GOP’s Age Warfare.

Teapublicans always whine about what they refer to as “class warfare” whenever anyone wants to level the playing field between the wealthy and the middle class. But now they are waging a war on those 50 and older by trying to privatize Social Security and Medicare. To push their agenda of destroying “entitlements,” the Tea Party says these safety net programs are unfair to millennials who have to contribute to the programs.

Would the millennials rather contribute to their parents when the safety nets fail?

Would they rather take in their elderly parents and grandparents? Would they prefer to offer them transportation, feed them, clothe them, provide elder care, track their meds, and bathe them? Would they like to cover their health care costs?

There’s a reason that most civilized nations have safety nets, such as Social Security and Medicare. It’s because most compassionate people would rather not see the elderly broke, hungry, sick and homeless. The large corporate masters of the Republican Party and its Tea Party parasites, on the other hand, only care about their bottom lines. If increasing profits hurts some people, so what? Their overpaid and overstuffed executives won’t have to worry about retirement, and neither will their parents. In most cases, they can simply send a check to help out poor ol’ Mom and Dad.

Has it really come to this? Is the new GOP strategy to pit one generation against another? Has the GOP tired of taking money from the working poor and food stamps from children? Are the elderly the last people standing between them and the tax-free government they desire?

These words may seem cynical. But that’s far better than the cynical actions of today’s GOP.

Still Gutless After All These Years.

The Democratic Party can claim a number of major accomplishments for the American people. It’s the party that led the US out of the Great Depression. It’s the party that created Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. It stood behind workers in their fight for labor unions. And it passed the Civil Rights Act at the risk of alienating Southern voters.

All of those things took strong leadership.

But in recent years, Democrats in Congress have been content to read the tea leaves (aka public polling) before taking a step.

Following a succession of failed presidential campaigns in the 1970’s and 80’s, the party became hesitant to take strong, principled stands. Certainly, many Democrats have offered support for gay rights and women’s rights. Most have supported labor and jobs initiatives. Democrats have supported education and environmental groups. They have supported government regulation of financial markets, pharmaceuticals, food safety and more.

But Democrats have also allowed Republicans to block presidential appointments and legislation. They have allowed an unelected political operative (Grover Norquist) to dominate economic policy with his no new taxes pledge.They have allowed Republicans and their Tea Party parasites to dominate the political narrative. Worse, like their Republican opponents, too many Democrats have become dependent on large corporations and special interests for campaign donations.

The rare exception to this pattern of weak-kneed governing is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare.

It’s time for Democrats to show they can do more. They need to show they’re willing to take strong, principled stands regardless of the consequences; to push big initiatives such as rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, creating a modern and efficient electrical grid, and creating a modern rail system. Initiatives that would create tens of thousands of high-paying jobs and push the US back into a leadership position for decades to come.

It’s time for our Attorney General to prosecute and jail those on Wall Street who crashed our economy by engaging in high stakes gambling with depositors’ money. It’s time for Congress to reform our tax codes and eliminate corporate incentives that send jobs and cash offshore. It’s time to punish those who evade taxes by parking money in the world’s tax havens.

Yes, the GOP-controlled House will likely try to block such initiatives. It shouldn’t matter.

If Democrats show a commitment to do what’s right; if they put the needs of our nation above special interests; if they clearly explain the benefits of their initiatives; if they draw a stark contrast between themselves and the opposition; if they show they are serious about exposing and punishing corruption, they will dominate the political landscape for generations.

Governing should not rely on political polls. I trust the American people to recognize honesty and strength. If our representatives do the right thing, they will almost certainly be re-elected. If they don’t, they deserve to lose.