Republicans makes no sense. They should be very happy. Taxes are lower than they've ever been -- for individuals, corporations, everybody. The government "takeover" of health care is no such thing -- we will all be required to buy private insurance, a sweetheart deal for capitalism if there ever was one. Government is indeed big, and deficits are large, but the Pauls are the only Republicans who are even willing to discuss cutting defense spending, and everyone knows there will be no serious cuts to Social Security or Medicare because of the senior vote in 2012.
That leaves the ridiculous spectacle of trying to fix a deficit by finding savings in a mere 12% of the budget. Under the knife are such programs as heating oil for the poor in winter, Planned Parenthood, NPR, and Head Start. The idea that anyone should even have to defend the value of these programs is both absurd and a little bit obscene.
George W. Bush came into office with a surplus but trillions in national debt. He did not declare: "We're going to apply this extra revenue to paying down this horrific burden on our budget. If the economy slows down, I will consider some stimulative tax cuts. Otherwise, I must do the fiscally responsible thing and reduce our prodigious national debt." No, he announced the transfer of trillions of dollars via tax cuts from the middle class to the super-rich, and all of the future Tea Partiers cheered. Deficits ballooned, and the national debt tripled to finance two wars that have done nothing to increase our national security. None of this raised any of the hackles of the right wing until we had a black Democratic President.
The Tea Partiers don't really care about debt or the size of government, and their overlords like the Kochs have more money than they can ever possibly spend. Corporations are sitting on a trillion in profits, and regularly ship more jobs overseas. When it comes to money, they have already won. It's about way more than money.
What the right wing resents in this country is the rise in status of previously disenfranchised groups. The President is half black. Gays want to get married. Women have the crazy idea they should control their bodies, and Oscar winners don't run to the altar because they've gotten pregnant. Let's not even talk about immigrants.
The real bug up the right-wing's ass is that the rest of us no longer know our place. What's worse, we don't confer any particular status on people who have born on third base and think they've scored a triple, nor do we consider it a personal accomplishment to have been born white, American, or Christian -- even if we're all three ourselves.
Scott Walker didn't stop at getting all the financial concessions he requested because unions represent something much deeper than the right to organize. Unions represent equality. Unions embody the idea that workers are every bit as worthy as the men who sign their paychecks. Unions challenge the idea that the free market is some sort of spiritual arbiter of a person's value on the planet; they pose an existential threat to the assumption that one social class is somehow superior to another.
It is not enough for the right to have all the money, they want the rest of us to agree they deserve it. It's not enough for us to be poor, we need to admit it's our fault that we are. If you're gay, have the decency to be apologetic about it. And women must choose to be mothers even if they don't want to be.
We can keep throwing money at the right. But they will not be satisfied until the rest of us are finally put back in our place and act like that's where we belong.
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