Miscalculations

Imagine living in such a blinkered world that you have no idea what’s going on right in front of your face.  Okay, so you answered, “yeah, all you need to do is look at the nearest Republican.”  Smartass 🙂

It’s true.  But it still is astounding, isn’t it?

Just think of the recent Republican miscalculations: the Tea Party, Palin, Bachmann, Santorum, Perry, the economy, the environment, the right-wing assessment of the 99%ers, etc.

The teabagger movement, such as it is/was, can be counted as a backfire big enough to launch someone into space.  At its height, it was being touted as “concerned citizens getting involved,” and “patriots,” and blah, blah, blah.  Even with all the gun-toting, threats, and misspellings, no one in the mainline media had many bad things to say about them.  Even when it became apparent that the group was largely composed of astroturf, it didn’t seem to bother anyone enough to comment on it much.  The worst criticism was coming from comedians and bloggers.

At its height, the movement was tiny.  This was another thing that got distorted without much comment.

And then, like any corporate-bred fad, it started to fade.  But this fact was ignored.  The teabaggers were still considered so influential that a Republican Presidential candidate debate was held in the Tea Party’s name.

And somewhere in the middle of all of this, the 99%ers started occupying Wall Street and other financial centers across the country.  Instantly there was a stark contrast that went largely ignored: the contrast between a “created” movement that simply existed to give the impression of massive hatred of Obama, and a natural-born protest movement born of years of economic outrages.

The reaction from the mainline media and the Faux News clowns?  OUTRAGE!  Hippies!  Communists!  Divisive!  Violent!  Losers without jobs who want a handout! Never mind that some 70% of the 99%ers are employed!

Which brings me to my next point: the economy.  Wow.  That was and is beyond a giant miscalculation.  But still, 3 years into the biggest economic failure in modern history, Republicans are still touting the very failed policies that landed us where we are now, and no bankers have gone to jail even though, as I’ve heard it, their outrages continue to the extent that  the U.S. taxpayer could end up paying for bank failures in Europe any day now.  That’s not paying for European WELFARE, mind you, it’s paying for their failing banks, which our banks have been bailing out, and now via some loophole are about to transfer the liability for that to US…meaning you and me.

So let’s look back 30 years, to the Reagan administration (with which most of this current crisis began), and ask, “how the hell was this supposed to work?”  And we will conclude that it didn’t and hasn’t and won’t.

Okay, so here we go:

Start by demonizing the unions.  Then erode the middle class.  Label the wealthy “job creators” and then reduce their taxes so they can “create more jobs.”  Demonize women, blacks, hispanics, and Muslims.  Jews are problematic, so we’ll loudly worship Israel at the same time we quietly hope all the Jews “go home.”  (This is a HUGE dilemma for right-wingers, who are actually quite anti-Semitic, and it is something that they are currently trying to project onto the 99%ers — thankfully without much luck so far.  Projection is a big thing with the right wing; whatever they accuse others of, you can be positive they themselves are guilty of.)

Meantime, ship millions of factory jobs to other countries.  Then demand that everything from janitorial work to CEO requires a college degree — or two or three — and then charge up to hundreds to thousands of dollars for each degree. Never forgive the gigantic loans most students have to have to get through school.  Then declare the degrees aren’t good enough and/or Americans are too expensive to hire (never mind that the biggest expense with most U.S. employees is HEALTH CARE COVERAGE which could be eliminated by that awful SOCIALIZED MEDICINE), and ship as many of the rest of the jobs overseas as we can, and to whatever extent is possible, hire immigrants at subsistence wages  to do what’s left.  Tell Americans that these immigrants are “Doing jobs (you) don’t want to do.”  Make it harder and harder to apply for a job, let alone get one.  Label those without jobs “losers” and condone efforts to keep them out of the job market, even as the government takes away their benefits.  Oh yes…meantime, exponentially increase the cost of housing wildly beyond inflation, even as you populate the builders’ payrolls with low-paid immigrants who are non-union.  Saddle homeowners with huge mortgages, then take away their jobs IF they have jobs.  Then foreclose on homes and call their former owners “losers.”

And oh yes…deregulate.  Promote the myth that regulation is a job killer.

While we’re at it, why don’t we talk about abortion to the exclusion of everything else?  Never mention the word “regulation” even as you are touting policies that would make women’s reproductive organs the most regulated things in the U.S.

Okay, tell me…how was this supposed to work?  And yet yesterday I read in the Chicago Sun-Times — in two columns, no less — that all this crap is still a good idea and we only need to keep making the same mistakes to make them work.  One even said that deregulation is the answer.  I mean, really.

I once heard a saying: if you keep doing the same thing, you’ll keep getting the same result.  And so it may be with the Republicans.  Right now they are rolling on bloated ambition born of their “success” in 2010.  But it’s another miscalculation, because what happened in 2010 was much like what happened in 1994.  I suppose it is only delusions of grandeur that are keeping the Republicans from seeing this.

So I say to them, go ahead, continue your war on women, your war on the middle class, your war on the environment.  Just keep thinking you have the majority on your side when in fact your support amounts to a fraction of a percentage of a minority. Dismiss the 99% out in the streets as hooligans and don’t think for a minute about what their collective  name actually means, or even a second about the set of circumstances that brought them there.

Great.  The more miscalculations, the better.  It may be the way to finally get rid of you all.

P.S. — Watch Old Fart’s take on abortion.  It’s priceless:

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