Saturday, April 23, 2011

Rise against the Republican plutocratic agenda

The Republican Party is, when you get right down to it, a party of greed and cruelty wrapped up in theocratic moralizing. (It's hardly any wonder that Donald Trump is doing so well, nor that Franklin Graham, one of the party's chief theocrats, is saying such nice things about him.) And perhaps the core of the Republican agenda, more important than the social conservatism, is tax policy that benefits the rich, both individual and corporate, at the expense of everyone else, that punishes everyone else, and especially the poor and others most in need of help, for not being rich.

This has been the case for a long time, but increasingly, it seems, in these difficult economic times and with the American economy (and American hegemony) in such dire straits, likely never to recover, let alone to be what it once was, Americans are waking up to what Republicans are all about and expressing their opposition. The Tea Party expresses the rage of the right, anti-government rage that complements the Republican agenda. This new opposition, garnering less media attention, expresses not the counter-rage of the left, nor even rage at all, but a genuine concern for fairness, compassion, and fiscal sanity in American politics.

All across America, a Main Street Movement has broken out to defend the middle class against right-wing attacks on labor rights and basic public services. In recent days, this movement has turned on GOP House members who voted to effectively end Medicare and turn seniors over to private insurance companies when they approved Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) radical budget bill.

On Tuesday, Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) was the latest congressman to face the ire of Main Street America during a town hall event with constituents who stopped being polite and started getting real.

First, constituents explained they were upset that Ryan's plan would cut off people under the age of 55 from Medicare. Then, others directly challenged Duffy about defending tax breaks for the wealthy for voting to effectively replace Medicare with a voucher system.

Ryan himself, supposedly a courageous advocate for fiscal sanity but really just a right-wing extremist whose focus is on tax cuts for the wealthy and spending cuts to programs for the poor, was challenged by his own constituents the other day. And Republicans are facing significant criticism over their support for Ryan's Medicare-slashing plan.

I suspect we'll see more and more of this. Or, at least, I hope we do. It's time for Americans to say enough is enough to the greed and cruelty of the GOP.

Here's the Duffy clip:

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