Can you believe what Cathy McMorris Rodgers said in her Republican Response to State of the Union Address?
Republican-leaning business magazines gushed over Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ speech as being a flawless response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address. “Without mistake” they said. “Caring.” “Clear and straightforward.” “A rising star.” “The best GOP Response.” John Boehner’s spokesman crooned, “The perfect SOTU [State of the Union] response.” The responses read like accolades on the cover of an oscar-winning film.
What were the Cathy McMorris Rodgers fans all puffing about?
Here is an excerpt from the Republican response given by McMorris Rodgers to the president’s State of the Union Address:
Tonight the President made more promises that sound good, but won’t solve the problems actually facing Americans. We [Republicans] want you to have a better life. The President wants that too. But we part ways when it comes to how to make that happen. So tonight I’d like to share a more hopeful, Republican vision… One that empowers you, not the government… It’s one that champions free markets – and trusts people to make their own decisions, not a government that decides for you. It helps working families rise above the limits of poverty and protects our most vulnerable.” (Business Insider)
Cathy McMorris Rodgers claims Republicans want to grow the middle class
In her speech, McMorris Rodgers talks about how she came from a rural part of the State of Washington, but the things she boasted of as Republican goals made me think she comes from a state of denial about recent history. One of McMorris Rodgers “more hopeful” claims was that Republicans aim “To grow the working middle class, not the government.”
Let’s take an honest look at that noble-sounding goal of the Republican agenda: One does not have to look back far to find the Republican track record on that particular agendum. We recently endured eight years of Republican administration, and what does the middle class have to show for it? Through the eight years of Bush II, the middle class shrunk predictably every year with some moving to the upper class (a good thing) but more moving to the lower class (a bad thing). But the WORST thing was that we saw the buying power of the entire middle class stagnate the entire time while the buying power of the upper class rocketed obscenely heavenward. The Bush administration left 99% of the people further behind than they’ve been in decades!
By the end of the Bush years, there were very few middle-class people who could honestly say they were better off than they were at the start. The only thing that kept working-class Republicans going and still keeps them in their Republican interment camp is the lottery dream that they might someday be one of those rich who get to soar in rocket ships, too. That is the so called better hope that McMorris Rodgers and her Republicans holds out to America — a dream of one day hitting the lottery jackpot. Those who dream of it want to make sure the jackpot stays on the table for that day when their turn finally comes. It is a modern slave’s dream of a great bye and bye that never materializes for the vast majority.
We saw the ability of middle-class people to get medical care continue to erode because medical costs soared far above the average rate of inflation while business owners (some of them extremely wealthy) trimmed back on health insurance benefits provided to those in the bottom tiers of their companies. We saw the power of unions continued to erode. More importantly, we saw the United States collapse economically and saw all of its strength and aid go to the incredibly wealthy so they wouldn’t fall on everyone else. And then we saw the antion’s credit downgraded for the first time in its history because of the obstructionism of the present Republican rascals in Congress. Because of the economic collapse, we saw the middle class lose most of the value of their retirement packages — retirement that George Bush had encouraged them to invested unsoundly in stocks, rather than Social Security.
That’s the Republican party that offers hope to the middle class!
Normally, an ebbing tide cheap zolpidem uk lowers all boats — the yachts and the rubber life rafts alike — so that a crashed economy is bad for everyone. The Great Recession, however, saw some architects in government who were able to make sure that the upper class rose upon this sinking, stinking tide. While the middle class lost much of their retirement, the Bush administration leaped to rescue the rich with the largest welfare checks in history. A major pre-requisite to getting your hands on tens of billions in corporate welfare checks was that you, first, break your bank. Only the top tier of failed bankers dared apply for this welfare. The few who did fall from grace still managed to use this corporate welfare to inflate their golden parachutes into golden balloons and float away peacefully into a land of happy rest.
And, as for that shrinking government that McMorris Rodgers touts, we saw the Bush administration create an entire new bureaucracy to solve the problems of unintelligent intelligence agencies that could not get their heads together on their own. More government to solve the problems of stultifying government. We saw Bush establish the vast new computer surveillance system that has brought ridicule in later years to President Obama. (Yes, its construction and its purpose were well known even in the Bush years.) We saw Bush enormously expand the legal authority for government to get around those pesky search warrants and expand the groups of people in our country who are not constitutionally protected from big-brother’s intrusion. Of course, it made us safer, so it was a bitter pill that conservatives and liberals both willing to swallowed.
Where has the Republican response to the Great Recession taken us?
Under eight years of a determined Republican administration, we witnessed quite plainly the dismantling of the middle class at a faster rate than we’ve ever seen. We witnessed the evisceration of our economy, and then to top it off a massive bail out or the richest 1% who were the primary cause of the economic collapse. And, while Republicans have been more than willing to bail out the rich (and have continued to vote for such policies under Obama, who is also more than glad to bail out the rich), Republicans have done their best to cut back those bailouts to the poor and middle class that are known as unemployment checks.
Is this the Republican government that, according to Cathy McMorris Rodgers, wants to be sure we are “empowered by what we can become?” She calls this the America that “has seen the greatest rise of opportunity our world has ever seen.” Rise of opportunity? The Bush administration was clearly the witless architect of the Great Recession, and by definition, a recession drops. Nor has the Republican obstructionist government helped the nation rise out of its ashes in the five years since Bush. It is a party of obstruction and destruction, not a party of fresh ideas, big vision and better hopes.
Maybe Cathy McMorris Rodgers State of the Union response was referring to the rise of opportunity for bankers, who have seen their vaults expanded by hoards (literally) of free money, created to pay the government debt. Why didn’t the Republicans insist that the 1.4 trillion dollars in banking bailouts all go to small local banks into new accounts created in the names of depositors who had their money in the big banks of America that failed? If we’re going to create trillions of dollars out of thin air, create it all in tiny banks that have proven themselves steady and responsible in new accounts to bail out the individuals who made the mistake of securing their money in big-bank America.
No, you’d never see that because politicians love big banks. They love to party with Wall Street. That’s where all the fun is. There is no fun in creating money in the tiny tills of a small, local bank in Kettle Falls, Washington, where Cathie McMorris Rodgers grew up. Who wants to go there to drink cocktails with a banker in lieu of Manhattan? Get real!