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The Cutting Edge: Blog of Ed Knudson
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Corporate-Funded Think Tanks have Created an Angry, Destructive Politics

Dave Johnson at Campaign For America's Future has written up some quick thoughts about the grilling of Hillary Clinton by Republican members of the House Select Committee on Benghazi this past Thursday. It's worth reading (see below).

I watched most of the hearing myself. The question that kept coming to my mind is what in the world has made these Republican congress people so angry? That is, they were really, really mad. Their lower lips trembled with emotional intensity. They hollered and screamed. They asked completely illogical questions. They assumed everyone else shared their silly preoccupations with matters having nothing to do with the otherwise serious questions about Benghazi.

I had the feeling all of these Republican House members had actually lost their sense of reality; they lived in some other universe of hatred and hostility. They actually seemed to be assuming that they themselves were the ones who really "cared" about the fact that four Americans were killed in Benghazi and that Clinton did not care at all for them. They seemed to be saying that Clinton caused these deaths, as if a Secretary of State is fully responsible for every last thing that occurs, not thinking about the fact that 9/11 happened during the George W. Bush administration as if he should therefore be blamed for that absolutely.

When I read Dave Johnson's piece it helped to point to the fact that the hearing represents the consequences of several long decades of corporate funded think tanks trying to create a mind-set/world view opposed to everything that has been created in this country since Roosevelt's New Deal in the 1930s and Johnson's Great Society of the 1960s.

The idea that Hillary Clinton might be elected president to continue that legacy is absolutely driving these hard-right Republicans (the only kind now around it seems) bonkers. It's not a very good way to run a country and if the American people don't start voting these people out of office they are going to find that Social Security will go away, Medicare for older people no longer available, no more of those terrible government post offices, no free public schools, and voting will be limited to white males only, and it won't be long before there will not be much clean air and water.

In a capitalist system money is everything, and the pursuit of money alone is now on the verge of destroying life as we know it, destroying the country, destroying decent human relationships. Hysterical anger is not the way to a viable future.

Here is the Dave Johnson article:

Thursday's Clinton-bashing hearing in Congress carried with it that "frog in heating water" feeling. The water is boiling and the country is the frog. This is a period where the country has gone crazy.

This has been slowly building since the ascendency of the corporate-funded "conservative movement" and then the presidential election of Ronald Reagan. The 24/7/12/365 drumbeat of corporate/conservative propaganda started then. The intentional defunding of government started then. The refusal to maintain our infrastructure started then. The continuing trade deficit that has drained our economy of jobs started then. The "volunteer army" perpetual-war machine got revved up then. The privatization of publicly held wealth started then. The collapse of the middle class started then. So many things started going wrong then. And after a slow, decades-long buildup, the country is threatening to collapse like an unmaintained bridge.

The planet is heating (the strongest western-hemisphere hurricane ever is heading toward Mexico as I write this). We are on the verge of a debt-ceiling crisis that could throw the world into something far worse than 2008 or the 1930s Depression. The corporate/conservative/billionaire money is flowing so freely into elections that almost all of the Republican candidates voice the concerns of the billionaires funding their campaigns and don't say a word about what the public needs. No wonder Republicans have turned to Donald Trump.

"Were You Alone All Night?"

The gerrymandered-into-office Republican Congress is completely dysfunctional for governing, and instead of addressing the country's problems we got this: An 11-hour long hearing asking a former first lady, senator and Secretary of State, "Were you alone all night?"

What the country experienced Thursday is SO FAR from any kind of normal, reasonable operation of a Congress or a country that I can't believe it could even happen. The Republicans have fallen SO FAR down into a hole of their own propaganda machine that reality is lost completely for them.

But it's like the alcoholic in the family that no one dares talk about. The elite pundit and news media class is so mired in a "both sides do it," and their careers are so tied to boosting Republican corporatism, that they can not scream about the situation.

Systemic collapse builds slowly and then happens very quickly. The water is boiling rapidly now. It's clearly a question of when, not if.

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