Saturday, June 25, 2011

Republicans Care More about Beating Obama than They Do about Your Job

Ezra Klein likes to say that Mitch McConnell is the most honest man in Washington. In a recent post on bad debt ceiling arguments, Klein writes:

”I actually think it would be easier to pass a comprehensive plan,” he [McConnell] said. “Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill fixed Social Security in 1983. It’s lasted for a generation. Reagan carried 49 of 50 states the next year. They did it together. Reagan and O’Neill did tax reform in 1986, Bill Clinton and Republicans did welfare reform in 1996, and Bill Clinton and Republicans actually balanced the budget for a number of years in the late 1990s.” Aside from welfare reform, every single one of the deals McConnell mentions exchanged spending cuts for tax increases — the very deal McConnell has ruled out in this case.

Besides the obvious smug dishonesty of the turtle-necked Senate minority leader, there's a nugget there that reveals the bigger truth, which is that McConnell doesn't care what happens to the US economy as long as a Republican has a shot at beating Obama in 2012. To do that, Republicans have concluded, we will need another recession or worse.

Remember that McConnell said, "the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president." McConnell doesn't want the Republican priority to be to help people get jobs, or preserve the jobs we have, or help people keep their homes, or get us off the oil teat. He wants to beat Obama. Most important thing.

So, if you're wondering if we'll see a "comprehensive plan" come out of the debt ceiling hostage situation, go back to the first quote: "Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill fixed Social Security in 1983. It’s lasted for a generation. Reagan carried 49 of 50 states the next year." So, if the Republicans and Democrats reached some kind of "comprehensive plan," then, McConnell's reading of history suggests that Obama would win next year by a landslide. And he's already made it clear that the Republicans don't want that. Ergo, no comprehensive plan.

It's really quite simple. Republicans represent rich people. Rich people are richer now than they've ever been. They can survive another recession or even depression. They live in gated communities with private security, schools, etc. They really don't care about the rest of us. In my old labor union, we had a phrase to describe these greedy people: "I got mine. Fuck you."

And fuck us they will. Meanwhile some poor people, minorities, union members, and other folks who will be getting fucked still vote Republican because they believe the lies: Obama is coming for their guns, even rape and incest victims should be forced to give birth, we should all practice Biblical marriage, or some other theocratic bullshit. Bigots will vote for the Confederate Party, even it means the loss of their job and their home.

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