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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/2/09

They (the Republicans, of course) still don't get it

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You know, you've got to love the Republicans if for nothing other than the entertainment value. Let me preface the heart of this article by telling you where the Republicans are in the scheme of things. They are no longer the majority on Capitol Hill. They do not occupy the White House either. They lost the 2008 election on all fronts, not because Sarah Palin is a fool and John McCain is a mean-spirited hothead, but because the American people had absolutely no faith in their ability to get the country out of the economic mess it's in (especially if left to a fool and a mean-spirited hothead). We know they can get us into an economic mess because, well, here we are! Getting us out of one, however, is another thing entirely. The Republicans also lost because the American people have had just about enough of their mean-spirited, partisan attitude that, frankly, has been amply on display in the early days of the Obama presidency.

So what is it that the Republicans don't get about what the American people want? How many different ways do they need to be told something? I thought being voted out of power in such a decisive fashion might help them get it, but apparently it didn’t. Maybe there is something to this theory that the Republican Party is the party of non-thinkers. Their media mouthpiece is, after all, Rush Limbaugh – a moronic blowhard who hides behind a microphone and says he hopes Barack Obama “fails.” Now, it seems to me that if Obama fails, America fails. It’s hard for me to label anyone wishing that as being either ‘patriotic’ or a thinking man, but that’s what Rush and the GOP want you to believe. Where were the Republicans to tell Rush Limbaugh that he did not speak for them? They were missing in action, because Limbaugh does indeed speak for them. As it turns out, that was just the passive-aggressive part of the program. The GOP wasn’t done yet.

If that wasn't insult enough, not one Republican voted for an economic stimulus package that is finally aimed at the American people. They voted to bail out the greedy Wall Street financial firms who played fast and loose with everyone else's money. They bailed out the greedy banks that then sent their executives on high-flying spa junkets and handed out bonuses like it was ice water on a hot summer day. Hell, our government even bailed out the American auto industry, an industry that hasn’t had an forward-thinking idea in what seems to be centuries. White-collar crime has become so commonplace in America that Bernard Madoff, the poster boy for greed, isn’t even behind bars after defrauding billions of dollars from the unsuspecting. He's sitting in his penthouse with some bling on his ankle, watching a big ole' flat screen TV and eating caviar. We finally have a piece of bailout legislation that gives the American people some hope that they haven’t been forgotten (make no mistake about it, the people want this package passed), and instead of showing their support for the American people, the Republicans band together to deliver a big, fat zero.

After this move, we got the typical Republican response: You know, it's fiscally irresponsible to spend money we don’t have. Really? Well, that doesn’t stop us from borrowing money from China to fund the war in Iraq. Hell, we might as well label ourselves a wholly owned subsidiary of China. Bailing out the taxpayers is not fiscally irresponsible when compared to a $12 billion a month illegal war and the $700 billion, no-strings-attached and no-need-to-change-your-bad-behavior-bailout given to the greedy and corrupt financial world. This bailout was passed with nary a blink of the eye. Yet, the House Republicans collectively thumbed their noses at the American people by voting 'no' on the Obama stimulus package. You know what? The package passed easily without them, but somebody might want to tell the Republicans that this new tactic may not play in their favor. At the end of the day, the American people can see through the Republican excuses for not supporting the package. The 'no' vote is less about wanting more tax cuts than wanting Barack Obama to fail. There's chatter out there that, should Obama's economic policies succeed, the Republicans could be out in the cold (and out of power) for years to come. Wouldn't want that.

Someone should tell the Republicans they are irrelevant for a good reason. It's not like Barack Obama didn't try to appease them. He did. In fact, many feel Obama went too far trying to attract the Republicans and, in doing so, compromised the package. We all know by now (and if we don't, we all should know) that the Republican tax-cut strategy did not stimulate the economy. It never does when the tax cuts are going to those who don't need it (like the nation's top earners). We've been working this losing formula since Ronald Reagan postulated his 'trickle down' theory. The only problem is that the trickle never trickled. That tax cuts stimulate the economy is absolute urban legend. It sounds good. Tax cuts. The Republicans have been insisting tax cuts are the answer since the economy began to falter and their tax cut package has done absolutely nothing to stop the hemorrhaging. Yet, how did John McCain respond to the Obama plan? He called for making the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy permanent. These tax cuts haven’t helped stimulate anything but anger over the past couple of years. Then McCain (you know, the man who helped to invent the Blackberry) complained about the inclusion of a $6 billion investment to expand Internet access and services.

With the stimulus package now moving upstream to the big fish, the smell from the senate isn't much better. A conservative faction, led by Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss), has vowed to fight the package. Wicker said, “A trillion dollars is a terrible thing to waste.” You know what, I couldn't agree more. How's that for common ground! I sure wish the Republicans had adopted that attitude before we bankrupted this country on the black hole known as Iraq. Washington has managed to bail out just about every white-collar dirt bag it could find, yet it has taken it's sweet time making an investment in tax-paying citizens who are losing their jobs and homes at an alarming rate. You remember them, don't you? Hell, you work for them, Senator Wicker.

Pssst. Come here. I don't want my Democrat friends to see or hear me aiding and abetting the enemy. But in the true spirit of bi-partisanship, I'd like to tell the present crop of Republicans that they no more look like the party of the common man (read: poor-to-middle class) than did the version that was in power prior to the 2008 election. That doesn’t bode well for the future. Millionaires are in the minority, and their ranks are falling fast.
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Deb Della Piana is a corporate ex-patriot (30+ years in advertising & public relations) turned activist and aspiring revolutionary. Co-founder of the group #BecomeUngovernable, she invites everyone to stop by the web site, learn about the (more...)

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