Can Republicans Do Anything Besides Scare White People And Cut Taxes?

Posted by | August 24, 2010 12:35 | Filed under: Top Stories

By Yashwanth Manjunath

Rachel Maddow’s opening segment last night, titled “Scaring White People For Fun And Profit,” accurately sums up Republican political strategy for the past several decades months. She did a terrific job tearing apart Republican propaganda on recent “issues” like Van Jones, ACORN, the New Black Panthers, Shirley Sherrod, and now the Ground Zero “Mosque.” It’s clear from those fake controversies that Republicans are indeed trying to scare white people into voting for them using wedge issues come November. It’s also clear what the American people can learn about Republican candidates running this fall based on their ads, that highlight these “issues.” Their plan for fixing the many problems this country faces is to hate Muslims, hate gays, and hate black people “socialists.” The problem with that plan is that hate isn’t going to help us pay back China for the Bush tax cuts, or create jobs. So what else do the Republicans have in mind in these troubling times?

If you guessed tax cuts, you were right. Besides their Southern Strategy style fear-mongering and race-baiting, Republicans plan on making the extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and eliminating the estate tax major campaign issues. Unfortunately for Republicans, this country is still a democracy (although the Republicans are still working on that, by trying to repeal the 17th Amendment), and those tax cuts only affect 2% of the population and less than 1% of the population respectively.

Another problem the Republicans face is convincing a majority of the American people that the Bush tax cuts are going to create the necessary jobs to lead this country out of the current economic recession. What makes the Bush tax cuts difficult to sell as effective public policy is that during the time period they’ve been in effect the country only created 3 million jobs, without even counting the 8 million jobs lost as a result of the recession they partly caused. Three million jobs is a small fraction of the 23 million jobs created during the Clinton years, when the largest tax hike in history took place. Even that “loser” Jimmy Carter, Mr. Stagflation, managed to create 10.5 million jobs in just half the time Bush was in office. It should come as no surprise that a majority of the American people now favor letting the Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthy.

With no real ideas on how to fix the floundering economy and beat the Democrats on the actual policy issues, the only option left for Republicans is to buy the necessary votes they need to win in November. Thankfully for the Republicans they are very good at getting on their knees and servicing large corporations for money. Just look at this “mosque” controversy. The longer that the media talks about the innocent Muslim-Americans trying to build the Park 51 community center, the less attention focused on the real criminals in lower Manhattan, the Wall Street bankers. The Republicans are “banking” on Wall Street to “bail them out” of their political troubles. Let’s hope for the sake of the country that it doesn’t work.

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