Republicans are masters in the art of denying or suppressing the truth. And yet every so often one of them blurts it out -- often in a perverse fashion, but dangerously so, nonetheless. Last week, GOP Congressman Darrell Issa of California, apparently incapable of holding it in, did just that.
According to the Federal Times Issa told a conference of the Association of Government Accountants in San Diego that:
"The Greatest Generation created many of what the private sector would call Ponzi schemes. They created Social Security, they created Medicare on their watch, [they] created Medicaid ... All of that without resources or funding." Indeed, he continued, "A generation that was doing many things right -- coming out of World War II -- also planted the seeds for all the problems we have today."
You can just imagine the reaction of his Republican colleagues. They surely can't defend him on it. Ever since Reagan spoke at Normandy, France on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the D-Day landings in June 1984, they have been trying their best to take advantage of Americans' phenomenal admiration and affection for the World War II veterans -- apparently hoping to wrap themselves in the "flags of our fathers," not to mention praying that Americans do not remember that their party opposed America's entry into the Second World War.
And yet now look at what their right wing comrade Issa has done!
"Didn't you get the memo, Darrell?" the GOPers must be asking, "You know, the one that said 'Go after President Franklin Roosevelt as much you can: Accuse him of hijacking the Constitution, planting the seeds of socialism, and setting up the country for eventual failure. But whatever you do, don't say anything bad the Greatest Generation -- and for that matter, definitely do not say anything that might serve to remind Americans that FDR and his fellow citizens not only succeeded in defending the United States against Germany and Japan in the 1940s, but also in rescuing it from the Great Depression in the 1930s.'"
In his defense, the congressman did refer to Social Security, and the generation's later Medicare and Medicaid initiatives, as "Ponzi schemes." Still, one can practically hear the Tea Party's admonitions: "Darrell, what are you doing? You are putting our whole historical project at risk. Indict FDR, not our parents and grandparents! Hey, don't forget, loose lips sink ships! Talk like that and the next thing you know Americans might start remembering what made the Greatest Generation and its greatest leader great..."
They might start remembering how a generation subjected big business to public account and regulation, empowered government to address the needs of working people, organized labor unions, fought for their rights, enlarged the 'We' in 'We the People,' established a social security system, expanded the nation's public infrastructure, improved the environment, and imbued themselves with fresh democratic convictions, hopes, and aspirations -- all of which gave them the courage, confidence, and wherewithal to fight and win a global war against fascism and imperialism...
They might start remembering how a president and people saved the nation from economic ruin and political oblivion and turned it into the strongest and most prosperous country on earth by making it freer, more equal, and more democratic than ever before in the process.
Hell, Darrell, before you know it Americans might start remembering how progressive their parents and grandparents were and want to start emulating them!
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