Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Insane Asylum That is Today's GOP

While it has now been many years since I resigned from the Republican Party and gave up the seat on the Virginia Beach City Committee that I had held for eight years, I continue to shake my head in dismay at what has become of a political party I was once proud to belong to and support.  I ask my self at times WTF happened?  But I know the one word answer: Christianists.  Out of short term political expediency, these folks were welcomed to the party and voted into positions on committees across the country and as their influence grew, rational moderates fled the increasing push for a theocratic agenda and attendant greed, fear and hate based policies.  Some may ask about the Tea Party's role in the now rampant insanity within the GOP, but with some 85% of the Tea Party identifying as conservative Christians, the two groups are actually one and the same.  Those who carry the Tea Party banner simply disguise their religious extremism, in my view.  With sane individuals fewer and farther between within the GOP, there now are no leaders who are brave enough or willing to take on the patients within the insane asylum the GOP has become.   A piece in BuzzFeed looks at the leadership void.  Here are excerpts:

WASHINGTON — Forget the Republican Party’s need to rebrand itself. Forget party elders' promises that they will start reaching out to minorities. And forget the supposed soul-searching that is meant to sweep over the GOP as it undergoes a serious reexamination of its future.
Right now, Republicans are having trouble even getting out of their own way.

Conservative groups are splintering. The Romney campaign has dissolved into backbiting and billing disputes. A “plan B” to avert the fiscal cliff proved to be a colossal embarrassment. A teetotaling Idaho senator has been charged with drunk driving. But the most striking symptom of the GOP’s horrible moment is the party’s inability to get done what virtually everyone here knows is in its political best interest: A hasty surrender.

It’s difficult to find a Republican operative who is willing to say on the record that going over the fiscal cliff next Tuesday is a good idea. Provoking a crisis is bad politics: Republicans are resigned to taking the blame. And it’s bad for their policy agenda: They will likely be cornered into a broader tax hike than the best deal they could get from President Barack Obama today, and with none of the spending cuts that might now be on the table.  And yet, the dominant emotion among most Republicans here is one of sheer resignation.

“It’s a shit show,” one prominent Republican told BuzzFeed of the GOP’s messaging position. “Tax rates are going to go up on everyone, and we’re going to get the blame.”

The Republican woes have many roots, but here on Capitol Hill, one of the problems is particularly clear. Without a Republican president — or even a presidential nominee — leadership has fallen to two men who are in no position to actually lead a national party anywhere: Boehner and, to a lesser degree, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

McConnell is a tactical master and one of the best politicians in the country. But he is not equipped to be the party's national face, nor is he the sort to quickly impose a firm grip on the floundering party in order to lead it out of the wilderness.
As for Boehner, since the election he’s seen his standing within the party and conservative circles crumble. Conservative news outlets are openly discussing ousting him, accusing him of ideological crimes against his party and in some cases openly mocking him and questioning his honesty.
Expect more chaos within the GOP as the insane base continues to demand policies and positions that harm the country and make the exodus on rational people accelerate.  When the base of a political party no longer is tethered to objective reality bad things are bound to happen.  Today's GOP is in essence an extreme sectarian party that is welcoming to fewer and fewer Americans.


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