Like most people with even a smidgen of compassion, decency, or sense of fair play, I spend a bit of time each day what could possibly explain how Republicans can live with themselves? How can they face themselves in the mirror each morning, look their children and grandchildren in the face, or avoid waking up each night in the middle of scream-inducing nightmares of the kind that plagued ol' Scrooge on Christmas Eve? How is such callous indifference to the vast majority of their fellow human beings even possible? And do they really think they can build gated communities to keep out the damage they are doing to a planetary home so battered by their corrupted values?
As I mulled these and related questions, I began to think that the Republicans, who are faintly human creatures, after all, must be hearing voices in their heads offering them a constant chorus of rationalizations, justifications, or excuses for being such unrepentant and over-the-top assholes and thieves, the kind of swinish pigs who could pass a tax bill for that benefitted the richest 1% of Americans (and especially the top .01%) while putting the screws to almost everyone else. Here's what I think those voices in their heads are telling people like McConnell, Ryan, Cruz, Rubio, and the whole sorry lot.
- "Well, hell, if you don't take the bribes, someone else will."
- "If Americans are dumb enough to believe this crap you're peddling, they deserve to be ripped off. Caveat emptor, mo fos."
- "You've got yours. Screw 'em if they weren't smart enough to look out for themselves.
- "A few million extra bucks in your personal account can't hurt."
- "Hey, God helps those who help themselves, right? So help yourself."
- "All your friends are lyin', cheatin', and stealin', so why shouldn't you?"
- "Hey, you're just standing tall against the godless tax-and-spend socialists who would bring down capitalism altogether if they had their way. You're a goddamn hero and patriot. Be proud."
- "Just think how much more likely you are to get laid with all that extra dough."
- "Just a bit more work like this and you might have that private jet/island/penthouse overlooking Central Park you always wanted."
- "You're a WINNER, and your high school counselor was way wrong about you, after all."
- "Those guys who taunted you in your fraternity can just eat it now."
- "Nothin' like a big payday to ease a worried mind, bro."
- "You're doing a service by reducing the number of those numb nut poverty people and their filthy kids. It's God's work."
- "Maybe if we cut off their entitlements, the lazy bums will get off their asses and get jobs."
- "You really do look great in those Brioni suits and, at $40 grand each, they're starting to seem almost cheap now, right?"
- "Hey, if you continue to play your cards right, you won't really ever have to get near poor people, anyway."
- "Hell, did you ever meet a constituent who wasn't bitching about something or other? No way to please 'em, anyway, so take the money and run. Fact is, you don't even have to run, anymore. Your chauffeur will pick you up."
- "Bunch of damn ingrates. We let 'em live in the greatest country in the world and all they do is whine. Let 'em live in Somalia for awhile and let 'em see how good they have it here."
- "You've got your kids to look after. Let them look out for their own damn kids."
- "The world's going to hell in a handbasket, so you better make hay while the sun's still shining, while there's still time to buy a heavily insulated house far from the ocean and far to the north."
- "If they get thrown off health insurance, they'll still have emergency rooms. No worries."
- "At least you didn't support Hillary Clinton. That would have been way worse."
- "A few hundred bucks in the collection plate can buy a whole lot of prayers, and a warm greeting from your pastor every Sunday."
- 24."Isn't it great to get that warm welcoome and that special table whenever you walk into Le Diplomate."
- "And isn't it fun to almost never have to pick up the tab."
- "Hey, what else could you have done? You've got to tend to your base, right?
- "Don't worry about deficits. Even Dick Cheney said they don't matter. In for a penny, in for a couple trillion bucks. Who's counting?"
- "What have poor people ever done for you? To hell with 'em."
- "The poor are always with us. That's in the Bible."
- "Just don't worry your pretty little head. You're off to the Bahamas for Christmas."
I'm not sure I imagined what's in Republican heads. Once I got in there, it was such a reptilian place to be that I just couldn't stay long enough to make sure I was hearing it right. And it's damn hard to imagine what could be going on with people this callous, this wicked, this indifferent to their country, their constituents, or anything resembling the Christian principles they so often claim as their justification for such deplorable behavior. Yeah, Pence, I mean you, just for starters.