"Something terrible has happened to the soul of the Republican Party. We’ve gone beyond bad economic doctrine. We’ve even gone beyond selfishness and special interests. At this point we’re talking about a state of mind that takes positive glee in inflicting further suffering on the already miserable.
The occasion for these observations is, as you may have guessed, the monstrous farm bill the House passed last week.
To fully appreciate what just went down, listen to the rhetoric conservatives often use to justify eliminating safety-net programs. It goes something like this: “You’re personally free to help the poor. But the government has no right to take people’s money” — frequently, at this point, they add the words “at the point of a gun” — “and force them to give it to the poor.”It is, however, apparently perfectly O.K. to take people’s money at the point of a gun and force them to give it to agribusinesses and the wealthy...Somehow, one of our nation’s two great parties has become infected by an almost pathological meanspiritedness...If you’re an American, and you’re down on your luck, these people don’t want to help; they want to give you an extra kick. I don’t fully understand it, but it’s a terrible thing to behold."
I've always had sympathy with the notion that Conservatism/Fascism is deeply connected with a very real form of Sadism- the delight in inflicting pain on others. When they have to choose between what is the prudent, conservative (in the literal meaning of the word) policy, and the one that allows them to hurt someone else, Republicans seem to have descended into a condition where cruelty wins out every time. This is a really sick phenomenon*, and I need hardly remark that, as a principle on which to run a country, it is a recipe for disaster.
Thanks again, Paul, for stating the obvious when no one else is willing to do it.
*Not dissimilar, I guess (Godwin be damned) from the policies followed by a certain central European country from 1933 to 1935.