Us And Them

Rush Limbaugh beats the drum today: it’s not left versus right, it’s establishments versus everyone not them, the “other”. He cites this worthy American Spectator piece by Angelo Codevilla [a must-read]:

When this majority discovered that virtually no one in a position of power in either party or with a national voice would take their objections seriously, that decisions about their money were being made in bipartisan backroom deals with interested parties, and that the laws on these matters were being voted by people who had not read them, the term “political class” came into use. Then, after those in power changed their plans from buying toxic assets to buying up equity in banks and major industries but refused to explain why, when they reasserted their right to decide ad hoc on these and so many other matters, supposing them to be beyond the general public’s understanding, the American people started referring to those in and around government as the “ruling class.” And in fact Republican and Democratic office holders and their retinues show a similar presumption to dominate and fewer differences in tastes, habits, opinions, and sources of income among one another than between both and the rest of the country. They think, look, and act as a class.

This is just a taste of a steak of a piece. Please read the whole thing and then consider this from the Politico:

Overall, the 1,011 people surveyed nationally have a very pessimistic take on the direction of the country.

Only 27 percent believe the country is headed in the right direction, compared with 61 percent who think the nation is on the wrong track. Likewise, when asked whether the national economy is heading down the right or wrong track, just 24 percent chose the right track, compared with65 percent for the wrong track.

Yet among the 227 Washington elites polled, more think the country is on the right track, 49 percent, than the wrong track, 45 percent. On the economy, 44 percent of elites think the country is on the right track, compared with 46 percent who believe it is not.

To qualify as a Washington elite for the poll, respondents must live within the D.C. metro area, earn more than $75,000 per year, have at least a college degree and be involved in the political process or work on key political issues or policy decisions.

Details of the Politco poll here.

Well, of course the D.C. crowd thinks are moving in the right direction. Washington D.C. is positively booming. Government is big business these days. Meanwhile, the country languishes and the Dukes and Dames of DC dole out money at the behest of King Obama. They know better than you who needs what.

And no, Republican leaders are no different. Over at the National Review Online a little reminder of the Republican leadership’s spending proclivities:

Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader, sounds like a reasonable guy when he says that Republicans aren’t against extended unemployment benefits, but merely want them offset with spending cuts elsewhere in the budget. In some circles, that’s the very definition of moderation: I’ll go along with your program, but you have to find the savings.

Don’t buy it.

Here’s the pork-laden McConnell’s conquests for Kentucky:

As you might guess, those appropriations requests are more densely packed with pork than a can of Spam – Kentucky-fried pork, of course. Seems the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant needs $116 million of your money. The Forage Animal Production Unit needs $4 million. The biofuel lobby needs a million dollars to be routed to it through the University of Kentucky. Hopkinsville has a narcotics taskforce with its hand out. Raytheon wants $12 million to put lasers on 20mm Gatling guns in Louisville – which at least sounds kind of awesome, but President Obama thinks they can do it with $6 million instead of $12 million. Somebody wants to buy something called Fern Lake and make a park out of it, but they want you to pay for it – $1.2 million. No, there’s no tab for “Cutting Spending,” but if you add up all the stuff that Senator McConnell lists under FH2011 Appropriations Requests, you come up with just about $600 million. That’s a lot of cash – and that’s just the special-interest stuff he’s advertising on his website, not the big-ticket items. So, let’s do some English-major math here: $600 million in feel-good spending multiplied by 100 U.S. senators equals . . . $60 billion, almost enough to pay for those unemployment benefits Senator McConnell is so keen to fight over – twice.

Of course, the Republicans don’t want to stop with the appropriations because they figure it will give them a disadvantage with Democrats willing to buy votes. So Republicans abandon all principle and give voters no reason to vote for them.

Worse, the big Republican class sees the Tea Party movement a threat to their power rather than an affirmation of REPUBLICAN PARTY PlANKS. Hello, fiscal sanity used to be the raison d’etre of the Republican party. No more. So why should voters vote for pretenders and poseurs?

The current Republican leadership has very nearly destroyed the Republican brand. Voters interested in one thing, economic discipline, are turning to the Tea Party.

Here is a blunt warning to the smarty pants set in D.C.: If the Republican party does not change their ways, there will be a third party. It will not have the Ross Perot effect. In fact, it will draw from the Democrat base, too, because it will be based on cutting the expansion of the Federal government.

That message appeals everywhere because it’s a common-sense message. Right now, the Republican party is being given a last chance. But people still don’t trust them and for good reason.

If Republicans want to regain trust with the American people, here’s some suggestions:

1. The current leadership should resign after the November elections. Both Congressman Boehner and Senator McConnell should issue a mea culpa. They should publicly apologize for their gross mishandling of their leadership. They should say they’re sorry for straying so far from core principles. In recognition of their mistakes, they should step down and give the mantle to leadership. This would save the Republican party and quite possibly go a long ways to restoring public trust in at least one party.

2. Republicans should re-embrace, and enthusiastically, fiscal sanity. They better follow through on their repeal of Obamacare. They should make good on their promise to defund it. In short, they should fulfill their promises.

I’m not sure the Republicans recognize the precarious position they find themselves in at the moment. They’re so concerned about retaining the power structure that is, they don’t recognize the new power structure that will be.

Or maybe they do. Maybe that’s why, when the rubber meets the road, they identify better with Democrats than their constituents. The DC insiders close ranks when threatened. Many of the establishment Republicans don’t just tolerate the Tea Party movement, they hate it. And given a chance, they’ll “co-opt them“.

Them. Us….and them.

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