MY BEEF WITH THE RIGHT: Time was (and not so very long ago) when Schmaltz und Grieben prided itself as being "Dane County's Only Conservative Voice."
And, for much of this blog's nearly-ten-year existence, that was pretty nearly the truth.
But conservatism used to stand for something. To put it bluntly, it stood for self-accountability. A strong national defense. Limited government (in the sense that government wasn't always looking over your shoulder and telling you what to do). The right to bear arms. A refusal to be cowed by either fascism or communism, ideologies that had been proven failures in the past. Good things to believe in. Hell, I'll always believe in those things.
But now? "Conservatism" stands mostly for one thing: greed.
When the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and its boughten whore, the Tea Party, first reared their ugly heads a few years ago, I paid little attention. The billionaires bought the advertising and the legislation, and the Tea Party were just useful idiots, rubes who mistook "limited government" for "no government," and "lower taxes" for "no taxes." In that respect, they were almost indistinguishable from the anarchists — except that their version of "personal choice" was roughly as narrow as Hitler's, and that they didn't seem to understand that the people bankrolling them were the same people who almost destroyed our nation in the financial collapse of 2008.
The ALEC/Tea Party axis began to run candidates for public office. One of their first big successes was Scott Walker, a semiliterate career failure from southeast Wisconsin, by way of Colorado and Iowa, who had no discernible qualifications to run for governor of Wisconsin. Amazingly, he won (with untold millions of dollars in shadowy support)— and after months of protests involving hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites, narrowly survived a recall election a year and a half later.
Walker campaigned on a promise to create 250,000 jobs for Wisconsin, a state that had been hit especially hard by the Second Depression. A minority of Wisconsinites (people like myself) knew very well that a clueless dolt like Walker, who could barely hold a job himself, had no idea how to create even one job, much less a quarter of a million.
Turns out Walker did have a plan, even though the biggest part of it failed miserably.
After looting billions of dollars from public employees in the form of higher payments for health insurance and pension funds (and giving much of this money directly to his billionaire benefactors like the Koch brothers and Diane Hendricks, who were to "create jobs" with it — a sick joke if ever there was one, since these billionaires have no interest in creating anything but minimum-wage jobs with no benefits) Scottie made a boo-boo. He decided to go after the Wisconsin Retirement System.
Buried deep down in Walker's damaged psyche is a belief that "normal Joes" don't deserve to receive job benefits like pensions and health insurance (which he has always called "entitlements."). No, those perks are reserved for the very rich, who Walker believes earned them by being just a little bit smarter (or more fortunate, as the case usually is) than the rest of us.
Although only a fool would believe that Walker has learned his lesson and has no further plans to loot the Wisconsin Retirement System— billionaires who pay to manipulate American elections are not known for their patience, and they want that fucking money — he's having to sit tight for now with the added embarrassment of Mom keeping a very careful eye on the cookie jar.
Enter Mitt Romney and, more particularly, Paul Ryan.
Conservative organs like the Weekly Standard seem to believe that it's a great coincidence that Scott Walker and our current Republican vice presidential candidate hail from the same state, since they are so obviously cut from the same cloth. Nonsense. They've been hobnobbing for quite awhile now, and it would be disingenuous to believe that the two have never discussed their mutual interest in destroying the "undeserving" middle class and turning over their humble retirement funds and insurance monies to the super-rich.
Which leads me to my main thesis (and beef with the Right): Ever wonder why Romney seems so distracted, and can't seem to remember his positions on the issues from one week to the next? It's because he doesn't have any positions on the issues, except for turning the middle class upside down and shaking loose every last dime.
Some of us from Wisconsin found ourselves saying, "Gee. Where have I heard this before?"
And that's when it all turns really ugly. Walker was the trial balloon, put up to his thieving shenanigans by Ayn Rand's most famous disciple: Paul Ryan. It's a very short jump from there to Romney's ascension to the Republican nomination.
Folks, this is all the world's biggest Ponzi scheme, and the Tea Party is betting that you're too stupid to realize it and will willingly vote for people who seek nothing more than your complete destruction (unless, of course, you're in their beloved Billionaires, er I mean Job Creators Club).
Which leaves the biggest question of all: Do Romney and Ryan* want to destroy the middle class' "entitlements" and give the money to the ultra-rich because a) they honestly think that this will stimulate the economy and create jobs, or b) because a group of investment advisors with an "in" promised that the billionaires will protect them in a coming global financial meltdown, IF they turn over the reins to Medicare and Social Security?
In any event, these are not happy questions. And certainly a Romney presidency would mean more Walker-style clampdowns on free speech, because you can bet your bottom dollar that your average American is going to be awfully pissed when they find out that they don't get Social Security or Medicare anymore and will more than likely spend their retirement years living in destitution, all because their President gave that money — money they worked for — to some billionaires. And that chicken will come home to roost at roughly the same time the Tea Party realizes that having no government at all (unless you're a billionaire) isn't exactly what they had in mind.
And when that day comes — and it is coming, unless Obama is reelected** — you'd better hope that you're someplace like Australia.
*Walker is exempt from this higher level of reasoning; I'm sure Ryan just promised him "lots of cookies" if he played along.
** If you want to read this as an endorsement of President Obama, go right ahead.