Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Maintaining equilibrium

I'm still dealing with the termite situation--getting quotes and treatment options, wondering if they've really been lurking in my house for two years now, trying not to picture that in a creepy-flashback-to-the-X-files sort of way, etc.

But don't miss this terrific post by Mark Shea today over at Inside Catholic:

They. Don't. Care. Sure, there are a few serious pro-life GOP members in Congress. But the proof is in the pudding. For 30 years, the bulk of Stupid Evil party policy and practice has made it clear that pro-lifers are useful, not respected. For 30 years, Stupid Evil Party Presidents have phoned it in on Roe v. Wade Day, not wanting to actually be seen with us. For 30 years, both parties have maintained a sort of equilibrium that has been an archetypal Hegelian Mambo, which sees the slow and steady erosion of concern for human life and the family, while the Stupid Evil Party continues to take our vote and slowly sell us down the river.

Why? Because the principal concern of both parties is not the common good, but their own increase of power and wealth. We are the necessary apparatus that the Constitution (that increasingly irrelevant document) forces our ruling classes to use to obtain that goal (and there are strong signs that an increasing number of our rulers itch to find a way to trample that obstacle down once and for all). Yet still we go on trusting them as they plunge us into world historical levels of debt, continue and expand our wars of Empire, and give not one thought to the prospect that one way to reduce our gigantic load of debt is to, for instance, stop maintaining a huge military presence in more than a hundred countries which it is not our business to police. World War II and the Korean War have been over for quite some time. The Soviet Union is gone. Why, then, does the Party of Family Values not oppose President Barack Obama's nation-building experiments by bringing troops home to raise their families? Because only a sucker believes that either party cares about families. [...]

We live already in a plutocracy, as President Obama made clear a couple of days ago when he surveyed the hoi polloi with his cool eye of imperial regard, informed us that he remembered what it was like to pump gas, and told us to get used to sacrificing for the regime. We learn the same thing every time some wag notes that nobody in the ruling class ever has to balance their own checkbook. We are learning it as Congress shaves a microscopic sliver off the mountain of debt they are bequeathing our children and then turns to us and seriously expects us to applaud their largesse. We have a fabulously rich ruling class that is, as rich and powerful people always are, radically out of touch with reality (since one of the chief functions of wealth is to shield the fallen human soul from the consequences of its actions). It is no wonder that this class is also fundamentally supportive of abortion and always will be: after all, abortion is all about making somebody else pay for our bad choices -- which is all our Ruling Class does. [Links and emphasis in original--E.M.]

Do read the whole thing.

When I posted about the budget battle here last week, a commenter's solution was that we should tax the hell out of the rich. One problem with that idea is that the very people who would have to vote for such a tax are themselves members of the rich ruling class, and even if they could be so altruistic as to vote to hose themselves, they surely would not accept the ostracizing and exclusion that would come with championing something that their kind would universally oppose, decry and deplore. Another problem, of course, is that the rich would simply turn around and tax shelter and lawyer the hell up, so that the proposed taxes on the "rich" would trickle down to the working family of four making $60,000 a year--who would still seem plenty "rich" enough to those at poverty level.

No, the ruling class would rather eliminate enough of those working class and poverty level people so that they don't ever have to condone an increase of taxes they already see as far too high on their wealth (even with the tax shelters and trust funds). Abortion is a pretty efficient way to get rid of whole swaths of society which are likely to grow up to be needy, dependent, or criminal; why, Freakonomics says so.

Which is why the two parties maintain their equilibrium on abortion, with the Democrats insisting that it's a terrible, horrible, awful, thing that should be a personal and private decision and totally legal, and with Republicans insisting that it's a terrible, horrible, awful thing that should only be legal when it involves children conceived in rape, or incest, or as IVF leftovers, or in various other instances when the question of the morality of killing the unborn must give way to political expedience or potentially lucrative medical research. Except for the pro-choice Republicans, who agree with the Democrats that killing unborn children is truly nasty and horrible but really, really important for women anyway, because what American mothers need most is the unfettered ability to kill their unborn kids, preferably with government funding available to ease the inconvenience of it all.

We don't really have two political parties in America anymore. We have the right and left talons of the same rapacious eagle, intent on growing its own power by confiscatory taxation and the funding of things we don't need and can't afford, let alone of those things intrinsically evil and disgusting to anyone of decent morality. And we ignore this reality to our detriment.


The Sicilian said...

Your last paragraph sums up, more or less, the reason I haven't voted in 10 years and have no plans to, for the foreseeable future. I have zero trust in elected officials and "the System." Of course, when people

Oddly enough, a professor I knew, a left winger and a social activist, didn't vote in the 2008 presidential election, either. I was shocked that he didn't vote for Obama, but he said just what you said - there was no difference between the two parties. Three people, three different political views (conservative, a notch to the right, and liberal), same general opinion of the two parties.

Anonymous said...

I don't know where else to write this, so I will write it here, and you can delete it as you choose. I would love to hear your take on the J. Crew ad with the little boy with the pink nail polish on his toes.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more about our Oligarchy.

The taxes that need raising are primarily corporate taxes, which are at their lowest level in 60 years. (You've heard about GE essentially having a negative tax rate last year?)

Also, there are not enough super rich people to vote down their own tax cuts. That's why they have to manipulate the emotions of working people.

Our governor, born rich, wanted to temporarily raise the top state tax rate so those with taxable incomes (that is, after all deductions and exemptions) of $100,000 and up would pay an average of an additional $138 (roughly) dollars per year. You'd have thought he was seizing their summer lake homes.

The upper classes have never had trouble obtaining abortions when they wanted them. I don't think they are clever enough to want to kill the under class - that's a weird academic construction. They just don't see the value in those lives any more than they do of their own daughters' unseemly pregnancies to the "wrong" kind of man.


Siarlys Jenkins said...

As someone who was taught by my Republican pro-choice mother how to balance a check-book, I would suggest that those Republican politicans who mouth pro-life rhetoric got into the habit in the first place as a matter of pure political opportunism. The reason it hasn't worked for them is, there is no majority in support of restoring criminal penalties for abortion.

Pro-life Democrats, although they mostly also know the limits of what they can accomplish, are at least taking a stand out of sincere principle, since it's not exactly popular with their party leadership.

I'll take a pro-life Democrat who supports a $10 an hour minimum wage and a 50% tax on income over $1 million any day, over a pro-choice Republican who wants to repeal the National Labor Relations Act and force us to invest the social security trust fund in the stock market.

If by "they don't care" some reference is being made to the fact that a budget bill was passed at the last minute... making Planned Parenthood a sticking point in THAT process makes as much sense as any other earmark stuck into a budget bill.

It belongs in a straight-up stand-along debate on the merits of funding Planned Parenthood. It is not a question for which the entire federal budget should be held hostage.

Somehow, we balanced our national budget in 1999 and 2000, and went back into deficit spending in 2001. That's where all discussion of fiscal prudence needs to begin.

I used to refrain from voting. I finally realized that if some sort of revolution is not on the horizon to deliver us from the evil system, which brand of ambition rules us does make a difference. Al Gore could hardly have avoided a sharp attack on Afghanistan in 2001-2002, but he would have kept it to six months and then got out before we spread the contagion to Pakistan.

Barack Obama is not doing exactly what I would do if I ran the zoo, but the available challengers would have to stand on a soap box to sock him in the knee. (I cleaned that one up for a family-oriented web site).

Anonymous said...

0 democrats voted to defund PP
42 republicans voted to defund PP

Red & Shea still pitch the same nonsense about how both parties are equally bad.

Red Cardigan said...

Five Republicans voted with the Democrats, Anonymous. The Republicans knew they would. They knew this vote would not pass outside the context of a budget battle.

Your point?

Siarlys Jenkins said...

I haven't followed the procedural votes closely, but the above posts suggest that 42 Republicans voted for an amendment to the budget bill, which would have deleted funding for Planned Parenthood, then on the final vote for the entire budget, enough Republicans joined in passing a compromise budget, that the opportunity to stonewall the entire budget over this one issue was lost.

That, in my seldom humble opinon, is as it should be. The 42 votes for the amendment were sincere, and the resigned decision by a handful that the country needed a budget was also sincere.

I admire the statement of the new conservative Republican congressman from Michigan (I can't recall his name right now) who said he thought it unconstitutional to single out a specific organization for defunding, although he would vote for a more general decision to halt funding of a wide variety of organizations, on the grounds that tax money should not be funding them, categorically, whatever the cause.