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http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts07232008.html

The Greatest Threat America Has Ever Faced: the GOP?

The Mother of All Messes

By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

Republicans are sending around the Internet a photo of a cute little boy whose T-shirt reads: “The mess in my pants is nothing compared to the mess Democrats will make of this country if they win Nov. 2nd.”

One can only wonder at the insouciance of this message. Are Republicans unaware of the amazing mess the Bush regime has made?

It is impossible to imagine a bigger mess. Republicans have us at war in two countries as a result of Republican lies and deceptions, and we might be in two more wars--Iran and Pakistan--by November. We have alienated the entire Muslim world and most of the rest.

The dollar has lost 60% of its value against the euro, and the once mighty dollar is losing its reserve currency role.

The Republicans’ policies have driven up the price of both oil and gold by 400%.

Inflation is in double digits. Employment is falling.

The Republican economy in the 21st century has been unable to create net new jobs for Americans except for low wage domestic services such as waitresses, bartenders, retail clerks and hospital orderlies.

Republican deregulation brought about fraud in mortgage lending and dangerous financial instruments which have collapsed the housing market, leaving a million or more homeowners facing foreclosure. The financial system is in disarray and might collapse from insolvency.

The trade and budget deficits have exploded. The US trade deficit is larger than the combined trade deficits of every deficit country in the world.

The US can no longer finance its wars or its own government and relies on foreign loans to function day to day. To pay for its consumption, the US sells its existing assets--companies, real estate, toll roads, whatever it can offer--to foreigners.

Republicans have run roughshod over the US Constitution, Congress, the courts and civil liberties. Republicans have made it perfectly clear that they believe that our civil liberties make us unsafe--precisely the opposite view of our Founding Fathers. Yet, Republicans regard themselves as the Patriotic Party.

The Republicans have violated the Nuremberg prohibitions against war crimes, and they have violated the Geneva Conventions against torture and abuse of prisoners. Republican disregard for human rights ranks with that of history’s great tyrants.

The Republicans have put in place the foundation for a police state.

I am confident that the Democrats, too, will make a mess. But can they beat this record?

We must get the Republicans totally out of power, or we will have no country left for the Democrats to mess up.

I say this as a person who has done as much for the Republican Party as anyone. I helped to devise and to get implemented an economic policy that cured stagflation and that brought Republicans back into political competition after Watergate. If I could have looked into a crystal ball and seen that under a free trade banner, Republicans would enable corporate executives to pay themselves millions of dollars in “performance pay” for deserting their American work forces and hiring foreigners in their place, thus destroying the aspirations and careers of millions of Americans, I never would have helped the Republicans. If a crystal ball had revealed that a neoconned Republican Party would launch wars of naked aggression against countries that posed no threat to the United States, I would have shouted my warnings even earlier.

The neoconned Republican Party is the greatest threat America has ever faced. Let me tell you why.

How many Republicans can you name who respect and honor the Constitution? There are Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and who? The ranks of Republican constitutional supporters quickly grow thin.

The reason is that Republicans view the Constitution as a coddling device for criminals and terrorists. Republicans think the Constitution can be set aside for evil-doers and kept in place for everyone else. But without the Constitution we only have the government’s word as to who is an evil-doer.

This would be the word of the same infallible government that told us that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction that were on the verge of being used against America, the same infallible government that told us that Guantanamo prison held “770 of the most dangerous persons alive” and then, after stealing 5 years of their lives, quietly released 500 of them as mistaken identities.

Republicans think the United States is the salt of the earth and that American hegemony over the rest of the world is not only justified by our great virtue but necessary to our safety. People this full of hubris are incapable of judgment. People incapable of judgment should never be given power.

Republicans have no sympathy for anyone but their own kind. How many Republicans do you know who care a hoot about the plight of the poor, the jobless, the medically uninsured? The government programs that Republicans are always adamant to cut are the ones that help people who need help.

I have yet to hear any of my Republican friends express any concern whatsoever for the 1.2 million Iraqis who have died, and the 4 million who have been displaced, as a result of Bush’s gratuitous invasion. Many tell me that the five- and six-year long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are due to wimpy Americans “who don’t have the balls it takes” to win. Killing and displacing a quarter of the Iraqi population is just a wimpy result of a population that lacks testosterone. Real Americans would have killed them all by now.

Macho patriotic Republicans are perfectly content for US foreign policy to be controlled by Israel. Republican evangelical “christian” churches teach their congregations that America’s purpose in the world is to serve Israel. And these are the flag-wavers.

Those of us who think America is the Constitution, and that loyalty means loyalty to the Constitution, not to office holders or to a political party or to a foreign country, are regarded by Republicans as “anti-American.”

Neoconservatives, such as Billy Kristol, insist that loyalty to the country means loyalty to the government. Thus, criticizing the government for launching wars of aggression and for violating constitutionally protected civil liberties is, according to neoconservatives, a disloyal act.

In the neoconservative view, there is no place for the voices of citizens: the government makes the decisions, and loyal citizens support the government’s decisions.

In the neocon political system there is no liberty, no democracy, no debate. Dissenters are traitors.

The neoconservative magazine, Commentary, wants the New York Times indicted for telling Americans that the Bush regime was caught violating US law, specifically the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, by spying on Americans without obtaining warrants as required by law. Note that neoconservatives think it is a criminal act for a newspaper to tell its readers that their government is spying on them illegally.

Judging by their behavior, a number of Democrats go along with the neocon view. Thus, the Democrats don’t offer a greatly different profile. They went along with the views that corporate profits and the war on terror take precedence over everything else. They have not used the congressional power that the electorate gave them in the 2006 elections.

However, Democrats, or at least some of them, do care about the Constitution. If it were not for Democratic appointees to the federal courts and the ACLU (essentially a Democratic organization), the Bush regime would have completely destroyed our civil liberties.

Some Democrats are “bleeding hearts,” who actually care about suffering people they don’t know, and who think that we have obligations to others. Have you ever heard of a bleeding heart Republican?

Traditionally, Democrats objected whenever policies resulted in a handful of rich people capturing all of the income gains from the economy. There might still be a few such Democrats left.

Looking at the Republican mess, I doubt that Democrats, try as they may, can equal it.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions. He can be reached at: paulcraigroberts@yahoo.com

Edited by Mark Stapleton
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The title to this post is a joke.

The GOP isn't much of a threat to anyone or anything these days.

I am not even voting for John McCain, and I never watch politics on television.

I will defend the GOP when it represents my values, which are quite different from those of most of the people on this forum.

The GOP has not yet lost enough to undergo much needed soul-searching.

And I certainly agree with Roberts that the infiltration of the GOP by the neocon movement is what has caused its decline.

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The title to this post is a joke.

The GOP isn't much of a threat to anyone or anything these days.

I am not even voting for John McCain, and I never watch politics on television.

I will defend the GOP when it represents my values, which are quite different from those of most of the people on this forum.

The GOP has not yet lost enough to undergo much needed soul-searching.

That's sentimental loyalty to a political party, Chris.

I used to feel that way but I think it's a futile pursuit in the current political environment. The main parties represent old views and values, are slow to evolve and are corrupt beyond redemption. Of course, this is my own political view.

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And I certainly agree with Roberts that the infiltration of the GOP by the neocon movement is what has caused its decline.

That's the point. The old GOP no longer exists. It's been replaced by a menace to any semblance of global harmony. It's over for the GOP. Sorry.

I agree with some (but not all) of what you say about the GOP.

The GOP exalted political practicality and power over principal, and it got what it deserved.

After losing its power, perhaps it will one day regain its soul.

Because the GOP is now so marginalized, however, it will be interesting to focus on what the Democrats do with their control of the Federal and state governments.

Pelosi and Reid clearly lack the courage to do what the liberal base of the Democrat Party (the ones who rejected HRC and chose Obama, based on what he was then saying) wants them to do.

They will do almost anything to avoid debate on bills, prefering instead to reach a concesus with the GOP and tell the taxpayers what they have done.

I would rather see Congress debate proposed legislation in the light of day than learning what deals the 2 parties have cut with each other through backroom negotiations.

The lack of true debate in Congress is precisely why it is difficult to discern what its Members truly stand for and believe in, which is their intended objective in proceeding down the path of least resistance.

It is also why Harry Reid believes himself to be singe-handedly tyrannized by Sen. Tom Coburn (Oklahoma), who routinely exercises the option given to each Senator to require public debate on bills. In other words, Reid is afraid to bring bills to the floor for debate, even though there are sufficient votes for passage. Talk about a lack of political courage.

It is also interesting to watch as Obama's previous clearly enunciated positions shift almost daily, presumably as campaign money pours into his campaign, the DNC and liberal 527s from groups and industries who want their interests advanced.

Like I said, though, the GOP isn't a threat to anyone these days.

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And I certainly agree with Roberts that the infiltration of the GOP by the neocon movement is what has caused its decline.

That's the point. The old GOP no longer exists. It's been replaced by a menace to any semblance of global harmony. It's over for the GOP. Sorry.

I agree with some (but not all) of what you say about the GOP.

The GOP exalted political practicality and power over principal, and it got what it deserved.

After losing its power, perhaps it will one day regain its soul.

Because the GOP is now so marginalized, however, it will be interesting to focus on what the Democrats do with their control of the Federal and state governments.

Pelosi and Reid clearly lack the courage to do what the liberal base of the Democrat Party (the ones who rejected HRC and chose Obama, based on what he was then saying) wants them to do.

They will do almost anything to avoid debate on bills, prefering instead to reach a concesus with the GOP and tell the taxpayers what they have done.

I would rather see Congress debate proposed legislation in the light of day than learning what deals the 2 parties have cut with each other through backroom negotiations.

The lack of true debate in Congress is precisely why it is difficult to discern what its Members truly stand for and believe in, which is their intended objective in proceeding down the path of least resistance.

It is also why Harry Reid believes himself to be singe-handedly tyrannized by Sen. Tom Coburn (Oklahoma), who routinely exercises the option given to each Senator to require public debate on bills. In other words, Reid is afraid to bring bills to the floor for debate, even though there are sufficient votes for passage. Talk about a lack of political courage.

It is also interesting to watch as Obama's previous clearly enunciated positions shift almost daily, presumably as campaign money pours into his campaign, the DNC and liberal 527s from groups and industries who want their interests advanced.

Like I said, though, the GOP isn't a threat to anyone these days.

Chris, my view is that the political system has failed. Not just in the US but the US is the focus because it is the acknowledged standard bearer for western culture.

How could the world's great democracy elect George W Bush twice? Because the system is corrupt. It doesn't work anymore. America will have another revolution, imo.

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How could the world's great democracy elect George W Bush twice? Because the system is corrupt. It doesn't work anymore. America will have another revolution, imo.

[/color]

Mark:

Americqans are way too dummed down to ever pull off

another revolution.

As to the election of W? Stolen, both times. The evidence for '04 was overwhelming.

And Kerry -(Sull and Bones)- said not a word. Recall what happened to a person who dared to

ask Kerry if there was a Skull and Bones deal: he got hit with a taser.

I saw Kerry speak a few years ago here in Austin. I had him sign a book just so I could mention the election. All I said was "you won the election you know". The look of startle that came over his face was amazing. "That's what I hear" was his response. I came close to asking him the Skull and Bones question myself. Wonder what would have happened if I had.

Dawn

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