Republicans: Mainlining on Viciousness

Where Republicans are concerned, their insane “policy positions” aren’t just shockingly out of touch and out of date, not just hypocritical and baseless, not just designed to humiliate President Obama and win the next election, not just a pack of lies and targeted manipulation to trick an uneducated voting base (although they’re all of that and more):  They’re startlingly cruel.

These people – from Mitt Romney to Paul Ryan to Mitch McConnell to John Boehner to Eric Cantor to Steve King to Michele Bachmann to Sarah Palin to, well, I can’t name ’em all – have cruelty on the brain. They don’t like women. They don’t like people of color. They don’t like religions other than some really whacked-out form of “christianity”.  They don’t like female sexuality.  They don’t like children to be fed, families to be provided for, or minorities to be free from discrimination. And they are fully prepared – even gleefully so – to punish anyone they don’t like.

This is more than a conspiracy against the President:  The modern-day Republican politician is proof positive that psychos run in packs.

Take the right’s fearless wanna-be leader, Mitt Romney.  He doesn’t care about the very poor.  Likes to fire people.  Suggests he wouldn’t have signed the Lilly Ledbetter law, hems and haws about the Violence Against Women Act, is against the Dream Act (and, as his campaign finally admitted, would rescind President Obama’s compassionate DHS directive to grant a deportation reprieve to hundreds of thousands of deserving young undocumented immigrants), thinks a good immigration policy is one where we make undocumented immigrants so miserable they “self-deport,” assaulted a presumed gay kid and cut his hair, shuns the restaurant owners who offer their hospitality on the campaign trail, coldly stashed his beloved family pooch on top of his car for a long car trip . . . and those are just off the top of my head, with nary a Google.

This isn’t just politics, my friends. This is the behavior of people who are completely devoid of morality, of compassion, of humanity.  Where their hearts should be are deadened, black holes.

The budget crafted by Romney’s potential veep pick, Paul Ryan, is so bad, so brutal in its elimination of safety nets (so corporations can continue to collect welfare), that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops stepped up, calling the cuts “unjustified and wrong” and “sent letters to Congressional committees urging them to oppose the draconian measures.”  Catholic nuns are also going on the offensive, touring nine states to protest the Republicans’ cuts to food assistance and other critically important social safety nets. In fact, as reported by Think Progress, 62% of the Republican spending cuts are aimed at safety net programs. Republicans support the outsourcing of jobs by financially rewarding the corporations that out-source them, while millions of Americans are without work.

House Republicans are prepared to cavalierly kill almost 2 million transportation jobs so they can have their Keystone Pipeline (which – at best – might create 6,000 temporary jobs).  Since the 1930’s, unemployment benefits were a given – until the current crop of Republican teabaggers started having a say.  Suddenly, a routine matter took on urgency as Republicans decided this benefit was expendable.  They blithely held up extensions of unemployment benefits (twice, three times?  I’ve lost count) and their mission is to slice and dice the already meager benefit.  President Obama took a lot of heat when he refused to force the unemployed off the rolls, and instead agreed to an extension of the Bush tax cuts.  That’s what compassionate people do:  Worry about the people first, and the money second.

Republicans all across the land are passing laws making it legal to stop and frisk people who look darker than lily white – every Middle Easterner is a likely terrorist, to be treated with distrust and condemnation.  Republicans all across the land are passing punitive laws against undocumented immigrants, including denying them the right to get running water or electricity in their households.  Republicans all across the land are finding new and more creative ways to be merciless, including – in some instances – attempting to pass laws that make it illegal for those on assistance to carry more than $20 in cash, or requiring that a probe be shoved up a woman’s vagina prior to an abortion.  Republicans across the land – in South Dakota, in Texas, and the most recent being in Iowa – are willing to give up Medicaid funding to avoid allowing abortions, even for rape or incest, directly violating the Hyde Amendment and causing untold suffering for women who need Medicaid funding for basic healthcare.  Republicans all across the land are carving out legislation that eliminates  Planned Parenthood and, simultaneously, poor womens’ access to healthcare, that allows doctors to lie to female patients without consequence, that criminalizes both women and their doctors over a legal abortion.  Republicans all across the land are happy throwbacks to a time when women died in childbirth, when women died from self-induced abortions, when women had to have a man’s permission to undergo a medical procedure.  House Republicans were prepared to pass a law that would let women die – literally die – rather than allow a hospital to administer any abortion-related procedure.  Republicans, within their legislation, sadistically require that women view flicks of aborted fetuses or ultrasounds of the fetus they intend to abort in order to exercise their adult right to have a simple, legal medical procedure.  The medical profession’s consensus of 22 weeks for viability has been reduced to 20 and below.  Waiting periods are longer, requirements are more stringent, and suffering women aren’t a blip on any Republican’s radar.

Every mainstream Republican candidate since Day One has vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which provides critical healthcare to millions of uninsured people. Every mainstream Republican presidential candidate since Day One has vowed to do everything in their power to make abortion impossible, if not outright illegal.  Every mainstream Republican presidential candidate since Day One has participated in the war on education, the war on unions, the war on women, the war on the working class, the war on the poor, the war on people of color, the war on undocumented immigrants.  The witch hunt against Planned Parenthood – a source of healthcare for millions of people – has been endless and, in many cases, successful.

I’m no psychologist or psychiatrist or criminologist, but in my mind there’s no explanation for such blatant, remorseless brutality except mass psychosis.  The Republicans we are now watching with horror feed off each others’ callousness, feel no empathy for those who fall victim to their abusive legislation, are scornful of those in need and utterly depraved when it comes to being mindful of the needs of women.  I was less shocked at the face-eating cannibal than I am at some of the Republicans proposals.

There’s no excuse for what Republicans are engaged in – and no explanation except one:  Republicans are mainlining on viciousness.


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