And I am increasingly wondering if the GOP needs to change its icon from the smart elephant to a picture of a shark.
This Kos diarist has an interesting post on the so-called nostalgic past. I think Leighton or one of my other FB friends pointed me to it yesterday. I haven't checked all the facts in the essay, but he points to some of the problems with the libertarian Tea Party "small government" nostalgia for the country they have "lost." Those nostalgic days are ok, but for a much smaller set of the population. White male elites did fine. The rest of us didn't.
I think this is common sense for most of us, but all around me I read people pining for a nostalgic past. Nevada Republican Sue Louden talked about returning to the golden days when you could barter chickens for healthcare, seemingly unaware that both the cost of care and the amount that doctors could do for you was much, much less. About the value of a live chicken, perhaps, depending on your illness.
As everyone knows, Arizona's legislature has doubled down on the immigration issue. As reasonable people have noted, there are problems with the border and there is a need for a national immigration plan. As my recent post noted, however, there was a plan under Bush that many reasonable people liked, but it could not survive those conservative House Republicans. The Shark Jumpers, as it were, who are now in charge of Oklahoma and Arizona's legislatures.
They want "their country back" and will seemingly do anything to retrieve a non-existent Arizona with only white people. They are even now banning ethnic studies, and even teachers of English who have a heavy or "ungrammatical" accent. Given the grammar of some of the white Oklahomans I meet, I have to laugh at that one. Well, I would laugh if the stakes weren't so damn high.
This is pure racism, though I doubt many of the conservatives who support it see that part. The good thing about our country's view on racism is that few openly embrace racism. The bad thing is that it tends to blind us all from our racist beliefs.
One final thing. I am increasingly convinced that small government conservatism is pure fantasy, and is never intended as anything but an excuse to cut taxes and programs for non-whites. It isn't genuine, and we see it come out when "small government" Republicans run into problems. Take the oil spill (anyone heard Sarah Palin do her "drill, baby drill" bullshit lately?) and its possible impact on the economy of the Gulf Coast. Now we see Bobby Jindal, famous for criticizing federal stimulus money now calling for federal aid in both fighting the oil spill, and providing economic assistance to the fisheries industry. As well he should, by the way, as that is the purpose of government, but for shame to those Republicans who try to gut those programs or badmouth the taxes that provide them. And it isn't just Louisiana. We remember Rick Perry calling for federal assistance last year to fight fires, even as he joked about seceeding from the union. Just this week, we see Arizona (again) trying to benefit from healthcare as they waste taxpayer money suing over, yeah, healthcare reform (or see all the taxpayer waste from Oklahoma passing draconian legislation that will most likely cost the state millions in legal fees).
I don't want to hear about small government. I am tired of it. You don't really mean it. You just mean "less government support for non-white people."