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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Yet Another Movement Republican Manifesto Champions Demolition Misconstrued As Restoration

Excerpts, offered up without comment, from a fine piece by Isaiah J. Pool over at the Blog for Our Future:
[C]onservative leaders released a statement early Wednesday asserting a recommitment to “the ideas of America’s founding.” …

[The] declaration is called “The Mount Vernon Statement,” and therein lies the first problem. The group, convened by Edwin Meese III -- the attorney general under Reagan -- met in a library that was a part of the Mount Vernon estate of George Washington, an estate that by the time Washington died was the residence of 316 slaves, according to this official account. The conveners saw no irony in this as, across the Potomac River, the nation’s first African-American president is under political assault by a renegade right-wing movement with an embedded contingent of white supremacists…

[T]he real fundamental problem with the Mount Vernon Statement is that it is out of touch with the founding ideas that it says it wants to reclaim and the America that is striving to embody those ideas…

[I]t is conservatives who have done the most in recent years to subvert the limits of the Constitution -- the people who have by their actions, as the Mount Vernon Statement puts it, “dismissed” the Constitution as “obsolete and irrelevant.” It has been conservative presidents who have taken it upon themselves to wage war, bypassing Section 8 of the Constitution that reserves that power to Congress alone. It has been conservative politicians who have used the fear of terrorism to sweep away due process for the accused and privacy protections for the non-accused. It is conservatives today who forged and now champion a Supreme Court ruling that gives corporations a virtually untrammeled ability to shout down ordinary citizens and render their right to redress their grievances before government ineffectual.

The conservative economic policies that took force with Ronald Reagan and bore full fruit under George W. Bush has given us gargantuan financial institutions living off the federal dole (and executives reaping multimillion-dollar bonuses) and scorn for families down on their luck who need food stamps to keep from going hungry. Conservative deregulatory mania allowed lead-poisoned toys into our children’s rooms and salmonella-tainted food into our kitchens, and it enabled robber-baron banksters to nearly topple the economy with their greed. Conservative policies resulted in middle-class families losing ground in real terms during the 2000s while an ever-growing share of the nation’s wealth went to a shrinking percentage of people at the very top. Conservatives sold corporate tax cuts as the sure way to spur investment that would create jobs; the reality is jobs shipped overseas and an America starved of the revenue it needs to properly invest in its infrastructure and people so it can compete with such countries as China, which is building the base for business prosperity that conservatives say our government cannot now afford….

[B]ehind the raucous and disheveled teabag rebellion will be a disciplined, purpose-driven conservative movement that will do what it has done for the past three decades: work to keep government in the service of the wealthy while keeping working people at bay, all the while wrapping itself in the flag and the founders.

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