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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Neil D BS: The Changing Face of America? (41) RE: BS: The Changing Face of America? 02 Sep 10

I think Ebbie is right to be concerned. I mean it would be nice to think that Republican primary victories by right-wing extremists will ensure Democrat victories in the general election, but what if people like Angle, Paul, Miller, etc. actually win in November and in so doing gain Congressional majorities for a Republican party that is more reactionary than ever before. We could be on a greasy downhill slope to a country with a disappearing middle class and no safety net in place. A more polarized mobocracy where majority rule means a trampling of minority rights. Remember when Bill Buckley and Goldwater et al used scorn and derision to cut any influence the Birchers might have on the Republican party. In our time the Koch brothers whose father helped found the John Birch Society are wielding more and more influence on the party and the conservative movement in general. I mean these people thought Ike was a Soviet operative. Is it any wonder they think Obama is a Commy, Nazi, Muslim terrorist with a deep seated hatred of white people?
   I've always thought the that the U.S. political pendulum is lopsided in a gravity-defying way. It swings from right to center and to the right again. You might argue that I'm seeing it from a left-wing perspective but think about it. What is considered exreme on the right: questioning Obama's nation of birth and his religion against provable facts to the contrary; overturning the 14th amendment and selectively applying the first: gutting the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Extreme views maybe, but increasingly being expressed by "mainstream" Republican candidates and office holders. Not to mention policies that have long been part of the mainstream Republican platform. Things like wanting to privatize Social Security (imagine how devastating that would have been to elders when Wall Street tanked two years ago), deregulating industry and investment banking (moves that have recently proven to be disastrous and yet still have much support in mainstream conservative circles), cutting taxes for the richest segment of society at the expense of everyone else. By contrast, national healthcare (real universal healthcare like a single-payer system)and legislation to conserve the environment for future generations (Republicans decry passing on a deficit to our children, but aren't the least bit concerned about passing on a toxic planet) are considered part of an extreme left-wing agenda in this country even though they would be mainstream in almost every other Democracy in the world. Republicans tend to think that the U.S. is the last bastion of democracy and free enterprise and the rest of the world is wallowing in socialism but I say they are the ones looking at things from a skewed perspective.
   So I hope that right-wing tea people winning Republican primaries translates into Democratic wins in the general, but my fear is that anti-incumbency because of the sluggish recovery (I think the banking system is intentionally curtailing lending to small businesses in order to slow the recovery till after the mid-terms), especially in employment, might give the GOP congressional majorities. If they win back the Senate, don't be surprised if they immediately change Senate rules to deny Dems the use of the filibuster that they themselves have so abused since Obama got in office (more filibusters in 18 months than in the previous 220 years). So if you don't want to see us sliding down that slippery slope towards intolerance, financial inequity and irreversible environmental devastation, then the most important thing you can do is get out the vote. Pollsters and pundits are saying that the one trend that could reverse the congressional minorities is the lack of enthusiasm on the part of Democrats (Progressives feel like they are being elbowed aside by a White House and legislature that have shown too much willingness to compromise with the Right, leading to watered down healthcare and financial reform) and frenetic energy from Republicans. So don't sit it out on November 2 progressive Dems! Obama may have proven to be the centrist you should have known he was in the first place and a handful of Bluedogs may have cut our own party off at the knees at times, but a Republican majority fueled by the right wing of the party (tea people and Birchers) will be our worst nightmare.

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