Blogs > Liberty and Power > Twin Sons of Different Mothers

Oct 19, 2005 3:27 am


Twin Sons of Different Mothers



I received an e-mail today from a progressive group called True Majority blasting the right wingers in Congress for planned budget cuts to social services. They said this was especially bad in the time of Katrina. As an example the message related to an assumedly horrified audience that, "Right-wing operative Grover Norquist once infamously said he wanted to see our government shrink until he could 'drown it in a bathtub.'" True Majority also provided a link to an article by John Atcheson on the subject which contained Mr. Norquist's wish.

In his generally predictable article complaining about the wealthy favoring influence of K Street Atcheson did manage to make some good points. He told who will really benefit from the Prescription Drug Plan passed in 2003; "The payoff for industry, according to a study by Sager and Socolar of Boston University, is that as much as 61% of Medicare’s costs will be pure profit for the Drug companies, an increase of as much as $139 billion." In addition, Atcheson talked about crony-ladened FEMA and asserted, probably correctly, that recent energy legislation contains $66 billion worth of unnecessary pork.

All well and good, but the piece ultimately irritated me because of the author’s insistence that the sort of wasteful greed described is the sole province of right wing Republicans. He wrote, “The grease that lubricates this new model of government is greed; the fuel that feeds it is money. Lots of it. And overwhelmingly, the hard-line, right-wing conservative branch of the Republican Party are both its architect, and its beneficiary.”

Another article I read today shows just how foolishly biased the above statement is. By Newt Gingrich and Veronique de Rugy it appeared in The Washington Times and informed its readers that the Louisiana congressional delegation headed by Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu is trying to get $250 billion in federal reconstruction funds for their state. The authors provided a long list of items, with enormous price tags, that the money is to be used for. All of them have, at best, a very slight indirect connection with actually helping those in distress and I would be suprised that if the funds were authorized even one percent of the cash ever got to someone who really needed it. They also illustrated the hypocrisy of Senator Landrieu saying that “Louisiana will be rebuilt by Louisianans. New Orleans will be rebuilt by New Orleans" and then demanding everyone else pay for it.

Much gets written these days about the highly partisan political atmosphere with excessive rancor and vicious personal attacks. I think the explanation for this is quite simple, it is because both sides are so very much alike.


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