Back in September, former President Bill Clinton blasted what he called a “non-fact-based political debate” surrounding the Republican primary race and Tea Party economic policies which advocate for limited government services and low taxation. Clinton met with a small group of bloggers on the sidelines of the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual meeting in New York, and criticized the Tea Party’s policies and their anti-social spending sentiment. The former president noted that there has never been any evidence that the kind of extremist policies that the Tea Party advocates has ever worked and criticized the “continuing dominance of non-fact based political debate”:
“You can stand up and say anything and nobody rings a bell if the facts are wrong. There’s no bell ringing. It’s crazy; we’re living in a time when it’s more important than ever to know things. And not just to know facts but to put them in a coherent, sensible pattern. You know, there’s not a single solitary example on the planet, not one, of a country that is successful because the economy has triumphed over the government and choked it off and driven the tax rates to zero, driven the regulations to nonexistent and abolished all government programs, except for defense, so people in my income group never have to pay a nickel to see a cow jump over the moon. There is no example of a successful country that looks like that.”
Clinton is right – there is no example of this type of anti-poor, anti-middle class so called “pro-growth” policies ever working anywhere particularly here in America. One only needs to look at the chart for income and wealth levels over the last thirty years here in the U.S – the rich have prospered enormously while the poor and middle class have been left behind. However, these are exactly the policies – lower the tax rates for the rich and so-called “job creators” and cut every social program in sight- from education and environmental to Social Security and Medicare- that more than ever dominate the mindset of these extremists that have taken over the Republican Party. The Tea Party fringe has somehow even managed to put the establishment GOP candidates under their spell with Mitt Romney talking about deporting eleven million immigrants and Newt Gingrich saying he wants to overturn the Supreme Court.
On the positive side, this bodes well for the Democrats in 2012. The GOP will not win over the independent voters as long as they have candidates who are so fervently anti-poor, anti-working class, anti-immigrant and who want to basically re-write the Constitution and trash the separation of powers. Moreover, the independent voters are not buying into a movement largely comprised of frightened, resentful, religious right people who probably believe that Jesus will return soon, and send all Democrats, gays, blacks, progressives, liberals, college-educated unbelievers, etc. to hell, while saving them – you know Palin’s “us real Americans”. The Independent voters after all are not the village idiots, ready to throw their own their self interests out the window in the name of flag, country, God, babies, and free enterprise.