No means no. I know this phrase is weighted with the freight of its use in situations of sexual abuse so I apologize for temporarily employing it, but I feel strongly about this issue and I think this message is also appropriate, at this moment, to what is going on in Washington. We have a group who lost a national election (the Republicans), a group who said that the election would serve as a referendum on their ideas (the Republicans), and yet a group that refuses to accept that the nation wants to try a less extreme approach to government and to the economics of government. I will not draw out this analogy any farther. I will just reiterate—we said no, we meant no! No to small government (although we might want to work on smaller government)—no to the dismantling of the safety net (although we might be open to some “fixes” to the safety net). We say no to a party (the GOP) which seems to have adopted the mantle of righteousness, which seems to believe that the GOP alone knows the proper way to “save” America; an America which the GOP feels is wandering away from a strict adherence to the Constitution. And we say no to a party (the GOP) that believes it alone holds the key to solve our economic woes (always in ways that mysteriously favor those who are already prospering).
Although we have already said no, insisted that we mean no, reiterated that our answer was no, this party (the Republicans) keeps coming back at us with their same old message. Not only do we have to listen to their dogma over and over again, but they refuse to let the people pursue the agenda they actually did agree to in the last election. We do want a balanced approach to the budget. We don’t want austerity. We want some growth policies. We want to see the reform of a tax code that has long favored the wealthy and we are not interested in seeing tax reforms zeroed out with tax cuts for the wealthy. These corporations have taken their business elsewhere, the corporate owners live like men without a country so they will not have to pay taxes, and now they insist that we give up our already quite inadequate security net which we trusted our government to administer for us. Someone (named Johnson) even suggested last Sunday on television that the money in the Social Security Trust had already been borrowed and used and no longer exists. We can borrow our own money, but can the people embezzle their own money? Did our past selves sell out the retirement and health care of our present selves? If we did, will we be able to repay the Trust fund and continue to supply Americans with a modicum of security in their old age? Do we really want to cut the poor loose to fend for themselves? We voted no to all of these things; why are we still fighting this battle? We are still fighting because the Republicans have taken over our government. The Republicans will not let the people try Obama’s approach to our economy.
The media is not blameless in all of this. When I spend my time watching the news, and I spend a lot of time watching the news, the Republicans are everywhere. All day long, I have to listen to Republicans argue for their extremely austere economics that is skewed steeply towards the wealthy. I have to watch the Republicans try to tip-toe into the present without becoming more centrist (not possible). I know our media is also supposed to be balanced and give equal time to all, but then we have something like CPAC which allows Republicans to grab all of the air time all week. If it wasn’t for having a new pope we would be watching Sarah Palin channel Tina Fey over and over again. I do not feel an equal presence of Democrats in the media because they are not as “out there”; they are not “entertainment”. But by choosing to be “entertaining” the media is skewing the message in favor of the GOP. If these nutburgers (the GOP) get their way and our social safety net goes away and if that happens just in the name of good ratings I hope we eviscerate the media. It is no wonder the Republican Party does not believe that no means no. But I do. I believe that no means no.