Friday, October 19, 2012

Extortion, Lies, and Opportunism: The GOP Game Plan

"Something is rotten in the state of Denmark."

Big Bill Shakespeare.

Well we're not in Denmark any more, Toto, but things have turned decidedly rotten. During a June sixth conference call to "small business owners" Mitt Romney had this to say, "I hope you make clear to your employees what you believe is in the best interest of your enterprise and therefore their jobs and their future in the upcoming elections."

David Siegel, the head of Westgate Resorts, was the first to act on this sage advice. He sent his 7,000 employees an email telling them if President Obama was reelected he would either drastically downsize his company, or close it altogether thereby laying most if not all of them off. When questioned about the email he responded, "I can't tell anyone to vote. (note he didn't say, I can't tell anyone how to vote) I just want my employees to be educated on what could happen to their future if the wrong person is elected."

Recently brothers David and Charles Koch of Wichita, Kansas had their corporate president Dave Robertson send out "voter information packets" to 45,000 employees of their Georgia Pacific subsidiary. A cover letter warns the workers that, "Many of our 50,000 employees and contractors may suffer the consequences" if the president is reelected as well as other democrats who are running in this cycle. The packet includes a list of conservative candidates that have been endorsed by the company's political action committee. It also includes a pro Romney op-ed piece by David and an anti Obama rant by Charles.

ASG Software Solutions head Arthur Allen has done something similar with employees of that company.

The Federal Election Commission used to have laws that forbade bullshit like this. Unfortunately, thanks to the "Citizens United" decision by a politically active and conservative supreme court it now falls under the heading of free speech.

Well it certainly falls under the heading of something. Not just a few might think that something is known as extortion. When your boss tells you you're going to get canned if Obama, or anyone else is elected to office there really is no other word for it. It is rather like some guy named Rocco showing up at your door telling you that if you don't use the Corleone garbage collection service your business might accidentally burn down.

Yes, this is certainly evil nonsense. As is the continued republican efforts to suppress the vote in Pennsylvania. A court recently ruled the state's new voter ID law could not be enforced in this November's election That has not stopped TV ads from appearing in key cities telling voters that they must have voter ID's in order to cast a ballot. In some parts of the state billboards have popped up, some in Spanish, which say the same thing.

Obviously the party that is reportedly worried about some sort of socialist takeover that will end democracy as we know it, doesn't care much for the institution itself. In fact it has become painfully apparent that the current GOP believes in democracy only so long as it pertains to white anglo saxon protestants with a few pale catholics thrown in for diversity's sake.

In the mean time it turns out their candidate lied about soliciting the "binders" containing women's names that he bragged about during the last debate. The truth is the "binders" were given to both gubernatorial candidates in Massachusetts prior to the election and were not asked for by governor elect Mitt Romney after the fact. Not that he hired any of them anyway, but hey, why worry about a few details? To quote old Will once again, "He waxes desperate with imagination."

In addition it turns out that during the course of the infamous Boca Raton, 47% speech, we find Mr. Romney had this to say in regard to some sort of international incident. "If something of that nature happens I will work to take advantage of the opportunity." Well we have to give it to Mitt. He was true to his word on that one. After the tragedy in Libya he went straight to the political well within twenty-four hours.

I never really liked these ruthless bastards to begin with. However, this season the lies, rank political opportunism on the heels of an attack on an American consulate, and outright in your face voter intimidation tactics have taken me beyond that. We are faced with a party that not only wants to retain de facto white rule, but is willing to do anything short of gunning down opposing candidates to achieve that goal. And honestly, given what is going on now, even that sort of thing suddenly seems a real possibility.

They have turned the American election process into one, that if held in a third world country, would be monitored and condemned by any outside neutral observers. They, not the current president, have reduced it to a vile farce usually witnessed only in places like Venezuela and Iran.

If you want to know who the real threat to American democracy is look no further than the Republican National Committee and its keepers. They not only hate 47% of us, they will do anything they can to keep us from voting.

So much for freedom.


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