Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Our own little Banana Republic (ans)

This is a political post
This week a coup happened in of all places: our own backyard. It was no banana republic rich with natural resources, or some African quagmire with a intertribal argument going back to before we walked upright. No, this time it was the generally rich, well educated, mostly white Republican Party that got gaffled like Lower New Bumpkina or Middle West Toohotandsunnyina.

Rush Limbaugh just hijacked a major national party.

With Republican senators falling over themselves to toe his line and the supposed head of the Republican party backing down from a confrontation in the past few days, this unhinged radio personality in the last five months has taken over the leadership of one of the two parties that basically run this country. And I call it a coup because that is what it is: no one elected Mr. Limbaugh, he has taken over by sheer force of will, he is basically accountable only to himself, and yet his ideas, his rhetoric is setting the agenda for the GOP. He only needs a military cap and a little flag.

Because you see, this time it's personal.

Why? Because Obama is going to raise taxes on the rich, which means money out of Mr. Limbaugh's pocket. Will it make him destitute? At moments like this I'm reminded of the South Park episode about music downloading. Okay, Mr. Limbaugh might have to wait until next month to get that gold plated shark tank next to the pool. And he'll have to suffer with a Gulfstream 3 private jet instead of the G4. Do you know that the G4 doesn't even have a remote for it's surround sound? Oh, poor poor Mr. Limbaugh.

The supposed argument Rush has his new troops beating the brush with is that Obama will destroy Capitalism and bring in a wave of Socialism. They want him and his reforms to fail, apparently not realizing that if the reforms fail this time, so does the country. The fire of a problem is now too large to let it burn itself out, and the "conservatives" don't want to admit it. A simple round of the Republican favorite and only tool - "tax cuts" - and time just won't do it. Too much is on the brink of failure at the same time, too many elements of the economy would go by the boards and quite frankly nobody knows what would be at the other end of such an economic debacle. And only Rush, again accountable to no one, is willing to see what happens.

You see, the Republican hardliners dream of a return to the days of the Robber Baron, and the accompanying nearly unfettered power - completely breezing over the horror of child labor, terrible conditions and complete abuse of workers and extremes of poverty engendered by that age. That it could only exist when the country was a manufacturing titan doesn’t occur to them either. The sad part is Rush wouldn't last 15 minutes in a true Capitalist economy he so desperately wants. And neither would most of the folks who stand behind him. Think a curious mix of modern Russian economics and Brazil with it's shanty towns, and an economy where public safety and individual right go by the board if it affects profit.

America hasn't even come close to laissez-faire capitalism before now since the 1920s, oddly the last time this same economic catastrophe type thingy happened. And part of the reason America is the way it is the curious mix of socialism and capitalism, with dashes of religious morality thrown in that came out of that mess and allow individual success without rampant destruction. You know, the rules and way of living we've been dismantling over the past decade? Just so we could all get rich, like tomorrow?

Funny. It didn't work the first time either.

I wish El Capitan Limbaugh the best. He's gonna need it. Because the day he wakes up and realizes he's running a political Jamestown, he's gonna need all the help in the world.

Barkeep....something fruity to celebrate el captain! Can I get a little umbrella?

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