28 February 2010


As a close, conservative Republican friend of mine admitted, "If the Republican Party had won the last presidential election and Congress were controlled by Republicans, they would have had to do nearly the same with the economy as did the Democrats." In our discussion he said that Republicans, if in power, could not have let the economy go into a Depression, just as the Democrats could not. There would necessarily have been deficit spending--no way around it, or let the economy tank.

My friend says he is glad the Democrats won the last election, because now they will take the unthinking blame for the problems created mostly in the Bush Administration when it inherited a budget surplus and then started two unfunded wars while it cut taxes for mostly the rich and extended a hugely expensive, unfunded Medicaid drug-benefits package, all during a shaky economy. All this left Obama holding the bag for a trillion dollars, plus what will turn out to be a two trillion-dollar war in Iraq. Americans are amnesiac vis-a-vis the political past.

The party in power now should get credit for saving the American economy. History does matter.

The horrendous deficits that run out ahead of us are the real problem, not so much current government spending that pumps the economy so that we have a chance for the longer-term future. Those long-term deficits are truly horrendous. Will those who do not understand our situation be ready to make the drastic and painful changes, such as increased taxes and drastically cut benefits and programs, including Defense? It is now unimaginable the changes that will be required. When that time comes, the Fox-Tea Party might have its wishes come true: nearly non-functioning government at all levels, with few services, extremely high unemployment, and people scraping out a meager existence. If we are to have a chance in that medium- to longer-term future, we must have spending now. Go ahead and blame the Democrats; the Republican-Fox-Tea Party will have its chance at controlling the disaster. Perhaps add another war? Give further tax cuts to mostly the rich? All while waving the American flag and creating lots of billionaires and blaming the poor?
Pelosi's comments about the Tea Party movement (TPM) and the Republican Party are obviously political. But, it is still true that there are some connections and overlap between the TPM and the GOP, which the latter hopes to control for its electoral benefit.

What is also salient are the connections and overlap between the TPM and Fox Politico-Entertainment Network. It is truly difficult to disconnect where one ends and the other begins. Does anyone deny this? Hannity, Beck, and another Fox host staged their shows at TPM rallies. Fox gave inestimable free publicity to the TPM. In truth, it is the Tea-Fox Movement.

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