Why R’s Don’t Understand

Bob Burnett asks (I paraphrase), Why don’t  Republicans understand that to shut down the government is simply bad for the economy? What they “understand” is difficult to decipher. Do they, for instance, really believe that a federal budget is similar to a family budget? Do they really believe that investment in infrastructure is frivolous “spending”? What explains the phenomenon illustrated by “What’s the matter with Kansas”? It seems that the GOP has co-opted, with “family values” issues, many poor and working people.

The poorer the state, the more regressive its politics. E.g., compare Mississippi and Alabama to Connecticut and Massachusetts. But outside of the old Confederacy, e.g., Maine, Ohio, Wisconsin, et al, extremely radical (not “conservative”) governors get elected by appealing to working and even not-working people. Perhaps these governors and the legislators Burnett cites, whatever their previous vocation and wealth, know something about the less-than-wealthy that can be exploited for their pernicious ends.

It may be that the radical “true believers” that dominate the Republican Party are so preoccupied with abortion, “Obamacare” and such mean-spirited desiderata that except for pro-business, anti-labor issues, the economy may be left to the “invisible hand.” Not that many of them have read Adam Smith: maybe Ayn Rand.

Jerry Bronk
San Francisco, Calif.

Revisionist History

This column [“How Obama Left Neocons Feeling Foolish,” by Gene Lyons, 10/15/13 TPP] is really an attempt to rewrite history.

Obama is being credited with initiating the move away from military attack [in retaliation for Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons] to negotiation.

Actually, as we all know from following the numerous media reports at the time, John Kerry made an impulsive opening, and Putin jumped in, bringing in — we hope — Assad.

Obama did not get Putin “to take a lead role”; Putin took the initiative after Kerry offered him an opening. Obama was just lucky enough to get Kerry and Putin acting together (we think and hope).

To try to make this a success story for Obama is a politically motivated distortion of history. Lyons should be reprimanded and, if there are further blatant political distortions of history by him or other columnists, I will stop reading TPP. We don’t need progressives acting like the radical right.

Jeanne Riha
Corvallis, Ore.

Editor Replies: Some day historians may be able to determine whose idea it really was. Until then it is premature to determine whether Lyons is right or wrong in crediting Obama and Kerry with the initiative. In the meantime, US missiles stayed put and the chemical weapons are being removed from Syria at this writing. We hope you continue to find most, if not all, of our columnists worthy of your consideration.

Economic Treason

Stupidity is contagious! Without it there would be no conservatives — a misnomer itself with many variation levels. The newest and worst is called the Tea Party and the truth there is the T-word “Traitor” — their primary goal is the same as the terrorist of 9/11, to bring down the American government. The other description is T-Potty — they are hit men for the deadbeat billionaires as Koch Brothers and Rupert Murdock (a foreigner) — both are hand-me-down billionaires who hate the poor and working-class Americans. They have massive misinformation systems to recruit the unread, unthinking and uncaring haters. America is now a fascists’ nation with the unholy marriage of corrupt domestic and foreign corporations, the non-benevolent Christians who steal the tithes of the poor, and the political conservative party for the greedy who get pleasure by persecuting the sick and needy. A primary point to know is: Conservatives always lie — they have no truth in them about anything. They have no prophet but profit and no God but Mammon.

Their other companion destructionists are Libertarians working to make America another Third-World uncivilized nation without love and logic for it’s own people. Libertarians are Darwinist fools. Politicians like Ron Paul, a senile old man before he was old, and Runt Paul is a chip off the old blockhead. Their idol, Ayn Rand, was a pure stupid fool without any knowledge of the money distribution dynamics that creates a prosperous nation. The government is US — the money belongs to US and must be spent on US. Hoarding is a crime against God and US. Like love it must be spread around to do any good. The government must keep up with the population or poverty, crime and chaos will paralyze and kill our nation. People must be first.

J. Ray Hunt
Broken Arrow, Okla.

Egoist Anarchism

Reading references to the Tea Party as anarchists in the Bellingham Herald, I looked up anarchism and discovered the following: Egoist anarchism is a school of anarchist thought that originated in the philosophy of German philosopher Max Stirner, (1806–1856). The egoist has no political calling but rather “live themselves out” without regard to “how well or ill humanity may fare thereby.” Stirner wanted to “abolish not only the state but also society as an institution responsible for its members.”

We usually think of anarchists as fighting in the streets with masks (WTO Seattle), but holding a government for ransom because of personal opinion and demagogy fits the profile too.

Considering that President Obama was re-elected because of his Affordable Care Act, Congress approved the ACA, the courts upheld the ACA and the majority of Americans want the ACA, it appears that the TEA Party apparently stands for The Egoist Anarchist party. Even Rep. Boehner has had it with these people who are bringing down the whole GOP and the country with their “dig in your heels” anti-democratic stance on NOT running the country.

Enough of this manipulation! We are supposed to be a democratic republic.

Donna Starr
Blaine, Wash.

Storm of Thoughts

After reading the Mark Twain quote and then Dave Zirin’s column on the Washington Redskins’ racism, I may have had a little “storm” triggered by my Cat Lovers Against The Bomb (CLAB) calendar. The Nov. 3 block of CLAB calendar notes that on that date in 1883, the Supreme Court of the US declared Native Americans to be aliens. So the present Supreme Court are not the only idiots in US history. Maybe the owners of the present team could call them “The Washington Aliens” to avoid any legal problems down the road. Also in my mental “storm” came the thought that in your same edition of TPP, the story about Mount Rushmore, which Rob Patterson notes, the turbulence rose as I thought of those four gringo presidents desecrating the Native American holy land. But I was consoled by the thought that the statue of Crazy Horse, when completed, will be able to contain those four palefaces inside it.

Bernard J. Berg
Easton, Pa.

Social Security Skinflints

I am 84 years old. All my life, since I was 15 until I was 62, I worked and paid contributions to Social Security, in reliance on the representation that I was helping to pay for my own retirement. When I was not going to school at night, I usually worked at two jobs and Social Security payments were deducted from both paychecks (there was no such thing as Pell Grants and student loans, etc., in those days). If I recall correctly, even when I was in the Air Force for three years, Social Security payments were deducted.

Now the so-called “conservative” Republicans say they don’t want to pay it. What a scummy thing to do. What kind of people are they?

Harvey Stoneburner
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Divided States of America

Not only do the Tea-Party Republicans in the House of Representatives want to shut down the government; they appear to want to amend the 10 Commandments to provide as follows:

1. Thou shalt eliminate Medicare;

2. Thou shalt eliminate Social Security;

3. Thou shalt close all post offices;

4. Thou shalt lower taxes only for the rich;

5. Thou shalt shut down the government and not pay our debts unless Obamacare is repealed;

6. Thou shalt starve the poor, including several million children, by substantially cutting food stamps;

7. Thou shalt ignore the near unanimous scientific environmental warnings including climate change;

8. Thou shalt do everything to make life more difficult for the aged, disabled, and minorities to vote;

9. Thou shalt make it more difficult for women to receive health care; and,

10. Thou shalt filibuster whenever politically convenient and urge impeachment of every Democratic President.

This agenda appears to be that of a Divided States of America rather than that of a United States of America and is clearly not that of any legitimate democracy.

Edward L. Koven
Highland Park, Ill.

Women Needed to Clean Up Congress

While “we women of the world” typically “clean house” in all of our local communities throughout this nation, the stench of incompetence, ideological arrogance and corruption evokes the absolute, unequivocal necessity that women (parity in governance throughout the land) (50% male, 50% female) be there to prevent the unconscionable testosterone-laden males making a mess before it happens.

The “old adage” about “Behind every good man stands a good woman” must now be together/beside every good partnership partnership is gender equality.

Elaine and Frank Rohrig
Milford, Conn.

From The Progressive Populist, November 15, 2013


Blog | Current Issue | Back Issues | Essays | Links

About the Progressive Populist | How to Subscribe | How to Contact Us

Copyright © 2013 The Progressive Populist
PO Box 819, Manchaca TX 78652