Pinochet y Bush, Class Warfare in Chile y Ohio
With the possible exception of Barry Goldwater for whom I have have always had a somewhat grudging admiration and a few others, perhaps John McCain before he developed a taste for the flavor of George Bush’s ass and decided that performing oral sex on Jerry Falwell, indeed the entire religious right was a natural rite of passage on the road to earning the Presidency, Republicanism has always been abhorrent to me.
My animus toward the GOP probably began during my early residence in the womb of a Mother who was a Democrat, a long time member of the UAW and the daughter of hard scrabble Sicilian Democrats from Connecticut as well as exposure to Willie Higgins my paternal grandfather who was a printer, a pressman and a lifelong Democrat. (except for the part about FDR sending his son to fight a war in Europe. Willie loved Harry Truman, but hated FDR, there may be a lesson about war or public relations or whose ox is being gored in there somewhere.)
Anyway, I came by my liberal passions early and honestly and before the end of elementary school had begun to feel a strong disdain for Hamilton and all he represented and a deep affinity for Jefferson and what I saw as the enlightened, egalitarian ideals of a more liberal political philosophy.
With this background it should be quite understandable that the October election was celebrated around my house as “the night of the living Democrats” and great sighs of relief were breathed over the weighing of the Republican anchor on the Ship of State which contains our mutual American asses.
However, it seems that my smug satisfaction with the coming Democratic majority was somewhat immoderate and premature because those Republican bastards are lame ducking the hell out of the country before the Democrats take office.
It’s not as if they haven’t enjoyed six painfully long years in their wholehearted and gleeful attempts to turn The United States of America, into something resembling Mordor, they are now using their last two months of numerical clout to further befog the republic with the foul stench of their half assed and self defeating public policies.
From William Hershey in today’s Dayton Daily News comes an article entitled “Lame-duck session aims to hobble those who caused it pain”
The Republicans who run the legislature know who the bad guys are.
They’re using the lame-duck session to bang away on those villains one last time before heading home to gulp eggnog, deck their halls and try to figure out how in the world Democrats won a few elections this year.
Labor unions? Pow! Right in the minimum-wage amendment!
The Ohio AFL-CIO and member unions spearheaded the campaign to win passage last month of the constitutional amendment raising the minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.85 an hour, effective Jan. 1.
House GOP leaders certainly didn’t invite union people to help draw up the legislation to implement the amendment. Instead, they sat down with representatives from business groups that opposed the minimum-wage proposal.
The result shouldn’t have been a surprise.
The House already has passed a bill exempting groups of workers from the wage increase that backers of the amendment say are supposed to be covered – home health-care workers and agricultural workers among them. The Senate now is considering the bill.
Take that, labor bad guys!
Dayton Daily News
I’m fully aware that a similar not so lame duck scenario is being played out on the National level, but this is how Ohio Republicans play the game:
The voters go to the polls and with full intent, amend the state constitution to ensure that if you are employed in the State of Ohio you will be payed a minimum of $6.85 per hour.
Voice of the people right?
Will of the electorate right?
The Republican leadership calls in the “business community” and allows them to re-amend the state constitution behind closed doors.
“Your side lost on this issue at the polls? No problem guys we’re having a little soiree at the statehouse this evening, open bar by the way, come on by, we’ll fix everything. Screw the voters.”
This reminds me of some Republican comments from Kissinger, Nixon et al, after Salvador Allende was elected to the Chilean Presidency in 1970.
“I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves.”
There, in a nutshell, (a perfect container for the entire body of Republican thought) is Republicanism.
Henry tells us how it’s done on the national level, he tells us that the voters are free to vote for whatever “we” want them to have. “We,” of course is always the “ruling,” the “moneyed,” classes, the land owning, life controlling elites of whatever country you choose to name, be it Chile in the 70’s or right here in Ohio 36 years later.
Edward Korry, a longtime professional diplomat who served both Democratic and Republican administrations, demonstrates below his mastery of diplomatic nuance. Now you know where John Bolton developed his feel for subtlety.
“Not a nut or bolt shall reach Chile under Allende. Once Allende comes to power we shall do all within our power to condemn Chile and all Chileans to utmost deprivation and poverty.”
Edward M. Korry, U.S. Ambassador to Chile, upon hearing of Allende’s election.
And here do we find the beginnings of Young George’s thirst for regime change.
“Make the economy scream [in Chile to] prevent Allende from coming to power or to unseat him”
Richard Nixon, orders to CIA director Richard Helms on September 15, 1970
“It is firm and continuing policy that Allende be overthrown by a coup. It would be much preferable to have this transpire prior to 24 October but efforts in this regard will continue vigorously beyond this date. We are to continue to generate maximum pressure toward this end, utilizing every appropriate resource. It is imperative that these actions be implemented clandestinely and securely so that the USG and American hand be well hidden…”
A communique to the CIA base in Chile, issued on October 16, 1970
Pinochet justifies his coup, his usurping of power over the wishes of the Chilean people in words that little George Bush and all of Texas oil, in fact, all of corporate America would be proud of (this may be where Shrub first heard the word entrepreneur):
“[Military rule aims] to make Chile not a nation of proletarians, but a nation of entrepreneurs.”
Hell, Chile was a nation of proletarians run by and for those who “dress for dinner.”
In the citation below the Kissinger introduces “Tricky Dick” to the concept of “cover up” and survives to become the supremely self righteous elder statesman.
“We didn’t do it. I mean we helped them. [Garbled] created the conditions as great as possible.”
Henry Kissinger conversing with President Nixon about the coup. Telephone call from Kissinger to Nixon
Below, from Allende himself, written more than half my life ago was what the “fuss was all about” (as my little Quaker Grandma Higgins would say), a statement derived from a philosophical stance that has cost many good women and men their lives, freedom or both, and a statement that is apparently still feared in Ohio, equally, as it is feared in Washington, and more importantly, feared in the corporate boardrooms where all power in My America currently and illegally resides:
“Chilean democracy,” Allende wrote, “is a conquest by all of the people. It is neither the work nor the gift of the exploiting classes, and it will be defended by those who, with sacrifices accumulated over generations, have imposed it… With a tranquil conscience… I sustain that never before has Chile had a more democratic government than that over which I have the honor to preside… I solemnly reiterate my decision to develop democracy and a state of law to their ultimate consequences… Parliament has made itself a bastion against the transformations… and has done everything it can to perturb the functioning of the finances and of the institutions, sterilizing all creative initiatives.”
Agosto Pinochet is dead. He died recently, and, as with all those who disgrace humanity with the greed and brutality of their lives, the time and date of his death do not mattter.
Allende lives, he lives in the hearts of a long enslaved and someday to be, free people and he lives in Ohio, he lives in the human quest for the “better angels of our nature.”
“The horror the United States inflicted upon Chile in 1973 can never be purged and can never be forgiven.”Harold Pinter, in his 2005