Ladies and gentlemen, another guest column from my Dear Old Dad:
Here is a puzzle. What does the GOP believe in? If you were a completely objective observer, standing on the outside looking in, what would you conclude they believe in? I know there are a lot of Republicans who are honest and sincere when they say they believe in small government, or are pro-business, or moral correctness, national defense, democracy.
Small government? Well, that’s a good one, except that there has yet to be a Republican administration that actually tried to do this, and I am not sure it is a valid basis for building a government anyway. The only administrations to reduce the size of the government in the last 50 years have been Democratic. Raygun thought it was more important to build up the military industrial complex. Busch has effectively neutered the government by establishing an incompetent kleptocracy, but he has not made it any smaller. The Raygun had it right, I think. A government needs to be as big as it needs to be to get the job done. If we have to beef it up to destroy the evil empire, then so be it. Raygun knew that. I will not speculate on what Dubya knows or does not know. My guess is he does not know much of anything.
Pro-business? A case can be made that Republicans are pro-business, but not necessarily pro-all-business. Republicans are pro-established business, like the oil business. By choosing industries to be for, they don’t necessarily help other businesses that might be more important to our future. Alternative fuels, for example. Pro the drug companies, opposed to the legitimate interests of small business in low cost health care for employees. Opposed to immigration, opposed to the legitimate interest of small businesses in low cost labor. Pro WallMart, opposed to Target.
Pro morality…There are absolute moralities and relative moralities. I suggest it is absolutely immoral to pervert the Constitution, invade the privacy of citizens, torture prisoners. Republicans think this is patriotic. Relativism makes this morality thing all the more complicated. So, whose morality? At what point in history? Had Republicans had their way, miscegenation would still be considered a moral imperative. Should government enforce the rigid morality of the Catholic Church? (I guess torture would be okay, then. They had the Inquisition, after all.) The gentle world view of the Quakers? Is it moral to deny the rights granted to heterosexual parents to same-sex parents? You can’t build a government on morality. Surely you can’t really build a political movement on it either.
National Defense. We would hope that the Republican party is in favor of national defense. Who isn’t? I think a case can be made that all those Republicans who favor an established religion would be more comfortable with Sharia than any Democrat. Certainly it is one of the dumbest notions Republicans have tried to promote that Free Thinking Democrats are somehow soft on Islamic terrorism. But do Republicans really care about National Defense? Would a true proponent of national defense create a phony war and squander our military power in the interest of winning an election? The most important issues of defense have been ignored by the Republican party for the last five years. They have payed lip service to homeland security and squandered billions on a useless bloodbath in Iraq. They have invested nothing in protecting our nuclear power plants, our ports, our major population centers from renewed terrorist attack. They have failed to establish any kind of intelligence network that understands Islamic cultures. (The FBI trains Russian speakers, but has only 33 employees who have any familiarity (not fluency) with Farsi.) And we are no longer in a position to address the issue of Korean nuclear arms because we have no army to stand behind us. It’s tied down in Iraq.
Democracy? Republicans have openly and proudly participated in stolen elections and vote(re)/supression. They have had protestors arrested and or harrassed by police outside Busch and Chaney rallies, George Macaca Allen stood by while his stooges beat up a reporter, George Busch says people who do not agrtee with him are traitors. Sounds more like facism than democracy.
So what do Republicans believe in? Lining their pockets with government money. Taking that money from the middle class. Torturing captives. Censoring critics. Hating hispanics.