Monday, December 24, 2012

Republicans, "The Dark Side", and Terrorism

"Terrorists have seized control of Congress and are holding the US government hostage. The terrorists demand that the government pay them $2 trillion or they will force the government into financial meltdown using their secret weapon"

Sounds like a storyline from a bad Hollywood thriller, but in effect, the above situation, is happening now in the US Congress. The "terrorists" are called Republicans, and they are holding hostage the fate of the US economy.

As explained here the Republicans simply refuse to do business with the government if they do not agree to their demands. Due to the design of the American political system, it means that the US government can in effect be held hostage by the opposing party if they see fit.
As Michael Tomasky explains in the highlighted article, the US system of checks and balances wasn't designed to used for this purpose. The Founding Fathers developed a unique system to prevent tyranny on one hand and discourage anarchic decision-making on the other. While this had led to frustrations from time to time, it is hard to imagine that the political process could be so cynically subverted by one side in order to create inertia and paralysis in the government. But this is what the Republicans have been doing, and have created, as a result.

The paralysis and inertia is designed by a party that instinctively dislikes government, to make the government look ineffective and pointless.
Like minions of the Sith Lord Palpatine in "Star Wars", the Republicans wish to seek out and destroy all that is positive about government in America. To the Republicans, the Democrats, and Obama in particular (if you'll pardon the comparison!) are like the "Jedi", trying to defend the democratic and positive principles of The Republic against the schemes of "The Dark Side", who wish to destroy The Republic and replace it with something akin to an Empire Of Anarchy.

The "Empire Of Anarchy" that the Republicans support is never described as such: like the Sith Lord, they deviously justify their actions for the sake of saving The Republic. They claim that their actions are fighting for the principles that The Republic was founded upon: freedom and limited government. But whatever they might say, their plans create only freedom for the super-rich elite, and anarchy for everyone else.

Democracy, meanwhile, has been conveniently forgotten by these Republican financial terrorists. The majority of the population do not support their views; for the Republican extremists who have hijacked the party (and have done for at least the last twelve years), this is merely a further sign of the righteousness of their path. They are the chosen few who understand the "wider picture", supporting their superiority over the "unenlightened masses" with the idea that the Founding Fathers, too, were wary of the anarchic potential of "full democracy".
This Republican logic is also that found amongst all extremist ideologies - from the Fascist (and Bolshevik) contempt for the softness of "liberalism" (which contemporary Republicanism closely resembles), to the disregard for democracy and their casual attitude to the rule of law. The Constitution and rule of law that Republicans claim to worship is only adhered to when it is convenient, as we found during the tenure of George W. Bush.

What is all the more ironic is that Republicans' disregard for the concept of government is even supported by their own record in office over the past thirty years. Modern Republicanism's "Founding Father" is Ronald Reagan; prior to that, there was more of an agreement on most issues between the two US parties. Considered as a near-deity by Republicans, Reagan's tenure in office was one of gross financial irresponsibility, continued (for the most part) through the tenures of other Republican Presidents, George Bush senior and junior. Put it another way, Republican distrust for government therefore runs into self-hatred, as it was the Republicans who created the circumstances for the financial crisis in the first place. They hate government not only because the Democrats support it, but because they are so bad at it themselves.

It is the Republican neophytes (AKA "The Tea Party"), who are the most selective, disingenuous, and deceptive with these facts: they choose to deify Ronald Reagan and their philosophical inspiration, Ayn Rand, while simultaneously praising and crucifying them whenever the need arises.

In another sense, "The Tea Party" faction that has effectively hijacked the Republican Party, and held the US government hostage to its demands, is a group of nihilists: they seem to believe in very little, finding it hard to rationally explain their thinking, and resort to tactics of posturing to say only what they oppose. They are against government, against taxes, against abortion, gun control, and so on.
The things the are positive towards are very few: the freedom to make money and owning guns seem to be the main ones, which both naturally advantage those who are already rich and those who are suspicious of government and people in general.

The agenda of today's Republicans then is this: simply, to dismantle and frustrate the normal functioning of government, by any means necessary (within the law).

I wonder how much further Republicans would be prepared to go to reach their aims. They are already holding the government to ransom. And if that fails, what then? Does "the law" then become malleable, as it is for those who feel they are above it?

There does appear to be very little in moral terms, between today's Republicans and some terrorists.

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