The Conservative Double Whammy


For several weeks now, the American Legion has been running adds asking for donations – $20 a month – to help wounded veterans from the Iraq war. Nothing wrong with that but this: the core of their pitch is that “we” made promises to take care of them that “we” didn’t keep and now it’s time for “all of us” to step up and keep “our” word to those harmed when they were in “our” service.

The tone is one of finger-wagging accusation and “you oughta be ashamed of ourself” sadness that “we” let down “our” vets by cutting the medical benefits they were supposed to get. Sounds like AL is doing its patriotic duty toward our fighting men, doesn’t it? But here’s the rub: “we” didn’t cut those services. The people who did – Republicans and conservative Democrats in Congress – were universally supported, financially and otherwise, by the same American Legion that is now tut-tutting at us for allowing it to happen.

As every poll showed whenever the subject came up, “we” were against the cuts Republicans kept making and “for” taking care of our soldiers, but the pols the Legion supported were more concerned about cutting the budget so they could cut taxes for their wealthy donors. Yet there’s not an inkling of the Legion’s own responsibility for the situation in their ad. Of course.

And it’s not just them. Charles Koch, who has spent decades bankrolling virulently anti-crime conservatives, now says the justice system has gone too far.

[T]he Corpus Christi case…prompted Charles Koch to study the justice system – both federal and state – wondering whether it has been over-criminalized with too many laws and too many prosecutions of nonviolent offenders….

His conclusion: Yes, it has.

Ten years ago, he began giving money to support efforts by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers to help train defense lawyers and reverse what some see as a national trend to get tough on crime, which has resulted in the tripling of the incarceration rate since the 1980s and has stripped the poor of their rights to a legal defense.

He’s going to give more to that effort, he said.

Well whoopee for him. Without so much as a hint of acknowledgement that he has been a prime force and main funder for the last 40 yrs of the very people who have created this sad situation, now he wants the credit for trying to roll it back by throwing a few pennies at it. And bear in mind, he is still funding the same anti-crime conservatives who are trying to make it a crime to be poor, black, an immigrant or a dissenter from the Koch Philosophy, thus ensuring the current travesty of justice will continue rolling over his enemies.

What does he expect? Am I supposed to tug my forelock and shout “Thank you, sir. May I have another?”

I’d rather not.

This attitude seems to be growing in conservative/corporate circles. BP, for instance, destroyed the ecosystem of the entire Gulf, doing billions of $ in damages, and then bragged about throwing a few $million at the cleanup (primarily so they could score more govt leases, which they did), all the while insisting that the spill wasn’t their fault.

What is one to say about people who think supporting the illusion of rational behavior is the same as behaving rationally?

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