The Right-Wing Corporate Takeover of America

It's a long piece, but worth a read: Alternet's Don Hazen and Colin Greer provide an overview of the 40-year effort of the right-wing to allow the corporate takeover of America. The question is: if we know how we got here, can we use that to get back to where we want to be?

We repeatedly see how money, tightly controlled manipulators can manipulate the masses. But, thankfully, hope lies in the new activitists and the young.

Don't Let the GOP Fool You on the Economy

Here's an outstanding Paul Krugman column that debunks the rising myth that the current economic conditions are the result of President Obama's policies. After debunking several claims, Krugman makes a vital observation:

So Republican assertions about what ails the economy are pure fantasy, at odds with all the evidence. Should we be surprised?

At one level, of course not. Politicians who always cater to wealthy business interests say that economic recovery requires catering to wealthy business interests. Who could have imagined it?

Yet it seems to me that there is something different about the current state of economic discussion. Political parties have often coalesced around dubious economic ideas — remember the Laffer curve? — but I can’t think of a time when a party’s economic doctrine has been so completely divorced from reality. And I’m also struck by the extent to which Republican-leaning economists — who have to know better — have been willing to lend their credibility to the party’s official delusions.

This is, of course, a huge problem. One we all must be ready to work against as we work in 2012.

Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult

Former GOP Capitol Hill staffer Mike Lofgren has written the must-read article of the weekend. In it, he explains why he finally had to end his Capitol Hill career as he watched, as he puts it, "the crackpot outliers of two decades ago" become "the vital center of the Republican Party today".

In this piece, Lofgren also does not spare the media nor Democrats (offering a thoughtful critique that fans of George Lakoff will immediately recognize).

But the thrust of the piece is about how the Republican Party in Congress has moved so far to the right that we must take notice.

It should have been evident to clear-eyed observers that the Republican Party is becoming less and less like a traditional political party in a representative democracy and becoming more like an apocalyptic cult, or one of the intensely ideological authoritarian parties of 20th century Europe. This trend has several implications, none of them pleasant.

Lofgren explains where this may be headed. It's not just Obama's presidency, the economy, or jobs, or Social Security and Medicare that are on the line: the only thing that matters is that Republicans win. At all costs. The ends justify any means. Even if it leads to the nation being damaged for the long-term. As Lofgren writes:

During the week that this piece was written, the debt ceiling fiasco reached its conclusion. The economy was already weak, but the GOP's disgraceful game of chicken roiled the markets even further. Foreigners could hardly believe it: Americans' own crazy political actions were destabilizing the safe-haven status of the dollar. Accordingly, during that same week, over one trillion dollars worth of assets evaporated on financial markets. Russia and China have stepped up their advocating that the dollar be replaced as the global reserve currency – a move as consequential and disastrous for US interests as any that can be imagined.

If Republicans have perfected a new form of politics that is successful electorally at the same time that it unleashes major policy disasters, it means twilight both for the democratic process and America's status as the world's leading power.

And that prospect should get all of our attention. This is a must-read piece. The question now is: what do we do to make sure this isn't our nation's future?

Tea Party's Mission Accomplished At Expense of Jobs

Remember what Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said was his top priority in October 2010?

The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.

Now take a look at this chart posted by Jed Lewison at Daily Kos showing how job creation has slowed while Republicans have threatened government shutdowns and national debt defaults–the latter, of course, being something that used to be a routine legislative act and not cause for a worldwide economic panic.

Interesting how all those shutdowns and debt threats have happened while the economy has slowed. A very interesting coincidence, eh?

All the Republicans appear to need is a banner. I'm surprised by their subtlety so far.