Denny Hastert spends much of his time advocating these "hard decisions" (although it's unclear if he really understands what he's saying on behalf of so many others at this point). This, after all, is a man who takes great pride in the sports analogy and his "Coach" image, while his real job, it's clear, is being waterboy for corporate interests that stand to crush the middle class in the near term. His "coaching" is more like note-taking as he fetches coffee and sandwich orders for the powerful.
You and I are supposed to believe that it's very difficult to make those choices; to have to weigh the good and the bad and come up with this five-year string of devastatingly stupid maneuvers. Nothing could be further from reality.
It's a joke. And the joke's been on us.
It's easy to send someone else's kids, fathers and mothers to war. Hell, we rolled over Iraq in days. It's a God-Damned third-world country. We knew that would happen. We didn't think about the really hard thing; what to do after we got there.
It's easy to eliminate Amtrak funding from the budget when you know no one who depends on it for commuting, for family emergencies, for sheer economy of service. Privatizing the railways will make it less expensive, we're told. Competition among railway carriers, the railway barons tell us, is hard work, but good for consumers.
It's easy to eliminate funding for a levee system that will require hundreds of millions to repair and upgrade. Local governments should pay for those things, right? That's not hard to cook up. Send the money to Iraq, where you're getting your ass shot off, instead. That's easy. The result is that we'll spend a thousand times that to rebuild the levee system and New Orleans and the surrounding cities that were under fetid waters for weeks.
It's easy to send your benefactors their investment -- plus a fat return -- in the form of a permanent tax cut. They asked you for it and you deliver it. Your party makes all of the decisions. Fuck the poor. See how easy that was?
And if Fristy Hastert doesn't give you what you want? It's easy to sign an executive order rescinding a worker's right to a decent wage.
Mario Cuomo called it the night before the election in 2000, on Larry King:
- "...But the loser here, if Bush wins, in my opinion, very objectively, will be the United States of America, because the first thing that will happen is you'll have an all-Republican government for the first time since Eisenhower. And it'll be much worse than the Republicans of the Eisenhower era, because they're conservatives. And Trent Lott and Dennis Hastert are not going to let Mr. Bush be a compassionate conservative. They are what they are, very conservative. They'll bring back the Gingrich agenda, which Clinton vetoed. They'll pass a $1.3 trillion tax cut against a phony surplus, because there is no $4.6 trillion, and Kasich knows it."