November 13, 2008
Time Of Death: Oct. 3, 2008By Randall Hoven
The death of the Republican Party has an exact date: October 3, 2008. The day John McCain lost his bid for President also has an exact date: October 1, 2008. These dates are when the coroner officially declared death; the coma started much earlier: March 27, 2002.
October 3, 2008 is, of course, when the $trillion bailout was passed by the House and signed into law by President Bush. October 1 was when John McCain voted for the bailout in the Senate, and went on to urge House Republicans to vote in favor of it. March 27, 2002 was when President Bush signed McCain-Feingold into law. (Ironically, Feingold voted against the bailout, making him more Republican than McCain.)
The bailout is often quoted as costing $700 B. When all bailouts are added up (Fannie and Freddie, FHA, JP Morgan, Bear-Stearns, etc.), the cost is more like $1.8 trillion.
Concerning the bailout vote, I don't think there could have been any other single act by which John McCain could have so thoroughly demonstrated that he's been lying to us the whole time. He claimed to be a reformer, but this was about the most inside-the-beltway, anti-voter initiative in my memory. He claimed to be against earmarks, but this bill had about $150 billion of non-related "sweeteners" attached. He claimed to be a fiscal conservative, but this bill has the US government buying $700B worth of "troubled assets" from the private sector, all under the direction of one man: the Treasury Secretary. (Almost forgot: there is some "Congressional oversight", in case you were nervous.)
Republicans had branded themselves as the Party of low taxes, responsible spending and limited government. Virtually everything President Bush has done since his tax cuts in 2001 has been the exact opposite.
And now this, a cumulative bailout of $1.8 trillion. Do you know how much $1.8 trillion is? It's what the entire Federal budget was in 2000. And Bush signed onto that much in just the last two weeks, on top of the $3 trillion regular budget. At this point, I don't care if we double the subsidies to mohair farmers or buy a bridge to nowhere. Bail out California, too -- just $7B, hardly a blip on the radar.
How long can you go on speechifying about the free market or limited government when this is your track record?
(If social issues, especially pro-life, are what drives your vote, explain why Roe v Wade has only been strengthened since 1973, all by a court with 7 of the 9 Justices, and every Chief Justice since 1953, appointed by Republicans. Name any other things the Republicans actually delivered for you when they had the Presidency, the Senate and the House, together. I'm waiting ...)
There is one thing John McCain does not lie about: he is always ready to reach across the aisle. McCain-Feingold (Campaign Finance Reform). McCain-Lieberman (Global Warming). McCain-Kennedy (Comprehensive Immigration Reform). And now McCain-Frank (Comprehensive Screw-the-Taxpayers-and-Kill-the-Free-Market Reform).
McCain's first instinct is to blame greedy corporations for any problem. The trouble with politics, in his mind, is the influence of corporate lobbyists, not the fact that in a nation of 300 million, 535 of them control a $3 trillion annual budget and regulate a $15 trillion economy. In his mind, temperatures are "high" (by one degree?) because corporations are producing too much, not because the sun is more active than usual. In his mind, the only trouble with illegal immigration is that businesses don't pay the immigrants enough. In his mind, we got into a financial fix because of greedy lenders, not because of a host of federal rules that incentivize irresponsible lending and criminalize responsible lending.
We already have a political party for those who adhere to such sentiments -- the Democratic Party. Well I guess we now have two such parties.
When the voters are given the choice between a Democrat and a Democrat in Republican clothing, they will vote for the Democrat. Really difficult to comprehend, I guess, since half the Republicans don't seem to understand it.
Democrats are painting our current financial mess as a "failure of the free market." Worse, no Republican is answering the charge. In fact, our last presidential nominee said, "you're right."
My friends, government takes up almost 40% of our economy. Federal regulations took up 2,620 pages in 1936, the middle of the New Deal and after much of the depression-era banking regulation. In 2004 those regulations took up 78,851 pages. Does that sound like a "free market" to you? If there was any regulation loop-hole existing in those 78,851 pages, it was put there on purpose by a legislator to help some cronies (and political contributors) get rich.
But when was the last time you heard anything blamed on "greedy legislators"? Did you ever think that corporations that give money to legislators are not bribing them, but simply paying them protection money?
If you are detecting some anger on my part, it is because I was given the choice, in its purest form, between Stupid and Evil last week. And Stupid is so stupid he doesn't even recognize Evil when they wake up in bed together and his hind end is sore.