Thursday, September 8, 2011

The 2-H Program

Dear Madame L,

I've just read that some Republicans will be boycotting Pres. Obama's speech tonight, the speech where he will unveil some proposals to create jobs and generally get the U.S. economy moving again.

This is after he graciously postponed this speech to let the Republican presidential candidates hold their debate last night. (Not that anyone learned anything new about any of those candidates, not that anyone expected to, and not that there is anything new about any of them anyway.)


What's up with that?

Dear 'Sup,

Madame L ascribes this and other recent behavior of Republican leaders and members of Congress to hypocrisy and hostage-taking.

First H: Hypocrisy: Congressional Republican leaders, office-seeking Republicans, and re-election Republican hopefuls are quick to:

---Point their fingers at the 51% of Americans who "pay  no income tax" while neglecting to mention that they don't earn enough money to pay income tax on, while at the same time...

---Refusing to reinstate pre-Bush tax rates on the wealthy which would add billions of dollars to the budget and hugely reduce our deficit;

---Complain about social programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, even calling Social Security "a Ponzi scheme," while at the same time...

---Clamoring for and receiving federal aid for their own districts;

---Accusing Democrats of causing all the economic ills we're suffering right now while at the same time...
---Failing to acknowledge that the budget was balanced until Bush II came into office and gave gigantic tax breaks to wealthy individuals and businesses; and

---Too many more examples to enumerate here.

Second H:  Hostage taking: Using Americans who are suffering through no fault of their own as hostages for  so-called principles of economic reform with no thought for decent principles of humanity.

Please read the article by Nobel-Prize winning economist Paul Krugman, "Eric and Irene," in which he calls out Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) in particular for suggesting that people whose homes have been flooded will have to wait for relief until someone miraculously finds another place in the federal budget to cut, to make up for disaster relief. 

(This also falls under the label of Hypocrisy, as Cantor was happy to accept federal relief, no economic-budgetary "pay-as-you-go" strings attached, for the people of his district in 2004, after Tropical Storm Gaston struck.)

Threatening to hurt people if your demands aren't meant is the very definition of hostage taking. Cantor, Boehner et al. did this with the budget ceiling crisis (in fact making an ordinary political fact of life into a crisis); they're doing it again with federal disaster relief;

And they're doing it this evening by boycotting Pres. Obama's speech. After boycotting it, they're planning to oppose every single point Obama suggests for turning our economy around and getting people back on their feet. Why? Because they don't care about us, and they're willing to hurt us if they don't get their way. 

Hypocrisy and hostage-taking, the new 2-point program of the Republican Party. 

Makes Madame L want to ask, paraphrasing Joseph Welch's question to Joseph McCarthy, "Have you left no sense of humanity?"

This may sound like the same old broken record, Dear Readers, but YOU and ONLY YOU can change the way the politicians treat us all. Make your voices heard. Write, call, and email them. And then vote.

God bless us all,

Madame L

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