A few starry-eyed progressives of my acquaintance had high hopes for yesterday's Wisconsin recall elections, even though the targeted incumbents represented some of the most solidly Republican districts in the state.
Challengers did manage to take away two state senate seats, but nothing really changes: the right wing still controls the entire state government, and now feels empowered to carry out its most extreme agenda.
That's essentially where the entire country is. Perhaps Wisconsin stands as the last grain of proof that the United States will never again be what it has been for some 100 years. The people of the United States, as a political entity, will not open their eyes to the truth, as Wisconsin voters have just demonstrated.
The SCOTUS gang of five assured that Koch money would prevail in Wisconsin, and that big corporations would control all future elections everywhere in the country, with the Citizens United decision. The blind citizenry won't rise up to overturn it.
It has been clear since Reagan what the Republican agenda is, and that agenda has been moved even further toward fascism by the teapot tail that wags the GOP dog. Now that the White House is occupied by a so-called leader who, either because of corruption or sadly mistaken belief, is Reagan without the Gipper chutzpah, there is absolutely no obstacle to the enactment of that agenda.
Get ready for:
* Never-ending war. This is the most important single factor in the Republican economic plan. It is not about patriotism, or protecting us from terrorists or any other "ists." We already spend more on war than China, North Korea and Russia combined. Besides the three wars that the government allows us to know about, our clandestine wars are huge beyond our worst nightmares. The Seals killed in that 'copter crash were fighting one of the uncounted clandestine wars. We've got undercover missions in three quarters of the nations on this globe we call Earth. Look at the profit margins of "defense" contractors.
* The end of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Republicans have had the entire New Deal in their sights for ages. Now that their way is clear, the Big Three will be the first to go. Ultimately every facet of social justice and systemic fairness built by the New Deal, the New Frontier and the Great Society will be dismantled. With their utter command of the vocabulary of Washington, the Far Right will mask the destruction in euphemism. Social Security will be "privatized," which means that the billions we now entrust to the government for safekeeping to be paid back to us in our old age will instead be turned over to Wall Street as "investments." "Investment" means placing funds in a great casino in cyberspace, where bankers and hedge fund managers pillage it, leaving "investors" penniless. Government medical insurance will be replaced with wonderful things called "vouchers," which can be used to pay private insurers to provide medical coverage for those of us who are young enough and healthy enough not to need it. Insurers, of course, will be free to keep raising their premiums until the vouchers become worthless, whereupon those of us who aren't filthy rich can simply get sick and die. Who needs "death panels?" Grandma ain't got a chance, anyway.
* Deregulation of . . .well, ultimately everything that NEEDS regulation. Banks and Wall Street, especially. And the aforementioned insurers. Corporations -- the bigger they are, the less oversight they'll get. Mergers! Takeovers! Big is good. Greed is great. Profits aren't the most important things; they're the ONLY things.
* Repeal of the Bill of Rights. We're halfway there with the Patriot Act. Learn to be VERY careful what you say and who hears you say it.
*Destruction of unions. AFL-CIO will be six meaningless letters in the alphabet. Remember St. Ronnie and the Air Traffic Controllers? Burn your union cards. They might become tickets to jail.
* Air filled with filth -- carcinogens, stench and smog. The Clean Air Act has already been weakened; the GOP has legislation in the pipeline to weaken it further; soon it won't exist.
* Non-potable water -- in lakes, streams and underground. Let them drink Coke, to paraphrase the French -- who, by the way, are Old Europe and bad.
* Vanishing public lands. Oh, there will still be "government land" but it will all be turned over to mining, drilling, logging, looting, pillaging -- whatever corporate America wants to use it for. The Grand Canyon Uranium Mine. Arches National Natural Gas. The Worst Congressman Ever, who represents southern New Mexico, is typical: he says the first thing we've got to do is repeal that awful endangered Species Act. The last wolf in the world will be "preserved" in a zoo in Billings, Mont. -- a zoo owned by Marriott.
* Contaminated earth. There'll be a Love Canal in everyone's back yard, and piles of nuclear waste in every canyon and arroyo in the west.
* Millions of unwanted children. The Official State Religion will ban contraception and make abortion a criminal act for both the provider and the abortee. Keep 'em barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen.
* Dead of night raids on your homes. Who knows what's going on behind those closed bedroom doors, or in those computer rooms? There's all them sex preeverts, you know, and terrorists everywhere that you least expect them.
God Bless Our Troops and God Bless America.