Monday, February 3, 2014

Snake Oil & Surrender

Now that the ads have all aired, the halftime show music ended, and the Super Bowl game - which was effectively a surrender by the Denver Broncos - is done, the season of football in America is finished, at least for another few months. That means you can get back to some news about a few topics that you might have missed - including another major "collapse" in America, which is already in progress.

The ongoing deception we're focusing on today actually became fairly obvious to us quite a while ago, but like the old-time story about the traveling snake-oil salesman and the rubes he's conning in the small rural towns, the people getting cheated are usually the last ones to know it.

Paul Krugman perfectly noted this deception on healthcare insurance by Republicans in this morning's New York Times. Some in the media began to publicly admit seeing this GOP chicanery a week ago today, when Senate Republicans proposed yet another so-called alternative to Obamacare. As both Brian Beutler and Matt Yglesias pointed out, while the "alternative" plan was sold in right-wing media as another attempt to replace Obamacare, it was really the first serious sign that Republicans in Congress may finally be ready to abandon the tea party.

E.J. Dionne remarked on this split clearly over the weekend in the Washington Post, while focusing on the issues of health care and immigration. Greg Sargent, ever the optimist about the possibility for some kind of immigration reform passing, got the jump on Dionne, writing two pieces last Friday about why Republicans in Congress might actually try to push something through on immigration, regardless of the tea party's demands.

As Dave Weigel of Slate noted, all of this supposed action on immigration by Republicans in Congress may just be for show - and Weigel may prove to be right in the end. However, just like the placebo effect of the snake oil salesman's products, even if Republicans in Congress are merely pretending to act like they have solutions, their political fakery is causing very real effects that can't be missed.

From Senator John Thune openly admitting that Republicans in Congress won't likely put up resistance to a clean debt ceiling, to the surrender by Republicans that Obamacare really is the law, to the growing possibility that Republicans are going to give in on relatively significant immigration reform, the effects all add up to only one conclusion: The semi-sane faction of the Republican Party is abandoning the crazy rubes and ideologues on the far right who are the core of the tea party.

Just like the old tale of the snake oil salesman, don't expect the rubes to go quietly once they've figured out they've been duped by those who still truly control the GOP. Indeed, the extremist billionaire rubes like the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson, who've been bankrolling Republican politics for the better part of a decade, have already been sharpening their version of pitchforks, as they've begun shifting their political donations away from the Republican Party establishment.

What those billionaire rubes seem not to understand is that the corporate-style "snake oil salesmen" of the modern Republican Party are just like the old-fashioned snake oil salesmen: When they no longer need something - for example, chemicals in West Virginia, or workers in the United States - they just throw it away.

It's the same reason many of those old snake-oil salesmen always somehow survived. They always know when to drop to their act, dump their lies, abandon their "assistants", and effectively disappear, so they can live to fight another day.