Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Cairo, Wisconsin

Foreign and domestic discontents come together as the GOP's Rep. Paul Ryan observes, "It's like Cairo has moved to Madison."

From the Left, Paul Krugman expresses ironic agreement that the Governor's attack on the unions is less about money than a play for power:

"(W)hat’s happening in Wisconsin isn’t about the state budget, despite Mr. Walker’s pretense that he’s just trying to be fiscally responsible. It is, instead, about power. What Mr. Walker and his backers are trying to do is to make Wisconsin--and eventually, America--less of a functioning democracy and more of a third-world-style oligarchy."

As the standoff escalates into a threat to fire 12,000 state workers, the ideological showdown prompts "moderate" Republicans to propose a compromise--eliminate public employees' bargaining rights now but reinstate them in 2013.

This sounds like Mubarak's temporary state of emergency that somehow lasted for three decades.

The Wisconsin chaos is an ugly distraction from the national debate on deficits and budgets, but it may help focus attention on the true motives of Congress' Ayn Rand Caucus, of which Ryan is the Great White Hope.

It adds to the list of society's "moochers" denounced by his mentor Wisconsin's police, fire fighters and teachers. After the Governor's tax cuts for the wealthy, there isn't much left for them.

If this keeps up, someone will bring up the French Revolution and Empress Marie Antoinette's alleged response to the peasants' shortage of bread, "Let them eat cake."

Just the thing to go with the Tea Party's beverage service.

Update: A former senior adviser to President W puts up a slow-down sign for his party's revolutionaries.

“If Republicans push too far and overreach their mandate, they will be punished by independent voters, just as they were in 1996,” says Mark McKinnon. “Voters said they wanted bold action. They are getting bold action. But Republicans need to be constantly reminded that the last election was a referendum for change, not a referendum for the G.O.P.”

You think?

1 comment:

Octopus said...

Too many damn pundits, too many damn opinions, and too many damn polls. The AFL-CIO publishes a poll; Rasmussen publishers another. With polls in collision, critique shifts to the veracity of the polls, and the issues at stake are lost under more noise and distraction.

What has my tentacles in a twist today: There was a time when our legislators practiced the fine art of compromise and consensus, a process that gave voice to the interest of diverse stakeholders. No longer!

These days, there is a “my way or the highway” mentality that regards all tax money as THEIR tax money. Well, it is my tax money too. These days, pols and pundits think their priorities should be everyone’s priorities. I want MY government to reflect my core values and priorities too.

I resent hypocritical attitudes that trade on pious buzzwords like “democracy and freedom” when the first thing their candidates do when they win office is vilify, persecute and oppress the opposition. The Republicans are following the Grover Norquist playbook: Cut taxes and double the deficit as a pretext for dismantling the progressive gains that generations of Americans struggled for. That is the way they do business.

I resent the GOP telling me how my tax money should be spent, what church dogma should become the law of the land, or how I should act in the privacy of MY own bedroom. And I resent the GOP war against the social safety net, against environmental protection, against healthcare and women's reproductive rights, against infrastructure investment, against regulations that prevent fraud and abuse committed by those who bought and sold their damn party.

There is an angry backlash building on my side of the political aisle, and the GOP better be damn careful what they demand. I detect a distinct taste of blood in the water.