Monday, April 04, 2011

E.J. Dionne Asks "The End of Progressive Government"?

This has been in the works ever since the Republicans started lying their way into a House majority. Hell, it may have been in the works since Citizens United opened the floodgates of corporate cash. But now, finally, here we are.

Americans are about to learn how much is at stake in our larger budget fight, how radical the new conservatives in Washington are, and the extent to which some politicians would transfer even more resources from the have-nots and have-a-littles to the have-a-lots.

And you wonder: Will President Obama welcome the responsibility of engaging the country in this big argument, or will he shrink from it? Will his political advisers remain robotically obsessed with poll results about the 2012 election, or will they embrace Obama’s historic obligation — and opportunity — to win the most important struggle over the role of government since the New Deal?

This week, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will announce the House Republicans’ budget plan, which is expected to include cuts in many programs for the neediest Americans.

The Ryan budget’s central purpose will not be deficit reduction but the gradual dismantling of key parts of government. Remember that Ryan wants both to preserve the Bush tax cuts and, over the long run, to enact more breaks for the wealthy, including the elimination of the capital gains tax.

Ryan’s plan reportedly will include steep Medicaid cuts, disguised as a proposal to turn the program into a “block grant” to the states. The net effect would be to leave even more Americans to the mercies of the private insurance market.

In deference to the GOP’s success in turning last year’s health-care law into “Obamacare,” let’s call this proposal Ryancare — and let’s make sure we look carefully at its impact on the elderly and the disabled, the main beneficiaries of Medicaid.

Put the two parts of the Ryan design together — tax cuts for the rich, program cuts for the poor — and its radically redistributionist purposes become clear. Timid Democrats would never dare embark on class warfare on this scale the other way around.
No shit. What's so enraging about this is that the Republicans are likely to accomplish more with their majority in one House than the Dems did with both Houses and the Presidency. The Republicans have stood their ground over and over again, and the Dems have caved over and over again.

And this is part of the reason:

But while I am assailing his ideas, let me put in a good word about Ryan himself:he is, from my limited experience, a charming man who truly believes what he believes. I salute him for laying out the actual conservative agenda. Here’s hoping he is transparent in the coming weeks about whom he is taking benefits from and toward whom he wants to be more generous. If he thinks we need an even more unequal society to prosper in the future, may he have the courage to say so.
WHY? Why praise a man who is trying to tear apart every program that has ever helped the non-wealthy in America? And why, especially, praise him for being "charming" and for consistency? He is a VILLIAN. Not only that, but he is a villian who, by all credible standards, knows absolutely nothing about economics and will most assuredly do more harm than good.


(What the hell is it about the American media that they must embrace amoral, potentially-deadly bastards as long as they're honest about it?)

You want to know why the Republicans are winning? There it is. It may not be what Dionne thought it was. Dionne almost certainly was just trying to play a silly little trick where he damned with faint praise, and he spends a fair amount of time tearing the policies apart.

But what it really is is the same goddamned thing that happens every time: reasonable progressives giving quarter to bastard conservatives, ones that would never, ever return the favor. The same thing he's saying that Obama must not do, he's doing. The same Republican policies of minority rule, gutted revenue, and destroying social security and medicare that he's decrying, he's actually aiding. He can castigate the policies all he wants; it's completely irrelevant.

In the interest of being "nice" and "fair", he's handing his enemy a rope and an instruction manual on noose-tying. Ryan doesn't deserve it. "Charming and honest" or no, he deserves nothing but scorn.

No quarter. Not ever.

1 comment:

  1. I have read some of the comments and feel this, the GOP and big business interests want us all to pay the taxes, fight the wars, work for nothing and leave them alone so that can run the country into the ground and live the American Dream. Congressman with signs" pays my way and I will screw the people in every way possible"