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Saturday, February 21, 2009

A VERY, VERY SICK PATIENT

SOME OF THIS BELOW APPEARS IN MY COMMENTS ON BURR DEMING'S MASTERFUL "FAIR AND UNBALANCED" WEBSITE, IN A 2/20/09 POST ENTITLED "THE DOWNWARD REPUBLICAN PHENOMENON." For an always thoughtful, intelligent, insightful, and relevant read, visit that sight often, as I do, at http://www.fairandunbalanced.com/.



The late, great, visionary Democratic President and New Deal architect, Franklin D. Roosevelt was once asked why there were so many quarreling factions in his party, while his Republican opponents always seemed so unified. Unhesitatingly, and with a twinkle in his eye, he responded, "There are many ways of moving forward, but there is only one way of standing still." Yet another visionary Democratic President, John F. Kennedy, once compared Republicans to a group of circus elephants joined together at the tail, following each other around in an endless circle. Both descriptions of the Republican Party proved once again apt this week, as the GOP ignored the plight of rising millions of its suffering countrymen by digging in its heels in solid opposition to President Barack Obama's Stimulus Plan. As did their predecessors in the 1930s and 1960s, today's GOP finds itself once more fighting a losing battle which will cost them dearly.

Today's Republicans have no pragmatic solutions for our pressing problems. They cling to the very same old, discredited economic theories of an unfettered free market and small, ineffective government which failed the country in the 1920s, 1980s, and again in the early 2000s. They are overly conservative socially, exclusive, and are becoming increasingly intolerant. They look to unqualified and under-educated people like Sarah Palin and Joe the phony Plumber for leadership and inspiration. They have become a sullen and seemingly bitter group. Their persona in recent years resembles that of a spoiled, stubborn, pouting small child on the verge of a temper tantrum. John Boehner, for one, often displays the facial expressions of a defiant little brat in need of a severe spanking and time spent standing in the corner. The GOP of today is anti-tax (even in the face of record deficits THEY created under George W. Bush), anti-government (even though free market private industry has failed the public in many ways), anti-progress, anti-cooperation, and anti-action. They truly are standing still at a time when we need them to move and help build. Were they lowly employees at the big corporations they seem to love so dearly, they would surely be fired en masse for bad attitude, disruption, and undeniably poor performance. American voters should fire them too, for not serving our interests. For the GOP continues to press for more tax cuts for the wealthy and huge corporations, saying that is the only way to provide economic growth and create good jobs. They conveniently overlook the fact that the last several rounds of tax cuts were only used to create jobs overseas and line the wealthy's already overly bulging pockets. They also ignore the fact that their insistence on smaller government and deregulation has led to the rise of unsafe products, unnecessary deaths, and increased pollution, all of which have hurt the population.

This is no longer the progressive party which brought Abraham Lincoln to the presidency and created a majority for itself in 1860. It is not the party which adopted and implemented the greatly beneficial reforms and progressivism of Teddy Roosevelt in the early 1900s. I laugh when I hear today's Republicans refer to themselves as being members of "the party of Lincoln." In many ways, they are the very OPPOSITE of his party. The current GOP has shifted so far to the right and has become so ultra conservative it is now completely out of touch with most Americans, who no longer share its views. Liberal Republicans have gone the way of the pterodactyl, and moderates are heading in that direction too. The overwhelming majority which remain as dominant are a residue of nasty hard core conservatives and near-extremists. This unfortunate process began in the days of the 1964 Goldwater presidential campaign, accelerated in the 1980s Reagan era, and reached full fruition with the ascendancy of George W. Bush to the presidency. This far-right trend has now gone "overboard" and is killing the party. It has gone SO far-right, in fact,that it has nearly pushed the party off the American political scale altogether. Interestingly enough, this remaining ultra-conservative residue is clamoring for a shift even FURTHER to the right!

The maddening thing is how closed-minded these current Republicans have become. They no longer accept fact as factual. In their view, the only truth in political discussion is that which originates from THEM. Through irresponsibly dishonest and self-serving spokespersons like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, AnnCoulter, Bill O'Reilly, Alan Keyes, Michelle Mallkin, and congressional parrots like John Boehner, Michele Bachmann, Eric Cantor, Mike Pence, Mitch McConnell, Lindsay Graham, John Cornyn, and a shrinking number of others, they make wildly inaccurate claims, accusations, and distortions against their political opponents in an increasingly vicious and mean-spirited voice. They deceitfully claim to be shut out of government these days, even though President Obama and congressional Democratic leaders have allowed them FAR more input than THEY allowed Democrats in the fairly recent, notorious Bush/Frist/DeLay days of total Republican control!

The current Republican Party is indeed a very, very sick patient. It is much like a near-terminal person refusing all chemotherapy or medication. It will not compromise, nor will it listen to reason. Meghan McCain, daughter of the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, spoke this past week on how the party must become more "tech savvy" to survive. She was discussing only tactical maneuvering and therefore missed the point entirely. The country is totally fed up with Republicans' pandering to the rich, rejecting people for reasons of race or sexual preference, preying on peple's fear, and constantly employing uncooperative, attack-dog methodology. Sorry, Ms. McCain, but barring a miracle, or a complete change in attitude and direction, the increasingly partisan, bitter, intolerant, and isolated group you call the Republican Party will lose all influence and recede into history regardless of how tech savvy it becomes. Meghan, your patient is very, VERY sick. It appears to be deservedly and rapidly approaching its death throes. Good riddance, I say!

10 comments:

Yellow Dog said...

The irony is that as much as the demise of the wingnut freakazoids will benefit the nation and the world, the health of the Constitution and the survival of democracy - not to mention the Democratic Party - demand a vital and robust opposition.

My fear is not of the repug candidate likely to seek the White House in 2016, but the Democratic nominee who would succeed Barack Obama.

If current trends continue, in six years we'll have an overwhelmingly successful Democratic administration faced with an opposition in name only. Overwhelming crises draw once-in-a-century candidates like Obama. Shoo-in races to accept an easy berth draw weak-ass DINOs like Evan Bayh.

Without a vital opposition, the Democratic Party will fall into the laziness and corruption that defeated it in 1980 and led directly to the economic, environmental and military disasters we now face.

May the Democratic Party remain forever in power, but may it have to fight tooth and nail every election to stay there.

Jack Jodell said...

Great truth in those words, Yellow Dog. EVERY party needs an effective watchdog at times. I am not quite as pessimistic about the GOP's probable demise, though. They are currently so extreme, out of whack and unyielding as to not really provide any useful input at all, only obstruction and paralysis. Perhaps if we end up with a new, strong independent party, or a radically altered and far more moderate new GOP, at THAT point we may be able to have sensible and constructive criticism and debate leading to improved, common sense public policy. Regardless of what happens, though, the current GOP is a deadly cancer on our body politic and has to go!

Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

Well writ! Well said! Ta Jack! Can you imagine my utter relief to read your latest post when I've been so backpeddled with extra job being the night hack and deflated of energy while keeping my own lil ole business afloat through the ongoing 'downturn'? Well darlin...RELIEF. You and Burr both take up so much Slack!!! LOL And as I read your piece, I sighed, 'oh gosh, someone else got there and did it...thank the gods!'

I did come to the conclusion (for the umpteenth time in life) that the high road, the positive, will offer a more hearty mix. And it's clearly a greater challenge! So, today as I read your deft conclusions... I am relieved to find like minded heart - mind busy at work keeping the sanity keep up and out there.

I like where Yellow Dog takes this.. 6 yrs and successful Dems keeping the ground. Fueled by the obvious stupidity of the Republican foolery. I mean, what are they thinking? Guess the point is; they are not. SO obvious that it's power playing and no concern for their constituency ... double GEESH! ta for the note! My appreciation is great!

Jack Jodell said...

Thanks, Gwendolyn. You're hilarious! Sorry it's been so hectic for you, and keeping a business going in this climate IS indeed a challenge! I know you'll always remember who to thank for these current economic doldrums...oops! Excuse me---I just saw another sick Republican walk by---I've gotta hurry up and heat my thermometer up a couple of thousand degrees and then shove it where it will do the most good for that poor person - LOL! :)

Dallas said...

I think the Republicans are doing their job very well. They are making Obama look like a "man of the people" while he's funneling huge amounts of money to the bankers and handing out crumbs to the people.

SJ said...

@Jack,
All profoundly perceptive observations and all true, sadly. Many have commented on how in the last twenty years, the Republican Party has become a party of the unified "extreme," of thoughtless and aggressively enforced "pseudo-orthodoxy" (because let's face it, we haven't seen real Republicans in a long time, just pro big business, anti-working class, Far-Right suck-ups).
Prior to the late 1960s, there were more Republicans of differing types, the fact that someone like Lincoln Chafee does not feel at home in his own party, or that someone like Congressman Gringey allows Rush Limbaugh to walk all over him and his fellow elected officials is a sign the GOP is in more trouble than was originally thought back on November 5.
-SJ

Jack Jodell said...

Thank you for your comments, Dallas. You may very well be correct in your assumption that Obama is actually sucking up to big money and throwing mere crumbs to everyone else. However, having read his book twice and absorbing all his stated beliefs and even the nuances he presented, plus the fact that he did the time he did as a community organizer and genuinely saw and experienced life as he did on Chicago's south side, I can't fathom him being a big sell-out. If so, stop the Oscars right now and award him one. BUT - strange things happen in politics, so we'll just have to wait and see if what you say is correct. Thanks for commrnting, and please come back again.

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SJ, thanks for your always perceptive comments. What you say underscores my point about the current "defective" batch of Repubs being very, very far right with no room at all for any diversity in their party. Your point about the "real" GOP of yesteryear is quite valid. The right wing Goldwater forces, of whom Reagan was a member, basically killed off the more liberal Rockefeller and moderate Romney factions, and turned the Libertarian element into something of an oddity within their ranks. Nixon (no hero), and Ford (also no hero), were able to bridge the gap for a time, but since 1980 it's been all right, then far right, and now neocon and post-neocon. (What's next---Nazi)? Just as the Dems found when factions of their party pushed it very leftward (while others took on an almost Repub persona), it is very hard to carry your electorate and transport them where you want to go when you aren't driving on the main political highway and are instead plowing through the ditch on one side of the road or the other. Today's Repubs aren't even in the ditch any longer: They're way off in right field somewhere, and that's why they're losing more passengers with each and every mile! If ever a party needed a drastic rescue, today's GOP is it!

Naj said...

Hi, pleased to meet you and thank you for visiting Stop the Second Holocaust!

Brother Tim said...

Good post, Jack. The Repugs have morphed into a party that is only conservative when it comes to social matters. Fiscal responsibility is nowhere to be found, hence, our nearly $11 trillion national debt.

The Dems must stay vigilant and somewhat united in listening to the needs of the electorate, paying heed to the mandates given to them, lest they find themselves in the same stew of the past that you mentioned.

Thanks for stopping by my place. I hope to see you again!

Jack Jodell said...

Naj, enjoyed your site and will visit again, and thank YOU for stopping by here.
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Ditto to you, Brother Tim, and your point about the Repugs being overly socially conservative is well taken. As far as being fiscally irresponsible, when it benefits THEM to spend, they will do so lavishly (as in pleasing their military/industrial complex lobbyist pals), otherwise they'll neglect to spend on needed jobs and infrastructure programs for people. The Dems are sitting pretty right now, but they're not immune to fouling up either. Thanks for stopping by, guys. You're always welcome!