Friday, April 16, 2010

Contract From America

A combination of teabag groups, Founding Partners, and Coalition Partners has proposed a Contract From America (signed by the American People, which -- the last time I checked -- includes me). A study of the contract's sponsors (the "Founding Partners") shows that, however the 'baggers see themselves, corporate interests and the Republican party establishment (with a dash of wingnut weirdness tossed into the mix) are co-opting them. Ironically, what the 'baggers need most to avoid being co-opted are experienced community organizers who know how to keep the interests of the organization front and center.

Here's a summary of nine of the Contract's "Founding Partners":

The Freedom Works board includes former Republican majority leader Dick Armey and Bush pere cabinet member James Burnely.

Liberty Central board chair Virginia (Ginni) Thomas, is a former associate of Armey who has worked for the Heritage Foundation and the U. S. Chamber of Commerce.

The National Taxpayers Union board includes Republican Kenneth Blackwell, former Ohio Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate. NTU president Duane Parde founded the corporate consulting firm Phoenix Strategies.

Americans for Tax Reform was founded in 1985 by alleged Jack Abramoff associate Grover Norquist at the request of President Ronald Reagan.

American Solutions is chaired by Newt Gingrich.

Let Freedom Ring founder Colin Hanna has advocated building a fence between the United States and Mexico, and in 2004 distributed videotapes to Pennsylvania pastors touting the personal faith of George Bush.

Fair Tax founder and chair Leo Linbeck is a construction executive and former director and chair of the Dallas Federal Reserve. Founder and finance chair Robert McNair owns the NFL Houston Texans and is an investor and utility executive.

Heartland Institute board chair Herbert J. Walberg is a Hoover Institution fellow.

The Next Right is "the place for wired activists to build a new Republican Party." It's founders include a McCain presidential campaign operative and a campaign director of the Republican National Committee.

The contract itself is a depressing thing, a Trojan Horse for corporate interests constructed around standard Republican fund raising boilerplate and the rotten timber of teabagger hot button issues. Lurking inside is the God of the Free Market, which is of course what got us into this economic morass. In essence, the contract proposes to solve the problem of corporate rapacity with the hair of the dog.

Reviewing the individual points makes one wonder just how naive and gullible these people are. It's pathetic, for example, that anyone actually expects Republicans to deliver a balanced budget amendment: They could have introduced one at any time between 2002 and 2006 and didn't. They didn't because a balanced budget would prevent them from paying off their corporate benefactors, and that's the last thing they want.

Then there's the requirement to establish in advance the constitutionality of any bill. Just how do they propose to do that and maintain an independent judicial branch? In our system -- the one established by the Founding Fathers (as distinct from the Founding Partners) -- federal judges determine constitutionality. Separating the judiciary from the legislative branch removes it from the political process, a bedrock principle of the Constitution. And yet, the same people who invoke the so-called original intent of the Constitution at every turn now want to eliminate its most fundamental tenet.

The list goes on. Of course, they want to end "runaway government spending" even though they hold sacred the biggest budget buster of all, the Department of Defense. Naturally, the Contract demands that Congress "defund, repeal, and replace" the Health Care Reform law with a reliance on the free market unrestricted by state boundaries. (I was under the impression that state sovereignty trumped all, but I guess not.) How all this will attain the same reforms as the new law when it never did in the past goes unexplained.

Read the rest if you dare. It's a motley collection of stale hot buttons all designed to manipulate right-win populism to return right-wing corporate interests to power. It's sad to think that it might actually work...

Corsets, corsets, corsets. At least it's Corset Friday...

Roaches, roaches, roaches. We don't have them in Seattle, and T. doesn't believe me when I tell her that in the south they are uncontrollable. Maybe now she will!...

Coyotes, coyotes, coyotes. It's not easy being a cat in the wilds of suburban Seattle...

Doves, doves, doves...

Taxes, taxes, taxes. And, patriotic American that he is, Projections says that's a good thing...

Tiger, Tiger, Tiger, burning not so bright...

Ooh, ooh, oooohhh...

Peas, peas, peas; genius, genius, genius:


Annette said...

Thanks for reading this and posting about it so I don't have to dip into it and read it myself... I value your sacrifice for

Glad someone has the stomach to read and decipher the lies of the Rethugs and Teabaggers so well.

K. said...

Thanks! For once, it's not the hypocrisy that gets me: It's the naivete. Dick Armey and Newt Gingrich must laugh and laugh at these people.

Foxessa said...

About an hour ago, on Michelle Martin's NPR Tell Me More in all seriousness the tbaggers she so very respectfully interviewed announced that soon they are holding an outreach tbagger event to the black community, call HipHop Nation. This wasn't an audio hallucination, even though this information arrived while I was putting in my daily quota on that Great American, that American Hero, that American President, who suffered as did all the all the south the terrors of reconstruction, Jefferson Davis.

Love, C.

K. said...

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. A states' rights outreach to the black community via the teabagger idea of hiphop. You can't make this up.

Roy said...

Heh, heh! I think I just became a member of the Pea Party!

Somehow I can't imagine any of those "partners" speaking for me, either.

K. said...

That Founding Partners thing is shameless -- a deliberate attempt to link what they're doing to the political values of the Founding Fathers. Come on: A historian will confuse the intellects of Dick Armey and Newt Gingrich with those of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison at about the same time that she equates a teabagger rally with Washington crossing the Delaware.

The fantasy element underlying the 'baggers is amazing -- the Dicks and Newts have the cunning to exploit it and the ego to think of themselves as major historical figures.

K. said...

Re the Pea Party, I wonder if that guy ever figured out that he had been punked and punked completely. Those kids were prepared and knew what they were doing!

Renegade Eye said...

To start the Boston Tea Party, had nothing to do with not paying taxes.

The Tea Party's platform, is a gift to Obama. With a crisis like this economy is experiencing, a balanced budget isn't possible in any realistic sense.

Reaganism is dead, no matter how its packaged.

nursemyra said...

I like checking out the links to blogs you visit, K. And thanks for including mine again.

K. said...

Ren: You're right, but how much does reason factor into a vote? I think that most people go with their gut, their emotions, and the narrative they buy into.

Still, long term it's hard to see Reagan conservatism prevailing. It burned its bridges long ago to the coalition that will soon form an unassailable majority.

NM: Thanks! I have discovered many terrific blogs -- yours not the least among them -- and enjoy connecting them to each other.

tnlib said...

If they want to give up government run HC, I suppose they should turn in their Medicare cards? These people really are certifiably insane. Maybe they should start smoking goobers.

Can't say I love roaches but I enjoyed the story. The roaches in Houston were so big you could walk them around with a leash. Was happy to vacate that town.

K. said...

LOL! Back in the 70's, San Antonio kicked off a craze with its Nowhere Else But San Antonio campaign. Soon, every town in Texas was doing. We said that the bumper sticker for Houston should read "Anywhere Else But Houston."

Editilla~New Orleans Ladder said...

These Pea Taggers can bite my ass.
You wanna know why? Because they don't matter when you've got the Corps of Engineers watching your back!
Breaking News!
"Corps Hurricane protection plan a "Fool's Errand", scientists and engineers say."
My take on this is that of Ripping the mask off the Dangerous Master Blaster... and finding a Drooling Idiot!
You folks need not wonder why Editilla gets so Itchy around "Treme" soft-serve Lemon Ice and Hubig Jazz... because ya'know, if and when we FLOOD AGAIN we will just have to do a whole'nuther MOVIE!
Yeah We Happy! We so taken with being in da'Movies. And the whole Time the Corps is setting us up for the Next Flood.
They have Time on their Side. We do Not.
So enjoy "Treme" and watch the Plot unfold during Hurricane Season.
But get ready.
Your Exquisite Corps in Seattle, Centralia, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Dallas, Fargo, St. Louis, Providence, Bangor, New York, Florida, Mississippi, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois... IS NOT UP TO THE JOB OF DEALING WITH THE FLOOD PROBLEMS THEY HAVE CREATED.

All this TIME and all this MONEY and all this DELAY and BULLSHIT and what do we have to face the future?
Nothing but request for more Time to Study by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

OK... so there.
Thank you

Editilla~New Orleans Ladder said...

Oh and I forgot to mention...
Nice Post, K!
I have designed corsets and studied (briefly) with a "builder" and lemme'tollya... Sarah Palin is wearing one it seems all the time.
She's losing weight because of the Speed. She likes the tight leather outfits. Yeah, she's probably got a collection of corsets. But given her shallowness, I doubt she understands their function or history or even style.
Corsets are all about Holding.
Not Holding Onto. Holding, not Bondage, they are shaped like a vase for a reason. Of course they are handy in bondage situations, taken as a Westernization of the Asian Foot Binding. But for the most part they were designed to Hold the Flowers of a Lady's Grace. Peoples have come to honor themselves in so many fetish ways. And Honor is often brought down to prurience.
But you must tell us: what about the corset grabbed a bearded progressive writer in the Northwest?
Gentle'rillas are dying to know!

T. Clear said...

Darlin', I beLIEVE! For the record, when I lived in Wallingford I inherited a portable dishwasher from a friend of a friend and a dandy community of roaches inhabited its inner walls... but I didn't know of this boric acid bread recipe, alas. Death-in-a-loaf!

wv: acruixte, as in "death by acruixtiation"