Friday, March 5, 2010

Way Beyond Outrage

I confess I have used it all up – the outrage, I mean – and now each new glimpse into the psyche of today’s Republican Party just gives me another little spasm of nausea.

The latest comes from John McCain’s senate colleague from Arizona, John Kyl, who – for reasons almost beyond comprehension – rose to the defense of Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning, who – (there goes another spasm) – had single-handedly held up a one-month extension of unemployment benefits to several million out-of-work Americans.

In defending Bunning, Kyl offered everyone a look at his own personal view of unemployment benefits which, he says, don’t create jobs and “if anything, continuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work.”

Good heavens! Do we really want to deliberately deny benefits to the vast majority in order to be sure the small percentage of abusers aren’t cheating the system? That means screwing the many so the few won’t screw us. How’s that for enlightened public policy!

You know why Democrats have a tougher sell with so many of these issues? It's what has become the simple, fundamental difference between the two political parties: Democrats appeal to the better instincts of people, including sacrifice and generosity, while Republicans are appealing to baser instincts like selfishness and fear.

Abe Lincoln would be ashamed of his party today.

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