Actually the entire Republican Party establishment is Keyser Soze. And just like the diabolical primary antagonist in the 1995 cult classic film The Usual Suspects, the Republican Party establishment has been incredibly effective in secretly meeting its true objectives by skillful slight of hand, subterfuge, and slick deception. And when that big tax bill passed- that once in a generation re-ordering of the financial affairs of our nation- Keyser’s mission was accomplished.
The primary tool that Keyser has used to divert the nation’s attention away from what he has been up to for all this time is conservative media: Fox News and talk radio. I consume more conservative media than any other progressive that I know. Because I am a political writer it is my professional obligation to stay plugged into the power sources that move the people and one of those power sources is conservative media.
If you are visiting the Progressive Express, my bet is you don’t torture yourself on a regular basis listening to the insufferable Rush Limbaugh or watching the unwatchable Sean Hannity. But that is ok because that’s what I’m here for. I can distill hours and hours of their hysterical programming down to a few paragraphs you can read in 7 minutes. That is a lot better than listening to those worthless assholes for 5 hours so you’re welcome.
While Rush and Sean have spent years and years whipping Red State America into a frenzy over the fallacy that white people are the real victims of racial oppression and that they are under attack from all the “others” Keyser Soze has had his eyes on shredding the social contract America put in place with FDR’s New Deal to ease the pain of poverty from The Great Depression. They have hated all social safety net legislation since day one because they know that it has to be funded by a steady stream of tax revenues by the people. And the people that pay a large share are the wealthiest- even though they are furthest removed from the benefits of that system. It is about the public welfare as we all have a stake in a stable, orderly and civilized society- a concept that makes perfect sense to most responsible citizens. But many wealthy people hate this system and are deeply resentful of participating in it. These also happen to be the only people in the country that Keyser Soze cares about because he only exists to do their bidding.
And now it is finally done. This tax cut is so big- $1.5 trillion dollars big- it is going to plunder the Treasury to the point that Paul Ryan will meet no resistance when he puts away the scalpel and pulls out his butcher knife for the next Republican Speaker to cut up and carve away the entitlement programs that have kept American old folks and poorer people stabilized for half a century.
He is by no means alone but Paul has been the tip of the spear for this plan since he was (by his own account) a college kid drinking beer out of a keg and fantasizing about cutting medicaid and social security entitlements. I bullsh*t you not, he made this quip right after the Senate passed its version of the tax cut bill- and he did it with that goofy, aw-shucks, sh*t eating grin on his face that the media loves so much.
Now that there will literally be no money to feed medicaid, medicare and social security those programs are going to be starved out- slowly and cruelly. And the wealthiest Americans who have hated this system from the very beginning will get to put solid gold toilets in every bathroom of every house or building they can buy. The new world order is coming and it is starting right here in the original “new world.” To be fair, Paul Ryan should not stand alone in receiving the contempt of the thinking class. There is enough contempt to spread around.
Senator Susan Collins is Kaiser Soze- with her fake and phony “concerns” about what would happen to the health insurance markets when 13 million people get thrown off of their insurance without ANY capacity to replace it. Go to hell, Susan.
Senator Bob Corker is Kaiser Soze- with his bullshit “fiscal responsibility” act and phony claims that he would not vote for a tax cut that would add “even one penny” to the deficit. Suddenly, Bob changed his mind when that real estate LLC provision was dropped in at the last minute which will put millions of dollars in his own pocket. Up yours, Bob. I’m glad you are retiring and I hope to never see your little Oompa Loompa looking ass again.
Senator Marco Rubio is Kaiser Soze- with his kabuki theater 11th hour act of resistence. That claim of opposing the bill unless the child-care tax credit was increased was pure theatrics and everybody was in on it. Get the f*ck out of here, Marco. What do you take me for? You don’t have the nuts or the guts to vote against a bill like this and everybody who watches you knows it. You were giving the whole party cover to make it look like you give a damn about poor people despite the violence this tax cut does to them. You don’t and we know it. Giving some poor mother $300 to spread over 12 months is a sick joke. Eat a fat one, Marco.
And yes, Senator John McCain is Kaiser Soze- and this one really hurts because I know he has had some great moments as a public servant. And his days are numbered and his time is getting tight. He was so sick he wasn’t even there to cast his vote for the monstrosity. But the fact is when he came out and gave his verbal support, he flung the door open for Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski to follow him- which everybody knows they always do. So, John just decided that his prior insistence on a return to “regular order” where there were actually bipartisan committee meetings to discuss major legislation, and experts testifying in public hearings, and CBO score reviews and all of that just didn’t matter after all. To hell with it, the “maverick” said. I’m going to thank my wealthy donors on my way out.
I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. The signature line of dialogue from The Usual Suspects was spoken by the character who we later discovered was Keyser Soze himself. He stated simply that
“The greatest trick the Devil ever played was convincing people he didn’t exist.”
And that is where we are. For years we have been convinced that both major parties were driven by patriotism and a desire to serve the country- they just went about it in different ways. Turns out, that was the big trick. Because the Republicans are finally revealing themselves NOT to be patriots serving the country. They are simply the gate-keepers, hand-maidens and man-servants of the wealthiest Americans who simply want to function openly as an oligarchy. And I’ll be damned if they didn’t pull it off while a lot of us were looking the other way. This whole bullshit story that Republicans are pushing that “economic growth will pay for these tax cuts” is the final insult because they are letting us know that they believe we are dumb enough to buy that line despite the mountain of evidence proving the opposite. They got us and now they want us to thank them for it. Only time will tell if that is the next great trick that the Devil plays on us. We will surely find out how well it worked in ’18 and ’20. But one thing’s for sure: Paul Ryan got what he always wanted and now he’s gone home.