Sunday, July 03, 2011

Class Warfare And A Little Bit More

Complaining about President Obama's rhetoric at his latest press conference, Marco Rubio (R-Fl) remarked

Everybody here agrees that our tax code is broken.... But don’t go around telling people that the reason you are not doing well is because some rich guy is in a corporate jet or some oil company is making too much money.....

Three years into his presidency, he is a failed president. He just has not done a good job. Life in America today, by every measure, is worse than it was when he took over..... When does it start to get better? When does the magic of this president start to happen?

Recognizing Repub class warfare when he sees it, Kevin Drum sees the big picture clearly and explains

over the past ten years. Republicans got the tax cuts they wanted. They got the financial deregulation they wanted. They got the wars they wanted. They got the unfunded spending increases they wanted. And the results were completely, unrelentingly disastrous. A decade of sluggish growth and near-zero wage increases. A massive housing bubble. Trillions of dollars in war spending and thousands of American lives lost. A financial collapse. A soaring long-term deficit. Sky-high unemployment. All on their watch and all due to policies they eagerly supported. And worse: ever since the predictable results of their recklessness came crashing down, they've rabidly and nearly unanimously opposed every single attempt to dig ourselves out of the hole they created for us.

But despite the fact that this is all recent history, it's treated like some kind of dreamscape. No one talks about it. Republicans pretend it never happened. Fox News insists that what we need is an even bigger dose of the medicine we got in the aughts, and this is, inexplicably, treated seriously by the rest of the press corps instead of being laughed at. As a result, guys like Marco Rubio have a free hand to insist that Obama — Obama! The guy who rescued the banking system, bailed out GM, and whose worst crime against the rich is a desire to increase their income tax rate 4.6 percentage points! — is a "left-wing strong man" engaged in brutal class warfare against the wealthy. And Rubio does it without blinking. Hell, he probably even believes it.

We are well and truly down the rabbit hole. The party of class warfare for the past 30 years is fighting a war against an empty field and the result has been a rout. I wonder what would happen if the rest of us ever actually started fighting back?

Class warfare, pitting the wealthy against all other Americans, or “producers” against “non-producers” (as Rush Limbaugh puts it), is central to GOP strategy. It dwarfs racial envy, clamping down on women’s reproductive freedom, probably even privatizing services performed by government as a Repub political racket.

Still- although defending the paragons of privilege was his primary aim- Rubio may have had something additional in mind. Consider one of the most famous ditties performed by white conservative Paul Shanklin on Limbaugh’s program back in April, 2007:

Barack the Magic Negro lives in D.C. The L.A. Times they called him that cause he's not authentic like me.

Yeah the guy from the L.A. paper said he made guilty whites feel good they'll vote for him and not for me cause he’s not from da hood.

See, real black men like snoop dogg or me or Farrakhan have talked the talk and walked the walk not come and laid and won (not sure about this line).

Barack the Magic Negro lives in D.C. The L.A. Times they called him that cause he's not authentic like me cause hes black but not authentically.

Barack the Magic Negro lives in D.C. The L.A. Times they called him that cause he's not authentic like me cause hes black but not authentically.

Some say Barack's articulate and bright and new and clean the media sure love this guy a white interloper's dream.

But when you vote for president watch out and don't be fooled don't vote the magic negro in cause...

Shanklin then spoke

Cause I won’t have nothing after all these years of sacrifice and I wont get justice this is about justice this is about justice, buffet, I don't have no buffet there wont be any church contributions there'll be no cash in the collection plate, no cash money, no walkin' around money...

It’s called “Barack, the Magic Negro” and it’s one of Rush’s classic contributions to racial harmony. And for Marco Rubio, it’s not “when is 'change we can believe in' going to begin?” It’s “when does the magic of this president start to happen?”

If you’re like most of the millions of readers of this blog, you wouldn’t have suspected the allusion. If you’re Kevin Drum, a liberal and Class A blogger, you wouldn’t have suspected the allusion. Marco Rubio isn't looking for support from Kevin Drum, me, or most liberals. But, as someone who would like to end up on a Republican national ticket in the next six years, Rubio does care about Rush Limbaugh and his dittoheads. And even if the conservatives worshiping Limbaugh are unaware on the conscious level of the similarity to a (racially-charged) parody they enjoyed, the Florida Senator is now speaking their language.

Happy Independence Day

Su NepriklausomybÄ—s diena


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