Bob Higgins

Republicans: Seeing the World through Crooked Glasses

Posted in Politics by Bob Higgins on June 12, 2008

It is, or should be by now, plainly evident to most observers that the current crop of Republicans will run the kind of Rovian sleazoid campaign that has worked so well for them in the past.

They will co opt the message of the Democrats at every opportunity and “swift boat” anyone who gets in their way. They will, as in the past, use the politics of personal destruction, of sneer and smear, a style that has become a necessity in modern Republican strategy as it so purely reflects the mentality and ethos of a sizable and increasing fraction of their base.

The party that has come to reflect the endemic racism, sexism, religious intolerance, and the rapidly widening schism between economic classes in this country has nowhere else to turn. They have become directors of a noisy, and potentially dangerous lynch mob. A criminal mob acting to serve the interests of an out of control business culture and an irrational priesthood that sees the face of God in its own self righteousness.

Republicans dare not run on their party’s record of governance over the last eight years. The record is abysmal and they know it. As much as possible that record will be kept in the dark dank shadows with the sordid history of the modern Republican Party. It will be hidden in that shameful place where they will store Bush, Cheney, their denial of health care to America’s children, denial of decent wages to America’s workers, our terribly fractured economy, serious unemployment, two misguided and mismanaged wars and the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocents.

They must try to hide the enormous decline of America which they have, through a combination of gross incompetence and malicious design, engineered.

They cannot run on the records of their candidates. Publicizing the voting record of John McCain would simply add detail to his portrait as a clone of Bush the lesser, show his resume as a generally ineffective and largely disinterested legislator, and serve to reveal him as yet another Republican tool of an increasingly criminal corporate community.

Publicizing the record of his “running babe,” a bespectacled, dewy eyed Alaskan cheerleader, will simply help to expose her incredible shallowness, her complete lack of relevant experience and preparation, her ruthless backstabbing character and shed unwanted light on the many lies she has told in just the last ten days.

They will not run on the issues, McCain’s campaign manager and head lobbyist Rick Davis has said as much, verbatim:

“This election is not about issues,” said Davis. “This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates.”

They will hearken back to past campaigns of this decade and those of the seventies and eighties and rely on their only strengths. The will use “blue smoke and mirrors.” They will distort, obfuscate and tell the “big lie” loudly and at every opportunity. What the candidates can not lie about directly they will relegate to their various PACs and fraudulent “Mom and Pop” interest groups to perform 30 second drive-by assassinations of Democratic policy and character.

After all, in the words of lobbyist Davis above, this is about a “composite view,” it’s about “what people take away from these candidates.

The republicans will package and sell Palin and McCain, their shills of the moment, the same way they sell soap flakes, corn flakes, cruise missiles or bridges to nowhere. Packaging, placement and the “appearance” of value are all that matters.

The ability to govern according to the federal constitution in the interests of the people, the interests of the great majority of the electorate, is not and never will be worthy of serious consideration by today’s GOP.

Republicans despise government. I’m not making this up, I hear it daily from their leadership in the media and from the podia in the halls of every level of government. I have heard it from their sadly deluded rank and file for the last 30 years.

How do people who so abhor government expect to succeed in its practice?

The answer is they don’t. They expect to use government to raid the public treasury and transfer wealth to corrupt corporations, to rob the working and middle classes and line the pockets of an already bloated ruling class. If the government stands in their way they will wreck it. The Constitution to them is a quaint document from a simpler time, as Bush has said “It’s only a piece of paper.”

The sneering, contemptuous and supremely ugly speech delivered by Palin to an obscene, leering, and almost entirely white choir of equally scornful and contemptuous delegates was, for me, a Zen moment. It offered a clear graphic example of what I believe is the greatest danger facing America.

The rabid radical right wing of the party of McCain and Bush, the party of Rove, Cheney and Palin has evolved in this century into a public menace of the first order.

Yes, there are honest, well intentioned members of the Republican Party. I have known them as public officials, as colleagues at work and as friends socially. That they have allowed their party to fall under the sway of such a gang of criminal yahoos as Karl Rove is a great mystery to me. Where are the voices of Republican reason.

The danger of the radical right is amplified by the silence of their more moderate brethren.

“The Republicans believe that the power of government should be used first of all to help the rich and the privileged in the country. With them, property, wealth, comes first. The Democrats believe that the power of government should be used to give the common man more protection and a chance to make a living. With us the people come first.” Harry Truman

The push and pull between the right and left sides of the aisles of American politics dates to Hamilton and Jefferson and into the British parliament of the eighteenth century and before. The animosity is nothing new, the incredible level of rancor is more recent.

I have been a Democrat and a liberal since before I served in Vietnam, more than forty years ago. I grew in that direction because I admired the political thought of Locke and Jefferson, of Madison and Paine, of FDR, Harry Truman and John Kennedy.

I was nearly sixty years old and a partially disabled veteran the first time I heard such pathetic people as Limbaugh and O’Reilly or Robertson and Falwell refer to Democrats and Liberals as traitors.

In a few years I will be buried in a VA cemetery with nearly thirty thousand other veterans. My small gravestone will be inscribed with my name, rank, and the war in which I served. Like thousands of other cold stones aligned by rank and file, it will not reveal whether I was White or Black, Hispanic or Asian. You will not be able to find from this bleak marker whether I was Catholic, Jewish, Protestant, Muslim, Hindu or Bhuddist.

There are no Ds or Rs inscribed on these simple monuments, but both are buried there in copious quantities, to know any more you have to dig.

Democrats and Friends, Independents, Undecideds, lovers of liberty, respecters of the rights of man, we need to win this one. There may not be another if we fail.

Bob Higgins
Worldwide Sawdust

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