Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Compasssionate Conservatism? I Don't Think So!

When George Bush began his run for the presidency, he adopted the moniker of "compassionate conservative." This was the first lie that had to be accepted by the American people in order for him to even have a chance to get into the White House. We, dear reader, knew it to be a lie because we knew those two words used together like that was an oxymoron, like jumbo shrimp. A majority of Americans now know that, too. The other falsehoods he perpetuated--of a humble foreign policy, of not going to war without an exit strategy, of the US not being a nation-builder, etc.--had to be accepted as well, and now those, too, have been proven as lies.

But why is it that "compassionate" and "conservative" used together form an oxymoron? One of the main tenets of conservatism is an I-got-mine-you-get-yours, dog-eat-dog ideology, which naturally doesn't lend itself to compassion. But George was going to be different.

Over the years, conservatives have billed themselves people who look out for your money's welfare, and they were able to use the mantra of being 'fiscally wise' to their advantage. Their ability to use this appearance of fiscal conservatism--I said appearance not reality--to somehow prove that they were better with money than liberals are, allowed them to take power. Reagan was able to get away with running up the huge deficits because he still had a Democratic-controlled Congress for most of his presidency. With Congress controlling the purse strings, that gave him a scapegoat. But now, with supposed "conservative" Republican control of every branch of government, our country is in its worst budgetary shape ever. How could that be? It's because those in power are not conservative. They're not tax-and-spend; they're spend-and-leave-a-tab.

The main problem now is that Republicans control every branch of government and that means there is no oversight or accountability. This article, Deep Pockets, Small Government and the Man in the Middle, is absolutely hilarious. To understand the humor, you have to understand that the current leaders of the Republican party are not conservatives. Their plan is to bankrupt the government. They believe that instead of the government levying taxes and using the money to help the people, a government should levy taxes, specifically on those that have less, and use the money to benefit corporations and their friends. As we read the "Deep Pockets" article, we find out that the current leaders of the Republican party in Washington see the Katrina disaster as just another opportunity to bilk the government of cash for their own gain:

As fiscal hawks surrendered, would-be government contractors were meeting in the Hart Senate Office Building to figure out how to get a share of the money. A "Katrina Reconstruction Summit," hosted by Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) and sponsored by Halliburton, among others, brought some 200 lobbyists, corporate representatives and government staffers to a room overlooking the Capitol for a five-hour conference that included time for a "networking break" and advice on "opportunities for private sector involvement."

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) sent his budget director, Bill Hoagland, who cautioned that federal Katrina spending might not exceed $100 billion. But John Clerici, from a law firm that helped sponsor the event, told the group that spending would "probably be larger" than $200 billion. "It's going to be spent in a fast and furious way," Clerici said.

Sipping coffee from china cups and munching on doughnuts, the corporate crowd heard Joe McInerney, president of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, predict: "I think we'll see Mardi Gras in New Orleans to some extent this year."
Wait! I haven't got to the funny part yet. You see, last week Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), who bills himself as a conservative, heads a group called the Republican Study Committee--of which our very own Rep. John Carter (R-Tex.) is a member. Last week, they released "Operation Offset", their plan to pay for the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast in the wake of Katrina by cutting spending. Well, the House leadership got a hold of him and now he's singing a different tune:

Pence, chairman of a group of House conservatives called the Republican Study Committee, was complaining to his companions about a Robert Novak column in yesterday's Washington Post saying Pence was subjected to a "closed-door auto-da-fe" from Speaker Dennis Hastert and Majority Leader Tom DeLay for daring to suggest that the profligate House leadership should reconsider its big-spending ways. But Pence got the leadership's message, loud and clear.

Pence's speech was billed by the conservative Young America's Foundation (YAF) as a discussion of "why the conservative leadership in Congress has abandoned its allegiance to the principles of smaller government" and gone on "massive spending splurges." But instead, a chastened congressman delivered unstinting praise for his superiors.

"I believe in the leadership of this Congress," Pence told his surprised audience. "I believe in the men and women who lead the House of Representatives and the Senate. I see them as men and women of integrity and principle, who work every day to bring the ideals of our Founders into the well of the people's house."
That's the funny part. The Republican Congressional leadership plans to feast on New Orleans' reconstruction money. Oh, and this, too:

The natural enemy of this spending is Pence's 110-member Republican Study Committee in the House. House GOP leaders have taken to calling the group "the minority caucus," believing that Republicans would return to minority status if they were to follow its recommendations.
These members of Congress, the most conservative, being ridiculed by the leadership like this--that would piss me off. It's another example of how corporatism was disguised as conservatism to hoodwink true conservatives into advancing the corporate agenda. The party that all these many years has billed itself as being for small government and balanced budgets and fiscal "conservatism" is just a whore for corporations now. The really funny part is that these corporatists are not doing this because they believe government should be big or that government should benefit the people. They're doing it to use the government to funnel money from tax-paying citizens to themselves and corporations. Funny, isn't it?!

Another lie we were told was about the responsibility Bush and his cronies were going to bring to the government. All we've gotten has been a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do policy. The corruption is staggering. Just look at the evidence of compassionate conservatism:


At 9/28/2005 6:33 PM, Blogger Amerloc said...

"spend and leave a tab"

Well said.


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