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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/16/13

The GOP's 2016 Agenda --- As of mid-2013

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As many of my regular readers know, one of my favorite topics over time has been the contemporary Republican Party and where they are taking the country.   I was about to do another one of my speculative columns on that subject when I was supplied with some apparently factual information about what the party is really up to in order to gain full power in the Federal government.   Of course, they already have a hammerlock on most Federal government policy through their numerical control of the House of Representatives and the Supreme Court, and their de facto control of the US Senate through the use of the filibuster (about which the Democratic majority appears willing to do virtually nothing).   But they will not be satisfied until they gain full control of the Senate and of course the Presidency.  


John Boehner - Crying for a leader!
John Boehner - Crying for a leader!
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I was going to lay out a series of (not-too-difficult-to-make) guesses about what their strategy would be heading into 2014 and then onto 2016, when a fascinating document fell into my lap.   It purports to be the outline of what their real plan is.   From their perspective, and based on how they are handling themselves at the Federal and State levels, it would seem to make total sense.   And so, here "tis (with some edits from the version that I have seen):


1.        Retake the US Senate in 2014.

2.        Demonize Obama to the point where he will be almost totally paralyzed and will thus become a serious deficit for the Dems in 2016, as the GOP will ever more vigorously be able to blame the failures of their own policies on "the government" and him.

3.        Maneuver the 2016 Democratic nomination to Hillary Clinton or her equivalent (so that there will not be any real, progressive alternatives to the GOP agenda in play).

4.        Using (10) below, retake the White House in 2016.

5.        Having done that, and thus having full control of all three branches of the Federal government, install a new and more predatory right-wing, operational military/industrial alliance in January 2017.

6.        Fully reinstall/reinstate "Reagan-style" Economic policy, leading to:

7.        Further massive tax cuts for the corporations and the "1 percent."

8.        Draconian "austerity" paradigm -- savage cuts to Medicare/Social Security via "privatization," and the virtual elimination of Medicaid.

9.        Distraction of enough of the people from what they are really doing (a la what Bush/Cheney did) via new energy war(s) in the Middle East, Central Asia, and possibly elsewhere.

10.      Since they are clearly the minority party, were everyone, or a reasonable sample thereof, to vote, they wouldn't stand a chance of controlling any branches of government, they will achieve all of this through the continuing vigorous pursuit of their Voter Suppression/Gerrymandering strategy.


Now, you might ask, why does the Republican Party want to do this?   Through the attack on the Obama Presidency and their refusal to deal with him except on their own terms (which began in December 2008, when Mitch McConnell announced that he was simply "going to filibuster anything that I don't like"; see here for a good summary of his strategy into 2010) in many areas they have already paralyzed the Obama Presidency.   (Of course having a President who doesn't like to do battle much and does share some of their objectives in, for example, foreign policy [despite their whining about it] and foreign trade policy, does help them quite a bit, but that's another story.)   Thus we pretty much have GOP economic policy in force with the added benefit for them that they are able to blame Obama for its outcomes (which they do over and over again).  


So what then is all their ruckus really about?   Yes, they really do want to punish the poor, persecute homosexuals, impose religious authoritarianism in the matter of abortion rights, cut taxes further for the wealthy and the large corporations, privatize public education, slash/privatize, if not eliminate, Medicare and Medicaid and so on and so forth.   

But watching and listening to them and their spokesmen for quite some time now I think that a major goal, perhaps the major goal, of their full government takeover plan is to the extent possible get rid of government regulation of the environment, industry/workplaces, energy exploration/production, the marketplace, and finance/banking. 

This would free them even further to wring every last cent out of the so-called "marketplace" as the capitalism they have developed over the years slides ever-further and evermore quickly towards its ultimate collapse.   Of course they don't see the latter coming, but they are really focused on the "wringing every last cent" part, and the central element in that is getting rid of as much government regulation as they possibly can.  

As for that supposed "Republican Civil War," don't get your hopes up, friends.   It's almost all about style, very little about substance.   From the farthest right of that convenient front group, the so-called Tea Party to the furthest "center-right" of the so-called "mainstream Republicans," there is actually very little difference on the content of the above agenda.   They all want the same thing.   They just differ a bit here and there in the best way to go about getting it done.   But of course "The 15% Solution," otherwise known as the "Republican Voter Suppression Campaign," works for all of them equally well.

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Steven Jonas, MD, MPH, MS is a Professor Emeritus of Preventive Medicine at StonyBrookMedicine (NY) and author/co-author/editor/co-editor of over 35 books. In addition to his position on OpEdNews as a "Trusted Author," he is a Senior Editor, (more...)
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