Who Crippled the Government?

This morning McClatchy newspaper reports, “Democrats poised for sharp turn to the left: Two days before their party convention, Democrats are more liberal than at any time in a generation.”</a>

I disagree with a main point of the McClatchy article: that the conservative right represents mainly wealthy, and the liberal left, the rest of us. There are plenty of conservatives who are not, themselves, wealthy.

The story is on point, where it notes how Americans recoiled at the weak federal government response to Katrina in 2005. Today, what Americans want is simply for government to work. Period.

The disastrous response to Katrina revealed a federal government stacked with political appointees in key management positions, rewarded for ideology and not experience.

Today it is clear to voters that an integral part of the conservative plan was to deliberately cripple government and regulation. This was part and parcel of the Karl Rove and Grover Norquist nightmare unleashed by smart people who should have known better: that protecting democracy meant destroying government itself; give industry, give the “free market”, give the profit principle the tools to protect people where– they believed– government was itself the enemy.

It’s not a resurgence of liberal values that will drive voters in November: it is a belief that government should work and that it hasn’t worked because Republicans put ideology before performance and then covered up their mistakes.

Democracy should be more than words, flags, lapel pins and Fox spin. It should be stopping white collar crime, it should be intervening in the slide to climate chaos, it should be protecting elections, enhancing and protecting individual liberty and freedom, not empowering insider dealing, ideology in private life and the bedroom. How are those “liberal” values?

In 1994, with the Gingrich Republican revolution, it seemed conservatives were on the way to securing a mandate yet with all their opportunity, what they did was drive the economy straight off the tracks with historic blunders in management of the treasury, monetary policy, and war.

The party of limited government presided over an unprecedented expansion of government power and reliance on corrupt lobbyists like Jack Abramoff.

Starving budgets with regulatory responsibliity, they believed, was the companion piece to putting ideological loyalists in positions of authority. On every front, the results have been devastating and the opposite of what they intended.

It is not “liberal” to believe that America has to change course. What America needs is fiscal accountability and fairness: these aren’t liberal or conservative values– they are what every American believes in.

There will be a Democratic landslide in November. Some would call this counting one’s chickens before they hatch, but in the case of the Republican Party; they killed their brood hatch. The Democrats will be picking up the pieces of what is left. And that is not to be confused, with being “liberal”.

ALAN FARAGO, who writes on the environment and politics from Coral Gables, Florida, and can be reached at alanfarago@yahoo.com


Your Ad Here




More articles by:

Alan Farago is president of Friends of the Everglades and can be reached at afarago@bellsouth.net

April 19, 2018
Ramzy Baroud
Media Cover-up: Shielding Israel is a Matter of Policy
Vijay Prashad
Undermining Brazilian Democracy: the Curious Saga of Lula
Steve Fraser
Class Dismissed: Class Conflict in Red State America
John W. Whitehead
Crimes of a Monster: Your Tax Dollars at Work
Kenn Orphan
Whistling Past the Graveyard
Karl Grossman - TJ Coles
Opening Pandora’s Box: Karl Grossman on Trump and the Weaponization of Space
Colin Todhunter
Behind Theresa May’s ‘Humanitarian Hysterics’: The Ideology of Empire and Conquest
Jesse Jackson
Syrian Strikes is One More step Toward a Lawless Presidency
Michael Welton
Confronting Militarism is Early Twentieth Century Canada: the Woman’s International League for Peace and Freedom
Alycee Lane
On David S. Buckel and Setting Ourselves on Fire
Jennifer Matsui
Our Overlords Reveal Their Top ‘To Do’s: Are YOU Next On Their Kill List?
George Ochenski
Jive Talkin’: On the Campaign Trail With Montana Republicans
Kary Love
Is It Time for A Nice, “Little” Nuclear War?
April 18, 2018
Alan Nasser
Could Student Loans Lead to Debt Prison? The Handwriting on the Wall
Susan Roberts
Uses for the Poor
Alvaro Huerta
I Am Not Your “Wetback”
Jonah Raskin
Napa County, California: the Clash of Oligarchy & Democracy
Robert Hunziker
America’s Dystopian Future
Geoffrey McDonald
“America First!” as Economic War
Jonathan Cook
Robert Fisk’s Douma Report Rips Away Excuses for Air Strike on Syria
Jeff Berg
WW III This Ain’t
Binoy Kampmark
Macron’s Syria Game
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia’s Top Cop Defends Indefensible Prejudice in Starbucks Arrest Incident
Katie Fite
Chaos in Urban Canyons – Air Force Efforts to Carve a Civilian Population War Game Range across Southern Idaho
Robby Sherwin
Facebook: This Is Where I Leave You
April 17, 2018
Paul Street
Eight Takeaways on Boss Tweet’s Latest Syrian Missile Spasm
Robert Fisk
The Search for the Truth in Douma
Eric Mann
The Historic 1968 Struggle Against Columbia University
Roy Eidelson
The 1%’s Mind Games: Psychology Gone Bad
John Steppling
The Sleep of Civilization
Patrick Cockburn
Syria Bombing Reveals Weakness of Theresa May
Dave Lindorff
No Indication in the US That the Country is at War Again
W. T. Whitney
Colombia and Cuba:  a Tale of Two Countries
Dean Baker
Why Isn’t the Median Wage for Black Workers Rising?
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia’s Top Cop Defends Indefensible Prejudice in Starbucks Arrest Incident
C. L. Cook
Man in the Glass
Kary Love
“The Mob Boss Orders a Hit and a Pardon”
Lawrence Wittner
Which Nations Are the Happiest―and Why
Dr. Hakim
Where on Earth is the Just Economy that Works for All, Including Afghan Children?
April 16, 2018
Dave Lindorff
President Trump’s War Crime is Worse than the One He Accuses Assad of
Ron Jacobs
War is Just F**kin’ Wrong
John Laforge
Nuclear Keeps on Polluting, Long After Shutdown
Norman Solomon
Missile Attack on Syria Is a Salute to “Russiagate” Enthusiasts, Whether They Like It or Not
Uri Avnery
Eyeless in Gaza   
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Iraq Then, Syria Now