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Demanding the Impossible

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Posted on Apr 12, 2011

By Eugene Robinson

Far-right Republicans are winning the budget wars because they understand something that nobody else in Washington seems to grasp: The old truism about politics being the art of the possible is no longer true.

There’s no question who won last week’s showdown. The outcome—nearly $40 billion in painful cuts—goes well beyond the GOP’s initial demands. That Democrats were able to save a few pet programs is something, but not much. You really don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing.

And as anyone who’s paying attention can plainly see, The Great Shutdown Standoff was just a skirmish in a much bigger conflict. At issue is a fundamental question—What is the nature and purpose of government?—that was first answered more than two centuries ago, when Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson duked it out as warring members of George Washington’s first Cabinet. Hamilton’s centralized government was victorious. There are those who have never forgiven him.

The far-right ideologues in the House seek to starve the federal government to the point where it can no longer fulfill its constitutional duty to promote the general welfare. I don’t mean to sound apocalyptic, but that’s what this struggle comes down to.

Their inspired tactic—which has worked so well that they would be crazy to abandon it—has been to take a wildly extreme position and stick to it with the obstinacy of a mule. When Democrats offer to negotiate, Republicans increase their demands. The result is that they shift the battlefield and end up fighting on terrain so friendly that they literally can’t lose. 

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So an initial GOP call for $32 billion in cuts was raised to $61 billion—a ridiculously impossible number. Of course they didn’t get it—but they got almost two-thirds of the way there.

Democrats, including President Obama, continue to play by the old art-of-the-possible rules. Bless their hearts. They caucus, they cogitate, they ruminate, they make reasonable concessions and ultimately come up with a result that everyone, surely, should be able to live with. Then they get hit with the next sucker punch.

Obama, I fear, is about to repeat the pattern.

The road map for debt reduction and entitlement reform that Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the GOP’s designated philosopher, has put on the table is a radical proposal. It would cut taxes for the wealthy, worsen the struggles of the beleaguered middle class and alter Medicare and Medicaid to the point where they would be unrecognizable. Ryan seeks not just to reduce the nation’s long-term indebtedness but to change the essence of the relationship between citizens and their government.

Ryan pays lip service to the need to maintain and strengthen America’s safety net, but nothing in his plan suggests he really believes in the idea of collective responsibility for those in need. His favorite author, the laissez-faire extremist Ayn Rand, would be proud.

Progressives who do believe that a healthy, prosperous nation is more than a collection of self-interested individuals have a duty to respond. From all indications, the plan for debt reduction and entitlement reform that Obama plans to announce Wednesday will include a mix of sensible spending cuts and modest tax increases—something that everyone should be able to live with.

But mark my words, the response from the ideologues of the far right won’t be to sit down with the president and negotiate a middle course. They won’t even pretend to look for common ground. They’ll insist on spending cuts in the 2012 budget that go far beyond even the outrageous demands that Republicans made for the current year. As leverage, they’ll have a crucial upcoming vote on raising the debt ceiling to avoid a catastrophic default. Think they won’t try to use it?

Politically, Obama gets to be seen as sensible, pragmatic, and more interested in solutions than political gamesmanship. But step back and look at the bigger picture. Why are we even talking about spending cuts, rather than increases, when the economy is still struggling to climb out of one of history’s worst recessions? If rising medical costs are the real long-term problem, Obama’s reform law took the first steps toward a solution. Why aren’t Democrats saying the obvious: We need to go farther down that road—at least to a government health plan—rather than reverse direction.

Crazy talk? Maybe. But Republicans are proving that demanding the impossible is an excellent place to start.
   
Eugene Robinson’s e-mail address is eugenerobinson(at)washpost.com.
   
© 2011, Washington Post Writers Group


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By Gabi, April 15, 2011 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Proof that Eugene Robinson doesn’t know what he’s talking about or is misleading the public as he missed the moist important part ... Tax Havens for the super rich.
http://www.democracynow.org/2011/4/15/offshore_banking_and_tax_havens_have

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By John M, April 14, 2011 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment

In Financial Crisis, No Prosecutions of Top Figures

By GRETCHEN MORGENSON and LOUISE STORY
Published: April 14, 2011

It is a question asked repeatedly across America:
why, in the aftermath of a financial mess that
generated hundreds of billions in losses, have no
high-profile participants in the disaster been
prosecuted?

Answering such a question — the equivalent of
determining why a dog did not bark — is anything but
simple. But a private meeting in mid-October 2008
between Timothy F. Geithner, then-president of the
Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and Andrew M.
Cuomo, New York’s attorney general at the time,
illustrates the complexities of pursuing legal cases
in a time of panic.

At the Fed, which oversees the nation’s largest
banks, Mr. Geithner worked with the Treasury
Department on a large bailout fund for the banks and
led efforts to shore up the American International
Group, the giant insurer. His focus: stabilizing
world financial markets.

Mr. Cuomo, as a Wall Street enforcer, had been
questioning banks and rating agencies aggressively
for more than a year about their roles in the growing
debacle, and also looking into bonuses at A.I.G.

Friendly since their days in the Clinton
administration, the two met in Mr. Cuomo’s office in
Lower Manhattan, steps from Wall Street and the New
York Fed. According to three people briefed at the
time about the meeting, Mr. Geithner expressed
concern about the fragility of the financial system.

His worry, according to these people, sprang from a
desire to calm markets, a goal that could be
complicated by a hard-charging attorney general.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/14/business/14prosecut
e.html?_r=3&hp;

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By robert puglia, April 13, 2011 at 6:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Someone predicted what Go Right Young Man would say?
Wow, what archery. I’m going to go out on a limb and
suppose that GRYM will use the N word repeatedly.
I’m crazy like that.

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By drkaza12, April 13, 2011 at 6:37 pm Link to this comment

Eugene it refreshing to hear that you understand the GOP’s willingness to starve this countries Government—shrink her to the size of a baby—-and drown it in a sink of it’s own bath after math; as mentioned by mr. nordquist, with whom they all have contracts to never raise taxs.
In addition to that the fact that mr. ryan is in truth a libertarian, ayn randian objectionist. Something while believing in your youth, if you don’t out grow in your adult life, will bring you and society much confusion, and in this case potential ruin if left to its devices.
When i was a child I spoke as a child. Now that I am a man, and can spell it, i’ll try to speak as one, but not without a dose of humility and gratitude. Something the GOP forgot and left at the door.

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By Go Right Young Man, April 13, 2011 at 5:59 pm Link to this comment

ITW, - GYRM “will call me a “bigot” but do not expect me to respond.

-

Nooooo of course not.  You would never dream of responding to anything GYRM writes…..LOL

I have a ton of questions for you.  To begin with, how in the world did you know I would label you a bigot on this one thread?  That was incredibly prophetic.

I’m also dying to know what the latest Tea Party Code Phrase is for “I Need To Kill Little Brown Babies”? 

-

I see you’re still up to your trusted tricks, Windy.  How the hell are ya? wink

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By Inherit The Wind, April 13, 2011 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment

I predicted:
“He’ll now try to draw me into a debate on his cooked, nonsense figures, will call me a “bigot” but do not expect me to respond. “

And the troll responds, as predicted, right on schedule: (LOL!)

Go Right Young Man, April 13 at 1:12 pm

ITW, as he is today, responds to my posts by pretending not to respond.  There’s honesty for you…LOL.

A bigot defending other’s small-minded bigotry.
***************

See? Trying to engage this troll in logical and proper debate is an exercise in futility.  He won’t be happy until our Democracy is totally destroyed and our President and Congress are replaced by a tyrannical CEO and the National Chamber of Commerce.

In the old days of colonialism, companies like the East India Company actually were both the corporation and the government, and they were always a cruel and unjust government, solely motivated by profits.  That’s what we will have again and that’s what the Troll is working for.  Everything else is a red herring.  The United States Government replaced by the United States Corporation, and none of us will be share-holders.

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By Charley Barcelo, April 13, 2011 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have read many comments and note that the arguments are with one another not the real problems.  In Wisconsin as in the rest of the United States the politicians have given huge tax breaks to the richest Americans while the middle class Americans have been cut loose to fall flat and to lose their jobs and their houses.  The Executive calss has raised their compensation 12 % while cutting jobs for the middle class and refusing to exted unemployment benefits. These are the things we should focus upon rather than whether or not ABC is evil or racist or dangerous. 

We have been told that if you give benefits to the rich they will spend the benefits on jobs yet we have extended the benefits but the jobs have not been created.  Something is not accurate in what I have been reading.

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By Dave H, April 13, 2011 at 10:45 am Link to this comment

Fortunately for the Democrats, who have displayed a major lack of political skills in recent months, along with a surprising amount of wimpiness, the Republicans are going to come up against a stronger constituency: Seniors.  Paul Ryan’s proposals will strike at the heart of old age security, and I think, that like the Social Security debacle the Republicans created a few years ago, Medicare will prove their undoing.  The wimpy Dems might let Medicare go, but I think the combination of a doubling of medical expenses and more tax breaks for the rich will prove too much for Seniors and result in a blowback.

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By JoeT, April 13, 2011 at 9:21 am Link to this comment

frang, from 4/12 and the utube Obama statements re Ryan’s proposal: If I’m not mistaken, last year’s Ryan proposal was a completely different than he put up this year. I could be wrong.

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By Go Right Young Man, April 13, 2011 at 9:12 am Link to this comment

ITW, as he is today, responds to my posts by pretending not to respond.  There’s honesty for you…LOL.

A bigot defending other’s small-minded bigotry.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 13, 2011 at 8:56 am Link to this comment

Prisner:
Don’t waste your time. GRYM’s job is to defuse and mis-direct any discussion, to confuse the issue, with cooked facts.
He will try to convince you Liberals are fascists, but the fascist policies of the GOP are freedom-enhancing.
He’ll tell you Eugene Robinson is a racist, but is deadly silent on the subject of Haley Barbour’s racism.
He will try to convince you that the poor are benefiting from tax cuts to the wealthy and that those same wealthy are using them to create jobs.

You see that happening?  He’s now trying to tell you that the richest Americans are all Democrats…because Gates, Buffett and Soros are the rare Liberals among the wealthiest.

He’s Chico Marx saying to you: “Who you gonna believe: Me or your own eyes?”

Believe your own eyes and don’t waste your time and mental energy on this troll, whose sole purpose is to disrupt mis-direct discussions here into irrelevancies.

There ARE honest Conservatives who post here, like Rico,Suave and OzarkMichael, but GRYM is not one of them, nor has he ever been.  He is a troll.

He’ll now try to draw me into a debate on his cooked, nonsense figures, will call me a “bigot” but do not expect me to respond.

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By Go Right Young Man, April 13, 2011 at 8:40 am Link to this comment

prisnersdilema, - “in all your posts that is one of the things you focus on time and time again, wealthy Democrats.”

-

Yes.  Correct.  Because you seem to want to push the foolish and childish notion that the wealthy in the U.S are made up of rich, evil, criminal, republicans.  Which, if we simply apply some facts, is an odd thing to believe.

Now that you understand that the 20 wealthiest districts in the United States are represented by 40 democratic U.S. Senators, out of 100 total, will you be revising your narrative? 

Spreading hate toward people unlike yourself is, as I wrote prior, simply not helpful.

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By Jeffrey C. Goldfarb, April 12, 2011 at 11:25 pm Link to this comment

yes, but on the other hand there is now an opening since it is clear on economic grounds that Obama will win in 2012, http://www.deliberatelyconsidered.com/2011/04/obama-wins/

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By prisnersdilema, April 12, 2011 at 10:59 pm Link to this comment

Oh,... in all your posts that is one of the things you focus on time and time again, wealthy Democrats, that there are more wealthy Democrats, than Republicans….over and over again…enough already..

That along with acusing your detractors of being fools, or immature…a Grandiose statement if ever there was one…

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By Go Right Young Man, April 12, 2011 at 9:15 pm Link to this comment

prisnersdilema, - “The very fact that there exists, a rich Democrat must represent an incomprehensible anomaly to you, a contradiction to your core beliefs.”

-

Once again, I suggested nothing of the kind.  Once again you’ve created some scary phantom nemesis for pure amusement or emotional pathology.

It’s not helpful to anyone.  It’s foolish at its core.

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By prisnersdilema, April 12, 2011 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment

Oh really, it just shows how poor your reality testing is GRYM. There are rich Democrats
that is true. That in itself means nothing.  The very fact that there exists, a rich Democrat
must represent an incomprehensible anomaly to you, a contradiction to your core
beliefs. How can a Democrat become wealthy, since to do so would represent, evidence
that the true beliefs of the republican criminal class, are not immutable like the laws of
physics.

But, it is the Republican criminal class has used it’s wealth against the people, created
false political movements to derail the people’s wrath, from it’s appropriate targets.  The
criminal Republican class that spent 100 million dollars to find out that Bill Clinton
cheated on his wife, something everyone already knew. Yet only spent 10 million dollars
investigating 911. Did Dick Cheny and Conodoliza Rrice know about it before hand and
do nothing in order to use it?

The same Dick Cheny who said deficits don’t matter. Now all of a sudden they do. Why
the sudden change of heart ?

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By aacme, April 12, 2011 at 8:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Politically Obama gets to be seen as sensible, pragmatic, and more interested in solutions than political gamesmanship…”

Really? By whom? How long is it going to take the electorate to figure out what everyone I know knows, that Obama has taken a 30 year Democratic losing streak to unheard of new lows, and needs to convince his base that he, and his party, are just pathetic losers and not collaborating traitors.

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By Flummox, April 12, 2011 at 7:28 pm Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man: “A solid majority of the wealthiest Americans are democrats.”

You’ll remain concerned to the very end, won’t you?

I don’t believe it, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t be true. The Democrats give the super rich everything they want, plus they allow for those who suffer pangs of social conscience, however limited they may be.

The Republicans have become too rigid in their dogma and their philosophers have become more like apostles to them. If you can’t agree with Ayn Rand, who said something like, “wealth and influence should be a reward for furthering the lot of humanity while the poor should be crushed beneath the boot of their own incompetence”, then you are a heretic, or worse in their minds - a liberal.

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By Go Right Young Man, April 12, 2011 at 4:41 pm Link to this comment

prisnersdilema, - “So you seem to think that the existence of wealthy Democrats means that the evil criminal Republican class is excused of all it’s atrocities, against American citizens..?”

-

I suggested nothing of the kind.  Not even close.  I do not believe, even for a second, that democrats or republican, by nature or policy, are evil.  That is your narrative.  Not mine.

We can clearly deduce how you misconstrue true intentions.  Not unlike all too many here, you make it up out of imagination.  It’s neither helpful nor real.

Your narrative - “those evil republicans” - is petty, small, foolish and myopic to the extreme.  And while many here share your view, it remains a fantasy, a phantom, a figment of your imagination.

A solid majority of the wealthiest Americans are democrats.  Now fit that into your narrative, please.

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By prisnersdilema, April 12, 2011 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment

More, of the same, GRYM, you seem to think that the actions of evil Democrats excuse, evil republicans, in point of fact, no evil is excused….

whoever, does evil, no matter what they call themselves, are guilty of evil…

So you seem to think that the existence of wealthy Democrats means that the evil criminal Republican class is excused of all it’s atrocities, against American citizens..?

It is you that are equating wealth with evil..

My narrative is exactly acurate, the criminal Republican class is evil, because of its lack of conscience, its willingness to butcher anyone in it’s way, whether they are Americans, Iraqi’s, Afghanistani’s, even their own soliders, is accurate…

The evil criminal Republican class is without conscience, it’s motivating force is greed, its methods are lies, making the illegal legal by the use of legislative tools, with murder and mayhem under cover of law…

It is the evil criminal Republican class that turned this countries economy into a Casino. Yes there were Democratic collaborators, does that excuse the criminal republicans of their felonies, hell no…

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By who'syourdebs, April 12, 2011 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment

Not just progressives, but even centrists should all be calling for more taxes on the highest income brackets. Yes, more taxes unabashedly. Every American should know that the highest tax rate under Eisenhower was 91%. Now it’s in the mid-thirties. Is it any wonder we’re broke? Everyone should have an “eat the rich” button. Everyone should know the Republican Party has conspired to put down the working middle class since the defeat of Goldwater. They are not your friends. And ironically perhaps, they are also unAmerican as hell.

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By Gabbi, April 12, 2011 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ROFL .. you PPL can argue about Republicans and Democrats all you want .. just like the super rich like you to.
The PROOF is in accounting (Money) and deals the super rich made from start of USA. It’s all there in black and white for anyone to read, if you have the balls to do so.

Ever since British took over with their banking system and Admiralty legal system USA has been and still Is under siege. Nothing, Absolutely NOTHING will happen for the better unless that banking system is kicked out.
So quit spreading bullshit people .. it only makes you look stupid in a public forum.

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By zonth_zonth, April 12, 2011 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment

But I thought after the Arizona shooting of congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford, solidarity was achieved because the repugs and demidiots sat besides one another at the 2011 state of the union address!!

You mean to tell me they are arguing again to the point of gridlock?  How dare you!  They are all working for the betterment of middle class citizens!

Hasnt anyone informed Americans that the middle class is long dead?  There is only the rich along with some faceless entity whom at this point the politicians refuse to identify.  The lower class is the welfare state whom ALSO parasatizes off the corpse of the middle class.

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By Go Right Young Man, April 12, 2011 at 3:22 pm Link to this comment

reynolds,

Thank you for the correction.  I might keep it in mind.

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By Go Right Young Man, April 12, 2011 at 3:17 pm Link to this comment

prisnersdilema, - Billy Pilgrim,

You’re right, prisnersdilema.  This is precisely what you can expect from me. 

Truth be told; I manipulated nothing.  What I have done here today is point out some glaring dichotomies in your respective narratives.

This narrative you are both pushing, wherein “those people” are evil and want nothing but harm to come to others, is never helpful.  Not only is it not helpful, it’s not reflective of reality.

The reality is in knowing that the 20 wealthiest districts in the United States are represented by democrats and the majority of “evil, greedy, criminal American billionaires” are, themselves, democrats.

Perhaps you both could fit a few facts into your narratives before you let fly?

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By reynolds, April 12, 2011 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment

“Do correct me where I may misunderstand.”

that should be where you might understand, unless
you’re asking permission to misunderstand.

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By drbhelthi, April 12, 2011 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment

“Yes… But that being said I don’t believe there is much difference
between either party at the moment..”  prisnersdilema

The leadership of either seem to be fighting to determine which can
keep the vehicle in the middle of the road to destruction. Since the
murder of JFKSr, no indication of a change of lanes.

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By Billy Pilgrim, April 12, 2011 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment

Right, Go Right. I have no use for snappy labels, nor
do I have any use for so called right wingers who use
sarcasm to avoid responding to a post that they do not
like.  wink

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By prisnersdilema, April 12, 2011 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment

That’s just the kind of thing I’ve come to expect from you GRYM, manipulation.

The Republican party is a criminal class, the Dems enable them.  belief doesn’t enter in
to it.

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By frang, April 12, 2011 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Don’t forget that over a year ago Obama called Ryan’s plan to eventually off Medicare and Medicaid a “serious proposal”:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBT5wnDK7L0

There is now considerable evidence that Obama’s weak leadership is anything but that.  The Republicans give Obama cover for implementation of policies of which Obama wholeheartedly approves (that is, if Obama had a heart).

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By felicity, April 12, 2011 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment

Inherit - Maybe rather than a “fascist Christian
state” how about a banana republic:  A politically
unstable dependent upon (not bananas in our case but
the financial sector, read greed-infested sector) and
ruled by a small, self-selected, wealthy, corrupt
politico-economic plutocracy or oligarchy.

The national legislature is for sale and mostly
functions as a ceremonial government.

It’s been intimated in the past that we’re turning
into a banana republic but on reading the definition
of one, I think we’re already there.

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By Go Right Young Man, April 12, 2011 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

prisnersdilema, - “I don’t believe there is much difference between either party at the moment.”

-

In other words; you don’t actually believe anything your wrote previously?

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By prisnersdilema, April 12, 2011 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment

Yes… But that being said I don’t believe there is much difference between either party at
the moment..

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By Go Right Young Man, April 12, 2011 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment

prisnersdilema,

I think we should all be clear on your narrative.  Do correct me where I may misunderstand.

The 20 wealthiest congressional districts in the U.S. are represented by, not one but two, democratic Senators - sixteen of the top twenty-five U.S. billionaires are self-styled democrats - Morgan Stanley, Citibank, and one of the largest arms dealers on the planet, General Electric, supported the current president’s bid for the White House - and you believe the evil, greedy, criminal republicans are to blame for the world’s ills?  Do I understand you correctly?

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By prisnersdilema, April 12, 2011 at 11:32 am Link to this comment

That Republicans have become a criminal class, using the tools of government, to destroy this country is without question.

Their belief system, if you can call delusions a belief system, was responsible for the very debt issues we now face, their monetary policy of legalizing theft and criminality, should result in long sentences behind bars.

Yet like most criminals they are missing that part of themselves that can tell the difference between right and wrong.

The lack the ability to empathize with anyone, let alone their fellow country men is their most salient feature. Those outside of the 1%, who own this country are viewed as parasites, dead weight to be carried by the elite.

That they would rather destroy this country, than act in the best interests of it’s citizens, is nothing to be proud of. Given the fact that they were the ones, through their organizied felonies that turned this countries economy into a casino.

Yet here we are again, with a weak president, too gutless, to do the only things that would matter, like launching full scale criminal investigations of the Republican party and the remaining financial companies, jailing former president Bush and each and every member of his administration for war crimes, beginning anti trust legislation against the insurance companies, in short fighting back.

He instead has chosen to be their enabler.

Realize this, that we are in a civil war against the criminal Republican class, along with it’s sad sick and disturbed plutocratic masters.

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By Go Right Young Man, April 12, 2011 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

Billy Pilgrim,

But you have no use for all-encompassing political and/or ideological labels.

I understand. wink

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By Billy Pilgrim, April 12, 2011 at 11:06 am Link to this comment

Patriotism is indeed the last refuge of a scoundrel.
So called “conservatives”, or those who consider
themselves to be on the far right, do indeed profess
love for their country. Most times, however, they
would rather someone else fight and die for their
country. Namely, those of the lower classes. The far
right, for the most part, love calling those who
don’t agree with their point of view, traitors, anti-
American, or other such claptrap, as a means of
masking their utter contempt for those who refuse to
wear blinders and who believe that to criticize their
government is a patriotic duty. The right, however,
love to criticize the government when, on the rare
occasion, that government tries to assist those of
lesser means.

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By Go Right Young Man, April 12, 2011 at 10:27 am Link to this comment

Billy Pilgrim,

I do have a question for you. 

Is it not disingenuous to write that you care none for party labels after clearly opining how Republicans are a bunch of selfish tools of the wealthy who hate most Americans?

Hate most Americans?  Really? 

It has long been my observation that republicans are nearly always accused of too much love of country and Americans, while democrats are nearly always displaying the most ardent contempt for The United States and its inhabitants.

Mr. Robinson has, on numerous occasions, labeled all of American history as racist in nature.  Not unlike Michael Moore, Bill Maher, Jesse Jackson and the current President of the United States when talking about “white America”.  Sounds an awful lot like, if not hate, contempt for Americans.

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By Go Right Young Man, April 12, 2011 at 10:01 am Link to this comment

Billy Pilgrim, - “It’s a childish and foolish game to keep referring to those across the aisle as “Democrat”, as in Democrat Party…”

-

I agree.  I use the term incorrectly, foolishly, childishly.  I use the term here (democrat party) as Eugene Robinson does.

I misread your previous post.  I do apologies.

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By dcrimso, April 12, 2011 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

It’s amazing how many times I refer to Kurt Vonnegut’s remarks made in 1979 when posting at this blog.  Vonnegut stated that the real political parties in America are the Winners and the Losers, and the fix is in.  The last 30 years are evidence of Vonneguts prescience, as the oligarchs have concentrated increasing amounts of wealth into their grubby little hands.  And the sad fact is that we have no one to blame but ourselves, as we continue to send millionaire lawyers back to Congress.

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By Billy Pilgrim, April 12, 2011 at 9:20 am Link to this comment

It’s a childish and foolish game to keep referring to
those across the aisle as “Democrat”, as in Democrat
Party, when the correct term is Democratic Party. Party
labels mean nothing to me. Actions speak louder than
words. I oppose anyone who represents the interests of
the top 1% to the detriment of the other 99%.

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By Go Right Young Man, April 12, 2011 at 8:55 am Link to this comment

Billy Pilgrim,

Those not caught up in the odd game of blaming “those evil people on the other side of the isle” understand that democrat congressmen represent the top 20 wealthiest districts in the nation.

Those individuals truly paying attention understand well that of the top 25 American billionaires, only 9 identify themselves as republican.

It’s a childish and foolish game that most people refuse to participate in.

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By JoeT, April 12, 2011 at 8:49 am Link to this comment

The GOP is using an old but extremely effective persuasion strategy called “door in the face” Demand much more than is wanted and then back down to something that seems more reasonable to the opposition. This tactic works even better when one has a third party—the American people—who seem oblivious to the process and only take notice when the huey hits their personal fan. Then, we blame both sides equally, I’m not sure why. Thank you, and keep trying to sound the alarm, Eugene Robinson.

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By Billy Pilgrim, April 12, 2011 at 8:28 am Link to this comment

There will always be a minuscule minority in this
country who believe that the right wing Republicans are
not a bunch of selfish tools of the wealthy who hate
most Americans. The problem is that that minuscule
minority is able to convince the majority of Americans
that some day soon they will become one of the
minuscule minority.

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By FRTothus, April 12, 2011 at 8:27 am Link to this comment

We need regime change away from the two-party
plutocracy. Both are compromised.  The role of the
fascist Dems is to give away the farm, that of the
fascist Reps, to demand the fascist corporation state
called democracy.  We are presented with false
choices, lured into the compromising enterprise with
our votes.  Each of us must choose the protest that
best suits his or her convictions, but we must all
protest. (ML King)

Be part of the solution.

Suggestion: Join a union (the IWW, e.g.).

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By gabbi, April 12, 2011 at 8:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Everyone up to this point is buzzing around the real problems. So let’s list them.
1. corporate lobbyists have taken over most of government
2. billionaires force government to cut back on services which you pay for and fill their pockets in the process with your/public’s money
3. industrial military complex is draining the public purse illegally and unlawfully
4. billionaires are forcing justice system to make bills and acts that favor them and not you, the public
5. billionaires are covertly using eugenics for wiping out greater part of USA population, whether it be by unemployment, foreclosures, stealing from public purse, closing local banks, health system, oil products, fracking, polluting environment, genetically modified food, lies in media, extensive prisons, population control via advertizing false numbers or anything else they dream up
6. billionaires have their own health care system which you can’t afford
7. most of those billionaires are from same small number of family lines or have bought into them
8. super rich used to pay over 90% or more of taxes ... now most don’t pay a cent.

Welcome to the 2 class system ... the super rich against working class and poor. IF YOU DON’T MAKE OVER 7 BILLION PER YEAR TAKE HOME PAY AFTER TAXES AND EXPENSES THEY CONSIDER YOU AS WORKING CLASS AND POOR.

Most of general population is against such theft and abuse yet public is not organized enough to beat the super rich ... yet.

Population better wake up and and start rejecting every proposal filthy billionaires have in store, whether they say it’s legal or not. People better start organizing much better and using ALL the tools in their tool box or most people will die within 10 to 20 yrs.

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By Go Right Young Man, April 12, 2011 at 7:52 am Link to this comment

There will always remain a minuscule minority in the United States who believe the decades old canard; Republicans hate old people and wish little brown children suffer and die.

When, Mr. Robinson, when will you walk and talk as an adult? wink

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By madisolation, April 12, 2011 at 7:42 am Link to this comment

Until those who have a national voice—like Eugene Robinson—screw up the courage to start with their columns with the words “The Democrats are complicit,” nothing they write is of import. Until Robinson and his ilk say out loud that Obama has abandoned the country and all it stands for, there can be no discussion of turning things around. If they will not do that, they are as cowardly as the self-absorbed Obama and as lazy as the lockstep Democratic Party. Those who have a so-called liberal column in a major newspaper but lack the courage to write the obvious truth might as well be writing for some obscure, pro-Democrat rag. Instead of being an angry voice that cries out for justice, sell-out, corporate journalists like Robinson write sentences like:
“Democrats, including President Obama, continue to play by the old art-of-the-possible rules. Bless their hearts.”
What a waste of space Robinson’s writings are.

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By The Die Hard, April 12, 2011 at 7:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Democrats persist in making the mistake of believing that repugnant-baggers are adults instead of the tantrum-throwing two-year-olds that they are.

You CANNOT “negotiate” or “compromise” with a tantrum-throwing two-year-old.

You want a deadline?  Here’s yer deadline:  “The detailed budget will be presented, reviewed, agreed upon, and signed, by the end of the fiscal year (September 30).  If next year’s budget is not completed and signed by this year’s September 30, then you can forget about leaving the chamber for anything except going to the bathroom for the rest of the calendar year.  No holidays, no “town meetings,” no campaigning.  If you lose the election in November, then you are excused IN JANUARY, when your successor takes over after the holidays.  But you may not recess, and you may not leave, until all parties are in agreement.  There will be no more government shutdowns, and no threats thereof.”

They need to remember that their oath of office is very much like a military oath of service, and that their commander in chief is the Constitution of the United States, as set forth by We, the People, specifically the Preamble and Articles 1 and 2.

Instead of shutting down the government, chain them to their desks.

“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”  ~  Thomas Paine

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By Inherit The Wind, April 12, 2011 at 6:48 am Link to this comment

ER:
You are finally getting it:

1)You can’t play by the rules when the other side cheats with impunity.

2)The one who controls the relationship is the one who has less to lose.

3)You can’t win an argument or a debate with a crazy person.

4)You don’t negotiate with hostage takers as a strategy, only as a tactic, and you ONLY make minor concessions for major ones.

5)Democrats are spineless jellyfish, but Republicans are rabid dogs….who wins?

6) The Republicans are determined to turn America in a fascist Christian state that doesn’t need to respect the environment because….the Rapture is coming.

We are seriously screwed.

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By kerryrose, April 12, 2011 at 6:34 am Link to this comment

We need to get rid of Obama in 12 to stave off the flow to the extreme right and corporate interests that he has allowed to take place.  Even if it means losing the election and using the next four years to develop Progressive strength and candidates.

Think of everything corporate politicians were able to accomplish under this weak and enabling President!  They have rolled back Labor laws and abortion along with other Progressive victories that should have been set in stone.

Next it is Medicare and Social Security.  It is Obama’s weak desire to ‘compromise’ that has allowed these changes to take place and for him to be stampeded.  The corporatists have been barking at the door for decades just waiting for an invite.

Obama has given them the invite, and we need to get rid of him before he gives away the whole ball of wax.

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By TDoff, April 12, 2011 at 6:21 am Link to this comment

As a counter-proposal to the next set of ridiculous GOPer/TeaParty demands, which will arise during the debt ceiling and full budget negotiations, Obama should start the debate on whether we should bar-b-que or deep-fry the GOPs and TPs in order to feed the soon-to-be starving poor and ‘middle class’ of this nation.
With ‘Eat the Rich’ as the new slogan for prosperity in our times.

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