Saturday, February 14, 2009

Lessons of the Hour by Anthony McCarthy

Surely John Boehner’s declaration yesterday, saying that he hoped the stimulus bill worked were the most dishonest words spoken in the country this month. The Republicans are scared to death that it will work, that the Democrats will, once again, have repaired the massive damage that their party has done to this country. They are afraid that it will work and the American People will stop believing their lies and understand the real nature of the modern Republican Party. That reality is clear, the Republican Party hates the United States. That is they hate the United States when it lives up to the ideals of Lincoln, that it be a party “for The People”. They hate it when it’s building school, building railroads and other vital public infrastructure. They hate it when it is providing children with health care, when it is protecting women and minorities from discrimination and hate. They hate the United States when it safeguards the integrity of our justice system, when it prevents sadists from using offices of the state to satisfy their perversion. They hate the United States when it is protecting the environment which we all depend on for our lives. They only love the United States the way a con man loves an easy mark.

The truth of the Republican response to President Obama’s attempts at bipartisanship them is laid out for everyone to see this week. In their lock step refusal to put the good of the country before partisan gamesmanship, in the insistence of the pathetic “moderate” Republican three to damage the effectiveness of jobs creation and other public benefits in the bill, they have shown what it takes to work with Republicans. You have to betray the public trust, you have to betray the founding principles of the country, you have to do it their way. Judd Gregg’s bizarre antics have shown that you can’t even work with them by going more than half way. You try to reach out your hand, they try to stab it, you honor them, they spit in your face.

Republicans don’t want the government to work for The People, they see it as a vehicle to rob The People, to use public office as means of gaining wealth for their patrons, the oligarches. The Peoples’ use for Republicans is to produce wealth, get their wages stolen and as cannon fodder when they want to throw a war.

Good government, government that provides efficient services and builds sound infrastructure is anathema to modern Republicans. The Paulson giveaways, the whole scale thefts of the Bush II regime, the gutting of regulatory agencies, all of those are models of Republican government. Those are a clear example of how Republicans want government to work. They don’t want it to work the way its supposed to, they can steal so much more of it when there is secrecy and chaos.

Speaking of Paulson. Someone on the radio recently explained his last weeks in office by explaining that he had serious ideological problems with the TARP program, which he insisted was absolutely necessary to save the financial system. In the end, after he had his hands on the money with permission to distribute it, he couldn’t bring himself to ask his pals to use it the way congress and The People had been told was necessary. He couldn’t bring himself to make strict conditions as to how that money would be used. We don’t know if the gentlemen making these deals with him shook his hand or made the boy scout salute as a guarantee that it would be used to get the credit system going again or that The People would be getting fair value for their investment in their rotting, criminally managed institutions. Well, that is typical of Republican morality. You can be sure that if it was Paulson’s own money that he was handing out, he’d have gotten his guarantees in writing. Seeing as it was The Peoples’ money, perhaps an unstated gentleman’s agreement would suffice, a wink and a nod. Needless to say, there should be an investigation to see how much of that money can be recovered and to equalize the stake which the government has in the institutions it has invested in. It should be a dollar for a dollar, at the minimum. Paulson should be held accountable, that’s the least we can demand of our representatives who took him at his word. They should have known better. I would imagine some of them do now.

And in that is also a warning for Tim Geithner, one whose lesson he has to be made to hear. Some news reports said that he had successfully resisted mandatory caps on executive compensation in distributing the next installment of TARP. He apparently has similar scruples against applying standards in lending he, no doubt, would insist on if it was his money being invested.. I had my doubts about him when he was named, I think just about all of those with close ties to the financial system have similar emotional attachments to a morality that has clearly been shown by history to be false. Geithner, it’s not your money. You only have in trust, The Peoples’ trust. Which you are in the process of wasting, you’ve got at most one more chance. And you might not even have that unless you go way beyond your clearly insufficient personal code. They said you were a smart guy, it’s not that hard to figure out.

Others in the Obama administration should be wondering if maybe the guy was the wrong choice for treasury.