David Frum, conservative columnist and member of the infamous Project for the New American Century that laid out how America can establish a world empire in the 2000s, wrote in The Daily Beast, that the best speech at this weekend’s C-PAC was not from a candidate, but from Grover Norquist, the guy who has extracted that promise from almost all Republicans that they won’t raise taxes on the rich.
Norquist made the case that Mitt Romney is so weak and pliable that he is the Party’s best choice for a candidate because the real power brokers in Washington – Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor – would be able to control him. (John Boehner is equally weak, so he doesn’t count.)
Norquist’s formula for “conservative” success: “All we have to do is replace Obama…We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don’t need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget…We just need a president to sign this stuff. We don’t need someone to think it up or design it. The leadership now for the modern conservative movement for the next 20 years will be coming out of the House and Senate.”
According to Norquist, the Republicans don’t need a president. They just need a robot to sign whatever they send him from the House. If they could get away with a rubber stamp in the hands of chimp, that would suffice for their vision of America.
And what is their vision of America? Well, Benito Mussolini put it best: “Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.” He knew, he invented fascism. The “modern conservative” agenda would end all our social programs, privatize all our government services except the military, fund the military at the cost of everything else and free corporations and the very rich from any taxation. Women especially would suffer in their little “conservative” world, denied health care, denied medically necessary abortions, denied birth control. Our children would be raised on conservative myths of the history of this nation. Our land would be raped until we were living in the kind of cesspool that Nigeria has become. We, the vast majority of Americans, would be driven back to the days of tenements, child labor, sweatshops and raging epidemics that characterized the last great capitalistic era of this nation – the 1890s.
This isn’t conservativism. Conservative, both as an English word and as a political science concept, means retaining the status quo. What Norquist and the Republican Party are talking about is reactionarism – a return to a real or imagined past glorious state of utopia. The utopia they want to return us to is the age of the robber barons, the Vanderbilts and Jay Goulds and mansions on the hills. They want us to return to the economies that created the Great Depression and every other recession and depression in our history. They want the days of uncontrolled speculation instead of investment.
They want to dismantle everything we the American people have built over the past century. If they had their way, we would return to the days of company stores and indentured servitude and even slavery.
No nation survives without a middle class. That is the economic lesson of the past half-millenium. Those nations that based their economies on a middle class thrived. Those that clung to an oligarchy of the super rich failed.
Grover Norquist has articulated what most of us only speculated about. The aim of the Republican Party is to destroy the middle class in order to create a one-party oligarchy in which the rest of us are subject to the whims and desires of the very rich. Norquist is right about the twenty-year arch on that. It would take about 20 years until this nation exploded in revolution against the same kind of top-down authoritarian rule that we rebelled against in 1776.