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The Stakes This November

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Now that Andrew Breitbart has shown America what the right wing is made of, it's time for progressives to gather their forces and defeat the right wing, once and for all.

If the right wing project succeeds, the United States will be a country run by a tiny, money-based aristocracy; an aristocracy whose corporations will charge us a fee to use our roads, schools, fire departments, police, military -- almost everything owned today by we the people.

That's already been happening; for instance, during the Bush Administration, many states and counties, looking to cut operating costs, began hiring corporations to run their prisons.

Even the U.S. military got into the act -- hiring companies like Xe LLC -- the former Blackwater USA Corp.. And it doesn't take a genius to realize what a windfall it would have been for America's financial industry to privatize Social Security.

It will only get worse. Unless they're defeated, public universities, unions, agencies like the FDA, the SEC, the Department of Education, and the Federal Reserve System -- they'll all disappear. America, in fact, will look a lot like it did under Karl Rove's favorite President -- William McKinley, elected in 1896.

I say right wing and not Republican, because what used to be the Republican Party was hijacked years ago by an extremist parasite, steered by the John Birch Society, its fronts, and its allies, and used by its billionaire masters to mount a coup against the Constitution and the American people.

That coup's been amazingly successful -- successful enough to convince a lot of otherwise sincere, patriotic Americans that the right's actually on their side.

But it's all been a lie, and it's got to stop. And the way to do that is to discredit the right wing within Republican ranks, by defeating it in as many elections as possible. Then it will have much less to no power, and if the country is lucky, the real Republican Party can re-emerge.

But beating the right will demand more from progressives than just voting. It'll mean donating to your favorite Democrats, working the phones, licking envelopes, and going door to door -- just like Republicans do. We have to fight.

What Breitbart showed us is that nothing -- nothing -- is beneath his masters. If this had been the 1920s, Shirley Sherrod would have just been dragged out of her house and lynched in her front yard; but this being the 21st Century, they tried to lynch her in the media instead, as a way of attacking President Obama.

Luckily, it didn't work this time. But it may next time; and you can expect a next time.

But this isn't about that repulsive incident, or even about the long train of repulsive incidents the right wing's deployed over the years.

The goals of the right wing project are so extreme that they sound as crazy as some of what they throw at President Obama; that he's a racist, socialist alien planning to round up all gun owners, nationalize every business, and, generally, turn the United States into a concentration camp.

Crazy; that is, until you strip away all the phony "issues" the right raises about culture, freedom, religion and the Constitution, and ask the question asked every day in CIA headquarters; qui bono -- who benefits?

The answer: The nation's 400 richest families -- the people who own much of corporate America, control $1.27 trillion in assets, and have everything to gain from a weak government, a vanquished middle class, low personal, capital gains, and corporate taxes and -- especially -- no estate tax, all of which will allow the richer to get much richer, pass their fortunes on to the next generation intact, and keep running things.

This is exactly what Teddy Roosevelt set out to discourage when he created the estate tax 95 years ago -- a new aristocracy. It's even the issue that defeated the Federalists in the election of 1800. But you've got to admit, it's in the interests of those 400 families.

If they succeed, government simply won't be able to afford to do what it needs to do -- protect people from each other and, especially, the weak from the strong. And the really outrageous thing about what this gang has been up to -- in fairness, the people pushing this agenda are only some of those 400 families -- is that they've made no secret of it.

For instance, anti-tax extremist Grover Nordquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, likes to say: "Cutting the government in half in one generation is both an ambitious and reasonable goal. If we work hard we will accomplish this and more by 2025. Then the conservative movement can set a new goal. I have a recommendation: To cut government in half again by 2050".

Their tool for doing this? Supply-side economics, of course -- a political agenda disguised as economic theory, recently atomized by Martin Wolf in that well-known left-wing rag, The Financial Times.

Wolf reports that even the right's own economists have told the Republican leadership that supply side's central idea -- that cutting taxes increases revenues -- is nonsense. But no matter: As a political tool -- a means of "starving the beast" and forcing government to shrink -- it has few peers. Cut taxes, minimize business regulation, and "unleash" business, and what you really do is provoke economic crises too big for a weakened government to deal with.

Sound familiar? And it's the second time the right's almost forced the federal government to shrink by provoking a financial crisis.

The right almost got what they wanted in the late '80s by provoking a massive real estate disaster, which in turn provoked massive losses at America's commercial banks -- not just among the nation's savings and loans institutions.

That crisis created what was called at the time "the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression". To his credit, President George H.W. Bush took steps to avert it; it was one of the reasons he was abandoned by his own party during the 1992 election.

Bill Clinton, with the help of the much-maligned Robert Rubin, straightened out the nation's finances and even achieved what the right was calling the "impossible" task of wiping out the nation's seemingly endless string of deficits. It was a big reason the right went after Clinton with such savagery -- he ruined their project.

But after another 8 years of supply-side economics, here we are again -- in spades. And you've got to hand it to the right wing; they're telling us exactly what they'll do if they get back in power -- return to the Bush agenda.

And maybe even go farther. According to Wolf, voices on the right are beginning to call for us to default on our debt, a step that would make what we've been through these past 3 years look like a day at the beach. Said advocates seem undeterred by the fact that the 14th Amendment says it's unconstitutional.

And it's not like the right's leaving anything to chance. Earlier this July, HuffPo reported that corporate donors are lining up to pour as much as $200 million into buying a Republican win this November -- a number that can only grow as we approach the November election.

Thing is, the only way the right can convince voters they should be returned to power is by creating distractions -- you can expect them -- convince the public, against all the facts, that the recession is Obama's fault -- they're already saying that -- and keep lying.

Luckily for the country, the right not only has no alternatives to offer; they think that's one of their strengths. And the Republican Party has been pushed so far to the right by the Tea Party that it barely seems to be running in this galaxy.

More luck: Voting against unemployment insurance, and any other measure that might get us out of this recession, only makes them appear to be putting party before country -- a charge that, as Henry Kissinger used to say, is not only effective, but has the added virtue of being true.

The truth, in fact, is what will defeat the right. Democrats may think their best line is to remind voters that at least they're not crazy; but it will take more than that; in the end, "we suck less than the other guy" is no winning strategy. The fight has to be taken to the right; progressives have to remind the country of the truth; and the right has can't be allowed to slither away.

And that, Mr. And Mrs. America, is up to you.

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