Friday, December 28, 2012

Great GOP Moments: Craig T. Nelson Sums Up Today's Republican Mindset in One Sentence

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By MARC McDONALD

A few years ago, actor Craig T. Nelson was being interviewed by creepy GOP nutcase Glenn Beck and he made a comment that was widely ridiculed (see video above).

"I've been on food stamps and welfare, did anyone help me out? No." Nelson said.

Nelson was praising the virtues of America's "capitalistic" society. Many commentators pointed out the contradiction of Nelson's praise of a dog-eat-dog capitalist system and his admission of collecting welfare while bizarrely claiming that nobody had ever helped him out.

What many of these commentators missed though was that there really wasn't any contradiction in Nelson's comments---at least in the minds of today's Republicans.

I've talked to many Republicans over the years. The vast majority of them claim to be hard-core capitalists, who support a vicious dog-eat-dog, survival of the fittest, Ayn Rand/wet dream type society. In a nutshell, they all are strongly in favor of shutting down all government programs with the exception of the Pentagon.

Oh, and almost without exception, all of these Republicans themselves have benefited handsomely from various government programs. They've always been the first in line to claim their food stamps, jobless benefits, Medicare, and various other government programs. In fact, many of them actually work for the government. They pull down lavish taxpayer-funded paychecks and enjoy amazing benefits and pensions that are light years beyond anything that any private sector employee gets.

The latter type of Republican is well represented by the likes of extreme Far-Right radio talker Mark Levin. Levin worked as a highly paid government employee for years, pulling down a huge taxpayer-funded salary back in the 1980s. Today, this hypocritical asswipe advocates shutting down everything in the government, except for the Pentagon. (It's nice to see Levin supporting the military now, considering that this chickenhawk never served).

Actually, there's no contradiction here, at least in the minds of the Republicans themselves.

Republicans claim to be fiscal conservatives and they ferociously oppose the government helping anyone out. But that only applies to other people. Certainly not themselves.

If many of the Republicans I talk to could remake Medicare to only benefit themselves and nobody else, they'd do it in a heartbeat.

The fact is, the Republicans I've talked to are in favor of lavish, generous government spending---as long as ALL the money goes directly into their pockets---and theirs alone.

The Republicans only throw a hissy fit if anybody else is benefiting from any government program.

The fact is, Nelson's comments neatly sum up the modern GOP mindset.

8 comments:

Grung_e_Gene said...

I really wish the Baggers, and Paul Ayn Ryan lovers would simply Go Galt as in the Novel. But, for some strange reason they aren't willing to disappear into an invisible gulch in the Rockies.

Mainly because deep down in their shriveled loins they know they'll die faster than The Donner Party.

Marc McDonald said...

Hi, Grung_e_Gene, thanks for stopping by and for your comment. Say, in the novel, didn't all the "successful" people mysteriously vanish?
So if that happened in real life in today's America, then we'd see "successful" people like Paris Hilton, the Koch Brothers, Rush Limbaugh, Dick Cheney, and others of this ilk disappear? Can someone tell me how this would be a bad thing?

Grung_e_Gene said...

Marc,

But, then we would lose the financial wizardry of a Jamie Dimon or a Paul E. Singer or Clifford Asness or Kenneth C. Griffin or any of the other plutocrat hedge fund "managers" who make money on legerdemain. Oh wait you wanted a reason why them disappearing would be a bad thing!

Frank Moraes said...

I've never seen the extended clip, and I sure would like to. I'd like to see what Beck's reaction would be. My guess: none at all.

On this issue, I just got Dean Baker's newest book The End of Loser Liberalism. In it he says that liberals are wrong to allow conservatives to go around saying they for the free market. They most certainly are not. I'm not done with the book, but I think that Baker informs my thinking on politics more than any other person. I recommend all his work.

I've written a little bit about a sequel to Atlas Shrugged. It would be a dystopian novel. I think it would be very educational for the libertarians. I would write it myself, but that would be hard. There are no usable (that is: realistic) characters to take from the original. And it would require reading the original novel again. I don't think I could take it.

Marc McDonald said...

Hi Frank, thanks for your comment. I'm going to have to check out that Dean Baker book. Sounds great.
I also wish Liberals (and the media) would stop allowing "Conservatives" to call themselves "Conservative." Today's NeoCons aren't "Conservative" by any stretch of the imagination. I mean, Ronald Reagan tripled the deficit and vastly expanded the size of government and he supported intrusive government policies into people's private, personal affairs, from drug use to abortion to gay rights. The gigantic, biggest-in-world-history prison population we have today is a direct legacy of Reagan's idiotic "war on drugs."

Suzan said...

Hardly idiotic when you consider who makes the money from the privatized prisons (an idea which also originated during the Raygun Decimation).

And I'm a huge Dean Baker fan too.

He explains it all to US.

You'll love his wisdom and humility.

You should read his blog, Beat the Press.

Enlightening!

He makes me feel like there may be some chance to live through the oncoming dark ages.

S

The gigantic, biggest-in-world-history prison population we have today is a direct legacy of Reagan's idiotic "war on drugs."

Marc McDonald said...

Hi Suzan, thanks for stopping by and for your comment.
re:
>>his blog, Beat the Press.
Sounds good. I'll check it out.

Anonymous said...

Many people consider the things which government does for them to be social progress but they regard the things government does for others as socialism. - Chief Justice Earl Warren