amnesty solutions were verboten). The people know the rich aren't paying their fair share in taxes. The banks caused the great recession and got bailed out without being held accountable.
This Republican crowd says nothing to people's real concerns. Last night's "debate" may have focused on national security but their responses (as I read them) indicated they are no more attuned to the basic need of simply defending the country which would mean reducing the size of the military, cutting our bloated defense spending, closing all foreign military bases, ending our unnecessary pre-emptive wars and occupations et al than they are in reducing unemployment, keeping people in their homes and out of foreclosure, eliminating the tax cuts for the rich, holding the financial industry accountable and taxing their speculative financial transactions.
The really sad part in all this is the alternative to this pandering crowd of no-nothings is Barack Obama, no longer the one who evokes "change you can believe in" but merely the lesser of two evils.
The occupy movement has correctly identified the perpetrators, the corporate plutocrats (1%) that have seized and usurped our "representative democracy" for their benefit that works against the interests of the people (99%).
Sadly, the presidential election next year, as well as the Congressional elections, where the current crop of sycophants (beholden to the big moneyed and special interest backers of their campaigns and whether it be a Democrat or Republican in the running), won't change the country from its present disastrous course no matter who is elected or re-elected.
That fundamental change is yet to come.