Why aren’t tea partiers angry about insurance abuses? Part 1.

Tea Party rally

CPAC came and went its course in Washington this year, revealing once again that it has nothing to offer in the way of principled conservatism. As might be expected of supposed ‘rebels’ actually backed by big-time funding, it also demonstrated, to any tea partiers actually paying attention, that ‘conservative’ movers and shakers are no more genuinely concerned about fundamental conservative principle than is the GOP.

Media outlets can focus all they want to on a rift between the establishment GOP and its far right. But in truth, whether you are talking about Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio in Florida, Rick Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchison in Texas, or John McCain and J. D. Hayworth in Arizona, the supposed rift is only a muffin-top crackle on the deeper blendedness of the two ‘wings’: They are all opposed to taxing the super-wealthy, regardless of how poor the rest of the country gets; and they are all opposed to reining in the abuses of corporations, regardless of the number of deaths.

That is both the sign and the deep structure of their version of ‘conservatism.’ That is basically their reason for being in politics. They are in power for one purpose and one purpose only, to prevent any fiscal reforms that would redress the abuses of monopoly, of consolidation of power, of ownership in a few hands—the kind of thing we see increasingly in the U.S., from the lovely Maryland village of Ellicott City owned by real estate interests, to whole mountains in Appalachia owned by coal companies, to control of the insurance market in entire states by one insurance company or a few companies.

Test this proposition. With all the railing about deficits, do you ever see Crist-Rubio, Perry-Hutchison, or McCain-Hayworth suggesting that we curb tax giveaways to corporations that ship U.S. jobs overseas? Do you ever see them recommend that we eliminate tax havens in the Caymans? Do they ever recommend that we rein in abuses including outright fraud by big-time military and security contractors?

Quite the contrary: Hayworth, in particular, is running on a nearly overt promise of increasing slush-fund giveaways for ‘border security,’ which means contractors. Hayworth, who was tied for years to now-imprisoned super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, may be a particularly blatant example of a candidate openly soliciting contributions from the military-security-surveillance sector. But he is by no means alone. Gov. Rick Perry of Texas does the same.

Texas Governor Rick Perry

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