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Republicans at Highest Levels Really Want to Do Away with Democracy for All

There's a dangerous right-wing alignment in the making; race-baiters proposing 'civics literacy tests' and elite free market ideologues who see democracy as inefficient.

While Tea Party movement followers ran around Nashville last week dressed up in their Paul Revere period costumes, blathering about their heroic struggle against Obama's Islamosocialist tyranny, the right-wing elite that nurtures them, and their paid libertarian ideologues, have been openly advocating the abolition of America's democracy in favor of a free-market junta, because, as they say over and over, voters cannot be trusted to rule themselves.

Here, for example, is how one popular libertarian pundit summed up the attitude: "To be a libertarian in a modern democracy is to say that nearly 300 million Americans are wrong, and a handful of nay-sayers are right." It's a quote so common among the Republican and libertarian vanguard that it's almost irrelevant which one of them said it -- I'll get to this guy later, but suffice to know that he's a tenured professor, and sitting pretty in the same billionaire-funded world of think tanks, institutes, and PR machines that launched the Tea Party.

That's the dangerously authoritarian part of the Tea Party that we've forgotten about lately.

It's evident even in Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo's shocking " Jim Crow speech" that kicked off last week's Tea Party Convention -- when the out-of-the-closet xenophobe unveiled his Big Idea on how to preserve America's freedom, he wasn't just advocating more bigotry, but also a plan to roll back America's overly-free democracy, replacing it with a rule of elites that uses "civics literary tests" as the justification for denying voting rights to tens of millions of "wrong" Americans, like minorities and people with funny accents.

That's what made the whole period-costume fetish party so surreal: the sight of all these people re-enacting the Founding Fathers revolutionary fight for democracy, while at the same time cheering on a plan that overthrows American democracy and restricts power to a vanguard elite -- which presumably includes the kinds of draft-dodging rednecks and bipolar government-parasites like Tancredo.*Most of the gullible rank-and-file fools at the convention who snickered gleefully at Tancredo's "I have a dream ... of denying democratic rights to poor black kids's families and brown kids' families..." speech didn't understand that in all likelihood, they too would have their "irrational" voting rights canceled, because their masters despise them. And they don't even hide it. As incredible as it seems, these Republican and "libertarian" ideologues have been arguing that the real problem in America's democracy is that too many people have voting rights, leaving America at the mercy of "irrational" or dangerous voters who elect the wrong people. They have argued that the only way to save America is by overthrowing this democracy and replacing it with an enlightened, free-market dictatorship.

One reason you don't hear much about this is because most of them zipped up their mouths by the middle of 2008, when there was a real fear of a populist uprising and a new New Deal. But the Republican right-wing elite wasn't always so shy; right up through the financial collapse, many boasted as publicly as possible about their dream of overthrowing the democracy and replacing it with a free-market dictatorship.

Take one recent example: Republican ideologue Kevin Hassett, a top economic adviser to Bush and McCain and who heads the right-wing American Enterprise Institute's economic policy department where so many brilliant free-market ideas are incubated. In 2007, Hassett boldly questioned whether democracy is really the best way to preserve America's free-market preeminence, in a Bloomberg column headlined, " Does Economic Success Require Democracy?":

"Dictatorships are not hamstrung by the preferences of voters for, say, a pervasive welfare state. ...The unfree nations will grow so quickly that they will overwhelm free nations with their economic might. ... Meanwhile, democracies may copy many of the market-friendly policies of the dictatorships, but it seems unlikely that free citizens will choose to reduce their own political freedoms."

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