Aug. 20, 2013 By Jack Jodell.
I hate to say it, but you’ve got to hand it to those nasty Republicans. In spite of having lost the White House 4 of the past 6 times, they have managed to hold onto a majority in the House of Representatives and pose a very real possibility of grabbing a majority in the Senate in next year’s midterm elections as well. They have taken outright control of a large majority of the nation’s governorships and statehouses in addition, and are beginning to implement dreadfully unheard-of social and economic changes in those affected states. We on the left have been taken by surprise with this sudden boldness, and are standing by helplessly as this literal coup has been taking place. Though composed of a minority of the voting populace, these ultra-rightists have skillfully and deliberately maneuvered themselves into power and are attempting to force the country into patterning itself along their very rigid authoritarian and reactionary lines. They are attempting to push our nation back to the pre-progressive era of the 1890s, and in many ways they are succeeding. The examples of this are many and are growing rather than receding.
In Morth Carolina, the now far-right, Tea Party-infested reactionary Republican Party recently regained complete political control of that state for the first time since the post-civil war Reconstruction days. Led by their new far-right Governor Pat McCrory, they have passed one of the most controversial and restrictive voting rights laws in the country. Its clear aim is to restrict access to the polls for minorities, students, the poor, and basically anyone else who is likely to not vote Republican. This same governor and state also just enacted legislation severely curtailing a woman’s right to choose, and even though McCrory had pledged to not support any major changes to North Carolina’s abortion laws, he nonetheless hurriedly signed the bill once it reached his desk. So much for honesty and campaign promises…
In Michigan, that same Tea Party-infested GOP has now backed its equally crazed zealot Governor Rick Snyder in his effort to assume total control of insolvent cities through the use of his Governor-appointed “Emergency Managers.” These managers have entirely replaced the lawfully-elected city councils and mayors of a number of Michigan cities (among which are Detroit), and answer solely to Snyder rather than to voters. This is a dangerous and definite anti-democracy trend which should be strongly opposed by all American voters! Snyder, too, made no mention of this intent while running for office.
In Florida, arch-conservative Governor Rick Scott not only succeeded in passing a very controversial “Stand Your Ground” very liberal gun usage law, but has steadfastly refused to repeal it, even in the face of bitterly inteense and massive protests against it by minority voters in the wake of the senseless Trayvon Martin murder. This preposterous law encourages the emergence of self-styled racist vigilantes, diminishes the importance and control of legal law enforcers, and virtually guarantees the murder of futire minorties in Florida. Worse yet, he, too, has actively tried to disenfranchise specific voters and is attempting to do so again.
Maine’s Tea Party-darling Governor Paul Le Page has proven himself to be a willing stooge of that shadowy far-right corporatist group ALEC. He hired family members for well-paid state jobs and even lobbyists who put together an anti-regulation agenda. He also displayed his contempt for America’s workers by forcibly removing a large mural from the Maine Department of Labor’s offices. The mural depicted the struggle of America’s labor movement through the ages and hsd been displayed there for decades. Through a spokesman, he conveyed an arrogant and cold message that the mural had been removed as it was “not in keeping with the department’s pro-business goals.” Funny – previous Republican governors didn’t feel that way. This extremist has also been accused of bullying his subordinates, and is currently under investigation by the federal government for trying to pressure his Labor Department’s employees into deciding more cases in favor of business. UGH!
Far, far-right wacko Texas Governor Rick Perry (“Governor Goodhair”) has wasted millions of taxpayer dollars on special legislative sessions attempting to close down nearly all of his state’s family planning clinics. Evidently his goal is to return women in Texas back to the old back alley bloody coat-hanger days. He has also appointed hundreds of his campaign donors to state posts and has raised millions in campaign funds from them and their spouses. He has run his state poorly since 2000 and has been, in most regards, a typically corrupt Texas Governor, full of bravado and pomp but with little underlying substance. This self-centered, brazen fool has even engaged in double-dipping, having helped himself to a state pension while also receiving his state-paid governor’s salary! His ull-fated attempt at running for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination displayed vividly how dense and ill-equipped to hold high office he really is!
Tom Corbett has proven to be one very unpopular Tea Party Governor! A typical pro-business and anti-government corporatist, he pressed for the privatization of Pennsylvania’s state lottery as well as its wine and spirits stores. He also tried to implement a very extreme voter disenfranchisement law which was later struck down by a federal judge. Speaking of extremist, his proposed 2011 budget would have cut state spending on higher education by a WHOPPING 50%! Nothing like balancing your state’s budget on the backs of the future generation! He also repealed a state law which regulated drilling for natural gas on previously-protected state park land, a transparent payoff to the oil and gas interests which had contributed a cool $1 million to his campaign just months before. These actions enraged not only Pennsylvania Democrats, but a huge chunk of the electorate too. Do I hear the proverbial fat lady starting to sing regarding any future office-holding by Teapublican Tom Corbett?
Last, but definitely not least, is the most notorious scoundrel of them all: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.This zealot was bound-determined to destroy the state employees’ union, so he went to illegal extremes to pass his rabid anti-union agenda, despite numerous protests and sit-ins by angry voters who showed up repeatedly in midwinter at the State Capitol to voice their strong displeasure. The smug Walker simply ignored them and signed the bill he was presented with by his Tea Party allies anyway.
It is important to note that these politicians I have shown here are but a few of many. They, along with others, appear on a list of the 18 WORST Governors which has been posted by the group Citizens for Responsible E thics in Washington (CREW). These are representative of the type of crud the now Tea Party-infested, reactionary Republican Party has put up for election in far too many states. They are far-right and extreme, and are looking backward politically, socially, and economically. They are uniformly anti-democracy in their approach to governing. Once elected, they abandon their campaign promises and ignore all opposition entirely. As rigid autocratic ideologues, their only goal is to strap the entire country into their twisted perception of how America should be run. This means no more labor unions, no more freedom of choice for women, no more regulations on business, and as little minority or poor citizen participation in our electoral process as possible. Regrettably, it also means unregulated freedom for businesses to pollute, cheat, steal, and enslave as they see fit. Their America is a perverse reduction in individual rights and freedoms so that the very wealthiest can become even richer without any restrictions whatsoever. It is a Libertarian’s dream-come-true, but an absolute nightmare for all of the rest of us! The far-right is succeeding, because it is being driven by sinister, anti-worker groups like ALEC and other special interest groups. It is hyperindividualism on steroids. It is succeeding because it takes advantage of every opportunity which comes its way, and it is fueled by gerrymandering of districts, voter disenfranchisement laws, and nonstop choruses of propaganda constantly put forth by the wholly disreputable FOX “News”. We Progressives can no longer ognore this dangerous phenomenon – we MUST begin to act against it NOW! We can no longer afford to sit out off-year and local elections, or we will be surrendering the country lock, stock, and barrel directly into the hands of these destructive, backward-looking types!
THESE PEOPLE AND THEIR CORRUPT POLITICAL ALLIES MUST BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! THAT IS WHY I STRESS TIME AND AGAIN: BEGINNING WITH THE 2014 MIDTERM ELECTIONS, AND CONTINUING THROUGH AT LEAST THE NEXT TWO OR THREE ELECTION CYCLES, IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT NO MORE REPUBLICANS BE ELECTED TO OFFICE! THIS ALSO APPLIES TO CONSERVATIVE, ANTI-WORKER DEMOCRATS!
Until this country has rid itself of these government-hating, backward-looking reactionaries, the middle class will continue to shrink while the ranks of the poor will grow. Meanwhile, without useful trgulation or leverage stemming from those below, the very wealthiest few on top will continue to get even richer and will laugh at those of us below, all the way to their banks.
It’s up to ALL of us to stop electing reactionary Republivans and weak, conservative Democrats – only THEN will we experience the sense of fairness and justice this country so desperately needs and craves today!