Monday, July 05, 2010

War Lines

The lines are being drawn in the upcoming November election battle -- and the battle for this nation's soul.

You've got Sharon Angle in Nevada threatening to sue Harry Reid for keeping a record of her previous unscrubbed website as if accountability is liable (really!).

You've got Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT), presumably one of those "small government" guys like his party advertises suing the local fire department for not saving enough of the trees and groundcover damaged on land he and his wife purchased for development.

You've got Minnesota state Rep. Tom Emmer, the presumptive Republican nominee for governor, putting forth a policy to lower the minimum wage so that waiters/waitresses have to rely more on tips, because we all know how huge those tips grow in a down economy. Class warfare, anyone?

Or how about this for class warfare: the GOP in the Senate went home for the holiday break without extending unemployment benefits, which directly affects at least one person I know. Because in a down economy where there are 6.5 people looking for every one job opening, it's that safety net-level unemployment benefit that really demotivates the family losing their house anyway. Per Paul Krugman, those unemployment benefits help the economy, and not extending them is only good for Republicans seeking to create turmoil:
One main reason there aren’t enough jobs right now is weak consumer demand. Helping the unemployed, by putting money in the pockets of people who badly need it, helps support consumer spending. That’s why the Congressional Budget Office rates aid to the unemployed as a highly cost-effective form of economic stimulus. And unlike, say, large infrastructure projects, aid to the unemployed creates jobs quickly — while allowing that aid to lapse, which is what is happening right now, is a recipe for even weaker job growth, not in the distant future but over the next few months.
This at a time when, per Canadian citizens advocacy expert and water rights activist Maude Barlow, "The World Has Divided into Rich and Poor as at No Time in History."

Hell, one GOP Rep. has introduced legislation to limit the President's ability, held since Theodore Roosevelt just over 100 years ago, to preserve precious lands as National Monuments. Says Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), "We don't need any more monuments, but that's the Linkproblem. They want to do it." And Nunes wants to sell out this nation's precious natural resources and unspoiled lands to his corporate masters.

Then there's blaming Obama for illegal immigrants...Photoshopping photos of him to create a worse (lie) image...the list is endless.

So it's war, and while a number of folks I know on the Left are disgruntled that hope and change hasn't been as fast or easy or complete as they wish, they had better realize that there is a difference here. If the GOP takes the House or the Senate, you'll see the end of all progressive change, even the sometimes incremental sort they decry. You'll see Obama up for impeachment by some teapartying baggers and know-nothings claiming they're the real Americans. You'll see Fox News back in the henhouse.

If you think the Bush years were bad, if you think they may have critically damaged our economy and environment...just let Congress flip and you ain't seen nothin' yet.

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