Saturday, August 22, 2015
The Difference Between Democrats and Republicans
My least favorite president of my lifetime, until Bush the Younger, was Ronald Reagan. I hated it when he fired all the air traffic controllers in order to break the unions. I hated it when he announced at Thanksgiving that the government would begin taxing unemployment benefits (I was laid off then although I didn't qualify for an unemployment check). I hated it when he showed his contempt for the poor by ordering his Secretary of Agriculture to live on food stamps for a week to show the po' folk how it was done. I hated it when he his administration declared ketchup a vegetable for the purpose of cheapening school lunches.
I thought trickle-down was idiocy back then (meant mainly to give more to the rich) and its been proven to be so in the last 40 years but here we still are, living under Ronnie's same misbegotten policies as the middle class disappears. I didn't think he'd be able to live up to his promise to reduce the deficit while also giving the wealthy large tax cuts and pouring billions into the military and sure enough, the deficit soared under his watch.
I thought it was telling that when Reagan left office, 138 Reagan administration officials had been convicted, had been indicted, or had been the subject of investigations for official misconduct and/or criminal violations - still the worst of any modern administration.
I thought that Iran-Contra was more egregious by far than anything Nixon did. A collaboration with our worst enemies....a flat out defiance of Congress' express orders.
Still, in spite of everything above, there was no suggestion that Democrats wanted to impeach Reagan. We just wanted him gone. We thought when suicide bombers detonated two truck bombs in Beirut, killing 241 American servicemen, with another 128 wounded, that it was a terrible tragedy. We didn't embark upon years of investigations trying to prove that Reagan was incompetent or simply didn't care or even worse, perhaps complicit.
And once Reagan was out of office, the Republicans proceeded to ignore all the negatives but instead, to canonize him. They began a massive campaign to name schools, highways and airports after him. They tried to have his image put on our money. So, over the years, he has morphed into Saint Ronnie.
Okay, fast forward to Bill Clinton. The Republicans felt about him probably much as we felt about Reagan but instead of accepting that the voters had spoken and waiting until their turn came around again, they engaged in an all-out strategy of Attila the Hun-like scorched earth. His entire eight years was mired in scandals, accusations, allegations. They posted videos that "proved" he was a drug dealer. They insinuated that Bill and Hillary had their opponents killed. We lived through eight years of Whitewater, the Rose Law Firm, Cattle Futures, etc, etc, etc., none of which turned out to be anything (shades of Benghazi!) Eight years of implications that Hillary was gay and Chelsea wasn't Bill's daughter. They dug up women and paid them to tell scurrilous stories. They hired Ken Starr whose whose orders were to get Bill any way he could. They humiliated him by forcing him to answer ugly questions publicly. They dragged the First Lady in to give a deposition. They insisted his Secret Service agents testify against him (something that had never been done before).
And they finally impeached him on the flimsiest grounds....no more a high crime and misdemeanor than declaring an earthworm a cobra. And if that wasn't enough, they published the titillating details of his sex life on the internet....for the public's good, you know.
Did they think they could force him out of office? Probably not, but that wasn't their agenda. Instead they wanted to assure that there would be an asterisk beside his name in the history books. That no schools and bridges and airports would be named after him. They wanted to tarnish him in the eyes of the world forevermore.
They said it was just Clinton, that he brought it on himself, but we know it wasn't just Clinton because they have done the same to Obama. He's not an American, he's not a Christian. Hell, he is secretly in league with the Muslims and wants to hand the country over to them. He's shredded the Constitution. He's this generation's Hitler. None of this has any basis in reality any more than the videos that purported to prove the Clintons were drug dealers and murderers.
There is a whole cottage industry of Republican smear-meisters who've made their livings off trying to destroy Democrat presidents. It is simply the way Republicans do business and we will watch it happen again, in spades, if the next president is a Democrat.