The Republican Strategy

antonin scaliaThe Distortion of the Constitution

The third part of the Republican strategy is being played out in the Supreme Court. It has politicized the Court more than at any time in recent memory.

Last year a majority of the justices determined that corporations have a right under the First Amendment to provide unlimited amounts of money to political candidates. Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission is among the most patently political and legally grotesque decisions of our highest court – ranking right up there with Bush v. Gore and Dred Scott.

Among those who voted in the affirmative were Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia. Both have become active strategists in the Republican party.

A month ago, for example, Antonin Scalia met in a closed-door session with Michele Bachman’s Tea Party caucus – something no justice concerned about maintaining the appearance of impartiality would ever have done.

Both Thomas and Scalia have participated in political retreats organized and hosted by multi-billionaire financier Charles Koch, a major contributor to the Tea Party and other conservative organizations, and a crusader for ending all limits on money in politics. (Not incidentally, Thomas’s wife is the founder of Liberty Central, a Tea Party organization that has been receiving unlimited corporate contributions due to the Citizens United decision. On his obligatory financial disclosure filings, Thomas has repeatedly failed to list her sources of income over the last twenty years, nor even to include his own four-day retreats courtesy of Charles Koch.)

Some time this year or next, the Supreme Court will be asked to consider whether the nation’s new healthcare law is constitutional. Watch your wallets.

The Strategy as a Whole

These three aspects of the Republican strategy – a federal budget battle to shrink government, focused on programs the vast middle class depends on; state efforts to undermine public employees, whom the middle class depends on; and a Supreme Court dedicated to bending the Constitution to enlarge and entrench the political power of the wealthy – fit perfectly together.

Robert Reich

They pit average working Americans against one another, distract attention from the almost unprecedented concentration of wealth and power at the top, and conceal Republican plans to further enlarge and entrench that wealth and power.

What is the Democratic strategy to counter this and reclaim America for the rest of us?

Robert Reich

Republished with permission from Robert Reich’s Blog.

Comments

  1. says

    Yep, when everyone suddenly discovers that like everyone else they are in the poorhouse, then there will be a ‘backlash’ against the Republicans. Of course, it will be too late. Then as now, only more so, a few Republicans will be replaced by DINOs like Obama, and the upper crust will utterly own everything, including the law enforcers.

    The Goppies are now coming for us organized public workers, using convenient distractions such as commenter Mark T.’s above that some unions and ‘limousine liberals’ aren’t so great. (By the same logic, the fact that some corporations and CEOs aren’t so great should invalidate all corporations and capitalism.) As usual they peddle the dogma (attractive to the hyper-Ayn-Rand set which likes to denounce any sort of do-good in favor of selfish greed) that public service is disreputable and that the ‘private sector’ is inherently more virtuous. Of course they never mention that today’s ‘private sector’ is ever more divided into two parts: the serfs – who will get nothing no matter how much public workers are screwed and also reduced to serfdom, and the CEOs, who will get to keep even more.

  2. pigdog67 says

    People in the private sector have already been tossed off the bridge. A lot of dual income families have one spouse in the public sector to get a pension and healthcare and the other one in the private sector to get cashflow. Killing the pension/healthcare cow (in the public sector) will a large percentage of families hard. The good thing about this is that it will force people to wake up. Husbands that vote republican and work in the private sector will suddenly realize that when his wife lost her teachers pension that he lost his pension to. Then you will see a backlash against the republican party. Yes and Obama is a republican.

  3. Nate says

    As usual ;

    distortions of the facts and plain old _LYING_ .

    The fact is : Public Employees are less well paid that the private sector ones .

    The benefits are part & parcel of the hourly wage , a simple concept to grasp unless you’re a rich republican jerkoff who doesn’t pay their fair share of taxes anyways .

    WAKE UP AMERICA ! the prosperity you’re enjoiyed since WWII is *vanishing* before your very eyes and the Blue Collar worker – bees and Senior Citizens are _NOT_ who’s taking it from you ! .

    Your precious neo-cons and dumbshits like palin (nice tits, yes I agree) are ready to toss you off the same cliff they’re shoving the Worker Bees off of now…

    • says

      Nate your profane and obscene observations are not surprising. When liberals lack substance – almost always the case – they resort to distractions.
      First of all, class warfare, division and resentment are Democrat weapons. Always have been.
      The truth about public employee unions?
      The average Wisconsin striking teacher salary: $77,718 – Average Wisconsin worker’s salary: $53,724:
      http://www.thecloakroomblog.com/2011/02/average-wisconsin-striking-teacher-salary-77718-average-wisconsin-worker’s-salary-53724/
      The data in pdf format:
      http://www.wpri.org/WIInterest/Vol11No3/Niederjohn11.3.pdf
      Nate, behind your smoke-screen of ‘righteous indignation,’ this is what is really happening in Wisconsin, and soon to happen across the nation:
      Simple economic pressure and rule of law are finally catching up to teacher’s unions.
      There is no money to pay for their exhorbitant insurance and pension demands, and there is no money to support or cooperate with a system of collective bargaining that will further bankrupt the state.
      The whole notion of public employee unions using your tax dollars to lobby for more of your tax dollars is something that has to be stopped. It is bankrupting the states.
      The root cause of the vitriol and hatred evidenced by the teacher’s unions, the ‘international unions’ and the Communist Party present there and protesting in Wisconsin is their recognition that if the Governor and Legislature stand their ground, the liberal/progressive/Humanist grip on public education will be pried away.
      Teachers will be required to impart academic mastery, rather than indoctrinate or relax and sit through revolving, socially conscious, easy-to-present ‘awareness’ programs with students.
      Education has been dumbed down because of the deliberate shift away from academics and toward teaching the ‘proper,’ acceptable, politically correct ways liberals want students to think and speak.
      It has been a deliberate takeover of the public school system by social tinkerers and political activists.
      If they lose their poltical power and ability to dictate social norms in public school classrooms, they will have lost everything precious to them.
      The Wisconsin protests are not just about money.
      They are about teachers union’s terror over the diminishing influence of their Humanist faith.
      They are recognizing that no one wants their socialistic ‘salvation’ any more.

  4. Mark Thompson says

    I urge all to read “Rolling Stone Magazine: Obama’s Big Sellout. Imagaine, a guy from corrupt political machinery of Chicago in bed with Wall Street! Since Obama has been in office, Wall Street execs have made the largest bonuses and compensation packages EVER!

    Organized labor IS organized crime. The people with the most refuses to give anything. While the private sector workers are shelling out as mush as twenty percent of their own income in healthcare and or individual retirement plans, the greedy SEIU and other public workers are crying like a baby losing his rattle. The highest paid union members demand the lower paid non union workers pay for their benefits. Didn’t Obama say ” EVERYONE will pay? YOU LIE!! The Obama administration is giving waivers to political pro quid quo groups like the government unions.

    Bankruptcy! What don’t you understand about that word? Look at Greece, Ireland, and others across the pond. Remember the fable of the Ant & the Grasshopper? We are selfishly stealing from the very generation we expect to care for us and why should they after we shamelessly stole their future and locked them into financial slavery?

    When the limousine liberals ( Progressives ) will open their financial disclosures rather than hiding in tax shelters, tax attorneys, and overseas banks, will we listen. Until then let them eat cake or crow. From Jimmy Hoffa to Trumka, unions are and always will be corrupt, lazy, and dangerous. The polls, surveys, and common American has had it! The tsunami is rising!

    The Democrats have created this monster of public unions versus private unions NOT the Republicans, and like Dr. Frankenstein, the monster destroyed its creator.

    • John says

      No the Repubs have created this illusion. By the way, the corporate masters will only succeed when the right to union has been abolished. Most private sector jobs would not have as good pay, work hours or anything else without the work of unions and when they go away just wait until your non union job gets hit worse than ever before. If they can do away with unions, we will all be working in sweat shops.

  5. Don Duitz says

    Isn’t there anyone with a heart that has the ear of Obama? Why isn’t he getting the message that giving the “Reds” everything they want is killing the country and everyone except the upper 1%.
    Red is the Communist color as in blood; our blood! Corporations are now “individuals” according to the Court, that work together, like the old leaders in Moscow, to dictate everything. (It’s like Soviet Russia all over again with the wealth going to the leaders (the corporations) and peasants, the rest of us, getting the scraps.)
    Isn’t there anyone listening?

    • John says

      True but lets not make the case that the corporate masters are Reds. They are Capitalist pigs. Even worse than socialists. At least in socialist Europe they look out for one another. In this country it is all about private profit for the rich.

  6. says

    Well, now we find out what Obama and the democrats are made of if we didn’t know before. This is not a dangerous time but an opportunity for the Dems to once and for all take the side of working people against the oligarchy but will they do it? This is a fine article but it is time that working people be referred to as working class because of the definition of working people to who is the owner of the means of production, etc. When we use middle class we imply that all middle higher income people are in some way classless yet they depend upon their work to live also even if they own small businesses and/or are professionals. On the other hand those who own controlling shares in the corporations and their managment class, who are often given shares in the coporate wealth, i.e. stock, live by a different standard off the work of others. When we lose sight of this fact then we muddle around in bourgeosie sociological terms like middle class, upper middle class, and so forth and so on.

    • says

      No, dusty, this is where we see the Democrats parading around the Wisconsin Capitol with the Communist Party.

      This is where we see the Democrats so abysmally stupid as to ‘protest’ because teachers unions are petulantly refusing to pay at the rate of one half of the private sector for their own insurance and pensions.

      This is where we see the true, Humanist-indoctrinated colors of Democrats. So convinced of their righteous ideology that they would rather force the Governor’s hand and end up being fired, instead of imparting basic academic mastery to students.

      No! They would rather bus kids in and stand them up in front as if they have any idea of what is going on, or as if other peoples’ minor children should have a voice in anything happening at the Capitol!

      Such ridiculous, faith-based, Humanist-evangelized people!

      The first dominoes to fall, as liberals lose their grip on taxpayer-financed education.

      A grip they never should have had in the first place!

      Good riddance.

      • John says

        Such stupid dribble is all too pathetic. Or is it sheer stupidity at all.? Obviously you are so dummed down by the Republican corporate stooges that you willingly support your own demise at their very hands. Instead of loathing how union workers have better benefits how about loathing how employers have cheaped out on private sector workers. The fact is union workers don’t have better benefits, and they are not the cause of our financial crisis. If it were not for unions there would not even be a middle class in this country. The corporations have raped the people of their wealth and are now going for the throat in one last attempt to destroy all workers and permanently enslave them. Good luck thinking this is a Democrat problem. Both parties are owned by the corporations and bankers and you can only vote for who they approve. All the other stupid dribble talk as far as their ideological differences is just fluff that stupid people argue about as a distraction to take away the focus of the people on who is really running the show.

  7. Adam Eran says

    Worth a look: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/why-isnt-wall-street-in-jail-20110216. An excerpt:

    Over drinks at a bar on a dreary, snowy night in Washington this past month, a former Senate investigator laughed as he polished off his beer. “Everything’s fucked up, and nobody goes to jail,” he said. “That’s your whole story right there. Hell, you don’t even have to write the rest of it. Just write that.”

    Also worth reading: http://www.alternet.org/story/149019/, which notes that: As economist Dean Baker pointed out, “If the United States paid the same amount per person for health care as any of the 35 countries with longer life expectancies, we would be looking at huge budget surpluses for the indefinite future. ”

    If we paid only three times more than our nearest military rival (China) for “defense,” we’d have budget surpluses as far as the eye can see.

    One can’t help wondering whether the “drug war” isn’t also a contributor to this false crisis. The U.S. is only 5% of the world’s population but has 25% of its prisoners.

    …These are the elephants in the room, and the reason the oligarchy is scrambling to make as many distractions as possible. If we can only get the unions fighting each other, fighting the disabled, or the indigent elderly…if we can only get people concerned about that gay married Hispanic terrorist in the woodpile rather than the military-industrial-media-prison complex, then everything will be jake.

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