by Evert Cilliers aka Adam Ash
What do these six statements from Republicans have in common?
Millionaire rancher Cliven Bundy, whose cattle are on government welfare:
“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro. They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I've often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn't get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”
Milllonaire President Ronald Reagan describes the welfare fraud of a mythical welfare queen:
“She has eighty names, thirty addresses, twelve Social Security cards and is collecting veteran's benefits on four non-existing deceased husbands. And she is collecting Social Security on her cards. She's got Medicaid, getting food stamps, and she is collecting welfare under each of her names. Her tax-free cash income is over $150,000.”
Millionaire President Ronald Reagan on states' rights:
“I still believe the answer to any problem lies with the people. I believe in states' rights and I believe in people doing as much as they can for themselves at the community level and at the private level. I believe we have distorted the balance of our government today by giving powers that were never intended to be given in the Constitution to that federal establishment.”
Millionaire Congressman Paul Ryan, noted food stamp cutter, known on leftwing blogs as “the zombie-eyed granny-basher”:
“We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.”
Millionaire GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney:
“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. And I mean the president starts off with 48, 49, he starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. 47% of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn't connect. And he'll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean that's what they sell every four years. And so my job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
Millionaire Lee Atwater, GOP eminence grise, on the Southern strategy:
As to the whole Southern strategy that Harry S. Dent, Sr. and others put together in 1968, opposition to the Voting Rights Act would have been a central part of keeping the South. Now [the new Southern Strategy of Ronald Reagan] doesn't have to do that. All you have to do to keep the South, is for Reagan to run in place on the issues he's campaigned on since 1964 and that's fiscal conservatism, balancing the budget, cut taxes, you know, the whole cluster.
But the fact is, isn't it, that Reagan does get to the Wallace voter and to the racist side of the Wallace voter by doing away with legal services, by cutting down on food stamps?
You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can't say “nigger” — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”
What these statements have in common is simple: racism. Some of it is in your face, and some of it is heavily coded and abstract, using fake-out words that Republicans like to use: “personal responsibility” and “states' rights” and “cut taxes” and “shrink government.”
What lies behind all these codes and feelings? What is the ur-belief of a good slice of white Americans that the GOP appeals to? What is the very heart of being a Republican? This is it:
“I don't want my hard-earned money to be paid out in taxes that subsidize the poor, especially poor blacks.”
It's this selfishly racist feeling that the GOP plutocrats have used so the GOP can advance its plutocratic agenda. Basically, they feed on white-trash prejudices against poor black people, which are shared by great numbers of the American people, most of them from the South.
Not all Republicans are racists. Maybe a majority aren't. Consciously, anyway. Actually, it's gotten to the point that many of today's Republicans are so enamored of their code words, that they forget they're all based on racism. They try to forget it, like they try to forget the disastrous Bush II presidency.
Let's just recall what that Republican presidency did to America:
1. The handy Clinton surplus was turned into a massive deficit because of Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy.
2. 9/11 happened because Bush-Cheney ignored the repeated and urgent warnings of the CIA, including a memo headlined “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US.”
3. Bush-Cheney did not take the deal that the Afghan government offered to hand over Bin Laden to an international court of justice, but instead went to war with Afghanistan.
4. The invasion of Iraq, a monstrous war crime justified with outright lies: that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11, that he had so-called weapons of mass destruction, etcetera.
5. The US went to the dark side, as Cheney advocated, and tortured people; the horror of Abu Graib.
6. The negligence when New Orleans washed away.
7. The Wall Street meltdown in 2008 was allowed to happen — especially by the Fed who had the power to forestall it — even though the FBI warned in 2004 that rampant fraud in the mortgage industry had increased so sharply that there was an “epidemic” of financial crimes which, if not curtailed, could become “the next S & L crisis.” It then became something truly harrowing: the Great Recession.
That's what you get when the GOP is in power. Complete incompetence. Plus something that can only be described as evil: the war crime of invading Iraq, for example, leading to countless killings, that include thousands upon thousands of innocent women and children.
Here are some other differences between Republican and Democratic presidents. In 2012, Bill Clinton told the Democratic Convention: “Since 1961, for 52 years now, the Republicans have held the White House 28 years, the Democrats 24. In those 52 years, our private economy has produced 66 million private-sector jobs. So what's the jobs score? Republicans 24 million, Democrats 42 (million).”
According to McGraw-Hill's S&P Capital IQ, the S&P 500 has rallied an average of 12.1% per year since 1901 when Democrats occupy the White House, compared with just 5.1% for the GOP.
And gross domestic product has increased 4.2% each year since 1949 when Democrats run the executive branch, versus 2.6% under Republicans.
Even corporate profits show a disparity: S&P 500 GAAP earnings per share climbed a median of 10.5% per year since 1936 during Democratic administrations, against an 8.9% median advance under Republicans.
These are measures of competence. Then there are measures of morality. For example, why the heck don't Republicans in Congress want to raise the minimum wage, when most Republicans themselves want it done? Why do Republican leaders like to harm working-class folks for the benefit of the rich?
These aren't what my Mom used to call decent people.
And why are Republicans trying to prevent minorities from voting with their baseless “voter fraud” claims? Isn't that racist? The GOP Birthers — weren't they racists?
The latest example of rightwing moral deficiency: Republican governors and legislators are blocking Obamacare's expansion of Medicaid, denying health care to millions of poor Americans, many of them black. In fact, most Republican-controlled states, about half the nation, have rejected Medicaid expansion, because the John Roberts Supreme Court allowed them to do this when it otherwise ratified Obamacare. It's weird, because this expansion won't cost the states anything — the federal government will cover all its costs. Health economist Jonathan Gruber said that these states “are willing to sacrifice billions of dollars of injections into their economy in order to punish poor people. It really is just almost awesome in its evilness.”
People have already died because of this. From an article in Thinkprogress:
“Charlene Dill, a 32-year-old mother of three, collapsed and died on a stranger's floor at the end of March. She was at an appointment to try to sell a vacuum cleaner, one of the three part-time jobs that she worked to try to make ends meet for her family. Her death was a result of a documented heart condition ― and it could have been prevented.
“Dill was uninsured, and she went years without the care she needed to address her chronic conditions because she couldn't afford it.
“Under the health reform law, which seeks to expand coverage to millions of low-income Americans, Dill wasn't supposed to lack insurance. She was supposed to have access to a public health plan through the law's expansion of the Medicaid program.
“But Dill, a Florida resident, is one of the millions of Americans living in a state that has refused to accept Obamacare's Medicaid expansion after the Supreme Court ruled this provision to be optional. Those low-income people have been left in a coverage gap, making too much income to qualify for a public Medicaid plan but too little income to qualify for the federal subsidies to buy a plan on Obamacare's private exchanges.
“Florida has one of the highest uninsurance rates in the nation, and is home to a disproportionately large number of residents who struggle to afford health services. Nonetheless, lawmakers have continued to resist accepting generous federal funds to expand Medicaid to an estimated 750,000 low-income Floridians like Dill.
“Although Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) initially indicated that he was in favor of accepting the funds for expansion, he's since walked back that position. Meanwhile, Republicans in the legislature don't even plan to schedule a vote to address Medicaid expansion during their current session, suggesting that the federal government won't actually come through with the funding to support the policy.
“Dill made about $9,000 annually by babysitting, cleaning houses, and selling vacuum cleaners. As the Orlando Weekly reports, she was optimistic about her coverage options under President Obama's administration. She tried to sign up for Obamacare using the online calculator on HealthCare.gov, but quickly found out she fell within the coverage gap.
“In the absence of health coverage, Dill's best friend, Kathleen Voss Woolrich, occasionally turned to crowdfunding sites on the internet to raise the money Dill needed to pay for her heart medication. Last month, Woolrich crowdfunded to pay for Dill's funeral.
“In an emotional blog post published on the site Women on the Move at the end of last month, Woolrich blamed Florida politicians for her friend's early death.
“'You see the main argument Republicans use is that it's some lazy person who needs Medicaid expansion. That those of us living without healthcare or dental care are lazy. But my friend, a single beautiful mother, worked three jobs,” Woolrich wrote. “I am burying my best friend because of the policies of the Republican Party. I am burying my best friend because had Medicaid expanded, her needs would have been met.”'
“And Dill won't be the only one. A recent study conducted by Harvard researchers estimated that as many as 17,000 people will die directly as a result of their states refusing to expand Medicaid. In Florida, that translates to about six deaths like Dill's every single day. This issue is exacerbated by the fact that the low-income residents in states that have resisted Medicaid expansion tend to have more health problems than the residents in other states.”
So there you have it. The Republicans are eager to kill up to 17,000 people a year for their beliefs, which are blatantly anti-poor and coded racist.
If that isn't evil, I don't know what is.