Does that help you understand better what Republicans are doing to America? What were people thinking who voted for candidates who proclaimed that they wanted to destroy our government? I don't know; I voted for patriotic Democrats who want the best for you and me. Republicans no longer feel patriotic about their country; those who do are terrorized by moneyed elites who tell them that one vote out of the party line--destroy the government--will mean they can consider themselves out of office.
Today the Supreme Court is considering removing all limits on financial donations to candidates. That means that anyone could stand in the halls of Congress with a checkbook and tell a Senator or Congressman that they are poised to write a check for thousands of dollars, providing they vote as they are told. America is being put up for sale.
Don't fool yourself--you can't afford it. If you are an old lady on Social Security and Medicare, living on that fixed income or else, where are you looking for someone to watch out for your interests? Did you hear of the Ryan Budget--the one that told us that if you can't make it you need to get a job, and if you can't, it's your fault? What's wrong with you, old lady--can't you flip burgers for minimum wage, or clean hotel rooms, or baby sit?
This is the Ayn Rand misconception that I mentioned in my last column. Paul Ryan, a young, strong man, cannot imagine that he would ever be elderly and infirm. Nothing will ever happen to him that would deprive him of the income he enjoys today--he will always be young, handsome and rich.
How about you? Are you young, beautiful and rich right now? What do you think about the old-chestnut story about a man who asked a beautiful woman if she would spend the night with him for ten thousand dollars? After she said yes, he went on to offer the same night for twenty dollars. To that, she replied, "Hey, what do you think I am?" He told her, "I have already established what you are. Now we are just haggling over the price."
This is the Republican Party. The legislators who have been elected by corporate money will vote for anything to keep that money coming. The huge, steaming, stinking scandal that I observe, and for which only God can forgive them, is that many (if not all) of them call themselves Christians and claim to be followers of Jesus. The sight, which they have not personally seen, of thousands of Americans living on the streets and in shelters, does not perturb them because they will not allow themselves to break down the compartments in their minds. If they do they must realize that it is directly contrary to the teachings of Jesus condone that situation, let alone to bring it about.
Well for heaven's sake, it's also contrary to Judaism and Islam, while we are at it. No Muslim legislator, like Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), could vote in conscience to pass legislation that will put thousands of Americans into the streets, penniless. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT), who is Jewish, works tirelessly for the good of Americans. But the primitive un-Christians feel that what pleases their corporate owners is more important than the Christian faith that they pretend to believe.
Listen, old lady on Social Security and Medicare, if you can't work, you don't deserve to eat. Doesn't that sound just like Jesus? And by the way, the "Christian" legislator who quoted that phrase was not quoting Jesus, but St. Paul, and the quote itself is taken out of context when it is employed to mean that in order to eat, you must be a working member of the community. Paul did not mean that at all; he raised money for the Church in Jerusalem and urged his friends to care for the poor in his letters.
Today, a right-wing pundit named Erick Erickson posted an article in which he stated simply that until President Obama agrees to demolish "Obamacare," the government can just stay shut down indefinitely. This is stupid on many levels, but for our purposes there is just one important thing to know: Obamacare is not an act, and it is not a bill. It is a law. It was passed, signed and budgeted; money for Obamacare is not even discretionary spending that can be defunded; it is a law that is paid for. The President cannot defund Obamacare any more than he can defund the Veterans' Administration.
Don't want Obamacare? Draft an act of repeal in the Senate and the House of Representatives, conference it and vote on a repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act. Send it to the President and see if he will sign it. President Obama won't, but if there is ever another Republican president in our lifetime, perhaps he will (it won't be the first female President, by the way). That's how Obamacare goes away.
But that is not the only factor; Republicans are fond of using Nazi comparisons when talking about Obamacare. Let me just ask: what do they imagine that the Nazis did--round up millions of Jews and force them to get checkups? Did they require that all Jewish people in Germany and Poland (and elsewhere) sign up for health insurance?
How stupid are we, that we allow this to go on?