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Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The Republican answer to everything: Cut Taxes and Bomb Something...preferably at the same time
Posted by Jill | 5:41 AM
These days those oh-so-fragile Republican winkies are feeling a little flaccid in the wake of the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, the Rush Limbaugh debacle and the awakening of American women to the Republican vision for them. So how better to get the blood pumping again to the Republican Terrible Swift Sword than a nice, bloody war?

I know that Americans have short memories. It's something in the national psyche on which Republicans rely. But it's difficult to believe that even the level of idiocy of the American populace being what it is, we've all forgotten what a rush (heh) to war does and how badly it can turn out. But are Americans really going to listen to the same old voices spouting the same old crap again?

I wonder especially about my own peeps. The name "Israel" is to American Jews what a rubber hammer to the top of the knee is. It evokes a knee-jerk reaction. Even Jews who are non-Zionists like me have a kind of visceral reaction when someone who isn't Jewish talks about letting Israel fight its own battles and not having our entire policy in the Middle East revolve around what makes the most paranoid among the Israeli leadership happy. It's faint, but it's there. But you don't have to be a card-carrying A.N.S.W.E.R. member to be horrified at how cavalierly the Republicans are calling for war against Iran, especially when you know perfectly well that it's not at all about helping "our friend Israel" but ALL about tapping into the still-powerful fears of Republican voters and Orly Taitz that the current President is really an Arab Muslim terrorist.

Mitt Romney is out there pretending that war is like those good old-fashioned board games that he no doubt loves to play with his lookalike Rom-bot sons over milk and cookies in the evening. He's out there scaring the children, hearkening a return to the Good Old Days of Duck and Cover in a way that should appall all decent people. Liz Cheney is out there putting her toes in the water for 2016 by showing that she can be just as hotheaded, wrongheaded, and bloodthirsty as her dad. Never mind that even the military cautions against the kind of full-speed-ahead-and-damn-the-torpedoes" approach that Republicans are using as red meat on the campaign trail.

And here they are, the strapping captains of the football team and their head cheerleader, taunting the only adult in the room. Romney, one of the two eunuchs currently leading the Republican field, is especially scathing, using words like "fretting" and "feckless" to describe the notion that one might consider the consequences before igniting the entire Middle East.

The national security and economic agendas we've seen from Republicans during this election season are nothing new. But it does clarify just why the low-information voter -- you know, the kind who would applaud a candidate who thinks that a President who wants everyone to have access to education and job training is a "snob" -- responds to Republicans. Because there's something reassuring about seeing, year after year, election after election, a bunch of white guys out there talking about the same things over and over again: The answer to all our economic problems is to give more money to the rich, and the answer to our fading American empire is to find someone to bomb. Republicans may have felt emasculated when a black man defeated Sen. Bomb-Bomb-Iran in 2008. They may be feeling emasculated when the economy starts to show signs of life for someone other than those in Mitt Romney's income level. I KNOW they're feeling emasculated when women rise up in the face of blatant misogyny and say "Enough!" But creating a nice big conflagration in the Middle East? THAT gets the blood flowing to the Republican member again.

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