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View Full Version : The Alternate Universe Of The RepiglicanSheepTWITS



Gayle in MD
07-26-2011, 09:15 AM
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0711/59831.html



By MATT STOLLER | 7/25/11 10:27 PM EDT
The financial crisis and now the debt ceiling have revealed deep stress fractures in our politics. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is running for president on the premise that not paying government debts won’t mean default. She’s doing pretty well. It seems that loudly denouncing the idea that 1+1 = 2 is an appealing message in Republican politics.

<span style='font-size: 14pt'>But while this denial of reality might be shocking to some people who only recently started paying attention to Republican politics, it’s not, in fact, a new phenomenon. And it’s taking place wherever Republicans are asserting power. </span>

<span style='font-size: 14pt'>Elizabeth Warren, a leading legal expert who has been facing a fierce GOP onslaught against meager government attempts to protect consumers against predatory financial institutions, said dealing with the Republicans was like “living in an alternate universe.” Indeed, that’s what the GOP discourse sounds like now — a basic feature of modern conservatism is denying reality. </span>

For example, if you just listened to conservatives, you would think that Wall Street and the reckless actions of big banks had nothing to do with the financial crisis. According to the GOP, the economic collapse was the fault of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were government-sponsored entities. <span style='font-size: 14pt'>Though the majority of the really toxic subprime loans were made by banks and mortgage companies, and one big private firm, American International Group, sold the biggest bundle of credit default swaps, the financial industry was not a cause of the crisis, Republicans say. Nope, it was all Fannie and Freddie. </span><span style='font-size: 14pt'>You would also have no idea that the bailouts started under President George W. Bush and were supported by many Republicans in Congress — not to mention Sarah Palin. </span>

The financial crisis has discredited this conservative worldview. Yet the guts of conservative ideology insists that privatization is always good. The fact that Fannie and Freddie were privatized — and this caused enormous losses to taxpayers — no, this doesn’t discredit privatization as a strategy.

House Transportation Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) is now pushing the privatization of Amtrak’s key successful route — the Northeast corridor along the lines of a plan tried in Britain that caused accidents and required taxpayer bailouts. Apparently, conservatism cannot fail — it can only be failed.

If you listened only to conservatives, you would think that the health care law was some sort of fascist takeover — though the leading GOP presidential candidate implemented a nearly identical system in Massachusetts. <span style='font-size: 14pt'>Many features of the plan were hatched by the conservative Heritage Foundation in the early 1990s, and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) put forward a plan approved by the House Republicans to turn Medicare into a system similar to Obamacare.</span>

Somehow, for Republicans, the private sector can do no wrong. When it does wrong, it’s not the private sector that did it.



<span style='font-size: 14pt'>This level of core duplicity goes back to the founding of the modern conservative movement — the New Right and the neoconservatives in the 1970s. Many of these influential neocons were ex-Trotskyites, schooled in the political organizing tactics that included deception and propaganda as basic tools for political control. It has proved a fabulously successful political strategy: The political spectrum has moved far to the right in both parties — with the significant exception of gay rights. </span>

<span style='font-size: 20pt'>What is striking today about Republican control of Congress is how reality is just not relevant to governing.</span>

There would be unpredictable consequences if the U.S. government were to default on Treasury bonds, since Treasuries are a core security used for lending in the capital markets. But the tea party faction in Congress insists, and believes, that default isn’t going to happen. And besides, default isn’t a big deal.

An intellectually honest conservative faction might be arguing that this is what it seeks — a revolutionary change.

Meanwhile, Republicans assert that unemployment benefits are what’s stopping the nation’s jobless from finding work, though the U.S. lost millions of jobs in the economic crisis and employment is now higher than 9 percent.

So there is little discussion about extending unemployment insurance, even as benefits run out, because the deficit is the GOP’s gravest economic emergency. There’s no debate about ways to address high unemployment — <span style='font-size: 20pt'>just deny reality and enforce it with the Leninist-style propaganda arm of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. </span>

But there is a big problem. America is simply not set up to handle one political party that bases its political organizing on an alternate reality and the raw power of propaganda. The U.S. government, and our public debates, are organized around the idea that there’s some measure of good faith in both parties, some common basis on which to make decisions.

I do not think most Republicans realize this is how their party operates — but the more cynical high-level operatives certainly do.

<span style='font-size: 20pt'>When George W. Bush ran for president in 2000, one of his campaign promises was to avoid nation-building. His presidency, of course, shifted America toward endless war and occupation of foreign countries — based on overt deceptions, like implying there was a link between the Sept. 11 terrorists and Saddam Hussein. Bush had his secretary of state, Colin Powell, hold up a vial of powder at the U.N. to show we had allegedly solid intelligence about Hussein’s weapons capabilities.

Back in 2004, a Bush administration official laid out what is now clearly the Republican Party’s guiding philosophy. The official spoke to a journalist as though he were from a foreign land — since he hailed from “what we call the reality-based community.”

“When we act,” the official said, “we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

It’s unclear whether the Republicans want to, or even can, leave this alternate universe that they have constructed. Unfortunately, it’s also unclear whether our society can survive it. </span>Matt Stoller

Sev
07-26-2011, 11:02 AM
http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t278/Sevelli/Guns/rooftops.jpg

LWW
07-26-2011, 03:55 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Gayle in MD</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><span style='font-size: 14pt'>Elizabeth Warren, a leading legal expert who has been facing a fierce GOP onslaught against meager government attempts to protect consumers against predatory financial institutions, said dealing with the Republicans was like “living in an alternate universe.” Indeed, that’s what the GOP discourse sounds like now — a basic feature of modern conservatism is denying reality. </span>

</div></div>

Anyone who claims the GOP is a conservative group has:

A - Lost the debate by default.

B - Shown that they are an idiot ... at best.