Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas is That Time of Year...

...when Republicans and corporations think of themselves and each other. People more often than not get laid off at Christmas while their former company's executives receive huge bonus checks. People tend to get evicted around Christmas, as if the most uncharitable and unconscionable elements of society save their worst for the worst time of the year.

The Republican Party is just such a case. Out of 42 Republicans in the Senate, only one, Sam Brownback of Kansas, voted for the Zadroga bill that would free up to $7.4 billion for 911 first responders. Every one of the other 41 Republicans in the Senate voted against it while prioritizing two major tax cuts for the wealthy plus the undermining of Social Security. As with DADT, START, the DREAM Act and an unemployment extension, the Republicans nakedly held up all other legislation until they got their tax cuts for the most undeserving scumbags on the planet earth.

But now that they got what they wanted yesterday, they're saying they don't have time to vote on the Zadroga bill. Jon Kyl of Arizona said it would be disrespectful on the holiest holiday in all the Christian world to work between Christmas and New Year's. Harry Reid wanted to work during that week to enact this legislation, which has already passed in the House with some bipartisan support.

But Senate Republicans like Kyl think it's more Christian to take a week or so off to drink egg nog and give and receive expensive presents instead of completing the legislative process to make this seven billion in 911 first responders' aid available.

As Jon Stewart pointed out on this year's last broadcast of The Daily Show, the three dinosaur networks dropped the ball on this and hadn't covered the Zadroga bill in 2 1/2 months. Fox "News", to its credit, excoriated the Senate for holding up the bill but failed to mention it was completely the fault of the Republican Party (Majority Leader Harry Reid was the only Democrat to vote against the bill but that was for purely procedural reasons. He simply didn't want to let the bill die).

Furthermore, Stewart reminds us the only other network to devote any serious time to the Zadroga bill of late is Al Jazeera. Yes, an Arabic television news network that's sympathetic to al Qaeda is also more sympathetic to the plight of ill and dying 911 responders than the Republican Party and Fox "News."

Welcome to the rabbit hole.

It's not very often that you see a party that so thoroughly implodes its value system so soon after a major series of victories. The Republicans haven't even taken control of the House yet and they're already proving to America, even Tea Baggers, what a horrible, horrible idea it was to give them the majority in the lower chamber and near parity in the higher. People who voted Republican last month, if they're not already, will be experiencing not just buyer's remorse but sticker shock. They bought a car that will take itself where ever it wants but its owner nowhere.

They've brazenly held 911 first responders' aid to languish, filibustering the bill virtually into a legislative coma. They've blocked the repeal of DADT. They've blocked START. They've blocked The DREAM Act. They'd blocked unemployment extensions for people who've been out of work for more than 6 months.

But they sure moved fast and furious on those tax cuts for the wealthiest 2%, even though the Democratic Congress and President Obama were still willing to give those tax cuts to the "bottom" 98%. That wasn't good enough. Our government and our neediest citizens were essentially in a barricade hostage situation so a handful of billionaires and multimillionaires could resume getting money they can't possibly need.

And you have the Republican Party to thank for that, a party that never learns, a party that can't even define shame since it's not in their lexicon, a party that will always have ass-backwards priorities, a party that never tires of using 911 for partisan political gain until it comes time to cash that $7.4 billion check they write with their big mouths.

Merry Xmas, America, and thanks for the gift of the Republican Party, the gift that keeps on taking and taking and taking.

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