Tuesday, June 9, 2009
FACES OF A WEAK NATION
Last night, two thousand conservative Republicans met for their annual Senate-House fundraiser. It was a chance for hardcore, far right conservatives to all get together and hear more pronouncements of certain doom for the country because Barack Obama is President and conservatives no longer control all three branches of government. The purpose of this meeting, of course, was to raise funds so the now-reactionary Republican Party can recapture both houses of Congress and the White House and thus once more become the dominant, controlling, and majority party of the country.
It is wonderful to have dreams and aspirations, but, barring a catastrophic miracle, the GOP will not be realizing its dream very soon, if ever. Last night's gathering raised only $14.5 million, compared to $21.5 million in 2007 and $27 million in 2006. It would appear that normally sure-bet fat cats aren't quite as eager to support the Grand Obsolete Party as they once were.
Last night's conservative fest had Newt Gingrich as the keynote speaker and conservative actor Jon Voight as master of ceremonies. Gingrich sounded all the familiar themes about how bureaucrats shouldn't run businesses and that Obama's economic stimulus plan is already failing. No mention was made of how conservative Republican economic policies created the deep recession we're in, of course, or how the Bush tax cuts for billionaires and corporations did not create high-paying jobs and industries here as promised but instead put a huge number of low-paying jobs and industries into China while loading up the wallets of CEOs here. No, you'll never hear conservative Republicans be that forthright or honest. Jon Voight stated he was "embarrassed" by President Obama (but not by his bumbling, inarticulate predecessor?), calling Obama a "false prophet" and saying, "we are becoming a weak nation." Weak nation, Mr. Voight? Really? Which nation were you talking about?
I presume Mr. Voight was referring to the dwindling nation of ultra conservative, short-sighted, wealthy, fundamentalist religious right, hedonistic, xenophobic, homophobic, and paranoid people who now overwhelmingly control today's Republican Party. They put pursuit of profit well ahead of the common good. They believe God smiles only on the wealthy and on big business. They are weak on shared prosperity and strong on self interest. Bellicose bullies all, they are weak on international cooperation and diplomacy, while being strong on preemptive military aggression. They are weak on knowledge and insight, but strong on suspicion and fear. They are weak on preserving civil liberties but strong on interrogation techniques like torture. They are weak on law, like following international treaties and observing long standing precedents like the writ of habeas corpus, but strong on authoritarian edict and unilateral action.
So as Mr. Voight gazed out over the crowd of 2,000 he was addressing, he was indeed seeing a weak nation before him. A nation weak on decency. A nation weak on diversity. A nation weak on moral principle. A nation weak on fairness. A nation weak in understanding. A nation weak in depth. A nation weak in ideas and strategy. A nation weak on substance. He was seeing the nation of Republicans and modern conservatives, much like, but not limited to, the faces of those shown above. It is indeed a weak, weak nation and is in need of a massive overhaul. But it is not America.
It is, thankfully, a shrinking land all unto itself.