I believe Americans can now clearly see the bankruptcy of the republicans ideas of austerity in the face of calamity.
But let’s be extra clear: The republicans want us on our own against everything with nothing but a prayer between you and I and the next calamity, personal or otherwise. Try and work together (collectively) to make a better world for everyone and you’re a socialist, a dirty hippie, a #%$&ing communist or just un-American.
I’ll tell you who is un-American…
Republicans that want us to vote less. It’s the new Jim Crow! He’s come back to keep the poor, the elderly, the sick, the destitute, the hard working, from election polls in 2012.
They want us to pull ourselves “up by our (individual of course) bootstraps”. Without a single guarantee that there is an agency that will make sure that an opportunity for education exists for everyone, or meaningful work, or judicial fairness, or affordable housing, or health care, or retirement or even roads for that matter… certainly not roads after a disaster if New Orleans (6 years later) is any indication. This is the republican legacy, a world where you’re on your own against the corporations and the corrupt politicians that enable them to plunder our collective future. This is nothing less than economic war, the mega rich against against the poor, the sick, workers, home owners, and even the middle class.
In short, it seems the core republican idea is that helping a person hurts them? That working together as a nation only enables slothfulness? That helping lift the poor out of poverty somehow creates more poverty. That people who believe in working for a better world are naive. That people harmed by a natural disaster would be further harmed by becoming dependant (like stray cats) upon any aid given?
Right wing, christian reconstructionist Ideology and in particular, tea party extremism, has completely blinded the republican party allowing their thoughtlessly ideological bulldozer to accidentally push Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey off the austerity cliff into sounding more like a democrat than a republican for a moment as he excoriated fellow republican Eric Cantor’s idiotic and callous remarks politicizing potential federal funding for disaster aid to states in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie reacted angrily to a fight brewing in Washington over whether Hurricane Irene disaster aid may need to be offset by federal spending cuts. “Our people are suffering now, and they need support now. And they [Congress] can all go down there and get back to work and figure out budget cuts later,” the Republican governor told a crowd in the flood-ravaged North Jersey town of Lincoln Park.
But then it is often said; “governors have to well… govern.
All this caused Eric Cantor to recant his earlier statements suggesting that any disaster aid had to come at the expense of already strained public budgets. In so many words…
Eric Cantor regarding disaster aid for Hurricane Irene victims: “we’re going to find the money,” “we’re just going to need to make sure that there are savings elsewhere to do so.”
Cantor is not alone in his callousness of course, Ron Paul is also way against helping people in the face of disaster:
After Hurricane Irene killed at least 10 and left 2 million without power and many communities under water, the Texas Republican made it clear that he wasn’t backing off his view that FEMA should be scuttled and that it was time for Americans to, “transition out of the dependency on the federal government.”
In short, as we go forward into a world where we will experience more and more events like Hurricane Irene one thing is becoming perfectly clear: Republican extremism and obstructionism is more than just ill equipped to deal with a world on fire, it’s why we’re here in the first place.