Despicable GOP.

No, I’m not just referring to the Republican Party’s current slate of presidential candidates – although they, alone, should be cause for derision. I’m referring to the Party’s ongoing disregard for ethics, human kindness and the Constitution.

Witness former Nixon administration staffer John Ehrlichman’s recent admission during an interview with Dan Baum for Harper’s about the war on drugs. As reported by, Ehrlichman stated, “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

Disgusting as that is, the Nixon campaign’s actions regarding the Vietnam War were worse. It is now known that the campaign intentionally undermined the Paris peace talks to prevent the end of the war before the 1968 election. Of course, the Nixon campaign was also guilty of breaking into the offices of the Democratic National Committee to steal information that would help it win the campaign.

In other words, the GOP candidate was willing to sacrifice the lives of thousands of US soldiers and subvert the electoral process in order to gain office.

The Nixon campaign’s actions lend credence to those who have charged that the Reagan campaign undermined President Carter’s negotiations with Iran for the release of our embassy hostages until after the 1980 election. They also add credibility to charges that, during the Reagan administration, the CIA ran an operation to sell drugs in black neighborhoods in order to finance the Contras in Central America. And those actions neatly align with what has been proven – that the Reagan administration illegally sold weapons to Iran in order to finance the Contras.

There’s more.

In response to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was signed into law by a Democratic president, it is known that the Republican Party embraced southern racists to improve its ability to win elections. The Party created a war of “social values” (anti-abortion and anti-gay rights) in order to appeal to “Christian” evangelicals. It attacked labor unions to benefit its large corporate donors, and to deny campaign funds to Democratic candidates. It prioritized partisan ideology over respect for the law in its Supreme Court nominations ultimately resulting in a series of court decisions that led to a torrent of money to sway campaigns. And, as I’ve shown in my new book Antidote to Fact-Free Politics, the GOP used those ideological justices on the Supreme Court to quite literally steal the 2000 election from Al Gore.

Since that time, the GOP pursued an ill-advised and unnecessary war. It has resorted to unprecedented obstruction to thwart many of the objectives of the Obama administration. It has used its majorities in red states to gerrymander congressional districts in order to prevent them from ever electing Democrats. It has aligned with the Koch brothers, their billionaire allies, and large corporations to re-write state laws through the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in order to enact long-term change on behalf of corporate interests. And, despite no evidence of in-person voter fraud, it has imposed voter ID laws to disenfranchise poor and minority voters.

Yet, as the result of the propaganda originated by the RNC and broadcast by Fox News, rightwing radio and the ratings-driven mainstream media, many poor and middle class voters are convinced to vote Republican against their own self-interests.

Is it any wonder that our nation has officially become an oligarchy?

If Obama’s Foreign Policy Was More Like Reagan’s…

Following the Russian confrontation in Crimea, the neocon politicians and right wing media have compared President Obama’s foreign policy to that of their idol’s – Ronald Reagan. Since I don’t remember those days as fondly as they do, and I remember conversations during a trip to Europe in which Europeans stated that they feared the US far more than the USSR, I thought it would be interesting to actually compare Reagan’s foreign policy with that of Obama’s.

Here’s what I found:

If Obama was more like Reagan, he would have immediately cut and run from Afghanistan as Reagan did from Beirut following the deaths of 241 Marines in a terrorist attack. He would illegally sell weapons to our enemies as Reagan did to Iran in exchange for the money needed to support death squads in El Salvador and Nicaragua. He would embrace torturers and killers resulting in the deaths of more than 100,000 innocent peasants. And he would encourage his National Security Advisors to break the law resulting in 14 convictions and at least one other indictment.

Obama would escalate military spending on wasteful and unnecessary weapons programs tripling the national debt. He would bluster and threaten other military powers demanding an end to confrontation then reject their concessions as Reagan rejected Gorbachev’s initiative for total nuclear disarmament.

In defiance of international treaties, Obama would provide chemical and biological weapons to a brutal dictator for use against his neighbors and his own people as Reagan did for Saddam Hussein. He would break international treaties and norms in support of other repressive regimes. He would publically joke about using nuclear weapons. He would order the invasion of a tiny island nation despite the protests of Canada, the United Kingdom and the United Nations General Assembly.

Obama would channel military aid and propaganda materials to fundamentalist Muslims that would later be used by terrorists against the United States. He would support terrorists known for skinning captives alive and throwing acid in the faces of women who failed to wear burkas.

Yes, those were the “good old days.” Let’s have more of that.