Freedom, Power, and the Conservative Mind by Robert Reich, CommonDreams.org, July 2, 2014…… The so-called “free market” is not expanding options and opportunities for most people. It’s extending them for the few who are wealthy enough to influence how the market is organized. But this is a very parched view of freedom. Conservatives who claim to be on the side of freedom while ignoring the growing imbalance of economic and political power in America are not in fact on the side of freedom. They are on the side of those with the power.
Lone Star Crazy: How Right-Wing Extremists Took Over Texas by Mark Binelli, Rolling Stone magazine, JULY 01, 2014
How Ayn Rand’s Bizarre Philosophy Made the New Right so Toxic By George Monbiot, The Guardian, posted on Alternet.org, March 7, 2012 –… Selfishness, it contends, is good, altruism evil, empathy and compassion are irrational and destructive…the belief system constructed by Ayn Rand…has never been more popular or influential…Through her novels (such as Atlas Shrugged…she explained a philosophy she called Objectivism. This holds that the only moral course is pure self-interest. We owe nothing, she insists, to anyone, even to members of our own families…Apart from the police, the courts and the armed forces, there should be no role for government… Ignoring Rand’s evangelical atheism, the Tea Party movement has taken her to its heart…She is energetically promoted by the broadcasters Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Rick Santelli. She is the guiding spirit of the Republicans in Congress [notably Paul Ryan and Rand Paul]… the most devoted member of her inner circle was Alan Greenspan, former head of the US Federal Reserve…Greenspan applied his guru’s philosophy to the letter, cutting taxes for the rich, repealing the laws constraining banks, refusing to regulate the predatory lending and the derivatives trading which eventually brought the system down…Saturated in her philosophy, the new right on both sides of the Atlantic continues to demand the rollback of the state, even as the wreckage of that policy lies all around. The poor go down, the ultra-rich survive and prosper. Ayn Rand would have approved.
Mitt Romney Blurts Out the Truth About Neo-Conservatism by Linda McQuaig,Toronto Star, September 28, 2012
Ted Cruz returns to the Texas Republican convention a conquering hero By Karen Tumulty, Published: June 8 | Updated: Monday, June 9, 2014 …This year’s Republican primaries proved beyond doubt that in the Lone Star State, the tea party is now the mainstream of Republicanism. Indeed, the entire Texas GOP appears to have been made over in Cruz’s image. Come January, barring a massive shift in the state’s political winds, candidates who ran by his playbook will hold just about every statewide office…The GOP platform approved Saturday also reflected a new, harder edge…Texas conservatives say that they are not out of step but rather leading the way…Cruz may be reviled by some in Washington for his role in bringing the federal government to a halt last year, but at home, Republicans see him as that rare politician who actually does what he promised.
GOP cliff walk, Houston Chronicle, June 9, 2014 … Texas Republicans…political party so averse to the reality of a growing, changing, dynamic state that its members prefer a return to the 1950s…the ideologues have taken uncontested control…If they get their way in a couple of years, the hardliners will storm the White House, as well. Tea party torch bearer, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, ran away with the presidential straw poll with 43 percent of the tally…Cruz and the tea party are “pushing the Republican Party off the ideological cliff,” said Texas Democratic Party communications director Manny Garcia. We tend to agree, but neither Democrats nor moderate Republicans seem capable of reversing the trend any time soon.
How Hypocrisy Is Simply Not a Factor in the Right-Wing Mind By CJ Werleman, AlterNet, May 7, 2014 …It takes a Republican to be pro-death penalty, pro-war, pro-torture, and pro-bombing, yet be “pro-life.” …there are countless other examples that demonstrate right-wing hypocrisy…… The collective thinking of today’s movement conservatives accounts for little more than magic wand waving, the dangerous belief that if we eliminate all forms of the federal government, all our problems will vanish into thin air… it’s arguable that the most damaging 11 words ever uttered by a U.S. president are Reagan’s “government is not part of the solution, government is the problem.” Or how about Reagan’s other famous line: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”.Those two phrases have blanketed an entire generation of Republicans with hypocritical habits….Hypocrisy allows Republicans to ignore that it was the federal government that built the great American middle class through labor laws, reforms in the financial and banking industry, and a progressive tax code that shared the prosperity. It was also the federal government that created the interstate highway system, so that private enterprise could deliver to expanded markets. We tackled poverty with Social Security and Medicare, and on and so on. But instead of trying to starve the government or drown it in the bathtub, “we need to tackle our problems head-on, and that will require better government.”
Conservatives With a Cause: ‘We’re Right’ By ASHLEY PARKER, New York Times, September 30, 2013 – Excerpt - …what gives House Republicans the idea that they can triumph in their push to repeal, or at least delay, the Affordable Care Act when so many veteran voices in their party see it as an unwinnable fight? “Because we’re right, simply because we’re right,” said Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, one of the most conservative of House lawmakers. “We can recover from a political squabble, but we can never recover from Obamacare.”… Representative Pete Sessions, Republican of Texas and chairman of the House Rules Committee, hinted that Republicans were unlikely to give up without at least another round since they see their campaign against the health care law as something of a higher quest. And many, if not most, people they talk to — colleagues, friendly constituents, activists, members of advocacy groups — reinforce that opinion, bolstering their belief that they are on the right side not just ideologically, but morally as well… “What was I elected for? To try to change the law on behalf of my constituents, to stand on my core principles and do my best to represent them ethically, honestly, based on the core principles we share,” said Representative John Culberson, Republican of Texas. “This is a matter of core principle.” Representative Steve Pearce, Republican of New Mexico, described the task facing his colleagues as perhaps quixotic, but ideologically critical. “At times, you must act on principle and not ask what cost, what are the chances of success,” he said.
How Ayn Rand’s Bizarre Philosophy Made the New Right so Toxic By George Monbiot, The Guardian, posted on Alternet.org, March 7, 2012
Six Studies That Show Everything Republicans Believe is Wrong By Sean McElwee, Rolling Stone, April 23, 2014 …as the evidence has piled up against them, they continue spreading the same myths…
1. The Minimum Wage Doesn’t Kill Jobs.
2. The Stimulus Created Millions of Jobs.
3. Taxing The Rich Doesn’t Hurt Economic Growth.
4. Global Warming is Caused by Humans.
5. The Affordable Care Act is Working
6. Rich people are no better than the rest of us.
The tea party’s revolt against reality By Michael Gerson, Washington Post, September 30, 2013 — …this revolt is against anyone who accepts the constraints of political reality…composing less than 20 percent of the House Republican caucus…The tea-party faction holds the margin of victory in a slim Republican House majority…Conservatives now face the ideological temptation: inviting an unpleasant political reality by refusing to inhabit political reality.