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Expensive And Ineffective

That’s republicanism in a nutshell. Expensive and ineffective describes every aspect of the republican party, but I want to focus on one specific area for this post. Union busting.

Everyone is hip to the fact that the union busting efforts by republican governors all across the country aren’t about balancing state budgets. They’re about eviscerating the democratic party. Everyone knows that with a few exceptions, the lion’s share of corporate political contributions are made to republicans, and the lion’s share of union contributions go to democrats.

A little bit of simple math, coupled with some common sense (there I go with my sunny optimism again) will tell you that the corporate contributions are significantly larger than the union contributions. Union membership in America is 12.3%. That’s if you add up all of the private sector and public sector union members. Unions ostensibly raise their political contribution money from a percentage of dues paid by that 12.3% of workers. Workers that, by the way, earn an average of 59k a year. Corporate contributions come from diverting profits to political contributions. US corporations are at this moment, sitting on two trillion dollars in cash reserves. It’s obvious where the bigger trough of money lies.

These union busting efforts are aimed at drying up the union money to political contributions. You know what that tells me? It tells me that it costs a fucking fortune to get people to buy republican. And for all of the money that’s being spent on selling republicanism, it’s still not working.

In yesterday’s post, I shared a poll that shows that most Americans would take a much more “liberal” approach to balancing our budget than our government will actually take. We see that while republican governors across the country are cutting money for education, Americans would increase the education budget. We see that Americans are willing to raise taxes on both themselves and the filthy rich.

Poll after poll shows that most Americans have “liberal” opinions on domestic issues from abortion, to gun purchasing requirements, to education and gay marriage (that poll moves more and more liberal every year). The only domestic issue where Americans skew “right”, is on the death penalty. We still have a blood lust for revenge, apparently. Most Americans aren’t interested in invading or occupying other countries. The Bush administration had to employ a major shock doctrine offense in order to get Americans on board with Iraq, and even that didn’t last more than five years. The majority of us are not interested in the neocon porn fantasy of world domination.

We are liberal on most issues, despite the shit load of cash that is being spent on selling republicanism, and making “liberal” a dirty word.

On top of the corporate contributions, there’s billions of dollars invested in a giant right wing propaganda machine. There’s Fox News, where Rupert Murdoch was happy to lose money for six years before he ever saw a dime of profit. There’s Rasmussen, a right wing polling outfit that exists so that right wing radio and Fox News can quote “data”. There’s the right wing think tanks like Cato and Heritage whose only purpose is to again, feed right wing media with lies that they can cite, thereby validating each other.

I’ve driven through cities where, when flipping through the AM dial, I’ve come across Rush Limbaugh on three different stations. Three stations carrying the same program? Why would any radio station in America carry the same programming as a competing station in the same market? Because the right wing think tanks are buying up all of the advertising on those programs, in order to ensure that those programs are all that Americans have access to. That system is finally starting to fall apart. Right wing talkers are being pulled from radio stations all across the country, finally. Nobody is fucking listening anymore.

We have a really fucking big, really fucking expensive machine trying to crank out republicans in America. But that machine is failing to accomplish it’s task. You can’t throw enough money at Americans to convince them to want to legislate’s a woman’s uterus. You can’t throw enough money at Americans to convince them to hate people for being gay (anymore). You can’t throw enough money at Americans to convince them that workers should give up their right to organize.

And you know what? The right wing corporate interests know they’re losing. That’s why they’re making a concerted effort to bust the unions. They need to make sure that no money goes to liberal voices, so that they can buy themselves a little bit more time. You think that all of these republican governors suddenly all, independently decided to launch an attack against the unions in their state? No, it’s obviously a coordinated effort. Republicanism is going to collapse. It’s just a matter of time.

Let me be clear, when I say that republicanism is going to collapse, I’m not referring to conservatism. Republicans went horribly wrong when they walked away from every single tenet of conservatism. Republicanism isn’t about smaller government. It’s about big giant government, picking your pocket at every turn.

The tea party emerged as a backlash to republicanism. It had the right idea when it started, but it went horribly wrong when the movement was taken over by Dick Armey and the Koch brothers. But I believe that true conservatives will eventually take the tea party back. Yes, I realize that I just gave the tea party some credit but I am a sunny optimist! Oh, and I look at polls.

Americans don’t want what the oligarchs want and it’s just a matter of time before they can’t fool us anymore.

Americans are not prospering the way they were in the past. And even the most politically disengaged American knows that something is horribly wrong. I think that what we’re seeing in Wisconsin is just the beginning. And I believe that defeating Scott Walker will serve as inspiration to make us realize that we do have all of the power. We just need to use it.

There is not enough money in the world to keep the robber barons in our good graces for much longer. They’re going to have to keep throwing more and more money at the problem, just to buy themselves another month, year, maybe five. But it’s all going to fall apart eventually.

And this isn’t about political parties. Obama’s approval ratings have stayed unimpressive because Americans aren’t seeing the sweeping change they were hoping for.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a democrat or a republican. Americans are going to turn on any politician that supports republicanism. The machine overplayed its hand in Wisconsin. I believe that we’re watching the beginning of the end of republicanism.

I say good riddance. I want to go back to the days of debating conservative and liberal ideas. This oligarch diversion has been bad for all of us. It’s time to move on.

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Does Fox News Make You Stupid?

You’re going to be surprised by my answer; NO.

I recently engaged into the latest of hundreds of political debates on Facebook with a republican friend of a friend. I actually learned something this time around! The learning didn’t come from anything the republican said because he, like 100% of his brethren, didn’t have anything to offer other than cute (and baseless) theories.

What I learned is that there are no smart republicans left. I don’t mean that as a partisan attack. This is an observation that each debate I engage in reinforces. Republicans didn’t used to be disinterested, or even devoid of facts to support their points of view thirty years ago. Something very bad has happened to them over the past three decades. I’m serious. And anyone that has attempted to have a discussion with a republican has most definitely experienced this.

Here’s how it always goes; the republican will make a comment to a political post. Said comment will contain no demonstrable, fact based sources to support the comment. I will present several, non-partisan links containing tangible data to counter republican’s point. Republican will ignore the data, and respond with another baseless talking point. At this point other people may jump in with their personal observations based on the fact that the topic at hand happens to be in an area of their professional expertise. The republican will again ignore these observations and offer yet another baseless opinion. I’m a bitch that loves data and provable facts, so I will post yet more links to disprove the torrent of baseless theories. You know what’s coming next from the republican, don’t you? If you guessed that the republican ignores the latest round of data, only to offer another fanciful opinion, you win a cookie!

Time and time again, this is how these discussions go. We’ve all, liberals and independents alike, had this experience. Can we attribute this disinterest in facts to Fox news? I hypothesize that we can’t. Not entirely, anyway. My theory is based on the observation that the republican in a debate almost never attempts to cite a source to back up their point. They don’t even bother to cite a blatantly partisan source like the Cato Institute or a Rasmussen poll, even though Fox refers to them in perpetuity. They just can’t be bothered with facts, manufactured or otherwise.

Now granted, thirty years ago, conservative ideology was easier to support because it hadn’t been disproved as thoroughly as it is today. We’ve had thirty years of republican and democratic presidents alike, implementing conservative practices. We’ve systematically peeled back financial regulations that kept our economy stable for over forty years. We’ve lifted regulations on business, agriculture, guns, and oil drilling. And time and again, we’ve seen this deregulation lead to disaster. We have outbreaks of contaminated food with more regularity than we’ve ever seen. We’ve seen oil spill disasters escalate in both frequency and scope. We’ve come to expect that our job market to collapse at least once every decade, even though these severe downturns didn’t happen between the early 40s and the 80s. And we’re forced to accept incident after incident where a person of questionable mental health kills dozens of innocent people with weapons that serve no purpose other than to kill a lot or people quickly. These “free market” theories were more viable thirty years ago, before (literally) every single one blew up in our faces.

Is that decreasing viability of conservative principles the reason why republicans sound more stupid today than they did thirty years ago? YES! Fox isn’t responsible for creating uninformed automatons, it’s just given them a home. Fox news viewers wouldn’t be more susceptible to facts of Fox didn’t exist. They can’t even be bothered to cite the bullshit facts that Fox so generously provides them with.

I think that blaming Fox for the epidemic of dumbass republicans is too easy, and not supported by facts. I’m not dismissing the force that Fox has proven to be in America. I’m just saying that blaming them for the segment of the population that doesn’t have any use for facts doesn’t make sense.

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