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(Cross-posted here)

Has anybody else noticed that the filthy rich and their bought-and-paid-for politicians seem to have gotten a lot more blatant lately about just telling the rest of us "Screw you. We're no longer even pretending that some gift we want will have those wondrous (if elusive) trickle-down effects that will benefit you too. We're taking what we want because we can, and that's it. If you don't like it, move to France, loser!"

I mean, remember when Dubya was first trying to sell his huge tax cuts? He said—lying with a straight face, of course—that "most of the benefits go to the middle class." That's sort of been the norm for a long time: if you're a Republican trying to push some pro-rich policy, you have to at least make a token argument that you're really doing it to help the little people. That's what all the bogus crap about the rich being "job creators" is about. And sadly, no matter how fatuous your case was, you could depend on the media's obsession with false balance to make them present your argument without openly mocking it—which is all you need to cover yourself.

But we seem to have entered a new era…

Sure, we still get lectured about the necessity of coddling those job creators, but more and more, it seems like they're just throwing things out there and telling us to like it or lump it:
• Sorry, we can't afford a safety net; end of discussion.
• College too expensive? Tough—borrow a bunch of money from your parents and start a business.
• Drowning in an underwater mortgage? Hurry up and get your ass out of that house so the investor class can snap it up cheap, get your equity for free, and make a killing when the market recovers.

The poster boy for this "new callousness" is, of course, Mitt Romney, and I guess you could just write it off as the inept messaging of a staggeringly out-of-touch and tone-deaf rich guy.

But I think something else may be going on, and it's this: the Right has simply picked all the low-hanging fruit in their campaign to restore feudalism. All they've got left are things that are so egregious that there's simply no way to put a middle-class-friendly face on them. Thanks to their BFF Supreme Court, they can now buy any election they want, so why waste time even pretending to care about the 99%?

Either that, or they're waiting for an even-more-brilliant successor to Frank Luntz, who will crank out messaging miracles that will make us lambs positively enjoy our trip to the slaughterhouse.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yes (5+ / 0-)

    I have and agree with you it is disturbing that they are so open about stealing the democracy.

  •  Probably Results From the Citizens United Decision (6+ / 0-)

    in combination with the prior 2 years' anti Obama madness. The 2 came together in 2010 to devastate the Democrats.

    I think the decision has also altered mainstream news. There is so much new money pouring in for conservative advertising that the news can't afford to antagonize them by too much fact checking or coverage of Democrats.

    It's possible for them to overreach with the voters, but there is no longer a societal mechanism to check their disinformation to the mainstream.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 08:55:10 AM PDT

  •  George Reedy's book, The Presidency in Flux had a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    llywrch, dinazina

    great line that i will paraphrase: The United States people rarely pick the best person of their time, but they nearly always pick a person of their time. I believe this is very true. Go back to Eisenhower - General to lead - Kennedy - Playboy was the lifestyle of the times - skip Johnson because of the assissination - Nixon, crafty lawyer to deal with communists and all the mess, Carter - principled man, farmer, a move forward toward the common man - Reagan - celebrity and style over substance, Bush ?? because Dukawkis wasn't like any of us, Clinton - the third way - new way - bubba - Bush - cowboy beat Gore because people didn't like him - Obama - working toward a baby boomer and post-racial society.

    Is Romney the man of our time? Wall Street Venture Capitalists are the highest paid people in a nation obsessed with the wealthy and celebrity. He made the Olympics work and the Olympics are happening in a few weeks.

    I know this is not the number crunching that happens usually on this site, but I am worried a bit.

  •  They're trying to grab as much as they can (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan, northerntier

    before the building burns down. They know this is their last chance for a while.

    Lo que separa la civilizacion de la anarquia son solo siete comidas.

    by psilocynic on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 09:02:52 AM PDT

  •  I have observed the Republican slide (9+ / 0-)

    into don't "give a shit anymore" over the last few years. They did used to sugar coat things to make it seem like they were helping out the very responsible citizens of the middle class but they don't even pretend anymore.

    I had not thought of the thesis that they have already gotten all the low hanging fruit and they have no cover for the rest of what they want. I agree with that but the media has become such stenographers that they no longer call anyone batshit insane even when it's obvious they are. Therefore you get the Michelle Bachmanns making lunatic statements and no one calls her on it, at least not the Very Serious People.

    I think Republicans have just realized they can say or do whatever they want and there is no backlash. After all "both sides do it", right?

  •  Simple (0+ / 0-)

    They're the 'america people think' that the boehner and company keep using, after all they gots all the money and they hand it over to their parrots pols to speak!!

    Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

    by jimstaro on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 09:07:10 AM PDT

  •  because demographics are changing (4+ / 0-)

    and not in their favor.

    they have a small window of time to get power before it's too late.  they still have a very large contingent all across D.C. and the states.  

    but they have ruined their brand.  and time is running it out.

    they are angry.  they are greedy.  they are dangerous, especially now.

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 09:12:27 AM PDT

  •  try this for an answer: (4+ / 0-)

    There are 7 billion humans on a planet that can sustainably support about 3 billion.

    Of these, the global .01% (one one-hundredth of one percent) add up to 700,000 humans.

    To meet the needs of 700,000 humans requires the labors of about 70 million to 700 million additional humans: total human population of at most 1 billion.

    The other six billion are "surplus population," also known as "disposable."  
    That would include you & I.  

    Climate change will take care of most of that.

    Misc. wars including civil wars leading to exterminations, will take care of the rest.  

    And then the global .01% will have the Kingdom of God on Earth, paradise in the previously-frozen latitudes, with armies of slaveys at their disposal.  

    Anyone who doubts me is welcome to find another explanation for the observables.  

    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 09:23:47 AM PDT

    •  we need rapid change (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dinazina, New Rule, G2geek

      in our CO2 footprints in order to have survivability for any at all.  The faster people stop wasting energy and water and get to work on DURABLE construction, the better. We also need the young people to want to have only one child per couple and teach that child to garden organically, get exercise, and be a willing team player.  Rich kiddies of today's wealthy can't survive any better than poor kiddies if there is no fast action in reducing carbon.

  •  Denying Medicaid to the poor and stealing (4+ / 0-)

    people's houses while denying future generations any semblance of dignity in retirement while getting ever larger tax breaks for the rich is really, really hard to make look like it is for the good of all or even 10% of the nation's citizens.

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 09:24:16 AM PDT

  •  not just republicans, both parties support 1% (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Russgirl, aliasalias, FarWestGirl

    there is a reason that the rating of politicians is extremely low

    they earned it

    the commons has been raided so far that now there is a war on the poor

    they have reached new lows for sure

  •  Why? Because they can. (4+ / 0-)

    They have learned that their supporters are sheep that will follow them no matter what, that will repeatedly bleat out their talking points, and will go to the grave, literally, due to their lack of affordable health care, thinking that any attempt to derail the right wing talk machine is a ride down the slippery slope of all things evil.

    Oh, and that the Democrats in congress won't say shit about it. And if any do (Alan Grayson) they won't have their backs.

    •  Yes. And because they don't feel they have to hide (0+ / 0-)

      anymore. Their decades of shenanigans have disaffected so many and their getting away with such blatant lies, fraud and theft have left average people feeling helpless and divided. So they don't feel like they have to bother wasting the energy to hide anymore.

      They're also trying to extend the disaffection and demoralization of the electorate and consolidate their hold on power and the perception of voters that nothing we do matters.

      I think they've overplayed their hands, but we'll see.

      Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. The Druid

      by FarWestGirl on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 01:35:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There is not even a fig leaf of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    civic obligation

    "..The political class cannot solve the problems it created. " - Jay Rosen

    by New Rule on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 09:50:15 AM PDT

  •  It's "our time" for them (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FarWestGirl, New Rule, bunsk

    for reasons that are pretty obvious.

    On the Left it's the fading of the solidarity in class hatred that used to prevent their ascent.  Great wealth is still resented by working and poor people, of course.  But the class solidarity to threaten the wealthiest with violence and vote against them en bloc no longer exists.

    On the Right The Billionaires are the last Nixon-Reagan era establishment that is powerful and not yet discredited.  The Religious Right establishment is a bunch of kooky opportunists who got their chance back in the Seventies and Eighties and Nineties- they made the best case they could for cultural and social conservatism and couldn't win.   The 'national security' Right establishment had its heyday in the Eighties, Nineties, and Naughts; they clearly proved that they didn't understand what they were doing or why.  Both represent particular forms of madness that had to be given their due during the worst Cold War and Culture War days.

    That leaves the plutocrat establishment which had funded the show all along.  I didn't quite understand their current vehemence either until I looked at them as a group.  They're practically all white men between the ages of 65 and 80.   And they see the political landscape of the country, from which economic power derives, as open to them.

    The social fundamental, i.e. the pre-'68 versus post-'68 generational split, remains slightly in the Right's (pre-'68ers) favor for another 5-10 years.  Their frenemies the Religious Right and Cold Warrior Right have disqualified themselves from leadership to the extent possible.  So within the Right they're filling a leadership vacuum.  And the country kind of defaults high political office to them in the course of normal elections due to the generational majority.

    The opposition party...well, from their p.o.v. the Kennedy centered establishment of the Democrats was the powerhouse.  It had a good last run in 2006/08, reaching the ACA as its farthest limit before it began to break up and fade.  Both at the very top, with Kennedy dying, and with the dying away of the FDR-to-LBJ Democrats and class line breakdown around the working class.  Obama is the heir apparent, marshaling what center Left appeal and solidarity remains.

    Apart from that there is an establishment of A-A politicians, which is in ways more conservative than Leftist, and it's allied to Obama.  But it's not powerful.  And then there are the liberals, who in a sense don't form establishments.   (Though they keep connections to both the Obamas and the Clintons, both with considerable ambivalence.) The important fact to the Other Side is that Obama and the establishment around him have shut liberals out from real power to the extent possible and in the areas that matter.

    That's the power-political landscape The Billionaires see in 2012.  All the other old establishments are sinking ships; they themselves may not have a lot of future, but it's their turn to some degree by default.  And what do they want?  Well, to get honored and praised.  To have fun with their organizations and not feel under the 'regulations' gun.  And to settle scores with their enemies- in part the Unwashed Masses, in part politicians and foreigners who have annoyed them, all those social democratic liberal professionals, and in part The Uppity Youth.  But to a surprisingly large extent, probably, with each other.

    Our consolation is that the generational majority in the electorate tips in the next 5-10 years.  And that The Billionaires are not career politicians- as a group they don't care whether they expend their public political cred very much or build themselves a 'base' of popular support.   Their money remains their power and their protection.  Like most financial deals, they know this one is probably a temporary good one and prone to disappoint or go bad.  In short, if Romney wins it will be by a small margin, with a lot of ambivalence/skepticism.  And the reign of the Billionaires will be short- they'll get what they want and get out as things turn sour.  Any Romney Presidency will be a single term.

    We are getting into a couple of cycles of elections in which Establishments are ending.  The conservative Democrat establishment was close to wiped out at the state and House levels in 2010 and 2012/14 should complete that.  In 2012 that is moving up to the Senate and potentially Presidential level. And last, to the Supreme Court.  On the Republican side I think they're due for disaster to Nixon-Reagan-Bush establishment sorts at the state and House levels in 2014, and that extends and moves to higher levels in 2016/18.  All at four year removes from similar disaster to conservaDems.  

    We may worry about The Billionaires.  And Left-liberal fortunes may be in eclipse for a time.  But it's my sense that the 2010 elections were the real beginning of the end for the conservative establishments and the conservative political era in the country.  The 'gridlock' they created is beginning to crack.  Our side's defeats may be horrible but they'll pass.  When the destruction of the current sort of Republicans starts in earnest in 2014 I think we'll be surprised at the amount of sober hope with which the country responds.  

    •  this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      should have just been a diary - a good one

      when I see a republican on tv, I always think of Monty Python: "Shut your festering gob you tit! Your type makes me puke!"

      by bunsk on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 10:25:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've thought about it (0+ / 0-)

        but the board as a whole is overinvested in and hysterical about Obama reelection.  The implication that he's part of the problem and that we'll survive without him will just unleish the haters and drown out the larger point.

        In my eight to nine years on DKos the past four have really been the worst.  I used to think Republicans were the party of stupidity and abrasive egotism, but it turns out they don't have anything like a monopoly on that.

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