Why?

I may be displaying some naïveté here. Or just demonstrating that I’m not paying enough attention. But here goes.

For the last four months, since Republicans won a majority in the House of Representatives and many state legislatures and governorships, we have heard budget plans revealed that cut deeply into domestic and social programs that Democrats and especially Progressives supported strongly. Add to that measures that have no direct impact on budgets, such as the Wisconsin governor’s effort to curtail the state employees’ union, and refusal to consider tax increases that might affect the wealthy. Without the votes, the Democrats can’t force negotiations or defeat the measures. In fact, there’s a number of conservative Democrats who are going along with the measures.

Those who are angry about the plans of the Republicans allege that the GOP is hurting the poor, destroying education and culture for all but the wealthy, adding burdens to those less able to afford it while taking very good care of people who are already wealthy. In response, the Republicans are appearing to be saying something that begins with an “F” and goes downhill in a belligerant sort of way. (Wisconsin’s governor is awfully good at this.)

Is there anyone among the conservatives of America who has tried to explain what the Republicans are doing in a conciliatory way, trying to help people understand why they want what they want? At least the Reaganites tried to, which is where the theory of trickle-down economics came from. Granted, that concept didn’t weather well. But they’re not even trying now. Do they have an answer to the accusations that they’re helping only the rich and powerful? That they’re fomenting a class war? Is no one saying “No, it’s not like that at all, let me explain….”?

George Will might be saying something. William F. Buckley would have done very well with an explanation. But since Newt Gingrich and his acolytes came to the fore in 1994, it seems that conservatives only practice demagoguery. Is that really true?

Please note, I’m not interested in discussing the actual political points here. I just want to know whether the Republicans have anything to support themselves besides “We won, and we’re going to get what we want!” That is not an unbiased way to put it, I admit; it’s just all I’ve heard in the mainstream media.

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About songdogmi

I'm a longhaired almost-hippie stuck in the inner suburbs of a major rust-belt metropolis who's thoughtful, creative, and kind of geeky. In exchange for a paycheck I run around in a cubicle maze most days. When I escape, I play music, hang out in coffee houses, dink around on the computer, take naps, and think I should be off in the woods somewhere. Every once in a while I get in my car and drive far, far away, though I've always come back so far.
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2 Responses to Why?

  1. I’m sort of confused by it, too. It’s like they think they’ve won for the rest of their lives and they don’t think they’re ever going to have to run for election again.

    I’m shaking my head, too.

    As is my mother, the moderate Republican who thought George W. Bush was a creep, Reagan was a god and Bill Clinton was a pretty good guy (until he dipped his pen in the company ink well).

    • songdogmi says:

      My parents were Republicans, too, though moderate ones. I think it was like the John Prine song “Grandpa Was a Carpenter”: “And he voted for Eisenhower / Cuz Lincoln won the war” (only they voted for Nixon because Ike won the war). I’m just guessing. Nowadays, Mom just shakes her head at all the Republican ninnies on TV.

      Mind, I don’t think the Democrats are doing much better with communicating why they’re taking the positions they’ve taken. It’s as if both sides have skipped the rational parts of the discussion and have gone right to “YOU HATE WORKING PEOPLE!!!” and “WHY DO YOU HATE AMERICA???”

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