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October 10, 2010 - Ray Hall (Archive)
I have tried—I really have tried—to understand what the Tea Party and the Teapublicans are all about. I’ve listened to their white-hot anger and searched for something—anything—for a clue to the meanings behind their rhetoric and to glimpse at what our country might look like under control of the Teapublicans.
Look ahead. It is January 2011 and the Tea Party and Teapublicans have won control of both houses of Congress. South Carolinian Jim DeMint becomes the de-facto leader of the United States Senate and the Teapublican leader. He has already put a hold on all legislation that comes before the Senate and instructs his newly sworn Teapublicans colleagues to do the same. His intention; to stop government in its tracks.
With Buck, Angle, Miller, Paul and O’Donnell DeMint’s hand is strengthened. He has witnessed how filibusters and rules of the Senate that permit individual Senators to hold legislation can be used to stall the legislative process and override the will of the people.
In the current Congress four hundred twenty (420) pieces of legislation that passed the House—the peoples House, was effectively killed by Republican Senators using filibusters (60 votes to pass a resolution) or by individual Senators not permitting resolutions to come to the floor.
Under DeMint’s leadership gays would be kept from teaching in the classroom along with unmarried women engaging in premarital sex. According to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal he neglected to comment regarding whether or not unwed sexually active men should be banned from teaching as well. ?
A constitutional ban on abortions initiated by DeMint and Ken Buck takes a giant step forward: Sharron Angle (Nev), Ken Buck (CO), Roy Blunt (MO), Joe Miller (Alaska), Christine O’Donnell (Del), Marco Rubio (Fl) and Pat Toomey (Pa) all oppose abortion rights and most even in cases of rape and incest.
Although Teapublican candidates toned down their rhetoric about Social Security during the campaign steps are being taken to remake that program into a private investment program run by big bankers like Goldman Sachs or Wall Street created derivative houses. Obama Health Care Reform will be chipped away and rewritten to eliminate Medicaid and Medicare
In Teapublican vernacular “smaller” government is synonymous with “part-time” government. Efforts to make government “smaller” is evidenced by the elimination of the Department of Education and Federal Tax dollars returned to states. Unemployment benefits will be abolished together with regulations that ensure clean drinking water and pure foods. The Occupational Health and Safety Act that encourages workplace safety will be abandoned. Only the military will grow.
Funding for Interstate Highways will wither and die and our rivers and lakes will become fouled by widespread pollution. Without Social Security and Medicaid and Medicare our elderly and hard pressed young will become sicker and die much earlier. In the absence of Congressional involvement and oversight the President becomes Sovereign and the right of citizens to pursue Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness is replaced with only the pursuit of a grim daily existence.
It becomes easy to see the Teapublicans taking the country back—back to a time where they believe our founders might have intended, but it is all false—it is all a lie! The ultimate extreme of a Teapublican government would lead to a part time Congress with no oversight and an unfettered free market system would become as cruel as it was in medieval times.
If the Teapublican narrative is true then we must believe that our Founders would be ashamed to see what they wrought. I cannot believe our Founders would be so tormented. Our Founders would be thrilled to see how well the Constitution has worked.
Founders, even slave owners like Washington and Jefferson, would be delighted to see that the original construction placed in Constitution regarding Blacks as only part of a person was rejected and that a great Civil War was waged to make all men free. Even John Adams—frugal in money and mirth—would be proud that the Republic he helped create was providing old-age pensions for its seniors and I believe he would be dismayed to learn Medicare was provided only for those 65 and older. I can hear him, irascible and cantankerous, demand, “if we grant it to one, why not all?”
I rather believe our Founders would at once be proud and humbled to see that the Republic for which they stood had become a great nation populated mostly by immigrants that came from far and distant shores. I believe tears would stream down their cheeks when they saw our flag had not thirteen but fifty stars that shine brightly from the far north to Alaska to the far west to Hawaii.
By any measure our nation is greater and its people more noble than the Teapublican narrative allows. The Teapublican narrative is a false and dangerous choice.
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