Bipartisan Contempt

Many of my posts quote or appear to defend the GOP (Republican party). This is unintentional – the GOP happens to be the opposition party right now.

I don’t support either party.

The Democrats promise to care for the vulnerable among us, and I agree with some of their positions – I agree, for example, that a wealthy, supposedly civilized society should not allow its poorer citizens to die of treatable illness. The problem is, their solutions aren’t solutions, and I don’t believe they are meant to be solutions. How can “Obamacare” be about making sure nobody dies from treatable illness when already the program is routing money away from the sick to buy medically unnecessary goodies for healthy voters? In reality, it’s just another form of using taxpayer money to bribe voters, and the same is true of all their other expensive, dysfunctional, ineffective programs and promises.

The Great Society has not eradicated poverty, and neither will more of the same.

But the GOP does the same sort of thing, just in a different way. It makes big promises – in this case, it speaks of “personal responsibility”, with all the associated promises of economic growth and reductions in social dysfunction – but when Mark Sanford ran for Congress, many Republicans argued that Sanford’s despicable behavior (lying, abandoning his wife and kids for a mistress) is irrelevant to his job performance and therefore not something that should be criticized.

Let me say upfront: I would rather we lived in a society where adultery had a higher social cost…

But, here’s a newsflash: We don’t live in that country anymore.

from National Review

Personal responsibility is suddenly a private matter – but if Sanford’s abandoned wife were poor enough to need handouts to pay her rent, they’d damn her for it. Her – but not him.

41.2 percent of custodial parents received the full amount of child support owed them, down from 46.8 percent in 2007, according to a report released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. The proportion of these parents who were owed child support payments and who received any amount at all — either full or partial — declined from 76.3 percent to 70.8 percent over the period.

from US Census (emphasis mine)

The GOP can’t possibly balance the budget in anything like a sustainable fashion until they start caring as much about whether men pay their child support as they care about how women raise the illegitimate and/or abandoned children.

Time alone will tell which party ditches corruption and hypocrisy, recognizes the need to restore integrity, promote policies that actually work, and learns to respond to legitimate criticism with something better than simply because shut up.

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