Imagine you are interviewing for a job. You sit down with the hiring manager and and start saying things like this: "I've been looking at the background on your company, and I have to say - I really despise it. I think you make WAY too much money, and if I'm lucky enough to get hired here, I will do my best to destroy you from the inside. That is - when I am not taking long vacations and wasting my time on trivial matters and getting into pissing contests with the other employees..."
Would you get hired? Would anyone in their right mind hire you if that's how you presented yourself? Why would a company hire someone that hates the company, and vows to weaken it? Yet every year, people do just that on election day.
The Republican party used to be the party of slow reasonable change. Beginning with Ronald Reagan, though, the demonization of government began. His comment that the scariest phrase in the English language was "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help" set the stage for later "ALL government is bad" philosphies. Like a perfect storm, that mindset merged with the Libertarian limited-government-role in our personal lives, to become the anti-growth keep government out of business regulations meme that was borne of this unholy union.
At least Grover Norquist (of the "drown government in a bathtub" fame) had the propriety to leave the government he so hated. Look at what the rest of the Republican politicians say and do, AND run for office:
Once the Republicans took over the House in Jan 2011, they have been taking a week off every month for "working in their home districts". One would hope they do some work there, because they certainly aren't doing any work here in DC. On top of that, they took the entire month of August off, leaving the FAA unfunded, creating havoc in the lives of thousands of working people. Sure, many workers take all of August off in Europe (you know - those "socialist" countries), but most people don't demonize the government that pays their salaries and provides their benefits while doing so. Considering that some of these people (Boehner, Cantor, Ron Paul) have been sucking on the government teat for years, their hypocrisy is more than bit disgusting.
Anyone lucky enough to be elected to national office should approach the position with a certain level of gravity, gratitude, and honor, knowing they are being paid by the taxpayers to be their voice in how their government is run (it IS called public service)
, and how their tax dollars are allocated. Yet Republicans consistently pander to small minority interests against what polling shows are the desires of most Americans, and act as though the government owes them while they either work to destroy it, or don't work at all.
We've already had a near government shutdown, and a credit crisis, and we are closing in on yet another shutdown
. It boggles the mind to think that something as basic as keeping the lights on in government
is a line-in-the-sand moment for these guys. This is not about deciding whether to declare war, or amending the Constitution. This is simply keeping the money flowing. Why? Because one of the most basic roles of government - helping those hit by a natural disaster
- is being held hostage for a few dollars in spending cuts. Seven billion dollars for FEMA may seem like a lot of money, but it is fractions of a penny out of each tax dollar collected.
The Republicans are making a huge fuss over nickle-and-dime stuff like this (or - more accurately - pennies), when in the Big Picture, the tax cuts and defense spending make a much larger impact on our budget. Of course - it could be simply political. Perhaps the Republicans are so dead-set against allowing President Obama a "win" (e.g.: a FEMA that works) that they are willing to sacrifice Americans' homes, livelihoods, and even lives if it means making him look bad. I hate to be that cynical, but their actions speak for themselves.
With some states' primaries occurring in January and February, the campaigns for president and Congress are really starting to wind up. A campaign is a job interview, and we are the hiring managers. Do we really want to hire someone that hates the company? Think about THAT
when you vote.