For a while now, the Republicans have pushed two memes: The working class pays no tax, and the poor must be kept from voting. Now the themes merge. Representative Steve King offers the initial outlines of a plan
to keep alleged tax dodgers -- that is, underpaid workers, the elderly and students -- from voting.
Now I don't think they're paying taxes. But many of them are voting. And when they vote, they vote for more government benefits.
This is precisely the point Sharron Angle made during her abortive run for Reid's seat: If democracy grants the people the right to push for things like Social Security and Medicare, then democracy must go. (She justified this absurdity by muttering some hallucinated nonsense about the Founding Fathers.)
Is King daydreaming? No. I think he has been tasked with sounding a theme that conservatives will be repeating frequently in months to come. These people want a revolution.
They want to remake the country from the ground up.
The outlandish pronouncements of radicals like King and Angle are the reason why I react with both horror and sympathy (and more of the former) when someone like Ian Welsh
says something like this:
At this point in time only radical solutions will work. That means radical: everything must go. Every institution in American society has failed. Every single one. They must all be shut down and the purposes they were meant to serve must be assigned to new institutions.
It's easy to guess how a King or an Angle (or their masters) would respond: Yes, by all means. Everything must go. We need a fresh start.
A "fresh start" will mean waking up in Ayn Randland. The Libertarians have their shit together; we don't
. They have nearly limitless funds. They also have numbers, the passion of the petty, a formidable media infrastructure, and an unholy alliance with the religious right. (The last-mentioned item would have annoyed Ayn, but she had a Machiavellian streak wide enough to accept the compromise.) Any revolution will quickly become their
This is why I get the cosmic heebie-jeebies whenever I see a lefty posit the need for a new Constitutional Convention. And who would fill that convention hall? Guys like Representative King, that's who. Never flatter yourself with the pathetic delusion that the revolution will consist of people who think as you think.