Reading the letters to the editor section of the OC Register is a particularly sobering experience. Â Many progressives, Democrats and liberals I speak with used to write letters to the editor, but stopped because why waste your time? The Register’s Letters pages provide a wink and a nod that there are readers in this county that are liberal. Â Hate mail from the right tends to dominate the letters section these days and some of the misinformation that is allowed to be published is borderline irresponsible.
I love newspapers. Â I touch the actual newsprint on four of them a day. Â Two to the left and two to the right — Â fair and balanced as I call it.
Today’s New York Times carried this column by Bob Herbert. Â It’s a gem for lefties like me. Â Here’s some of the more fun parts.Â
“Not only has the G.O.P. spent years trying to fool everybody in sight with its phony-baloney, dime-store philosophies, itâ€™s now trapped in the patently pathetic phase of fooling itself.
The economy has imploded, the auto industry is in danger of being vaporized and more than half of all working Americans are worried that they may lose their jobs in the next year. So whatâ€™s the Republican response? To build a wall of obstruction in front of efforts to get the economy moving again, and then to stand in front of that wall chanting gibberish about smaller government, lower taxes, spending cuts and Ronald Reagan.
Itâ€™s not a party; itâ€™s a cult. Iâ€™m no fan of Arlen Specter, but if I were a Republican, I wouldnâ€™t be shoving him out the door and waving good riddance. This is the party of Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Newt (â€œIâ€™m trying to rise from the ashesâ€) Gingrich, and the dark force who canâ€™tÂ seem to exit the public stage or modify his medieval ways, Dick Cheney.”
“Americans are aghast at what happened to the country while the G.O.P. was in charge. Iraq and Katrina come to mind, not to mention the transmutation of the Clinton surpluses into the Bush budget deficits and the collapse of the entire economy.
Trickle down. Weapons of mass destruction. Torture. Deregulation. You name it. The Republican-conservative know-it-alls of the past several years (all-too-frequently with feckless Democrats following closely behind) brought destruction and heartbreak to just about everything they touched.
And yet the G.O.P. behaves as though nothing has changed. Even in the face of a national economic nightmare, the party is offering nothing in the way of policies or new ideas that might give a bit of hope or comfort to families wrestling with joblessness, housing foreclosures and bankruptcies.
Itâ€™s a party that doesnâ€™t seem to care about anything other than devotion to a set of so-called principles that never amounted to more than cult-like rhetoric. Waging unwarranted warfare while radically cutting taxes for the wealthy and turning the national economy into the equivalent of a Ponzi scheme may be evidence of many things, but none of them have to do with the so-called conservative principles the G.O.P. is always braying about.”