Article 43


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Republican Redux 4


Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.
- Frederick Douglass

Republicans to the Unemployed: You’re Lazy

By Donna Trussell
Huffington Post
June 23, 2010

Salt, meet wound. Wound being unemployment, and salt being the suggestion that the worst economy since the Great Depression was created by its powerless victims—the jobless.

Republicans, do tell: If so many jobs are ripe for plucking, explain the five applicants for every job. (Down from six a few months ago. Oh joy.)

WHY would anyone believe unemployment is voluntary when there is so much evidence to the contrary? The answer is surprisingly simple: Because that belief makes them feel good.

Life is not fair, we learned in childhood. Apparently we never got over it. The psychology term ”JUST-WORLD PHENOMENON” has been around for only half a century, but the practice of assuming people get what they deserve is not new. You can find examples in the poetry of Robert Browning and the Bible. 

And in politics. A shrewd politician can take advantage of the JUST-WORLD FALLACY, defined as:

The tendency for people to want to believe [in a just world] so strongly that when they witness an otherwise inexplicable injustice they will rationalize it by searching for things the victim might have done to deserve it. This deflects their anxiety, and lets them continue to believe the world is a just place, but often at the expense of blaming victims for things that were not, objectively, their fault.

Many a cancer survivor has encountered the just-world theory firsthand. I myself am a survivor, and from my own experience, I can recreate a typical conversation. It goes something like this: Does cancer run in your family? Were you under a lot of stress before your diagnosis? Do you think the years you lived in Houston had anything to do with it? Etc.

If you want to make your friend happy, you should answer yes, yes, and yes. That’s because 1) she’s not related to you, 2) she meditates every day, and 3) she never lived in Houston. Therefore she will not get cancer. She can then exile you to the land of “the other” and all is right with the world again.

So maybe there’s no science proving self-assurance wards off cancer any better than a voodoo incantation. Facts, schmacts! Feeling is what counts. She feels safer. If you feel worse, that’s your tough luck. Which you already have, obviously. In abundance. Due to some failure on your part.

Politicians love a just world, especially CONSERVATIVES. Take Sharron Angle, Republican candidate for senator of Nevada in the 2010 election.

Angle’s message has all the subtlety of a car-lot sales pitch. Her handlers have scrubbed her Web site, but thanks to technology, we have her words archived for all eternity. She can run (watch Angle trot away from reporter Nathan Baca as he asks what she meant by “Second Amendment remedy” to incumbent Senator Harry Reid), but she can’t hide.

During a speech, Angle was recorded saying, “We did those things growing up that Americans don’t do. We cleaned bathrooms and made beds. Swept floors. Did laundry.” But now, according to Angle, Americans won’t do those jobs, and unemployment benefits, specifically Harry Reid’s vote to extend them, are to blame.

You can make more money on unemployment than you can going down and getting one of those jobs that is an honest job, but it doesn’t pay as much. And so that’s what’s happened to us is that we have put in so much entitlement into our government that we really have spoiled our citizenry and said you don’t want the jobs that are available.

Angle caught some flack for that statement, so a week later she clarified:

I was criticized for saying that Americans won’t do certain jobs and the reason that they won’t do certain jobs is because they get more pay on unemployment than they can get to work those...those good jobs that are really out there. What has happened is Harry Reid has just extended unemployment and when he did that he not only made it so that people are less employable, but he makes it so that they want to be dependent on the government. This entitlement pays them more than getting a real job.

Sharron Sharron Sharron. Girl, I gotta ask: Who taught you how to backpedal? Cuz you suck at it. You’re supposed to neutralize your first comment, not reinforce it. If you can’t backpedal worth a damn, I predict your career in politics will be short and not at all sweet.

Ms. Angle continued:

Harry Reid is not thinking about real solutions. All he is doing is putting on these Band-aid fixes which is to extend unemployment. And when he does that, what happens is that he takes away the incentive to have a job because if you are making more on unemployment than you can if you go to work for Starbucks or some other place where they have a real job available, because you know that you can’t make as much as you are making on unemployment, you’ll stay on unemployment.

So the problem today is not too few jobs. The problem is unemployment benefits are too generous. How do you get people to work if they’re not starving and desperate? (I’ll bet slaveholders in the old South used to chaw tobacco over just such an issue.)

In 1971 average weekly wages were about $331. Some 30 years later the average wage had dropped to $277. And that was 2004, prior to the current recession, which has further decimated the average worker’s earnings.

Where’s the Republican outrage on the minimum wage losing buying power? On the off-shoring of good jobs? On the huge increases in the cost of health care and college tuition? Instead of eliminating the few safety nets we possess, why not reverse course on policies that have, for decades, chipped away at the middle class in favor of banks, big business and the wealthy?

Not likely. It’s easier to assume losers never really wanted to win in the first place. Or didn’t deserve to win.

Which brings us back to the just-world theory. Says the Markula Center for Applied Ethics:

When we encounter evidence suggesting that the world is not just, we quickly act to restore justice by helping the victim or we persuade ourselves that no injustice has occurred. We either lend assistance or we decide that the rape victim must have asked for it, the homeless person is simply LAZY, the fallen star must be an adulterer. These attitudes are continually reinforced in the ubiquitous fairy tales, fables, comic books, cop shows and other morality tales of our culture, in which good is always rewarded and evil punished....The belief in a just world may take the place of a genuine commitment to justice.

Hear ye, Republicans! The unemployed are not lazy. It’s you who are intellectually lazy. Or—even worse—you understand. You know that most of the people losing jobs and homes in these terrible times did nothing wrong whatsoever. You simply don’t care.



Republicans Implode; Im uneasy

By Saul Landau
Progresso Weekly
March 14, 2012

I smiled weakly when liberal Democrat friends guffawed last week over verbal foibles of Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.

It was sort of funny when Romney said: Michigans trees are just the right height,” and” I Have Some Friends Who Are NASCAR Team Owners.” And his wife drives a couple of Cadillac’s. Both at the same time?

Romney, yearly income of $42.7 million, joked with unemployed workers in Florida last June that he, too, was also un-employed.

Santorum’s attack on the dead Kennedy struck me as less than hilarious. Kennedy’s 1960 speech on religious equality in the White House, RICK SAID, “made me want to throw up.”

Newt (Lunacy) Gingrich and his moon colony? Not funny. One wit dismissed Gingrich as a squeezed pimple with “the pus forming at the top of his head (white hair).”

Then came Limbaugh who offered a startling description of Georgetown University law student SANDRA FLUKE. Denied the right to testify before Congressman Darrell Issas House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on “Womens Access to Birth Control,” Fluke then addressed a Democratic Steering and Policy Committee session about common concerns among women. Fluke said women needed access to contraception (now very costly). Some states want to outlaw it. She demanded medical insurance cover the costs.

“What does that make her?” asked Limbaugh on his radio show. “It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception.”

Rush said since his tax money would pay for her sex he wanted her to watch videos of her having sex online.

On March 3, Rush apologized on air for his name-calling. “My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.”

Then Rush complimented himself on his 20 years of illustrating the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week. In this instance, “I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.”

Then he went on to un-apologize. “I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit?”

Rush apologized again and lost more sponsors. Some stations have dropped his show. All hes got left are 15 million listeners, far more than any liberal radio or TV personality.

Limbaugh personifies “extremist Republicanism” which has become just Republicanism. His insulting of women cost him sponsors, but it also underlined themes of the major Republican candidates: against contraception, abortion, gay marriage. This, liberals logically deduced, should cost the Republicans the election in November.

Not so fast! Since October, Obama’s job-approval rating has oozed upward, but remains under 50%. On key issues like health care and the economy, the majority disapproves of his performance.

A late February Gallup/USA Today poll had swing-state voters choosing Romney over Obama. In strategic states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida and Iowa, Obama has difficulty moving to the 50% mark. And 60% claim the country is “on the wrong track.” (Ramesh Ponnuru, Bloomberg News, March 6)

In 2008, McCain and Palin amassed almost 60 million votes. Not all of those who cast Republican ballots were men who thought loading the dishwasher meant getting their wives drunk; or who signed up their four year olds for lifetime NRA membership.

The political core issue - “who gets what from the budget” - has devolved into social issues. Republicans stress the biblical virtues of owning endless amounts of guns; saying no to climate change; making abortion a capital crime; erasing affirmative action, and eliminating activist (liberal) judges.

Republican candidates encourage low-income supporters to focus on the peripheral, not on their own core interests. Try to imagine adults living on less than $2 per person per day Ӕ almost 1.5 million, and 2.8 million children and listening to Republicans debate! (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities March 5)

Comedy? Insanity? Or read the sub-text: - save our white country from that African-born, snobby socialist and his commie Jew advisers. (Gingrich calls Obama the “food stamp president,” who had a guru named Saul Alinsky, a Hebrew resonating name indicating communist tendencies. (In fact, AlinskyӔs biggest backer was the Catholic Bishop of Chicago.)

The preachers of peripheral focus have somehow twisted the minds of tens of millions of low-income Republican voters to demand the government stay out of their Social Security and Medicare.

Republican apparatchiks have also reduced Democratic registration on voter rolls in strategic places. Phony voter ID rules and other scams abound. On Tuesday March 6, polling station officials turned away a former Democratic Tennessee Congressman and his wife because of an order from the Republican Secretary of State. Such hanky panky leads to fewer Democratic voters; the Romney-Santorum chances rise. The February-March verbal screw-ups will fade from national memory as will Rush The Real Republican Limbaughs misogyny. Gas prices? Economic downturn? War? Don’t count on a Democratic landslide or even an Obama victory. It will require lots of work.


Republican Redux
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Posted by Elvis on 03/18/12 •
Section Dying America
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