Thursday, October 21, 2010


No pretty pictures in this blog post today, people. Everyone in the media is predicting huge Republican/Tea Party gains in the upcoming midterm elections, now less than 2 weeks away. Voters have much to be angry about: foreclosures are at record levels and rising; the unemployment rate remains steadfastly just below 10%; working people's wages are all but frozen while CEO salaries continue to skyrocket; prescription and medical costs continue to rise faster than inflation; the federal deficit is at an all-time high; our schools are slipping and dropout rates are rising; our roads, bridges, schools, office buildings, and inner cities are crumbling; Congress is bitterly partisan, fights within itself, and can't get anything done; and the war in Afghanistan drags on, turning into a quaqmire, and is running the risk of spilling over into Pakistan and possibly Iran. The coomon wisdom is that the party currently in power, the Democratic Party, will be ousted and control of Congress will shift back to the Republicans, who held it from 1995-early 2007. The natural trend is for voters to remove the party in power if that party fails to improve the lot of the country. But before voters take that seemingly automatic step this year, it may be wise for them to ask and answer the questions below before they nake what very well could prove to be a dangerously rash and counterproductive move:

1. WHO CAUSED THE COLLAPSE OF THE ECONOMY? Was it caused by overly strict government regulation on banks and investment firms, or was it caused by Republican-led dereregulation of mortgage banks and the stock market? I think most of you know the answer. Why, then, would you even CONSIDER returning this party to power to reimplement its same old deregulation policies?

2. DID THE REPUBLICAN BUSH TAX CUTS CREATE MILLIONS OF NEW, GOOD-PAYING JOBS IN THIS COUNTRY ONCE THEY TOOK EFFECT? That's what the tax cuts were supposed to do, weren't they? Isn't that what Bush and Republican congressional leaders told us at the time? If you said yes to this question, where are those jobs today? In India? China? Mexico? The Philippines? I think you know the answer here. NO good-paying jobs were created here; LOW-paying jobs were created outside our borders, and American workers were laid off by the millions as corporate CEOs padded their own salaries and benefits. This was done because the Republicans told us "free market" policies like this would be good for us. But instead, these policies have proven to be very BAD for all but a tiny few of the wealthy elite at the top. Why, then, would you even CONSIDER returning this party to power to implement even more outsourcing and further tax cuts for the rich?

3. HOW WILL A WEAKER, MUCH SMALLER GOVERNMENT (AS ADVOCATED BY THE REPUBLICAN/TEA PARTY CROWD) BE ABLE TO MEET THE NEEDS OF THE ELDERLY POOR, THOSE NOW BELOW THE POVERTY LINE, THE SICK AND HANDICAPPED, AND THE UNEMPLOYED? The conservative Republicans and their Tea Party allies all want a much smaller federal government. If you vote them into power and they get their way, who will feed and shelter these needy people? YOU? Will they starve and drop before your very eyes, or won't you care so long as the government is smaller and weaker? What will you do when desperately sick and hungry people attack YOU on the street for your pocket change? Should they just be shot by police and cast aside like garbage? How will you remain healthy as these people slip into disease and become carriers of tuberculosis and dysentery? Also, in the event of a severe natural disaster, who will have the necessary resources to bring immediate aid to the terribly afflicted victims?

4. ONCE FEDERAL REGULATORS DISAPPEAR OR ARE SEVERELY CUT BACK, WHO WILL ENSURE THAT YOUR FOOD AND WATER REMAIN SANITARY? THAT YOUR HOMES ARE BUILT SAFELY AND THAT UOUR PLACES OF WORK WILL BE SAFE? Will the marvelous Republican/Tea Party "free market" that replaces government oversight provide these safeguards voluntarily all by itself? Surely, you're not THAT gullible!

5. ONCE THE MINIMUM WAGE IS DISMANTLED (SOMETHING MANY REPUBLICANS AND TEA PARTY CANDIDATES ARE NOW ADVOCATING), WHO WILL MAINTAIN WORK STANDARDS AND WAGE AND BENEFIT LEVELS? With no federal government to protect you, how long will it be before your place of employment cuts your wage down to $2 per hour or lower? How long before you are told you no longer get time-and-a-half for hours worked over 40 per week? How long before your boss tells you that to keep your job you must work 14 hours each day, 7 days a week, with no vacation or sick days? This won't ever happen, you say? How can you be sure? Who or what will be there to prevent it?

6. WHAT PLANS DO REPUBLICANS AND TEA PARTY MEMBERS HAVE TO CREATE JOBS? HOW WILL THEY KEEP YOUR WAGES AND BENEFITS FROM SLIPPING FURTHER? The Republicans and their Tea Party allies all opposed the Economic Stimulus Plan and do not believe the government should ever intervene in the marketplace to create jobs or influence wage levels. They support "free market" export of American jobs to ensure that big corporations will be as profitable as possible. They have absolutely no plan for job creation other than cutting taxes for the rich, and we have already seen that act not producing any good-paying jobs here. They also jave no plan to protect your current job or maintain your current wage level should the market further contract. Do you really want to trust the task of rebuilding this economy to a party with absolutely no plans in place to do so?

7. IF THE REPUBLICANS ARE ALLOWED TO PRIVATIZE SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE (AS MANY HAVE PLEDGED TO DO), WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE ELDERLY IN TIMES OF ECONOMIC DOWNTURN? How will the poor and working poor ever be able to save enough money to invest in a retirement fund big enough to meet their needs? And if the market crashes, won't these lifetime investment funds be wiped out too? Will these people then become homeless and starve once their savings are gone? Will YOU be taking them in and caring for them? Will they die on the streets penniless? Will they, at the time of life when medical care and treatment for pain is needed most, be forced to do without, suffering needless and preventable agony, and die before their time just because they cannot afford ever-rising medical care? Is THIS what you want for your children and grandchildren? Or for your grandma and grandpa, or great aunt or great uncle? Sounds like a sort of cruel "death panel" to me, and I thought conservatives violently opposed those...

8. WITH NO THREAT OF GOVERNMENT REGULATION OR INTERFERENCE AROUND, WHAT WILL PREVENT BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY FROM FIXING PRICES AS THEY SEE FIT? What will stop the oil companies from charging you $12 per gallon for gasoline? Or the pharmaceutical companies from increasing their prices tenfold across the board? The "market" will never permit this and will correct itself, you say? How can you be so sure? And how can you be so naive? It wasn't the "free market" which quickly rolled back $4 per gallon gas prices in the summer of 2008. The "free market" ENABLED this price rise! It was only the threat of windfall profit taxes made by the DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS which caused gas prices to drop! How can you even THINK of returning a party to power who wants to let a greedy and unforgiving "market" run roughshod all over you?

9. WHAT MAKES THE REPUBLICAN PARTY THE PARTY BEST SUITED TO GOVERN THIS TIME? Have these conservative Republicans put forth any solid practical solutions to our problems? How will they rebuild our infrastructure? Reduce or end poverty? Make your job more secure? Or will you be voting for them solely because the economy isn't progressing as quickly as you would like and you want to punish the progressives and Democrats for that? Does the fact that the conservative Republicans have engaged in uncooperative and nonproductive obstruction of all Democratic initiatives for the past four years mean anything to you? That they have stood in the way of progress solely for the sake of political gain? The fact that they are threatening to shut down the government altogether if they gain control and their demands are not met? Would you like no mail during the duration of ssuch a shutdown? No National Guard? No Border Patrol? NO SOCIAL SECURITY or Welfare checks going out to those who need them? No Veterans' hospital care? Is THIS the type of "governance" a responsible and responsive political party should be offering? Is THIS what you, as a taxpayer, are sending people to represent YOU in Congress for? Is this what you really want or deserve?



Voters, the answers to these questions are starkly clear: the Republicans and Tea Party advocates do NOT have the solution to our problems and have actually CAUSED MOST OF THEM. They will lead this country down the path of economic destruction, NOT prosperity. They must NOT get your vote, because if they gain governmental control, they will embark on a disastrous radical agenda that will wipe out every positive gain the middle class has made over the past 75 years! Moderates and independents, for the good of the country, you MUST vote progressive and Democratic this time around. Progressives and Democrats, DO NOT SIT HOME THIS ELECTION---VOTE!!!



Mauigirl said...

Very well articulated. It's amazing to me that these Tea Partiers and others who support the GOP don't ask themselves these questions. But I guess they don't ask questions - or think - much at all.

Jack Jodell said...

Thanks for stopping by and for leaving this nice comment. I think you have a very legitimate point---these people are NOT thinking!

TomCat said...

Well done, Jack, as always. Here's one thong though.


Actually, Republican policies have created millions of jobs. They are in China, India, Vietnam, etc., wherever governments will allow criminal corporations to exploit their workers through unsafe conditions and slave-wages.

Jack Jodell said...

Thanks, TomCat. You are exactly right."Free enterprise" that's only REALLY free for the corporation calling all the shots.

Max's Dad said...

I forgot who said it but it was something like it's easy for a jackass to kick down a barn but hard to build one. These jackasses are kicking like crazy and only we can stop them. Let's do it, Jack!

Jack Jodell said...

I'm with you, Max's Dad! Dick Armey, David Koch, Karl Rove, and Glenn Beck didn't realize what a horribly destructive Pandora's Box they created when they started and poularized this phony "Tea Party" movement. It has GOT to be stopped, for the survival of the republic!

Lisa G. said...

Jack - this is one of your finest posts and they are all good, but this one really nails it. The Repubs and teabaggers have no plans (other than keeping the Bush tax cuts - for the rich only), nothing on the economy or jobs, clean air or water. They would decimate all the progress over the last 50 years including the healthcare bill (which they've vowed to repeal) leaving the middle class and poor with even fewer options than they have now.

The middle class will be wiped out as the few remaining jobs are shipped overseas, the poor would be thrown to the streets, help organizations would be completely unable to handle the burden - they are barely able to keep their heads above water as it is and with no government assistance, that would surely be a death panel for many Americans.

Clean air and water would be completely lost; offshore drilling would come on shore to everyone's back yard (under eminent domain), The Clean Air and Water act would be repealed, leaving oil, gas and other nefarious industries to be able to pollute as much as they wanted, with no controls in place. And regulations (the few that are left) would be entirely gone.

Another war would be started with Iran and possibly Pakistan as well, veterans, I would hate to think what they would do to them (Walter Reed anyone?) and our already over burdened military would collapse from sheer exhaustion, now matter how much money they threw at it. A draft would have to be instituted and of course, their will be no Repub kids going over there, only to become cannon fodder; millions of lives would be lost on both sides. Torture and extraordinary renditions would be rapidly increased (using friendly corporate jets) to such wonderful places as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and God knows where else. Those people would never been seen or heard from again, if we ever knew their names to begin with.

Wall Street would continue to rape Main Street and your Social Security, 401Ks and Medicare would be put in there, without your consent, to take the whims of the market. We all know what they did with that money in 2007. They would pay no taxes on their massive gains and we would be handed the massive losses. They would manage to take ridiculous risks with no regulations in place and very soon after that would be required another massive bail out to save their sorry asses, again, with your money. And I don't even want to think about the deficit - where will the teabaggers and Repubs be then when they double our deficit? Silent - like the way they were the last time.

Ok, I'll stop now since I'm depressing the shit out of myself and probably everyone else reading this post.

I don't know about you, but I'm guessing this isn't the type of America I want to live in. They will kill the great American experiment known as Democracy. The Constitution and the Bill of rights would be gutted and with the courts full of Repub Jurists, you would have no recourse, even if you could find a lawyer to take your case.

Lisa G. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa G. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa G. said...

Sorry, I got just a little over zealous (not that you could tell :)) when posting. Oops - I'm blaming it on the blonde hair.

Jack Jodell said...

Lisa G,
Sorry I raised your blood pressure as I did. Your concern and passion are validated by the very real danger this far-right Republican groundswell poses. Together, you and I have provided everyone some very sobering food for thought. I sincerely hope that many of those frustrated and angry voters who have intended to vote for rash, shortsighted Tea Party and conservative Republicans will not make that horrible mistake out of mad impulse, and will realize what a very grave threat these ultra-conservatives pose to our way of life. And, of course, I also hope that justifiably frustrated progressives and Democrats won't just sit home on election day and enable the far-right extremists to succeed in their attempt to stage a bloodless coup. NOW IS THE TIME FOR ALL GOOD PERSONS TO COME TO THE AID OF THEIR PARTY AND COUNTRY!


mud_rake said...

Ten questions, Jack, ten excellent questions which, sadly, many of the voters will never ask and even more pitifully, don't care to know the answers.

The blitz of slick corporate-sponsored political ads has begun the demise of this nation- politicians are now a commodity, like cattle, bought and sold to the highest bidder.

Sadly, the average citizen has neither the time nor desire to fully investigate the candidates running for office and depend on the verbiage thrown to them on the TV commercials.

The ugly odor of fascism is wafting through the air this Autumn and the average citizen doesn't recognize its miasma-tic properties.

Jack Jodell said...

You are so right. This is a case of the "free market" having gone wild and trampling everything in its path. It just goes to show how one man's "freedom" is another man's tyranny!

tnlib said...

Terrific, Jack. I'm not surprised these folks don't ask themselves these questions. Maybe we should do away with public education, afterall. Obviously students aren't being taught history or government or how to think critically, if at all. It's pretty damn scary.

If I were in the hospital, they'd have to take me to the polls. No matter how bad a Democratic candidate may be, he's smarter than a Republican.

Jack Jodell said...

"No matter how bad a Democratic candidate may be, he's smarter than a Republican."

Very well put, tnlib. Especially this year!

TomCat said...

Jack, the poor and middle classes do have free enterprise. Republicans reserve socialism for the rich.

Jack Jodell said...

That is VERY true, from the non-bid federal contracts to generous federal subsidies to preferential tax rates with multiple loopholes the wealthy get. This country and nearly all of its institutions is rigged against average workers and the poor. IT IS TIME FOR A BIG CHANGE!

TomCat said...

Amen, Pope Jack!! ;-)

Anonymous said...

You are a moron. This is by far the most idiotic "blog" I've ever seen. Everyone knows that unions and high labor costs are what sends jobs overseas, not the "Republican party". What an idiot!