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Hermit crabs, as one might guess, are hardly gregarious creatures. If they were, we'd call them Frat House Crabs or something. Likewise, modern Republicans, with their macho themes of "I built this" and "You're on your own", hardly project a theme of "we are in this together." Like hermit crabs, however, Republicans will sometimes come together in monolithic unity for some purpose. Lately, one of the most important things unifying Republicans has been to use privatization and vouchers to destroy the wildly successful New Deal and Great Society programs of Social Security and Medicare, that provide the only reliable security in old age, the very roof over their heads, to millions of American seniors. According to a story I found on Google News today, hermit crabs act together to sort of treat their elderly the same way.  

Come out into the tall grass if you would like to know more.

The headline was like a car wreck. I couldn't look away. Hermit Crabs Form Gangs To Kick Out Owners, Steal Most Desirable Real Estate. Here are some of the best parts:

Always on the lookout for a new home, smaller hermit crabs will form gangs to kick their larger kin out of the big comfy shells they’re residing in. Once they have, every smaller crab in the team moves up a shell size, leaving the once well-protected crab nothing but a walking tasty treat for a variety of predators.

SNIP

The research is surprising for a couple of reasons. First, it’s an odd case of a notably solitary creature — you don’t get “hermit” in your name by being gregarious, after all — evolving a social means of dealing with a problem. Even weirder, it’s a social activity that actually drives up predation in a species, which is almost unheard of. Finally, it’s evidence that some animals, like some people, are just plain jerks.

As soon as I got to the word jerks, I instantly thought of Ryan and his fellow travelers in the GOP Congressional Caucus. They expressly sell their Social Security privatization and Medicare voucher schemes as benefiting younger Americans, even though the effect of their policies would deprive millions of our elders of important pieces of their hard earned security, their health and their homes. But coming together to act on behalf of the general welfare or other positive steps for ordinary Americans would never even occur to modern Republicans.

They will work as one to take and destroy, but when it comes to building one another up and lending a helping hand to one another where needed for some personal good, everyone is on their own. Like hermit crabs. The jerks.

Originally posted to LeftOfYou on Fri Oct 26, 2012 at 04:33 PM PDT.

Also republished by Social Security Defenders.

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