Q & A With The Party Of No

Occasionally I am moved to watch a Sunday morning or prime time “news” show; I have this foolish and naive hope that a host will ask the relevant question and persist until a real answer is given. Alas, naivete is harshly dealt with in our society, and my foolish hopes are usually crushed. The reality is that most of our interview or panel-driven “news” shows are little different than the fluff occupying time slots on daytime and late-night TV. A bargain between interviewer and guest is implied in the transaction, a bargain that means the guest will refrain from probing specious statements and will treat the guest in an overly deferential manner.

As an independent writer (and by independent I mean broke), I am not party to such transactions. On this little news show we call the Pigeon Post, I am not constrained by the courtesies of the beltway. Thus am I able to call them like I see them. And so I give you an interview with the GOP/Tea Party/Conservative Movement. This will, unfortunately, be a rather one-sided argument; the party being interviewed has not been given to a wide variety of answers recently. In fact, in all of my research, I have found that all it takes is ten easy to remember answers define the party in question’s philosophy and platform:

  1. We will cut taxes.
  2. We will cut wasteful spending.
  3. We will end the deficit.
  4. We will shrink the government.
  5. Unions are overpaid.
  6. We will win the war on…
  7. We will return America to the Founders intent.
  8. He is a foreigner.
  9. Illegal aliens.
  10. Entitlements.

The genius of this philosophy isn’t hard to recognize; it is easy to remember, flexible, and multi-purpose. The simple design is a work of art; it appeals to a broad cross-section of the country and does not require anyone associated to think. As I reexamine the notion, I am stunned by how much time I have wasted over these last arduous months, thinking about budget proposals and the vagaries of domestic and foreign policy. I could have been a contender…I could have been someone! I could be an elected official and changed the world, all without the silly stress and fuss of thinking about the issues. The proof of this plan’s brilliance lies in a midterm election cycle that many feel will be won by the GOP/Tea Party/Conservative Movement.

But I digress…we were asking probing and deeply relevant questions here, weren’t we? Ok, the ground rules are rather simple; I will ask The Movement a series of questions about what policies they will enact once they take back the House and Senate and consign President Obama to lame-duck status.

  • Q-What will you folks do when you return to power after a (presumably) successful midterm?
  • A-We will return America to the Founders intent, end the deficit, and win the war.
  • Q-Thinking about the economy, how will you help break America out of the difficult cycle of recession we have become mired in.
  • A-We will cut taxes.
  • Q-Well, you cut taxes during the last administration, and that doesn’t seem to have helped the economy much, can you explain?
  • A-We will cut wasteful spending?
  • Q-Uh…Ok…what wasteful spending will you cut?
  • A-The wasteful part.
  • Q-Is there any particular part of the budget that is more wasteful than others?
  • A-Entitlements
  • Q-Ok, you mean Social Security and Medicare. So what would you do with these programs?
  • A-We will shrink the government and return to the Founder’s intent.
  • Q-Fine, lets switch gears for a moment. What do you think of the job that President Obama is doing?
  • A-He is a foreigner.
  • Q-Well, that myth was refuted months ago, who do you suppose is keeping it in the press?
  • A-Illegal aliens.
  • Q-Ah, I see. What will you do about illegal immigration if you are successful in November.
  • A-We will win the war on illegal immigration.
  • Q-How will you handle the millions of immigrants already in the country?
  • A-We will return America to the Founder’s original intent.
  • Q-Ok, I am confused. The Founder’s originally intended that slavery be legal, that those of African descent were property counted as 3/5 of a person, and that women were essentially the property of the Fathers or Husbands. Do you support the Constitutional Amendments?
  • A-We will win the war on returning the Constitution to our vision of what the Founder’s original intent was.
  • Q-I see that you do indeed have a nuanced position. Do you expect resistance from the President on this war on the Constitution and your threats of secession?
  • A-He is a foreigner.
  • Q-Moving back to the economy, John McCain spoke in the 2008 election about the fundamentals of our economy still being strong. This clearly was not the case, so what do you think is wrong with the economy, and how would you handle it?
  • A-Unions get paid too much, illegal aliens, and entitlements are what is wrong. To fix it, we will cut taxes, cut wasteful spending, and return America to the Founder’s original intent.
  • Q-You seem fixated on the Founder’s intent, and where we are in relation to that now. What specifically has this President done that has threatened our Constitution?
  • A-He is a foreigner.

The reality of interviews with the representatives of this political philosophy is, sadly, not far removed from farce. Despite 30 years of declining taxes, deregulation, assaults on traditional employer-supported pensions, and union-busting, Americans are now more unhappy with their nation that at any time in recent memory. If those tactics were effective, would we not be in better shape than we are now? What makes this time around even worse, is that the GOP cabal has taken leave of executing the simplest calculations in support of their agenda.

Just try and pin down a conservative stalwart about how they would close a trillion dollar gap in the federal budget. Make the attempt, then prepare to be dazzled with talcum powder in your eyes…they have no idea how to do what they promise, because their lone agenda item (and for Republicans anymore an agenda item counts for an idea) is to cut taxes on wealthy individuals and large business interests. The GOP platform is rather simple to understand, and should motivate the bulk of the progressives who still delight in pointing out how disappointed they are that all of our dreams haven’t come true yet. The Republican agenda is:

  1. Repeal the health care reform law.
  2. Replace Medicare with a voucher plan. Seniors will get vouchers they can use to buy plans on the individual market. These vouchers would decline in real value over time, effectively rationing senior care.
  3. Privatize Social Security. Transfer your FICA taxes into the hands of the geniuses on Wall Street. Don’t worry, they really know what they are doing.
  4. Federalize the discrimination against homosexuals.
  5. Militarize the border with Mexico.
  6. Continue the dismantling of the EPA and FCC to ensure that major companies can pollute as much as they want without independent news sources reporting their misdeeds.
  7. Finish the dismantling of unions by breaking the backs of states.
  8. Replace the existing tax structure with a flat tax that will transfer the tax burden to the working class.
  9. Start wars with Iran and Venezuela in order to control those nation’s oil revenues. Destroy the countries and pay billions out in the form of no-bid contracts to companies friendly to the party.
  10. Finish the job on campaign finance…ensure that no one without a million dollars can have an effect on the government by the corporations, of the corporations, and for the corporations.

Sounds good doesn’t it. Get used to it America, that is your future. In your haste to throw off the shackles of an imagined dictator, you are ready to bring about the real end to the American dream.

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