Wednesday, March 30, 2011

They call it "Class War"

They call it class war only when we fight back.

In the months since I last saw fit to open my yap on this here soapbox, the political landscape has been rocked by classic Republican over-reach. I've been poked and prodded by friend and enemy alike, urged to spew forth some wit and wisdom, some nugget of insight on what was happening, as if I had some expertise or inside scoop, instead of just rank speculation and opinion.

Anyhow, quite simply, the GOP, for years, have sold themselves as limited government types, which is popular in the boonies amongst the meth lab, dog- and cock-fighting, and copper-still types, who prefer to be left alone for obvious reasons.

Yet, in practice, they've proven to be as beholden to the leviathan as their Democractic colleagues to shove their ultra-extremist culture wars down our throats. With so many examples of their hypocritical, fascist behavior coming to the fore, it has simply been quite hard for this here redneck to concentrate on just one case when there were so many examples to point out.

So, I leave it to a New York liberal named Rachel Maddow (whom I crush on despite the obvious barriers) to come up with a perfect 11-minute dissection of the Republican "small government" myth:

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I don't blame my teabagging brothers and sisters for falling prey to this myth -- they've been sold a raw deal based on a lifetime of fear and uncertainty.

Whether they be manipulated to fear shadows after 9/11, or to mistrust an American-born President with a foreign-sounding name (in a country built by immigrants, we're all kinda foreign-sounding!), they've been expertly duped by billionaires and their proxies -- it keeps the poor saps distracted, keeps them fearing their neighbors more than the corporate executive who is the REAL danger to their lives and livelihoods.

And, let's take a moment to remember the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, which claimed the lives of 146 garment workers -- 129 women and 17 men -- who died from the fire or jumped to their deaths on 25 March 1911, just 100 years ago.

Weeks before, many of the workers -- mostly young, mostly recently-immigrated -- had tried to organise for better working conditions in the factory, and had been beaten and arrested by the cops, who, like now, served to protect the rich from the poor. The factory owners -- captains of industry who made millions off the labor of these poor women -- refused to provide a safe working environment in favor of more profits, and 146 people lost their lives to greed as a result.

The tragedy inflamed public passions and jump-started the American labor movement. Industry, unwilling to provide labor with a sliver of the wealth it had created, was forced to reluctantly bend slightly, giving workers the barest crumbs of benefits, benefits they've sought to take back piece by piece over the years.

And just 100 years later, the Republicans in Congress and in statehouses across the country seek to destroy organised labor -- which would have died an inglorious death on its own if left to its own devices -- at the behest of billionaires. And just as the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire jump-started the American labor movement, so to the Republican/Corporate fascist over-reach will revive the American labor movement.

To that, I gotta give thanks to them short-sighted sumbeaches who done more for organised labor in a few short months than 100 years of shop-floor organising.

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