Monday, August 13, 2012

The Grey Ghost Of Gunboat Diplomacy Sets Course

The Passing of the Ideological Baton from the Radical Right 

  In watching R-money walking the plank in the wrong direction off the USS Wisconsin towards the podium to announce his new first mate, I was reminded that this madman has methods to his madness. R-money, being the chickenhawk that he always has been, was using the metaphoric backdrop of “battleship diplomacy” from our era of corporate colonialism to reinvent and reinforce his image on several levels, thus christening his quest for the position of head of state. I'm surprised that they didn't break out the ritualistic champagne to signify their aristocratic rebirth, but that may have been issued as a rum ration abord "old Wisky"out of public view in a "quiet room", of course. And one can not help but wonder at the irony of choosing an "Iowa class" battleship as a prop, perhaps to make up for "losing" the Iowa caucuses ?

  First, and most dangerously, this professional candidate who has been running for president longer than President Obama has been in office, is sabre rattling visually to illustrate his long standing declaration of intent to act aggressively towards Iran (Tapper 2007). Second, he’s underlining the reaching out to court the military vote (Maze, Tilghman 2012) as he smeared the Obama campaign’s effort to fight against voter suppression nationwide and specifically in the Ohio suit by claiming that the President is attempting to restrict the early voting rights of the active duty military only when he is doing nothing of the kind (Walsh 2012).

  Third, the "HMS Romney" campaign is now indicating that they have set sail on a radically retro right wing course as a matter of policy and party platform. Their  dreadnought drastically guts Medicare, and sounds the alarm for Medicaid by turning it into a state block program (Beutler, Sarlin 2011). It slices the top income tax rate for both individuals and corporations from 35 percent to 25 percent to the lowest since the Hoover administration. President Hoover was the first president to be elected at the time who also had no military experience to speak of, presided over the Great Depression, when "Doolittle" meant something more important and patriotic than the current lame duck Congress, and at a time when battleships were in style. Ryan’s plan meanwhile also proposes to repeal estate taxes, and institute a national sales tax that would likely have the greatest impact on the middle class, in effect throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

  The origin of R-money’s empire also harkens back to the age of gunboat diplomacy, but here, I'm rowing against the tide. How can we expect any of our big gun loving, conservative voting brethren to be concerned in the least about how R-money started Bain Kapital with backing of Latin American death squad funders ? They don't, and they won't. They joyfully back the Teapublican elephant trampling the rights of others such as voter suppression, eliminating women’s reproductive rights, outlawing collective bargaining rights for labor and other regressive policies, all the while whining about how no one is following "the Constitution".

   Meanwhile the rest of the country can go to hell in a hand basket as far as their actual God given rights to pursue their own life, liberty, and the pursuit to happiness are concerned. Constitutional conservatives, my foot, they display an innate inability to read past the 2nd Amendment, much less understand what the Bill of Rights stands for as it was originally intended. A clear conscience is not something they desire to get in the way of their pleasures.

  The uncanny parallel here is that the propertied ruling classes of Latin American have been in power before, during, and since (in some cases because of) becoming relatively free of existing as colonies of US interests, and have been reforming ever so slowly. Now, our own country is headed backwards towards the same system that the so-called "banana republics" had been evolving from. It’s almost as if we were paddling backwards through the Panama Canal. Since Romney believes so deeply in retroactivity, perhaps the DOJ should look at Romney's actions at the time in a new light. I know that Central American legal experts have (Grim, Stangler 2012).

   The Romniac "ghost fleet" of "job creators" could have come to the Camden waterfront and climbed aboard the USS New Jersey if they were truly concerned about affairs foreign and domestic. The USS New Jersey shelled Syrian artillery positions in 1984 which had been firing down into the Christian controlled area of Beirut at that time. But perhaps the "Jersey Barrier" as Gov. Christie is known might have stolen some of the big guns thunder at this venue. Too bad, for they missed the chance to appear as "the loyal opposition" (which in fact the Repugs have never been) and to underscore the sanctions being taken against Syria for killing their own people mercilessly.

  And, if the undynamic duo really cared about investing in America, they might have drawn some attention to the plight of Camden, an inner circle suburb of Philadelphia. Camden was home to the busiest shipyard in the world during WWII, but then what's become known as "Camden Syndrome" and it's subsequent systematic withdrawal of investment capital and other neglect reduced it to the poorest and most segregated shell it is today, emblematic of similar decay both urban and suburban across the nation. But that would be expecting far too much from the selfish power elites represented by R-money who characteristically utilize the methods of vulture capitalism seeking to consolidate everything to serve the 1%.

  Unbeknownst to most, we're becoming serfs to the power elites plutocracy that they have created for us, and are too distracted by the new electronic toys for any serious thought or quest for knowledge to challenge the new order.

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