What “Spending” Is!

Republicans are masters at branding issues with labels, de-personalizing them, repeating them over and over and thus changing the paradigm that they exist within. Years ago, they turned the word “liberal” into a four letter word. They rebranded it and made it stick, liberals fled from the word and embraced “progressive” as the new label. Well, the right are working hard at rebranding that word too…see Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh for examples.  I’ve been asked by friends and colleagues why I named this blog Extreme Liberal’s Blog. The reason is that I am proud to be liberal. I’ve never run from the word, I’ve embraced it even tighter.

The media follows right along with the right’s well-coordinated, lock-step messaging for a couple of reasons. The first is…it’s just easier that way. When Republicans trot out the new “phrase of the day”, by the afternoon, the anchors and columnists are already repeating their message, nearly word for word. Shit, the Republicans write their damn scripts for them. The second reason is that the owners and bosses of all the talking heads on our TV’s and writers from the Newspapers and websites, well, they are the richest of the rich in this country and clearly benefit from Republican policies. That isn’t news to anyone, is it?

The latest word that Republicans are attempting to redefine is “spending”. Notice how they say it in almost every sentence, with disdain, and hardly ever talk about specifics. The goal clearly is not to be specific, but rather to create a boogeyman called (dramatic music) “SPENDING!” You may have noticed over the last few weeks that whenever a Republican was asked about details of spending cuts, they immediately went into the standard talking point about how the American people voted them in last November to cut spending. They use a doomsday tone, demonizing that big bad “spending” monster that is eating up America. The platitudes were just unbelievable, and the repetition constant and in lock-step, word by fucking word. Democrats have been trying to push back against both the Republicans and the media, but are being drowned out for the most part. When you have cable news repeating the same Republican manufactured memes on the hour, and trotting out any number of right-wing talking heads and the “angry, pants-on-fire” talking heads who are supposedly left, how in the hell can the truth cut through the lies in that situation? The deck is stacked against the truth and the media are enablers.

What always comes to my mind whenever the right gets all sanctimonious about the deficit is, why didn’t you get your panties in a bunch over giving trillions of dollars in tax cuts to the richest 5 percent in our country? In fact, you were the ones giving wonderful speeches about how the wealthy are the job creators and make the economy grow and if we just give them trillions of dollars, they will rain down upon us. Oh let it rain! We all know how that worked out. And where was the outcry about deficits then?

That’s why I am encouraged that the campaign is getting in gear, it gives David Plouffe and the gang a reason to push back, run ads and begin to inject some reality into the bizarre alternate reality that the media and Republicans have created. I smell Karl Fucking Rove all over this trend. And unfortunately, a lot of Democratic politicians are such wimps that they just go along with it. I remember seeing a Democratic politician calling his own party, the “Democrat” party. That’s when I knew the Republican propaganda machine had won that one too.

And I agree with Bob Cesca when he reminds us that family budgets are not like government budgets. Although I disagree with him about why President Obama is using that analogy, to simplify things for that ignorant masses, not because he really thinks a family budget is like a government budget.

I’ve started a list to remind us all what “spending” is. How “spending” affects the lives of real people. How “spending” isn’t just a faceless monster that we should kill, but how it affects millions of people. People who don’t have a lobbyist, or a corporate lawyer or accountant, or any power whatsoever. Please add to the list in comments if you feel the need.

Spending is senior citizens and Medicaid and Medicare.

Spending is WIC money, food for poor children. WTF!

Spending is infrastructure…fixing that road with pot holes, those bridges that are collapsing.

Spending is an education for the next generation.

Spending is health care for women, birth control, cancer screening, counseling,

Spending is assistance with getting a mortgage and realizing the “American Dream”

Spending is helping starving people around the world.

Spending is making sure we have air that we can breathe.

Spending is research on cancer, Alzheimer’s and other insidious diseases.

Spending is investing in new technologies so we can compete on a global scale.

Spending is keeping an eye on Wall Street capitalists who are out to make a profit at any cost.

Spending is that small business loan that may create jobs.

Spending is making sure that women and children are protected from abusers.

Spending is…


16 thoughts on “What “Spending” Is!

  1. Hi EL,
    Spending to the Republicans is a dirty word when the Democratic party is in office. I have another site I would like you to check out,
    Jim Wright at Stonekettlestation.com. He has an article about the shutdown you should read. It is truth and satire at it’s best.

  2. I’ve been looking at getting a Twitter account, just couldn’t figure out my name to use. LOL, It probably would work for me, I don’t do more than 140 characters usually. So what did Rachel do?

  3. This is what I tweeted and she didn’t respond…but I didn’t expect her to, but I hope she read it. The Cenk piece was about pushing back against Obama harder…

    @maddow The goal HAS to be to win back the house and Governorships in 2012…then we can kick ass for the next 4 years!

  4. Rachel was on her high horse the other night about oil drilling, so I am sure the ecoDems loved it. I am as much as an environmentalist as the next guy (one of my degrees is in biology), but I am also a realist. Unlike Rachel, I do believe that oil drilling can be safe BUT it always needs REGULATION/INSPECTION, something the Republicans hate of course as PROFITS are more important than safety and the environment.

    I am sure Rachel turned some ecoDems AWAY from Obama who will probably vote GREEN in 2012 if they aren’t already there. I used to get mad at Rachel for stirring up the gay voters always complaining that Obama didn’t do enough for the LGBT community.

    Not that I am again CONSTRUCTIVE criticism, but too often the left ideologues ONLY spew DESTRUCTIVE criticism. I am for WINNING and we need to be careful that the REICH doesn’t use our words against in the upcoming campaign commercials. Just as our families are not prone to hanging out the dirty laundry, the Democrats need to follow suit.

  5. I am glad that Rachel is talking about the oil drilling, and I think they should be improving their technology in light of the Deep Water Horizon bullshit.

    ANYONE who would not vote or vote for a Republican is fucking stupid. Fucking stupid. No other words for it. I think as long as we keep fighting until November 6, 2012, we can overcome those firebaggers and whiny ass titty babies.

  6. A lot of the professional left is about helping the republican party. They do this by pissing people off who might swing democrat to vote against the dems by pointing out as much dirt and bad stuff they can find about the democrats as they can. Thus they serve as a form of damage control for the republican party.

    Even Rachel helps out in the sense that she bashes the democrats and Obama when he doesn’t fall lock in step with one issue. This is to counter balance any positive things that he might accomplish. Its a common thing among the media especially the so called ‘progressive’ media.

  7. I might be in the minority on this but I think Rachel Maddow isn’t part of that Huffington,Uygur,Hamster and Greenwald cabal of self-righteous, self serving ass hats. I believe she falls in that If I was in charge things would be different trap. She truly cares about this issues and she let her personal feelings get in the way.

    I’m conflicted on Ed Schultz I like Ed because of his strong middle class talk but I have to turn him off when he goes firebag.

    What sucks is that we got people who are eating this shit up and willingly to hand the country over to people that would crush them like an ant.

  8. Houston blogger Mugsy writes today that the Republicans are actually the BIG SPENDERS but have been quite successful paint Democrats as “tax and spend”!:

    Now, you probably remember as well as I do that the National Debt was just under $4.2 Trillion dollars when President Clinton entered office in 1993, and was just over $5.7 Trillion (and falling) when Bush took over in 2001. By the time President Bush left office eight years later, he had nearly doubled 225 years of Debt to $10.6 Trillion dollars (and rising) adding more than the two previous record holders, Reagan and his father Bush-41, combined. It didn’t happen magically on its own. The Republican controlled Congress voted in near lockstep to help him do it.


    You’d think with all of the “intellectuals”….like writers, screen-writers, etc. in the Democratic Party we could do a much better job of framing the messages, using WORDS much more effectively. Republicans have become masters of simplifying their messages, condensing them to fit on bumper stickers, and then REPEATING over-and-over. Democrats seem to bore the public with their messages, somehow and often they are just not getting through. Of course, having the MSM repeating the GOP memes 24/7 does help them, too.

    I thought it interesting last week that it was revealed that Republicans had been supporting giving money to Planned Parenthood since Richard Nixon signed Title X into law in 1970, even giving 88 grantees as much as $300 million a year in Bush’s last 2008 budget. I only heard this ONE TIME in the media (probably mixed in with another Lindsey Lohan story!). Yet few Republicans were saying much about it until we elected a black president. Plus, Planned Parenthood only receives 25% of Title X monies…yes, the largest chunk because they are the oldest (nearly a century) and largest of such providers of services to women and families in the nation.

    However, 75% of Title X grantees provided family planning services to more than 4,500 community-based clinics OTHER THAN PLANNED PARENTHOOD that include state and local health departments, faith-based organizations, native-American tribal organizations, hospitals, university health centers, independent clinics, community health centers, and other public and private nonprofit agencies.

  9. I don’t lump Rachel in with the others, I think she gets it right most of the time. She occasionally goes off the rail, but hearing her say that Steve Benen is also her favorite blogger makes me know that she listens to reason.

  10. Nice rundown. I’m glad someone posted your link over at blackwaterdog’s site, and that you’ve been added to her blogroll so that your site gets more exposure. Keep up the good work!

  11. I note that you have highlighted a list of noble causes. But at the same time you fail to make any sensible connection between debt service, a shrinking tax base, trade deficits, looming hyper-inflation, the collapse of our manufacturing base, and the eventual collapse of the dollar. I have never been associated with any political party, but I am educated and understand economics, and the ballooning deficit holds nothing but financial peril for each and every American. NO ONE will be spared.

  12. That is precisely why we have to raise taxes on the wealthiest in this country. With TRILLIONS in profits sitting around from last year, the wealthiest can afford to help us out so we don’t have to cut things that help people, real live people, your friends and family, your neighbors…not a CEO who made millions in bonuses last year.

    I’m sure you are all for raising taxes just a little bit on rich people to prevent what you say is such a dire situation?

  13. The highest taxes on the rich (outside of a couple war years under FDR) were under the REPUBLICAN Eisenhower administration. The tax rate on the top bracket of earners in the 50’s was 91%, dropped to 70% under Richard Nixon, with the wealthiest Americans paying 50% at the end of Ronald Raygun’s first term. The last decade of Bush “tax cuts” didn’t give us a growing economy as was promised…just the opposite, so the Republicans LIE about tax cuts saying they encourage the wealthy to re-invest back into America, “creating JOBS”! Seems much of the capital investment has been overseas.

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