Turning America into Pottersville
by Robert Parry
For many years, it appeared that the Right wanted to take the United States back to the 1950s - when blacks "knew their place," women were "in the kitchen" and gays stayed "in the closet" - but it turns out that the intended back-in-time-travel was to the 1920s, to an era of a few haves and many have-nots, not only before the Civil Rights Movement but before the Great American Middle-Class.
The Right's goal has been less to recreate the world of "Father Knows Best" than to establish a national "Pottersville," like in the movie, "It's a Wonderful Life," where the existence of the average man and woman was brutish and unfulfilling, while the 1 percent of that age lived in gilded comfort and held sweeping power.
That is the message ironically coming from the expensive ad wars of the Republican presidential battle, where Romney has emerged as the personification of the 1 percent and has been attacked by rivals who - while supporting similar policies favoring the ultra-rich - have savaged his career as a venture capitalist, or as Texas Gov. Rick Perry puts it, a "vulture capitalist."
Romney's response has been telling. The former Bain chief went beyond the Right's usual lament about "class warfare," terming the criticism of high-flying financiers who use layoffs to fatten their bottom lines "the bitter politics of envy."
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