Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Socialists At Our Door. Utopia Sucks. Reagan's Wrong Revolution.

The Republican banshee patrol is way out in front howling that Obama is inflicting "Socialism" on an unsuspecting American public.

They seem to have forgotten some very important things.

First, you can't howl about class warfare when you have been waging it against the middle class, successfully, for thirty years. Only hard-core conservatives are angry at the Left. Only Phil Gramm is angry at the "whiners" that make up 99% of our society.

Second, there actually is a philosophy called Socialism, and it isn't whatever Rush Limbaugh and Joe the Amateur Plumber seem to think it is. Socialists believe in abolishing private property. Say to any normal person that Obama wants to abolish private property and they will, quite properly, call you a crank.

There is only one Socialist in the federal government: Bernie Sanders, of Burlington, Vermont. For some reason, as the avatar of the new threat to our existence, no one has bothered to ask Bernie about Comrade Obama and their plan for world overthrow.

Reality matters.

Third, The Right has been calling for deregulation of all major industries for forty years, and they got their wish under George W. Bush. For some weird reason, Americans actually seem able to remember and retain this bit of information.

So Americans realize that we are living in the halcyon afterglow of the GOP's grand experiment in "trickle down" economics and unregulated financial, energy, and investment sectors. We are living in the henhouse they turned over, a decade ago, to the foxes.

Because the GOP has learned nothing at all from their own mistakes, and still demand lower taxes for the rich and big business as a fix for every problem, we can only assume that they stand behind their disastrous policies and are happy with the results. In short, as I have been saying for years now, America today is a Republican Utopia. Will anyone on the Right stand up and say, "we blew it"?

I am also waiting to hear a "conservative" articulate what the country now knows: Ronald Reagan was wrong. Simply, finally, disastrously, wrong. Government must be about solutions to problems the marketplace cannot fix and in fact often creates.

Good government matters a LOT. Reagan told us that government is always the problem. He presented this as a moral conviction that just happened to enrich his supporters and make Liberal values seem not only quaint, but harmful to society.

Finally, George W. Bush and his cadre of power-mad corporate thieves told so many lies, so boldly and shamelessly, that no one believes anything they have to say anymore and won't again for a long, long time. House and Senate Republicans should have repudiated Bush when it mattered. No one believes them when they try it now.

Read Bob Herbert today. The GTL is grateful for this plain-speaking writer's assessment of what ails us.