Republicans Promise A Free Lunch

Right wingers love to talk about being fiscally conservative, but what they are really concerned about is avoiding taxes regardless of what needs to be spent to maintain the infrastructure of this country. They are even willing to look past wasteful spending by Republicans as long as they borrow the money instead of increasing taxes. Bob Herbert points out how the Republicans are the party of the free lunch:

The Republican Party is not simply the “just-say-no” party. It’s also a shameless advocate of the free lunch. Ronald Reagan famously told us he could jack up defense spending, cut taxes and balance the federal budget all at the same time.

George W. Bush put two big wars on a credit card. And now we have the perennially clownish Newt Gingrich, in an embarrassing rant against President Obama, assuring the deluded G.O.P. faithful that, yes, the party can indeed bring down the federal deficit while cutting taxes.

The Great Recession and the debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan have not been savage enough to reintroduce the G.O.P. to reality.

The right wing noise machine does a tremendous job of shielding their followers from the reality as they are oblivious to the fact that the deficit is primarily the fault of George Bush, not Barack Obama–who has a far record for cutting spending than the Republicans. Many also falsely believe that Obama raised their taxes when he actually cut their taxes.

The right wing puts a tremendous amount of money into paying people to spread the party line, often in the guise of “think tanks.” There are some organizations which do try to counter right wing misinformation. Herbert devotes a large portion of his column to reporting on an organization which I have not heard much about, but perhaps should look into further:

The liberal or progressive community was slow to counter the remarkable effectiveness of this intellectual offensive from the right. But during the 1990s and into the early-2000s, that began to change. And one of the progressive organizations that has done a really good job (but has never been particularly well known) is about to celebrate its 10th anniversary.

Demos, headquartered in New York City, grew out of a series of meetings of scholars, activists, journalists and elected officials who were concerned about the ever-increasing influence of the right on public policy. “The thinking was that there should be more moderate, liberal and left-of-center voices,” said Miles Rapoport, the group’s president. The group was formed in 2000, a year that would later see the disputed election that gave the presidency to Mr. Bush.

One of the problems with making taxes even more unpopular than they would naturally be is that this makes it difficult to raise money on necessary infrastructure. Conservatives often see themselves as succeeding purely based upon their own efforts without acknowledging the necessary infrastructure which makes economic success possible. Last night Kos was joking on Twitter:

Why do teabagger use gov’t created internet? They should stick to private one. What was it called? Oh yeah. AOL. How’d that work out?

You government hating cons, gotta stick with (old school) AOL, Prodigy, or Compuserve. Otherwise, you’re a hypocrite.

Of course conservatives will continue to use the government created internet and go along with all the government programs which help them, or which they desire such as the Iraq war, as long as they think they can get away with getting a free lunch.


  1. 1
    sam says:

    It is so wrong to use the word teabagger. Do you even know what that means? If you have any respect for the people in this country with a view point different from yours who join the tea party you will edit your post to remove this offensive term. And they talk about the right using hateful rhetoric. Lets take a look at the hypocrisy there why don’t we.

    If you are at all interested in reaching people who maybe don’t share your view point it would be to your benefit to stop using this terminology. It would serve the people on the right and in the tea party better to not use this type of rhetoric as well. How about a debate using facts and reasoning instead of soundbites and rhetoric?

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:


    It was members of the tea party movement who first used the term teabagger to refer to themselves. The term teabaggers has been used by teabaggers to describe themselves and therefore there is nothing wrong with using one of their own names in a post referring to them. On the other hand, how many of them intentionally follow the Republican rhetoric of referring to the Democratic Party as the Democrat Party?

    I know this might be too complicated a concept for conservatives, but it really is possible for a word to have more than one meaning, and for most people to figure out which meaning is being used from the context. I also know conservatives thrive on censoring the work of others, but your logic could be used to protest a wide variety of writings considering number of words which are used as sexual euphemisms in addition to their other meanings.

    If you are interested in “facts and reasoning” just follow the multiple links in the post. If you think that this is about “soundbites and rhetoric” as opposed to “facts and reasoning” you are just ignoring the facts. You might pay more attention to the facts rather than raising lame arguments such as this.

  3. 3
    sam says:

    So if I am following your logic correctly it is ok for anyone to use a word that someone in a particular group uses to describe that group? I could use the “n” word to describe african-americans and that would be ok because some of them use it to describe themselves.

    I am fully aware of the fact that words have multiple meanings but when one of those meanings is derogatory it is typical in the politically correct world to attempt to use a different word. I am not about censorship and I believe that people should be able to express themselves with freedom. I do believe however that the word teabagger – whether it originated with a member of the tea party or not – still has an offensive connotation and should not be used by either side to describe members of the tea part movement.

    I just wanted to be clear – I don’t think your post is about “soundbites and rhetoric” – I just think that a lot of people use that when they don’t have facts to back up their argument.

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    Your example is not really analogous. The “n” word you describe is intentionally used in a derogatory manner (even if there are some exceptions when African Americans use it among themselves).

    Nobody is suggesting that the sexual meaning of teabaggers refers to the politically oriented ones. It is simply used because “members of the tea party movement” is too long an expression to repeatedly use in posts, with members of the movement also using this.

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