posted on August 20, 2013 15:12
It’s a bleak landscape.
A nightmare vision of a counter-revolution roaring down the tracks, turning back the hands of the clock, rolling back progress to the days before indoor plumbing, air-conditioning, and daylight savings time.
Republicans, Reverend William Barber howls, are turning back the clock to the days of Jim Crow.
Republican tax cuts are turning back the clock to the wasteland of the 19th Century.
Republican education cuts are turning back the clock to the age of illiteracy.
Teachers are reeling, public schools are tottering, red-shirted bigots are running wild suppressing voters – all because Torquemada-like Republicans rule the roost in Raleigh.
Political hyperbole? Or sad truth?
Take a breath and consider this.
Republicans did not cut the state budget. Government spending went up. They only limited how fast spending went up.
Republicans did not cut Education spending. It went up $400 million. They only limited how fast spending went up.
No doubt limiting spending increases is a change. But is it a revolutionary change?
And what about the terrible Republican election laws? Well, ask yourself, in the year of our Lord 2013, is it within Republicans’ – or any other mortal’s – grasp to turn back the clock to the days of Jim Crow? Or does the threat of Klansmen running wild only exist in the imagination of Reverend Barber?
If Democrats chose to argue increasing education spending $400 million was not enough, that would be a real difference between them and Republicans. If they argued no one should have to show an ID to vote, anymore than they should have to show an ID to exercise their right to free speech, that would be a real difference between them and Republicans.
But to argue Republicans want to turn back the clock to the Dark Ages while ‘Progressives’ want to march forward into sunlit uplands – that’s a narrative so far-fetched it is bound to rebound against Democrats.