Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Last Call For What Right-Wing Domestic Terrorism Problem?

Hey look, it's yet another right-wing white guy calling for armed revolution and overthrow of the US government, but of course nobody cares.

On Saturday the president of a Texas open-carry group called for like-minded followers to join him in marching on Washington to “arrest the bankers, crooked politicians and restore liberty here in our country” at gunpoint
Saying that voting “is not working,” Kory Watkins, president of the Open Carry Tarrant County, wrote on his Facebook page: “Have you ever thought we might just need to organize a very large group of our own people. Like 200 from each state so we can march armed to DC take over the city, arrest the bankers, crooked politicians and restore liberty here in our country? I’m not scared. I mean really…..voting and waiting is not working!” 
Watkins recently made the news when he posted on Facebook that he was involved in a car crash with a drunk driver as he returned from protesting at a DUI safety checkpoint set up by Arlington police. 
Watkins had reportedly been warning motorists about the checkpoint while shouting “You criminals!” at officers as they stopped drivers.

Would your reaction dismissing this jackass as a harmless crank be the same if he were black, and demanding armed marchers on Washington DC to arrest politicians for failing on police killings of unarmed black men and women because "voting and waiting is not working"?  Somehow I think it would be national news.  Or at least, constantly news on FOX.

The New Conversion Rate

Alternet's Adam Lee has a theory about why Republicans want to destroy the safety net for America's poor and let church charities deal with them instead: putting millions of Americans under a new theocratic state is exactly what they want.

Cutting government charity on the scale that Republican Congresses propose would be Armageddon," according to local charities and food banks. But I think there's an explanation that runs deeper than indifference. I suspect many religious conservatives are well aware that what they propose would mean throwing millions of people into destitution. In fact, they may be counting on it. 
Under the law, churches have wide latitude to discriminate and to put conditions on whom they'll hire and whom they'll serve, far more than any private business. In exchange for ladling out soup, they can make people sit through a sermon; they can impose an ideological loyalty test; they can refuse to serve people they think might be gay; they can discriminate for any reason or for no reason at all. (The one thing that churches can't legally do is tell their members how to vote - at least, they can't do this if they want to retain their tax exemption - but they're fighting hard to repeal even that trivial restriction, with right-wing pastors all around the country repeatedly flouting the law and daring the IRS to punish them.) 
While most evangelical churches proclaim that they want people to convert voluntarily, their actions show otherwise. When given the chance to coerce their audience, they'll do so gleefully, as we've seen in prison ministries all over the country where inmates are given special rewards and privileges in exchange for their cooperation with religious indoctrination. 
What they want, in short, is a captive audience. If government charity were to be cut off, the churches wouldn't be able to come close to supplying the wants of everyone, and so they'd have strong incentive to impose stringent conditions on the people they did help. Only the most faithful, the most compliant, the most submissive would be able to get through the door
And that's precisely the state of affairs that the religious right yearns for. What they want is to build a theocracy from the ground up, where the poor and the needy are abjectly dependent on a church that can yank away the necessities of life if it judges them insufficiently compliant, and so the masses will have no choice but to be corralled and steered. Even today, we can see this conservative vision put into practice, and witness the terrible consequences that result when it blocks the government from helping the needy. Consider Mississippi, which is both the most religious and has the most churches per capita of any U.S. state. If rosy visions like Ernst's were true, Mississippi would be the best place in the country to live. But in reality, it's the poorest and (by life expectancy) sickest state.

If you thought right wing Christians were furious with poor people getting tax money and having to jump through hoops to show they're really needy, wait until they have to go through the church to get basic needs met.  Millions of ready souls to be cared for, and the church can set whatever rules they want in exchange for help, including listening to whom they should vote for.

Which is exactly what the GOP wants.

In Which Zandar Answers Your Burning Questions

Over at National Journal, Sam Baker and Sophie Novak ask:

If the Supreme Court Breaks Obamacare, Will Republicans Fix It?
Republicans want the Supreme Court to blow a major hole in Obamacare next year, but they are still debating whether they would help repair it—and what they should ask for in return. 
There's a very real chance the high court will invalidate Obamacare's insurance subsidies in most of the country, which would be devastating for the health care law. It would become almost entirely unworkable in most states, and the cost of coverage would skyrocket. 
That loss for the Affordable Care Act might seem like a clear-cut political win for the GOP, but the reality would be far messier. The law would still require people to buy health insurance or pay a penalty, leaving people on the hook for a product that—sans subsidies—they could not afford. And as many of those people live in Republican-run states or 2016 battlegrounds, they'll be asking for a solution. 
That would leave Republicans with a difficult choice: Do they continue to push for an all-out repeal of the law—creating a standoff with Democrats who will dig in in the hopes of legislation undoing the Supreme Court's decision—or do they seek a deal that alleviates the law's burden on those who've lost their subsidies? Such a deal would likely include pullbacks of major parts of the law, but it would also require Republicans to give up on a full "root-and-branch" repeal.

Let's be honest here. A SCOTUS decision that wrecks Obamacare here will absolutely, positively be a 100% clear-cut political win for the GOP.

After SCOTUS destroys federal exchange subsidies, Republicans will then demand Obamacare be fully repealed and doing so will become the major campaign issue of 2016, because Democrats are pathetic, whining losers.

States with federal-run exchanges include Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Arizona, Wisconsin and Michigan, the states that will pretty much decide 2016's White House winner.  And Republicans in those states know damn well they can run ads saying OBAMACARE WILL COST YOU THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS A MONTH NOW and they won't have to lift a finger to fix a damn thing, and most likely they'll win easily.

Since when do voters punish Republicans for wrecking the country when they can blame Obama and win?

What's the downside?


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