GOP’s Naked Family Values

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[Speaking Truth To Empower]

In the wake of Republican scandals—highlighted by the continuing fallout in the Larry Craig bathroom bust sex scandal—the Grand Ole Party’s (GOP’s) phony “Family Values Conservatism” has been exposed as sham.

Craig, in Congress since 1981, resigned on Saturday, amid Republican pressure to step down. The GOP (some are now joking Gay Ole Party) leadership is no doubt reeling and running scared that Craig’s fall signals the Party’s fall from the stranglehold it had on power—a decline that started in last year’s elections.

There is a problem when homosexuality is condemned across the board by, ironically, homosexuals living in denial. That’s when the double lives or secret lives and shady escapades take over because of this preference of hypocrisy.

Last November, the American electorate rejected the party’s policies by unceremoniously heaving several Republicans out. Mark Foley’s Congressional page sex scandal represented the climax of the people’s frustration with Republicans.

Yet earlier, the GOP impeached Bill Clinton for his Monica Lewinsky trysts while one of the head lynch men, married Newt Gingrich was himself having an affair. The party of course later aided and abetted an in-house deviant like Foley. This is a party that has continually used their supposed “conservative” platform to fight gay rights issues, yet, here they were protecting Foley a closeted pedophile who preyed on young boys. They laughed when Clinton argued that his flawed personal life did not nullify his commitment to his political ideals.

In the end, these incidents shed light on other more egregious scandals. For years the Republicans have been preaching that, as “conservatives” they don’t believe in “big government.” Yet, under Republicans our treasury is being looted to bankroll the agendas of those lobbyists and corporations lining their pockets. The Iraq War is an example. By now, we all know that this war is one of opportunism having absolutely nothing to do with fighting terrorism.

The war is bankrupting the country, yet Republicans repeatedly play the “terror” card to scare the majority; hoping that they won’t see what’s really going on. Remember, these are the same people who fight against social programs like Affirmative Action, supposedly because they claim it represents an infringement by “big government” and undeserved subsidies for slothful people. This, while billions of dollars in corporate welfare flow to big business interests like Halliburton: Surely poor Americans also deserve some of those no-bid contracts. Why not let poor people in on the contracts and then have them subcontract Halliburton? At least that way the largesse is more evenly distributed. Why not dole some no-bid contracts to Katrina victims in New Orleans?

The Republicans and the Bush White House have told the American people that they must be prepared to “sacrifice” to win the war on terror. But why aren’t rich people being asked to “sacrifice?” Here I primarily speak of the tax-breaks –instead of increases— ushered through by the Republican Congress and the White House. This while a war is ongoing where soldiers are killed and the wounded are sent to rat-infested hospitals such as Walter Reed. If there are to be sacrifices shouldn’t they apply to all?

This regime’s version of “sacrifice” means silencing Americans into accepting the government’s illegal domestic spying program, as well as the continual eroding of democratic checks and balances. The White House claims the “Unitary Executive Theory.”

Through this most undemocratic political philosophy Bush has usurped powers that nullify the equal counterbalancing role of the other branches of government, which in essence give him absolute totalitarian power. Now, through “signing statements,” the White House’s interpretation of any Bill or law trumps that of Congress. Bush has issued over 800 “signing statements;” scholars say more than any president in history.

Family values? There are some 37 million people living in poverty, including one in five children. Keep in mind, for a family of four to be considered poor the per capita income would have to be less than $20,650 according to the Department of Health and Human Services. How many families could be lifted from poverty with the $ 2 billion per week being burned in Iraq’s killing fields?

Bush blows hot air about creating an “ownership society.” With the sub-prime loan meltdown crisis, many Americans are, and will be, losing their homes. Couldn’t some of this money being sucked up by war-profiteers be used to create true real low and middle income home-ownership?

Then there is the healthcare issue. There are nearly 50 million Americans without health insurance. How is this defensible in such a wealthy country? If Republicans care so much about “Family Values” why hasn’t this injustice remedied? And need I get into the failed “No-Child Left Behind Act” and the increasing inaccessibility of college?

But what can we expect? Family Values must begin at home before it can be practiced nationally. Newt Gingrich, Mark Foley and now Larry Craig have laid bare the naked truth.

Benjamin is a member of The Black Star News’s Editorial Board

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