Last month, former Vice President Dick Cheney emerged from his tomb of death and denial (denying that he is responsible for any of America’s many problems and shooting anybody in the face who says otherwise) to address the wildly enthusiastic and historically challenged members of the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC). CPAC is promoted as a serious gathering of serious minded people focused on finding conservative solutions to America’s many problems, yet all that was on display was a hyper-partisan, facts be damned, vaudevillian comedy show; think Eugene McCarthy meets Don Rickles (without the funny)! In fact, rather then make a serious attempt to foster new ideas to address America’s problems (problems caused mostly by their old ideas), the attendees were in full retreat from reality as they completely absolved themselves and their ideas of any responsibility for said problems!
Unfortunately for the CPAC crowd, recent history is crystal clear about what happened to America the last time their ideological brethren had total control over the fulcrum of power in Washington. For six of the previous eight years, the Bush/Cheney administration controlled the White House and the Republican Party controlled both houses of Congress. When they came to power, the departing Democratic President (Bill Clinton) left America with a robust budget surplus and a general sense of peace and prosperity throughout America and the world. The results which ensued from the Republican’s scorched earth, hyper partisan brand of conservative governance is a matter of historical record and if the current political environment was one in which facts actually mattered, their constant carping at Democrats would be seen as evidence detachment, denial or amnesia!
They did nothing to prevent a devastating terrorist attack (9-11), they started an unnecessary and illegal war, they twice pushed through two budget busting tax cuts (using budget reconciliation) and a huge new budget busting entitlement program (also using reconciliation). As a result of their ideologically doctrinaire conservative governing practices, they left office with a gigantic budget deficit, rising unemployment and America mired in two costly wars! Their breathtaking fiscal irresponsibility and their imperialistic foreign policy exposed the difference between the philosophy conservatives pay lip service to and the policies they actually pursue after they taste political power. Either they betrayed their own ideology (as they now claim) in an attempt to maintain said power, or they pursued it and now they refuse to accept the results!
Not one American has lost his or her job or home as a result of any policy initiated by President Obama or the Democratic majorities in Congress, yet Democrats are the politicians whom this CPAC crowd blames for all these national nightmares! Our media knows this, yet they continue to provide conservatives with a platform to make all manner of baseless allegations against the mostly blameless and unfortunately spineless Democrats, http://www.examiner.com/x-21075-Baltimore-Liberal-Examiner~y2009m9d29-Meet-the-Press ! The fact that this misdirected “blame-gaming” is directly contradicted by the recent historical record is somehow lost on both the CPAC crowd and the media poodles that cover our politics! But what about everyone else who is watching this madness and what does it say to them about America? Witnessing this madness and the political paralysis that it has created, how long will the rest of the world look to America has a great Democracy and a beacon of hope?
Do we really think that global observers of American politics can’t see that far too many Republicans and their media poodles are less interested in the general welfare of the American people (no health care) then they are their careers and their quest for more money and power http://www.examiner.com/x-21075-Baltimore-Liberal-Examiner~y2010m2d3-A-Pox-on-Both-their-Houses! Americans need to understand that the foreign press, while surely fascinated by our politics and the cynicism and mendacity displayed by many of our politicians, has no vested interest in providing their audiences with the same air brushed, pro-Republican news coverage that is provided by their Americans counterparts! With the rapid advance of technology, the world keeps getting smaller and more interdependent. As a result, shouldn’t Americans care about the messages we send to the rest of the world regarding our Political leaders and their ability to govern?
Do conservatives really not see how their embrace of and adulation for the former Vice President compromises any moral or legal argument Americans might later make with regard to the actions of foreign nations? Americans denounce the Syrian people for their enthusiastic embrace of the terrorist who was recently released from prison in Scotland (Lockerbie bomber) while CPAC attendees simultaneously cheer wildly for America’s own admitted war criminal (Dick Cheney)! Conservatives simply refuse to allow themselves to understand what motivates the Syrian people http://www.examiner.com/x-21075-Baltimore-Liberal-Examiner~y2009m8d28-Aint-understanding-mellow, without it ever occurring to them that the Syrian’s have reserved for themselves the same hypocritical nationalistic nearsightedness that defines the perspective of Republicans in general and the CPAC crowd in particular http://www.examiner.com/x-21075-Baltimore-Liberal-Examiner~y2009m10d11-USA-USA-Oylmpic-edition !
At last month’s CPAC convention, conservative mendacity was on full display for the entire world to see and it, once again, embarrassed America. The world’s 1.5 billion Muslims watch as conservatives lead the way in reducing any attempt to understand what motivates Islamic terrorism as unpatriotic “blame America first-ism” and then when an American engages in domestic terrorism owing to some objection to America’s progressive tax policy, conservative Congressmen Steve King refers to said terrorist as a hero during his right wing speech (rant) before the cheering throngs at the CPAC convention http://www.opednews.com/populum/diarypage.php?did=15891! Can they really not understand how this breathtaking nationalistic hypocrisy appears to the rest of the world and how it continues to tarnish America’s image?
So when the CPAC conference concluded with a keynote address delivered by the clown prince of right wing gasbagery; Glen Beck, the non-substance and complete lack of seriousness of the conservative movement was laid bare for all to see! The CPAC crowd is the vocal and activist wing of one of America’s two major political parties and as such they define a large portion of what constitutes American political thought. They’re rigidly ideological, fact and reason averse, cynical, corrupt, hawkish, hyper partisan, racially regressive and transparently disdainful of anyone who disagrees with them! They shine a very unflattering light on our political system and they continue to embarrass the American people!