Archive for Republican Hypocrisy

Why Are We Still Listening to Republicans?

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags , , on June 22, 2010 by playthell

 

 Mitch McConnell: Shameless Shill for the Plutocrats

 

 Even as Republicans attempt to cast themselves as defenders of the working class their top ranking member of the House Energy Committee, Congressman Joe Barton from Texas, called the President’s magnificent achievement in getting BP to put up a fund of 20 billion dollars to compensate victims of the oil spill,  a “shake down” of  private business by the government. The fact that the fund is open ended, can be increased if the situation requires it, includes a separate fund of 100 million dollars to pay lost wages for oil rig workers during the moratorium on drilling, and will be managed by Ken Feinberg a highly skilled independent arbiter who managed the 9/11 compensation payments failed to impress Mr. Barton

       The Republican Congressman went on to say the agreement was one of the worst tragedies he had witnessed in his life time, and that he was ashamed to live in a country where this could happen.  Then he had the unmitigated gall to apologize to BP executives on national television. These comments horrified the Republican leadership because they well know that it would be disastrous for the GOP to be portrayed as the defenders of BP against the people of the Gulf coast – a Republican stronghold – and Barton was called on the carpet and ordered to go out on the floor and take back everything he had just said. 

    Yet it is important to understand that this was no gaffe on the part of Joe Barton, it is true to the bankrupt ideology of the GOP. It is echoed in the opinions of Minnesota Congressperson Michel Bachman, along with over 100 others in the House Republican Study Committee – who called the compensation deal “A Chicago style shakedown” – and this thinking resounds in the opinions of the prolific pundit Pat Buchanan as well as the mass voice and ideological policeman of the Republican Party: Rush Limbaugh. 

  Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Senator and Republican leader in the Senate, has distanced himself from Congressman Barton’s statement, but he still clings to his anti-government mantra in his attempt to blame the Obama Administration rather than BP for the failure to stop the leak and clean up the mess.  The logical implication of his argument is that if we had just left it to BP everything would be alright.

       I can envision no action that more clearly demonstrates the GOP’s contempt for the working class – even the BP execs were embarrassed by Barton’s apology and quickly disassociated   themselves from it – and it magnifies the paradox of the masses of white southern workers passionately supporting the Republicans.        The media air heads have made much of BP’s Chairman’s declaration that they “care about the little people,” which was a somewhat awkward expression of concern from a man whose native language is Swedish.

  But the real story here is the contempt for “the little people” expressed by the Republicans who think that people facing bankruptcy and struggling to put bread on the table should have to go to court and pursue individual claims against a mammoth international corporation!  The Republicans attempt to play the role as leaders of a populist revolt in league with the “Tea Party” buffoons, whose racist posters routinely attempt to demonize our President, while shilling for corporate interests, are but the latest example of political charlatans employing the race issue to get poor whites to act against their best interests. 

  Ever since the civil rights movement succeeded in destroying the legal racial caste system in the southern states the Republicans have played on white resentment for political advantage. In President Obama – whose election is a recurrent nightmare for this crowd – they have the ultimate racial villain.  And they intend to make the most of it.  Alas, the upshot of all this is that the Grand Obstructionist Party will oppose anything and everything President Obama does – even if the fate of the nation is at stake. Hence all of this begs the question: why is any patriotic American still listening to Republicans?

 

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Playthell Benjamin

Harlem, New York

June 21, 2010

 

On The Disaster In The Gulf Of Mexico

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags , , on May 26, 2010 by playthell

  

How The Oil Spill Exposes Republican Duplicity

 Sarah Palin, the embarrassing unremittingly stupid shrew from Alaska, blames President Obama for the horrendous oil spill by the British Petroleum company. And she has called for an investigation of President  in order to see if he has financial ties to the multi-national oil companies that supply this nation’s energy needs.  If this were anybody but the Alaskan Barbarian talking I would simply dismiss the suggestion without comment, but this is a woman who not so long ago was shouting “Drill Baby Drill!” before massive crowds of screaming acolytes at Republican confabs who contemtously dismissed those who were concerned about protecting our environment as leftwing whackos.  

 Like most things Silly Sarah says on it’s face her suggestion is ridiculous. The people whose ties to big oil cry out for investigation is Bush and “Dirty Dick” Cheney.  To this day the public, or even the Congress, have been denied access to the notes from the meetings that Bush and Cheney held with the princes and powers of the oil industry who wrote the Bush Administration’s energy policy.  Since both of these guys – the President and Vice President – were oil men with clear ties to the industry, logic and prudence would dictate that this is where any investigation of the roots of the present disaster should begin: These two guys should be deposed under oath!

Chances are the seeds of the present disaster were sown during the last eight years of Republican rule; it is the inevitable result of their hostility to government regulation and their “leave it to the private sector” dogma. Hence it comes as no surprise that a British Petroleum memorandum has surfaced that exposes a decision making process where  maximization of profits vs. expenditures for worker’s safety was subjected to a cost/ benefit analysis and they choose inferior safety standards to increase the margin of profit and oil workers in Texas were later maimed and killed as a result. This is what happens when private corporations are entrusted to protect the people’s interests without strict government regulation.

This policy has also resulted in the present situation where – according to Admiral Ellis, commandant of the US Coast Guard – all of the materials and expertise required to fix what is rapidly becoming the worst ecological disaster in American history are in the hands of private industry.  And thus the US government is an impotent giant that is helpless in the face of this swelling catastrophe.  This is the tragic result of the triumph of Republican “private enterprise/ free market “ theology.

Hence it comes as no surprise that a British Petroleum memorandum has surfaced – the so called “Three Pigs” memo – that exposes a corporate decision making process where  maximization of profits vs. expenditures for worker’s safety was subjected to a cost/ benefit analysis and they choose inferior safety standards to increase the margin of profit and oil workers in Texas were later maimed and killed as a result. This is what happens when private corporations are entrusted to protect the people’s interests without strict government regulation.

 This policy has also resulted in the present situation where – according to Admiral Thad W. Ellis, commandant of the US Coast Guard – all of the materials and expertise required to fix what is rapidly becoming the worst ecological disaster in American history are in the hands of private industry.  And thus the US government is an impotent giant that is helpless in the face of this swelling catastrophe.  This is the tragic result of the triumph of Republican “private enterprise/ free market “ theology.

 Yet with out a trace of irony we now hear a rising clamor for the government to save the day from the same people who have been telling us the federal government is our enemy; that the government cannot do anything right; indeed, as their patron saint Ronnie Reagan declared and they have repeated ad nauseum: “Government can’t solve our problems because government is the problem.” Now in increasing numbers these Republican fakers and fools are demanding that President Obama kick British Petroleum to the curb and the federal government take command.  Alas, when questioned about this government option the coast guard commandant looked wryly into the TV cameras and asked “replace them with what?” 

As we stand on the brink of witnessing the destruction of the economy, natural beauty and cultural life of the entire gulf region – if not the beaches of the Atlantic seaboard too – the Republican policy of favoring private interests over the public interest is exposed for the morally bankrupt, politically irresponsible, dangerous nonsense that it is.  As I have argued elsewhere in these commentaries: The anti-government hysteria manufactured by Republican shills on WABC radio and Fox Television represent a growing menace, a danger to the national security.  

For in their attempt to immobilize the federal government, incite armed rebellion and cultivate hatred for our President their goals are not much different from Al Qaeda.  Rush Limbaugh has suggested that “Civil War” is a logical avenue of resistance to the President’s policies and Congresswoman Michel Bachman said she likes her Minnesota constituents “armed and dangerous.”  And by accusing the President of imposing a Nazi/Stalanist dictatorship on the American people, a view as  the Republican view of the US government and that of Al Qaeda represent a distinction without a difference!

 Doomed Ducks

 

 Victims of human folly

In their lust for power leaders of the GOP – Grand Obstructionist Party – will say anything.  And the result often sounds like a tower of babble.  Witness the governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal, who was once a rapidly rising star in the GOP before his misfortune in being chosen as the sacrificial lamb to reply to an address by President Obama, which quickly exposed him as a shallow charlatan.   Jindal’s anti-government rhetoric was so rabid and irrational he publicly threatened to refuse money from President Obama’s economic stimulus package to extend unemployment to tens of thousands of workers in his state; then was seen in photo-ops cutting ribbons and taking bows for projects  financed by the stimulus money.  And most recently he can be seen tagging around with Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, with both hands out begging for all the federal help he can get.

Bobby Jindal nodded “Amen!” when Secretary Salazar said “We will keep our foot on British Petroleum’s neck” until they stop the thousands of gallons of crude oil presently gushing into the gulf.  But the newest rising star in the GOP, Rand Paul, has denounced the president’s decision to keep the governments foot on the neck of BP as “un-American.”  Furthermore Dr. Paul cavalierly dismisses BP’s culpability by evoking the Rumsfeld axiom: “Shit happens.”  However Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama has said BP must be made to pay the full cost of the clean-up even if it causes them to go out of existence!  Hence these Republican palefaces speak with forked tongue; so who knows what they actually believe?

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

A Clueless Charlatan

Then there is the incessant chatter of the supposedly oughtful conservatives like David Brooks and Joe Scarboro, the former Republican Congressman from Florida who now earns his bread as a TV talking head.  I have always suspected that Mr. Scarboro owes his television success more to the fact that he looks, walks and talks like the young John Wayne – which is no picayune matter in a nation that continues to worship celluloid heroes ala Ronnie Reagan – rather than what he actually knows about the world.  And his criticisms these last few days about the leadership of President Obama – which border on the hysterical – only confirms my suspicion.

While sophistry is Mr. Scarboro’s stock in trade, his incessant carping about the fact that President Obama is responding to the Gulf Crisis in his normal cool, calm, thoughtful manner represents a new low for “Morning Joe.”  It seems that Mr. Scarboro thinks the situation would be better served if the President was running around like a chicken with his head cut off.  The problem with the criticism of Mr. Scarboro and all Republicans is that it is precisely those pro-corporate anti-regulatory policies they have championed which has led us to the disaster in the Gulf!

The truth is that all theses guys are wolves in sheep’s clothing crying crocodile tears who emit more heat than light. Having roused the rabble with incendiary slogans alas, they have no clearly defined program to address the myriad problems facing the American people and advance the nation. As the crisis grows the Republican solution to the Gulf Oil  disaster is the equivalent of locking the barn doors after the horses have run away!  The suspicions about possible corporate malfeasance – such as that suggested by BP’s “Three Little Pigs” memorandum that has surfaced as I write – should have been advanced before the disaster and addressed in the regulatory policies of the federal government.

The main obstacle to instituting such policies has been the hysterical anti-government ideology promoted by the GOP!  We are now reaping what they have sown. Hence should the American electorate vote the Republicans back into power in the next elections given President Obama’s spectacular performance – in spite of the endless machinations of the Grand Obstructionist Party – no matter how right wing pundits spin the matter it will be incontrovertible proof that the American political system is dysfunctional because most white Americans are racist idiots who seem determined to slay the goose that’s laying the golden eggs because he’s the wrong color!

 On Pristine St. Augustine Beach

 

 Will The Louisiana Oil Slick Destroy All This?

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Playthell G. Benjamin

Harlem, New York

 May 26, 2010

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