Why did the right become so hypocritical?
By Raymond Freeman 03/28/2013
I bet money on President Obama’s re-election. In London he was the “favourite.” I bet six pounds and got 8.67 back. Yes, I gambled six pounds to win 2.67. It was a safe bet. The final odds quoted by Ladbrokes, the big bookies, were Obama 1-14 on; Romney 7-1 against.
Here’s the interesting thing. Hang on to your hat. Those odds factor in Republican slime, lies, corruption, dirty tricks, gerrymandering, push polls, super PACs, voter roll purges, registrations junked, ballots “lost,” voter ID hurdles, voter intimidation, long lines, vote theft by rigged machines, partisan officials, goon squads, recounts stopped, Supreme Court corruption, etc., etc., as far as possible. The British aren’t perfect, but they’re appalled at the lack of integrity of Republicans. The Germans aren’t perfect, but Der Spiegel magazine is astounded at the “absurd level of hatred” in American politics.
By a curious coincidence, in the last election all of the scare tactics about vote fraud were in red states. By a curious coincidence, all of the remedies for this nonexistent problem had the effect of making it harder for Democrats to register and vote. A lady of 90 who’d been voting all her life was turned away. By a curious coincidence, she was a Democrat.
When presidential elections happen in the swing states of Florida and Ohio, they run into difficulties only in Democratic precincts, by a curious coincidence. Waiting in long lines for hours afflicts only Democrats. When Republican voters are interviewed, they see no problem. Voting is a breeze for them, by a curious coincidence.
The Republicans control the House of Representatives only by expert gerrymandering. They got only 45 percent of the vote, but have 55 percent of the seats. Their toxic policies wouldn’t survive fair elections. By rights, Democrats should control all both houses of Congress.
So is the GOP planning on making its policies more popular and less damaging? Giving up positions on abortion and contraception opposed by 70 percent of the country? Making life easier for women? Tolerating gays? Praising the pittance that is minimum wage? Making small tweaks to Social Security and Medicare for their long-term stability? Ending the tax breaks that encourage the outsourcing of American jobs? Cutting huge tax breaks for enormously profitable corporations? Ending socialism for the rich?
Good heavens, no. They’re planning more gerrymandering. They figured out ages ago that their base wants them to play dirty, that most voters just don’t pay attention (I know, I didn’t myself, once), and that they can get away with stealing elections in broad daylight without riots in the streets. Bush Junior stole two elections, with help from electronic vote-hacking without any paper trail (courtesy of Ohio’s Republican governor), goon squads in Florida and the Supreme Court’s Republican 5-4 majority.
The latest Republican trick involves changing how Electoral College votes are awarded. They won’t be awarded statewide. They’ll be based on the votes inside Congressional Districts. The result will be more votes for the Republican candidate. But will this be in all 24 Republican-controlled states? Good heavens, no: only six. Those six are the only red states where Barack Obama won the election in 2012, by a curious coincidence. Corruption? Remember, it’s corruption only if it happens in a Third World country. We’re that shining city on the hill. Anyone saying Republicans have made America into a toxic city in a swamp is silenced as being unpatriotic.
Under this sneaky little wheeze, Mitt Romney would have defeated Barack Obama for President despite losing the popular vote by more than 5 million voters. So why isn’t there outrage over this? Isn’t America supposed to be a democratic beacon of wonderful purity for the entire world? And didn’t we go into Iraq selflessly, nobly, at huge expense in blood and treasure, ignoring all that oil, purely to spread democracy?
The GOP couldn’t give an Iraqi fig about democracy. And yet there’s no outrage due to this straight hypocrisy. It wouldn’t be so bad if Republicans didn’t lecture everyone on religious purity. Just remember, hypocrisy was the human weakness most despised by Christ.
Nobody could describe Barry Goldwater as a moderate in the 1960s, but he saw this coming. He said, “Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know. I’ve tried to deal with them.”
Please, somebody, explain to me why (a) the Pharisees of the Right became so hypocritical and (b) have been getting away with it for so long.
Raymond Freeman is a retired banker, a former lawyer and a Democratic delegate for the 44th California Assembly District. His goal is to penetrate the obscurity surrounding economic, financial and political matters, so that the average reader will find this new column interesting and informative. Sharper Focus, VCReporter’s newest column, will be featured every other week.