September 4, 2011

"The evil that men do lives after them"

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.  ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

This piece from a former Republican staffer has been making the rounds, and for good reason: it's an insider's account of how the Republican destructobots (a lovely image I gakked from Balloon Juice) plan to destroy this country.

Some excerpts, but you should immediately read the whole thing. In fact, this article should be required reading for anybody of voting age in this country.

It should have been evident to clear-eyed observers that the Republican Party is becoming less and less like a traditional political party in a representative democracy and becoming more like an apocalyptic cult, or one of the intensely ideological authoritarian parties of 20th century Europe. 

I've actually been beating the "authoritarian" drum for a while now: I first became aware of it upon reading John Dean's excellent book, Conservatives Without Conscience. Of course, the modern-day Teapugs take it further than Mr. Dean ever imagined.

Far from being a rarity, virtually every bill, every nominee for Senate confirmation and every routine procedural motion is now subject to a Republican filibuster. Under the circumstances, it is no wonder that Washington is gridlocked: legislating has now become war minus the shooting, something one could have observed 80 years ago in the Reichstag of the Weimar Republic. As Hannah Arendt observed, a disciplined minority of totalitarians can use the instruments of democratic government to undermine democracy itself.

This isn't news to me either--Rachel Maddow pointed this out months ago.

Nor is it news to me that Repugs always, always need an enemy to battle against, a [fill-in-the-blank unAmerican] windmill to tilt at. If there isn't one to be found, those in charge will make one up. They need their base constantly whipped into a fearmongering frenzy to win elections.

You can probably guess who those people are. Above all, anyone not likely to vote Republican. As Sarah Palin would imply, the people who are not Real Americans. Racial minorities. Immigrants. Muslims. Gays. Intellectuals. Basically, anyone who doesn't look, think, or talk like the GOP base. This must account, at least to some degree, for their extraordinarily vitriolic hatred of President Obama. I have joked in the past that the main administration policy that Republicans object to is Obama's policy of being black.[2] Among the GOP base, there is constant harping about somebody else, some "other," who is deliberately, assiduously and with malice aforethought subverting the Good, the True and the Beautiful: Subversives. Commies. Socialists. Ragheads. Secular humanists. Blacks. Fags. Feminazis. The list may change with the political needs of the moment, but they always seem to need a scapegoat to hate and fear.

The author also lays out the basic tenets of today's GOP.

1. The GOP cares solely and exclusively about its rich contributors. The party has built a whole catechism on the protection and further enrichment of America's plutocracy. Their caterwauling about deficit and debt is so much eyewash to con the public. 

Eric Cantor being the first example that springs to mind, with all of his foot-stomping and hissy fits during the debt ceiling debate.

2. They worship at the altar of Mars.  While the me-too Democrats have set a horrible example of keeping up with the Joneses with respect to waging wars, they can never match GOP stalwarts such as John McCain or Lindsey Graham in their sheer, libidinous enthusiasm for invading other countries.

I'm sure Dick Cheney got--and still gets, for that matter--his rocks off at the very thought.

3. Give me that old time religion. Pandering to fundamentalism is a full-time vocation in the GOP. Beginning in the 1970s, religious cranks ceased simply to be a minor public nuisance in this country and grew into the major element of the Republican rank and file.

This is the most frightening part of this whole thing, at least to me: a person of faith whose minority faith would probably be condemned along with all the other LiberalCommieSocialists. These people don't want the republic the Founding Fathers gave us. They want a theocratic dictatorship. "Gilead," here we come.

Finally, for anyone of a certain age:

If you think Paul Ryan and his Ayn Rand-worshipping colleagues aren't after your Social Security and Medicare, I am here to disabuse you of your naiveté.[5] They will move heaven and earth to force through tax cuts that will so starve the government of revenue that they will be "forced" to make "hard choices" - and that doesn't mean repealing those very same tax cuts, it means cutting the benefits for which you worked.

Translation: They want to dismantle the New Deal, and condemn everyone who's not a millionaire to live in abject poverty and misery--at least until they die young, like this gentleman because he didn't have health insurance.

Not that the Repugs care, or anything. After all, this person was unemployed--and black--so he deserved it. Bootstraps, you know.

These people are simply evil, and they're all the more scary because they have the fiery fundamentalism of the true believer. George Orwell--and Satan--would be proud.

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