David Brin – Does a neo-Confederate GOP actually WANT to tear down America?
By David Brin
This harsh rumination by Josh Eidelson at SALON ponders why the Republican elites of Wall Street and the Chamber of Commerce, who have so much to lose if a U.S. default trashes the American credit and economy, have not laid down the law upon the unruly House GOP, the way they’ve in every past crisis. After all, they were the ones – not average Red Americans – gained the benefits from every past Republican legislative and/or executive action, from the Bush tax breaks to middle east wars. But this time, it appears that the Tea Party — a genuine populist movement — has metastasized completely out of control of the party’s traditional masters.
This is evidenced by the behavior of the shills at Fox News, who are riding a brahma bull. They keep hinting that the Obamacare fixation may be over-wrought and have to be set aside… this is the message from up-top. But they must also look to the bottom line. The average Fox viewer is so riled up that any calm-down message might alienate them and hurt the advertisers who pay the network’s bills.
Although the deep-right coined the term “culture war” I have been the one suggesting this is now Phase Three of the American Civil War. Now have a look at an incisive appraisal by a writer who is (admittedly) from the left-end. Despite that bias, an educated person knows that Marxists at least have thought a lot more than the rest of us have about this whole “class” thing that most of us blithely ignored, during the anomalously flat era from 1945 to 2000. So while retaining awareness that Marxists truly are crazy at another level (they believe in social teleology) – nevertheless -I think there is plenty here worth pondering. Including:
A couple things. I do think that we have this broad kind of rot at the top end of our society: It’s devolved from a real ruling class, with some distance from day-to-day moneymaking, into something more just like a pure plutocracy, interested in maximizing its cash in as short a time as possible, and really not capable of thinking about policy in a serious sense. The Financial Times has been writing about how groups like the Chamber of Commerce, who normally would put pressure on the difficult Republicans, don’t seem to be willing or able to do that — and one of the reasons is that they’re so enamored of the tax-cutting side of the Republican Party that they don’t really want to stop things like the government shutdown, or they don’t have the capacity to stop things. It does seem like there’s a breakdown at the elite level of society.
But also, Michael Lind had an interesting piece about how the roots of Tea Party are in a Confederate, almost kind of a neo-Confederate structure of people who want to preserve their class privileges — very much articulated through race — and they are a very, very sizable portion of the Republican Party. And what they see — and this is also confirmed by the focus groups that David Greenberg et al. did — the core of this is a group of people that feel like the country is being taken away from them by a new minority-majority country. And all of their familiar touchstones are being smashed. They feel like they’re fighting a heroic kind of lost cause, and they’re willing to do a lot of damage to try to get their way.
To some degree the Big Business interests are paying a price for having relied on these characters in the first place. The last thing that Big Business wants to see is something that threatens the status of Treasury bonds. They don’t want to threaten the status of the dollar as reserve currency. They don’t want to rock the image of the United States as the most stable capitalist power in the world. Even though the financial crisis essentially originated here, money still flowed to the United States then because it seemed safer than everywhere else. The big boys don’t want to endanger that status.
Okay that was at least thought provoking. Still. At risk of agreeing with a quasi Marxist… I will one-up that appraisal.
After the almost perfect record of calamitous rule by the Bushites — with every large decision directly resulting in extreme harm or decline in the American Republic and its Pax power — one has to wonder about the author’s core assumption, that *all* of the right wing’s oligarchs want the United States to thrive. Don’t forget that the Republican Party’s top bankrollers now include quite a number of foreign princes, aristocrats, moguls and sovereign wealth funds, many of them rooted in cultures that express open contempt for North American civilization *in principle* and who have openly wished for an end to the American Pax.
As Goldfinger said: “Once, Mr. Bond, may be happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three … or many many times… that’s enemy action.”
(Elephant image by DonkeyHotey)