It’s time to cut to the chase. Forget about the talking points, slide shows, sound bites and photo opps. The Republican Party has unleashed a crime spree against Americans that is astonishing for its audacity and sheer meanspiritedness, and there is no end in sight.
You can now add extortion to robbery (see the post above) and rape.
Yes, extortion. This is because the looming government shutdown is not about fiscal policy, deficit reduction or reining so-called entitlement programs. It is about Republicans shutting down your government unless Democrats cave in and:
* Agree to withdraw federal financing for Planned Parenthood.
* Block local financing for abortion services in the District of Columbia.
* Provide no foreign aid of any kind to countries that might use the money for abortion or family planning.
* Prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases.
• Defund the new consumer protection bureau established in the wake of the financial collapse resulting from the Bush Recession.
The pathology of the Republican trigger men leading the crime spree is beyond obvious: An overarching sense of entitlement masquerading as a mandate that is fed by the sense of grievance and self pity that pervades the Tea Party and the self-righteousness that compels Christianists to demand that their beliefs be imposed not just on Americans, but its needy friends abroad, as well.
It matters not a whit to these thugs in pinstripes that the consequences of a government shutdown include GIs in Afghanistan and Iraq missing paydays, GIs in post-nuclear catastrophe Japan losing access to bottled water when base exchanges close, government-funded health clinics and national parks shutting down, and benefit and disability checks — lifelines for millions of Americans — being delayed.
Tea Party darling Mike Pence's mumble words inadvertently captured the moment perfectly:
"We’re trying -- we’re trying to score a victory for the Republican people, for -- for the American -- for the Republican people -- trying to score a victory for the American people, not for the Republican Party."
To riff off the late great Pogo, Americans have met the enemy and it is the Republican Party.