The rogues' gallery

In the early '50s Republican Sen. Joe McCarthy was holding a witch hunt, trying to prove that hordes of American citizens were communists. In the process of doing this he ruined the lives of many decent people. By the end of '50s the John Birch Society was doing it again. During the 1960 presidential campaign, Right Wing Fundamentals were suggesting that if Catholic candidate John F. Kennedy won the election, the pope would be moving into the White House and Catholicism would become the national religion. Now a large portion of both houses of congress are Catholics and we have six Catholics, three Jews and no Protestants on the Supreme Court and nobody seems to be too terribly concerned about it — which is as it should be.

Heading toward the 1972 presidential election, the very paranoid Republican incumbent, Richard "I am not Crook" Nixon was worried that he would lose, so the Watergate break-in was hatched up to "get the goods on the Democrats." During the '80s the Reagan administration illegally sold weapons to Iran (an arch enemy of the U.S.) in order to get the money to finance the Contras in their battle against the Sandinistas in an illegal war in Nicaragua. During the Iran/Contra Hearings, Reagan, in response to questions about his involvement, used the phrase, "I don't recall," something like 72 times.

George W. Bush was given the 2000 election by the right-leaning Supreme Court, which disallowed a recount in Florida after Bush lost the popular vote. Bush went on to take us into two unnecessary, lie-based and unfunded wars; allowed the "outing" of CIA Agent Valerie Plame for political purposes, thus destroying her career; gave tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires, which helped double the debt and created no jobs; deregulated the "Criminals of corporate America;" ran us into the worst recession since the Great Depression; and nobody really made a big deal of it. Then the Republicans went about blaming the whole Bush mess on President Obama and half of the country believed it and the other half barely got upset about it.

The Republican Party is now totally bought and paid for by corporate America. Fox News is not remotely news, but rather a mouthpiece for the Republican Party and a comedy show for nincompoops. Every day Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity spout lies which they are not smart enough to realize are lies. For doing this they each make in the neighborhood of $30 million a year. Rush Limbaugh makes $57 million a year on talk radio as an apologist for the Republican Party and corporate America. I can justify an honest entrepreneur who works hard, starts a business and creats jobs, eventually making a few million dollars a year, but Limbaugh makes more money in one week by telling lies than most Americans accumulate in a lifetime of hard work. The top 2 percent of Americans are not experiencing a recession so they can't relate.

I am far from being an expert, but over the course of time I have become a casual student of politics, history and economics. I know that being a member of Congress is supposed to be about serving the people rather than serving yourself and your ego. The last 75 years of history should have taught us that Keynesian economics works much better than supply side economics, especially in times of depression or deep recession. It brought us out of the "Great Depression," created the "American Middle Class," and enabled the 40 years of "The Golden Age of Capitalism."

The past 30 years of supply side ("trickle-down economics," as Reagan called it) has worked very well for the very wealthy, but very little has trickled down to the bottom 98 percent of the population. When Reagan took office the average corporate CEO made about 30 times as much as the average middle class worker. Today that CEO makes 300 times as much.

Republican members of Congress have questioned Obama's citizenship, suggested that he is a socialist and a Muslim, and have come very close to outright racism. This is the level to which "The Party of Lincoln," (the man who ended slavery) has stooped.

Other self-absorbed loudmouths have been Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Karl Rove, Oliver North, Newt Gingrich and Tom Delay, just to name a few. We have a Republican congress which is more interested in power than in fixing this mess which its party caused. Add to this the endless parade of extreme right wing, mega-church, televangelist preachers who blamed gays for the 9/11 attacks and have railed against the so called gay lifestyle, adultery and divorce, while being caught doing the same things, and you have the complete "Rogues' Gallery of American Trouble Makers and Hypocrites."

We are in such a crucial situation that we just don't have any more time for this nonsense. If it continues we will not survive and will deteriorate into a third world country. Obama has to own up to this fact and quit wasting time trying to get the Republicans to compromise. They will never do it. He also needs to get out his veto pen! The Democratic Party is far from perfect, but right now, it is the only hope we have. Not only is the Republican Party wrong on nearly every issue, it is down right mean-spirited. I say this as someone who was once a Republican.

Ed Dillon lives in Ashland.

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