Friday, December 03, 2010

The Not Now Republicans' tune sounds familiar

Yesterday afternoon I heard a number of Republicans in Congress talking on C-SPAN about Don't Ask, Don't Tell. One after another said now is just not the right time to do away with that troublesome policy. Sound familiar?

Of course it does. Other Republicans in Congress had spent yesterday morning talking on C-SPAN about how now is just not the right time to raise taxes on millionaires. Heavens to Betsy, not now! None of them seemed much concerned with what extending the Bush tax cuts for millionaires will do to this country’s deficit problem.

The Not Now Republicans were saying we are in the middle of a couple of wars against merciless enemies, so changing the DADT policy now would be imprudent. Which opens the door to the thought that as long as America stays on a war footing, some conservatives would likely go on forever telling us that doing the right thing needs to wait.

And, Republicans have been chanting for decades that cutting taxes for the wealthiest in society is the answer to all manner of widespread vexations. The trickle down ideas being offered up, about sheltering fat cat job creators from paying taxes, are anything but new.

Still, the old "it's not the right time" malarkey also has such a familiar ring -- and aroma -- because in the '50s and '60s that's exactly the tool some Massive Resisters used as a wink toward the obvious moral high ground of the push for full citizenship rights for blacks. At the same time, even though those white politicians knew they were doing the wrong thing, the so-called conservatives of that time continued to stand firmly against court orders to integrate Virginia's public schools, etc.

The smart segregationist cats in that era knew change was coming. The Supreme Court’s orders would eventually have to be respected, but the mean-spirited game was to delay the changes for as long as possible. It took the federal government five years to make Prince Edward County in Virginia reopen the public schools it closed, rather than desegregate.

How is the Not Now wing of the modern GOP all that different from Virginia's shameless Massive Resisters of yesteryear in how it is putting off doing what's right for as long as possible?

1 comment:

Thyris said...

Republicans plan to block any progress that could be made on any number of serious issues while there is a democrat in the white house. Mitch McConnell said as much.