Saturday, August 9, 2008

Republicans on the Issues

The Republican National Committee, an organization not known for self-reflection, seldom communicates with me, but today, they did, requesting my opinion on what they seem to consider the key issues of the day.

One thing really confused me. They referred to "liberal Democrats." Except for Kucinich, I wasn't aware that they existed any more! Anyway, these "liberal Democrats" evidently want to restore Constitutional guarantees of civil liberties by repealing the highly dangerous and undemocratic Patriot Act. Wow. Glad I know that. I had no idea the Democrats were going to repeal the Patriot Act - best news I've heard since Clinton's last-minute protection of all that parkland from evil corporate exploitation.

The RNC also seems addicted to trick questions, so slanted that no intelligent response could possibly be given.

It asked if the Republicans should fight for a balanced budget, without indicating whether they would cut social services or the bloated offense budget (Gee, help me here...). Obviously, I was all set to respond with a loud YES, since I do think that trimming back on the obscene array of toys the Pentagon is playing with in every corner of the world would be a great way to restore health to the nation's economy (even as it muted that same nation's arrogance). But then I saw the question "Should Republicans fight Democrat efforts to impose Clinton-era cuts in the Pentagon's budget?" You mean the Republicans intend to spend even more money on all their endless wars AND balance the budget in the midst of a recession when Americans are losing their houses; can't afford health insurance; and are seeing Federal government protections over their food, water, and parklands dwindle?!?

Then there was the one about the Republicans' "pro-growth achievements." Don't laugh. Sure, it is true that we are setting a record for house foreclosures at the moment. But think of the growth in the mercenary business, think of the growth in oil company profits, think of the growth in the production of armor-plated Humvees. I don't commute any more, but man would I love to have driven one of those to the office!

They really put their foot in their mouth when they brought up health care. If my party had been leading the country for the last 8 years, I'm not sure I'd want to start a discussion about that particular issue. Anyone with an elderly relative walked through a nursing home lately? You may not suffer from clinical depression when you walk in, but I'm not so sure about when you walk out. And speaking of depression, don't even think about getting help from our nation's health care system for that problem.

Then there was, "Should we do everything we can to stop Democrats from weakening border security?" Everything? You mean, like building an Israeli-style wall or keeping "all options on the table" or allowing armed private groups to terrorize anyone they don't like on our side of the border or making the development of a successful Mexican democracy and economy (so Mexicans will be happy living at home) a primary US goal? Somehow, I really don't think that last one is exactly what the RNC has in mind.

And I loved this one: "Do you agree that sowing the seeds of democracy and freedom in the Middle East is a worthy goal?" Now, how am I supposed to respond to that?

  • Is threatening an unprovoked nuclear attack on Iran part of "sowing the seeds of democracy?" (Yes, No, Undecided)
  • Is confining the population of Gaza in a huge, open-air prison, depriving them of food and energy and medical care, part of "sowing the seeds of democracy?" (Yes, No, Undecided)
  • Is firing missiles into Pakistan and Somalia part of "sowing the seeds of democracy?" (Yes, No, Undecided)
  • Is giving Iraq's oil industry to the industrial fat-cats of the U.S. oil industry part of "sowing the seeds of democracy?" (Yes, No, Undecided)
  • Is the dropping of cluster bombs all over southern Lebanon part of "sowing the seeds of democracy?" (Yes, No, Undecided)
  • Is the conversion of farmland to raise biofuels while the world's poor see the price of grain rise to the point where they can no longer afford to eat part of "sowing the seeds of democracy?" (Yes, No, Undecided)

I need some answers. Republican National Committee, please respond! But whether the RNC responds to the short questionnaire above or not, I owe them thanks for sending me this revealing letter.

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