April 2, 2011
In November 2010, numerous Republican Governors were added to the mix of existing Governors Christie of NJ, Governor McDonald of VA, and Governor Brewer of AZ. Specifically, thanks to the “excellent” work of Governor Barbour of MS at the Republican Governor’s Association and with the generous contributions of right wing media billionaire mogul Rupert Murdoch, millions of dollars elected numerous new Republican Governors.
Some of the new Republican Governors include: Governor Walker of Wisconsin, Governor Snyder of Michigan, Governor Kusich of Ohio, Governor Scott of Florida, and Governor LePage of Maine. The recipe for their “stew mixture” was basically the same. Immediately these new Governors went into office collectively to: 1) Dramatically “cut” their budgets due to projected deficits, 2) Attack collective bargaining, especially for public employees and destroy their rights, 3) Cut taxes for businesses in their states, 4) Cut social programs including Medicaid, unemployment benefits, programs for children, and programs for the disadvantaged, 5) Reduce public education funding and provide “opportunities” for private education, 6) increase property taxes, 7) Sell off public assets including prisons and utilities and have them run by corporations, and 8) Make it more difficult for immigrants and miniorites to vote. Here is a map of how these fascist Governors are coping with their unemployment problems (“Jobs”).
It is imminently clear that they went into office with an authoritarian, almost dictatorial ambition to assume total control of every aspect of state government, turn all operations over to the private corporate sector and show everyone who is “boss”. They were going to be “tough” and make sure that businesses and the wealthy in their states would “create jobs.” This great recession was created, of course, by a total melt down by the gambling recklessness of Wall Street coupled with the enormous decreases in housing prices. This was a great opportunity to reward the criminals who had financed their elections.
Very good reporting, including this superb article by Jane Mayer of the New Yorker as early as August 2010 and during the course of the election, also showed clearly that these Governors were financed by big money, including some billionaires like the Koch Bros. and Rupert Murdoch at News Corp (i.e. Fox). These billionaires are not new to politics but were given free reign especially with the Citizen’s United decision of the Supreme Court, which opened the flood gates for coporate financing of elections. They are all known to be Coporatists–corporate fascists, a term used first in Europe early in the last century. It defines a condition where the corporations gain full control over the government and control every aspect of the people. My colleague, Jill Dalton, has written an excellent blog to elaborate on this subject entitled “Just Call me Paul Revere“, and a second article entitled, Is It Fascism Yet? which can be accessed on this site.
Mussolini defined it well in the 1920′s in Italy: “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.” Hitler, in 1933, then built on that concept. On May 2nd, 1933, the day after Labor Day, Adolf Hitler outlawed trade unions along with collective bargaining and the right to strike. Nazi groups raided union halls and labor leaders were arrested. For another excellent presentation of what it means to be a Fascist, please see this by Kingsbury at the Mimir Report. The Corporatists attempt to eliminate public employment, and sell off public properties and services in the name of ”privatization”. That is exactly what they have been trying to do with social security; it represents an incredible potential for big profits in Wall Street and big banks. Basically, they will do everything possible to eliminate all social functions of government; they emphasize and maintain “defense” industries over which they also have full control. Also, having “internal” enemies like Muslims, Mexicans, Blacks, Homosexuals, etc. helps. The result is a dictatorial, fascist, militarist government which achieves total control over the population. Does anyone see these behaviors and attempts by the Republican Party in Washington and the states today?
Just who are the Governors involved in these clandestine affairs? The best known one, of course, is Scott Walker of Wisconsin. He was the first to be clearly indentified because he stupidly took a prank telephone call from Ian Murphy (recorded at his post, the Koch Whore at the Buffalo Beast.) Walker thought he was discussing his “progress” with someone who was his corporate master, David Koch. In that call, Walker revealed: 1. He was to be the first “domino” case (for Mr. Koch) to be an example for the nation for their new government order, 2. He was going to abolish the power of the unions in Wisconsin, starting with public employees, 3. He was going to sell off public assets including utilities to the private sector and the corporations and give big tax breaks to the corporations. He was, after all, to be a champion for the “free market” system and reduce “government spending.” This, along with big tax cuts for corporations, was what he actually proposed to the Republican legislature in Wisconsin. But Walker had also “spilled the beans” from his evil stew mixture oozing with Teabaggers and state and national Republican National Committee people (like Haley the “Chief” Barbour!)
Walker went on to reveal that he had daily telephone calls with Governor Kusich in Ohio, and was in touch with Governor Sandoval in Nevada, Governor Snyder in Michigan and Governor Scott in Florida. He also said that “this is our moment” and that it would occur with “other governors that got elected to do something big.” So it is quite natural that we are seeing these same policies being practiced in these states, isn’t it?
Reportedly, Snyder in Michigan has proposed bills in his legislature to drastically cut funds for education (K-12 and higher education) and eliminate earned income tax credits for the working poor. Then, this is the big one: establish a system of Emergency Fund Managers (EMF’s) (appointed by him) to completely take over city and school districts and replace them with a “corporate” entity with dictatorial powers to end contracts. This would include teachers, firemen and policemen and city employees. POSTSCRIPT ADDED 4/20: In last night’s Rachel Maddow program, Rachel showed how far Synder had gone. He is in the process of establishing a totalitarian state that even denies residents the rights of cities to elect their local officials and he wants to seize property donated to them as public property. This man is obviously trying to become a “candidate” for the American Nazi Party; he has no limits in his delusions for power.
To give a simple report on the plans and intent of Governor Scott of Florida perhaps the best description is from a report in February from Time.com:“Shortly before Governor Rick Scott was sworn in in January, a report showed that Florida had the U.S.’s leanest state workforce — 117 employees per 10,000 residents, compared with a national average of 215. That reality seemed to challenge the urgency of Scott’s campaign promise to cut 5% of that workforce as part of his crusade to significantly reduce government spending. Still, a pledge is a pledge, especially when your Republican base is angry, antigovernment Tea Party voters who helped you squeak through to victory in November.
So last week, Scott — speaking not from the state capital, Tallahassee, but from the Tea Party hotbed of Eustis, Fla., to show his disdain for all things public sector — delivered a budget proposal that slashes $4.6 billion (7% of current spending) and pink-slips 8,700 state employees, while gutting aid for disability services and juvenile justice.“Reviewing a government budget is much like going through the attic in an old home,” said Scott, a health care industry multimillionaire who resigned in disgrace as CEO of the world’s largest hospital corporation in 1997, when it was accused of massive Medicare fraud (though he never was).”
In Ohio, their fascist Governor Kasich, in the pretense of budget cuts, has proposed that 230 million dollars in liquor revenue from state owned stores be handed over to his corporatist friends, claiming, as do these other governors that the “state is broke”. Kasich just signed a bill to strip collective bargaining from all public employees in the state! In New Jersey, Governor Christie is giving away at least 200 million dollars to corporations. In Arizona, Governor Brewer is giving at least 250 million dollars in tax breaks to corporations. She has also made a strong effort to “privatize” all the state prisons. As people are beginning to understand this evil plot that these fascists have in mind, they are beginning to facing stiff opposition and voters are expressing buyers remorse. But it should be noted in all of these states the people, especially the workers, are strongly protesting and rebelling. Wisconsin is “leading” the way and suits were filed on March 18 to contest Governor Walker’s violations of the Open Meetings Act. Demonstrations are occurring in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Florida with other states to follow. Jon Stewart of the Daily Show gives a good summary of the “comedic, idiotic” actions of the Fascists.
It should be noted that all states are dealing with fiscal crises because of the “great recession” and many are attempting to deal with it practically. Some are not giving away large amounts of money to corporations and the rich in the name of ”reducing their budgets.” But what’s the status of this all out war by the Republican Governor Fascists? Well fortunately these mass protests of people occurring in many of these states with Wisconsin are a model for us. The opponents of Walker have also begun to file suit and recall petitions are circulating; it will obviously continue.
Where is the President and the national Democratic Party (DNC)? They are simply as described in: President Obama: MIA. There should no longer be a pretense that Obama and the Democratic Party, except in these individual states, really gives a damn about the middle class, working Americans and even the poor. They are either negligent and incompetent, or possibly complicit, in this surrender to the Corporatists. It is time to watch what they DO and not what they SAY! Since the President and his Democratic advisors seem to have forgotten what the Party has stood for, I provide them with some simple history from FDR: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nuElu-ipTQ&NR=1
Since the 2010 election, Obama, in his efforts to attract the “independents,” has become as Republican as any other major leader in the Republican Party. He has reneged on his position on tax cuts for the rich (Senator McConnell said he got 75% of what he wanted), supporting workers rights in collective bargaining (Obama said he would march with them), ending absurd wars, and even advocacy of a clean energy environment. He doesn’t represent ME and most of my friends; he doesn’t even represent the Democratic Party principles. Obama needs to learn from this song by Tennessee Ernie Ford, 16 Tons, about selling his soul to the company store. And he has left us without leadership to fight this evil effort by the Corporatists to create a fascist nation. And the Democratic Party needs to listen to this song by Pete Seeger who gave us a perspective on this issue many years ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iAIM02kv0g&feature=related The DNC in particular needs to be reminded and they are, after all, under the direction and control of President Obama the leader of the Democratic Party.
My hero of the last century (I am a physicist, too) was Albert Einstein. He defined Insanity as: “Continuing to do the same thing again and again and expecting to get different results.” That’s exactly what keeps happening to us in the political sector. We must simply change that and mobilize new leadership among those who consider themselves Democrats or progressive independents. We have many leaders and millions of people on a national scene who will buy that concept. This “fascist stew” not only tastes really bad but it smells like crap. As Jill said in her blog, “The Corporatists are Coming.” The two party system is totally morally corrupt; the Republican Party has become the core of the fascist movement in the U.S. and the Democratic Party is totally inept, incompetent and impotent to cope with this effect. The consequence of not doing something to form a third political movement will permanently damage our Republic. I leave you with these songs:
Graphics are provided by permission of Tracy Knauss.