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by Denis G. Campbell

The Rethugs Read the Constitution. The Who Sang a song 40 years ago. Why they are similar.

By Denis G. Campbell

In 1971 a British rock band NOT called Beatles or Stones took America by storm. The Who’s signature anthem (after the rock opera Tommy) could be used to describe today’s talking head sound byte seeking Republican Tea Party lawmakers and their symbolic reading today of the US Constitution. The irony is this proselytising group led by their tearful emotional leader is determined to destroy that very document for their own gain.

We’ll be fighting in the streets
With our children at our feet
And the morals that they worship will be gone

There is no more middle ground or compromise in the Tea Party controlled House as 85 far right freshman Congressmen and women took their oath of office and threaten mayhem across the federal government in the name of… the Constitution.

And the men who spurred us on
Sit in judgment of all wrong
They decide and the shotgun sings the song…

Simple translation, they will ask you to show where it is written in the Constitution (a document written and adopted in 1787…) about support for any programme or initiative they hate like Healthcare and Banking reform, Education and Labour, etc. They will then summarily ignore it when they want to ban one of their signature issues like abortion or stem cell research.

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around me
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
And I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
Don’t get fooled again

This hypocritical cognitive dissonance and serial fingers in the ears humming, “la-la-la I’m not listening,” behaviour is a hallmark of 8-years of FOX News cheerleading as Republican Tea Party spokesman.

As ThinkProgress detailed in their report of the incoming Congress’ true feelings about strict Constitutionalism and their far right BFF’s Supreme Court Justices Thomas and Scalia yesterday, this group is not going to stop, they want to work ‘with’ those Supreme Court justices on a rash of issues:

Child Labor: Many GOP elected officials have embraced rhetoric suggesting that they agree with Justice Thomas that child labour laws are unconstitutional.

Whites Only-Lunch Counters: Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) claimed that there are constitutional problems with the federal ban on whites-only lunch counters.

Minimum Wage: Many prominent Republicans believe it is not constitutional.

Education: All federal education programs — including Pell Grants and student loan assistance — are, in their opinion, unconstitutional.

Gender Discrimination: Conservative Justice Antonin Scalia recently expressed his view that the Constitution has nothing to say about discrimination against women.

Ending Senate Elections: ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment, which allows voters to elect their own senators (vs their desired method, appointment by state governors/legislators ), “was a mistake.” Justice Scalia agrees.

Eliminating the U.S. Dollar: Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), claims paper money is “nothing short of counterfeiting,” and has even called the U.S. dollar unconstitutional.

And the GOP’s “Pledge to America” expressly embraces a radical “tenther” view of the Constitution (meaning more state’s rights and less federal interference) which would require Social Security, Medicare and numerous other essential national programs be declared unconstitutional.

Of course most just wrap themselves in the document with vague bromides, but it will be an interesting two years.

I’ll move myself and my family aside
If we happen to be left half alive
I’ll get all my papers and smile at the sky
For I know that the hypnotized never lie

Aside from their Constitutional concerns, the 112th Congress with its Tea Party controlled House also began yesterday with a pledge to fight against the annual symbolic vote to raise the US debt ceiling, failure of which would put the US in default on all of its obligations and render the full faith and credit of the US meaningless, plunging the world into a global fiscal crisis that would make 2007-‘08 a walk in the fiscal park. ..

Change it had to come
We knew it all along
We were liberated from the fall that’s all
But the world looks just the same
And history ain’t changed
‘Cause the banners, they all flown in the last war

They eliminated long-standing PAY-GO (pay as you go) rules for legislation, meaning no programme could pass to the floor without being scored by the Congressional Budget Office and have zero impact on the nation’s indebtedness adopting instead CUT-GO rules saying any new programme must have corresponding cuts in the budget.

Of course tax cuts are exempt and do not have to be paid for ever so they are adding trillions to debt without consequence.

There’s nothing in the street
Looks any different to me
And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
And the parting on the left
Is now the parting on the right
And the beards have all grown longer overnight…

Of course the song then ends with the greatest synthesizer and drum solo every written and a very long primal scream


and the line:

Meet new boss
Same as the old boss…

And every air guitar specialist in the world knows the closing series of chords. And 40-years ago, The Who would then destroy all of their instruments in a fit of crowd pleasing rage right there onstage.

The more things change, the more they remain the same. Hey, is that something that would work in the broken House and Senate? Can we ask lawmakers to do that at the end of the session today and just start all over? It’s a thought.

Written with profound and deep apologies to The Who’s great Pete Townshend.

Who lovers can watch the G8 performance of this song here.

Originally posted to DenisinWales on Thu Jan 06, 2011 at 11:05 AM PST.

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