"Outrage," and "veto," and "dead on arrival," were three things President Barack Obama didn't say when Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) unveiled the Republican plan to eliminate Medicare. The GOP 2012 budget scheme to cut trillions in spending and hand the money to their plutocrat masters through more gratuitous tax subsidies features eliminating the nation's health plan for retirees and the disabled. Ryan and his horde would replace elder Americans' access to health care with a handful of worthless vouchers that might knock a few bucks off the exorbitantly expensive private insurance policies most people can't afford even now, let alone in ten years when the premiums will skyrocket logarithmically.
Once again, the White House has met another horrific Republican assault on the very fabric of American democracy with deafening silence. The Republicans moved to cut vital funding to environmental protection and disaster preparedness, and the White House said nothing. The Republicans moved to cut funding to womens' right to choice, and the White House said nothing. The Republicans busted unions and slashed collective bargaining, and the White House said nothing.
The President of the United States has the bully pulpit, but the President doesn't much seem to care about using it. The President hasn't stood up to the torrent of Republican lies that tax cuts for the wealthy and trickle-down supply side Ayn Randian plutocrat coddling creates jobs. The President hasn't stood up to Republican demands to do away with health, safety, and business regulations. The President hasn't stood up to Republican harangues against livable wages and pensions and benefits.
The President has countenanced billions of dollars in ruthless, grandstanding service cuts that do nothing to address economic ills, and meekly extended the Bush-era tax cuts that are the cause of America's grief.
Across America, political observers wonder when and whether Obama will stand up for the people who elected him. Thus far, he's been nothing but a corporate tool, a lapdog for the monied interests who are driving the nation straight into the ground while filling their own coffers.
If Obama wanted to fight for Medicare and Social Security and balanced budgets through revenue reform, he had the ideal venue in Monday's 2012 re-election launch. He could have defined the battle for America's democratic institutions and thrown down the gauntlet before the Republicans and their wealthy overlords. Instead, he had no message beyond a tepid appeal for his supporters to go out and put him back on the plutocrats' laps.
In 2008, when Hillary Clinton was all but anointed as George W. Bush's successor, the corporate media suddenly put Barack Obama at the top of the twenty-four hour news cycle and buried Hillary and John Edwards on the back pages when they reported on them at all. Obama's every move and fawning up-close-and-personals were everywhere from dawn to dusk, to the point of being lampooned on Saturday Night Live. The media blitz revealed Obama was the corporations' choice for Democratic nominee. All the coverage may have been historic fascination for the first viable black presidential candidate, but his election sure has worked out well for the plutocrats who daily grow fatter as the stock market climbs on rich overseas profits and pyramid accounting schemes.
American democracy and the modern pluralistic state is on the line. With 20% of Americans owning 84% of all the wealth, the ultra-rich have been able to hire armies of lawyers to tie up any legal dissent to their running roughshod over business, industry, and environmental regulation. The ultra-rich have been able to hire hordes of lobbyists to buy off every politician and election in the land. The ultra-rich have been able to hire thugs and screamers to disrupt and sabotage grassroots organization and protest. Unbridled by any sort of reasonable taxation, the ultra-rich have been able to use the massive weight of their enormous wealth as a bludgeon to crush the democratic process and reign as unfettered plutocrats. They can pollute at will, scam financial markets at will, and cripple the ability of ordinary Americans to live dignified lives at will.
The Republicans' endless shrieking about debt and balanced budgets is nothing more than a smokescreen behind which they vie to hand ever more and greater tax subsidies to the ultra-rich. The Ryan proposal slashes taxes on the top tier from the lowly 35% it is now to a nation-busting 25%. None of the Republican schemes do anything to balance budgets. Republicans care only to find new reserves of taxpayer money and plunder them for their plutocrat masters. Having emptied the nation's numerous pension funds, they now covet the Social Security trust funds. Having drained Americans of their assets, they want to hand Medicare to their insurance company cronies to plunder as they wish.
Ryan and the Republicans have revealed with naked arrogance a disdain for the American people unparalleled by any of America's legion of historic enemies. The Republicans relish seeing Americans in pain and suffering, and wish for them to die horribly and miserably as their anguished loved ones are torn apart trying to comfort their dying elders. The Republicans lust for the spurious trinkets and tokens their plutocrat masters will toss them for the tax cuts and subsidies they've stolen from the American people. The Republicans, by cutting off Americans' access to health care at age 65, want to commit the medical genocide of everyone who has become too old or injured to be of use to the corporate plutocrats. There is no gilding this lily. The Republicans' slaughter would be wholesale and complete, and target their own people.
In the midst of all this, the Leader of the Free World can only shuffle about and make noises about bipartisanship. The Republicans have learned that, so far, when Obama says, "bipartisan," he means caving in to everything the Republicans want.