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The Republican Party’s Death Wish

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Joined: 14 Jul 2003
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The Republican Party’s Death Wish PostWed Sep 01, 2004 9:13 pm  Reply with quote

The once proud party of Lincoln has morphed into a party of sleaze and greed.
By Gerald Rellick

In a wonderful piece of writing, Garrison Keillor, author of Lake Wobegon, reminds us that in the days of Republican president Dwight Eisenhower, it was “OK for reasonable people to vote Republican.” Says Keillor, “[Eisenhower] brought the Korean War to a stalemate, produced the Interstate Highway System, declined to rescue the French colonial army in Vietnam, and gave us a period of peace and prosperity, in which (oddly) American arts and letters flourished and higher education burgeoned.” But more importantly perhaps, writes Keillor, “There was a degree of plain decency in the country.”

Eight years later another Republican president took office. And while Richard Nixon’s presidency was marred by the ongoing Vietnam War, the Watergate scandal, and Nixon’s subsequent resignation, it also brought the country many benefits. Nixon initiated relations with China, created the Environmental Protection Agency, and established a generous student loan program. Keillor says that “Richard Nixon was the last Republican leader to feel a Christian obligation toward the poor.” Years ago I recall author and political analyst Kevin Phillips refer to Nixon as “the last of the cloth-coat Republicans.”

Both Nixon and Eisenhower came from humble origins and achieved success through dedication and hard work, and they espoused classic Republican Party values. They weren’t reckless; they didn’t feel free to gamble with America’s future and the futures of its children and grandchildren. They believed in low taxes but also in fiscal responsibility. They believed an employer had an obligation to provide good jobs at good wages--not just because it was the morally right thing to do, but because to do otherwise was economic stupidity.

Since then, it’s been all down hill. Writes Keillor, “The Nixon moderate vanished like the passenger pigeon, purged by a legion of angry white men who rose to power on pure punk politics.” In a paragraph that can’t be excerpted without injustice, he continues:

“The party of Lincoln and Liberty was transmogrified into the party of hairy-backed swamp developers and corporate shills, faith-based economists, fundamentalist bullies with Bibles, Christians of convenience, freelance racists, misanthropic frat boys, shrieking midgets of AM radio, tax cheats, nihilists in golf pants, brownshirts in pinstripes, sweatshop tycoons, hacks, fakirs, aggressive dorks, Lamborghini libertarians, people who believe Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk was filmed in Roswell, New Mexico, little honkers out to diminish the rest of us, Newt’s evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man suspicious of the free flow of information and of secular institutions, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk. Republicans: The No.1 reason the rest of the world thinks we’re deaf, dumb and dangerous.”

Leave it to the novelists to paint the most vivid pictures of our reality today. Kurt Vonnegut, in his book of speeches and essays, Palm Sunday, spoke to the issue of leadership in America in 1980 when he addressed the annual banquet of the Cornell Daily Sun, which he says was the only saving grace for him in the four awful years he spent at Cornell. When we look at the miserably incompetent lot we have in charge in Washington today--Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell--Vonnegut’s words are more meaningful today than ever: “Oh, sure, we [may] have another war coming, and another great depression, but where are the leaders this time? All you have is a lot of ordinary people standing around with their thumbs up their ass.”

How could it be that in the United States in the 21st century--with unequaled accomplishments in the fields of medicine, science, and engineering, and with so many extraordinarily talented people and academic institutions that are the envy of the entire world--almost half of us are contemplating returning George Bush and his gang of political thugs and incompetents to office for four more years? The answer is fear. Says Garrison Keillor: “Fear [is] the greatest political strategy ever. An ominous silence, distant sirens, a drumbeat of whispered warnings and alarms to keep the public uneasy and silence the opposition.”

We may not say it in company or even to ourselves, but we know that George Bush’s presidency--or what little remains of it--is all about 9/11 and fear. Bush is wounded, and he’s angry and desperate. I suggest that John Kerry follow the advice of Robert Lane Greene writing in The New Republic: “For Kerry, it would be both bold and wise to chase the wounded president down on his own shore--and finish him off.”

If the Republican Party is to have a future political life in America, it will have to offer up better--much better--than George W. Bush and his ideology. It would be better for the Republicans to lose one election rather than continue on a foundation of shifting sand based on fear, lies, and misrepresentations. They must give the American people a real choice.

Gerald S. Rellick, Ph.D., worked in the defense sector of the aerospace industry. He now teaches in the California Community College system.
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Location: THE 4th REICH USA
PostWed Sep 01, 2004 11:59 pm  Reply with quote  


This just about says it all.

Robbing you blind while destroying your liberties.

Its all the NEO-CONS know how to do.
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Joined: 07 Oct 2000
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PostThu Sep 02, 2004 1:52 am  Reply with quote  

Hears the republican answer.Don't throw up all at once. Is this what the founding fathers had in mind ?Kings and Queens Bush's Hispanic Nephew -
Next Bush In The White House?
By Dan Glaister
The Guardian - UK

LOS ANGELES -- The polished young man speaking on Univision, the biggest Spanish-language TV channel in the US, might have been a movie star. Or perhaps, with his fluent Spanish and handsome features, a sports star.

Or he might be the next member of the Bush dynasty to take to the political stage and become possibly, just possibly, the first Hispanic president of the US.

Meet George P Bush, 28, nephew to W, grandson of H, son of Jeb.

"George P Bush is a tremendous asset to the family," said Dario Moreno, director of Florida International University's Metropolitan Centre. "He's obviously Hispanic, he's an attractive young man, he's articulate and he's a Bush. That's a powerful combination. It raises the dynastic possibility, and it could be a hoot if the first Hispanic president of the US is a Bush."

George P Bush's TV appearance last week came as he completed a four-day swing through Mexico, ostensibly to encourage US citizens living abroad - there are 1 million in Mexico - to vote in November's election, preferably for his uncle.

But the visit also served to remind the Latino community that he is there and to let them know that his uncle and the whole family understand the Latino experience.

With over 6.7 million Latinos expected to vote in November's election, their votes are crucial, especially in Florida, the state which handed the election to George W Bush in 2000 by a little over 500 votes.

With a large Cuban-American population, it is vital for Republicans and Democrats to mobilise support in the state. The Republicans have several advantages: Cuban-Americans tend, unlike most other Latino groups, to vote Republican; and they have the president's brother, Jeb, Florida's governor, to help remind them. And now they have Jeb's son to help them make up their minds.

George P Bush - the P stands for Prescott - is the son of Jeb Bush, the president's brother and governor of Florida, and his wife Columba, who was born in Mexico, the daughter of migrant worker Jose MarÌa Garnica.


George P first emerged as a political asset in the 2000 presidential campaign, when he gave a well-received speech at the Republican national convention and appeared in Spanish-language TV commercials for his uncle's campaign. He also became a minor celebrity, making his way on to a list of the nation's 100 most eligible bachelors.

He studied law at the University of Texas at Austin, where he met his wife, Amanda, whom he married earlier this month at a ceremony attended by the entire Bush family. Earlier this year he left his position as an assistant to a Dallas judge and spent the summer as an intern with two leading south Florida law firms.

"That strengthens the family's political base in Miami," said Mr Moreno. "And it lays the groundwork for an eventual entry into politics. It seems clear to me that he's being groomed."

George P's trip to Mexico, however, did not go entirely smoothly. He made outspoken comments about events in Venezuela, calling President Hugo Ch·vez a dictator, an epithet his uncle's administration has strenuously avoided of late, and waded into a controversy about the US border patrol's use of guns which fire plastic pellets packed with chili powder.

"If there has been American approval for this policy, that is reprehensible," Mr Bush said. "It's kind of barbarous." He blamed the use of the guns on "some local INS [immigration service] guy who's trying to be tough, act macho." In fact, the use of the guns is federal policy.

But he made good use of his proximity to power, referring constantly to "mi tÌo" - my uncle - and promising that with the war in Iraq "almost done with", his uncle will turn his attention back to relations between the US and the countries that lie to the south.

"There's a long tradition in American politics of using surrogates," said Harry Pachon, president of the Tom·s Rivera Policy Institute, an independent thinktank in Los Angeles. "The young Bush is an excellent example. He's very confident, he speaks Spanish. I can see him being used for outreach to Latinos." However, a survey published last month by the thinktank of 1,600 registered Latino voters across the country found that while they liked the current president on a personal basis, they did not agree with his policies. And the judgment was based not on issues to do with immigration, but the war in Iraq, the economy, and education.

Although President Bush captured 35% of registered Latino voters in 2000, the survey showed John Kerry, the Democratic nominee, claiming 60% of registered Latino voters this year and Mr Bush 30%.

"Fourteen percent of marines are Hispanic," said Dr Pachon. "The war in Iraq is not a distant event. They can make a distinction between the man and his policies. It shows that they are an increasingly sophisticated part of the electorate."

That sophistication, said Mr Moreno, might find its reflection in the president's nephew. "He shows that not all Hispanics are poor Mexican immigrants. It's a very powerful message. He represents how much the country has changed. Here's an old Yankee family that has a Hispanic in it.

"Hispanics see a Hispanic, but they also see a grandson and a nephew of two American presidents. They know his experience is very different from theirs. But there's a pride and a recognition of how the stereotypes of Hispanics are changing."

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004,13918,1293981,00.html
"The police are not here to create disorder.
The police are here to preserve disorder." Mayor Richard Daley
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