Thursday, November 26, 2009

Follow Up On GOP Doctrinal "Resolution"

(1) We support smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes by opposing bills like Obama's "stimulus" bill;

This is hypocritical and false. Ronald Reagan and GW Bush both increased the national deficit by an order of magnitude, and between them was Clinton with his balanced budget. The only difference between the parties is that Republicans want a bloated Republican government and Democrats want a bloated Democratic government.

(2) We support market-based health care reform and oppose Obama-style government run healthcare;

This is false. It is very clear that the Republican Party does not support any kind of meaningful health care reform. They also regularly engage in willful misrepresentation of plans put forward, making hypocritical claims about "death panels" and so on that would theoretically come from aspects of the plans which GW Bush himself also put forward - no "death panel" comments then of course.

Republicans were in power without real opposition in any branch of government for 6 arduous years, and no "market-based" or any other kind of reform was forthcoming. Just a steady swelling of health care costs and a steady shrinking of pockets.

(3) We support market-based energy reforms by opposing cap and trade legislation;

Cap and trade is market-based. This one just doesn't make any sense. Unless by "market-based energy reforms" the GOP means "never denying an energy lobbyist anything s/he asks for and thanking them for massive campaign contributions" - because that is what the GOP actually does. Or we could ask politely that companies willingly reduce their bottom line so that we can have a cleaner environment. Let me know how well that works, and don't forget the fairy-dust.

(4) We support workers' right to secret ballot by opposing card check;

Ok, why not? I honestly don't know what "card check" is and have never heard this term before, but maybe I just wans't paying attention. I've mostly worked in places where we're not allowed to unionize and are fired if we attempt to do so.

Generally speaking, however, the GOP is certainly anti-union. Again, I think that their fairy-dust would be sufficient to protect workers' rights, and the Industrial Revolution taught us nothing if not how trustworthy factory owners are when they don't have to answer to an organized workforce.

(5) We support legal immigration and assimilation into American society by opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants;

Eh. I personally disagree with the characterization here, but this is at least consistent. The GOP would rather send people to prison for giving water to human beings in the desert.

(6) We support victory in Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting military-recommended troop surges;

This is hypocritical. Victory was already declared years ago, and to this day, victory has never been defined. As far as I can tell, victory is when Iraq becomes Texas. What the GOP in reality supports is a constant state of low-level warfare in other countries paired with ceaseless reminders of the threat of terrorism so that everyone will vote out of fear and xenophobia rather than wisdom and a clear assessment of who will solve our problems. Every GOP campaign is fear-based, whether it is fear of Commies or Hippies or gays or terrorists or Nazi-Commie-Muslims like Obama.

(7) We support containment of Iran and North Korea, particularly effective action to eliminate their nuclear weapons threat;

What I think the GOP actually wants is at least two or three enemies "on deck" - see number 6. We've also seen how "effective" containment of Iran and North Korea were under the Bush administration.

(8) We support retention of the Defense of Marriage Act;

This one is obvious, and is consistent with their strong stances against equal rights for homosexuals. One might draw parallels with past social movements meeting conservative resistance.

(9) We support protecting the lives of vulnerable persons by opposing health care rationing and denial of health care and government funding of abortion; and

This one drives me crazy, because I don't know what fantasy world the GOP lives in that it is not understood that health care is already rationed. The only difference is whether HMOs will ration it, in a situation where we have little or no choice who our health care provider actually is (I've never had one as an adult for example) or whether the government will ration it, and at least we can vote them out if we don't like it. Health care has to be rationed somehow because we don't have infinite medical resources. The difference is that the GOP thinks that for-profit companies will ration health care better than not-for-profit government programs. Of course, don't ask anyone on Medicare or Medicaid or MediCal or any other public assistance program, because they might not have health care at all if not for government intervention.

On the other hand, the stance against government funding of abortion makes sense. The GOP is right, people shouldn't have to have their tax dollars go to things they disagree with on moral grounds. I don't want my tax dollars to go to war, so I want the GOP to put forward a bill preventing government funding of the military. Oh no, wait, this one is hypocritical too. The GOP wants to serve it's "pro-life" base, but doesn't actually believe in any of that freedom of conscience stuff for anyone who disagrees with them on anything else.

(10) We support the right to keep and bear arms by opposing government restrictions on gun ownership;

We've certainly seen this, with people bringing automatic weapons to political rallies, and then wondering why the rest of us think they're nut-jobs. What's next, packing heat at the PTA meeting? Bringing your shotgun to church?

The Second Amendment existed before we had a standing, professional army, so that we would have armed militias to fight off the British or the Spanish. It also existed so that the federal government would never be able to militarily repress us. If Great Britain invades us, I'll happily eat my words. If the government turns on us violently, you and your Glock won't make a difference.

Meanwhile, handguns in your home are hundreds of times more likely to result in your childrens' death than in the death of an intruder or attacker. We also have one of the most murderous societies on earth, per capita, and US citizens own more than one fourth of all the firearms on Earth. I think gun control makes at least as much sense as water quality or worker safety regulations - which are also things that conservatives fight against.


Anyway, just throwing my hat in. I don't think these resolutions meaningfully represent what Republicans actually do, and I disagree with most of them personally, but it isn't like the GOP is losing a vote there in most cases. Also, to be clear for those who don't know, I'm not a Democrat either. They're just hard to criticize as strongly because they are so utterly spineless and so rarely undertake to do anything, much less stand up for their supposed core values. At least the Republicans can name a few, even though I disagree with how they come up with many and how they are applied.

I also just like to vent the old spleen now and then.

Commence telling me why I'm wrong!

1 comment:

Aric Clark said...

Spot on. I was actually going to write an entire post about the Stupak Amendment and voluntary de-funding of government projects on a moral basis. Of course it will never be allowed for people like us.