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!