Republican update

Right Now: A 12-Step Program for Defeating the Obama Agenda
by Michael Steele
Regnery Publishing, DC: 2009, 208 pp. hb.

Arguing with Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government
by Glenn Beck & Kevin Balfe eds.
Threshold Editions, NY: 2009, 325 pp. hb.

In the good old days, MIM did not have to read Republican or Democratic Party campaign books. As we have been sucked into mainstream bourgeois politics, we find we cannot do without Michael Steele or Glenn Beck and similar writers.

Michael Steele is the Chair of the Republican National Committee. However, we would advise anyone but beginners to skip his book Right Now. Attentive readers should have heard all the corporatized politics before without shelling out $27.95 for a campaign flyer.

Steele says he thanks George W. Bush for preventing terrorist incidents after 9/11, but mostly Steele harkens back to Reagan. He admits that Bush ended up growing the federal government at a faster pace than Democrat FDR.

“From 2001 to 2004, while the federal government was under mostly Republican control, discretionary spending (that is, optionial spending–what’s not mandated by law) rose by almost 50 percent. In other words, for every dollar we were spending in 2001, we were spending $1.50 by 2004.” (p. 15)

Beck wisely started his book with a chapter on economic development, because the less one knows about economic development the more books one can sell about it. In addition, there are jokes and cartoons throughout, so I can see why many would buy Beck’s book for entertainment. I had many a good laugh.

More libertarian than thou

Steele continues the awful Bush rhetoric about freedom, while Bush headed the world’s leading prison-state percentage-wise. There could hardly be greater totalitarian Doublespeak than the following from Steele in capital boldface:

AMERICA IS THE GREATEST BEACON FOR FREEDOM AND OPPORTUNITY THAT THE WORLD WILL EVER KNOW.” (p. 121)

Steele goes so far as to define conservatism as being for individual rights against liberal Democratic community emphasis. (pp. 77, 87) If this were true, debate would be simpler, but Beck’s program and the facts about imprisonment prove Steele wrong.

Beck spends many pages explaining that every government program starts small and temporary. Then Beck calls for a $40 billion wall with Mexico. (p. 146) That’s while admitting Medicare started at an estimated cost of $12 billion a year. (p. 208) Medicare is now $456 billion a year (not inflation adjusted) and 15% of the federal budget.(Steele, p. 21)

That’s not to mention that Beck does not have a chapter on how all the wars are expanding government. The sociology of bureaucratic self-interest does not just apply to Democratic programs. Steele and Beck are communitarians too: their community is rich men,  prison guard unions, military contractors and the Berlin Wall Fan Club.

Nonetheless, Beck has to toe the oppressor communitarian line in order to gain millions of listeners and readers for Fox News. Maybe some day Beck will be as libertarian as the Maoist Internationalist Movement. At MIM, we admit we plan a spike in imprisonment when the socialist revolution arrives imposed by the international proletariat. President Lincoln undertook draconian repressive measures and Lincoln was a Republican. Nonetheless, we agree with Lincoln and the radical Republicans after him that there is a spike in repression followed by an offer to the oppressors to get over how they did things in the past. That’s in contrast with now when the United $tates leads the world in imprisonment per capita decade after decade, not just on an emergency or transitional basis.

The Cold War fanatics like to talk about “Soviet satellites” or how the Russians dominated Eastern Europe with Russian-imposed governments until Reagan and Gorbachev ended the Cold War. Yet the imprisonment rate in all of Cold War Eastern Europe was lower than in the United $tates today, because Amerikan rulers hate the Amerikan people more than Russians hated the peoples they dominated. Before imperialism twisted language into Doublespeak, rulers who hated their own people that much would have been called unpatriotic. Now they are called “tough on crime.” Hitler was tough on crime too.

What it’s like never to hit the nail on the head

With MIM claiming to be more libertarian than people calling themselves libertarian and more patriotic than the rulers, we have made some nasty funnies and uncovered how Amerikkkans always manage to frame issues incorrectly. They always argue for incorrect positions against other incorrect positions regarding a stupid question.

The one question where Beck does get the root of a question correctly is the Second Amendment. Too often we hear the question is rural hunters vs. urban-pacifist-vegetarians. Beck correctly states the original premise of the United States and how it was that citizens were supposed to prevent tyranny. The founders had a sociological theory of tyranny and it’s very similar to the types of questions Mao and the Gang of Four raised in the Cultural Revolution. The Maoists talked about pitting a militia against the army in case revisionists took over the army.

Beck also correctly points out that the weak public discussion of the Second Amendment exposes educational problems in the United $tates. It’s a character problem in which a minority of liberal Democrats tries to sleaze their way around a simple statement in the highest law of the land. So one can have the studies on one’s side, but the solution is supposed to be amending the constitution.

A proper education teaches not just how to conduct studies of gun control but also character and integrity. The United $tates has no moral code like Confucianism or Khomeini’s version of Islam. If in addition the law means nothing, all decisions end up made by liberal elitists, otherwise known as the ole’ boys’ network. In this it is better to be a one-party dictatorship, because at least the party that dominates a society cannot avoid accountability and responsibility for what happens.

Steele says the Republicans are the party of individual freedom; (pp. 87, 90) thus, he lives in the same world of denial as Beck. Perhaps Republicans think of themselves as growing the total size of the government more slowly than Democrats. Beck and Steele would like to move back to that definition of Republican, with Beck going so far as to call Bush “progressive-lite.” In fact Beck sees every president since FDR as progressive except for Reagan.

Former diplomat Jack F. Matlock Jr.’s 2010 book Superpower Illusions is another excoriating Clinton and Bush with favorable references to Reagan. When Republicans need to run in insurgent mode, the insurgency turns to Reagan with proclamations how the Republican Party got away from its roots. In this way, intellectuals can take cover behind Reagan while taking shots at the last 20 years of history.

Advertisements

%d bloggers like this: