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Delusional Republicans Claim to Own the Punk Rock Spirit Now

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Earlier we commented on the 111 punks in the GOP who voted against Brad Miller's Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act. If you're a predator -- someone who preys on unsuspecting families trying to buy a home, for example-- this bill will limit your "freedom." That's what a post-law-of-the-jungle society does. But in Republican Party dogma this is an infringement on freedom.

All the Republicans talk about lately is doing a better marketing campaign and changing their hideous image and polishing up their loathed brand. Today one sociopathic winger has an idea for them. Glenn Greenwald was tweeting up a storm about it all day and that's how I came to see it.

Conservatism is all about freedom. That's the sales pitch. Conservatives endorse freedom. We are the modern day rebels. We are the punk rockers of politics. We like to work hard and party harder. The government is "The Man." "The Man" tries to hold you down. Anybody who wants the "safety net" of cradle to the grave government support should be ridiculed.

A couple days ago, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day talked with KROQ about the band's soon-to-be-released new album and he wound up explaining a song from their last album: "I had Republican friends who were really into American Idiot... that's cool; it ain't about you, but that's cool. Or it is about you." But not in the cool way.

There are punks and there are punks. When I started the first punk rock radio show in America, "punk" referred to anything that was anti-establishment. The Republican Party and the premise of conservatism were always defining targets. When I started a punk rock magazine and later a punk rock record label, distrust and even hatred for everything conservatives stand for were ever-present motivations. Now conservatives are claiming to be punks? Maybe they're thinking about how Shakespeare used it: punks were prostitutes, a term that certainly describes most Republican elected officials and certainly describes the 111 punks who voted with the banksters today and against their own constituents. Of course they could also be the fellas in prison who take it up the butt-- not a stretch for the handmaidens of Big Business, is it?

I spent a lot of time with the Clash in London and on tour in the U.K. before they had released an album in the U.S.-- great fun. Through them I met lots of other punks, including Generation X, Billy Idol's old band. Reading the GOP meme about how punky they are I couldn't stop myself from going back and listening to "100 Punks" from the first Gen X album. Shame it isn't called "111 Punks," or even "114 Punks," since I have no problem whatsoever shaming the 3 Democratic turncoats who voted with them today. In any case I threw this little slide show together for you.

Gen X- 100 Punks from Howie Klein on Vimeo.