Friday, May 05, 2006

This paragraph from Brad and Gavin at Sadly, No! is absolutely brilliant -- up to a point:

At its heart, the modern Republican election machine is nothing more than a scam to put money in the pockets of right-wing billionaires. It works like this: the rich conservatives don't want their taxes raised [Gavin adds: and don't want government regulation of business], so they want to keep Democrats out of office at all costs. That means they have to elect Republicans. But the problem is, the demographic for people who want to cut rich peoples' taxes just ain't very big. This is where the conservative "values voters" come in. The rich Republican elite promise to end abortion, ban gay marriage and seal off the U.S-Mexico border, ...

Yes! That's how it works. This is precisely why Republicans dominate American politics.

... even though they have zero intention of following through on any such promises. Once elected, they swiftly cut taxes [Gavin adds: and sabotage social and regulatory programs] and then do their best to ignore the concerns of the Christian right. In the past, they've blamed their inactions on obstructionist Democrats, activist judges or Bill Clinton's penis. But now that they've controlled all three branches of the federal government for the past four years, they're running out of excuses.

Sorry -- you lost me. You lost me at "even though they have zero intention of following through on any such promises."

Sure, national Republicans are fooling the base when they pretend they'd love to ban abortion instantly, a political risk they'd never really take -- but the war on abortion is a long war, and Republicans are fighting to win at the state level. South Dakota you know about; more typical is the piling on of restrictions you get in states like Missouri and Mississippi. These restrictions are meant to float up to the federal courts, where those nice judges with their nice wives we saw approved years earlier will rubber-stamp them, and the president and members of Congress who gave us those judges won't be blamed. I dunno, it sure seems to me as if it's working, except in solidly blue states. (Sure, Mississippi may back away from banning abortion, but there's only one highly regulated clinic in the whole state.)

As for gay marriage, the thing about those gay-marriage-banning referenda that are meant to get conservatives voters to the polls is that they also actually ban gay marriage. Once again, it's going to happen in red state after red state.

And no, sealing the border, probably won't happen, but I've lived through the "war on crime" and the "war on drugs" and I think I know what is going to happen -- a series of cockamamie get-tough-on-wetbacks laws that make yahoos think the legislators (and possibly members of Congress) who pass them are really, really "getting tough" on illegal immigration. It'll all get very creative, with legislators trying to top one another in devising crowd-pleasing ways to punish immigrants. (For an analogy, remember when we were all worked up about getting color TVs and weight rooms out of prisons, because that was really going to help us crack down on crime.) Again, at the national level, presidents and people who think they could be president might still appear in public with mariachi bands -- but state legislators (and, in this case, the less glamorous members of Congress) will keep the base satisfied.

I don't shed tears for zealot GOP voters. They do just fine.

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