Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Keystone GOPs

The Republican Party is at war with itself...

Keystone GOPs in Pursuit of
Obamacare Repeal
Until the 2018 elections, the Democrats in both houses of Congress might as well just sit back and watch the antics of the Keystone GOP's episodes as it continues its self-destruction. It was a perfect storm that actually managed to work in getting a majority of GOPs in both houses AND the presidency by a minority of voters. The leaders of the GOP are fond of saying the American people elected them to office and that one of their most important promises is to repeal Obamacare. "We've made this promise to the American People," says Mitch McConnell.

No Mitch...the American People whom you appropriate to your agenda do not want Obamacare repealed. Just the Republican part of the people wanted it back in 2008, which is a minority any way you slice it. but now, not even many of those want to lose what they have with Obamacare. The Keystone GOPs have attempted repeal and replace, repeal, skinny repeal, and all of those attempts showed the majority of Americans one important thing: The GOP is filled with mean, heartless Obama haters. No wonder even those who didn't want Trump at any cost are now completely on board with him, since his actions have been solely in line with your true agenda: take the US back to the days when the rich ruled and owned everything, when there were no brakes on capitalism, no enlightened sense of responsibility to anyone but the rich and the corporations, back to the McCarthy era.

Joseph McCarthy during the House Unamerican Activities
The Keystone GOPs are still finding Communists under every bush, and anything that smacks of socialism is to be smothered in the crib. Currently the GOP in congress is composed of three factions: the Freedom Caucus (Ayn Rand Libertarians), the vast middle of alt-right leaning conservatives, and a tiny fraction (but just enough to stymie major legislation attempts) of those who seem to have the best interest of their constituents back home at heart. It's an odd phenomenon that those in the Freedom Caucus have been against any of the repeal attempts because it's not mean enough, and when you add the votes from the tiny fraction of those who think the bills are not fair enough, the only votes the Senate (for example) can count on are those in the big middle of the GOP, the yes men of alt-right Obama haters, the yes men of Trump, who they align themselves with, even though they tried in vain to make him lose the primaries. There are very few moderates in the GOP with enough spine to stand out from the mob in the middle, and so every attempt at repeal of ACA fails on the narrowest of margins.

Tax reform is next. The same factions will be active in this next episode of the Keystone GOPs.

Reflections of a Political Kind

Or is it a choice between what makes us humane vs. the "Dogs of War"*?

* I'm thinking more of Pink Floyd's "Dogs of War" lyrics than Shakespeare's (who said everything first).

I'm not going to list all the things that our new "President" has promised to do vs. what he has not done (first 100 days). The left/right/fake/real news media have done that to the point of making it all meaningless.

Nor am I going to pin all the blame on Trump or Bannon or Ryan or the Freedom Caucus for what is wrong with the direction we're moving in this country. I just want to discuss the issue behind the political agendas, and that is the U.S. becoming the "dogs of war" rather than what makes us humane.

An Aside:

Apparently to the "originalists", the US Constitution only allows the federal gov't to raise a standing "militia" and regulate commerce and does not allow the US to fund social programs, because it's not specifically spelled out in the Constitution. I don't want to argue for any interpretation of the US Constitution, except to say that like the Bible depending on how you're already committed, you can justify anything in the Constitution. That's why we have Supreme Court Justices, after all—to apply the test of constitutionality to laws passed by Congress. Originalists like Scalia and now his successor are like those Christians who insist that the Bible should be taken literally and that there is only one meaning to be had for any passage in the Bible. Originalists will insist that if social programs that would be set up to take care of those that are poor or ill or in need of some sort of assistance were Constitutional it would have been included in the Constitution. But lets not forget that the original first ten amendments to the Constitution were added because there were those who would not ratify the Constitution without them. They insisted that inalienable rights should be listed. The framers of the Constitution had thought that quite unnecessary, since they viewed the Constitution as flexible and meant to be a guide. But Originalists insist that, no, if it's not specifically written in the Constitution or provided for by an Amendment the Supreme Court Justices cannot interpret such social and humane programs to be included as "constitutional."

Except, of course, when it comes to Corporate welfare and making corporations individuals, just like you or me.

Back to the Main Subject:

So,  that conservative view of the Constitution means that we can only fund the "militia", which back in the late 1700s were muskets and bayonets and army uniforms (maybe); no one from the eighteenth century could have dreamed of fighter jets, nuclear submarines, aircraft carriers, rocket launchers, and million man armies. Whenever I hear senators, representatives, and presidential candidates talking about increasing funding to the military or making it "great" again, I do have to wonder why we need even more military might than we already have. There is not a single other country on Earth that even comes close to the US Military in its strength and national budget spent on it. A single fighter jet could easily fund the National Endowment for the Arts, for example, or an After School program for children in the inner cities of the United States. But there are those loud and strident voices in the Congress that insist that the Constitution does not allow for such programs and they have been eager to defund all such programs for decades—and now they finally have their chance with the President and both houses of Congress in the hands of one party.

In other words, no amount of money is enough for our military, and yet the cost of a single jet is too much to spend on programs that help the US continue to be a humane country, a country that looks after everyone when they need a hand up or a place of refuge or a program that will help them get back on their feet.

Update September 26, 2017

And now, Trump is itching to use the nuclear arsenal on North Korea, and Kim Jong Un is ready for him to do it. Both these pigs are itching to destroy the planet. And instead of global warming we will have nuclear winter.