Partisan Hypocrisy

Commentary by Steve Scroggins

Editor’s Note: This commentary is written in response to Cynthia Tucker’s editorial in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Sunday Feb. 15, 2009 entitled, "Republicans playing same old politics" — text below.

Ms. Tucker,

Readers have come to expect partisan hypocrisy from you and you delivered in Sunday’s commentary on Republicans. It was classic crackpot badmouthing the kettle. While you wail about Republican dominance in the Georgia General Assembly you seem to have no problems with Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid in D.C. pushing through an unprecedented porkulus bill—–and steamrolling the dissenting minority. Evidently you endorse the largest inter-generational theft in world history.

You are right to call Republicans hypocrites. But check out that log in your own eye.

Recent Congresses with Bush spent money like drunken sailors — with apologies to sailors since they spend THEIR OWN money —- so much so that many believed that the Democrats could do no worse. Boy, did they prove us wrong! They all know that the Hotel of Impossible Promises will soon collapse, so they’re all grabbing and stashing while they can. Yank off that toga and fill it with someone else’s silver and gold. Paying the bill? Well, like Scarlett, we’ll worry about that tomorrow.

You mentioned the 1930s….that’s when FDR took Hoover’s recession and made it into FDR’s Depression with a New Deal spending orgy…very much like the 2009 stimulus. Your metaphor was a "wedding party" —- but Roman orgy seems more appropriate.

Will it take a world wide war in 2019 (that destroys competing industry in China, Indonesia, Japan, etc.) to pull us out of the rut we’re about to dig? Who and how many will have to die to rescue our economy this time? Our economic dominance in the 20th century was built on the ashes of World War Two.

Will our grandchildren’s grandchildren ever forgive us for selling them into tax slavery to repay the debts we cavalierly pile up today? No, they will rightfully curse our names —even if some future American Taliban regime forbids cursing. The Medicare and Social Security ponzi schemes will collapse before we get to 2019. But Caesar Obama tells Nero and The Fed to keep the fiddle music playing, bring on the circus to entertain the "citizens."

The Founders rejected "democracy" in favor of a Republic based on history; they knew that democracies always result in tyranny and they are always self-destructive. The "majority unlimited" will always resemble mob rule and deny the rights of the minority and the individual. Since Lincoln, Wilson, FDR and LBJ and their consolidators and co-conspirators have combined to squash our Constitution and render our country into a national socialist democracy, our days are clearly numbered. The barbarians who sack D.C. will be domestic.

Neither major party represents The People; both have sold their souls to various special interests. Corporate interests own stakes in both parties so that no matter the result of any given election, it’s always the taxpayer and his descendants who get the shaft. Ms. Tucker, you look like a fool taking either side in this frenzy. H.L. Mencken had it right when he said that, "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

"Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule –and both commonly succeed, and are right." — H.L. Mencken

Let’s continue to judge the Founders by 21st century P.C. standards and disregard their wisdom. They predicted that without a moral and virtuous people, our future was doomed. If we now have a majority that favors having government steal from others (and our voiceless descendants) in order to pay us….then we are doomed and deserve to be so.

Continue to shovel your brand of ignorance; we evidently have plenty of "citizens" who can no longer distiguish it from the truth. I use quote marks for the term "citizen" because those who are ignorant of the issues do not deserve the citizen rights that come with responsibilities. By dodging responsibility, they forfeit their rights and all of us and our posterity are the losers. Overseer Caesar Obama welcomes us all down to the plantation. We were promised the swanky HOTEL, but what we get is the slave shack out back.

Steve Scroggins
Macon, GA

P.S. If the phrase ‘Hotel of Impossible Promises’ sounds familiar, do a search for Robert Higgs. For your ignorant readers, it would serve them well to point out the important distinction between a republic and a democracy. For your own enlightenment, Ms. Tucker, no nation in world history has EVER, not even once, spent itself into prosperity. That’s because government does not create wealth, it just takes it from others who have earned it.

"A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government." –Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Speech, 1801

"[t]he failure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, setting in motion the biggest government bailout/takeover in U.S. history, brings a grim sense of fulfillment to competent economists…. Our political economy is rife with such catastrophes in waiting, yet the public always seems startled, and outraged, when the day of reckoning can no longer be deferred, and another apartment collapses in the state’s Hotel of Impossible Promises, loading onto the taxpayers more visibly the burden of sheltering the previous occupants…. Call it democracy in action or utterly corrupt governance; they are the same thing." –Robert Higgs, from "Ticking Time Bomb Explodes, Public Is Shocked" 9/10/08

"The trouble is the American people have little interest in liberty. Instead, they want the impossible: home ownership for those who cannot afford homes, credit for those who are not creditworthy, old-age pensions for those who have not saved, health care for those who make no attempt to keep themselves healthy, and college educations for those who lack the wit to finish high school. Moreover, they want it now, and they want somebody else to pay for it." –Robert Higgs, from "Ticking Time Bomb Explodes, Public Is Shocked" 9/10/08

"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives. " –James Madison

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." –Thomas Jefferson

"A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine." — Thomas Jefferson

"Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their death." — James Madison, from Federalist #10

"Remember democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide." — John Adams, letter to John Taylor, April 15, 1814

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" — Benjamin Franklin

"Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos." — John Marshall, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, 1801-1835

"Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob." –James Madison, Federalist No. 55, February 15, 1788

"To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea." —James Madison

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." — John Adams

"It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible." –George Washington

"Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle." –George Washington

Republicans playing same old politics

By Cynthia Tucker, AJC
Posted on February 15, 2009

Before House and Senate negotiators could get to work on the compromise stimulus bill, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) rushed to denounce it as a “disgrace.”

Meanwhile, some of his constituents were singing from a different hymn book. In Washington for a meeting with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood last week, Alabama transportation officials were gleeful about federal funds in the package for infrastructure development, according to The Birmingham News.

“We welcome all of it, and we are absolutely giddy with excitement,” said Alabama transportation director Joe McInnes.

A similar cognitive dissonance has enveloped the Georgia state Capitol, where the Republicans who dominate state goverment have struggled to stay in tune with the party line — government spending bad; tax cuts good. But Gov. Sonny Perdue and legislative leaders have a problem: like state officials around the country, they are struggling to plug an ever-deepening multi-billion-dollar hole in the state budget, a shortfall that will require unpopular spending cuts. They badly need the billions in federal aid to states included in the stimulus package.

So while the Georgia Legislature has voted to slow down its session to wait for the money tap to open in Washington, its GOP leaders continue to voice opposition to the stimulus package.

“There are no Santa Clauses for grown folks,” declared Republican Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. “The reality is, Georgia does not need to be dependent upon the federal government for filling our budget deficit.”

Such is the state of the Grand Old Party these days, trapped in an outmoded ideology, contemptuous of compromise, bitter about its loss of power. Indeed, congressional Republican leaders seem more interested in finding a cudgel to wield against President Obama and other Democrats in 2010 than in rescuing the nation from the worst economic calamity since the 1930s.

When Obama pledged to reach across the aisle to work with the GOP, he must have believed its members had the best interests of the nation at heart, that they would work toward practical solutions, that they would practice intellectual honesty. If the president believed all that, he was wrong. Instead, he found a Republican Party unwilling to take “yes” for an answer.

To lure Republican support, Obama made sure Democrats compromised on several key GOP demands, the most prominent of which was increased tax cuts. It’s not even clear that was such a good idea, since most economists don’t believe tax cuts will rescue an economy teetering on collapse.

Last month, Mark M. Zandi — economic adviser to Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign and chief economist for Moody’s, a forecasting firm — told House Democrats that the greatest stimulus comes from increases in food and unemployment benefits. Each dollar appropriated for food stamps and unemployment benefits yields more than a $1.60 in additional economic activity, Zandi estimated, while tax cuts produce less than a dollar for each dollar of stimulus, according to The New York Times.

Still, the Senate approved tax cuts for middle-class Americans who might otherwise have had to pay the alternative minimum tax. Businesses also got steep tax cuts. In total, some economists say the bill may contain the largest tax cuts in U. S. history, about $282 billion over two years. (President George W. Bush’s first two years of tax cuts amounted to $174 billion, while his second series of cuts amounted to $231 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.)Did any of that matter? Absolutely not. The GOP stuck to its old playbook, accusing Democrats of “socialism” and decrying the stimulus plan as wasteful “government spending.” U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, went so far as to suggest that Republicans may need to launch a Taliban-like “insurgency” to disrupt Congress if they can’t get their way.

These are serious times, and the country would be better off with two major parties seriously engaged in finding solutions to difficult problems. The Republican Party has instead resorted to behaving like bitter exes at a wedding party, trying to ruin things for everybody.

© 2009 Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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