Friday, February 12, 2010

Legacy of impunity

Republicans lie. It's the only way they can continue to win elections, given that their programs center on beggaring their neighbors in favor of the wealthy and the corporations the wealthy control.

Today, as they have been for months, the lies are about Medicare.

Republicans are now posing as staunch defenders of a program they have hated ever since the days when Ronald Reagan warned that Medicare would destroy America’s freedom. Nor is it even the fact that, as House speaker, Mr. Gingrich personally tried to ram through deep cuts in Medicare...

[W]hat’s truly mind-boggling is this: Even as Republicans denounce modest proposals to rein in Medicare’s rising costs, they are, themselves, seeking to dismantle the whole program.
Tomorrow the lies will be about ... whatever subject the Republicans speak on.

Democrats have utterly and completely failed to make the case that no one can trust a single word the Republicans say. The Democrats need to say that Republicans are untrustworthy - and provide examples - every time they're within range of any microphone, no matter how large or small.

Instead, Democrats natter on politely, pretending that there is some deal possible with their adversaries, as if the Republicans would ever negotiate in good faith toward a responsible solution.

Republicans are in this for blood, and we play patty-cake. I'm sick of it. On the short ride home tonight, I imagined speaking up to John Kerry should he run into me at the Massachusetts Democratic Party convention this spring:
You can be my Senator and reform the filibuster, or you can be Richard Shelby's Senator and Tom Coburn's Senator and Jim DeMint's Senator. You can't be both.
Well, that was the most printable thing I imagined saying.

There are three possible reasons for the Democrats' failure to do to the word Republican what conservatives have done to the word liberal:
  • They don't understand the power of repetition.
  • They're too spineless to tell the truth.
  • They're afraid of the 30% of this country that believes things that in a normal world would get them labelled batshit insane, and they don't want to risk another civil war.
I lean to the second with a dollop of the first. The third is also true, but it's far too insightful. Besides, if they realized that we're in a slow motion slide to authoritarianism that could put them in jail, I think even they would man up and defend something, anything.

The only way to win for America's sake is to tell the truth. The teabaggers believe the lies they hear repeated so often. The truth repeated just as often would eventually win over many of them.

This in turn would push conservatives - and of course there are honest and truthful conservatives - back to the truth as something that matters. It would retire the current set of dishonest Republican propagandists, but it would replace them with people with whom compromise would be both possible and useful.

That'll be the day.

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