The Big Stench Party

For its incorporation and inclusion of so many diverse segments of the population, the Democratic Party has earned its reputation as the party of the big tent. But to be fair, the Republican Party, based on the conspicuous biliousness animating so much of what it does and what it seeks to do must be designated the party of the Big Stench.  I don’t know what else to call that much toxic resentment and animus concentrated in a single place.

One can gather a healthy aggregation of examples of such vile aggression just from today’s newspaper reporting alone. First in the lineup is old favorite, reactionary harridan Jan Brewer of Arizona who declared today she is off to the Supreme Court again after other federal courts have nixed the policy she helped advance and then signed into law in Arizona stripping gays and lesbians of state domestic partner benefits.  Apparently in Brewer’s and Arizona’s case, enacting laws such as those later copied by Mississippi and Alabama and others designed to harass undocumented workers and to create such pervasive ethnic profiling as to drive Latinos out of their states did not sufficiently sate the urges to project venom. Anyone who really believes the origin of these gratuitously punitive measures is anything other than utter and naked animosity, much of it racial, needs to stand in the corner several hours wearing the dunce cap.

Speaking of gratuitously punitive measures, North Carolina has been on something of a roll of late. Earlier it was Republican engineering of a constitutional amendment restricting the right to marry to heterosexuals, an amendment whose only point was to administer a kick in the ribs to gays purely for the nasty fun of it given that North Carolina already had committed the same marriage restrictions to the books through legislation. North Carolina Republicans also, getting in on the new right-wing fad of razing Planned Parenthood went above and beyond the call of rancid when, after courts disallowed them from simply banning funds to Planned Parenthood banned all “private” contractors from receiving state funding for contraception. I’ll say this for Republicans’ bitterness and anger: one can’t accuse Republicans of holding it all inside or failing to emotionally share.

Out of the same cauldron of irrational animus and dangerous fanaticism Indiana Republicans passed themselves a law in 2011 denying Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood. Today’s news brought word that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have blocked it, at least temporarily. But again, the bounds of Republican extremism being vast in every area it touches, the right’s antagonism to the right to choose, and its antagonism toward Planned Parenthood for providing abortion services dictates that in defiance of rational analysis the organization must be extinguished from the face of the Earth entirely, no matter that abortions are 3% of all the organization’s services, that millions upon millions of women depend upon this organization for basic health care, that funding for abortion services is entirely separate, and most importantly, that there are literally life and death consequences for millions of flesh and blood human beings.

Also today we learn that House Republicans this week are finalizing their plan to reduce spending on the year’s farm bill, with 45% of that reduction coming from the food stamp program of course. Two to three million will lose their food assistance should this version of the bill become law, including 280,000 children in the same households who will lose their eligibility for free school lunches.  It’s a vengeful and cold “philosophy” that invariably targets the weak and vulnerable first, reflecting after such a long history of doing so nothing less than pure contempt for these unfortunate souls. Today came the announcement that Texas, the largest red state of them all will sacrifice millions of its citizens on the altar of zealous ideological purity, rejecting the expansion of Medicaid (in other words health insurance and health care) for millions, though the federal government provides all of the funding for this expansion for a full three years. I suppose it was about as predictable as cow pies in Texas that every Republican clown sitting in a governor’s mansion would rush to a megaphone as fast as his cloven hooves would carry him to proclaim his silly act of spite, the lives and health of actual human beings as forgettable, as absent a priority for these foolish ideological conformists as ever.

It’s a clue perhaps, but certainly not entirely necessary to be aware of the pervasive and persistent penchant for invective, slander and epithets from the Fox-Limbaugh Axis to the standard Republican blog, activist or politico to understand this is a segment of the body politic animated primarily by contempt for other Americans, as motivated by sheer hostility and resentment as any masking “principle”. Indeed, the case is strong for a conclusion that Republican tax policies and unashamed commitment to perpetuated or worsened income and wealth disparity, a new affection for castes and de-facto aristocracy isn’t simply bad and ineffective economics, it’s nearly biblically venal. Combine this with the mendacity it requires to pervasively misrepresent economic and other facts (death panels anyone), to deny material reality in favor of utopian ideological (the rest of us would say dystopian) economic models and this isn’t a “philosophy” in operation, it’s barely concealed and increasingly unconcealed animus under a single ideological umbrella, representing a fetid aggregation of resentment, prejudices and hostilities.

I would respectfully suggest that anyone accepting the philosophical pretenses of this seething crowd has far too much Pollyanna in them for their own safety. What’s called for is a magnificent dose of air freshener aimed directly at the party of the big stench, in the form of millions voting against the party’s relentlessly bonkers and odiferous candidates. And whatever else it takes to kill the smell.

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