"Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?Once upon a time, university trained individuals believed that the relationship between the signifier (sound/letters/look of a sign) and the signified (concept/object of a sign) was not arbitrary. It is one of those "human" truths that words that rhyme share qualities, despite the randomness of speech, because, with or without education, human society seems to churn up a belief in the innate magic of words. A similarity of sound could denote a metaphysical sameness or relatedness, and we have all heard about the ancient practice of witchcraft that entailed little more than writing a name down. Either way, the coincidence of "job" and Job is more or less dormant, but it occurs to me that the Republicans have told the truth: they are Job creators.
10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face." -- Job 1:9 - 11
Like Satan, they are certain that the only reason they're not winning is that there is some cheating going on. It starts with assuming that their view is "natural," that "the American people" is a phrase that is exactly synonymous with "I" -- a phenomenon John Boehner demonstrates weekly. (Will someone just count the times he has spoken that phrase into the Congressional Record?) The key to an assumption is that one is unaware of its existence. Whatever seems normal, natural, and "of course" is most in danger of being an assumption. Once a person, or a party, takes this assumption -- that the nation agrees with their position -- then delusions follow. A person begins believing his radio show has gultrillbions of listeners, that his Op/Ed hour on television is the most watched commercial in history, and that 2,000 attending a rally is greater than Martin Luther King ever drew.
It could be that narcissism is involved. I can't say. It could be a failure of ego differentiation. However, GOP speakers are now certain, and have been for some time, that Democrats only ever win when they have dead voters or organized negroes. There can be no other explanation, once the assumption of "normal," "everyone knows," "97% of Fox viewers agree" is in place. That's when polls must be biased for not biasing reality toward wishful thinking, when the people are "fooled" by the president because stupid, etc. (This sounds like Festinger's "cognitive dissonance" to me: having invested all they are in the myth of the right wing past, the right wing as "Americanism," any America that rejects conservativism cannot be real.)
Me, I think the GOP's overarching plan has been to create Jobs, and for decades.
When one generation has finished its service, completed its work, fought through its struggle, Job has accompanied it; when the new generation with its incalculable ranks, each individual in his place, stands ready to begin the pilgrimage, Job is there again, takes his place, which is the outpost of humanity. If the generation sees nothing but happy days in prosperous times, then Job faithfully accompanies it; but if the single individual experiences the terrors in thought, is anguished over the thought of what horror and distress life can have in store, over the thought that no one knows when the hour of despair may strike for him, then his troubled thought seeks out Job, rests in him, is calmed by him . . . as someone who witnesses that the horror has been suffered, the horror has been experienced, the battle of despair has been fought to the glory of God, for his own rescue, for the benefit and joy of others." -- Soren Kierkegaard, Eighteen Upbuilding Discourses.(Sorry about that, but Kierkegaard is a lovely writer.)
Think back to 1980 and Ronald Reagan's various moves. They were 1) anti-labor, 2) anti-environmental, 3) incidentally free trade. As a result of his policies, we changed the way that we move goods from port to store. (The Motor Carrier Act of 1980 was a crippling blow to Teamsters and to rail transport.) Prior to Reagan's administration, your stores were likely to have goods from a mid-sized town, where they were wharehoused after coming from the port by rail. Afterward, goods went overland on tires to individual stores in "just in time" inventory schemes. Small towns suffered. Truckers suffered to some degree. The environment suffered massively. Just as Nixon's Earl Butts radically changed farm policy to turn wheat and corn into weapons for use against the Soviets and accidentally (?) created the accelerating holdings of large agribusiness concerns, so Reagan's hatred of unions would start the ball rolling on "merger mania," the revolving door of regulators to industry, and the rest.
Ronald Reagan, we know now, was deeply paranoid about Reds. Seth Rosenfeld documents how an hyper-reactionary fear pushed J. Edgar Hoover and Reagan together and made the one believe in secret fights against presumed secret agents (known by their disagreement with Reagan). (As above, "America is the way I say it is; if you disagree with me, then you must be something other than an American.")
H. Bush argued for the "thousand points of light" that would operate in exchange for federal power. He, unlike Reagan, was in favor of free capital primarily, or at least that appears to be the best explanation for his polity. Like Bill Clinton in his second term, H. Bush's priority was to create a world where capital could flow across oceans without restriction so as to flow in a secondary supply and demand cycle. Businesses that manufacture would demand labor and find a supply of labor, and businesses that needed clerical work would go to the supply, and it would change location whenever the supply or demand changed, with no hindrance of law or penalty of geography.
W. Bush's policies were anarchic. There is no easy way to say what his philosophy was, because there were separate philosophies operating. The ugly quilt of neo-cons dominated foreign policy, and it carried with it a world view of crisis that demanded all other concerns bow before it. Dick Cheney could say, "Deficits don't really matter" in 2004, when "the deficit" had been his own holy mantra while in opposition, "because 9/11."
Neo-con philosophy cast a security state ideology over everything except capital. Capital went wilder than it had ever done before. It could finally drink the punch, because domestic maintenance was, essentially, "Loyalty is the new competence." W.'s officials were known for their online degrees and mail-order Ph.D.'s.
If we synthesize the views and the acts, we get one thing: the private citizen is not a politically meaningful unit. The individual citizen is not a consideration in this world. She is an integer at most and a percentage, but her rights are abstract.
Remember the challenge Satan threw down in Job? The Republican Party, when it speaks to itself, says that it is America, that it knows what America wants. It tells itself that Democrats only win office ever because they commit fraud and because voters are bribed.
Let's just take away that Welfare, and then we'll see if those people vote Democratic! Let's take away that Medicare and Medicaid. Obviously, the Democrats are bribing the poors and moochers with it. Let's get rid of unemployment insurance, because it costs businesses withholdings that they'd like to keep, and the unemployed are reading left wing news papers. . . like the ones that aren't the New York Post.
The motivation, other than the eschatological freak-out over 9/11 and the creepy devotion to capital's independence from humanity, has been spite and an effort to get voters to curse the Democratic Party. Jim DeMint said that the GOP senate had to vote "no" on everything, because the ACA would be enormously popular and would support Democrats. It's far, far better for tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, to go bankrupt than for them to have safety and vote for a Democrat.
Remember, as the Job-creators seek to strike again, that Job never lost perspective and would not admit to a sin he had not committed or blame God for his woes.