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The Expansionist
Sunday, December 02, 2012
 
The Republican Bubble/Echo Chamber
A friend I discuss politics with, mostly by email, is convinced that the Republicans will have to stop their obstuctionism of the past four years because of their losses in the November election. He is aware of the "bubble" in which Republicans and Tea Partiers live, but thinks that it must have been penetrated by the election, so they will have to give in now.
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Unfortunately, I suspect that people who think that, have absolutely no idea how deluded the Rich and their Radical Right servants are. Mitt Romney thought he could refuse to release his tax records, refuse to appear on Leno and Letterman, and answer only questions he liked, without paying any political price, but sailing to triumph on November 6th. Newt Gingrich was as astonished as Romney and other Republicans when their delusions were exploded by the vote tallies. But the walls of the Republican bubble have remained intact, and Republicans STILL insist, against evidence, on believing that the people WANT them to obstruct the people's business.
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They say, "Hey, we retained control of the House of Representatives, so the people are with us 100%" (and want us to continue to keep anything at all that the Radical Right doesn't want, from being enacted). "We have a mandate to resist everything the Democrats want for another two years."
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There is no recall for Congress, so there is absolutely nothing the President, Senate, or even the voters in their district can do to make Republicans behave responsibly and in bipartisan fashion. That is what Republicans think. And that, alas, is the state of the law. Republicans cannot LEGALLY be forced to serve the public.
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What possesses Republicans to be so completely unconscious of reality? Well, it's the nature of the bubble they live inside, whose walls reflect sound back at them in great repetition of echoes from one part of the circular wall to another to another to another, back and forth around them. Every utterance from the Radical Right is amplified and repeated so it sounds like a thousand, 10,000, a MILLION voices of defiance and reassurance that what they are doing is what the voters want. But each of those pitiful utterances is only ONE voice of irration, and all the RadRite voices put together don't amount to a hill of beans in the real world.
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The other point about the Republican bubble is that only voices of agreement can get thru. It is a magic bubble with walls that look transparent, but actually screen out anything that doesn't agree with the PREJUDICES of the Republicans within. And, once within, every selective image is bounced all around the inside of the bubble, in a dazzling wall of distraction from reality. The writings and videos and talk-radio voices that are selectively allowed in are reflected and echoed and amplified and magnified so that all that the people inside the bubble can hear or see says "Look, you're Right! Everywhere you look, you see that you are Right! Elections mean nothing. You are Right!"
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What can burst that bubble? Violence.
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It is a truism of political science that when governments do not provide an outlet for people to effect change thru elections (ballots), many people will be tempted to resort to violence ("bullets" — or bombs, bayonets, knives, poison, or whatever else is at hand). Today's Republicans do not believe for an instant that Liberals (or "Leftists", as the Radical Right likes to recast things) have the stomach for violent revolution, nor even targeted assassinations, to overcome the refusal of Republicans to accept that they have been repudiated by the people, so need to do the people's bidding, and cooperate with Democrats to solve national problems.
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This seems an interesting take. Why wouldn't Liberals kill their recalcitrant and unrelenting foes? Is it because they are cowards? That is doubtless what Republicans think.
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Or is it that key Liberal doctrines are "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" and "Violence solves nothing"?
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Plainly, as a matter of historical fact, violence solves a lot of things. Let's take two examples, the U.S. Civil War and World War II. In the Civil War, violence held the Union together and ended (legal) slavery. It is the cessation of Federal violence in the post-Reconstruction South that permitted the reimposition of slavery, in forms like peonage, sharecropping, and Jim Crow segregation and suppression of voting.
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In World War II, Mussolini and Hitler were not talked out of their mad plans. They were killed, along with their co-conspirators, and that alone ended Fascism and Nazism.
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The United States has probably had more political violence than any other Western country, certainly in terms of assassination. But Boehner, McConnell, and other Republican stalwarts of scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners obstructionism do not for an instant think anyone will shoot them, or plant a bomb in their car that will explode when they turn the key, or send them a Christmas fruitcake laced with strychnine or arsenic. They are secure in their fixed terms beyond the reach of recall, that they can do anything they want for YEARS, and nothing will happen to them.
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So people who think Republicans will have to cave on the "fiscal cliff" or anything else are completely wrong. Absent violence, there is nothing anyone can do to make them see reality. And their reality includes no possibility of assassination.
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One assassination could change all that. A single bullet thru the head of John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul, or any other Republican extremist would explode the Republican bubble, and with it the echo chamber that alone empowers Republicans to ignore elections. But Liberals don't kill to get their way, even when the death toll from Republican behavior — those 45,000 Americans who die each year for want of health insurance; the 1.25 million Iraqis killed by the U.S. invasion and the internecine violence it produced — is explicitly mentioned to justify counterviolence. So Republicans have nothing to fear. All the casualties in the one-sided war by the rich against the rest of us, which they have been waging for decades, will continue to be on the side of the poor and middle-class. And there is NO amount of words, discussion, nor moral suasion that will change that.



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