I’m one of the few liberals who was happy that Obama moved his jobs speech to Thursday. It gives us more time to focus on the GOP rebuttal tonight.
I know rebuttals are supposed to come after a speech, but that implies Republicans are operating on some kind of prevailing logic, and as Michelle Bachman and the biology books in Kansas would say, “logic is just a theory, not a fact.” Whatever your political allegiances are, you have to admit that Republicans have become a little predictable. At tonight’s GOP debate, how many candidates are going to say, “Let’s at least hear what the president has to say before we attack him”? If you said “One or more” then go look in the mirror and tell your reflection that you hate it, because you are wrong. If, however, you think they’ll call Obama’s plan some version of “socialism”, “anti-Americanism”, “Kenyacare”, or “homo-nomics” then you show the sort of intuitive thinking and clear reasoning to implies you are not the desired demographic of the GOP Debate.
Does that mean that they won’t put forth a plan of their own? Of course they will. It’s not like they’re reckless hucksters trying to aggrandize their own short term political futures and divide the country at the expense of the nation’s economy. They’re ideologues.
So taxes are evil and they support the cutting of evil. Closing tax loopholes? That’s also evil. Making multi-billionaires pay a slightly higher rate? Get outta here, comrade. We’ve heard this song before. It was bullshit before, and it’s more mendacious bullshit this time. This isn’t worth complaining about. Do you get upset when Don McClean closes his concert with “American Pie”? One hit wonders play their one hit. Except there’s a twist. We’re running out of rich-person taxes to cut, and there are still no jobs.
So if it’s not the evil taxman preventing us from infinite jobs, what is it? The GOP says it’s regulations, and if we get rid of the regulators then we’ll create jobs. (For those of you keeping score at home, yes, they think laying people off will create jobs, giving the rich tax breaks will create money for the middle class, condoms lead to unwanted pregnancy, war leads to peace, and the best way to cure homosexuals is to suck the gay off them. They are adorable.) But their argument is seductive enough. After all, no one likes regulations. It’s the reason we hate going to the DMV. If we cut away the red tape then isn’t it conceivable that people will want to create businesses, and we can finally get back to work?
Friends, don’t drink that Kool-Aid. Also, don’t say, “Don’t drink that Kool Aid” because it’s a fucking annoying cliché. What’s Kool Aid ever done to people aside from give their children diabetes? (As we’re a Kentucky blog, can’t we at least change the phrase to “Don’t drink the Ale-8-One”?) I know, I know, people who use that phrase are talking about Jonestown. But that was a bunch of ultra-religious weirdos who claimed they were unique visionaries and convinced their followers that they too can see the truth if they just take a sip of a seemingly benign drink. I don’t see why the Tea Party would be obsessed with them.
But I was talking about regulations. They’ve saved your life, of course. (Well, that’s technically only true if you’ve taken medicine, been on a public road, consumed water, food, or nutrients, or been inside of a building). But the GOP makes them seem like the busywork the teacher used to give you in first grade.
It’s easy to make this feel abstract, but it recently became very real to me. I spend the bulk of the year in Baltimore, Maryland where I work. As you may have heard, the East Coast has recently undergone quite a bit of God’s wrath, including both an earthquake and a hurricane. While the disasters were happening, I was living the highlife in our beloved Kentucky Commonwealth. It didn’t sound like a missed much. My friends told stories about getting panicked, holding onto doorways, and then evacuating work. It’s not exactly the stuff of Bruce Willis movies. Within an hour, the earthquake became a joke. And why not? No one died, and the most pain we had to endure was hearing smug Californians tell us how they were better prepared than we were.
Then last week, I returned to Baltimore and found that the ceiling in my apartment had collapsed. Had I been home at the time, I very well might have been the first and only casualty of the earthquake. Technically, I don’t know if the ceiling collapsed from the quake, the hurricane, or just from being a shoddily made apartment that is rented by those of us without a ton of money. It doesn’t really make a difference; the building was substandard. And I know that because buildings in America have standards, and that’s why they didn’t collapse
This earthquake was 5.8 on the Richter scale. The 2010 Haiti earthquake was a 7.0. Granted, there’s a substantial difference between a 5.8 and a 7.0, but that doesn’t explain everything. Why is the American earthquake a joke and the Haitian earthquake a worldwide tragedy? Regulations.
Haiti is a tea party paradise (except for all the rum and French speaking). There are no regulations there to get in the way of the free market. Businesses can do what they please. Naturally, companies save themselves money by cutting costs and making unsafe buildings. Sure, they’ll call the death toll from the earthquake tragic, but it’s the hand of God. What they don’t admit is that most of these deaths were completely preventable. If your reaction to that is “If safety from disasters is a priority for people, then surely the housing market will reflect that,” then I have nothing to say to you except, “Thank you for reading my post, Senator Paul. I respect the office you hold.”
The only reason the east coast is not in rubble right now is because of strong, patriotic American regulations. So when you watch the GOP Debate tonight, and you’re doing a shot every time they say 9/11, and they’re squabbling about who loved this country more, Reagan or Jesus, stop to ask yourself: If they honestly love America, why are they trying to turn it into Haiti?