May 10, 2014

Letter: Accountability

A few months back in this newspaper Cal Thomas decried, “Liberals are allowed to be as ideological as they wish ... and too many among the unfocused public will mostly support them. Instead of debating feelings and ideology with the left (territory on which they [Republicans] almost always lose), conservatives should hold their opponents accountable.”

Moderate Republican George Romney, Mitt’s father, once said, “Dogmatic ideological parties tend to splinter the political and social fabric of a nation.” George’s contemporary, Republican Barry Goldwater, said, “Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise.”

What’s wrong with Republican ideology? Republican ideology is repressive. You would think that after the Affordable Care Act (ACA) signed up 8 million people the debate would be over, but, no. Republicans voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act equal pay for women. The Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said he was satisfied with how the military responded to the Benghazi attack, but Republican investigations continue. The federal deficit has declined 16 percent to 2008 Bush-era levels. Conservatives called a “deadbeat” rancher a patriot.

Republicans constantly deride the unemployed, though recently in Murray County job applicants outnumbered job openings four to one. Republican job creators have failed as witnessed by the state moving Whitfield County to Tier 1 status, the state’s worst economic ranking.

Nationally, they’ve spent their energy on voter suppression and phony IRS scandals (the IRS inspector general found there was no conspiracy). Republicans shut down the government; cut food stamps, unemployment insurance, school lunch programs; and want to get rid of the minimum wage while guaranteeing profits to the 50 Farm Bill billionaires and crop insurance companies. Agribusinesses (one-tenth of all farms) get 74 percent of government payments.

In 2005, Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee signed a law mandating that Arkansas insurance plans provide contraception coverage, including church-affiliated organizations such as hospitals and universities. Now against contraception, he wants women to “control their libido.” Sixty-nine percent of Americans want the ACA to cover contraception. Hobby Lobby, whose retirement plan holds $73 million in investments including pharmaceutical companies that produce emergency contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices and abortion-inducing medications, is suing over religious rights involving contraception.

Republicans have won the popular vote once in the last six presidential elections — that’s accountability.

David Bean


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