Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Nailing Down The Reason For American Stupidity

As we climb through the stacks of articles and links each day about massive issues like the Supreme Court's upcoming ruling on the Affordable Care Act, or simpler issues, like Mitt Romney's flip-flopping on immigration, we continue to note an ever present theme - and we're not the only ones.

From Greg Sargent and Jonathan Bernstein over at the Washington Post's "The Plum Line" blog, to Andrew Sullivan at the Daily Beast, to Steve Benen at MSNBC, and Ed Kilgore at Washington Monthly, many of us in the media have continually pointed out the unusual depth and breadth of lying being done by Republican politicians and officials, of all types and kinds this year.

Benen has twenty-two lists chronicling "Mitt's Mendacities", just from this year, just from Mitt Romney.

The lying isn't the theme we've noticed though - and it isn't why the working class, working poor, and the shrinking middle class of America feel like they're cowering in a trash can just to stay alive.

The single biggest reason that all those classes of Americans have continued seeing their wages fall, their retirement shrink, and possibly - thanks to one of the most untrustworthy liars in America, Supreme Court Justice Antonia Scalia -  losing their newly won health care insurance, is simple.

It's their own conscious amnesia.

Take a look at health care, for example.

Less than twenty years ago, Hillary Clinton was the First Lady, pushing for a plan for universal health insurance coverage. The Republican response to the Democratic idea of 'Medicare for all' was to come up with a plan for health care that kept private insurance companies in the health insurance system.

Republicans called that plan, "The Individual Mandate" - which is the same idea that the GOP and their shills on the Supreme Court are now so desperate to defeat, as part of President Obama's Affordable Care Act.

In fact, Justice Scalia is likely to rule in direct opposition to his own decisions and words from just a few years ago on this very issue. For a justice of the Supreme Court to blatantly ignore settled law, as well as court rulings he was part of just a few years ago, is proof enough that Scalia has absolutely no business sitting in judgement on the highest court in the land.

This is hypocrisy at the highest level - but instead of confronting it, the American people seem to have chosen to cower in a can and try to hide, as though evil like that will simply go away if we stay out of sight.

Mr. Romney's complete lack of principles on immigration is an even more recent example of this kind of selective amnesia.

Less than a year ago, when Texas Governor Rick Perry entered the GOP race, Mr. Romney attacked Gov. Perry fiercely over the issue of immigration reform. Romney took the extremist far right position, while ideas that Perry had - ideas very similar to the action President Obama took on Friday - were blasted as "amnesty" and harboring illegals. Gov. Perry's ideas were nothing of the sort - but that didn't stop Mr. Romney from crucifying Perry as soft on immigration.

Fast forward to this past weekend, when Romney didn't even have the strength of character to say whether he'd get rid of the President's policy of leniency on immigration for certain young undocumented immigrants.

A HUGE dichotomy like that deserves a massive shout of "Hypocrite" from Americans. Sadly, from most Americans - even Republicans - Mr. Romney's cowardice has only received a shrug, as most Americans crawl back into their cans, like a million little Oscar the Grouches.

If Middle Class Americans want to know why things have gotten so bad for them, we could certainly provide the answer - again.

We're just not sure it's worth the effort to repeat ourselves on this issue.

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