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The 5 Cruelest Actual GOP Policies

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The 5 Cruelest Actual GOP Policies

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Republican U.S. presidential candidate Texas Senator Ted Cruz waves as he arrives to speak at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland March 4, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

You didn’t see Saturday Night Live‘s “Establishment Shuffle” sketch on national television because it didn’t make the actual show. But it’s probably the best summary of the 2016 GOP primary that you’ll find.

In it, the dignified Paul Ryan — who almost had America intentionally default on its debt because President Obama wouldn’t agree to enough cuts to Social Security and Medicare — explains that Trump’s proud racism and erratic demagoguery don’t represent the establishment Republican Party, which prides itself on subtle, coded racism in service of a constant and unwavering effort to undo everything that built the middle class.

The extremism of the GOP establishment becomes more obvious every day as it rushes to support Ted Cruz’s efforts to swipe the nomination from Trump — and deliver it to a Senator who would be the most extreme national candidate since at least Barry Goldwater, and possibly since shoelaces were invented.

The GOP has never stopped catering to the catered and victimizing victims, but it’s worse than ever now. Trump’s cruelty-as-qualification runs on these very instincts, but turns off the voters Republicans need to win a general election. At this point, the billion-dollar baby’s brutality is all theoretical. But Republican cruelty is actual policy, and it has decimated states like Louisiana and Kansas, where the empty promises behind tax cuts for the rich are repaid with the blood, sweat, and fears of low-wage workers.

Saturday’s Boston Globe supplement imagines the damage a President Trump could do. But let’s not forget the damage being done by the Republican right at this very moment:

  1. Denying millions of the hardest working, most desperate Americans Medicaid expansion, for no good reason.
    Look at Texas to see the lengths the GOP will go to deny poor people basic health care. The state with the highest uninsured rate in the nation is turning down billions of dollars, forcing residents to pay higher insurance rates and letting thousands die rather than accept Medicaid expansion paid for almost entirely by the federal government. In addition, the state’s war on Planned Parenthood has driven between 100,000 and 240,000 women in the state to attempt to end a pregnancy themselves. Florida and 17 other states are doing their best to duplicate Texas’ efforts to punish the poorest working people in the state with third world health care.
  2. Trying to delegitimize the Veterans Administration after overloading it with suffering servicemen.
    Like any other Republican-driven “crisis,” there’s much more to the VA than what’s being reported. Exploiting an overloaded system, right-wing billionaires are attempting to destroy what has been the nation’s most effective means of delivering health care for veterans. “Working through the [Concerned Veterans of America], and in partnership with key Republicans and corporate medical interests, the Koch brothers’ web of affiliates has succeeded in manufacturing or vastly exaggerating ‘scandals’ at the VA as part of a larger campaign to delegitimize publicly provided health care,” Alicia Mundy writes in an explosive expose for the Washington Monthly. “All this has been happening, ironically, even as most vets who use the system and all the major veterans’ service organizations (VSOs) applaud the quality of VA health care.” There are problems in the system, no doubt. But they are problems consistent with an American health care system both underfunded and egregiously costly, thanks to the right’s aversion to government expansion.
  3. Unmooring struggling communities with the destruction of public education. 
    “School choice” is a perfectly poll-tested term for the conspiracy to undermine community schools that also — how convenient — just happens to target the last effective bulwark against Republican revanchism, teachers’ unions. School choice as a phrase is promising, but again and again, introducing “competition” to one of our most treasured institutions, public education, has uprooted the fabric of communities that have little holding them together. In Michigan a new study finds that “choice” students “fare no better on state standardized tests than similar students who stay in their home districts.” And what do students get in return for empty promises and classroom disruption? Mitchell Robinson, an associate professor and chair of music education at Michigan State University, called school choice “a scam designed to defund poor urban school districts and destabilize public education.”
  4. Purposely keeping wages as low as possible.
    Next year will mark a full decade since the lowest paid Americans got a federal minimum wage increase — so long ago that many states and localities have given up waiting for Republicans in Congress to act. In response to the Fight for Fifteen movement’s activism, city councils are addressing minimum wage increases at the local level, despite state legislatures’ interventions. Meanwhile, many of the same states enforce anti-union measures that purposely lower wages for all workers. Elected Republicans are doing their best to act on Donald Trump’s call that wages are too damn high.
  5. Doing whatever they can to make global warming worse.
    New research suggests that “the disaster scenario” of the West Antarctic ice sheet breaking off, melting, and raising ocean levels by as much as 12 feet could happen much sooner than expected. And Republicans are furious that President Obama is trying to do something about it. Why? Because the effects of climate change will, generally, fall hardest upon the world’s poor: those unable to cope with the devastating effects of drought, flood, and famine. That, or they really believe what Trump said: that global warming is a conspiracy invented by the Chinese.

Photo: Republican U.S. presidential candidate Texas Senator Ted Cruz waves as he arrives to speak at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland March 4, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts 

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12 Comments

  1. FireBaron April 11, 2016

    Ah, but each of these do have a legitimate counter!
    1. Allowing the Medicaid expansion in their states would prove the effectiveness of Obamacare. That cannot be allowed to happen, especially if the GOP wants to prevent his reelection in 2012! After all, why else would the GOP spend all of their time and effort this year running against the President’s policies?
    2. Well, obviously, the GOP expected either a shorter war or a higher body count. Otherwise, the VA would not have imploded due to the underfunding necessary to allow it to be dismantled and taken over by private concerns. But one does have to wonder – exactly how many Veterans are actually members of the CVA? Well, I guess if there is at least one (even if he did get a medical discharge 6 months after joining), it is legit.
    3. Again with the education. Hey, if the people in Red States are happy receiving third rate education in systems controlled by people who don’t even have a 4th Grade reading level, allow them to revel in their ignorance! After all, these are Trump’s best supporters!
    4. Don’t you realize, if you raise wages and the poor start buying consumer goods instead of renting them for 5x their value, we could see inflation? I mean without these low wages, how would payday loan operations keep in business?
    5. Pay no attention to rising sea levels, shorter ski seasons or retreating glaciers. It’s just a “correction”, just like when Wall Street makes a correction that bankrupts pension funds, but allows the 1% to short sell and make big profits.

    Reply
    1. Jmz Nesky April 12, 2016

      I agree with all you’re counters FireBaron except #3.. True, these red state hillbillies seem content with the sub-education their receiving and as such should suffer in their own saliva, however these wankers are the most outspoken on political stupidity than all others combined and just like the rise of an exceptional idiot who has no business in seeking political office (his earlier words) it was these yokels who have and are still granting him over bloated media coverage.. These red state simpletons are a detriment to an otherwise promising nation.

      Reply
  2. greenlantern1 April 11, 2016

    Remember the Walter Reed scandal?
    Who was president?
    Who was Secretary of the VA?
    The ONLY president, that ordered our troops to fire upon our vets, was Hoover!
    Ever read about the BONUS MARCH?
    Wasn’t he a Republican?
    Our ONLY, jailed, Secretary of the Veteran’s Bureau was Charles Forbes!
    Harding was president!
    Wasn’t he a REPUBLICAN?

    Reply
  3. charleo1 April 11, 2016

    Is Trump, and Cruz the face of the long awaited, much demanded, true Conservatism? If so, then what is this new purer version of Conservatism good for? Just as what it stands against grows exponentially, what it actually favors seems to decline with every breaking dawn. Ostensively, small ‘c’ Conservatism was supposed to be about conserving that which is fundamentally intrinsic to the economic well being of the Country. With a few dollops of old time religion, and cultural demagoguery thrown in as a kind of sugar to make the medicine seem more palatable to the working stiffs. Touted by it’s mostly well to do advocates throughout most of the last half of the 20th century, as the proverbial brake on the runaway tax, and spend policies of a “failed,” by their calculations, this Kenyan/Rooseveltian, do-gooder-ism, this dangerous Socialism, that was, killing innovation by interfering with the natural free markets, thus creating unemployment, and poverty by removing the incentives of the rich to invest via proliferate taxation, and the poor to work, via an ever expanding welfare state. And this was their story they repeated over, and over, with few detractions, or additions for the next 40 years.
    Until the unparalleled expansion of the 50s and 60s seemed to be fading along with the horrible memories of breadlines, sweatshops, and the desperation induced by this same type of Harding/Hoover cronyism, incompetence, and unbridled greed had wrought upon the World’s masses the last time they controlled the levers of government. So again I think we must ask ourselves, what does conservatism stand for, and just who are those Americans, and others, Conservatism is good for? And if the policies of Reagan, and Bush were not conservative enough, not by half. Then what would be the results of the unadulterated version they are proposing now? It’s time, my fellow citizens to remember, and extrapolate!

    Reply
    1. 11thStPopulist April 11, 2016

      It is just simple hierarchy. Not too dissimilar to the old feudal system. There are those deemed worthy, as evidenced by their wealth, inherited or earned, and all the rest, useful to fight wars of aggression, especially if those wars lead to economic gain.

      In quasi-democracy, conservative “churches” deliver poorly educated voters to the right wing oligarchy (corporations and their governmental puppets) as the rightful inheritors of “God’s” dominion. In return for their loyalty, the majority will be offered a “right to work” (for less) environment in states that try to make unions and other worker’s associations illegal. Environmentally concerns cannot be raised, much less addressed, as this cuts into the bottom line.

      Schools, of course, must be taken over by evangelicals to properly inculcate the youth and control teachers. No creative thinking allowed.

      Reply
    2. idamag April 11, 2016

      Let’s talk about free market. I am going to use a parable. John Q. was a tailor. He was looking for a job. He is walking down the street with his last $10. It is a street of meat packing plants and fish brokers. He comes upon a button seller with his peddler’s cart. He is so discouraged, he sells John Q. his cart and inventory. John Q. moves his cart to a place where there are more diverse people walking about. He sells all his buttons in an hour and gets more. Business is great. In a few years he can buy a small fabric and sewing notion store. Mr.B. Bucks is riding down the street in the back of his limousine. Mr. B.Bucks owns the biggest variety store in town. He jots down the address and tells his driver, “Take me to the mayor’s office.” He knows he won’t need an appointment to see the mayor. He storms into the mayor’s office. The mayor excuses the people in her office. Mr. B. Bucks expresses his outrage to the mayor. The mayor calls her police chief and tells him to see that that monstrosity, that is impeding foot traffic at A St and Shoupe is moved at once and it not to be in the city streets again, John Q. feels that this is unfair and goes to see his senator. The Constitution gives him the right to redress his senator. He is told to come in at 9. a.m. He comes in at 9 and there are already quite a few people ahead of him. A group of men in Armani suits and Gucci shoes come in. They go to the head of the line. There is a rash of complaints form those who are already in line. They do a little rap thing and are ushered into the senator’s office. He waits patiently in line until 11 a.m. when the senator sends word that he will be out to lunch until 2:30. Those , standing in line, decide to stay where they are and keep their places. At 3:00 p.m., an aide comes out and tells them the senator has gone home for the day and to come back at 9:00 in the morning..

      Reply
    3. Aaron_of_Portsmouth April 12, 2016

      Your last sentences alone pose the real possibility of a doomsday scenario similar to the farce portrayed in “Dr. Strangelove”, except there wouldn’t be any humor.
      The spectre of such “purity” that the aforementioned nuts offer causes any sane person to shiver. (Buckley must be squirming wherever he is).

      Reply
  4. Aaron_of_Portsmouth April 11, 2016

    What’s equally stunning and utterly counter-intuitive given these policies is the willingness of those who are on the short end of the stick to gladly accept being doormats and “yes men” for the more self-centered and usually more well-off in American society.

    These same lemming-like beings march lock-step in accepting trickle-down benefits from the table of the over-fed, boisterous, bellicose, and obstreperous, yet seemingly polite and faux well-mannered, of the established hierarchy.

    “Let Us Eat Cake” is a motto stamped on the brow of the rabble that support being abused and treated as cannon-fodder.

    As an aggregate, these same moribund myrmidons are very much like the “Eloi” in HG Wells’ Time Machine, while a certain group in political affairs of today are the “Morlocks” who have carefully bred the Eloi” to accept their lot in life and who will react violently on command to any who wish to show them an alternative to being a drone.

    What we have is a subtly crafted form of Psychological Eugenics more devastating in the long-run than what eugenecists of the early 20th century ever dreamed possible.

    The “Morlocks” currently calling the shots locally and regionally, have carefully prepared a nightmarish dessert which is part Stalinist, part North Korean/Eurasian Idol-worshipping, having a heaping dose of a biased/avaricious capitalism laced with cyanide-based cynicism, sprinkled with a sugary coating of false expectations, and covered with a plastic shell in the shape of a pie.

    It’s a treat that only the most desultory, delirious, and lifeless would be tricked into thinking it to be a reality, and who would relish and devour with joy and squealing with bucolic delight. (Beethoven’s “Pastoral” would be appropriate background music)

    Reply
    1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth April 11, 2016

      As for the SNL skit, it is the JAMMM!!!

      Reply
    2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth April 12, 2016

      In retrospect, I must admit to going overboard above Oh well, what the heck !
      There’s just something about a certain ideological subset of America that brings out the prolixity in me —“Ease up, Aaron”.

      Reply
  5. Shreknangst April 11, 2016

    OK, so the Republican agenda is based upon THE MOST HARM TO THE MOST PEOPLE.
    It is also the policies that were at the core of southern slavery, a policy which held works must be uneducated and their health was meaningless, so long as they could be made to reproduce the next generation.
    DEATH OVER LIFE is always the choice to be preferred [amazon.com/Death-Over-Life-Revelation-Destruction/dp/1497427169] and the death of the nation is competing with the death of those policies and the agenda of those who support harming themselves and others. We are seeing it, on schedule, in America and the middle east — if it wins in America, if the Republicans win, it will also win in the middle east. Ultimately it will lose, but we’re discussing, and deciding, just how messy that flooding process will be.

    Reply
  6. reMarkable Adam May 13, 2016

    Nice fantasy article.
    What really happens and happened:
    1. Denying millions of hardest working, most desperate Americans Medicaid expansion, for no good reason. – Maine proves this wrong.
    2. Trying to delegitimize the Veterans Administration after overloading it with suffering servicemen. – Democrats have done zilch, zero, nada, to help veterans.
    3. Unmooring struggling communities with the destruction of public education. – Struggling communities are direct result of the Democrats so-called War on Poverty.
    4. Purposely keeping wages as low as possible. – Democrats $15 minimum wage will result in $0 minimum wage for those replaced by automation and self-service. ala Wendy’s
    5. Doing whatever they can to make global warming worse.- So called climate change has never been proven and the published data, as proven to have been manipulated and falsified in order to push a Democrat and RINO political agenda.

    Reply

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