Something quite remarkable happened this weekend. The President questioned whether there was anything Republicans can say “yes” to. Following that, Speaker Boehner said that the President wouldn’t take “yes” for an answer.
It’s enough to send one searching for a dictionary.
The truth, though, is obvious enough and has been obvious since the current administration took office more than two years ago. The word “yes” disappeared from Republican dictionaries on January 20, 2009. It has yet to reappear, even in this current debt “crisis”…manufactured by Republicans in an attempt to destroy entitlement programs they despise and, at the same time, protect tax breaks for the millionaires and billionaires who are their true constituents. They think that playing games with the full faith and credit of the United States is just a dandy way, once more, to say “no” to the President whom they also despise.
It’s nothing we’re not used to. Here in California, they’ve said “No” so often and so loudly they’ve largely lost any means of influencing the state budget debate, at all. For the first time in years, California got a budget on time…because no R’s were needed to pass it.
And it’s nothing new for R’s. They’ve been saying “No” for decades. They said “No” to Social Security and Medicare the first time they came up. And they’ve been saying “No” to them in every way they could ever since they became law. Unfortunately for the R’s, these are also the two most popular programs in the history of government. Even in their efforts to gut both…by “privatizing” them…they’ve had to couch it in terms of “saving” Medicare, of “preserving” Social Security for future generations.
Let’s be clear. Republicans hate Social Security. Republicans hate Medicare. The fact of the matter is, Republicans hate anything that benefits people who have less than six zeros after their incomes. Republicans represent the rich and nobody else. They are proving that this week if they are proving anything else. They are willing to bring down the economy of this country to preserve their rich friends’ tax breaks and to gut the two programs they hate the most.
The question is…why are we letting them do it? How has the matter gotten this far? After all, they’re only doing what they said they’d do when elected last fall. The tea baggers are real and they’re acting on their true beliefs. Money for poor people…what a waste! Benefits for the middle class…let them take care of themselves!
Perhaps we should concede them their politics of “No”. Perhaps it’s time for us to start saying “No” ourselves. Perhaps it’s time we started standing on our principles and to hell with the consequences. Perhaps it’s time to let the thing go down…and let the whole world know whose fault it is.
No…you don’t get to touch Medicare.
No…you don’t get to mess with Social Security
No…keep your grubby hands off Medicaid.
Debt default…what’s that? And who cares? You deal with the consequences of that!
Maybe the R’s dictionary will gain one more entry. In the “y”s.